The Mountains Are Calling ...

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
— John Muir

I took my first trip to the East Coast in 1997 when I was twenty and broke. When I first caught a glimpse of the verdant Mount Holyoke range in Massachusetts, I was hooked. My home is now awash in hundreds of photo albums crammed with photos from trips to 46 states, 14 countries, three continents and countless mountain ranges.

I have to admit that I never imagined that sixteen years later, I would actually summit a Fourteener. Writing has always come easy to me. Photography is a skill I’ve developed over time. But hiking is another story. I’m not a natural athlete –– my brother, Chuck (who’s responsible for the photo below), inherited all the natural talent in our family (he’s fittingly a basketball coach and personal trainer). Most of my hiking accomplishments –– traversing Yosemite, backpacking the Grand Canyon solo and climbing 28 mountains (including Mt. Democrat, 14,154 feet) –– are the result of my stubbornness and relentlessness. 

  Photo by Chuck Demas. Susan J. Demas descending the Buffalo Mountain rock field, Colorado, August 2010.

Photo by Chuck Demas. Susan J. Demas descending the Buffalo Mountain rock field, Colorado, August 2010.

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of traveling alone or just with my daughter (yes, we’ve had quite a few folks ask where my husband was while descending Sliding Sands in Haleakala National Park in Maui or scrambling up Yosemite’s Sentinel Dome). It’s given me an interesting perspective to write from. Sometimes my travel writing and photography takes on a political edge –– I’m unabashedly passionate about preserving the national parks and combatting climate change. And sometimes, I just want to reflect on the beauty before me and my life.


Travel Photography


Travel Writing