If you have only put words in your journals, you are missing out. Doodles, pictures, receipts, movie tickets and much more can enhance the experience of a hand-written journal. I have letters, soda can packaging and addresses in a few of mine.

Photo Credit - Sam Lytle

Photo Credit – Sam Lytle

And every once in a while you have an experience where words just aren’t enough.

It was several years ago and I was on the Big Island of Hawaii. I had already seen most of the sites including Akaka Falls, Waipio Valley and Mauna Kea. But for those of you that have been (and many of you who have not), you know that perhaps the #1 must-see site is the Kilauea Volcano. To get the most out of the experience, we went very early in the morning so that we could see the lava in the dark. The glowing mass grew more defined as we drew closer in the hours it took to hike from the closest vehicle access point. The eeriness only increased when it started to rain on our adventure.

If you have ever been around fresh volcanic rock, you know how sharp it can be. It literally is thin glass sheets. As the rain moistened our path, we had to climb up a relatively high and somewhat inclined rock face. I lost my grip and slipped several feet.

It was one of those experiences where you know something is wrong even though you don’t feel any pain. Along with scratches on my hands and arms, I had a deep gouge, right in my wrist. I’m a bloodaphobic as it is, so looking back it is amazing that I somehow made it all the way back several miles to the car and then many miles to a quick care without passing out. Luckily one of my friends had paramedic training and helped stop the blood and I felt even more lucky when the doctor explained that if the cut had been any deeper and it would have hit the main vein in the wrist (sorry med folks, I don’t know what it is called).

Not only did I get a scar and interesting story from the escapade, the doctor was also kind enough to give me a vial containing the volcanic shards they extracted from my wound. That night as I wrote in my then hand-written journal, I took a small volcanic flake and permanently fixed it on the page with scotch tape. This means much more to me now, especially since I have since lost the vial the doctor gave me.

So, now you have my story. What is the craziest thing in your journal?