The hiking season has officially begun for me! Over the weekend, I was treated gorgeous vistas with an enthusiastic guide. Nancy introduced me to a stunning trail that was once used by Native Americans and pioneers to traverse between the Oregon coast and the Willamette Valley. Eight miles of this long trail have been reclaimed and are now part of a national forest.
What made it fun was talking about the Camino de Santiago. Nancy has already purchased her airline tickets to walk the pilgrimage this fall. While we hiked with her exuberant lab mixes, we talked about gear—from water-carrying options to the myriad shampoo/soap/laundry detergent solutions. I shared my ill-fated towel experiment choice—a washcloth-sized chamois—and regaled her with my elaborate post-shower routine: dry one arm, then squeeze out the tiny chamois. Dry the other arm, squeeze it out. Wipe down half my leg, squeeze, etc. All the while, I shivered in a breezy shower stall.
If I had to do it all over again, I would have brought a colorful rayon sarong—large enough to absorb water and big enough to wear as a wrap while dressing. It makes a great skirt for church or adds flair and warmth around the neck. The material is thin enough to dry quickly. Plus, a sarong makes a great seat in the grass. Hindsight! How silly it had been to bring a tiny chamois!
Being out in the woods was soul satisfying, and despite my winter sloth, my body felt strong. The best part of the hike was the vista at the top, with the Pacific Ocean in the distance, and the pregnant gray-white clouds above close enough to touch.
This hike was the first of many in 2015. I’ve got a dozen more more hikes planned into fall and will be posting about them periodically. The Camino de Santiago continues into life. Caminar para vivir!