Posts Tagged With: hiking

Update on Upcoming Oregon Coast Trail Walk for Clean Water

manzanitaI’m getting set to begin a walk of the 382 mile Oregon Coast Trail in a few weeks, for the purpose of raising awareness and funds for projects working to end poverty through enabling access of clean water for the nearly 1 billion people on earth lacking life’s most essential resource.

I thought i would share a few updates on the preparation, ways you can follow or support my walk, and possibilities of what I’ll be doing once the walk has been completed.

  • I am incredibly honored and grateful to Teton Sports who has generously sponsored my walk with a tent and other camping equipment I will be using and reviewing along this journey.
  • If you have a business or organization and would like to sponsor my walk, please contact me to discuss ways you can become a sponsor and thank you benefits I offer sponsors in return for their support.
  • As of last night I have launched a website (www.dylanrainwalker.com) for displaying the solutions my walk supports through partnerships with non-profit organizations working to provide access of clean water in places of greatest need.
  • I have connected with the non-profit organization Water1st.org to support their projects in Ethiopia.

Ways to Follow My Walk

The best way to follow my walk is to subscribe to my weekly newsletter by entering your email address at www.dylanrainwalker.com. I will also be frequently updating my walking blog here with stories, photos, and videos, as well as updates on twitter.

Ways to Support My Walk

Spread The Word.
Share the information found at www.dylanrainwalker.com with your friends on twitter and facebook. By sharing my walk you are not only raising awareness for what I am doing, but for the issues of poverty and the need for clean water around the world.

Walk With Me.
If you’re available and able, I welcome anyone and everyone to join me for any portion of this walk of the Oregon Coast. Contact me to discuss where you might like to walk and I look forward to meeting and sharing the grand experience of walking!

Sponsorship.
You can sponsor my walk as a business, organization, or individual. Your sponsorship is what enables me to walk and continue my work connecting with organizations, discover solutions, and working to see that those solutions are fully supported to start impacting the lives of people in need of clean water. Learn more about becoming a sponsor.

 

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Walking as Meditation

560919_324582447633583_2146583692_nI wish to write a few words on the topic of walking as meditation. Meditation, prayer, or whatever you want to call it, is a practice by which we become settled and at peace. It brings us to the present in that it is by its nature a manifestation of what occurs when we are quiet, still, and simply observe where and who we are.

Meditation is something which occurs naturally. It doesn’t need us to force the issue in order to happen. To intentionally meditate for the purpose of getting something in return, is not true meditation. To explain further we need to distinguish the difference between walking as mediation, and meditating as a means to an end.

As we walk to enjoy our surroundings, slowly observing the trees, people, and other living organisms, the experience brings with it a sense stillness. We didn’t need to look for it or try with all our might to be still, because of course if we’re trying really hard for something, exerting all of our energy for some purpose or pursuit, we aren’t being still. But when we let go of trying to achieve something we thought we didn’t have, we are finally able to see that we’ve always had it awaiting us to see it for ourselves.

As we meditate our thoughts seem to clear. It is not as though our mind becomes emptied, but the confusion of the conscious is put to bed. We come into contact with who we really are beneath the veiled thoughts and symbolic disguises that perpetuate our outward lives. In one sense, meditation brings us to a place where the mask we wear vanishes and we see who we are – who everything is – beneath the mask we call our persona.

Walking is a perfectly natural exercise, and the best way to be alert and aware of our world. There was a time in recent history where all of humanity walked all of the time. Perhaps you may have a grandparent who can still tell stories of walking 8 hours to school in the snow everyday. (Although I suspect some of those stories are at least slightly embellished.) We once walked all the time, anytime we wished to go somewhere. I propose that this is one reason for the increasing epidemic of obesity in societies which now rely so heavily on machine-modes of transportation. We now drive to a gym that is 5 miles from our home so that we can run 5 miles upon a treadmill. Does that make sense to us?

Walking should be done as the heart beats, as the lungs breath, and as the eye sees. You do not have to tell your heart to beat, it does it on its own. In this way, we should not walk for what rewards we might gain; rather, we walk because it is in our nature to need to venture beyond the four walls of our home. When two lovers get into a heated argument it is quite common for one of them to end the hostilities with a proclamation of “I’m going for a walk!” Perhaps if couples fought more often people would walk more as well. Ha ha ha. My point being that we intrinsically know that walking is an activity that naturally brings about a clearing of the mind and stillness to be at peace with who we are.

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The Beautiful Land that is Northern California (PHOTOS)

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There’s A Place Called Manzanita

Photo from Manzanita Oregon

View from the beach of Manzanita, Oregon

There is a place along the northern coast of Oregon called Manzanita. And it has a piece of my heart.

