Oregon Coast Trail: High Tide

September 1, 2019

Our hotel rest stop was a welcome break and a sort of new beginning for the rest of the trip. We took an entire day off at the Villa West Hotel, at the crossroads of US101 and 126 in Florence, Oregon. We stayed until checkout time at 11.
John’s willingness to take a taxi out of Florence, skipping a few miles of roadwalking, and even a little forest walking, made today a delightfully easy day! Well, mostly, anyway. The cab driver dropped us off at the Wax Myrtle Trailhead, 3/4 mile from the beach. Yes, there were wax myrtle trees on the route!

We got there right at noon. A half hour later, the trail ended at the beach, beginning our 4-hour beach walk as the tide came in. Incoming tide means that the surf encroaches further up the shore, covering the firmer sand that’s easier to walk on. I decided to walk barefoot, which is fine for an hour or so, then is tiring.We had a little excitement for choosing a driftwood log just surfside to a tidepool that was filling. We had to grab our packs and dodge the water when a high wave crept up to our log!A few miles down the beach we had to cross a river that flowed into the ocean. As an inlander, I rarely have thought about what it really looks like when a river flows into the sea! I’ve gotten familiar with it on this trail, as we’ve seen many – from trickles to wide bays. This one is about twenty feet wide and shallow. We could simply wade across, although I got a little nervous when it crept close to the bottom of my pack.

Where we crossed the Tehkenitch River

Twenty minutes later, we reached Access Point 115A and turned off to Three-Mile Lake, our day’s destination! This is when the “mostly” easy qualification came in! To get to the lake, we had to traverse the half mile of dunes between the beach and the lake. That was slow going in the deep, loose sand! I used my Meet the Mountains Technique to make it easy, even though these were not actually mountains! The constantly shifting sand gave shifty resistance to each step, though, so I was glad for my stepping and breathing practice. (You’ve got this, right? If not, I’ll give you the link, so your mountain – and dune – climbing can be easy! https://forgivenesswalks.com/ReginaMeetsMountains)We did not like the looks of the camping around the lake, so turned north on another trail and found a sweet wooded campsite with a perfect distant view of the ocean and sunset! At only 5 p.m. we’re all set up and relaxing. No waiting for six days to summarize the day!

Sunset from Three Mile Lake Campsite

Oregon Coast Trail: Seal Rocks

August 27, 2019

This day had similarities to yesterday, with a few variations in the details of food and campsite services. We had beautiful beach walking, some awesome rocks, not so much roadwalking, and early evening arrival at South Beach State Park Hiker-Biker site.

My notes for the day:

7:20 away from camp at South Beach
8:40 stop to cook breakfast on beach; Potatoes onions garlic cheese
10:36 shoes off. In close view of Seal Rocks cliffs. I’ve been trying all variations of beachwalking: sandals, barefoot, shows and socks. All have pros and cons. The sandals work if I wrap my toes in gauze tape. Barefoot feels great – for a while, then my feet are tired. Shoes are most supportive – and get my shoes wet.

Lovely Seal Rocks captivate my attention

The waves crashed high over Seal Rocks

11:16 talked with Washingtonians
11:40 lunch at seal rocks before going up off the beach to get around Seal Rocks. It took just a few minutes to get around this time, and we were quickly back on the beach.

Lunch break included a quick drawing of Seal Rocks.

Seal Rocks Closeup

12:10 leaving beach again for walk on US101 to NW Coast drive. Back soon, this time for a couple of hours.
2:15 off beach at Bayshore Beach Club, Access #67B. We rest in the shade nearby an elegant pool, feeling the awkwardness of the homeless next to the rich. We walk on Westward Dr to Bayshore Dr to the beach on a bay. We have to cross another bridge, lver the Alsea River. We can’t tell if we can get up the dune right at the bridge. We ask a woman walking her dog. She thinks we can. She’s right! There’s a good trail winding up the hill next to, not through the KOA, with its No Trespassing signs. The trail goes right to a park with steps up to the bridge. This one is similar to the Newport Bridge – without the wind today! We are soon across and looking for our route to Ray’s Food Place, a half-mile away.

