Oregon Coast Trail: Journal Anthology

September 29, 2019

“Done is better than perfect”

Read my Oregon Coast Trail anthology:
Oregon Coast Trail Beach Walking Discovery

Since John and I completed the Oregon Coast Trail and drove south through  California to Borrego Springs and our winter home at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, I’ve been compiling the blogposts that I wrote during our journey. I’ve edited the glaring errors caused by “autocorrect” and attempted to arrange the content and pictures in a book draft form.

It’s not perfect and I wanted to send it to you in case you’d like to read it as an anthology of my journal of the walk.   I’m willing to let this go for now because today I start my sixth season as Park Interpretive Specialist at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park!  There will be plenty of projects to work on there!

Here’s the link for Oregon Coast Trail Beach Walking Discovery! As always, I would love to hear your responses! So, hit reply when you’re finished reading and comment or send me a quick email at regina@forgivenesswalks.com or even better a long email that shares what’s going on with you on your journey!  I walk in service!

 

In joy,

Regina

P.S. I you’re the proof reading and editing type, let me know! I can share an editable copy with you!

 

Oregon Coast Trail: Amanda

August 28, 2019

Although I have been disappointed by the roadwalking along 101, my suffering pales to that of Amanda, the Yachats woman, and the thousands of others, who were cheated out of their homeland here, tortured, murdered, and forced to walk along the lava rock coast to an encampment. It would have taken great foresight to preserve a natural coastal corridor for our trail, yes. Even better would have been to ratify the treaty in 1855 giving the original people their twenty-mile wide coastal area.

Today’s walk took us off of US101 for quite a number of trail miles. Trail advocates had arranged for several miles of the trail to wind around through the coast houses, vacation homes, and resorts. The route is called The 804. On this day, it was well-populated with day walkers enjoying the cliff lands, staying back from the edge where signs warned of fragile cliffs, and a memorial reminds us that two “strong young men” had been swept off to drown by a “sneaker wave”. We stayed back and watched the crashing surf billow over the rocks.

The 804 Trail

Stay back!

Later, another trail wound up a steep hill on the east side of the highway. The signs admonished us to respect this private land where we had permission to walk on “Amanda’s Trail” to Cape Perpetua. Along the way, we visited the statue commemorating Amanda, the Yachats woman who had been forced away from her daughter and white, unmarried spouse when the cavalry came to drive off the native people in the 1850’s. No one knows if she lived or died, but her story reminds us of the genocide our America has perpetrated more than once.

Amanda now adorned

We talk somberly about the topic as we climb the rest of the mountain to another period monument at the crest of Cape Perpetua – a CCC rock shelter.

Cape Perpetua Rock Shelter: window to a gray sunset

By this time, it’s late afternoon, and we still have a few miles to go to the Cape Perpetua Campground. The overlook is suddenly rain, dark, and windy so we don our rain jackets and hats. Twenty minutes later, we’re peeling them off because it’s dry and warm below! We learn that this effect is peculiar to the high elevation spruce forest that traps moisture that drops off the trees like rain!

We descend quickly, and soon drop off into the USFS campground, our destination for the night. We see the Hiker-Biker site listed and head for it. However, we meet the campground manager on our way. He takes our ten bucks and we walk back to site #11, unusually far from the entrance, but closer than our other option, site #29A!

To our dismay, though, Site #11 is literally a blocked car slip with a picnic table on it next to a ten-foot wide strip of grass. Although we look at other sites, we decide to stay there, grumbling about the layout. I held my tongue, but wanted to say, “We come without a car, so we get to BE a car and have our table in the parking slip.” I add this to my growing list of quandaries for the makers of this trail. Just what are/were they thinking hikers are like? I sleep with my hat pulled over my eyes to block out the headlights that go by during the night. It’s yet another chance for me to do The Thirteen Steps to Radical Forgiveness. Grateful for the tool, I choose peace.

Parked table at site#11

Oregon Coast Trail: Whale of a Day

August 25, 2019

On which we walked big miles, made a big leap in our thruhiking style, and saw some really big creatures!

