Posted in Hiking, Mother nature

Sierra Nevada Splendor

The granite Sierra Nevada mountains, and the limestone Buttermilk’s make this an area of extreme beauty and a favorite place to explore. But beware, this place gets hot and crowded in the summer month with people bouldering and climbing. However, if you can tolerate the heat, then there is plenty of space to get away and find your own little corner of bliss. We found an awesome place a few weeks ago as all the monarch butterflies passed by with a little seasonal waterhole to cool off in. Surely it will evaporate in the summer heat which will bring another blessing and make way to an awesome camp spot under the full moon.

Yolo….🦋

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Posted in Hiking, Mother nature

Monarch migration

A few weeks ago I got to hike in one of my favorite areas, “The Buttermilk’s” near Bishop, CA. These days I have to work for my step goal more than ever and too often every step is painful and I have to push through the pains. Sometimes I don’t know if I am making things better or worse, but I have to keep going.

Sitting at the edge of a little seasonal waterhole on top of the ridge, the sights were pretty spectacular already. But then it happened and we got to witness something truly unique and amazing. Right in front of us an endless number of Monarch Butterflies passed, all following the same direction. Dancing in a wide band across the sky before disappearing behind a giant boulder. I have never seen so many butterflies and it was a magical moment.

It was a few days later that I found out that the Monarchs was currently migrating from Mexico and were passing through the area. How very neat and what perfect timing to be in the right place at the right time to witness this. 🦋❤️

Posted in Adventure, Hiking

Chasing Waterfalls

What a refreshing difference. With this being the toughest winter in years, it was a welcomed change to escape the feet-high snow pack’s of the Sierra to head for a warmer, greener destination.

I managed my highest step goal yet, since Germany and got to walk barefoot in the sand on the banks of the Yuba River.

Ahh – Bliss

Posted in Hiking, Photography

Sitting on the dock of the bay…

…wasting time.

Oh but it was hardly a waste. The pier at Sugar Pine Point State Park was in the sun and there was a gentle breeze coming from the north. The majority of the wooden planks were still covered with snow, only leaving a narrow strip on the right side where the snow was already melted. I couldn’t help but see the warning signs at the beach and the beginning of the pier, cautioning people about the extreme cold waters. Still I opted to walk the narrow strip vs. slipping on the wider section that was covered with snow and ice. I managed, but was glad once the snow ended, exposing a wider, more stable path. I noted to myself that I’m getting worse as I am getting older. Vertigo, as well as looking down to where I’m stepping in forward motion, but seeing things pass me in the opposite motion are really becoming something I don’t deal with that well anymore. It makes me dizzy and lightheaded, and I’m always happy once I made it through. Most likely because I don’t trust myself as I used to, knowing that the RA can easily make me roll my ankle and lose balance. Thank goodness for my new, trusty hiking stick which I found the week before and took on it’s maiden voyage and first official outing. It did great, and I’m planning to personalize it in some sort of warrior theme. I think it’s fitting for the journey I have been on and continue to embark upon.

Just before the end of the dock, a L-shaped section (picture) branched off to the right, with steps leading down and luckily no snow. This would be the spot to spend some time, knowing that even though it was perfect, chances were we wouldn’t have it to ourselves. It was too good to pass up and quickly we spread our towels. It was perfect to soak up the rays, to be shielded from the light breeze that can turn chilly when sitting still, and we had found our spot to slow time. The warm sun felt wonderful and warm enough to take off my jacket, and the sound of melting snow trickling into the lake, was enough to relax and put you to sleep.

Several groups came and went, while we had a picnic and took pictures, just enjoying our time on this mild day at the end of January. Few can sit still or stay for long times, and I often think that we are the minority when it comes to that. There is no rush for anything, and the only goal is to be in the moment, to soak it all in, to surrender and forget the hectic of life. To leave your problems for a moment and concentrate on breathing deeply. To ground with Mother Nature and feel the calm replace the stress. It would be too boring for most, but not here with us, and the appreciation of being able to experience a place like this is always something we try to hold on to. Once you have felt it, you know that it is an addictive feelings, making you come back over and over. It’s a way of balancing things, a way to recharge your batteries and making room to deal with more curveballs that might be heading your way already. Maybe things would be different having a different job, but the hectic of retail makes you seek a place of solitude filled with peace and quiet. Who knows….I haven’t worked in almost a year, and such place of tranquility and harmony has never let go of my heart and has me coming back time after time.

In the meantime another huge storm is whipping through the lands, lasting several days, and packing tons of new snow. Luckily no polar freeze here, but you will definitely need to bundle up. It might be awhile until that pier is free of snow. This picture was taken last week, prior to the storms.

Posted in Friendship, Hiking

Canto Nova

The preludes to this post can be found here and here.

Eventually Kyle returned to let me know what he had come up with as far as a trail-name was concerned. It had proven to be a challenge for obvious reasons mentioned before, trying to name someone you haven’t even met yet. My blog name played a role, as well as other bits and pieces that allowed glimpses of who I was as a person. The amount of time, thoroughness, awareness and attention to detail, blew me away and I was in awe. And still, I don’t think neither one of us could have known how much this name would grow, and what meaning it would take on. A meaning away from the trail as most of these transitions happened in my personal, day to day life. It simply evolved and became more and more fitting as time went on. It was always awesome, from the very beginning, but if I look back to the creation until the current times…by God, it’s quite a ride, and Kyle must have sensed something I didn’t even know the extent of back then.

