Hillary Clinton hike
First look at Hillary Clinton since conceding election
01:55 - Source: CNN

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Clinton, who lives in Chappaqua, New York, can be seen smiling with White Plains resident Margot Gerster

"(My) intention (in posting) was to make people smile," Gerster told CNN later Thursday

CNN  — 

Margot Gerster, who ran into Hillary Clinton on a hike just a day after she conceded the race, encountered a presidential nominee seemingly at peace and at grace, Gerster said Thursday.

In an image posted to Facebook, Clinton, who lives in Chappaqua, New York, can be seen smiling with White Plains resident Gerster, who was hiking with her daughter, 13-month-old Phoebe, and their dog, Piper. The photo was snapped by former President Bill Clinton, who was there as well.

It is the first time the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee has been seen outside the election bubble since she conceded the race to Donald Trump early Wednesday.

“She seemed as well as anybody could be expected after such a crazy, crazy experience,” Gerster recollected to CNN’s Erin Burnett on “OutFront” Thursday. “She couldn’t have seemed any nicer or, you know, kinder and gracious to me.”

Gerster said she was trekking a path she hikes every day when she found the former first couple and immediately flashed an “awkward, huge grinning smile” – or, as she put it, “fan-girling.”

Gerster told Clinton about how proud she was to vote for her, and how she very much wanted to hug Clinton after Election Day, which she did on Thursday.

“She was taking a nice, peaceful hike through the woods. I don’t think she wanted to talk serious politics,” Gerster said.

Gerster told CNN earlier on Thursday that she posted the photograph to “make people smile.”

“It was a very dark day yesterday, I just feel like the fact I ran into Hillary while I was trying to clear my head, was sort of like a hopeful sign,” she said. “I hope the picture brings hope to people who need it.”