Adding a few more words or phrases to the words above, like in one of those grammar games, we walked something like sixteen miles, starting our day at 5 a.m. at Devil’s Lake State Park and ending at 7:30 p.m. at Beverly Beach State Park. We made a big leap in our thruhiking style by catching the Lincoln County bus to skip four miles of walking on US 101 between Taft and Gleneden, making our day’s trip miles jump to 20. And, for our first time on this trip and over several hours of our day, from Boiler Bay south to Cape Foulweather, we saw whales – Gray Whales! Mostly, we saw the spouts of water sprayed from whales, and sometimes the backs of whales, to the tune of about 20 sightings in four to six spots along the coast. We just caught a glimpse of one whale between two houses as we walked down residential Coast Street in the southern streets of Depoe Bay. It was a whale of a day!

Other highlights include:

  • Walking into the sunrise on the beach. We had to walk 3 miles down the beach to the bus stop in Taft to catch the 7:30 a.m. bus. A blessing, really.
  • Meeting a winter resident of Palm Springs, CA (near us in Borrego Springs) at the park in Gleneden as we cooked our oatmeal and kale breakfast after our 7:30 a.m. bus ride.
  • Stopping for “the best of the best” latte at Pirate Coffee in, guess what, Pirate Cove! I’m not a good judge of coffee, but it was a nice stop on a windy day!
  • Visiting the Oregon State Parks Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay where we saw more whales and I got an idea for an activity for the Visitor Center at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park where I’ll be from October through May.
  • There was a stretch of roadwalk along Otter Crest Drive that actually had a dedicated pedestrian/bike lane, a single one-way lane for cars, signs identifying bikes and walkers, and a 20 mph speed limit. We felt gratefully accommodated in the transportation corridor for three whole miles!
  • Several stretches along US 101 today had dirt trail built off the shoulder, sometimes behind the guardrail or through the nearby vegetation. We noticed that it coincided with a utility line. We were grateful that we could share that space! In one of my many Radical Forgiveness moments of this journey, I noticed the irony of celebrating a powerline.
  • I was tired and cranky on our last 2-mile beach walk of the day, but grateful to reach Beverly Beach State Park to find the nice storage boxes with receptacles for phone charging in the Hiker-Biker campsite. Another irony of hiking all day – too worn out to fully integrate the beauty I came to enjoy!

This was our 12th day in the Oregon Coast Trail, 138 miles from our starting point.

Boiler Bay, Sighting our first grey whales

Taft, OR Historic District at dawn

Whale Cove Overlook where we saw whales and harbor seals too!

Oregon Coast Trail: Stamina

August 24, 2019

I awoke with gratitude for being in the quiet green spaciousness of the Cascade Head rainforest. Our choice to stop our forced march to the Sea Echo Motel in Lincoln City and sleep in this forest was a good one! This is what we needed! The stop also broke up our road walk on US 101 into two days instead of one very long, arduous one! With my spirit renewed by a night in the woods, I could bolster my courage and tolerance and walk on the road again. We still had 3.7 miles to go to Lincoln City, where we could shop at Safeway and return to the beach for a short walk to Devil’s Lake State Park Campground. We got away from our camp at a leisurely 8:40 a.m. We still had an hour’s walk in the forest. This time, I paid attention to its beauty!

About 9:30 we reached US 101, resuming our walk on the shoulder. An hour later, John noticed Clancy Road, which Bonnie had noted in her Dayhikers Guide as a short cut to the beach. We followed the road about 20 minutes to her cryptic description of a gate, then a trail, but stopped short of walking through private property. We simply weren’t willing to do it! We retraced our steps on Clancy Road, picking a handful of ripe blackberries on our way, and got back on US 101. At least we had tried!

At 11:25 we passed the Neotsu Post Office. Across the street I spied a golf course. “Maybe we could walk along the edge and avoid some of 101,” I suggested. We tried it and boldly started walking along the golf cart road toward the south side of the golf course. No one seemed to mind. A few minutes later, we heard, “What are you doing here?” A man wearing a white hat lettered Chinook Winds Resort pulled up in his golf cart. “Good! Someone who can direct us!” I called cheerfully. “We’re trying to stay off 101 and get over there!” I pointed to the next busy intersection. “Well, you can’t be here! Keep moving! Golfers are coming!” He snapped. We kept moving. Another golfer came along and we asked him for clearer directions. He gave them kindly, and we walked directly through the course on the cart road and out into the neighborhood, freed again from 101 for half a mile. Within ten minutes we reached Safeway, a safe place for us to be. There, we knew we were welcome to shop and eat a tasty lunch of guacamole, red pepper, lettuce, and fresh strawberries. Then, we shopped again for our food for the next 24 hours.

