Reflection and Reminiscing: 2017

Reflection and Reminiscing: 2017

I ended 2016 with jaw surgery to correct my bite. The doctors took bone from my hip and used it for bone grafting in my jaw, and in the roof of my mouth. Needless to say, I didn’t get around much in January because ice and crutches don’t mix. Despite 2017 beginning slow I had a busy year.

Eleven flights and hundreds of miles of driving. Iceland (KEF) (RKV) (AEY), Canada, and the United States of America! California (LAX), Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia (ATL), Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts (BOS), New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, & Washington State (SEA)!

Healing, traveling, caretaking, sewing, hiking, exploring, and not nearly enough writing. I’m hoping pictures will tell my stories best.

The Year in Pictures


Saratoga Springs, New York

Winter Brewing
Backyard beer brewing – January 21.
Lincoln Baths building in Saratoga Spa State Park – January 30.


Saratoga Springs, New York

Artisanal Brew Works – February 4. My first time out of the house after my jaw surgery!
Geyser Island Spouter in Saratoga Spa State Park – February 6. My first walk in the park after having surgery. No crutches!


My first time socializing in 2017 was an epic trip to Iceland for Oration MMXVII (a music festival).

Me with the Sun Voyager, Reykjavik – February 18. Photo credit: Nathan Neal
Me at Faxi on a side trip during our Golden Circle excursion – February 19. I loved this waterfall so much! Photo credit: Nathan Neal

Northern Iceland

Me and the Northern Iceland Crew with our little winter cabin! Later on this night we got to see the aurora borealis – February 20. Photo credit: Nathan Neal
Goðafoss at sunrise – February 21.
Mývatn Region
Me and the Northern Iceland Crew snowshoeing at the Dimmuborgir Lava Fields – February 21.
Námafjall and me! Steam vents on the mountain behind me – February 21. Photo credit: Nathan Neal


Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Nathan and I decided to attend Messe des Morts 6.5 (a music festival), and stayed in Old Montreal.

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal – March 18.
Monument à John Young – March 18.


Holyoke, Massachusetts

Hiked Mt. Tom on my 41st birthday with Michelle, Jim, and Nathan, elevation 1,201 ft – April 9. Photo credit: Michelle Valk

Washington State

My mother needed help after a surgery so I headed to the left coast. I took her to Mount Rainier National Park for Easter, and we went for a scenic drive on my dad’s death anniversary. Since she was pretty tired from her surgery, I would let her rest in the car and I’d run around taking pictures and videos of everything I saw! Then I was able to show her what I saw on my phone back at her home. It was pretty great to share this time with her.

Nisqually River, Mount Rainier National Park – April 16.
My mom and I doing our first selfie together! It makes me smile. Nisqually River, Mount Rainier National Park – April 16.
Madrone trees and clear cuts. A sure sign of being in the Pacific Northwest! View from a turnout on Route 7 (National Park Hwy) of the Nisqually River, La Grande Dam – April 18.
Built in 1912, a Heisler locomotive no longer in operation outside the Mount Rainier Railroad & Logging Museum in Elbe – April 18.
The Little White Church of Elbe – April 18.

Stillwater, New York

Neilson House. I took my friend Tambre and her family to Saratoga National Historical Park – April 21.

Victory, New York

And then Tambre, her family, and I went and saw the Saratoga Monument – April 21.


Saratoga Springs, New York

Hayes Well Spring – May 2. I got a tasting cup for the waters at Saratoga Spa State Park!

Petersburg, New York

Nathan and I did a hike along the Taconic Crest Trail and reached the Snow Hole, a rare geological feature – May 14.

Saratoga Spring, New York

Tallulah Spring in Saratoga Spa State Park – May 18.

Baltimore, Maryland

Nathan and I drove down to Baltimore for Maryland Deathfest XV (a music festival), and doing so traveled through New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

The Horse You Came In On Saloon – May 28. The story I was told is Edgar Allan Poe was found dead on the sidewalk in front of this Saloon.


Hartford, Connecticut

Guilty pleasure of seeing AFI, the Blood Tour.

Eatonville, Washington

My mother had to have another surgery so I headed back to the left coast to take care of her. In order to let her rest, I ended up walking a lot and exploring Eatonville as best as I could.

Little Mashel Falls (Middle Falls) – June 18.
Lower Falls on the Little Mashel River – June 18.

Millinocket, Maine

I made it to the top! Baxter Peak also known as Mt. Katahdin, elevation 5,269 ft.


