August 12, 2018
I’m preparing for a walk and using the Five Essentials for a Radiantly Fulfilling one! Here’s how they’re playing out!
1. Know Your Trail
We chose the New England Trail because John wants to walk all 11 National Scenic Trails. This one is in the Eastern US where we have been this summer. He’s been poring through websites getting information and details, starting with newenglandtrail.org
trailjournals.com and other sites located by googling the trail name.
What we found out is that this trail winds through a narrow corridor on public and private land, crosses three rivers, and is fairly low in elevation. There’s no crossing at the Connecticut River, requiring a shuttle or very long walk around to a bridge – or a boat ride across! He found a detailed guidebook online. A hiker created it and offers it free! It’s very helpful. I found printed maps and ordered them. We’ve been studying the maps and guidebook, putting together a possible itinerary. We want to walk it as a thruhike. One important aspect of this trail is the stated description that “no stealth camping is permitted.” That means investigating off-trail places to stay in addition to the 8 designated on trail shelters and campsites. We estimate 21 days for the 235 miles. John has played for many hours with Google Earth locating services near the trail.
2. Consider Your Timing
We carved out 24 days for this walk between the weeks living with my mom so she can put off moving into assisted living and a week for visiting my grandkids before starting up my seasonal job on October 1. We figure 10 miles a day is a reasonable overall pace. As we start mapping out the possible campsites, hotels, and Air BnBs it looks like that daily pace can work.
3. Love Your Gear
I have to fix a hole at the bottom of my pack! Duct tape for now, as I don’t want to search for a new pack!
I need a long sleeved shirt since my latest one wore out! I search online, look at Goodwill, shop at the nearby Dick’s Sporting Goods and Elder-Beerman. There’s an REI in Springfield, 60 miles away. We drive there and I buy three shirts! At home, I choose one of them to wear for the walk.
I also need a new bra/bathing suit top that hides my “headlamps” and can be worn alone. I spend two hours hunting, starting at Goodwill where I find a possible swimsuit top and Target. Nothing seems right so I go home discouraged. John goes out with me again the next day. We spend a couple of hours revisiting the same stores. John even goes into the dressing room with me. It’s actually kinda fun, more than other bra hunts I’ve had. I get the swimsuit top at Goodwill plus two others at Target. Again, I must choose one for the walk!
Luckily, most other gear is still good from other hikes! We buy new toothbrushes and check out headlamps to replace my work out one. Nothing! The new ones are all big and heavy! We decide that I’ll use the Black Diamond Ion that John has been saving and he’ll take my old, rickety one as backup. I like to wear mine all the time, so it does get use!
4. Magnetize Your Trail Angels
We find a Trailjournals.com journal from “Moose” and get ideas from that. I find a winery on Google Earth near the trail. Maybe we can ask them to camp. There’s a Firehouse in Shuttesbury, a half-mile from the trail. I write an email to the Fire Chief requesting an overnight spot. (No answer yet).
This one will take an Inner Journey, which leads me to ……
5. Have Tools for Your Inner Journey
I was churning inside about the way the overnight options were unfolding. John mapped out spots for each of 19 nights – 8 on trail sites, 3 hotels, and 8 AirBnBs. The tab for this was getting up over $800, a price tag bigger than our usual long-distance hiking trips! Besides, we want to sleep outside! We don’t value the decorative amenities of BnBs that give them their price! Several heated conversations ensue, with charged remarks escalating to, “Sounds like you don’t even want to do this trail!!”
Yikes! Time for a Satori Game to shift this energy. I play a solo game, picking the beliefs “I’m too sick or weak, I can’t trust anyone, I have to work hard, and Life is depressing.”
Ha! No wonder this seemed so paralyzing!
Moving along in the game – a metaphor for my inner journey – I picked New Stories “I have everything I need. I am a powerful manifester” and “I can succeed at anything I want to succeed at.”
Whoa! I have some options here!
I write a status post on Facebook, describing the challenge I was having with the “no stealth camping aspect of this trail.” Within minutes I got comments and likes, providing contacts for
- A current journal for this trail written by a thruhiker who camped every night;
- A shuttle provider for that daunting river crossing;
- An offer for hospitality in an inhospitable section.
By using my tools for Inner Journey work, I had shifted my view of this walk as either an expensive, off-trail-services trudge OR a morally challenging, shameful and sneaky obsession to an applauded, connected, supported and exemplary walk in community! Now that’s what I call radiantly fulfilling!
We have just three more days to prepare, so I’m off to do that. I’ll keep you posted on the journey – both Outer and Inner ones!
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