You will never hike the same trail twice

You will never hike the same trail twice (inspired by Martha Kennedy)

You will never hike the same trail twice (inspired by Martha Kennedy)

Martha Kennedy – writer, painter and ‘intensive’ traveller –  wrote to me recently with a succinct, yet highly rewarding note:

I didn’t even know how to see at all until I hiked the same 3/4 mile uphill trail every day for a year in a landscape that people said, “there’s nothing there.” (Southern California chaparral) Fact is, everything was there and while in a certain sense I hiked the same trail every day, I never hiked the same trail twice.

I hiked in, through, around, over, into the same 5800 acre chaparral wilderness park nearly every day for over twenty years, but it started with one short, hard hike, nearly every day, for a year. I learned that even in the serest summer heat new flowers bloom in the chaparral and after just one good rain mushrooms spring up from ground that has gone from red to moss green. I learned that from the top of a mountain you can might look down on a rainbow and see it is a circle.


14 thoughts on “You will never hike the same trail twice

  1. Hi Daniel. I just discovered your blog (thanks to the wonders of WP and you liking a recent blog post of mine). Anyway, it’s a super blog, and it led me to your big journey blog, which I’ve now read from start to finish. What a fantastic journey. I’ll definitely read your book once it’s published.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Flora, you read the whole thing! That’s as much of an achievement as the walk was itself 🙂 Thank you so much for doing so; it really means a lot. I’m heading our for a hike today, but when I get home, I’m going to sit in front of your blog with a coffee. It seems that you had quite the journey too. Be prepared for some comments!


  2. The same is true of rivers — literally and figuratively — as they are in a constant state of flux. In my 35 years of paddling on the Muskingum Watershed (which drains 20 percent of Ohio’s land) I’ve seen islands come and go and the course of the river shift. Your post helps me appreciate how similar that is for land travel.
    I’ve always been fascinated at how different a trail looks when you’re hiking it in opposite directions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Irv, I love the parallels that you are noticing between trails and rivers; it’s very interesting. You’ve seen islands come and go over just 35 years (of course, this is a long time, but geologically speaking…). That just goes to show how dynamic nature is and how we should never give up on a specific place with the justification that, ‘we’ve already seen it.’

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so true. Different seasons, different light, different birds and times of day… I have a backyard trail that I hike a lot, and the surprises I have seen there are incredible (playing ‘spot the deer’ on the snowy slope opposite, walking very quickly away from a bear trap – the live trap kind – to hear it spring shut right behind me… Beautiful pink dawn light with moon on a snowy morning… Spring starflowers growing in the moss…) Hmm, looks like your post really inspired me. Thanks for the ‘like’ or I never would have found you! 🙂


    • Sophie, you home and surrounding trails sound magical, aside from the bear traps perhaps. I do hope that you have never had the misfortune of stepping in one? I am looking forward to seeing your blog evolve. Have a lovely day 🙂


  4. What a beautiful letter you’ve shared from Martha Kennedy. It is similiar to our experiences in our garden, where things continue to change day to day, and in the National Park we frequent. There are always surprises waiting. One must only go out and watch for them with an open mind. Your blog is beautiful, and I’m so glad you visited FG and left a “like” to help me find your work. Best wishes, WG


    • Yes, Martha’s thoughts are wholly valid. And it seems like you live by this notion already. You blog is filled with knowledge. It’s a tremendous resource; I love your guidance on attracting hummingbirds to your garden!


      • Thank you for your kind words, Daniel. Forest Garden was originally created as an online resource for fellow gardeners. I grew to enjoy participating in the blogging community, and so have expanded it over time. We enjoy the creatures who visit the garden and the constant evolution of it. There is always more to see, more to hear, more to learn. Thank you for keeping us updated on progress with your book. What an exciting project 😉 Best wishes, WG

        Liked by 1 person

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