Our Blog: Thoughts from the Path

Confessions of a Die Hard Walker

One of the best things about being self-employed is working for yourself. ha! But there’s a flip side to that. When I first started this company, I didn’t know s**t.

I’ve stumbled and bumbled over many hills and dales. One of the said hills (or it might have been a dale!), was the error in judgment that why wouldn’t anyone want to walk, anytime, anyplace. Just because I thought walking any time is good for you, everyone would feel the same way. I’ve learned many things, one of them that life is different for everyone and it’s important to respect this for others. Figuring out that walking doesn’t always feel good, came at a hard price.

When my husband got sick with pancreatic cancer.

The Thing About Walking

A while back, we had a blog post that used the term, “I lose myself and find myself,” relating to the experience of being outside for a walk.  The other day, listening to Garnette Cadogan, author and walker, speak about walking, I heard him say, “I lose myself and find myself.” Screeching to a halt, “Wait, What??? Really?” Could it be that this man totally relates to walking the way I do? I wanted to know more. The race was on to try to find a way to write to him and talk to him about it.

Here’s the thing about walking: most of us walk, many of us walk and run for exercise, but how many of you out there really get deep into the heart of walking; that profound space.Admittedly, I’m not a world traveler (although I want to be just for the reason to talk about walking), but what if more people thought about walking as a place to lose themselves and find themselves?

West County Trail

We use this particular trail when we want to go easy and be transported by sweetness of cutting through farmlands and open space. We always begin our walk across from the Post Office in downtown Graton, an easy meeting place.  If we walk from Graton to Forestville, we’ll cover four miles.

We’ll pass through farms, vineyards, and open spaces. Our first jump off the trail happens when we walk west less than a quarter of a mile along Green Valley Road, but once we drop back on the trail, we cross the bridge and enter the wetlands. The temperature seems to drop under the trees and we are greeted by bird song and buzzing pollinators. We’ve spotted bobcats, quails, mourning cloaks, kestrels and red-tail hawks, California sisters, and elusive egrets gliding like ghosts across the waterways. Berries and wildflowers grow abundantly.

A Walk at Point Reyes

The land jutting out between Tomales Bay and the Pacific Ocean feels as if you’re walking on a land bridge carved by time, whale songs and sky.

When you first see a Tulle Elk, especially if you’re use to smaller and more delicate ungulates like our local mule deer, your mind might wander to more substantial creatures. Camel, you might think. The the real treat of walking in Pt Reyes in that you’re in a reserve and the animals know it. It’s easy to see a coyote, fox, weasel, and an array of raptors on any given day. Likely the moment you have parked you will have seen something miraculous; owl pellets under a cypress tree, a fox peering past you, a raven cutting the sharp wind, the low flying Northern Harriers, who the old timers affectionately call Swamp Hawks. You might also see scientists, naturalists and professional photographers.