Nature Hike – Journey Journal

Nature Hike – Journey Journal

Inspiration can come from many places, anywhere really, and it builds. I love how many twists and turns an idea can take from the seed first planted in your mind. Projects rarely turn out as I originally intended…personality and perspective of the artists involved, adds to the flavor.

Sunny spring/summer days have been hard to come by this year. We got a rare glimpse of sunshine just as we set in to our blueberry pancake breakfast, celebrating the first week of summer vacation and all of the school year’s accomplishments (I’m convinced the two were related). With fierce efficiency, we were packed and out the door, ready for an adventure at the nature park.

Bike, helmet, double jog stroller, water bottle, sandals, 3 Ninjago Lego guys, Birthday Bear, Shanda Baby, a purse/diaper bag combo loaded to max capacity with smaller purses, plastic phones and keys, and lip gloss – the essentials. Little Lady doesn’t mess around.

Finally, we grabbed the camera. We had a mission in mind: record our adventure and capture the memories in a handmade book.

We strayed a bit from our usual route to take in new sights, not bypassing our faves. What made this trip especially memorable for me was Little Man biking ahead of us, owning the moment on the trail. Seeing him so grown and confident feels both familiar and impossible. He gazes from side to side swallowing up the surroundings as he glides on his big boy bike. The only think keeping him small in this scene is the shark-finned helmet he wears with pride.

We hit the winding dog trail, steep hill with log stairs, creek bridge and wayside, and look-out hill.

You can capture any adventure, big or small, in a memory book: a trip to the beach, a walk through the park, a road trip, or a day with friends. You can make the experience educational…or just freely enjoy the ride.

I’ll call this project: Journey Journal: Nature Hike


  • You
  • Nature
  • Camera
  • Paper Bags/Glue Stick/Marker
  • Paint  (optional)
  • Hole Punch
  • String

The beauty of a project like this is that it can be done in steps throughout the week: hike, cover, print pictures, make book, write story.

Head out into nature…anywhere. Look left, right, and down. Fine-tune your vision to see the things that usually blend. Snap pictures along the way – favorite spots, treasures found along your path. Interesting rocks, feathers, and flowers serve as excellent prompts to bring your story to life.

The evening of our hike, we uploaded our favorite photos to a website for printing. We were able to pick them up the next morning. I ordered one set for each of them so that they could each create and save a book to preserve memories.

We wanted to keep in the theme of nature or natural so we used brown paper bags for the book pages. The Woodland Crowns set me in a brown paper bag kinda phase…you’ve been warned.

We used a piece of card stock for the book cover. I cut down the side of a brown bag and removed the bottom. This left me with a long strip of paper to cut into rectangles the size of the cover. We had printing on parts of the bag so we glued to pieces together to hid the printing, as the kids wanted to use fronts and backs of pages. Pages will be crumpled or folded in areas and that’s just fine. It only adds to the character.

Save the scraps (bottoms of bags and handles) for a future project…coming soon.

Little Man provided inspiration for the book covers, based on an art project he completed in school this year. Birch trees…I mean seriously. The small original of this piece has a special place on my mantle.

We decided to sort the photos in sequence to tell a story. That alone was an engaging activity. They felt important leading the task.

Three-hole-punch the pages and the cover of the book. Glue the pictures to the pages. We tied twine string through the holes to bind the book.

Finally, we sat together reflecting upon our experience in each shot and brainstorming interesting words to share our story. Once they decided on the words they liked best, they wrote them on the pages.

The pride on their faces as they paged through, and read, their very own books was most gratifying.

I have no words here…just feelings. Kids rule

Some of our favorite spots from the hike…

One of our favorite traditions: building habitats at the summit of the Log Stairs ‘Mountain’. Today, we had Ninja Legos with and they got a Dojo.

Love this creek. It’s deep this year from all of the snow…and oh so chilly.

Feather – major score!

Birthday Bear had a look-see as well.

The books are more than just words and pictures. We will remember time spent together and a place that holds so much meaning when we page through.

They are individual, visual, full of texture, full of love.

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~John Muir



  1. Anonymous says

    Wonderful and so fun , it felt like I got to take the walk with you……you,re going to have to start a memory BIN pretty soon !!!! nanni

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