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Found Altars, Sacred Spaces

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Mike was still asleep when I woke in the cold pop-up camper so I slid my shoes on quietly and in jammies went down the steep incline to the beach. The waves were calm, the morning mostly gray, the sun not having burnt off the mist and cloud cover. I came across a found altar. It was Sunday morning. I said my prayers and climbed back up a very steep incline to the campground above.

We camped at the Presque Isle Campground within the Porcupine Mountain State Park. It was only a two-day trip that started late on a Saturday but it helped me put the stresses I was feeling in the background. I came home with resolve to change, to slow it down, to take my healing to the next level.

Found altars can be a gathering of stones on a beach, or a space where you feel centered. This trip reminded me that I need to seek that space more frequently. Where is your “altar”?

Into the Wilds!

Photographer: Cindy Kochis

Not many photos of Mike and I exist! I just love this photo captured by Cindy Kochis of, One Giggling Writer. We were hiking the Lake Superior shoreline between Lil’ Presque Isle and Wetmore Landing. A family Hike with Mike’s brother Steve, Steve’s daughter Emma, and Mike’s cousin Cindy.

A little over 1/2 way I trail-ran back to Lil’ Presque and drove our vehicle down to Wetmore and waited on the beach for them to arrive. It was a hot 1-mile run back to the vehicle and I was carrying a pack. I was so glad for my extra water due to thirst and the red welts on my leg. While shooting green goo coming from the sandstone seepages I leaned up close to get the following macro. My allergic reactions are numerous since Celiac Disease went fully active in my body. I look a little rough after this weekend.

Photographer: Kim Nixon

Having three photographers on a hike is wonderful. The energy of nature combine with each photographer made for a playful zing. Where we took similar shots, each is unique in their perspective. It reminded me how I want to lead nature hikes for people wanting to explore being a naturalist with camera. It is a wonderful way to document your hikes and come home with images to research.

While we slid along a rock ledge at the water’s edge, Mike looked up. Looks dangerous. I was looking down at layers in the water. I should look up more often. As a photographer it is good to change perspectives. Look close. Far. Out. Within. We can learn from interactions with others on camera hikes. It’s a different rhythm. One will turn right when you wanted to turn left. One will think beach when another thought woods. You learn to flow with the energy, feel it and be it.

Photographer: Mike Hainstock

You might even see reflections. Aura. Refractions of light. Repetitions and waves. Luminous light on spider webs. The world is full of creative energy and we share in that creation. Each person on this hike, whether they had a camera in hand or not, were reflecting on our life. Our place at the edge of things. I saw Emma look out at the blue lake. I saw Steve look within and breathe in pine. We were honoring the passing of Robert Lee Hainstock this weekend. I felt him with us.

Photographer: Kim Nixon

Bliss in Munising

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(Photos taken in Munising Michigan on July 3, 2010)

There’s something liberating about going on a boat ride with 20-some-people who do not know you. Do not know you were in the hospital just a couple days ago. Do not know you have Celiac Disease. But do know your boyfriend from the graduating class of 1980 (Munising High School). Most were too busy to pay me much mind at all.

I enjoyed the freedom of Lake Superior and blue skies as we went on a glass bottom boat cruise.

Put this girl next to a big lake and she is happy.
Put this girl on a Great Lake and she is in bliss!

A Runner’s World–Surfer Sunday




I took a day off running on Saturday mostly due to heavy rains and a sore foot. But today I woke to sunshine and was back at it. I had to detour around a section of Lakeshore Drive due to water over the road–a big yellow piece of heavy construction equipment was scrapping the road and pushing rocks back into place.

I planned on a long run adding in my new one mile section, even if I had to go slower and walk more. The goal is to up the mileage and get the balls of my feet and my arthritic great toe used to more distance.

It takes discipline for a photographer to get down to the business of running when the sun is shining on Superior and the surfers look awesome in the waves. But I pushed thru my run so I could do my cool-down walk with camera.

It’s a promise I make myself–run this “fill-in-the-blank” distance and then you can take all the photos you want.

After my run this morning I was 154.8. I had already eaten 3/4 a cup of Honey-nut Cheerios and a small Banana and about 16 ounces of water. I’m getting there.