At 1:45 we were back on the road again, looking for the beach access at the Chinook Winds Casino. We found it quickly, along with the noisy rock band and crowd enjoying a car show. We ignored all that and headed to the beach! Two hours later, we ambled through the beach crowds to leave the beach at D River, “The Shortest River”, according to the signs, and walk north for one last bit on US 101 to the entrance to Devil’s Lake State Park Campground. Soon, we were all set up at the Hiker Biker site, with four others.
We had arrived so early, I had time to shower and wash out my clothes!

We were still hiking, undefeated by the challenging roadwalking on US 101!  John made no further mention of his idea to leave the trail. I was glad I had made no response to his frustrated threat yesterday. Tomorrow, we would be on the trail again after a good rest!

Oregon Coast Trail: Water Shuttles

August 21, 2019

“$40 cash would make that happen” I heard the voice on the phone say. John was arranging a shuttle across Netarts Bay with Zach at Big Spruce RV. This would be our third water shuttle in three days on our walk of the Oregon Coast Trail. It was 1 o’clock in the afternoon and Netarts was about 8 miles away. Not bad. We could make it. What John and Zach had arranged was a site for the night at his RV park and a shuttle across the bay in the morning, about a quarter of a mile ride. That was great because having a known place to camp plus the shuttle were two essential services we needed!

This business of water shuttles is something new for me on a long distance trail, except for the Kennebec River ferry on the Appalachian Trail in Maine. That one, however, requires nothing of hikers but to show up at the riverside during operating hours with the small fee in hand. On this trail, we must call and schedule our rides, once we find out whom to call. John has gotten names from Dayhiking Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson.
Our ride from Zach was at 7:30 a.m. on our eighth day. He was able to add it to his morning of renting that boat out to a crabbing customer (No, I did not say crabby customer!).

Our first water shuttle was easier! That one, provided by Jetty Fisheries at the Nehalem Jetty, had us finding landmarks like on a treasure map. John called them the day before and I heard the voice say, “Come to the river side of the bay and look for the American flag. Then, you’ll see the little yellow building. Across the river from there, you’ll find a couple of tall posts. That’s where you call us and we’ll come over and get you.” Worked like a charm! On the morning of our sixth day we walked two miles down the trail to the North Jetty from Nehalem State Park where we had camped the night before. As we left the trees along the dune and reached the channel flowing between the bay and the ocean, we looked inland and saw the flag! We walked toward it and when we could make out the buildings, we saw the small yellow shed on the dock. Picking up our pace along the beach we soon saw three bleached tree trunks, like flag poles sticking up out of the ground. One was emblazoned with streamers and a pirate-themed flag. And, just as planned, John called, and within ten minutes, our pilot motored over the 100 yards to pick us up. He dropped us off at the Jetty Fisheries dock where we could see their bustling business of selling crab dinners and renting out boats. In the store, we paid our $20 shuttle fee and bought some snacks. Success!

Now, you’re wondering why we’d go to the trouble of hiring these shuttles? Well, this one saved us a 5-mile road walk around the bay. This way was lots more fun and kept us walking along the beach, not the road!

The second shuttle we took, thanks to John’s research, was easy and smooth as well. In the crabbing town of Garibaldi, he called the Garibaldi Marina, a private marina that serves the public. John had arranged a 10 a.m. shuttle with them for $30. We arrived in Garibaldi before 8 a.m. having left our campsite at Barview Jetty County Campground by 6:30 a.m. Instead of walking on the road, we followed the railroad bed and found that much more scenic and safe.

In Garibaldi, we found picnic tables all around the public parking area. A shaded one was a perfect place to cook our oatmeal for breakfast. Afterwards, we walked along the block next to the marina and found the office for Garibaldi Marina. We checked in with Jeff who agreed on our ten o’clock time. We had plenty of time to walk to the local market and pick up our food for the next couple of days. We included half a cantaloupe, which we ate at one of several tables installed around the docks. What a pleasant town for us!

