Monday, November 12, 2007

Kari's Bog

Photos from fall 2006 at Kari's Bog on Redmond Ridge Trail.
This evening we took a stroll on Redmond Ridge which we have not visited since prior to surgery. I like this trail as it goes into the woods along the Trilogy golf course and feels like an enchanting forest with its tall hemlocks, mossy covered trees and stumps, and bushy ferns everywhere. (Lord of the Rings ambienence)
It is tradition to often stop and see Kari's Bog. Karen Ingrid Osterhaug was born the same year I was but passed away in 2003. As it says on the dedication stone above, she was an evironmental scientist instrumental in creating the bog. Knowing that moves me and makes it a more special place - that someone committed their life to creating a refuge to share and pass on to humanity. The fact that we were the same age and shared similiar interests also make me feel more connected to this place.
Every time I see the bog it reminds me of times I enjoyed in the outdoors of upper Michigan and playing in the wetlands (swamps). When I look across the bog I half consciously expect to see or envision a moose as I had witnessed in the UP (upper penninsula of Michigan).
There is a quiet peace and contemplation at the bog. It is a place where I can stop, peer into the grandeur of the sky and reflect upon my life. Like entering a church, it is a place where I can stop, pay tribute, ask God for strength, and to be thankful for what I have.
As I looked across the bog this evening the magnitute of everything started to hit me. If I had known 10 or 20 years ago that I was going to have a brain surgery, it would have been hard to comprehend. For those of us with NF2 it becomes a normal part of life (almost a rite of passage). But outside of life with NF2, the idea is hard to grasp.
For a moment I put myself back in the frame of thought outside of NF2. I felt amazed and overcome to have made it through and be standing there alive as I had prior to the surgery. I made it! I had these aliens cut out of my head and I lived! A tear of sheer happiness and appreciation for life welled up in my eye. I thanked God for carrying me through it and I thanked Kari for providing me the place to come to during my journey.
Then I came back to my NF2 life. I wondered how many more surgeries I would endure and how many more I would live through. If I can make it through one I can make it through another. I prayed to God and to Kari to give me the strength and the courage for what lie ahead.


Anonymous said...

I live in Northern Lower Michigan, and I love to go to the Yooper ( the upper penisula of michigan). It's relaxing to be surrounded by the vast trees and beautiful landscapes. I understand how you can miss it.

Kim said...

UM-- I live not too far from this area and have never been there. Can I come with you sometime???? I am in desparate need of starting a workout regimen. It looks beautiful. :-) Lately I haven't been able to walk at all because of a problem I've had since I got back from Mexico-- don't want to go into the details here. I can walk, but I can't be too far from home. Will explain at some point. I see a specialist tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a beautiful place and it does remind me of home (the mudlakes!) Glad to hear how good you're doing. I like your goal as well.
Lots of love,

Rebecca said...


You would love the forest, mountains, and fresh air here! Snowshoeing is fantastic and hiking around spring thru fall is wonderful! The show "Stargate" was filmed in the Cascade Mts. of British Columbia which is north of here. It is very similiar to give you an idea what it is like here.
Summer is the best time to visit!

We don't have all the hardwoods that are in the midwest so color is not very vibrant. It must be beauitful there right now with the color! Have a great Thanksgiving!

Rebecca said...


You most cetrainly can join me! I dissovered this year that there are lots of trails there that I have not explored yet. I found a real estate flyer that advertised 12 miles of trails!!! People even take horses up there.

I also go on the Snoqualmie Valley trail which is 29-32 miles long and extends from Duvall to Preston. There is rumor that it does or will be connected to the Iron Horse trail in North Bend. The Iron Horse Trail traverses all the way across the state to Yakima (86 miles?)
Hope your situation is not serious and you get some good answers when you see the specialist.

Rebecca said...


Thanks for the card and picture of Amelia! Hope you had fun with her first birthday!

How was your 5k? I am really proud of you. You did great out here and with the elevation too!

You and Jason are wonderful parents!

Thanks for coming out to visit! Happy Thanksgiving!

Love, Beck :o)

Kim said...

I've been on the Iron Horse Trail-- I rode down it on a bike one afternoon-- OH!! GREAT VIEWS!!! Would be fun to walk too! I left a "speciment" with the doctor yesterday, and am waiting for lab results, then will get a new antibiotic hopefully. :-)

S.I.O.R said...

Thank you for your kind words about Kari and the bog. You have no idea how nice it is for me, and the rest of her family to hear that people appreciate her work, and the places she loved. To elaborate on the story, Kari did not make the bog; she saved it. It was going to be filled in for a housing development, but she was able to prove it was a peet bog, and saved it from destruction.