Thursday, October 6, 2016

Nature Journaling ~ The Hiking Journal

Before setting off on the Colorado Trail, I had great hopes of creating an artistic journal, something along the lines of this:

From Moonlight Chronicles by D. Price
I even brought an assortment of lightweight drawing supplies and had shipped to myself a series of thin notebooks for the task. I did fill in most of five journals, but most of it was writing…a lot of writing. Since the ultimate goal of this trip was to write a book, I journaled every day, even when I was really, really tired. On those days, my notes took the form of bullet points, put I at least got something on the page every day.

Unfortunately, there was a lot less time for drawing than I'd hoped. We hiked between eight and twelve hours most days, and then there was the setup and takedown of camp, meal preparation and cleanup (minimal though it was), and sleep. Lots of sleep.

So I didn't get a chance to sketch every day, or even most days. A couple of my journals don't have any drawings in them at all.

But when I did find the time for a quick drawing, I enjoyed it very much.

Even if the results weren't exactly spectacular.

On more than one occasion, I found myself wishing I had a whole afternoon—or day or week—to just explore a single hillside, watching birds, identifying flowers, sketching whatever stuck my fancy.

But that is not the right attitude for a long-distance hike, especially one on a schedule, shared with other people who move faster than me even when I'm not dawdling and drawing.

So I made do with a lot more words and photos than drawings.

And, when I found a tiny pocket of time, I made the most of it.


  1. I love your journals, and I think you managed quite a bit of drawing ;)

  2. I agree with Kim. That is a quite a bit of drawing, even if that's all the drawing! :) -Sue

  3. Travels to share, with such detail and beauty...I so appreciate seeing your drawings... Take a foliage trip soon...we just spent 4 days on the road, from Mt Washington through the Northeast Kingdom.

    1. Thanks, Sophia. Sounds amazing. We've been on a few local hikes and the leaves are amazing!!

  4. Your journals look great! Looks like you have artistic talent and nice handwriting in addition to being able to put words together. I like yours as much as the top photo example you were striving for.


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