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Almost Silent

September 3,2016

It’s so quiet this morning in this Vermont forest! It’s 7:30 a.m. and I’ve heard just one bird – a bluejay making it’s squeaky one note squawk. And I can’t tell if the almost imperceptable constant chirping sound in the background is insects or tinnitus.

Occasionally, tiny tapping sounds indicate the falling of tree detritus on the tarp or branches further away.

And, there! Distant motor of some kind.

It sure is easy to sleep here, but why is it so quiet?

Sleep on it

September 2, 2016

We are 52 miles from completing our goal of walking the Appalachian Trail twice! Camped just 1/2 mile from Manchester Center, we’positioned  ourselves to get down to the road, hitch into town, pop into Food Chopper for  a bite to eat, shop at Eastern Mountain Sports, pick up our last food box at the Post Office, then hitch back out to the trail with enough time to walk 10 miles.

We have a choice to make, though! When we reach Sherburne Pass and celebrate our second traverse of the AT, we have to (get to?) choose what to do next?

Here are the choices we’re seeing right now:

1) Go to Ohio for my  cousin’s funeral. I found out this afternoon that my 76-year old cousin, who had been in hospice care for the past week, passed away last night. The funeral would be next week, and there would be time to finish the AT walk and get there.

2) Go on hiking. Our completion point is very close to Maine Junction, where the Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail diverge. The AT turns east and continues its route to Maine. The LT continues north for another 178 miles to the Canadian border. Although we wouldn’t have time to do all 178 miles before my next family visiting date, we could walk for about 8 days.

3) Split up and go separate ways, me to Ohio and John to the trail.

4) Something else we haven’t considered. There’s ALWAYS another  choice! 

We’ll sleep on it tonight in our cozy site that’s partially hidden between a couple of boulders, and see what the morning  brings. In fact, we can wait until we complete our AT walk and choose then! 

Revisiting 

September 2, 2016

I’m happy to be walking the Appalachian Trail again because of all the beautiful scenery I forgot! Today was a good example of that. 

We started the day near the summit of Peru Peak in a chilly cloud, which made the spruce woods enticing and mysterious. I celebrated getting my warm jacket at just the right time, as this morning’s temperature dipped.

The path continued to not just one, but two lakes – Griffith Lake and Little Rock Pond – neither of which I remembered from 2007! We reached Griffith Lake at “late breakfast” time, cooking up our corn mush topped with maple syrup and cayene pepper.

We reached Little Rock Pond late in the afternoon. It was warm enough for dangling our feet off a rock, but not for swimming!  The sun shone and a dry breeze reminded me to air out the sleeping bag, though. I like to lay it out each day, with its black inside out to absorb the sun to get all nice and warm and fluffy!

Between those two lakes we crossed a wide stream jumbled with huge boulders and crossed with an arched suspension bridge. Yep! You guessed it! I had forgotten that too! Maybe this time I’ll remember sitting on its gravel beach eating hummus for lunch!

We’ve been skipping the shelters for camping, preferring to find tiny cleared spots along the trail to pitch the tarp. They’re more private, softer, and cleaner! 

The forests in VT are like cathedrals with towering trees and many huge, old trees! Fall colors are just beginning. Since being out in southern California where the bare rock foundation is dominant, I’m much more aware of the rock skeleton forming these ancient eastern mountains. The trail route is often laid directly on the tilted rock ridges and ledges. I enjoy looking closely at the rocks, marveling at the swirls and patterns formed as the molten minerals cooled so many eons ago! I am blessed to walk here, forming new memories, hopefully not forgotten!

Thanks for reading and for your comments and encouragement!  Apparently, the comment function of my blog isn’t working. For now, please reply by email (regina@forgivenesswalks.com) or Facebook Regina Reiter.

In joy,

Regina 

Perfectionist

September 1, 2016

OK. I admit it. I am a perfectionist, at least when it comes to talking about myself. I have been on the Appalachian Trail again since August 9 and I have been too shy to share. 

When John and I resumed our walk where we left off on July 6, I wasn’t sure how far I would walk, and that was hard for me to feel, even harder to admit to you!

Both my physical energy and my emotional were low. I had had clear symptoms of Lyme Disease. In addition, I believed that all the posting and reaching out I had done on our first section was bothering John.  So, I wanted to be invisible and just walk for myself. I wanted to test out my Lyme treatment and sort through my relationship. 

