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

Thruhiker Celebrity?

“Thruhikers are celebrities!” I read that in a women’s hiking group and chuckled. I don’t feel special! I walked the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia within a year’s time, so I am a thruhiker.

As a thruhiker, how I know about myself is that I fulfilled my dream of being able to say, “I walked the AT”. I feel true to myself, that I listened to my heart and did what it took to walk one day at a time – and keep walking! So, if doing that makes me a celebrity, great. More than fame, however, what I want to do is entice others to create their own walks wherever they are, on the Appalachian Trail or in the neighborhood park! I want to help you discern what your equivalent of the Appalachian Trail is and step into fulfilling that dream! read more

Maps for the Appalachian Trail near Springer Mtn., GA

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

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: read more

Katahdin Anniversary

June 27, 2016
Today is my nine-year anniversay of my first summit of Mt Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, in Maine!

What a day that was! I was astounded at the arduous terrain of the mountain, surprised at the boulder climbing and the 10-hour trek to get up – and down!

Now I know that Mt Katahdin is in the top five most difficult parts of the trail, too! But, I’m so glad I did my thruhike  that way because I got the hard stuff out of the  way first!

I’ve gone back to climb it again – eight other times! If you haven’t watched my video of Mt Katahdin, watch it here! read more

Important Details

A dreaming Pacific Crest Trail hiker posed this question in a women’s hiking forum: “When & where will you start? how long have you been planning? Would you share some of your plans/knowlege… I’m so nervous I feel I will leave some important detail out.”
She’s touching on one of the Five Essentials in the Guiding Star for Radiant Hiking, and that’s TIMING. Timing is essential in many aspects of our fulfilling walks. When we consider our hike in our life, the timing in the seasons, the timing of each section, in our daily pace, and even in the timing of each step, we can fashion a walk that builds from the inside out, one that takes outer shape from our inner intention. Our hike becomes an expression of our purpose and our physical and spiritual rhythm. read more

Winter Walk In Pennsylvania

Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail
January 2 – 22, 2014

What a lovely walk John and I had for 6 days in the snowy mountains of Pennsylvania! Enjoy this 5-minute slide show featuring Barbara Hotz singing “Wild Wind” and a few words of explanation from me! Highlights of this walk included:

  • Super Trail Angel help from my sister, Betsy!
  • Fireplaces with split wood in every shelter!
  • Beautiful snow starting the second day!
  • Crisp, cold, fresh water from mountain streams
  • Moderate walking on a well-marked trail
  • read more

    Let’s Meet at the Next Trailhead

    The journey that I’m on now has a name – Journey to the HeartLand – for its significance in my life. I thought that this one would be different than other trail walks I have done. Wouldn’t an off-trail journey be different than a month on the Benton MacKaye Trail or on the Appalachian Trail?

    What I’m discovering is that this journey has the same essentials for success as a walk on a physical trail.

    • Know the trail – I’ve got the road map for our class topics
    • Consider the timing – Well, 7 a.m. might be a little early for some participants!
    • Love my gear – I’ve had technology challenges that I’m stepping through one at a time.
    • Have support – Thanks to my friends who are sharing their home, my partner, my sister, and the participants themselves for their understanding and flexibility while we get our journey underway.
    • Have tools for shifting emotional energy – Well, that’s what this journey is all about! What I’m teaching in this course are the exact tools I’m using to navigate the journey myself! Perfect!

    During our first week, we’ve been looking at our “Stories”. Stories are those emotion-laden, repeating patterns that seem to happen over and over again in our lives. They usually have a consistent disempowering “story line”. In addition, our biggest Stories are ones we have been playing out unconsciously – until now! Now, we’re awake to their insidious repetition and we’re tired of their presence. We want to get rid of them, but don’t know how!!!
    That’s what Journey to YOUR HeartLand is all about! We’re taking a loving and safe look at these stories and walking step-by-step into a New Story of vibrance, creativity, and fulfillment. read more