Sights, sounds, tastes, touch, and smells—these and less-well defined senses are wired in our brains in ways that are not yet thoroughly understood.
Each of us has our own “sensory transport bridges” built from our life experiences.
The smell and taste of pumpkin pie instantly immerse me in the feeling of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners as a child.
The honking of Canada geese I hear through my attic office skylight snaps me back to the awe and comfort that welled every fall as Canada geese migrated past my Adirondack foothills childhood home. The distinctive call of redwing blackbirds stirs the excitement and hopefulness I felt in spring when snow melted and birds came back.
My most powerful “Beam me up, Scottie” trigger hits when my skin senses freezing temperatures. I’ve lived in a place with moderate temperatures for decades, so the keen-edged bite of cold air entering my lungs and touching my face delivers me to the subzero winter childhoods I loved, crossing frozen creeks and snowshoeing on thigh-deep snow with my brothers and beagles.
Our visual sense has the extra superpower of carrying us to places we’ve not yet been. I see images from a bazaar in Morocco, a forest in Norway, or a beach in the Galapagos, and I feel like I’m there, though I haven’t visited yet.
Whenever I visit Stow Lake in San Francisco, the bright orange flowers contrasting brightly against the waterfall stairs greenery make me think of Hawaii, which came into focus in a new World Walks hike, the Lanikai Pill Box Hike.
This second World Walks contribution from a nature lover and photographer friend in the beautiful Palouse region of the northwestern US introduces readers to a trail in Hawaii with stunning views. Seeing his photos and reading his description made me feel like I’d been on the Lanikai Pill Box Hike. I hope one day to actually try it!
This week’s HikingAutism Hike Notes from the archives is Strawberry Hill and Stow Lake Pagoda. A San Francisco icon in Golden Gate Park, Stow Lake offers a sense of nostalgia along with a healthy dose of nature right in the heart of a city.
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This week’s Hike Notes from the Archives:
(Original Hike Notes 60): Strawberry Hill and Stow Lake Pagoda
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