The Reason for this Blog

The purpose of this blog is to provide a forum for readers to share their experiences regarding the powerful role of nature in their lives. Many years ago, just out of high school, some friends and I embarked on a cross-country journey across through a dense, untraveled wilderness in Washington State.  I knew nothing about poet Robert Bly’s Iron John archetype of a young man being guided by his ancient inner "wild man" to do battle with himself in nature, nor did I know anything about appropriate gear and the hazards of cross-country wilderness travel.  All I knew was that I was a young man in need of a challenge.  We marched the length of a wilderness valley, descended into vertical canyons, waded swift waters, confronted bears, crossed glaciers, and traversed a mountain range.  This expedition is described in great depth in my upcoming memoir, A River Knows My Name and you can view photos of that journey here.  I experienced first-hand the connection between wilderness rights-of-passage and healing. If you'd like to read or comment on posts, please do subscribe (sign up).  You may in addition, share with me your story of around 500 words or less. I look forward to some powerful conversations.  – Tim McHugh

Old Footsteps 

There’s something about coming back to a place you know.    The place I’m about to describe is a certain valley deep in the heart of the North Cascades.   I just returned from there with my two sons, now grown.   It’s…

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Touching the Wild in All of Us

Nothing in the world enhances a wilderness experience compares with the thrill of a wildlife sighting.  Whether I’m driving through the south side of Bellingham and notice a family of racoons gathering on a sidewalk as they plot their next…

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Backpacking: Contemplating a Beautiful Misery

There's nothing like the first few steps of a long backpack.  You feel the straps digging into your shoulders, and the dull, aching weight on your hips makes you realize you packed too much as the summer sun beats down…

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My Zen and the Sea Lion

Another brilliant slice of Alaska wild by Kurt Dunbar.   If you love to fish, you will relate to the meditative, transcendental experience that Kurt captures so beautifully.     There is, however, a twist...

Dan said somebody told him the pinks were…

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Coming to Alaska

 

If you've been to Alaska, this story by Kurt Dunbar is certain to evoke a deep nostalgia and sense of wonder.  If you've never been, I guarantee after reading this, you will feel like you have.  Ultimately, this is a…

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Tolstoy's First Condition of Happiness

 

“One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between Man and Nature shall not be broken.” –  Leo Tolstoy 

Some may find this surprising, but as an educator, there are times I often wonder if I'm more…

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Over Our Heads Part 2 (A Continuation)

Lowering the dogs...

This is an excerpt from my memoir, A River Knows My Name that is a continuation from the Over Our Heads story I posted on April 21st.  Perhaps revisiting that before proceeding with this might be helpful.

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