Perspectives by Emily Hoerner
I never considered myself a wanderer, until I looked back at my life and realized that is always what I'm doing. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong time period, meant for the Rocky Mountains of the 1840s, a true explorer, a mountain man. But instead I'm a girl of the 21st century in the western United States, roaming what's left of our country that is undeveloped. And luckily I have the best roaming partner, Weston, to capture our travels. We love to explore public land and try to share that experience through photography. Our camera straps have carried our cameras through 1,000s of miles of trail, in all different types of environments.
Last winter we traveled in the southwest, spending some cold, dry winter nights in Joshua Tree National Park. The best way to visit a popular spot like Key's View, is to go in the middle of the week during the off-season. It was 30 degrees, but we had this famous view all to ourselves.
For my birthday I wanted to backpack 30 miles. We only had a few days, but took a trip down Palm Canyon, one of the best kept secrets in Southern California, and back up into the San Jacinto Mountains. What a view after a steep, long hike!
We moved from western Colorado to the an Alaskan island rainforest last year, where we get drenched in over 100 inches of rain. The "trails" are rugged and the forest thick. But it's worth hiking up the steep mountains on the island because you get to experience amazing views of the ocean. Another perk of living on an island is the sea kayaking!
One of the best trips is to uninhabited Kruzof Island, to a dormant volcano. After the hike to the rim, we camped on the beach and were woken up by grizzly bears outside our tent! Camping with coastal brown bears has been a new experience and not one of the best things about Alaska. Is it worth it for this morning view from Harbor Mountain? I think so, but I always carry bear spray. I've run into grizzly bears and have had to quickly grab the canister out of my travelers trunk (though luckily never had to use it!) I love that I have everything I need close at hand. I never explore without it.
*Tonight is a Full Moon. If the skies are clear, take a moment to go outside and check out the "Sturgeon Moon." In August, the moon is referred to as a Sturgeon Moon because its the time of year when sturgeon of the Great Lakes were most readily caught by the natives.