Arching

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June 8, 2016
We camped in the vicinity of Pass Mtn which was just north of Thornton Gap, Luray, VA.

Our camp was off the trail on a bed of moss between rocks, a surprisingly good find! I sat on a rock away from the tarp, painting as the sun set, feeling grateful to have this centering, fulfilling experience in which to pour the tensions of the day.

Milemarker

June 15, 2016
Harpers Ferry, WV.

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My heart sings reaching the ATC headquarters with “Hiker John”, free to share the classic hiker photo.

I look back in the archives and find my solo photo,

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2007.

Back then, in October, 2007, I felt awesome having walked over half of the trail. But, I wasn’t ready to claim that I had found a hiking partner. My husband was still at home in Georgia. I believed that the world of the trail and the world of home were separate.¬† What a journey of inner exploration, radical forgiveness, and outward change it’s been during the time between these photos. read more

Trailboss

June 14, 2016
From a campsite north of Raven Rocks, VA to Econolodge in Bolivar, WV, including a short visit at Blackburn Trail Center.

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Crossing the Shenandoah River in the evening on SR 340.

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Mountain Laurel fading

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Red Toad

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Goodbye Virginia! Hello WV

This section of trail is called “The Rollercoaster” because of its quick up and down pattern. Both times I’ve walked this 13-mile stretch I have had strong judgements about that name!

The whole way, I’m grumbling these sentiments: “There’s no coasting whatsoever in the Roller Coaster! Roller coasters are one-way rides. This one has two directions! It would be more accurate to call it Stegasaurus Back Or Rust Saw! Rocks, rocks, rocks make it a diligent dance of danger. Definitely not a roller coaster!!!” read more

Read the Guidebook!

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June 13, 2016
I didn’t notice that the guidebook does say that the “lodge, kitchen, office are open from 5-9 p.m.” in the hostel where we had sent our maildrop box. Hmm. It’s noon, and we got on the trail at 6 a.m. to get here for a rest. There is food in that box to eat for rejuvenation – not available til 5?? Not a happy thought. Hmm.

What a perfect interface between Inner and Outer Journeys!! Click on “Read in browser” to see how this disappointment unfolds into a blessing even better than I had imagined!
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Town Food

June 12, 2016
I can’t eat what most hikers eat! Here’s what we bought at Food Lion in Front Royal to rejuvenate and celebrate completing our first hundred miles of this trip.

First, we did step one of our three step Don’t- Buy-Too-Much-In-Town plan: go in and buy something to eat right now and leave the store. We bought and devoured:

A banana
Two peaches
Four apricots
Two apples
23 oz. Coconut water

Then, we took step two: go in and look and talk about what to buy (actually, we skipped this step this time, and went right to step three: buy food for the town stop). read more

Little Things

June 11, 2016
I have a list of small mishaps that we’ve been able to deal with and keep going. HeartSinging walking reflects how gracefully I can dance with the little things.

**Broken watchband. My cheap fake leather watchband  snapped.  Irritating! The good thing was that I noticed that it had fallen off. I threw away the band and stuck the watchface in my waist pouch where I can still get at it easily. Keep moving!

**Melted food bowl. Drat! My favorite lidded Glad bowl where I rehydrate my food on the trail was NOT microwave safe for repeated uses! I like this solution! We made an extra stop at Food Lion on our way out of Front Royal and bought  small bowl of hummus. The container fits perfectly inside our cooking pot, and the hummus was a fine extra snack for the afternoon. We might even switch to PLANNING it this way, getting hummus to pack out and a new bowl! Keep moving! read more

Goodbye Shenandoah

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June10, 2016
Today, we completed the final¬† miles of our Shenandoah walk. Earlier, we stopped for a few minutes atop Compton Peak, 2909 ft elevation. No more mountains close to 3,000 ft ’til Killington in VT! That’s where this year’s walk ends and we celebrate two traverses of the AT. About 700 miles from here in Front Royal, VA.

My personal high point was a picture of my grandson, five months old today!

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Goodbye Shenandoah!

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In joy,
Regina

Inner Journey

June 8 and 9, 2016
What a beautiful place to be while disappointed! The Skyland Lodge room we had was perfect for our night off the trail! We had mailed our first food drop there, so it was a good place to rent a room, you know, with a bed and bath and clean towels, all that good stuff!

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Really incredible view from the room, especially watching  the storm move across the Shenandoah Valley!

Dinner at the restaurant included trout, asparagus salad, and a big side order of fries! Even my gluten-free preference was accommodated. read more

Gollum Revealed

June 4, 2016
7 a.m. Fog. Ah! Sun breaks through and lights the tree trunks. A restful night opens to a birdsong morning.

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12 p.m. Walking feels good! The trail through Shenandoah Park is gentle, though consistently up amd down. We cross the Skyline Drive every 2 or so miles! I want to call a woman I know who wants to walk just six miles a day to say, “You could do that here, no problem. If you have a car support person to meet you at road crossings, you could do this!”

3 p.m. Well, it’s been great all day, and I see in the guidebook that water and camping limitations mean that we can stop in a couple of miles or in as many as four miles. That gives us a short, easy day or a dubious and maybe long one. THAT’S where the day’s challenge begins! read more

Completion(s)

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June 2, 2016
Today, there were two completions. One was completing our gear packing! All ready to go! That’s completing our journey from our winter season to this hiking season.
The second was completing ridgerunning. Technically, I did that last July, or maybe in January when I declared my intention to do something else. Today’s meeting with the new ridgerunner really FELT like I have moved on from that six-year phase. I am actually happy to be away from the ridgerunning issues! Creating programs, hiking, and visiting my grandson are more appealing! read more