The eNewsletter of Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, apprising you of important activities in and around Eagles Nest, Holy Cross, and Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Areas. 
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Before we get started, here is a message especially for Front Range residents:
FENW Denver Convocation* - Sunday July 15, 3:00-5:00
2454 S. Gilpin Street, Denver (
Front Range members! Its not easy getting to FENW meetings in the mountains, so we're having an informal gathering in Denver. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness and its programs.  Please feel free to drop in and chat with others that treasure our three wilderness areas. For more information or to RSVP, email jimofcolorado@gmail.com
* a group of eagles
Dear *|FNAME|*Upper Boulder Lake

July 2018: WHERE THE HEART IS: An essay on solitude
by Dr. Esther M. Doyle

It has been a busy, sometimes frenetic rollout of summer – early snowmelt, discovery of winter’s work - thousands of beetle-killed deadfalls blocking trails, training and deployment of USFS seasonals and FENW volunteers (who now number more than 80), and, of course, the scary Sugarloaf and - especially - Buffalo fires, and the residual angst as the heat and aridity continue. 

Fortunately, relief is readily available, at no cost: wilderness. A hundred years ago, the founders of the Wilderness Society, and later the Wilderness Act, began their push to preserve that most essential quality of the US landscape: untrammeled solitude. Whether or not you can get out to your favorite wilderness spot, read how one person described her home of the heart. Below are excerpts from “Where the Heart Is” by Esther M. Doyle (1910-2006), a summer visitor to Eagles Nest for the last four decades of the last century. She describes “those places that we encounter with a shock of recognition. We know immediately that they are ours. We claim them perhaps because they first claim us.” Esther identifies three essential components to such a place: separateness, solitude, and simplicity. Below are excerpts and illustrations from her monograph; you can read the entire version HERE. We have a few bound copies available; send your mailing address to info@fenw.org.

Her words are even truer today than when they were written, nearly fifty years ago.

Esther M. Doyle

Esther DoyleIt happened the summer I was ten [1920]. My father bought a canoe, a sturdy red one. We launched it on that part of the Charles River that winds through West Roxbury near Boston. On summer Sundays we would take it from its rack in the boat house furnish it with backboards and pillows from the locker, climb into it with our lunches and the Sunday paper, and paddle downstream. Although the journey was pleasant – the quiet of the countryside broken only by the trill of red-winged blackbirds in the cattails or by the dripping of water from lifted paddles – I was eager to get to my destination. At Second Pond we went ashore.

Lunch over, my parents settled down to the business of the Sunday paper. Now I was free. Across the daisy field I ran alone to my secret place, a small clearing beyond the raspberry patch where a single pine tree grew. Tall and aloof, the tree was nevertheless my friend. It welcomed me, comforted me. It spoke to me of growth, of serenity, of endurance. When I was with my tree, my heart was home. 

solitude 01I don’t know how many secret reunions there were in those early summers. One day there were no more. The canoe was sold. I never visited my pine tree again. Now in my heart’s eye (if the mind has an eye why not the heart?) I still see that tree. It was the first home of my heart.

What is a home of the heart? For one who is a wanderer it may be a simple shelter. Padraic Colum’s old woman of the road longs for a little house:
“O, to have a little house!
To own the hearth and stool and all!”
For one who is no longer young it may be the home of his youth. Thomas Hood longs for his birthplace:
“I remember, I remember
The house where I was born.”

For one who is a foreigner the home of the heart may be his native land. Keats understands the homesickness of Ruth in the Bible:
“… the heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn.”

Whatever one’s longing, the need for a home of the heart seems to be universal.

solitude 03However, I do not speak of homes we have known in our youth, nor of those we long for in our dreams. Nor do I speak of beautiful scenes that touch our hearts. Each has his own list of those. Rather I speak of those places that we encounter with a shock of recognition. We know immediately that they are ours. We claim them perhaps because they first claim us. Just as I found my pine tree, it found me.

There have been other homes of the heart since that early time. Some of them I have known only for a day or a month. One I have returned to again and again. I found it twelve years ago [1959] at the end of a hot midwestern summer. A friend and I had driven west to find relief in the cool mountains. Once out of Denver and over Loveland Pass, we agreed to take as long as we needed, travelling until we found “the place.” Late in the afternoon of that first day we recognized it at once. There was no need to explore further. Our hearts had found home.

What says,  “Here you belong!”? Answering that question is like trying to tell why you fall in love. Yet as I think of my homes of the heart, there are certain distinctive features that all of them share. Each has offered me separateness, solitude, and simplicity. 


My home of the heart also offers solitude, not in the sense of being lonely but rather in the sense of being alone. As Joseph Wood Krutch pointed out, every human being needs periods of withdrawal from his everyday world. To be alone, to ease into a solitude that is possible only when one is separate, is for me to begin the process of restoration. Wordsworth knew that “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Here I know it, too. Alone, I am a part of all that is around me. Lying in the daisy field with the blue sky above me, I know that I belong to the earth. Walking in the pine forest, I share the serenity of a tree. Resting by a mountain stream, I sense the ongoing of all life. At last, I begin to see with the inward eye which Wordsworth declares is “the bliss of solitude.” I come close to being at one with the natural world of which I am apart. I am at home.

solitude 03In my home of the heart where there is separateness and solitude, there is also simplicity. A small cabin made of hand-hewn logs is all the shelter I need. A bed, a table, a chair, a stove are its essential furnishings. I no longer feel possessed  by my possessions. “’Tis the gift to be simple, ‘tis the gift to be free,” goes the old song. Here I am as simple as life ever allows me to be. 

