Click on this link for my album of photos from my week in the Mt Rogers, VA High Country from August 3 – 7, 2017:
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.
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.
July 25, 2017
Is “connection” something that comes to us or something we choose to acknowledge? When the woman walking with me this week said, “I know I’m connected to God, but I just don’t feel it! Maybe when I feel that connection, I’ll feel more confident out here.”
As I walked through the magnificent forest, then out into an open field, I pondered her quandary. “What if we are connected, no matter what, and at any moment we can say, ‘this is what being connected feels like at this moment?'” I wondered out loud. I invited her to walk for the next twenty minutes reflecting on the notion that being connected is constant and foundational. Simply noticing how that feels is the feeling of connection at that moment. I believe that we can choose to ignore, deny, or deepen that connection whenever we want.
July 19, 2017
I haven’t shared a post with you in a while – since the end of my Appalachian Trail walk last year! Indeed, my journey of fulfillment walking in service has definitely continued. I just haven’t shared about it!
I’ll jump right ahead to what’s happening now! I have resumed my job as an Appalachian Trail ridgerunner. As I say to hikers when I meet them on the trail, “Hi, I’m Regina and I’m the Ridgerunner. My job is to talk with hikers – encouraging stewardship of the trail and answering questions about the trail.”
Here’s what I said to a woman struggling to lighten her pack.
“And now, if you’re game for an even deeper exploration, it has helped me immensely to delve into clarifying my purpose for walking. I realized that the trail is a blank canvas on which I paint my own journey, design my own fulfillment. Sure, a popular way to engage with the AT is to backpack long distances. That’s not the only way it can be visited, and, conversely, hiking might not necessarily be the best way to fulfill your dream. It might open up a whole new journey to explore what you’re thinking that hiking the Shenandoah section will provide… ultimately, in my own hiking, I want to create something that makes my heart sing!”
I received a text message from a friend: “My sister and I want to begin a hike at Springer Mountain in mid-July. Do you have maps we can borrow or recommend the best maps?”
My maps are in storage in Virginia while I work out in California! Besides, once you step on the Appalachian Trail, you’ll fall in love with it and want your own set of maps for fanning the flame of your new passion and recording your memories! Here are my recommendations
Maps are helpful for spatial orientation, road crossings, and for locating nearby towns and highway routes. They can also show topography, shelters, and points of interest along the way. I also enjoy perusing a good map for bedtime reading! Here are suggestions for maps for the southern section of the Appalachian Trail:
I encourage my heartsingers to know their purpose for walking the Appalachian Trail, or any journey! Here’s a good example of a stated purpose that a woman posted in a women’s hiking group. To me, it seems alive with feeling, possibility, and anticipated transformation.
“I live in GA and hike on the AT every chance I get…thru to the Smokies. Even tho Its training…I cant wait to start at Springer an rock out each and every milestone of the trail and my life. Crying, Smiling Laughing…emptying the baggage thats held me back for so long!! I NEED EVERY STEP of 2189 miles to tear me down and rebuild me, from the soles of my feet to the soul of my heart!!”
I would feel incomplete if I didnt go from start to finish…
It’s so quiet this morning in this Vermont forest! It’s 7:30 a.m. and I’ve heard just one bird – a bluejay making it’s squeaky one note squawk. And I can’t tell if the almost imperceptable constant chirping sound in the background is insects or tinnitus.
Occasionally, tiny tapping sounds indicate the falling of tree detritus on the tarp or branches further away.
And, there! Distant motor of some kind.
It sure is easy to sleep here, but why is it so quiet?
September 1, 2016
OK. I admit it. I am a perfectionist, at least when it comes to talking about myself. I have been on the Appalachian Trail again since August 9 and I have been too shy to share.
When John and I resumed our walk where we left off on July 6, I wasn’t sure how far I would walk, and that was hard for me to feel, even harder to admit to you!
Both my physical energy and my emotional energy were low. I had had clear symptoms of Lyme Disease. In addition, I believed that all the posting and reaching out I had done on our first section was bothering John. So, I wanted to be invisible and just walk for myself. I wanted to test out my Lyme treatment and sort through my relationship.