Monday, March 23, 2015

Walk Day 1 -- Farewell to the Pacific coast!

Getting the actual walk reporting off the ground seems like a good idea, since posts may become scarce in the near future for lack of internet access...

After a pleasant train ride to San Luis Obispo on Saturday, I was driven to Avila Beach yesterday by my gracious host, Ellen. (Remember her?  She set me up with this blog last year, before moving down here from San Francisco.) After breakfast with an ocean view, we walked out on the pier for a bit, and then I set out on my 11+ mile walk back to SLO. Gorgeous day, lots of bikers, runners and walkers on the 'Bob Jones Trail' leading out of Avila Beach. Then it was a freeway service road for the rest of the walk into SLO.  No, I didn't bring the whole trailer and gear assembly; that will happen when I leave town tomorrow!

No ocean view on the way out of Avila Beach, but the walk was mostly scenic, with green hills, wildflowers (poppies, lupine, vetch, mustard, etc.) and many aromatic plants to enjoy (fennel, mugwort, various sages.)

This stopover is/has been a great gift.  I feel wonderfully well looked after and am enjoying a peaceful couple of days among friends and the comforts of 'town life', before striking out on my own, into the great unknown!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Departure date is coming right up!

Whew!  I can't believe that I am scheduled to be leaving a week from this Saturday!  Many 'letting go'  opportunities in this preparation process!  To revisit an earlier thought:  if my intention in walking is to pay respect to the planet, how do I do that (or not) as I am preparing to depart?  That has been a frequent question these days, the answer to which is often a little less than satisfactory!  The truth of the matter is that I am pretty darned scattered in my efforts to cover as many bases as possible as the departure date gets closer.  This diffusion of energy is punctuated by moments of mental paralysis, and then moments of stunning clarity (as I focus on my surroundings and the many things I love about my day to day life.)  Let's just say it's been a bit of a roller coaster!

Departure strategy has been amended from the original plan to walk east from San Francisco.  I will instead be taking the train to San Luis Obispo and starting out from there.  This eliminates the question about which mountain passes are open, and a potential long detour in the event of a last minute spring storm.  I can walk from Avila Beach back to SLO on my first day, thus starting from the coast.  The first large town on the route will be Bakersfield, and I'll angle up to U.S. Rt. 6 from there...  Next blog post may be from 'the road'!!

Ai Weiwei '@ Large' at Alcatraz!  This exhibit is SO worth the trip - very powerful!  (I got to see it with an out-of-town guest who wanted to go to Alcatraz.  It's going on until April 26th, I think.)

This whole mural is all made of legos! Representing people who have been incarcerated or persecuted for exercising free speech.