Right at 10:00, we’re sitting in the boat with life vests buckled, ready for our shuttle. 15 minutes later, Jeff is ready to go back to the marina, only delayed by Rose, one of his Labrador dogs who fancied playing on the sand on the far side of Tillamook Bay more than riding in the boat with Jeff. We say our goodbyes, then happily walk off to the beach side of the spit, giving us a far more scenic walk than an 18-mile roadwalk around the bay. What we missed by taking the boat shuttle was the famous tour of the Tillamook Creamery! That could wait, we figure!

One caveat for the Garibaldi Marina service, though, might make a hiker consider going southbound. John asked, “How do you pick up someone from the south side”? Jeff’s answer? “We don’t!”

Oregon Coast Trail: Underway

Favorite Tide Table book on the northern coast.

We slept in the van, across the parking lot from the trash compactor!

Classic landmark of Fort Stevens State Park is the wreck of the Peter Iredale

One of our first Oregon Coast Trail posts

South Jetty of the Columbia River, northern terminus of the Oregon Coast Trail

Our journey starts by walking north on the beach in Fort Stevens State Park

August 14, 2019

Our first three miles of the Oregon Coast Trail is a shakedown for the rest of the trip.

The Fort Stevens State Park staff who registered us for the Hiker Biker Site said we could park our van there for the extent of our trip! They are really supporting us as hikers, including providing a secure parking space for the whole month we’ll be on the trail! As we wandered around the back lot behind the employee area where we understood we could park, a smiling park staff said, “Can I help you?” She excitedly pointed us to the correct spot, delighted to have Oregon Coast Trail hikers. She also answered our query about where to get a tide table, a necessity for hiking the coast, with directions to Bornstein’s Fish Market, “the place with the best tide table – and good food too!”

We found it, checked out our campsite, shopped for afternoon snacks at Fred Meyer in Warrenton, then packed our packs. From the van, I joined a group mastermind call with my mentor, Connie Ragen Green, then we drove back to the campground. About 2 p.m. we started walking.

The northern terminus is 3 miles north of the campground, so we headed that direction. The flat beach walking went quickly, and we reached the South Jetty about 4 p.m.

“Look!” John said. “Elk!” They were on the beach, just where we had climbed the dunes to walk to the jetty! They stayed for just a minute, then dashed back up the dune. Perhaps this is a good totem for our walk, a symbolic beginning for our month-long walk!

At 4:30, we started south, our official hiking direction! We took an alternate route back to the campground, however, lured by the mystique of walking on the dunes. 2 miles of sharp grass later, we now know that we prefer a beach walk.

7 p.m. saw us back at the campsite for our last night sleeping in the “Old Gold Van”, my grandson’s name for the faded Honda Odyssey that serves as our transportation and rv. Simple as it is, it feels like home.

One amusing feature of our spot was its proximity to the campground trash compactor! We were happy that campers did stop visiting it after dark, so we didn’t have to hear the whirring, crunching machine through the night!

Morning brought time for an oatmeal breakfast and a last check of our gear. I decided to carry both my new sandals and my trail runners, not sure if one choice can accommodate the varied terrain we’ll encounter on this walk. I’ll keep you posted on that!

Our walk away from the campsite and van parking was slowed by making new friends -one of the best features of hiking. At the campground, four cyclists from around the world chatted. The couple from Australia said, “Please come stay with us in Perth! People here have been such fabulous support! We want to return the favor!” At the Park employee area, we chatted with the folks there, verifying our parking spot and getting a friendly sendoff and requests for my blog address. Well, if you’re reading this, you’ve got it! I’ll post when I can, with both good connectivity and a clear brain for writing. Walking days are usually so full of sensory and emotional experiences as well as physical expenditure that I’m ready to rest and sort things out at the end of the day! Thanks for reading! I’ll do my best to keep you apprised of my outer and inner journeys!!

Oregon Coast Trail: First Day

August 15, 2019

I walked all day along the beach and didn’t have to turn back.

Last Spring, while walking on the beach in San Diego, I wondered what it would be like to just keep walking along the coast, all the way to Washington. Today, on our first full day on the coast of Oregon, I got a taste of that! I liked it! Of course, this beach, from Fort Stevens State Park to the town of Seaside, may be unique with its pure brown sand and no shells or rocks. I wore my new sandals and enjoyed them as I walked in and out of the surf. I did have a break in issue with abrasions on the second for of each foot. I taped them up with the sports tape in my pack, which isn’t as good as the self-stick gauze. I’ll have to get some. This is exactly the reason I decided to carry two pairs of shoes! I haven’t decided which is best for the mixed terrain of this walk. I switched to my trailrunners and socks for the last couple of miles. They were so much better on the dune leaving the beach and the two miles of road walk through Seaside.

