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Trail Thoughts

What do you think about when you are on the trail? When I am hiking on trails, especially on long hikes that require me to exert and pay attention to where my feet land among the roots and rocks, my mind finds lots of ways to churn. Good churn.

So many miles and vertical feet allowed me to think about things for a couple of days this week. I actually spent a lot of time thinking about my jewelry. Clomping along up the steep grade, I thought about how different collections could benefit from some new pieces and original designs. I designed some of these pieces as I watched the miles go by. I stopped often, not just to catch my breath – but to finish thoughts that took more energy than I could manage while hiking. I also found treasures on the forest floor and along the trail in alpine meadows with fresh glacial moraines.

We are lucky enough to live within an hour of many trailheads that lead into the Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park. Geoff and I just spent a couple of days this week hiking into a beautiful glacial valley through stately groves of fir and hemlock with soft green magic carpets of moss– and up into pointy and prickly spruce. We were able to quietly watch as a family of dusky grouse fed by within feet of us – and watch groups of blacktail deer graze on an open hillside – with fawns occasionally going bonkers and simulating a rapid escape from a hungry mountain lion. We soaked in the impossible colors of glacial water in high alpine cirques with their pooled tarns. We found out we are not great at sitting still once we reach camp. We didn’t bring books or cards – so we circled the lake and caught (and released) a few colorful brook trout. We got cold. We ate freeze dried food. We spent about 12 hours in the tent. We did an early morning side trip up high. We met nice people on the trail – and had all the privacy and seclusion we needed.