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

Refreshed by Walking

July 21, 2019

Ahh! The Great Smoky Mountains refresh my soul! Their lush, opulent vegetation, towering trees, cool temperatures, and misty moistness wrap me in intrigue, curiousity and wonder! John and I squeezed in another overnight before heading to Atlanta for a busy week.

We took the Balsalm Ridge Trail up to Laurel Gap Shelter where I renewed my attachments to the Benton MacKaye Trail which I walked four times in a year in 2009-2010. Those trips provided unforgettable experiences in solo hiking! Although I had gone to the Appalachian Trail in 2007 by myself, I was rarely alone once I got on the trail. The Benton MacKaye Trail, 288 miles in the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia, is sparsely traveled. I had plenty of time on my own! I was surprised how much I enjoyed it! Here are a few things I learned from hiking solo. read more

Preparing for a Long Walk

July 20, 2019

What a blessing to have a five-day walk in Great Smoky Mountains National Park! The lush, green, and lavishly diverse landscape truly exemplifies the fad of Forest Bathing and contrasts starkly with my winter desert habitat!

Although my body cringed a bit with muscle soreness since I haven’t taken a long walk since last August, my soul basked in the sensory luxury while my body remembered how to meet the mountains!

Turks Cap Lilies on green background

Lilies line the ridge along the AT in GSMNP

During the walk I received a message from a woman yearning to get out on another five-day walk herself, inquiring about guided walks for next fall. That sounds like a long way away, until I consider all that life might already have scheduled plus the preparation required to create a radiantly fulfilling walk!   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

Essential #4: Love Your Gear

Light blue tarp on a lawn

This shelter works!

July 12, 2019

Getting ready for a walk is tedious, especially when I haven’t done it for a while! I’m really glad this isn’t my first time going out backpacking, though! Looking back to my first walks on the Appalachian Trail, reminds me of the constant learning, trying new gear, and becoming familiar with the trail lifestyle! Some of it takes time and practice! Some aspects of hiking, however, can be taught and used on one’s first hike! Not everything has to be learned by trial and error! read more

“Being” Fulfillment

July 13, 2019

Today I turn 65 and I’m going for a walk! I realized that I’ve been anticipating this birthday for a couple of years now, and most acutely since January when I marked April 1 on my calendar. That was the day I could apply for Medicare, the right of passage for 65! That happened. I got my Medicare card. Now, the actual birthday seems humdrum. Driving to the Great Smoky Mountains to set up a five-day walk seems perfect!

I did receive a message yesterday, though, that reminded me of the kind of person I want to be – maybe for this next phase of my life! I reached out to a woman I had gifted my Walk For a Singing Heart in January. I had not heard from her, so I just sent a message to check in. She answered right away: read more

Listen to “Real”

July 9, 2019

Today, I was honored to play the boardgame, Satori, with two courageous women. We had a fantastic time discovering Old Stories and letting go of our attachment to having them. As always, the cards we picked and the game’s pathway provided each of us a unique and custom-made experience! We laughed, cried, felt our feelings, and ended at Satori feeling lighter, more valuable, and freed from our past!

One of us got sent three times to the square Spiritual Bypass!  We groaned and supported our new friend in following the instructions for that square: read more