3:31 At Ray’s we engage our two-visit strategy. We are hot and hungry, so we get something to eat immediately. This time, it’s a box of greens, an avocado, and a tangerine. John goes for a 1.5 qt juice blend. The store has a welcoming section of tables at their deli.

We cross the street to Ace Hardware to search for a canister. They have an empty shelf where our product would be. No luck! However, the clerk digs in the cash register for something else we need – a safety for John’s button, which just popped off.

Back at Ray’s, we buy no cook foods: Frito’s bean dip, ramen, cheese, pears, red pepper, avocados,blueberries.
5:30 leave store, walk down the beach and exit at Beachside State Park.
7:05 Beachside State Park has a Hiker-Biker site conveniently located next to the registration office and bathroom. Alas, there’s no charging station. There is an outlet in the bathroom nearby. These are good sites in the woods. The Registration is closed when we arrive, so I dip into my stash of groups of 10, 5 ,and 1 dollar bills to make our $16 fee. We heat our ramen with the dwindling fuel and hang our food bags in a nearby tree. No other hikers or bikers arrive.

 

 

Oregon Coast Trail: Whale of a Day

August 25, 2019

On which we walked big miles, made a big leap in our thruhiking style, and saw some really big creatures!

Adding a few more words or phrases to the words above, like in one of those grammar games, we walked something like sixteen miles, starting our day at 5 a.m. at Devil’s Lake State Park and ending at 7:30 p.m. at Beverly Beach State Park. We made a big leap in our thruhiking style by catching the Lincoln County bus to skip four miles of walking on US 101 between Taft and Gleneden, making our day’s trip miles jump to 20. And, for our first time on this trip and over several hours of our day, from Boiler Bay south to Cape Foulweather, we saw whales – Gray Whales! Mostly, we saw the spouts of water sprayed from whales, and sometimes the backs of whales, to the tune of about 20 sightings in four to six spots along the coast. We just caught a glimpse of one whale between two houses as we walked down residential Coast Street in the southern streets of Depoe Bay. It was a whale of a day!

Other highlights include:

  • Walking into the sunrise on the beach. We had to walk 3 miles down the beach to the bus stop in Taft to catch the 7:30 a.m. bus. A blessing, really.
  • Meeting a winter resident of Palm Springs, CA (near us in Borrego Springs) at the park in Gleneden as we cooked our oatmeal and kale breakfast after our 7:30 a.m. bus ride.
  • Stopping for “the best of the best” latte at Pirate Coffee in, guess what, Pirate Cove! I’m not a good judge of coffee, but it was a nice stop on a windy day!
  • Visiting the Oregon State Parks Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay where we saw more whales and I got an idea for an activity for the Visitor Center at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park where I’ll be from October through May.
  • There was a stretch of roadwalk along Otter Crest Drive that actually had a dedicated pedestrian/bike lane, a single one-way lane for cars, signs identifying bikes and walkers, and a 20 mph speed limit. We felt gratefully accommodated in the transportation corridor for three whole miles!
  • Several stretches along US 101 today had dirt trail built off the shoulder, sometimes behind the guardrail or through the nearby vegetation. We noticed that it coincided with a utility line. We were grateful that we could share that space! In one of my many Radical Forgiveness moments of this journey, I noticed the irony of celebrating a powerline.
  • I was tired and cranky on our last 2-mile beach walk of the day, but grateful to reach Beverly Beach State Park to find the nice storage boxes with receptacles for phone charging in the Hiker-Biker campsite. Another irony of hiking all day – too worn out to fully integrate the beauty I came to enjoy!

This was our 12th day in the Oregon Coast Trail, 138 miles from our starting point.

Boiler Bay, Sighting our first grey whales

Taft, OR Historic District at dawn

Whale Cove Overlook where we saw whales and harbor seals too!

