Dirty, Dusty, and Drained

It’s been a month since my feet have hit a trail. A month filled with shift. A month that seemed to move a mountain within me. A month ago, I hit a wall, especially as hiking was concerned. When hard stuff happens, pushing through, almost as if nothing had happened, is a common way to … Read more

Defiance to Failure: All but Defiance

All But Defiance by Cheryl Marlene

A year ago, I took on a challenge: ten training hikes of continually more intensive distance and mileage in preparation for the last hike. Number ten, the highest point in the Columbia Gorge and considered the hardest hike in the Gorge, was/is Mount Defiance. Ten miles round trip and 5000 feet of elevation gain. I … Read more

Trail Guides

Dalles Mountain Ranch Hike

East of Portland, where I live, beyond the conifer and deciduous forests which bestow their presence on both sides of the Columbia Gorge of Oregon and Washington are the buttes and cliffs and hills adorned simply in grass and wildflower and oak at creek side. No majestic fir or ever-present salal. A solitary beauty reaching … Read more

Hiking Is Heaven

From the Summer of 2015 The beginning, somewhat at odds with the rest of the day, is a concrete parking structure, third floor on the left.? We all assemble with excited anticipation.? A few known to each other but mostly all strangers, newly assembled with the goal of enjoying a hike. For me, I have … Read more

Hiking and Psalm 23

Hiking and Psalm 23

When I learned to read at 6 years old, my proud grandparents celebrated my newly acquired skill by giving me my very own red leather Bible. A Christmas gift offered with a reverence and a respect that I had already learned from both of them. They were so delighted with me and their offering brought me into a circle of knowledge and spiritual connection that they had both known their entire lives. I treasured this gift, willingly shared from the depths of their hearts.

Defiance to Failure #2: Small Steps

It would be easy to say that what happened today was coincidence. Meaning that there was simply chance or happenstance involved. A fluke. Instead I believe today was one of synchronicity. For me this means that why it appears that there are no causal links, connections across multiple levels stared me in the face. I couldn?t ignore any of it. For the me the difference between coincidence and synchronicity is that a catalyst is present in the second and not so much in the first. Coincidence happens without intention or pre-planning. Synchronicity is an alignment ignited or sparked by the flow of energy within a situation, often between the folks involved.

Defiance to Failure

Several weeks ago, I participated in the second of 10 training hikes designed to prepare for the highest climb in the Columbia Gorge. At 11 miles in length and almost 5000 feet of elevation gain, Mount Defiance poses a sizeable challenge to most hikers and thus the plan of training hikes to build the endurance … Read more

Human Nature: An Exploratory

I’ve been hiking a lot lately which has me wading through hike descriptions, learning a new lingo. The exploratory hike is an adventure that is new to the hike leader. Either never hiked the chosen path or deciding to attempt it in a new way, the leader is signaling an unfamiliarity with the path. Exploratory. … Read more

Into the Mystic

I am the oldest child of an oldest child. Raised to be strong, independent, self-reliant, thoughtful, and always looking out for others. The needs of those younger and less capable to be attended to before my own because I am capable and responsible and mature. Over time this has helped me be able to organize … Read more

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