Cumberland Valley

June 23, 2016
Click “Read in browser” for pictures!

No camping for 17 miles! It’s the traverse across Cumberland Valley, PA that includes the town of Boiling Springs. The trail skirts farms and crosses a dozen roads, including the PA Turnpike, US 11, and I-81. Most hikers hoof it across the 17-mile stretch of easy walking all in one day. We did that as well in 2007 when we walked south. This time, we’re doing the stretch over two days, with a hotel stop in the middle.

The corridor of the trail is owned by the Park Service as what is known as Appalachian Trail Lands. In the Cumberland Valley, signs tell us this, along with the information that these lands are being farmed to preserve the historical and pastoral quality of the area.

It is satisfying to walk on a path through cropfields of wheat, corn, and oats. In one field, a farmer  was  harvesting wheat as we walked by!

Clouds billowed all day, blackening then clearing, then building up in white again. The predicted storm held off!

Although I’m happy to rest my feet after our 15.5-mile walk, the scenery was delightful, diverse, and a welcome contrast to the rocky forest ridges. Enjoy the photos!

image

From  forest to cornfield!

image

Narrow path traverses fields.

image

Historic Sycamore in Boiling Springs.

image

Pastoral land, newly harvested.

image

A meadow of Milkweed for Monarch butterflies breaks the crops.

image

Clouds billow above the oats.

image

Safe crossing over the highway where we get off the trail for a night in a hotel near Carlisle, PA.

In joy,
Regina

If you’r reading this from my Facebook post, click this link to sign up for the email version!

Vision

June 20, 2016

It helps me keep going to have someone to talk with about my dreams. Last night, Mary Campbell, whom I had coached to accomplish her 5-day walk in Scotland, talked with me about my vision for HeartSinging Walks Community. Here’s the recording from our half-hour conversation. Listen in !

  • Walking evokes and expresses an Inner Journey
  • Regina’s approach starts with this awareness
  • This could help people just getting started with walking for health
  • Several structures could make it available to more people

Join in the conversation!
http://audioacrobat.com/email/ENNV66sqV

Comment here, or send Regina an email: regina@forgivenesswalks.com

 

Tornado Watch

June 16, 2016
The day started – and ended – with rain! In between, we walked 17 miles, stopping once for a thunderstorm and once for a tornado watch.

Zero Day

June 19, 2016

First zero day (day 17) Luxuriating at Cobblestone Inn in Waynesboro, PA. A Zero Day is hiker lingo for a day with no hiking!
They have a grill out on the lawn of the inn. We used it to support our canister stove to cook salmon patties from WalMart, which is literally  next  door! Yeah, I have mixed feelings about shopping there, but give in to the convenience. In addition to off-trail food, we bought another fuel canister ($5 instead of $12 at Big Meadows!), and I replaced my underwear, an important clothing strategy – either buy a new pair or include in a maildrop every few weeks.
Catching up on journaling, researching itinerary details for later, soaking in the hot tub, drinking water, eating fresh food, ressssting, watching a Clint Eastwood movie, and chatting with another family’s members gathering for a wedding. The mental and physical break from the trail is rejuvenating. Even something I love as much as walking and sleeping  in the woods is enhanced  by stepping away for a day!

Back to the trail tomorrow, refreshed and renewed and rested.

In joy,
Regina
image
Happy day, yesterday, crossing into Pennsylvania

Trail Visitors!!

June 18, 2016
Two meetings today!
Dawn, a coaching friend from many years ago!

image

And Robin, the new Ridgerunner, in her element!

image

I love visitors on the trail!

In joy,
Regina

Sore Feet

June 15, 2106
Another hiker asked what to do about sore feet from stepping on all the rocks in Virginia. Yes, there are literally mountains of rocks on the trail! Here are some of my thoughts.

I’m all about balancing the Inner Journey with the Outer Journey. What I do with sore feet, after  assessing for physical injury, is go inside myself and ask in there! “Why am I walking? What do you need, feet? How can I step lightly on my journey, on the Earth, on whatever is before me?” Those kinds of questions.
I met a hiker walking through Shenandoah National Park in sandals. He walked like a monk! Each step with singular purpose in itself.
I’ve used arnica tincture for bruises and anointed my feet daily with lavender oil, blessing and honoring them. I believe that you have a beautiful, unique journey that blesses us and the trail. The trail is a blank canvas on which your unique journey is painted.  Maybe there’s an Inner Journey here.

image

This is the kind of perspective we’ll give to our journeys in my HeartSinging Walk Community. If this resonates with YOU, come take a look!
HeartSinging  Walk Community

Or pass this along to someone who might like this way of preparing for a walk! Thanks!

In joy,
Regina

Read the Guidebook!

image
June 13, 2016
I didn’t notice that the guidebook does say that the “lodge, kitchen, office are open from 5-9 p.m.” in the hostel where we had sent our maildrop box. Hmm. It’s noon, and we got on the trail at 6 a.m. to get here for a rest. There is food in that box to eat for rejuvenation – not available til 5?? Not a happy thought. Hmm.

