Not Your Size 6 Hiker

A few weeks ago a good friend of mine, photographer Stacey L. Rhoades, reached out to me with a unique request. She is currently on a 50-state trip throughout the United States to celebrate her 50th year of life.

She is first and foremost a photographer, but she is also a storyteller, albeit one who doesn’t enjoy writing. She asked me whether I would write the stories she shares throughout the trip. Because I love Stacey’s photography, believe in her mission and love to write, I agreed.

Here is one of her recent blog posts:


When I was in Hawaii, I had a number of fantastic hiking days. On one of the days, I found two longer hikes to take – one was six miles; the other just over four. Then, after hiking a total of 10.2 miles, I snorkeled in the ocean for over an hour. It was absolutely amazing!

While I was trekking, I had all kinds of ideas and thoughts. One had to do with the stereotypic, active, outdoorsy woman: she is quite young, size 6 or smaller, hiking, camping and having all kinds of cool adventures.

As I hiked, it struck me: beautiful women come in ALL sizes! I am definitely NOT your average size 6 hiking, outdoorsy woman! I am your WAY above average size woman who loves the outdoors! I may not hike there as fast as “Ms-Size-6” but I am on a mission to make it as far as “6” does!


This is to serve as an encouragement to those who, like me, are well above a size 6! You can do it! Get outside! Start walking! You don’t have to put your life on hold because of your weight! You are stronger than you think you are! Set a fun goal! I did a strenuous exercise regimen for six months prior to this trip of a lifetime just to get in shape. The rewards are huge: now I can hike where I want to hike and walk for miles on the seashore – basically do what I want to do! Life is too short to postpone living! Your weight is just a number!


Stacey has so much more to share. Please continue to read her challenging story here and see her exquisite photography at You can also follower her on Facebook at Rhoades Traveled and on Instagram @rhoades.traveled.

© Julia Penner-Zook, 2017



This piece, written by the gifted Che Chidi Chukwumerije, has remained with me for days. In fact, it’s inspired some of my own writing. Thank you, Che!

Bold of heart and stonecold must you be
And extraordinary too, gentle one
If in these days the bad news on TV
Doesn’t strike fear into that heart of yours!
Because mankind is still not free.

But listen, listen to me now, lamb and dove
The hour approaches when on a dark empty street
You shall be the last lantern still shinning as from above
And no-one, not even you, will understand fully why
In these days of hatred your heart grows stronger with human love.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

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50 Word Stories: Wood God Goodbyes.

Careless disregard numbs the soul.

Richard M. Ankers

His bones, the creaking of the branches, he shivers a mantle of leaves; the shush is deafening. A last sunrise, for the mechanicals approach, he soaks in the dewdrop day. From acorn to behemoth, sheltered to shelterer, he has seen it all, or thought he had.
The chainsaw cuts…goodbye.

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“…what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and…”

Seth Godin’s succinct wisdom!

Art of Quotation

seth godin

“What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something worth making. Something risky. Something human.”

– Seth Godin, writer, public speaker, author, entrepreneur

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Canada Day Muse

A gifted artist pays a beautiful tribute to Canada!
O Canada!
Thanks, Andrew


Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver has been featured many times on thechangingpalette. It is a definite muse and constant source of photographic inspiration, from the crisp clear days of Winter, to the glorious hot days of Summer…

Canada Day iv    Canada Day v

Canada Day ii    Canada Day iii

…with the wonderful colours of Spring and Fall in between

Kits Beach Spring    Kits Fall

….and breathtaking skies and sunsets all year round.

Kits sky    silouette

Today was a spectacular Canada Day to walk along the beach to Granville Island

Canada Day viii

…and the perfect way to celebrate this special day

Canada Day vii

…made even more special for this newly doting Grandpa.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Canada Day.

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