Not only am I free from the things that I usually think of as necessary to my life, but, more important, I am free from society’s demands upon me. Here, for example, I am far from the problems of Eliot’s Prufrock. I do not need to prepare a face to meet the faces that I meet. Nor, like Prufrock, do I measure out my life in coffee spoons. I am myself.

In a world where powerful forces are at work against our true selves, it is not always possible to be oneself. These forces demand that we act out certain roles without which society could not survive. We are known as doctor, lawyer, merchant chief; as father, mother, sister, friend. And, for the most part, we ourselves need these roles. They help us to establish our identities. They are part of what and who we are. But on occasion we need to shed them.
“My heart is an onion,
You may peel it if you will,”
Writes E.P,. Lister humorously. Occasionally we need to look into our hearts, to peel off the outer layers of our professions, our soles in society, in order to learn what lies within.

To be myself is possible only in separateness, in solitude, and in simplicity.

solitude 04My home of the heart, then is a place that claims me even as I claim it. My home of the heart offers me separateness that clarifies, solitude that restores and simplicity that recreates. Here as I learn who I am, I echo a wish of  Dag Hammarskjold, “If only I may grow firmer, simpler, quieter, warmer.

Where the heart is, there is home.

Dr. Esther M. DoyleBorn near Boston, Esther became a teacher, served in the American Red Cross Military Welfare Service during WWII, and in 1944 joined the faculty of Juniata College in central PA, where she taught and oversaw the college’s dramatic productions. She was especially fond of Readers Theater. “It’s just telling the story, but in a dramatic way,” is how she described it, and on her visits to the home of her heart in Summit County, she enjoyed reciting poetry and theatrical passages with and for her friends.
Esther was active in the Church of the Brethren, which founded Juniata in 1876. She declined professional opportunities in metropolitan areas, explaining that “the gentle people” in central Pennsylvania were one of her biggest inspirations for staying. And stay she did, becoming a “revered professor, an icon on the campus of Juniata College for decades,” as the local newspaper described her. She earned a PhD from Northwestern in 1964.  In 2001 she received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Juniata. The foyer of the new Center for the Performing Arts is named for her.
Always, for more than four decades, she returned to the home of her heart in Summit County, where her memory endures.

The USFS has deployed five Wilderness Ranger Interns this summer on a variety of projects. You can view all five on the FENW website. We've introduced Ron, Ainsley, and Maria; this month meet the rest of the crew: Hannah and Franz:
HannahOriginally from the greater Cleveland area, Hannah just finished her 3rd year at the University of Pittsburgh where she studies chemical engineering. Her love of the wilderness began with national park family vacations, and only grew from there. In the summer of 2016 Hannah worked as a wrangler on a dude ranch in Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming. More recently, she worked as an EMT in Hampton, Pennsylvania.
My name is Franz; I am a Southern California boy who loves the outdoors. I am currently a senior at San Diego State University studying Recreation and Tourism Management with an emphasis on Outdoor Resource Management. I was born in the Los Angeles area and moved down to San Diego when I was 7 years old. Most of my life I was involved with organized sports and now I stay active doing the things I love every chance I get. I enjoy surfing, skateboarding, camping/backpacking, and riding my dirt bike down in Baja. I have not spent much time in Colorado and am extremely excited to explore and experience the beauty of the Eagles Nest Wilderness.
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Just in time to add to your summer calendar, here’s the 2018 Trail Projects schedule:
June 2 -National Trails Day
June 16 & again June 17 -Gateways Trail Day

July 27-29 -Slate Lake - llamas / 2 nights out
Aug 2 -FENW/Colorado Outward Bound School at Piney Lake - llamas
Aug 11 & again Aug 12 -Salt Lick Connector Trail with VOC. Register in advance after June 1 HERE
Aug 17-19 -Gore Creek Overnight - llamas / overnight
Sep 15 & again Sep 16 -Deluge Lake Trail with VOC
TBD -Lily Pad Lakes Plank Bridge Project - llamas
*Adopt-A-Trail on Deluge Creek– TBD
Learn about trail work here. 
Join us! for our SPECIAL
SOCIAL & Planning Meeting
THURSDAY, July 12, 5:00 PM,
Copper Mountain Metro District Community Room  ( MAP)
Please RSVP to info@fenw.org for a head count
Details at www.fenw.org/

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Hard copy newsletterOur hard copy newsletter - the first in 3 years - is available. It contains two dozen fun and informative articles, all of them about FENW - past, present, and future. If you haven't received your copy, then we don't have your mailing address - please send it to us at info@fenw.org
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