Benton MacKaye Trail: Deep Creek Bridge

Deep Creek Crossing

It’s October, 2009. I’m standing on the north side of Deep Creek in the Smokies. “It’s not good to be here alone”, I thought. “It’s not safe here. I shouldn’t be doing this by myself. I should turn back. Is there another way?”

I’m at mile 44, three miles shy of the half way point in the Smokies section of the Benton MacKaye Trail I’m looking at my map, tracing a possible alternate route around the swollen torrent that is Deep  Creek. I’m considering scooting across the tipped log that’s interrupted by perpendicular poles. That’s what the bridge had become. read more

Hiking Memories: Four Seasons

Four Seasons on the Benton MacKaye Trail

Reflections on Mileposts on the Trail

Regina Reiter


BMTSouthbound – June, 2009; October, 2009; January, 2013
BMTNorthbound- April, 2010
BMT Davenport Gap to Beech Gap, January, 2010

Links: Photos, Journals, Reflections, Slide shows

http://www.trailjournals.com/mssnglnk     Pictures galore in many trail journals
https://forgivenesswalks.com/newsletter-archives/   Words for Winter Walking series

https://forgivenesswalks.com/benton-mackaye-trail/    First Winter Walk and Spring Walk slide shows read more

Walking with Authenticity: Sunrise on Noland Divide

Sunrise on Noland Divide

From Regina’s 2013 Journal –
Winter Walk on the Benton MacKaye Trail

It’s our fourth morning on the trail. It’s still dark, but the short day length nudges me to wake up and get started before daylight. I listen. “It’s not raining! Hurray! “   The lack of falling rain, however, does not mean that it’s dry! Here at 4,000 feet elevation in the Great Smoky Mountains, it’s not raining because we are in the clouds.

Warm and snug in our double layer down sleeping bags, I can imagine pacing down the trail feeling warmed by brisk walking in the cold, foggy air. That will feel great! What deters me, however, is resisting the transition from being warm inside to being warm outside! In between, there’s a careful, methodical procedure of striking camp that promises a comical dance with cold and wet that unfolds in quickly executed steps. You see, we don’t carry extra clothes, just one set of inside clothes to wear in the tent, and one set of outside clothes to wear on the trail. Since it rained yesterday, our outermost layers are wet.  Our dance goes something like this: read more

Benton MacKaye Trail Winter Thru-Hike Slide Show!

Regina, founder of Forgiveness Walks, completed the 300-mile Benton MacKaye Trail during a walk in January, 2013. Follow her journey, photographed by John Lemberg in slides and music.

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Let Regina and Forgiveness Walks inspire, train, and coach you to love yourself and your life just as you are, opening the gateway to shifting old beliefs and stories. As you do, vibrant energy, fulfilling relationships, and freedom from your past will fill your life. read more

Resourcefulness on the Trail

In this photo, I’m wearing my food-bag skirt!

My shorts had ripped and my rainpants were too hot. When backpacking, I don’t carry extra clothes, just one of each type, except socks. I cut the bottom seam of my nylon food bag, which turned out to be just the perfect size for a drawstring skirt. It’s made of silnylon, silicon nylon, so it’s waterproof. It was a good rain skirt too!

When have YOU been resourceful, using something right at hand to fill in for something that you didn’t have. read more

Completing Heartsinging Projects

I’m standing on Big Frog Mountain just north of the Georgia-Tennessee border, marveling at the crystal bright snow and shuddering in the cold. “Let’s get out of this wind!  I’m glad we didn’t camp up here last night.”

My hiking partner and I turn to go, heading southward on the Benton MacKaye Trail. My shoulders bent away from the wind. My heart swelled with joy. “I’m within reach of my goal to walk this 300-mile trail all the way through in all four seasons! That’s so wonderful!” read more