Jeffrey H. Ryan Hiker Author Photographer Speaker Podcaster Director

Mount Saint Helens and Me

I am fascinated by threads. Especially ones that appear to be random, but reveal themselves as part of one magnificent whole. In early spring 1980, a few months shy of my 23rd birthday, Mount Saint Helens became increasingly active. A series of earthquakes below her center indicated that she was about to put on a […]

Trail Angels are Everywhere

©2017, Larry Chua Photography

Hikers that spend any time on long distance trails know the phenomenon of “trail angels” well. They are people that seemingly show up from nowhere to lend a hand at a critical juncture. My life has been enriched by them several times, including when an unknown stranger left gallons of water along a waterless, 28-mile, […]

Being optimistic — and staying that way — could save your life.

Photo of Smokey Mountains ©2017JeffRyanAuthor.com

To say I’m a hiking fanatic may be underestimating my enthusiasm. I’ve often wondered as I’ve hiked along, exactly what it is that keeps powering me up and over hills and exploring new territories. I always sensed that optimism played a part. I am optimistic by nature. I thought that a positive outlook was something […]