This ancient Latin phrase loosely translates as “It is solved by walking.” A walk is a journey that requires very little — neither planning nor passport, neither ticket nor equipment. Nearly always at our disposal, a walk provides so much more than just a change of scenery. Walking has helped me decide what is wise and what is foolhardy, has made me fall in love with a place, has batted away my melancholy. Walking has helped me loosen the grip technology has on my life, giving me space and permission to disconnect from my devices that beg for my attention and feed my anxiety. Most of all, walking has nurtured my creativity as I struggle to give tangible form to abstract ideas.
~ Bonnie Smith Whitehouse, in the introduction to Afoot and Lighthearted: A Journal for Mindful Walking
Hello and welcome to the Walktober 2020 round-up! Maybe it’s just me but it seems like the walks get better and better every year. This is our 8th year for the group walk that came to be known as Walktober. I am so glad you could join us this year. If you haven’t already, please take a little time to visit the other participants. There is such beautiful scenery to be found in so many different places. And you will even spot a princess or two along the way.
Speaking of princesses, Princess Katie was first because a princess should always be first. Katie’s Walktober takes us to a new (to her) park that wasn’t far from her home. I have to agree with Katie when she asks the question, “I think everyone benefits from getting outside, don’t you agree?” Katie’s mama, Dawn, took all of the photos. I immediately fell in love with the purple flower and Dawn was generous and kind and sent it to me so that I could have it printed. I’m going to put it on the wall near my computer so I can look at it often. Thank you, Dawn! Katie and her mama saw such beautiful sights but none, of course, as beautiful as Katie herself.
Next up is Kathy’s Walktober meander: no trail, no path, no destination. Kathy guides us on a pathless, destination-less walk through her woods where we see mushrooms, ferns, and some beautiful fall colors. It might get steep and slippery so boots are recommended. In addition to meandering through the woods, Kathy also takes us on a journey of what it is like to be growing older and contemplating the convenience of the well-traveled and tamed paths and roads. I think there are quite a few of us who take such things into consideration when we go out for a hike or a walk.
Angie and Marlee (who is also a princess, just like Katie) decided to take a Backyard Walktober. I love that they found such beauty in their own backyard. I think you’ll enjoy it, too.
Barbara leads us on a walk through Haley Farm State Park on her Walktober! For a variety of reasons (including the pandemic), Barbara and her husband have discovered the joys of exploring parks that are close to home since they cannot travel Elsewhere. I’ve been guilty of not always knowing what’s under my own feet, and I think that’s true for many of us, especially those of us who travel to see other sights. There are so many pretty and interesting things to see on Barbara’s walk. She captured some beautiful color and light.
Katie’s mama, Dawn, is up next with Walktober in times of Covid. Timely title, that’s for sure, and appropriate for these times because Dawn’s Walktober was limited to her own backyard due to an invasion of the virus into her household. Although I am sorry that Dawn was unable to venture out as she would have liked, I found a look at her backyard to be just as wonderful as her other walks. The beauty of autumn was available without having to travel Elsewhere.
Let’s join Laurie in her Walktober: Back to the Narrows. It was a beautiful day for a walk from Laurie’s home to Narrows Ponds and back. Let’s stand by the water for a little while and enjoy the blue of the sky reflected on its surface, and the crisp autumn air. We can stop and say hello to the chickens on our way back to Laurie’s place.
Rupali takes us through some beautiful thoughts, words, and scenery as we join her in Chasing the autumn sun. It’s such a treat to see so much autumn color, especially the golds and yellows, in the beauty of the autumn light.
If you go down in the woods today is Frank Hubeny’s contribution to Walktober. We can walk a beautiful path through a Forest Preserve while enjoying one of Frank’s poems. The fall foliage colors in the woods are amazing.
We’re headed to Julian’s Bower with Eliza next. This is such a fascinating walk. I’ll let Eliza tell you about the history of the place as we explore the trails, enjoy the gorgeous fall foliage and sculptures, and read a little poetry along the way. A lot of hard work and love went into Julian’s Bower, that’s for sure.