I’ve always greatly enjoyed the sunny beaches of southern California, but for me, nothing beats the foggy, golden coast-line with just enough of a cool breeze to make a hoodie or jacket the ideal attire.

I arrived in Manzanita in late July of 2012. A small town of 300+ residents, the time I was there was in the middle of tourist season when many vacationers from Portland and other places had come to enjoy the beauty that is Manzanita. There was an inwardly narrow coffee shop that was packed with customers every-time I would visit. The people were exceptionally friendly and instantly ready for conversation about the grander subjects of life.

I spent two nights at a campsite about a mile south of the town. On my second night I met a woman who was moving from Vancouver, B.C. to San Francisco where she would begin a new job as bio-tech researcher. Unlike most people, she was making the move on bicycle, while a moving company packed and shipped her stuff to where she would be living San Francisco. We shared a great conversation about technology, web design, philosophy, and music; before retiring to our respective tent-dwellings.

The next morning as I walked by the campsite office I was offered coffee by the park rangers. This was a first experience in camping and I heartily accepted the offer for a little added boost to my mile-long-walk into town. Finding a place to order coffee and use wifi was proving to be difficult, as the coffee shop was filled without a seat or place to setup a laptop. The local library did provide wireless internet; however, they did not provide any power outlets. Unfortunately for me, my laptop’s battery charge had been fully used the evening prior. I stumbled upon an internet cafe and searched for an employee to discover who to pay in order to use the internet; but only an empty shack was to be found.

After roaming around, in search of internet, I chose to continue the journey north for the next town of Seaside, Oregon. The simple beauty and quietness of Manzanita added to an atmosphere that I found exceptional of most places I had traveled through on the west coast (which is entirely pretty exceptional).

 

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Jessie M Honeyman Campgrounds: The Story of Sky

jessie-honeyman-park1

I had spent the day at a coffee shop in Florence to use their Internet connection, and of course, to drink coffee. Upon learning of two campgrounds to my south I began my walk to discover where I might find a place to pitch my home (tent) for the night.

 

At first I came to the South Jetty RV and Camping Resort, but at $30 per night, I determined to continue south toward Honeyman which was suggested by the kind gatekeeper of South Jetty.

 

After another 50 minutes or so of walking, I had arrived at Honeyman. At $5 per night, it was well within my budget to rest there for awhile.

 

I walked through the trail leading to the campsites and as I viewed the grounds filled with other travelers pitching their tents, I was greeted by a jolly looking, long white haired gentlemen who introduced himself as “Sky”.

 

Sky was a man, in his late sixties of years, who had spent most of his life wandering the world. He said he had traveled completely around the world 4 times, with little to no money, but only with a song and a guitar. Wherever he might be, he would play music on the streets, earn a little food money for the day, and sleep wherever he might be when he became tired.

 

He told the story of once upon a time being on a boat headed for the Bahamas. He pitched a hammock on the deck and had himself a sleep. When he awoke he found his guitar was missing – stolen. He had been experiencing some hassling from a soccer team which was also on board, and presumed to believe that one of them had stolen his instrument.

 

He approached the captain of the soccer team and informed him that one of his mates had stolen his guitar, and that they would return it to him. The captain laughed at his assertion and the rest of the team made mockery of his situation. Well, this was pretty serious for Sky. He said to the captian of the soccer team, “listen, I’m a musician of heaven, you’ve stolen my harp, and you will return it to me or I will tear your team apart until I have found it.” Within moments, one of the players brought his guitar and returned the “harp of heaven” to its’ rightful owner.

 

That was one of the many stories Sky told about his travels around the world. He was certainly a spiritualist, and the topic of conversation was almost entirely on love, freedom, and peace. We discussed travel, spiritual realities, the Holy Spirit, and so much more. It was incredible to debate with someone who understood so well how to share differences without becoming frustrated or without the desire to prove a point, but simply to share insights.

 

With the topic of travel he was a staunch supporter of one building their own raft, with lofty ideas of sailing on a raft from the west coast of the United States to Japan or China. “All you need is raft, man”, he would continuously proclaim. “With a raft you can go anywhere you want.”

 

I spent three days and two nights at the campgrounds just south of Florence. Meeting Sky was indeed an honor and treat.

 

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Santa Cruz, California (PHOTOS)

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Walking from LAX: Beginning the journey.

I booked a late flight on June 19 so as to give me a late enough arrival at the LAX airport to collect my thoughts and wait out the night before hitting the streets of LA at sunrise. I found an out of the way spot and attempted, unsuccessfully, to get a few hours of sleep underneath some chairs in the terminal of Los Angeles International Airport. If the three radio songs on continuous repeat weren’t enough, it was quite cold in the airport making sleep something quite improbable. Once about 4:30 am came I decided to go outside and begin my quest to Los Angeles. I took my first steps outside of the airport and waited on a direction. The wind was blowing from the south, so I followed the winds advice and started walking north.