Ta dah! I did! And, it all worked out! On July 25, after a week of fatigue, fever, headache, and then the classic bullseye rash, I started a two-week course of doxycycline and a month’s regimen of herbal supplements. Another week of rest while visiting my mom in OH precluded our return to the trail.

Four days into the walk, I actually felt great! My energy was good. All my symptoms were gone. 

My relationship challenges continued, though, and I kept writing stories (in my private journal) of doubt that I could truly express myself while in a relationship. Grateful to have the tools of Radical Forgiveness – The Thirteen Steps and Forgivenesswalks – Nonsenses Energy Balancing – I claimed my own story and let John off the hook for my own doubts. And I walked! 290 miles from Delaware Water Gap to Manchester Center, VT!

Now, we’ve just picked up the last of our five food maildrops, ready to set out for our last 52 miles. At Killington, VT, we will both have walked every one of the 2,189 miles of the Appalachian Trail – twice!

I’m ready to share about that, and want you cheering us on, asking questions, and reflecting on your own journey right along with me. 

So, I’ll do my best to post throughout the week, with our completion goal of Sunday, September 4, in sight. Please keep reading – and replying with your own stories. I want to feel your energy along my way!

Oh, and what really makes me want to share is that I now own one of those swanky cool down jackets that all the official hikers wear. I bought one on sale today at EMS in Manchester Center. Get a load of this! I mean really, after 11,000 miles of backpacking, I’ve got a lightweight, skinny down jacket.

Thanks for being here!

In joy,

Regina

4,000 Miler

September 1, 2016

This week, I’ll complete a second pass of the 2,189 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Georgia, and Central Virginia, thrice, 60 miles of my VA ridgerunning section, about 20 times. 

Private

August 29, 2016

My passion for exploring inner journey work with other hikers may be one practiced by just one of us in my “intimate” partnership. My dream is to have an intimate life partner who shares this passionate occupation with me.

For today, I am happy to have a FB friend converse with me about this as a colleague! She validates and understands, and does it herself. I like that!

Ride 

August 27, 2016

“Let’s go to Guido’s at Rt. 7. We could get apples, lots of apples, to bring out.”

At Rt 7, we stuck out our thumbs to hitch. Dozens of cars went by with no ride. “On this road, they probably don’t know about the trail.”

We walked a bit, thumbs out. No ride. “Too discouraging. Let’s see if we can get water at that Garden store over there, then get back out on the trail.” That worked! Cindy welcomed us into the workshop and offered fresh water from the water cooler.

Back outside, we tried hitching again, this time right at the ‘Appalachian Trail’ sign. A handful of cars went by. Just about to turn to the trail, I heard a beep, then looked around to see a car pull over to the right side, then turn around. The driver was turning around to pick us up!

He lived across the road and often took hikers to Great Barrington. Yes, he would take us to Guido’s, no problem. “How are you getting back?” he asked. We had planned to hitch a ride. “That might be hard” he said. “I’ll wait for and bring you back. I can go to town later.”

“Anything you want?” I asked. “Oh no, but maybe prime rib or lobster would be good!” he joked.

We shopped lickety split. Apples. Coffee. The sushi caught my eye, so a got a tray of it. Bread. Bread would be good. John found a nice loaf of banana bread. Done.

One more thing. “Please add $5 to this gift card.”

When our trail angel, whose name I never learned, dropped us off at the trailhead, I handed him the card. “This will get you started with that lobster.”

“You didn’t have to do that! ” he said, seeming surprised. “Well, you didn’t have to drive us to Guido’s either, so we’re even! Thanks for your generosity!”

That sushi was amazing!

Trailhead Sushi!

Food Change

August 26, 2016

We found out that we like to eat our hearty meal of quinoa and chicken- or cheese! – after walking for a bit in the morning, instead of at night.

After walking all day and reaching camp at dusk or even after dark, something “light” like our cornmush seems just right!

“Emotionally Broken”

August 22, 2016

That’s what the hiker we met this morning said. Her story is that she walked from Springer to Katahdin, reaching the summit in Maine on August 4th.

18 days later, she’s already reached 725 miles in a southbound return to Springer!

“How are you doing,” I asked. Her reply, “I’m physically doing great. I’m emotionally broken. I don’t have time to talk with anyone and I hike all day and night.”