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! read more

Oregon Coast Trail: Rain Day

August 21, 2019

7:56 Zach drops us off by boat on the Netarts Spit. We walk the beach, wondering when the forecasted rain would start. It’s overcast and raining oh so slightly. As we walk, the only ones on the beach today, my mind wanders to the rhythm of my feet.

This is our eighth day of hiking and I have noticed some inconveniences – I’m tired from our long days of walking, ready for a rest day; my sandals aren’t working so great because they rub a couple of toes raw. I do have gauze tape which helps; Its windy and starting to rain making walking a little uncomfortable. read more

Oregon Coast Trail: Visitors

August 17, 2019

Fourth day on the trail.

We got out from the Hiker camp on Tillamook Head at the leisurely hour of 9 a.m. It was raining oh so lightly. We took off our rain jackets, even! Our morning walk continued another two miles through the forest, descending to the beach at Ecola State Park. The trail going north from Ecola State Park is gentle and wide, a good one for a day hike to Tillamook Head. By contrast, the connecting trail to Cannon Beach, our next one, is closed! Washed out, I understand. That means a two-mile road walk on the state park road. I think we chose the busiest time to walk there-10 a.m. on Saturday morning! We hugged the left side and tried to be visible to drivers. Success! read more

Oregon Coast Trail: Tillamook

August 16,

The landmark we had approached for two days was now underfoot. Rounding the ridge of Tillamook Head we heard a wondrous sound. Here, from within the cathedral of spruce and fir, a chorus of sea lions resonated! Ocean and forest meet!

As we climbed the forest path of Tillamook Head, generously and thoughtfully preserved by Marie Louise Feldenheimer in the 1970’s, I recalled other forests of majestic trees I have walked – Washington on the Pacific Crest Trail, Joyce Kilmer in Tennessee, Mt. Rogers in Virginia, even the tiny 60-acre Wesselman Woods in Evansville, Indiana.  In all of them, the ancient trees, wide and tall, filled me with awe at the ability of plants to grow so huge! We rounded the ridge to the surf side and there I experienced something none of these other forests had provided – the barking of sea lions! A little ways out from shore, is a rock capped with a light house. With my binoculars I could just barely make out the movement of the silhouettes of sea lions. read more

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!” read more

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. read more

Journey to the Oregon Coast Starts Today!

August 10, 2019

We’re headed to Oregon!

Today, John and I will wrap things up in Ohio and begin our cross-country drive to Oregon. John has been researching the Oregon Coast Trail (OCT), learning that it’s quite different from the Eastern US trails we’ve walked!

  • It’s relatively level
  • It goes through or near towns frequently
  • Many state parks along the way have sites for hikers
  • It frequently follows a road
  • It’s along the coast, which means beach walking!

We still have to choose our gear. We’ll probably take the free-standing tent rather than my all-time favorite tarp because it will set up more easily on the beach. We’re also discussing whether or not to take a stove. It could be difficult to find canister fuel, although the tiny stove itself is lightweight and easy to carry, so we might just have it in reserve. We’re counting on having lots of wind, so will be sure to have our windshirts or rainjackets. I’ll keep you posted on our other gear choices! read more

Regina’s Favorite Pouch

https://forgivenesswalks.com/ReginasPouch

One piece of gear I love is my waist pouch. In fact, it’s not just hiking gear, it’s become everyday wear! Yes, it may not be the most stylish accessory, but hey, style hasn’t been a priority of mine. Usefulness wins!

What’s useful about a waist pouch is that my essential items are safe and always available!

Here’s what I keep in my waist pouch:

  • Phone
  • Credit cards
  • Cash
  • Notebook
  • Tiny journal tools
  • Toothbrush
  • Tiny bottles of essential oils
  • Dental floss
  • Tiny Pocket knife
  • Extra phone batteries
  • Ear buds
  • Pens
  • A copy of The 13 Steps
  • A spoon
  • Lighter
  • Thumbdrive
  • Needle & pins

This is a long list of items, right? The key is to have tiny versions of each thing!

And, my favorite pouch so far is the Eagle Creek Wayfinder or the Eagle Creek Tailfeather. read more

Can’t Go Outside?

July 29, 2019

I read a post today from a woman anxious to get outside while recovering from a car accident. “I miss my outdoors,” she laments. I agree, when we feel utterly nourished by walking in Nature, it’s debilitating to stay inside!

The same feeling predominates while we are waiting for our time for a long hike. Will the start date for our thruhike ever come?!!

I used to believe that the trail and the rest of my life were two separate worlds. While walking the Appalachian Trail, I acted as if my life on the trail, my trail relationships, and my daily activities there could never coincide with my life in Atlanta. I thought that I was either on the trail or off the trail and that there was no overlap. I yearned for the trail in between walks, thinking that my life at home just wasn’t fulfilling and that only hiking could give me the vibrant radiance I experienced on the trail. read more

Breathing Out

July 25, 2019

Yesterday, I walked up Stone Mountain near Atlanta, Georgia, with a dear friend who is working on strengthening her body for a trip to Aspen, Colorado. I encouraged her to focus on breathing out when trying to have more air for climbing. It seems counter-intuitive to consciously get rid of air when I want more air! However, breathing works in a vacuum, so the more I can empty my lungs of stale breath, the more fresh, oxygenated air flows in without effort!

Two nights ago, I played the Radical Forgiveness board game, Satori, with four courageous women in Atlanta. It was a spontaneous game, organized that same day when I realized I had the evening free and knew of a woman who has wanted to play this powerful game for two years! read more