Sketch of Tillamook Head

Sand Dollars!

Tillamook Head, our destination for tomorrow!

Digging Crustaceans from the beach

On the beach, we found whole sand dollars, huge driftwood tree trunks, little crustaceans with rounded shell backs and a single sharp digger, and lots of dead crabs. Ravens and seagulls picked them apart. All day we walked closer toward the silhouette of distant cliffs. Is that Tillamook Head, our destination for tomorrow? If so, it’s about 15 miles away. I’m aiming to do at least one simple drawing each day as a deepening exercise on this walk. Today, I chose the Tillamook Head prominence in the distance for my subject. Most of the beach today, from the Pete Iredale shipwreck where we started, to the south end of Sunset beach past 10th Ave in Gearhart, the beach is open to vehicles. There weren’t a lot of vehicles passing us until afternoon. As long as we stayed next to the surf, we didn’t have any issues with them. I was glad to be walking, though and not concerned about getting stuck!  About 6 p.m. we walked up to the Seaside Hostel, our resting spot for the night. The $99 price for a private room seemed steep until we enjoyed the true value of the place – use of the kitchen, fresh lettuce and onions from the garden, a quiet sitting room, and the company of other guests. Oh, and pancakes for breakfast in the morning!

 

 

 

 

Big Sur and Dreams

June 7, 2019

One refreshing and challenging aspect of my partnership with Hiker John is that he takes  me to new places! This week’s place was an area of California that’s completely different from the desert! Big Sur. Meaning the big south, it’s the 90-mile stretch of the Pacific Coast between San Simeon and Carmel, South of San Francisco and 350 miles north of Los Angeles.  It’s uniquely rocky and steep, craggy oak covered mountains plummeting down to crashing breakers, broken by short stretches of sandy beaches.

Steep canyons thick with trees protect crystal streams that flow into the surf.  We camped four nights – at San Simeon Creek and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Parks and at USFS Plaskett Creek Campground. All were within 60 miles along California Coast Highway 1. In between San Simeon and Pfeiffer Big Sur we stopped for quick visits and short walks in several public areas: Elephant Seal Viewing area, Piedras Blancas, Salmon Creek Falls, Willow Creek, Mill Creek, Nacimiento-Ferguson Road, Kirk Creek, McWay Falls, and Sand Dollar Beach. North of our camp at Pfeiffer Big Sur, we also took one side trip to Andrew Molera State Park.  Each stop and walk had its own unique combinations of beach, rocks, streams, canyons, and even a vista above the “Marine Layer” of fog seen from atop the ridge of the Nacimiento Road.

What stands out for me most about this quick trip of short stops was the diversity of new plants and animals for me combined with the dramatic ruggedness of the cliffs. My list of new organisms includes Elephant Seals, California Condors, and Coastal Redwood trees. On our southerly return to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, we stopped at Morro Bay and added Sea Otters and Perigrine Falcons to my Life List!

On our first full day, we took a half-day cultural visit as well. Just north of San Simeon State Park is the William Randolf Hearst Castle. The $25 price tag for a tour of just one area of the castle seemed steep until I caught sight of the regal edifice capping a mountain from the tour bus that wound its way up for fifteen minutes!  I had innocently agreed to take the tour with John with no foreknowledge of the magnitude of the Hearst Castle, an elaborate Mediterranean village and column-lined pool, dripping with millions of dollars worth of Mediterranean sculptures, paintings, tapestries, and whole carved, gold-gilded ceilings. Glamorous Opulence could describe it in a couple of words.

Although the interpretation from our docent emphasized the social ambiance of the constant stream of celebrity guests, peaceful retreats for creative legends, and the flexibility of iconic architect Julia Morgan, something else struck me. The place was constantly under construction – for 28 years, halted and never finished at Hearst’s death in 1948. Having lived in an old house being renovated, I remember the nagging incompleteness and feeling of never-ending camping! Although today the place is quiet and stunning, I doubt it was so when it was a living place.