Oregon Coast Trail: Roadwalking

August 22/23, 2019

“I’m going to call this Horrible Hill!” says John as we pace up the hill on the shoulder of US101. He must not be using Regina’s Meet the Mountains Technique, I thought. It wasn’t the elevation change bothering him, though, it was the threat of zooming trucks veering over the white line on the narrow shoulder. I agree, roadwalking is not fun, and this stretch bothers me too. It’s 2 p.m. on a Friday between the beach towns of Neskowin and Lincoln City. We were on a 4-mile stretch of the trail where there’s no trail. The official route follows the U.S. highway.

Our memories were still fresh of the 6-mile road walk the prevoius evening. The pang of that four-hour road walk was raw because we had missed our chance at getting a boat ride across the Neskowin River to skip it. Both of us had hoped the other one was asking the boaters for a ride when neither was. We did have the chance to talk about that while we walked along the busy two-lane highway, though.

Today’s walk is similar. Sometimes there’s a shoulder. Often, there’s not. Often the road curves so drivers can’t see us. It’s not safe. We persist. “How can they call this a trail when there’s no place to walk?” I grumble silently, sometimes out loud.

An hour into the walk, we see a mowed hay field we could cut across. Squish! Down in the ditch of tall grass that we must cross, John steps in a creek. I get to miss that. The field is lumpy, but it’s safer than the road. We rejoice that fifteen minutes’ walk takes us safely back out to our road. At dusk, we reach the return to the beach and cap off the day with tenting on the beach, tucked beyond the tide line in the dune grass. The roar of the ocean surf is a welcome respite from the roar of the traffic.

On Friday’s walk between Neskowin and Lincoln City, up Horrible Hill, we got a break a couple of miles in. The official trail turned off into Cascade Head Science Research Area. We started out with 1.5 miles on the Forest Service Road, then turned off on dirt trail through the lush, green rainforest. I’m sad to say, though, that I was so caught up in my grumbling about having to walk 3.7 miles through the forest then another 3.5 on the road to reach our hotel goal for the night, 7.2 more miles and it’s already 4 o’clock, that I pay only slight attention to the forest.

Our Victim Story builds when John, thinking I’m not waiting for him as I’m charging ahead athletically to the goal, catches up and says, “I’m thinking of getting off in Lincoln City and going to get the van. Then, I’ll do car support for you so you can finish the trail.”

I’m stunned! He’s the one who is focused on completing any trail he does! I hold my tongue for a minute, then say, continuing my pace, poking my trekking poles into the ground to dissipate my frustration, “I hear what you say, and I have no response!” My terse remark has wisdom behind it. I know that quitting a long term plan on a bad day is unwise. But, I now know that John is uncharacteristically wavering and I won’t fuel the doubt!

“What if we just stop this march and camp in this forest?” I muse to myself. I start looking for a flat spot. The forest is impenetrable with underbrush and no camping is allowed (Which is another rant about newly formed trails!). Fifteen minutes later, with probably another forest mile to go, I see an opening! Thick moss blankets little patches of flattish ground. “What if we stop here for the night?” I suggest. “I have no plan any more,” John says dispassionately and follows me off the trail.

Our spirits are uplifted during that respite of quiet green. The towering trees, dripping with Spanish moss, catching dappled golden patches of evening sunlight soothe my resentment. I rest, running the words of The Thirteen Steps to Radical Forgiveness through my head. Am I willing to see perfection in this situation? Is there an opportunity to learn and grow here? Yes. I let Spirit do the work of providing a suggestion of how.

At 3 a.m. I wake up still thinking. I listen to the tracks from Walk for a Singing Heart. Barbara’s songs and the three exercises shift my perspective to openness to a new way of seeing the roadwalking and of being in the roadwalking. I don’t know exactly what that will look like. I don’t have a clear plan, but I acknowledge that I probably have more choices in this situation than I had realized. I sleep again and wake up, still in awe of this amazing forest and emboldened by our willingness to rest here.