What a perfect interface between Inner and Outer Journeys!! Click on “Read in browser” to see how this disappointment unfolds into a blessing even better than I had imagined!
image

The tiny room at the hostel, crammed with 6 bunks, a couch, side chair, and t.v. looked clean. The one hiker already there talked non stop about his walk to another hiker who had arrived with us.

One thing that was available immediately was a bathroom with a great shower, freshly cleaned. Ahhh! Even towels!

I plugged in my phone and extra battery charger. That made two needs met. Soon, the couple managing the hostel pulled up in their grocery-laden car. All five hikers jumped in to help unpack.

To our delight, the manager said, “Come on upstairs and get your ice cream”. The Hiker Special comes with a bunk, shower, laundry, pizza, and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. I had planned to pass up that special since ice cream and pizza are on my “do not eat” list. We got our box, though. Third need met!

Now, for a good meal and a quiet place to rest. The best rest spot looked to be the shady corner of one of three lawns outside. Each had a campfire ring and chairs. One had afternoon shade. I set up the tarp in the shady spot.

I was imagining a repeat of that delicious and satisfying dinner of fish and vegetables we had enjoyed in our last stop in Front Royal. Here, with no grocery store within a mile, that seemed out of reach. But look! A poster on the board says “Call Road Yachts for a ride to Purcellville” listing Food Lion. Victory! Although it seemed a little extravagant to get a shuttle into town ten miles away for a meal, I thought, “why not get the best, you know, radiantly fulfilling and all?”

Guess what Road Yachts said? I was surprised. “Oh, I don’t do shuttles until after 8 p.m.” Well, dang! That was unreasonable in my book. That dinner dream was fading fast. But, I would NOT give in to pizza and a headache!

Sleep in the shade and the privacy of my tarp was next, well, AFTER studying the guidebook to learn that there were several easy food stops in the next 70 miles. I could eat anything from our maildrop with confidence that we could get plenty of food along the way. Problem solved. Ahhh. Fourth need met.

Two hours later, I wake up with a nudge from John, saying, “Let’s go. Let’s walk on now.” I groggily focus on his words. “That guy who lit the fire right next to our tarp was talking trash in the hostel about you pitching your tent near that campfire ring. I don’t want to stay here. He’s talking up having a campfire tonight, and there are twenty hikers in there! There are two other firerings, but he picked that one, then talked about how stupid you were to put your tent there! I don’t want to be in a disrespectful situation like this.”

I love that man! He sure stands up for me. He’s right that we can choose our community. Half an hour later, we’re on the trail again, all settled up with the manager and satisfied that our basic needs for that stop had been met. Food. Charging. Shower. Some rest.

Now, here’s the surprise blessing! Two miles out, we stop near a spring to cook the special pasta from the maildrop. At the same spot are three women nursing a fire. They welcome us, and John shares some firebuilding tips. We chat during our meals, and I walk away with contact information for a prospective member for HeartSinging Walk Community!

One of those women had invited the others out for her very first walk on the AT! Her dream is to do the whole trail over 10 – 20 years. She loved my idea of having a coach and meeting others with the same dream!

I’m sure there’s a well-worded affirmation that summarizes this blessing. Something like walking away from ill-fitting circumstances and toward my truth. You can help me with that one.

I’m convinced!

And it even got better! At our camp spot for the night, a German woman asked to stay nearby. She pulls out fresh kohlrabi slices that she’s eager to share! Fifth need met – fresh veggies!

And here’s the next funny part. Next morning, who do we see ahead of us? The campfire guy!! “So, you hiked out without staying? Me too! Some other guys and I decided we would just push on!” I never know what will happen on the trail!

In joy,
Regina

If you would like to be in a community that pays attention to the ins and outs of Inner Journeys within Outer Journeys, all the while getting support for creating YOUR radiantly fulfilling walk, check out my HeartSinging Walk Community!

Inner Journey

June 8 and 9, 2016
What a beautiful place to be while disappointed! The Skyland Lodge room we had was perfect for our night off the trail! We had mailed our first food drop there, so it was a good place to rent a room, you know, with a bed and bath and clean towels, all that good stuff!

image

Really incredible view from the room, especially watching  the storm move across the Shenandoah Valley!

Dinner at the restaurant included trout, asparagus salad, and a big side order of fries! Even my gluten-free preference was accommodated.

We washed our clothes, took baths – and showers too – sorted the food in our maildrop.

These are all parts of what I call The Outer Journey.

Within and underneath, an Inner Journey was brewing! And this, my friends, is the stuff of journeying that provides the threads of a radiantly fulfilling journey – if the threads are tended and woven carefully. If not, the journey could unravel!

Read on for my latest Inner Journey story.

Scene One:The Disapointment

One of my Facebok messages contains the news that my mentor didn’t have time to take me on as a regular client. I had thought that getting her help with digital tasks that are no match for my smartphone was just a message away! I was wrong! Bam. Door shut! Let down! (Just like other times in my life – which clued me in that this was a new version of my life’s Old Story).

Scene Two: The Shutdown

So what do I do? Take action to feel powerful. I drop my membership in her coaching club. Tough, eh? That will show HER! I also stop talking with my partner, you know, because I would have to explain why I did an irrational thing (and mostly, because I might start FEELING – Noooo! I just have to feel right!)

