Jerry Nelson

Jerry Nelson Photography
Photo by Jerry Nelson

Please let me introduce you to Jerry Nelson, Guest Blogger from www.journeyamerica.org

Here is a little bit about the truly wonderfully inspiring Jerry (extract from his blog):

Jerry Nelson is an internationally recognized photojournalist.

His work has appeared in a wide variety of publications and news outlets including USAToday, CNN, Huffington Post, Upsurge, CBS, Dream Row, Earthwalkers and others.
He photographs and licenses images for all manner of commercial and editorial use as well as selling through this website.
***
Nelson writes, “I realize the dreams to travel were not mine alone. I have friends that have dreamed of traveling and trekking since the days that we all roamed the woods around Hot Springs, Virginia.                                                                                                                    
***
I realize that most of those friends will never have the opportunity to journey. Life gets in the way sometimes. But I have tried to share the majesty, intimacy and timelessness of places in my photographs in a way I hope everyone can relate to. I’ve tried to capture the reality of my childhood imaginations and share them with you. I realize that despite having grown up with these dreams, nobody needs to go on trips like I do. 
 
But as we work through the daily routine of life at home, sometimes it helps to know that we could go. That it’s all really there. 
 
Better yet, I hope my photographs inspire a few of you to actually follow your dreams and take your journey. I want to remind everyone that ordinary working people can visit remote places like I have. They do it all the time. 
 
These are not expensive or difficult places to explore if you travel independently and stay with the locals. 
 
And of course, there are endless experiences to be had in the wilderness areas of your own backyard. 
 
You can’t begin a journey if you don’t step out. There is nothing mysterious about a rucksack. All you need are a couple changes of clothes, some hard earned time off and less money than you think. 
 
Snake River Canyon Idaho
Snake River Canyon Idaho
Get out there with me and watch the ravens fly through the dazzling glow of a remote slot canyon, watch the northern lights dance over the snows of Denali, walk with the lions and tigers in Lujan, roam the barrios in Buenos Aires looking for the next photograph, stand in the plaza as the Pope gets installed, watch in amazement during the Prayer Dance of the Native Cultural Center in Tennessee, break bread with veterans from the Falkland Islands war, listen for the choppers at the M*A*S*H set in Malibu, drift on The Snake River as we pass The Grand Tetons, stay silent in the Sonoran Desert as we wait for the Mexican drug cartel to appear, break bread with the Shoshone in Idaho, walk a knife-edge ridge in the Smokies and sit around the campfire in the Ozarks with other veterans. Fish for Pirrhana in the Amazon, watch autumn leaves fall in a gentle snowstorm in Patagonia, stand with me as 300 buffalo stampede towards us in Eusick, Washington, marvel at a palm tree swaying dark against a billion stars while camping on a moonless night in the middle of the South Pacific, sail a 16th century ship through the sound into open water, be ’embedded’ with OccupyDC during the winter, live with rugged miners in even more rugged Appalachia and drink Dr. Pepper on the front porch of the old Hatfield homestead in Mingo County. 
 
It’s all there. 
 
And the earth needs people who travel this way, who earn their time with its treasures, and promote its conservation.                                                                                                
***
Time is the most precious commodity we actually own.”
Payette Kayak
Payette Kayak

Below is Jerry’s Guest Blog Post which he wrote especially for this Clarabelle Blog:

Life Goes On

It grey the morning I stepped outside the door in a small town close to Roswell, New Mexico, on December 17, 2006.  I shifted the backpack on my shoulders and walked to the end of the drive.  Adjusting the straps again, I stepped into the street and walked to the corner.  Looking back one more time, shifting the pack again, I walked down the street, through the town and across America.

I’m a Vietnam Veteran and while I didn’t see as much stuff as some others did, I was affected by the war and its aftermath.  After keeping feelings, emotions and nightmares bottled up for years, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospitel in Staunton, Virginia where I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Ten days in the psych ward with nothing to do but read ended up being a blessing.

I came across an old issue of National Geographic that had an article about hiking the Appalchian Trail.  That was what I needed to do.  That’s what I wanted to do.  Get out in the woods, get away from everything and everyone I knew.  Alone with just my thoughts and the Creator for company.  It never happened.  Sometimes life gets in the way and for years there was always a reason not to pursue my dream:  my wife she…my bills they…my job it…  Well, you know how it goes.

In September 2005 my wife of 31 years filed for divorce.  I didn’t want it so I sat on the paperwork hoping she would have a change of heart.  She never did, and in April 2006 I signed the documents and handed them over.  Later that year some friends who were living in New Mexico invited me out to spend the holidays with them so I wouldn’t have to be alone.  With nothing better to do, I went.  I got there on December 16 and that night felt the God of my understanding say I could take my walk.

I got to Washington DC on June 30th, 2007.  Since then I’ve continued to travel, write and take pictures.  You can see my work on my website, www.JourneyAmerica.org.  I’m always encouraging people to follow my travels and challenging them to take their own journey.  If you do, the people you’ll meet are amazing.

People like Omar in a Dallas ghetto who dreams of going to medical school so he can return and care for his neighbors and “Ms. Mamie” in Jackson, Mississippi who went back to school at 80 years old.

The spiritual life-lessons learned on a trip like that stay with you through life and become a guiding force and you learn that:

Life goes on and no matter what you’re going through I encourage you to “Join the Adventure”

Thank you Jerry for sharing a part of your story with us today here on this blog, it has been a real pleasure having you on board and you are most welcome anytime.  If you would like to read more about Jerry and his adventures please head over to his blog http://www.journeyamerica.org I challenge you not to feel inspired.

If you are interested in becoming a guest blogger on this Clarabelle Blog, please let me know on the comments below or send me an email to claire@murraypeople.com

Thank you for being here, thank you for reading and thank you for your comments.

Clarabelle

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