Thanks, Louise Hay

August 30, 2017

Louise Hay passed away today. Her work gave language and acceptance to self-love as a path to loving others. It was my sister, Claudia, who first shared Louise’s words with me. I remember taking the cassette tape into bed and listening, with amused astonishment, to that deep, soothing voice enticing me to be grateful for every little thing in my life. At the time, it actually seemed a bit silly to be thankful for the morning light, and for my body’s basic functions, and for water, and breathing. Her visualization of walking to the ocean of abundance to scoop up goodness, asking, “What are you using, a teaspoon?!!” really jarred me. Aghast, I noticed that I was!  read more

Late Bloomers

August 27, 2017

This week’s walk took me and John on a traverse of our entire ridgerunning seciton. We walked from Partnership Shelter to Damascus, VA on the Appalachian Trail. This is the section that we have taken turns walking since April 24th. The flowers have made a noticeable transition from spring to late summer species! I captured just a few of the crisp, colorful blooms that delighted me this week.

Here’s a link to the album of Late Bloomers:

https://goo.gl/photos/tVyNDMczKUk5TJ2S6 read more

Majesty Transforming

August 24, 2017

What caught my eye on my walk this week through the Grayson Highlands, VA in the Mount Rogers Reccreation Area were decomposing tree trunks. I first noticed one on my ascent up Balsam Mountain, the actual mountain one climbs to reach Mt Rogers, the high point of Virginia. I took a photo of an array of wood planks that reminded me of a hand of cards, spread out on a table.

As I walked, many more trunks stood out, each with a story to tell of a once majestic tree melting into the soil. Their patterns, colors, and shapes were mesmerizing.  The closer I looked, the more intricacies I saw. Soon, I had a collection of photos, which, of course, only suggest the complicated, delicate, yet rugged transformation of these forest creatures. Enjoy my photo album – then go out and find majesty transforming on your own walks! read more

Eclipse!

August 22, 2017

My Eclipse story. We decided at 6 pm on Sunday to go for a location in the path of totality rather than stay in the Mt Rogers area for a 90% eclipse. I resisted traveling, wanting to avoid the trouble and shame of contributing to traffic. We made all sorts of bargains about what would make us abandon the plan. We packed for the worst case scenario of being stuck for two days by loading up with 6 gallons of water and our whole box of backpacking food, five or six days worth! We can sleep in the van. read more

Trail Delights

August 9, 2017

Today, I walked from Dickey Gap to Fox Creek, 8 miles. The weather was utterly pleasant and I saw just one family group of five hikers. During the last 3 miles of the forest walk, I started taking photos of some of the fascinating specimens that caught my eye. There was an endless supply! Here are a few:

See the whole album at this link:

https://goo.gl/photos/xCsius67gnw77gnh8

High Country Week

Notice and Wonder
August 3, 2017

My Ridgerunning walk this week focused on what’s called the High Country of the Mt Rogers Recreation Area in Virginia.  My first night out on Thursday, I camped at a spot I’ve had my eye on while I walked through there other weeks. It’s on Stone Mountain, just south of “The Scales”, an open, grassy field where cattle ranchers would weigh and sell their cattle before driving them down the mountain. The story goes that they realized that the cattle weighed more before they made the descent to town! Now, The Scales is a favorite car camping spot.  I prefer to walk a mile south on the Appalachian Trail, up Stone Mountain, to camp.  There, the grassy, and bushy bald stretches for a mile with expansive views. The low vegetation is broken by groups of short trees, bonsai-like stands of beech trees, just 5″ in diameter and fifteen feet tall. They create inviting rooms of shade, where the wild ponies can cool off.  I walked away from the trail a couple hundred yards and set up my tarp under a sprawling oak tree in a patch of grass.  In the morning, the view across The Scales and the valley below inspired me to take time to do a quick watercolor sketch of  the distant Wilburn Ridge, where the trail would wind its way south. read more

Raingear Success

July 28, 2017

Rain pelted down outside Thomas Knob Shelter, high on the ridge near Mt. Rogers, VA.  Redhat, my companion for the week, and I sat happy and dry in the shelter at one o’clock in the afternoon!

That’s pretty early in the day to settle in camp, but the continuing rain, predicted to persist until 11 p.m., made the dry shelter quite attractive!

We stayed. Redhat had changed into her dry clothes. Long johns and a shirt, plus a “puffy jacket” comprised her carefully stashed dry wardrobe. She also had a pair of dry socks. Everything she had worn for our five-mile walk in the rain was wet. She hung it out on various nails and hooks around the shelter, reveling in our luxury of space being the only ones there. read more

Real

August 2, 2017

I got up early this morning eager to meet Janet for a Satori game. It’s quiet, unbusy, and energetically unfettered at this time of day at the Konnarock Basecamp.

My blue puffy jacket keeps the slight chill away from my body. Ginger tea wakes up my belly. Ready.

“I need to pass on the game,” she greets me. “I just need to sit quietly. I hope that’s ok.”

“No.” I respond frankly, then move on quietly into the community kitchen. Inside I fume, “Of course I get stood up! Most people are afraid to get real! She’s just afraid to be with her own life. Afraid to move through her story! And just yesterday she told me how she feels lighter from playing last week. Dang!” read more