Helen Mcleod – Hiker Chick Extraordinaire

Helen Margaret McLeod (Goudie) passed peacefully at age 85, July 7th, 2020 at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, WA after complications from back surgery.  Helen’s two daughters shared with friends that they would treasure their last hours together, holding hands, singing, remembering and sharing their love.

Helen touched so many of us with inspiration, love and kindness.  She will be missed!

Remembering Helen ……………..

“So many memories of hiking with Helen. The most memorable to me is sheltering with her from the sun under a shrub on the Heliotrope trail right beside one of the several creeks that cross that trail, and deciding that we had come far enough that day.  She is one of my PNW  heroines.”

“I am fondly remembering so many walks, hikes and chats with Helen along the trail.    She was a great help when we hiked Goose Rock and I was leading the group astray..  I think Helen knew the trails well, as well as all the flowers and plants along the way.   Her energy and gentle spirit were an inspiration.”
“Helen has been involved in so many ways in our whole community. For me, I think of her so many times when hiking. She was such an expert on wildflowers and could name anything we passed on the trail. I will never forget Helen’s cure for Stinging Nettles by rubbing the backside of a Sword Fern on the skin. The spores magically took away the sting. She was a kind and gentle woman with empathy for all. She rallied against political injustice and environmental harm. She was a friend, a mentor, and a role model. It’s hard to go hiking without carrying Helen’s spirit with us. I will miss her!”
“I am heart broken . Helen was my heroine and a joy to be with. Such rich  knowledge and beautiful spirit.”

“Helen was one of the original Hiker Chicks, offering all kinds of counsel at the beginning and all the way down many many trails.”

 “Helen was such a lovely spirit.”

“Heavy hearts indeed. Helen you were one of the good ones and we will miss you.”

“Over a decade ago, Helen and I drove to Canada for a group hike. She recounted her life in Canada and shared lovely details of her family. It was a wonderful day to spend so many hours in the car with her.  Helen would come to my tours at the museum and always participated asking questions or commenting on the tour info. It wasn’t that long ago that she came to the museum with a friend. Her smiling face and grace were so special.  On the trail, I always told her she was my inspiration. She was so kind and thoughtful. We are so fortunate to have had her as one of our hiker chicks.”

“How very sad. Helen truly was such a wonderfully positive, motivational presence in our group. As I pass Indian pipe, camas, trillium or multiple other plants along the trails I will be reminded of her teaching us their names and, often, some memorable tidbits about these native plants.  Helen, we hold you in our hearts with love.”

“Pearly everlasting is one of the plants Helen taught me. It’s lovely, hopeful name made it memorable. This was trivial compared to other life lessons from quiet talks along the trail. As we counted our blessings one day, enjoying a Cascades view, she commented that, along with enjoying ourselves, we were storing up memories for the days when we couldn’t hike. Seeing her at choral concerts made the music extra sweet. RIP, Helen, with much love from all those you touched.”
“With a heavy heart, indeed!  Helen was a gentle soul and an inspiration for all of us who were fortunate enough to walk with her.  I know she will be missed by many, many of us.”

“I only met her once but she was wonderful. Funny, and a delight to chat with. So sorry to hear that.”

“I am so appreciative of the Walkers for providing me the opportunity to meet this lovely woman.  I did not know Helen well, but fondly remember sharing stories of lama backpacking in the Walawa’s and margaritas in the snow.  Her enthusiasm for the natural world and the high country was infectious, and her commitment to well being an inspiration.  I am grateful I shared a bit of time with her.”

“Adieu Helen,
The everlasting version of you is encircled by your hiking friends. You are spooning up some yogurt & telling us about your yoga class. Or, naming the flowers we pass along a trail. You inspired us, reminded us to be joyful.”

“Helen would show up for a hike at 8 a.m. with her yogurt and cereal because she had just finished her morning yoga class. I will miss seeing her off the trail as well. She was part of the Raging Grannies singing Group in her cute hat and purple hair. She could be found attending lots of meetings on environmental issues. She worked to keep the coal port from being developed at Cherry Point.  We found her at the meeting protesting the arrests of undocumented  workers. Helen was always active. When she was having trouble with her knee she took up Table Tennis. Helen taught me so much about life and getting through. Nature was the gift she gave to us and marveling at the beauty spread at our feet as we hiked up the mountains. Love you Helen. You are in our hearts.”

“My friendship with Helen was only a few years, but I told her numerous times that was my inspiration!  May she find heavenly trails full of flowers as she rejoins her loved ones!”

“Helen was truly the epitome of our hikers spirit and I will always remember my hikes with her.”