It’s off to Perth in Western Australia for our next walk with DawnBird who leads us through Kings Park and Botanic Gardens In the company of nature. One of the fascinating things about Walktober is that we can explore autumn and spring at the same time. As we walk along with DawnBird, we’ll see spring flowers in bloom, kookaburras, and some beautiful trees that are a little different from what we see here in my part of the world.
Time to magically fly back to the U.S. We’re going to Central Illinois to join Debbie in her Walktober 2020 where we will see all kinds of fall colors in the foliage of the trees. Reds, oranges, yellows, and even purples are on display.
Frank, who was featured here last week, has submitted two walks for our meandering and thought-full pleasure: Beach walk reflections with Frank (which is the aforementioned featured walk) and his very first beach walk post on his new blog, 1 — Introducing. Be sure to take advantage of the sound effects on his introduction piece. There is nothing like listening to the sound of the ocean while taking a stroll on the beach.
Storms of Leaves is a lovely post by Patricia Wolf that includes a cascade of yellow maple leaves against the sunlight accompanying Patricia’s thought-provoking and spiritual poetry that asks a very interesting question.
Helen and the boys (what a beautiful bunch they are!) takes us on three Mini Walktober Walks. As we all know, plans sometimes go awry, but Helen made the best of it and brought us some wonderful autumn colors, a couple of barns (who doesn’t love a good barn?), some lovely views, and some history to go with it all.
During one of Merril’s Monday Morning Musings she invites us to join her at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, an idyllic place to explore autumn. A Garden Stroll is a wonderful mix of poetry (Merril is one of my favorite poets) and images.
Our next walk is with Leelah who takes us on a Roundtrip walk to her food coop. It is a lovely walk that gives us a brilliant look at where Leelah lives. I especially enjoy these kind of walks because I like getting glimpses of where others live.
Standing Strong is Kat’s contribution. She leads us on an interesting look at the vulnerability of exposed roots, and how stress makes trees (and us) stronger.
Let’s join Natalie in Toronto for a Fun Ride/My Walktober. Oh my goodness, the fall foliage is stunning and Natalie captured it so well in her images. You can also walk along with Natalie in her Fun Walk/Autumn Colors.
And now it’s time to Savor the beautiful golden light and colors of autumn with Sarah, The Yoga Cowgirl. I got a kick out of the turkeys acting as their own art installation.
Taking Refuge in Walktober with Linda, we are going to head to the Texas Gulf Coast to have a look around the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge. There may not be fall colors yet, but there are so many other beautiful colors, flowers, and grasses to provide a feast for the eyes and the soul.
At my instigation, Dale went big with her Walktober 2020. She didn’t use all 500 pictures she took (I would look at them if she did, wouldn’t you?), but the images she picked are all so gorgeous. Enough from me. Just go see. (And no, Dale, it wasn’t overkill.)
Our last stop is a Walktober in the Marsh with Lisa. We’re going to Dyke Marsh which, I believe, is near Alexandria, Virginia, where we’ll get to see small, ephemeral beaches created by the flow of the water, some of the flora of the area (or some that was washed in by the water), and a very interesting snake.
Thank you all, so very, very much for participating this year. Every single walk has meaning. Not just for those who took the walk and guided us, but for those of us who followed along. Well, I suppose I shouldn’t speak for others. Having done this for a while, it does seem that way to me so I’ll go with it. If I messed up on a link or missed anyone, please let me know so that I can fix it.
Please be safe, be well, and be kind.
In deep gratitude,
P.S. The photos I used were from a bike ride that M and took last Wednesday. We went up to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware and hopped on the Junction & Breakwater Biking and Hiking Trail. The trail travels between Rehoboth Beach and Lewes along the western edge of Cape Henlopen State Park. The trail name is from the railroad line that used to run between Lewes and Rehoboth in the mid-1800’s, transporting passengers to the many Methodist resort camps that were located in the area.
Our original plan was to ride all the way from Rehoboth to the state park, but it turned out the trail ended just outside of Lewes. Having no desire to bicycle through Lewes, where we would encounter more people (and there were plenty out and about on the trail), we had a picnic lunch nearby and then turned around to go back to where we started. It was an 11 mile ride which we both thought was enough. We’re hoping to get up there again soon and begin our ride near, and then into, the state park.