an epic life

back to main

Love On The Trail – or I Heart Hiking

March 17th, 2017

Someone who does not run toward the allure of love, walks a road where nothing lives.” –Rumi

File this post under #sappy. What can I say, I’m a lover… On the upside, it’s a short blog post, with more photos than words.


I hike. A lot.

One of the reasons I hike is to clear my head and to be inspired by scenery, and whatever nature provides during a given hike. It could be a sunrise or sunset, or a “murmuration” of Bohemian waxwings rising above the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River. It could be an elk, deer or moose sighting, or an incredible mountain view. Or wildflowers.

Often the inspiration comes in the form of a heart. I see so many hearts when hiking. Mostly I discover heart-shaped rocks, but I’ve seen hearts shaped by dirt, snow, a setting sun, a leaf, a cactus, and even manure! (See photo included with this post for proof of the latter!)

I’ve spotted heart shapes during hikes and walks in my Wind River Mountains, in the Tetons, in California, the Hoh Forest, Montana, Utah, Colorado, Toronto, and even in Portugal, Switzerland and Italy during our 30-day Epic Europe trip last summer.

I’ve found that I don’t have to be actively looking for hearts to see them. I only have to be open and to be paying attention, and so often, I’m blessed by a heart here or there.

Still, looking for love – for hearts – on the trail is a fun way to meditate during a walk or a hike, and I highly recommend it. Why not look for a heart, which is the symbol for love, and which is defined as: The center of a person’s thoughts and emotions, especially love or compassion; courage or enthusiasm; the central or innermost part of something; the vital part or essence. Or, as a verb: to like very much; to love.

Love, Shelli

In Florence, Italy, last summer.

On a family hike in Switzerland last summer.

Two for one on a trail in Ojai, CA, recently.

I looked up during a walk as the sun was setting and was blessed by this heart in the sky.

In Malibu, CA.

A manure heart I discovered while walking circles at the Rodeo Grounds.

Cactus heart on the Mugu Peak trail, in CA.

On the Shoshone Lake hike last November.

Double blessing – a heart and a sunset at the same time!

Dirt shaped heart.

On my descent of Fremont Peak last August.

A heart in a rock.

My son, Hayden, posing next to a rock that someone else found and propped up for all hikers to enjoy.

  • George Joseph says:

    Shelli…from One “Heart Finder” to Another …GREAT WORK !!!
    As Im drinking my morning coffee and reading this post…I almost blew it out my nose when I read about the “places” you find em….when I read … Your finding it in “manure” …I cracked up because just last week I found a free range “patty” that made me laugh and say “do I take a pic and Share it or not”…. I didn’t but Thks for reassuring me that ITS OK where we find em….Nice article…

  • Rhonda Bowen says:

    Love this Shelli! I always look forward to your “heart” postings. I collect rock hearts from all my climbing adventures.

  • Robin Dilg says:

    I ❤️ you heart connections. I will have to stars looking more carefully. Especially as we take off on our next Travel Adventure With Horses (our FB page) April 21 till sometime in July. Chris gets married June 30th on Cape Cod. Should be beautiful. We will be camped nearby and have fun riding those beaches and trail. Something different than the west which we have done the last 2 yrs. Happy trails /weather on fort or on a horse it is all good.

  • Monica Carr says:

    Lol …
    I love this! ❤
    I have two rocks that I have kept that are shaped like hearts that I found on a couple different hikes. I kept them because they each were found at a time when something difficult was happing, and they felt like a sign from above of Gods Love and to not worry. Small “God Hugs” … that’s what I call things like this. Signs or happenings that are unusual that mean something special to someone.
    Thank you for your Blog … I will keep looking for hearts as I roam around this beautiful world.

Leave a Comment

* Denotes required field. Your email address will not be published or shared.