Maddie Evans, TV8 Host: I’m with Peter Suneson from the Walking Mountain Science Center and they've got some great things coming up. Peter thank you so much for meeting us this morning.
Peter Suneson, Walking Mountains: My pleasure, thanks for having me back. The summer has been busy, we've had all our programs running, but things are starting to slow down. However, we have a couple exciting things coming up next weekend, and even further down into the fall. So we're still rolling along at the Walking Mountains Science Center.
Host: Right now it's kind of prime season because everything is so beautiful.
Suneson: Absolutely, the fall colors are changing and our backcountry hikes are out on the trail right now. I've got a colleague taking a group up to Deluge Lake right now. Which on the way back down, the leaves looking across at Vail are gonna be gorgeous. So it is the time of year to be out on the trail and be in the woods that is for sure.
Host: And you can enjoy a guided hike that way, you know exactly what you're looking at and what you get to see.
Suneson: Our hiking program really pride ourselves on showing what's behind the scenes. What's going on in the forest and really giving that inside look from your education experts. Talking about what’s going on in the forest, why we're seeing the color change. And then, coming up next week we've got a few more special hikes that are really going to introduce people to new concepts and make them feel a little bit more situated in their place here in the Eagle Valley.
Host: When I’m hiking I’m always looking at the bigger things, and whats cool about Walking Mountains is you guys have an attention to detail to point out things which the normal eye wouldn't see.
Suneson: Speaking of that, that's a great segue, coming up on Saturday the 29th we are hosting a forest therapy walk. We've got two local certified forest therapy guides who are going to take a group out into the woods, and a forest therapy walk is a way of connecting to nature in a very focused way. We always joke about tree huggers, the hippies are gonna go hug a tree to protect the world. We're actually going to do that, we're actually gonna go out and meet a tree. We're gonna sit there and we're gonna hug it, and we're gonna listen to it, we're gonna look at it. We're gonna share ourselves with nature in this very kind of slow, meticulous, and focused way. It's supposed to really dive into those connections and be a more mutual relationship with the natural world than we do on an everyday basis.
Host: It's almost like a guided meditation that you get to really experience nature with.
Suneson: That's a great way of saying it, the forest therapy guys I've been working with, that's kind of what they call it. It's a guided meditation in the woods, we're gonna be walking and moving. Then, we come back together as a group and we share our experiences towards the end. So it's really a community building event, where you are making connections, sharing yourself with the natural world, and its gonna be a lot of fun.
Host: And then you guys have another one coming up which is a little more recent, the Hike Through History?
Suneson: Hike Through History is a series of presentations we do at the Eagle County Historical Society, and next Tuesday we're heading to the McCoy Fossil Beds, which is one of our favorite field sites for our youth programs. We're gonna collect fossils, we see all kinds of rocks which I brought here. This almost looks like a clamshell.
It's a brachiopod you can kind of see the top of the clamshell here it's a bivalve reminiscent of our modern-day clams. And we see these just littering the ground, there's a place in the McCoy fossil beds where we have shark's teeth that are in the bedrock. So you can imagine, you're in the high desert outside State Bridge Bond in McCoy, Colorado, and looking at shark's teeth fossilized in the ground tells us that something has happened over the past couple million years.
Host: Then you're really experiencing that history in a way that you didn't think of before.
Suneson: We're all about that experiential education at Walking Mountains. So you can go out and see those changes, you see the sharks, you see the the marine environments that were there, and then we can talk about the changes that have happened. We talk about the changes that might happen in the future, what we can do to mitigate those responses, and learn everything in between.
Host: It's so incredible what you guys do. Peter thank you so much for coming in and giving us all this information. Do people need to register in advance to come on these hikes?
Suneson: For both of these hikes we’re asking for registrations at walkingmountains.org. Our forest therapy hike on the 29th is free, so it's a great opportunity to come try something new. And we are asking people to register for Hiking Through History and you can find that on our website.
Host: Make sure that you get out, go hug a tree, and do this guided meditation and become one with our beautiful Colorado Valley.
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