Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Day in Paradise

Back on the grid at the best place to stay on the Appalachian Trail, I'm getting ready to get back on the job in the high mountains within the 100 mile wilderness. The Stratton Motel feels like home. A comfortable couch and full kitchen in the hostel side of the hotel allows hikers and backpackers a comfortable place to regroup, meet others of like mind and resupply. The grocery store is right across the street. There are several good restaurants in town.

I just read an article in the Oprah magazine called the New Nature Walk. Written by Nicole Frehsee, the essay says what all hikers know, a silent, peaceful walk in the woods is restorative, emotionally, spiritually and physically. It also inspires creativity and successful problem solving.

View along the Blueberry Ledges trail in Baxter State Park.

Transparently the Japanese call this shinrin-yoku, where the participants engage nature with all five senses. This requires them also to be quiet, silent. If you are with a group, this could be challenging. 
This "trend" further proposes that if one can hike silently and reflectively, blood pressure is lowered by as much as 10 points. One man called it "forest bathing".

Is this the New Age answer to stress? I think nature lovers knew this all along. Maybe we'll have some extra support maintaining the integrity of our National Forests if urban dwellers take a walk on the wild side!


  1. Be careful out on the trail. Another hiker disappeared not too far from where you used to live down south recently.

  2. Thank you, I will be careful. I carry bear spray, too....sometimes. :)

    We're still on the alert for any traces of that woman. She may have fallen off a cliff. It can be quite slippery and muddy in places, with sheer drop offs.

  3. A walk in the woods always does me good and comforts me, Sometimes, while on a hike, I'll just stop, listen and observe. All of a sudden you can hear the breeze in the trees, the chirps of birds and the rustling of leaves from the squirrels. it's very soothing to the soul...