Saturday provides a clean slate!

Journey Photos

October 17, 2017

Days in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park begin with radiant sunrises in a huge sky. Mountain vistas, rocky routes, and rare oases delight my senses and exercise my body! Here are a few photos from my first week here at my fun job as Park Interpretive  Specialist.

Today, my ardent fan, a regular Junior Ranger, came in to see if I’m back. He has come to most of the Saturday Junior Ranger sessions for the past three years! Our most common activity has been to head out the door and climb a kid-sized mountain we call “Junior Ranger Mountain”. I count this as one of my best contributions to the Park and to the local community! 

What an honor and a joy to share the desert with a boy who can’t sit still!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/zPlXcigF4Dz1upQl1

In joy,

Regina

Empty Space 

July 26, 2017

Raise your hand if you have stuff in a storage unit! Today, I get to celebrate that my rented storage space is empty! 

I admit, I can’t claim complete victory over storage because my stuff has actually just been relocated to storage in my son’s new residence in Ohio, but this is a step. He is using some of the household items that were stored.

I enjoyed poring through one of the boxes that was filled with artwork and writings from my sons’ youth. I got to feel a range of emotions as I fingered each piece and stirred memories of their making.

And now my physical presence in Buena Vista, Virginia, is gone. I’ll always feel connected with this small town on the Appalachian Trail because it was my home for the six summers I worked here as AT ridgerunner. When I sold my house after my divorce in 2013, this was the place that made most sense to store the stuff I couldn’t part with. 

Today, I close the door on the empty Unit #71 with gratitude that it safely contained my precious things for four years. Thanks to my son, Simon, for offering me space in his home! 

In joy,

Regina 

Adjust

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May 21, 2016
I realized that my colored pencils are watercolor pencils! Well, not the yellow, actually. That made the blending uneven.

This reminds me of adjusting preferences in life. When something is important, I figure out how to do it within various circumstances. That may require adjusting details, methods, tools, timing. The essence or value of the habit remains, or even expands, as it is incorporated in a new setting.

As I think of examples, I’m coming up with a long list!
☆ Getting whole grains in various living situations
☆ Staying in touch with significant people while hiking
☆ Walking in Nature in various homes
☆ Cooking, washing, etc. on trail and also in different houses and living situations

Perhaps the basic lesson from this is that being comfortable with adjusting the details of lifestyle preferences is a good foundation for a fulfilling nomadic lifestyle!

That’s the kind of conversation available in the HeartSinging Walk Community!
Join us!

Contented

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May  8, 2016

The Park season is waning and I am feeling contented with the idea of working for Forgiveness Walks this summer. Allowing coaching, offering programs and products to be the real job that I do within a nomadic setting, is becoming something I can say casually, matter-of factly.

Money Matters

What will it take to know myself as someone who confidently requests and receives money in exchange for my coaching? Today, I acknowledge my belief that I’m acting as if these statements are true: “It’s not ok to request payment for hiking consultation because others do it free.” AND “It’s silly to think that hiking coaching could be my real job! Ridgerunning is a real job, nature interpreting is a real job, but coaching while hiking can’t be a real job.”

Time for a little reframing and turnaround statements! First, for Nonsenses Immersion. Be back later!
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Here it is! What occurred to me in today’s experience is “starting with blank space, I engaged in applying the colors in a systematic way and now there’s a beautiful painting. I didn’t visualize it ahead of time or plan it out, except to work in a circle this time instead of horizontal patches. What if doing business is like that too? Taking the steps of presenting content with inherent value, just like the colors, and present them in a systematic way, allowing their natural value to entice others to invest their own energy to participate in the activity themselves.

What do you think? Is this valuable to you? Do you have valuable content that you’re reluctant to offer? Do you have experience in making this shift in your own business?

I want to hear from you!
Please comment.
Or send me an email at regina@forgivenesswalks.com

OR schedule a chat with me here:
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