Another irony I experienced during our two-hour visit was that the castle, renowned for its festive, elegant life, alive with parties, bootlegged spirits, splendid dinners, and sports is now a nonliving museum showpiece, protected fastidiously, as it should be! Only water is permitted. No food or beverages. I was scolded by a docent for sucking on a cough drop while resting on a chair on the patio after our tour. “Are you eating something?” She interrogated me. “No food!” Busted. And hungry ’til we got back to our car forty minutes later. The documentary film about the castle encourages each of us to emulate Hearst and “build our dreams.” I reflected on this idea, wondering what the world could be if everyone built their dream. It seemed preposterous that there could be so many mansions, until I realized that dreams can take many forms, many less elaborate homes, works of art, gardens. Even public housing was someone’s dream! Or roads! Preserved Redwood Forests and beaches covered with slumbering seals, and undisturbed vistas. Dreams can be creations without substance like walks or dances or music, mathmatical solutions to the Universe or a feeling of peace in the place of turmoil transformed. Hearst Castle, modeled in physical grandeur, is a one kind of dream. Dreams can take so many forms!

My dream is to prosper enticing others to come outside where they can discover themselves as a vibrant column of energy moving between Heaven and Earth, love themselves just as they are, and step courageously into THEIR unique dream.

  • What IS that dream of yours? Hit reply and share it with me!

I heard from Mary, one of my successful hike coaching women! Mary’s dream is to fill her next class, Resolving Grief, with courageous people seeking comfort and resolution in a challenging life transition. Mary has helped me many times to see a different perspective and look at how my way of being either limits or expands what is possible! See this one for yourself! https://yippeelifecoach.com/grief

  • Feel free to share YOUR dream with meand the Forgivenesswalks Community! Reply now!

In joy!

Regina

Coastal Redwoods tower at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Elephant Seals slumbering near Piedras Blancas

 

Smooth rocks and crashing surf at Sand Dollar Beach.

What If?

January 31, 2018

My Super Blue Blood Moon experience today filled my senses with awe and my soul with awakening! A few days ago I realized that the view I would get from my employee housing here at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park would limit my experience to just the beginning of the totality phase of the eclipse. “That’s not good enough!” I declared. As a creator of fulfillment (in difference to a settler for whatever comes), I asked, “Where can I go to get the fullest eclipse experience? I need to be able to see the horizon!” Where better to see the western horizon than the west coast!

I proposed to my partner, John, “How about if we camp on Tuesday night at one of our State Beaches? That way, we could get to see the most of the eclipse!” To my surprise, at least to the surprise of my Old Story that “John never wants to do my ideas” he said “Sure. That sounds good!”

The timing was perfect because Tuesday and Wednesday are our days off. I complicated things, however, by agreeing to do programs at the Visitor Center on both Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening. (Would someone please remind me next time I schedule my month that even though I love doing programs, skipping days off is a great way to burn out!) Anyway, we arrived at our campsite at San Elijo State Beach, about two hours from home, just after dark, with the almost full moon beaming down on us. We took a walk on the beach in the bright moonlight and set the alarm for 3:30 a.m.

To my delight, I could see the beginning of the partial eclipse through the van window! I could take my time getting up out of the warm covers and heading back out to the beach. At 4:00 a.m. we grabbed our lawn chairs and returned to the beach. That’s when the feeling that this, indeed, could be a moment of completion and new beginning, stirred for me. As we walked in the soft red dark of the total eclipse, I stretched into boldly communicating my sense that this moment could provide a “new light” on our relationship.

You might recall that last week I wrote of our 10th anniversary of completing the Appalachian Trail and how it was marked by John declaring that he thought breaking up was our best strategy for going forward. All week, in true Satori fashion, I noticed the beliefs that were coming up. I played a Satori Game that invited me to stop feeding my Old Story of fear of closeness, being invisible, and keeping my light to myself.

“John,” I said, as we picked our way across the smooth stones in the sand, “I want to start being more open with you about how I’m really feeling and what I’m thinking and doing. I want to let you in on what I’m doing in my business and to put energy into creating a summer occupation that really does fulfill both of us!” You see, earlier that morning we had a strained conversation about what John wants to do this summer. The result was a brand new Visioning Brainstorm Map of all the ideas that we had. He has some pretty exciting ideas! I realized that there really are several alternatives to my idea of returning to Virginia for another season of Ridgerunning, which John isn’t thrilled about.

