Tag Archives: hiking

can you write?


  “what difference does it make if you live in a picturesque little outhouse

surrounded by 300 feeble minded goats and your faithful dog?

the question is: can you write?”

Ernest Hemingway




early winter hiking in MacCready Nature Reserve, Irish Hills, MI, USA 2020



i parked along a beautiful winding road

walked a few hundred feet

 to find this unmarked path

winding its way in switchbacks

all the way up to the top of this park

with natural steps made of roots and branches

and proceeded to climb

in my new shoes

1/2 size larger than the 1st pair that i’d worn out

now a size 6 1/2 instead of a solid 6

it was my first time out in them

and quickly found that

i was not yet used to the extra bit of shoe

suddenly it felt like i was walking in

giant slippery clown shoes or snorkel flippers

it was awkward

i kept kicking things

lots of near misses

almost tripping over things

until i finally really tripped on a large tree root

way up high

and found myself sliding

all the way back down to the bottom of the hill

like a scene from an old spaghetti western

i’m sure i yelled out something


stopping again right back where i’d started

near the beautiful road

where a cyclist happened to be riding by

who stopped to see if i was okay

 just a bit dusty and surprised really

 i stood up once more

and used my giant paddle feet to climb again

this time making it all the way to the top and into the park

none the worse for wear

and i am happy that i was not hiking in the grand canyon.

“here at the fountain’s sliding foot, / or at some fruit tree’s mossy root, /

casting the body’s vest aside, / my soul into the boughs does glide.”

-andrew marvell

kuebler langford park, ann arbor, mi, usa





as i’ve been walking and exploring

the parks and outdoor recreation areas around town 

i realize how many i have yet to visit

so i’ve decided to walk in each of the parks 

in ann arbor

all 159+ of them

to see what is unique about each

with more than

2,000 acres of parkland

 50,000 trees

a river, dams, falls, hills, ponds, gardens,

woods, meadows, prairies, and rec areas

found in spaces ranging from

tiny neighborhood green spots to wide open expanses

i see an adventure ahead

with no planned deadline or timeline

 so i began the list alphabetically yesterday

and have walked 2 of them so far

only 157+ to go.

“parks are works of art just as a painting or sculpture is.”

-thomas hoving

credits: ann arbor parks and recreation

no bird in this bush.



in full-day kindergarten, every day is truly a treasure trove of wonder.  in the morning, we talk about the sound that the letter F makes.  children offer their own examples, things they are familiar with in their own lives: flower, frog, fruit. then, out of the crowd, a lone voice says above the rest, ‘funk.’ what was that?  ‘i said, ‘funk. funk starts with f!’ it does indeed, thank you so much for bringing a smile to your teachers’ faces and for bringing the funk back into our lives with so much enthusiasm. you never know where you’ll find the letter F, it could be just the beginning of such an exciting word, funk.



after a day filled with activity and learning and music, and most importantly, our afternoon nap, we set out on a hike through the woods and trails on campus. we took the binoculars we’d made out of empty toilet paper rolls and string, for a chance to see one of many birds we’d been talking about in the last couple of weeks.  along the way, we saw geese, swans, wrens, and jays.  



suddenly, once again, a voice rang above the crowd. ‘ i saw jesus!!’. what? where? who is jesus?  the class had all sorts of questions, as they are a patchwork of cultures, religions, and backgrounds.  ‘in the bushes! i saw jesus!’  wow, hmmmmm…… maybe that’s why i never could be a part of organized religion. was i not seeing things clearly? i think not. but i guess some toilet paper roll binoculars are higher power than others. it was a day of funk and jesus.