Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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06/27/2006: "An Emotional Journey (ok, more like a short hike)"

Tonight I hiked that new trail and it really blew my mind. Even by Juneau standards it was incredibly gorgeous...there were giant skunk cabbages and devils clubs as well as dwarf dogwood, blueberry bushes, tall evergreen trees, moss, water dripping over slate...a golden view of Juneau, sun shining through leaves and dead quite. It made me feel small.

I was the only one on the trail too. I love being in nature...really in it, away from everyone and everything. It reminded me of being a little kid when I still believed in faeries and talking woodland creatures...has anyone seen The Last Unicorn? It also made me miss sleeping in a tent or snuggling with someone you like under a sleeping bag.. next to an open fire, drinking wine from a thermos under a starry sky...ah, memories...

Oh yes, it was a very nostalgic little hike for me...and enthralling, plus the trail head is very near my home; I think I'll be hiking there a lot from now on! I would have gone further than I did if I hadn't heard a rustle in the bushes. Then I realized that while they may not sing and dance, bears do exist in these woods...and that I didn't tell anyone I was going hiking, and that I was alone on the trail at dusk and that a good friend of mine and her date had to be rescued from that same trail when they got stuck on it after dark, etc...

but wow, it was amazing while it lasted. And I don't have to be nostalgic because I can still do all those things! (well, it's getting harder to believe in unicorns but other than that...)

starry (90k image)

(One of my favorite paintings, Starry Night by Vincent VanGogh)

Replies: 9 Comments

on Wednesday, June 28th, Daniel said

Excellent post!

on Wednesday, June 28th, Elise said

Thanks Daniel, did you like what I wrote or the painting, cuz I can't take credit for that!

on Wednesday, June 28th, Daniel said

It was the perfect combination.

on Wednesday, June 28th,">Rob Roys said

I saw that painting-read that book (and saw the movie!)-but what trail are you talking about?

on Wednesday, June 28th, Elise said

Are you referring to the Last Unicorn or Starry Night?

And the trail is the Treadwell ditch trail, the trailhead starts at the top of Blueberry Hill (I think that's what it's called, when you drive alllllll the way up Cordova street as hi as you can get).

on Saturday, July 1st, RR said

Hey Elise, what are "giant skunk cabbages and devils clubs as well as dwarf dogwood" we don't get these over here - well I don't recognise the names. They sound fascinating plants.

on Saturday, July 1st, Elise said

I'm using links to other people's photos for now because my photo card isn't hooked up at the moment but this is dwarf dogwood...they are very small and can blanket the rainforest floor.

Skunk cabbages look like beautiful yello callolillies in in the spring and are usually bunched together and as the summer goes on, the leaves get huge, much taller than me and since they're all bunched together it's really dramatic.

As for Devil's Club, they are my favorite! They are covered with tiny sharp needles and can be low lying or they can grow as tall as trees overhead, with the sun shining through their leaves. I used Devil's Club in one of my paintings

on Saturday, July 1st, berry bowman connell said

AHA! One of the two
Starry Nights.

This one was m'ex's favorite.
Me? I liked the other, also known as
Couple by the river,
but having seen it in
person really got to me.

It's the first time I found
out that photographs
suck when they show
works of art.
You see, the other Starry Night
was painted at a time
when he had less paint
(Theo hadn't sent money yet)
and he went heavy on
the medium which
gave it such a
jewel-like could
see through the paint
into the space he
created for the stars.
It was Fabulous to say the least!

on Saturday, July 1st, Elise said

Hey Berry, what museum was that in? I agree that reproductions don't do the originals justice in most cases. There's nothing like seeing an original!