As the moonlight returned, I had a palpable feeling that my new beginning could truly start now! My boldness, openness, and authentic sharing actually felt pretty good. The “cleansed and resurfaced” moon was a metaphor for my own overshadowing and refreshing of behaviors and beliefs.

I would like to report that everything has gone smoothly and we are both now talking freely, creatively, and joyfully about bold, fresh choices and that would be false. We did keep talking most of the day, with one bout of tenseness when he accused me of stifling his expression of feelings. I was able to sincerely listen, affirming my commitment to visioning a mutually fulfilling summer.

My celebration of this amazing moon event climaxed with a lighthearted program with 57 visitors for the purpose of watching the magnificent moon rise! The moon’s confident, fresh countenace illuminated my soul with my clear purpose of enticing others to come outside and feel their connection with Earth and Spirit. Many participants thanked me for a fun and informative event. “I loved listening to you!” one woman said.

I’m up late, still buzzing from the inner stirring from this dance with the Moon!

What I’m taking into my sleep – if I can get to sleep – is

“What if this boldness, clarity, and fresh illumination can light up a thrilling adventure? What if this summer can truly be the summer that I magnify the dream I conceived ten years ago when I finished not just the Appalachian Trail but the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) as well? What if my declaration to earn my living hiking that spurred me on at the northern terminus of the PCT is ready to take on a fresh glow this summer?”

One of John’s ideas is to return to the Pacific Crest Trail and walk the northern half. What if I co-created that with him? What if everything I’ve done in the past nine years to build Forgiveness Walks could be unleashed and offered to generate the funds and the community to support this walk? What if it’s time to fulfill a new version of “hiking for my living?” That thought thrills me, like the returning light of the Moon. What if I let this light shine?

Job Advice Please

January 21, 2018

Summer is coming! Every year for the past seven years, the ATC offers me a ridgerunning job!  I love that job! It’s work I enjoy doing and feel good at, and the venue is the absolute best for me. It’s in the dream job category of getting paid to do something I love doing. Here’s the catch, though. As the years go on, I want to add another description to the “what I love doing” category.  I want to add, “supporting, inspiring, coaching others to create radiantly fulfilling walks” to my list of job duties.

Ridgerunning doesn’t include that as one of my duties, although many hikers have received emotional support and coaching for their journey by talking with the me as the ridgerunner.  When I have those kinds of conversations with hikers, it would be sooo easy to go beyond the scope of my representation of the ATC and into my Forgiveness Walks role.  I’m very careful about steering clear of that, and have kept the handful of summer coaching sessions and classes to my days off.  No question about that.

Each year, I have more conversations that urge me to entice hikers to focus on their Inner Journey. I am convinced that Inner Journey work is needed in the hiking community.  I walk up favorite mountains imagining retreats, meditations, 13-Steps processes with guidance for hikers in using tools for introspection, charging their energy, clearing out old emotional baggage, meeting each mountain with balanced energy and choice.  I have a job mapped out in my head, with pages of notes describing my programs. I have been working with a business coach to learn systems and habits of successful entrepreneurs. In my mind, Forgiveness Walks could be my fulltime job.  I even talked about doing that a couple of years ago when I took a summer off ridgerunning.  I started out on my hiking summer with John promoting a group coaching program. I gave it up when we didn’t see eye to eye (or foot to foot, I suppose for hikers!) about how to adapt our pace to my “walk in service” vision.

But, the call to “walk in service” is still calling!  With Facebook, especially in a women’s hiking group of over ten thousand members, the conversations continue, in greater numbers, and with more clarity about how transformative and strengthening women’s walks could be when they have tools for turning their troubles into blessings.  I can help with that!

The question is, is that NOW?  Is it time to open the doors to Forgiveness Walks NOW (as in summer 2018)?  Instead of working another season at Ridgerunning?  In addition to Ridgerunning?  In another fashion altogether?  (I’m always open to at least three choices!)

When January ends, I will have chosen.  I know it. I have chosen clearly for the past seven years.

I am open to your suggestions and comments!

Hit reply and let ’em fly!

Thanks!

Celebrate on a Mountaintop!

Ridgerunning provided the model for my logo!