Scene Three: Underway

In the morning, John is mystified by my behavior, thinking I was mad at him, and of course he can’t figure out why!

Meanwhile, it’s time to check out from our marvelous room and start walking. The Outer Journey must go on!

The rhythm of walking, the fresh air, and the soothing green scenery support the Inner Journey perfectly. I walk. John asks me questions.

Scene Four: Breakthrough

I parry his questions, staying on the surface. He peels the layers. No, I’m not mad at him. He misunderstood my comment about his being “just” my hiking partner. My armour is thinning. “So, what happened?” he asks.

It’s a good thing I’m walking in front so he can’t see the tears welling up and over as the story tumbles out and my real feelings of sadness come to the surface.

“That’s what this is about? I had no idea.” He stops. “Let me hug you.”

Scene Five: Shift Happens

This general flow of an Inner Journey play, from upset, resistance, giving in to telling the story, feelings my feelings has one more scene. And that’s

Scene Six: Scenic View

image

Once I allow those feelings and start to see that what happened COULD be an opportunity for me to learn and grow, all sorts of ideas flow! That’s what happened today! I realized that her saying No to my original plan forced me to create a new plan.

As it often happens, the ideas I’m having now about opening HeartSinging Walk Community, my Inner Journey project for this walk, will make the project way better! I feel free and energized! My, the forest is amazing! What! We’ve walked five miles in 2 1/2 hours?!!! This Inner Journey thing really works!!

The end

Well, not really the end of the day. We walked 8 more miles in the beautiful Shanandoah Park. We met a dozen other hikers today, including a guy from San Diego who has walked a route across San Diego County from the Pacific Ocean to the Salton Sea. That’s where WE live in the winter! He enjoyed the company of other seasoned hikers.

Cooking dinner on a vista point 15 miles north of our starting point on the outside and many vibrational levels higher on the inside, I feel blessed – radiantly fulfilled even!

In joy,
Regina

P.S. Does any of this Inner Journey story sound familiar? Please share! Just hit reply and tell your story! I’ll answer you back with some tips on how to weave your own radiantly fulfilling new story.

PSS
My favorite moment yesterday was meeting this amazing tree!
image

Can’t wait to hear a story from YOU!

Blessed

image

June 7, 2016
Day 5, Appalachian Trail walk. My view from our room at Skyland Lodge, taking a connection break. 70 miles complete. Uncounted trees, boulders, flowers, plants enjoyed. Unmeasured fullness of God Goddess Spirit Nature Creation breathed in and around and through. I am blessed by walking.

In joy,
Regina

Body

June 6, 2016
“I am not my body, but I love and appreciate the body I have.”
That’s one of my favorite New Stories in the Radical Forgiveness board game that I play often to help me shift my perspective from troubles to blessings.
This morning, that helped me ease into the tiredness and soreness my body felt. I still WANTED to walk, just needed to give myself time and stretching to match my desire with my body!
Just a half mile from our camp, beautifully flat and dry, by the way, was the summit of Hightop Mtn. Sunlight filtered through  the stunted oaks and lit  the ferns and fly poison flower stalks. Ahhh. Perfect spot to gently awaken my muscles.

image

I would have loved to have my friend, Liv Nam there to guide me in kundalini. I did my best on my own.
Gradually, my body relaxed and actually felt really good in a couple of hours and throughout the rest of the day, even til 6 p.m. when we stopped for the night on Hazeltop. The name gives away its pleasant nature. Blessed by a perfect western vista and grassy tentsite, the day ended in equal beauty to its beginning.

In truth, the beauty of the forest, unfolding mile after mile, pulls me along into each step. What keeps my focus is the diversity of each stretch of forest! There are different communities of  trees,  understory, and ground cover every mile or so. Fascinating! Here, it’s a newer forest, open and lush with tangles of cleavers and burdock carpeting the floor. Those are the locust and ash forests. There, among old oak and hickory, it’s shady, covered with decaying leaves, dotted with ferns and waterleaf.

I’ve written about five essentials to creating a fulfilling walk. Today, the first essential – knowing your trail- impressed me. “What I would say to AT dreamers about knowing
this trail”, I was saying to John as we walked, “is that it is ALWAYS going up or down a mountain. Always. To walk this trail, one needs to be content with climbing and descending mountains. There is no mythical flat section when one is finished going up and down.”

So, all day long I walk in my breathing and stepping pace, and never get tired. That feels good to me!

We saw a bear! Funny, though. It was about 10 a.m. while crossing the Skyline Drive at Swift Run Gap. “Look, its a raccoon,” I said, wstching the little animal with its high rump sort of limping across the road. “That’s a bear, a cub!”corrects John, as I notice it has no long tail. Sadly, it did seem to be limping, and struggled to find a way over the wall and guardrail, disappearing into the woods.

Treetop views, matching a redstart with its call, meeting boy scouts finishing their fifty-mile hike, and thanking a trail maintainer for his service threaded this day with its magic. Gratitude fills my soul AND my body!

image

image

image

image