Saturday, April 30, 2016


Saying good-bye to Colorado and hello to Nebraska has been marked by continuing kindness and hospitality.  On a regular basis I find myself summing up experiences with the phrase that this or that person "...couldn't have been nicer!"  It was a modern day version of  'bunkhouse hospitality' in Holyoke, CO, in a house full of 'guy' employees of a large farming concern. They were very nice, genuine, fun, and on their best behavior! Following a serendipitous chiropractic 'tune-up', I was referred by that doctor to another farming family half-way to Imperial, NE, who welcomed me into their home.  Am now cooling my heels at a very cozy B&B in Imperial, watching it snow and glad to be inside! Sunday (tomorrow) looks more conducive to walking, and the week should be growing progressively  warmer, thank heavens(!), as I will be looking for good camping sites between here and McCook, about four days' walk.

Folks in this part of the country think about environment all the time, being farmers or in related industries. It was interesting to see a PBS piece on some northern Nebraskans investing in solar power and using cover crops instead of chemical fertilizers. For the most part, though, lifestyle seems to be driven by adaptation to the inevitability of large-scale agriculture, and loyalty to local/community networks of give-and-take. Many people are devoutly religious, generous and protective of regional values. Here, it is more my job to ask questions than it is to have opinions. Although I am willing to my share my admittedly 'city-dweller' concerns about creeping corporate control of our lives. Too bad that people have grown so suspicious of government, that it's come to seem as if corporate control is something different and better!

Though it may feel monotonous later, at this stage I can really appreciate the beauty of the plains, dotted with farmhouses, barnyards and groves of junipers/cedars and other trees.  Lilacs are blooming - much more profusely than they do on the California coast.  Wind is ever-present; when I am lucky it is coming from behind!  And as usual on this walk, I am the one having my consciousness expanded! 



Seen from the road...

Started snowing last night.

Outside my window - a squirrel trying to keep warm!

A charming and welcoming Imperial refuge.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fits and starts - having a 'time out' in Sterling, CO

What with weather 'mood swings' and the vicissitudes of reorientation to this process, I have rested more than I have walked so far - maybe to be expected at this early point.  From here I am only about four days walk (as I see it) from a new state - Nebraska!  And shortly thereafter, a new time zone.

Already I have been blessed with amazing care and kindness by the 'road angels' of the past week: first hosted by a beautiful and talented family in Ft. Morgan (who own the CafĂ© Lotus, in case you're in town!), offered coffee in the Town Hall at Hillrose (where there were no open businesses), and taken under the wing(s) of various folks in Merino after I had gotten very wet and cold during a long afternoon of rain.  (Yes, I do have rain gear, which leaked badly due to wind direction and an unfortunate garment construction feature...) While in Merino I met a sculptor I had read about - Bradford Rhea, who has his studio there.  I was lucky enough to be invited inside for a visit, and was as impressed by his spiritual devotion as I was by his technical sensitivity and expertise.  His sculptures are decorating many of the public spaces here in Sterling, which is where I ended up on Tuesday night, credit to a Merino church group. I was also treated to a hot meal and a chance to dry my clothes!

Moments worth mentioning:  a huge field full of galloping horses, thundering along the roadway where I was walking. They ran back and forth in loops along the fence line until I had passed by - must have been more than 50 of them - very dramatic (though I was too amazed to think of taking a photo!)  Chanting consistently for the livestock on its way to the many packing plants in this area... notwithstanding the fact that I am, in any case, chanting as I walk much of the time.

Planning to set out again in the morning.  It looks as if there will be 3 or 4 decent walk days before another storm system is due.  This will make it important to plan ahead for a place to pause and wait for the weather.  I am not expecting to hit another library/computer soon.  As always, all good wishes gratefully accepted!

On the train to Ft. Morgan
International music festival in Ft. Morgan


Dream Redeemer


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

One foot out the door...

Ready or not -- departure is set for Thursday the 14th, on the Amtrak train to Ft. Morgan, CO.  Where I will re-group for a day (more or less) before setting off down the road once again, in an easterly direction.  Did I have as many 'questionable bodily sensations' last time I started out? (QBS's)  There were a few as I recall, which seemed intermittent and random.  Gradually my tendency toward hyper-vigilance resolved into a general attentiveness and basic self-care regimen, a routine that worked for upwards of 1000 miles, so I guess there's hope!

This month we said goodbye to Molly the cat, who was struggling with a variety of illnesses.  The house feels pretty quiet now. She often followed me around the house and I'm hoping that, unconstrained by a failing physical body, she'll want to follow me down the road and sleep on top of me at night. It wasn't easy letting go.  And this is also the start of another period of letting go as a daily practice.

Well then, here is to health and wellness all around.  The wildflowers are coming out in masses.  It will be interesting to see what is blooming in the wild places along the roadways of eastern Colorado and Nebraska this spring...