Below is a shot of the beach on my way home. The road is on the other side of the rocks and where that large splash is–that is where the road was closed before my run. It has since been scrapped clean and rocks piled up, again. The road was open, but splashes were still wetting the rocks on the roadside. I love the power of Lake Superior. But I worry this weather pattern has been very November-Like.




Things have been a bit “quackers” for me. I am suffering from muscles spasms and migraines. I know this shall pass, once again (it always does). But I feel so many things are unattended to. Please enjoy this odd little fellow. (I think I have identified this duck as a Red Breasted Merganser).

Today in Marquette: More Fog

blowing backin_1053

Horseshoe Harbor–Freeze Frame

Kim has a fear of heights and this little crack in a rock looks like nothing but...

Kim Has a fear of heights and this little crack in a rock looks like nothing but...Mike already crossed and is way ahead Kim begins to cross on her own...

Kim has one leg over, arms ready to push off from the other side and she freezes in the wind with crashing waves below and considers calling to Mike...

Kim has one leg over, arms ready to push off from the other side and she freezes in the wind with crashing waves below and considers calling to Mike...

Kim shouts over the wind and crashing waves a dozen times luckily Mike hears three like little mosquitoes buzzing his ear...

Kim shouts over the wind and crashing waves a dozen times luckily Mike hears three like little mosquitoes buzzing his ear...

Mike plops himself in between giving Kim a human aid to cross Kim enjoys what lays beyond and tries to put the return out of her mind.

Mike plops himself in between giving Kim a human aid to cross Kim enjoys what lays beyond and tries to put the return out of her mind.

So I laughed as Mike who was ahead of me looked back and signalled he was going ahead. I blew him air kisses and gave and air hug and waved him on. We would not have been heard over the crash of waves and the roar of the wind.

When I reached the divide I knew why he paused and looked back to me. Mike knows my fear of heights. I fell behind as I took 70 some photos of frogs in a tidal pool. We often separate on hikes but let each other know which direction we are headed. I stood analyzing thechasm. No going down the back side of the rock as it was pretty shear. Lake Superior roaring up a storm on the other. It had to be acrossthe divide. The rock shelf I was on stood slightly taller. It was a drop tot he next shelf. The gap was in my mind a bit over two feet. I threw my water bottle across, slung my camera over my shoulder and to the back. I began to cross. On my butt, I put out one leg to the far shelf, great hand holds on my current shelf, and one leg. Yhe idea I had was like going down stairs on your butt. I would just kinda shove myself. WRONG!

I froze in place. I felt like I was going to sag and pour into the chasm to the crashing waves below and drown. It was a 15 foot drop. I began to yell for Mike, which I thought was utterly futile. But Miracles do happen and he heard me. “Like a mosquito buzzing in his ear,” He said.

Mike perches between the two sides like some great mountainneerman and says use me to cross. Well I had to keep urging myself and I was now fearful for the nose of my camera. So I surrender my camera to Mike. I get my bottom and body across. The scenery was worth it.

On the return I hadto cross again, It was not pretty and basically I have been telling the story as Mike shoved my *ss over the crevasse. But I feel I did get over a fear. I did not let it hold me back. I just needed a bit of help. I successfully bouldered the trail despite my fear of heights.

Waves without Mike

Waves without Mike, copyright Kim Nixon 2007

This photo was taken as the Presque Isle River flows into Lake Superior at the Porcupine Mountain State Park in the Fall of 2007. From a series of photos with and without my Magic Man, Mike.

Looking Ahead with My Magic Man

Mike on Shore of Lk. Superior, copyright 2007 KimNixon

I am looking forward to 2008 and the new adventures that my Magic Man and I will set out to discover. I look at this Christmas Holiday, our 4rth, and I know how blessed we are. Life might not be easy, but I look around and see how others struggle. Life is warm in our home full of plants and life. Warmth of home and arms that welcome me each day — I cannot ask for more. But you know some days I get caught up in wanting my arm healed, or my business back. It is Mike that helps me heal and remember to be grateful for this life–the one I am living today–not the one I had before my car accident.

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