My first desire was to see the Pacific Ocean, my old friend I hadn’t seen in about two years. It seemed I had hiked for hours before I could catch a glimpse of the ocean, which the airport was within a mile to the east. I walked on a very long sidewalk from the airport when I noticed a few joggers beginning their day with a run, cars driving by on the busy street, and a few places where some beautiful plant life was growing along the road I had not remembered seeing before. These sights began to bring with them a feeling that I had truly arrived.

viewfromloyalaI continued walking north, clueless as to where I was actually going and what lay ahead, until I happened to find a coffee shop called The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf where I stopped to utilize their free wifi and learn a little more about where I was going and what was ahead. I continued walking and happened upon Loyola Marymount University, where I stopped for a few moments to snap a picture of the houses below its hilltop location. I met a man and woman who were waiting for the bus and had some excellent conversation. They inquired about what I was doing and I informed them of my exploration and recent arrival in LA. They wished me the best of luck and welcomed me to their city!

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Preparing for Los Angeles

I am beginning to write about the two months I spent on the west coast during the summer of 2012. Along  the journey, hiking the west coast of the United States from Los Angeles to the Oregon-Washington border and back. I made many notes, snapped some photos, and will write from the best recollection of memories, stories of people I met, and the adventure of traveling into the unknown (to me) without a plan, without much money, but with a wealth of friendships and inspiring experiences I would discover along the journey.

flyingtolaovercloudsSince the age of 19 I knew my dream in life was to travel the world with the simple goal of building relationships. Extending friendship to those on earth who are all-too-often overlooked and ignored by the majority of society. I dreamed of living a life that many wish for, but too few dare to experience. A brilliant adventure with the wind as our steering wheel, giving direction for each passing moment by moment. In the wind is where I find peace. Living from a place where I know nothing about what each day may hold, who I might meet, and what road I may follow – that’s the road for me.

I suppose that civilization itself, requires us to live in a very different world than what I have described above. A world which thinks very little of living with the wind; rather, living to harness or conquer the wind’s force for civilization’s own purposes. A world which relies on schedules, routines, and earnings of income to provide for mankind’s desire to accumulate and pillage natural resources. One man thinks of how to grow life in the earth, which produces benefits for all of life on the earth. Another thinks only of how to utilize life to gain individual power, personal pleasure, and personal security. A man who pursues power for himself creates slavery. A man who pursues pleasure only for himself, denies enjoyment to others. A man who pursues personal security, by any means other than the security that is stored within a human heart, will never truly be secure, and his insecurity will spread to whomever accepts it. I look upon the civilized world as a world much harsher than what one finds in the wild. Civilization is certainly enticing with its comforts, and I am certainly not opposed to enjoying the quality aspects of goods in this world. But when it is the necessity of society to possess items, we become enslaved to that need.

Anyways, back to my story…

I had spent ten months back in my hometown of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I had previously spent one year living in Olympia, Washington (which is a book in itself), before having the wind blow me back to Oklahoma for awhile. In that ten months I found a rejuvenated sense of purpose and connection to the dreams I had held for as long as I could remember. I began to receive invitations to come work with nonprofits throughout the world. From orphanages in Africa, ministries in Pakistan, Haiti, Dominican Republic, DR Congo, Wales, and more! For the first time my dream seemed tangible. As if it were right in front of my eyes and ready for me to walk.

In June of 2012, Los Angeles began to be a thought in the back of my mind. I had no reason for this, no person living there whom I knew; it was a fleeting thought. One day, June 15, I acted on one of those fleeting thoughts and checked airline ticket prices to LA. In four days, June 19, there was one ticket for $178 – one way. I checked every single other day through the end of July, and every ticket was priced for $300 – $400. I found this quite astounding, gave it a couple of thoughts, and chose that if it the ticket were still that price tomorrow, I would pull the trigger and go. I believe I am on earth for one reason which is to go into all of the world to love people exactly for who they are. I’ am not here to spread any one  religion, nor convert anyone to anything but what we already are.  I believe true friendship is seeing each person as equally valuable, equally loved, and equally blessed with the full measure of love and compassion.

The next morning I awoke to find (to my amazement) the ticket was still priced at $178. I purchased the ticket and now I had a couple of days to wait before going one-way to Los Angeles (this was the extent of my plan).

Stay tuned for my next post about arriving in Los Angeles, walking to Venice Beach, and a glimpse into what it’s like staying one night at a hostel and the next night at an IHOP.

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