Maine Ideas: Richness Explored

SEPTEMBER 1. While sitting on the bed at Pine Ellis Hostel in Andover, Maine, deciding what to share about the last 34 miles on the Appalachian Trail, my awesome hiking partner just packed my gear! Sweet! Here are some highlights of the past 4 days……..
****Bemis Mtn with its four peaks, plus Old Blue, Moody, and Hall Mtns thrown in for gymnastic mastery.
**** South, Sabbath Day, Long, Moxie, and Surplus Ponds for morning mists, thin sand beach, and a missing moose.
**** Bemis Stream plus Black and Sawyer Brooks for dry sock rock hops and welcome water sources.
**** A food sensitivity challenge to provide a stage for transforming a belief that I’m not worthy to be John’s hiking partner to affirming that I can love and accept my body as part of OUR hiking team.
****Endless sensory nourishment with rocks and plants and diverse forests, sky and sun and vistas.
**** 100+ northbound hikers offered plenty of chances to rwgard and support others in theirbown quests.
****A 24-hr stay at Pine Ellis Hostel, Naomi’s home turned hiker lodge where a homelike setting helps us relax and prepare for the next four-day section, complete with full meals, gear revision, a MASSAGE from a neighbor, and…..a new sleeping bag!!

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Maine Ideas: Eat, Play, Pull

AUGUST 29. Two days after our town stop in Stratton, Maine, John and I  both felt energetic and happy. I said,  “What about today’s crisis?! We don’t seem to have a crisis!” John agreed. He said, “Well, if we do, we know what to do, “Pull our toes, eat some food, and play Satori!”

I began this journey, a walk on the Appalachian Trail from Mt. Katahdin, Maine, to Mt. Greylock, Massechussets, with the idea of pilgrimage – walking for inner change. That purpose is clearly unfolding as I walk with John, the man I met on my 2007 “thruhike” from Maine to Georgia.

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Maine Ideas: Fine Without My Brain

My PACK brain, that is! In my constant effort to lighten my pack and still have what I need I took out a few items in Monson, Maine. It’s been a week without them and all is well! I sent away my pack brain, knitted scarf, extra pack liner bag and didn’t miss them.
At Caratunk, I took one more step and ordered a lighter sleeping bag. What’s more, I wore my short sleeved shirt instead of my long, hot shirt. I could even wear the short one at night, so maybe don’t need a second shirt! I sent the extra shirt away from Stratton, Maine.
Lightening my pack gets done one piece of gear at a time! Trying a few days without things. Taking chances. Trusting.

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Maine Ideas: Revisiting a Heartspot

August 20. I smiled when I saw John on the other side of the West Branch of the Piscataquis River on the Appalachian Trail in Maine. He easily waded through the 18″ deep water and crossed the thirty foot width of the calm river to meet me on the south side. I paused my search for aquatic animals clinging to the undersides of rocks in the shallow river bank to greet him.
“Hi, Regina! What are you doing?” he asked.
“I’m a stream monitor back at home in Atlanta, and I’m curious what lives in the water here!”
“That sounds fun! What are you finding?”
My smile spread to my heart at his question. This hiker whom I had met a couple of days before in Monson, Maine, was interested in sharing the fine points of Nature exploration. We stayed a little longer turning over rocks, oohing and aahhing at stonefly and mayfly larvae, put our hiking shoes back on, then walked south together on the trail.
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Maine Ideas: Town Stop

AUGUST 18 and 19. Although it’s wonderful out on the trail, even when it’s difficult, I need to go into a town every few days to get more food, take a shower, revise gear, and take care of internet tasks! It’s easy to consider that the trail and the town are two different worlds, separate and incompatible. The more I adopt a Hiking Lifestyle, however, the more the two worlds blend, becoming dependent on each other and equally important in sustaining me wholly. Here’s a taste of how a town stop works.

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Maine Ideas: Focus on Rocks

AUGUST 16. Climbing the mountains on the Appalachian Trail in Maine invites me to stay present to each moment. If I pay attention, I notice that each rock is unique, in color, shape, pattern, texture. Each step is a “pedestrian decision” as described in Don’t Die in the Mountains. I reflect on how walking this path is a dance of agility and focus. I don’t believe that treadmill walking would be good offtrail training for Appalachian Trail walking. Perhaps court sports like basketball or tennis could work. My favorite, of course would be trail walking!

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Maine Ideas: Stick in the Mud

From Regina’s journal while walking the Appalachian Trail

August 13 STICK IN THE MUD
A section of the trail was very muddy yesterday.  Here’s what happened. For an hour or so, I successfully rock-hop, keeping my feet dry. Then, Slip! My left toes sink into three inches of water. Now, I’m partially resigned to having wet feet and surrendering to the mud. Slip! My  right toes  dunk into the brown soup. My shoes are both coated with mud. I can give in. It’s easier, after all, to simply walk through the mud, rather than hop gingerly from stick to stick and rock to rock.

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Maine Ideas: Welcoming

wpid-20150808_155708.jpgFrom my journal August 8, 2015.

It was so much fun entering Baxter State Park as a familiar visitor! John worked here last year and I visited for most of three months, so we know the staff here! Views of “the mountain” welcome us like a wise old friend. The peaks and  the silhouette spark memories in my mind that ripple even in my body, calling me to another arduous climb to the rocky summit. What a thrill to feel at “home” in the shadow of Mt. Katahdin!

In 2014, I watched the mountain change over three months and made this slide show.

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Maine Ideas: From Boxes to Pack

Packed and headed out to the AT later today. It may be a week before I can post again on the southern side of “the Hundred mile wilderness”- 100 miles without resupply. (Some hikers have Paul Renaud at AT Lodge drive in on logging roads, but we’ll go through it with our 20lbs of food to share.) I love reading your comments and questions and can answer when I get to Monson!

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We started with THIS! Above

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and ended with THIS: two packs.

Maine Ideas: Beginning

A new journey begins with …….
STORAGE!
Not the usual view, I know. Before I could start adventuring anew on the Appalachian Trail, I had to sort my stuff! First, I left things in my Virginia storage unit. These are things from my past life as a homemaker that I must keep. Someday I will use them again or let them go.

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Next, I borrowed totes from my sister and space from my mom in Ohio to store things I don’t need for hiking, but want for my NEXT journey in California.

Feelings of sadness, fear, and frustration arise. What if I NEED this? Like my computer? Feelings of gratitude that I have Mom and Simon, my son, to back me up with support.

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