Kyle chose two words.

Canto: A Italien word that stands for a section, a division of a large poem. Derived from canere which means to sing it can also stand for a song. (Rhapsody Boheme – Bohemian Rhapsody)

The second word was Novus: Which stands for new and bright.

I changed Novus into Nova which is the female version of Novus that can also mean bright star. In astronomy it’s a star that shows a sudden increase in brightness and slowly returns to its original state over a few month. The Native American meaning is “Chases Butterfly”.

Both words were a fit and Canto Nova was born. I felt much like embarking on a few new chapters (sections, division) of my poem (my life). I was in the process of writing a few new ones. A bright new future perhaps, as it required to go through pain and change. Metamorphosis to change from a caterpillar (what was my current condition) into a butterfly (which was my aspiring state). I had goals and dreams, I was “chasing my butterfly” to change my stars. But how would I explain this in a brief reply if someone asked me what my trail-name meant!

Today, in brief I would tell you that metaphorically my trail name means “Chapters of a new Dawn”. We constantly write our own history. The chapters and divisions we add to our life’s poem are up to us and nobody ever said that it was easy. Just looking at the caterpillars violent struggle, we see that beautiful things can come from adversity and pain. That is if we can see the beauty and the lesson that comes with such experiences, vs letting them define us into bitterness. The choice is always ours, so think about what you want to add to your poem. Will it be dark poetry or will you sing and chase your own butterfly?

Don’t forget to look and support Kyle Rohrig on Amazon. Three books are available for your reading pleasure, and make also a great gift for any nature fanatic and anymore daring to dream big.

Lost on the Appalachian Trail

Hear the Challenge

Racing Winter on the Pacific Crest Trail

Thank you kindly. Enjoy!

Posted in Friendship, Hiking, Life

The quest for a Trail-Name

The prelude to this post can be found here

There is a special lingo amongst hikers and it is tradition that every thru hiker is given a trail-name. It’s a name that is made up of the tendencies, behaviors and character traits for each said individual. At other times it is simply appearance that can do you in, and the process can get quite creative. It’s not always an easy feat when it comes to the choosing, or the introduction of your trail-name, and how you got it.

My friend Kyle’s trail-name for instance is “Mayor” or “The Mayor” because of the care for his friends and people. Setting up campfires on trail, soon to be joined by other hikers, he provides and takes care of his people after a long day on the trail, hopefully much like any mayor would do. In his private life, he inspires and motivates people to just “Go for it”, and to pursue anything that sets their soul on fire. He demonstrates a great example for any aspiring dreamer who is looking to change their stars, by giving them the know how that it can be done, if only they find the courage to take the leap. Making a difference has become a full time job these days. So it is no wonder that his name fits like a glove, with Kyle bestowing great honor onto it, on and off the trail.

Katana, his loyal Shiba Inu trail-mate’s has a hiking name as well. The famous Catfox she is, named after her Fox like appearance. It’s funny to think that some people actually believed that she is a real fox. There is a story or two about it in his book “Lost on the Appalachian Trail” where it was believed that the little Catfox was actually a Russian fox. Good times for sure, and one of my favorite parts and laugh out loud moment.

The time was shortly after Kyle had finished the Appalachian Trail, that he faced a tough time readjusting to conventional life and civilization. It was easy to miss the adventures of the trail, the scenic beauty, the camaraderie and the simplicity of life. Less was more and the trail had always provided, while being the perfect teacher putting into perspective how little we truly need to be happy.

I was motivated more then ever to somehow find a way to hit the trail and to make my own memories, but there were still quite a few logistics to be worked out such as financing it and the question about my health. In my dreams I was chasing a feeling, a lifestyle of slowing down and truly living. I knew too well about the feelings of grounding with Mother Nature, to hear her heartbeat and to sigh in amazement of all wonders big and small. One day like so many others, I was wondering what my trail-name might be. Who would name me, how would and could they name me, based on what. What if I never made it due to my health to hit the trail in a long distance thru hike, and why was it so important for me to have a trail- name, I pondered. The thought of how it would come to pass was quite entertaining, and then the lightbulb moment came. The crazy idea to ask for Kyle’s input was born. I valued his perception and perhaps thinking of a name for me could distract him from the real life blues. It was almost like an impossible request, since we had never met in person, and still I asked him. It was a inquiry for a trail-name prior to even attempting a thru hike, was a bit like jumping the gun, but it held great significance for me. All there was, were snippets on Facebook, Instagram and the blog that entailed glimpses of my life. What a way to get to know someone. Still he agreed, being the person he is, a person unable to say no to a fellow dreamer.

Weeks went by and Kyle was very thorough. He analyzed from the little he knew and was dedicated to find something that would be fitting. We lost touch during those weeks, but I was hoping that my crazy task/request somehow managed to distract him from the reality check of life. My hope was that it would free his mind, ease what he was dealing with, and put him back in touch with what he loved. The trail…

Please don’t forget to support him on Amazon, Facebook or at Boundlessroamad.com. Kyle has written three books so far and each one is simply astonishing.

Thank you very much and stay tuned for the reveal of a very special trail-name. My very own…♥️