Saratoga Springs, New York

The only month I didn’t travel. Not so many pictures either.

One of the great things Nathan and I did in July was attend a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Historical Congress Park – July 25.

Big Red Spring – July 28. A day at the races with Nathan and his coworkers.


Edinburg, New York

Built in 1879, Historic Copeland Covered Bridge is one of two remaining covered bridges in the Adirondack Mountains – August 3.
Great Sacandaga Lake – August 3.

Fayetteville, New York

Green Lake at Green Lakes State Park – August 9. I visited with my friend Tambre and her daughter and they showed me this amazing park!

Saratoga Springs, New York

Geyser Island Spouter in Saratoga Spa State Park – August 12. My friend Becky and I walked across the creek and got on the tufa mound that makes up the island for the first time!

Hudson, New York

Frederic Church’s mansion at Olana – August 14.

Nashville, Tennessee


Ballston Spa, New York

September 13 – I got married at the Historic Verbeck House!

Manchester, New Hampshire

Our Honeymoon was a trip to New Hampshire to see Uada and Inquisition and then, hiking!


My handsome husband on a section of the Long Trail (Appalachian Trail) – September 15. We made a random stop to do a quick hike on our way home from NH. We got caught in an amazing rain storm, which was fierce and fun. I thought there was no better way to spend my honeymoon than a rainy day hike.

Gansevoort, New York

Moreau Lake State Park. A view of the Hudson River – September 16. It was a really warm day and a steep hike, as all Adirondack hikes are. Nathan and I began on the Cottage Park Trail and then followed the Western Ridge Trail until we were able to get a few different vantages of the Hudson River.

Hadley, New York

Built in 1885, Hadley Bow Bridge crosses over the Sacandaga River – September 23.
Hiked up Hadley Mountain in the Adirondacks with Michelle, Jim, and Nathan, elevation 2,654 ft. I overheard a ranger say that on a clear day you can see five different mountain ranges, the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, the Catskills, and the Helderbergs in New York, the Green Mountains in Vermont, and the Berkshires in Massachusetts. I was excited to learn this since I have hiked in all of these ranges! This is a view of the Great Sacandaga Lake and Southern Adirondacks from the fire tower (my first fire tower) – September 23.

Fayetteville, New York

Round Lake at Green Lakes State Park – September 26.


New York City

Me on the Pulaski Bridge, Brooklyn – October 6.
Glen Span Arch, Central Park, Manhattan – October 7.

South Glens Falls, New York

Cooper’s Cave – October 12. Sadly, this is the best photo I could get of the cave made famous by James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans. Apparently there was access to the cave until 1961.

Albany, New York

One building at the site of the first U.S. Shaker settlement – October 14.

Saratoga Springs, New York

Geyser Creek & Geyser Island Spouter – October 19. I seriously lost time watching this juvenile Great Blue Heron! It wasn’t the first time this little guy entranced me. In August he inspired a little poem I wrote.

Great Blue Heron

I trudged down a familiar path
Feeling broken.
How many times had I walked here alone?

Timeless in its movement
Rushing deliberately forward
Quietly rippling
the river seemed withdrawn.

Seldom seen rocks bared themselves to bask in the late summer sun.

obsessively entranced.
I got lost in the moment of recognizing the changing of seasons.

I startled you because you startled me
Wary, yet somehow unafraid
We stared at each other with wondrous eyes

I was the one who didn’t belong
I was the only one who saw you
I was captivated

Shimmering blue in the dancing daylight
You seemed sad
I tried to get closer
So close, yet you were still out of my reach.

My trance was broken by distant laughter
And too quickly you were gone.
swept away on the gentle breeze
promising fall.

Copyright © 2017 Alicen K. Hutcheson. All rights reserved.

Hoboken, New Jersey

Hoboken Terminal – October 28. Instead of staying in NYC overnight, Nathan and I decided to do a day trip to see the band Warning perform their album Watching from a Distance.

New York City

Washington Square Arch – October 28


New York City

Silvercup Studios in Queens – November 19. Where the Highlander defeated the Kurgan!!

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Théâtre Paradoxe – November 25. The new venue for my favorite music festival, Messe des Morts.

The Year in Writing

Links to my adventures that I was able to finish writing about!

Saratoga Spa State Park in the Winter


Thingvellir National Park

Námafjall Hverir

Little Mashel River Waterfalls via Bud Blancher Trail

Olana Historic Site

Green Lakes State Park

Seven Mountain Summit Hikes