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Walking with the Walktoberists

A map, to help us find the way. (A sandy topographic map in the Nature Center at Blackwater Falls State Park.)

Beware, O wanderer, the road is walking too.

~ Jim Harrison, from After Ikkyū and Other Poems (Shambhala, 1996)

Trail to the falls.

Many thanks (and hugs, if you’re amenable to them) to everyone who participated in Walktober this year.  We’re still in a liminal time, waiting to see what will happen to us and the world, but walks or hikes or just getting outdoors are still available to us.  I appreciate every one of  you and every one of your contributions to Walktober.

Before we start on our journey through Walktober, a quick update on the state of my health.  Because I had a fever and things were getting worse, I did get tested for Covid-19.  I am happy to report that the test results came back early on Sunday morning as a Negative.  This is one of those times in life that you want things to be negative.  M, who also succumbed to what a friend calls the lurgy, was tested, too, and all is negative.  I still have a slight fever, congestion, and the bleh’s which makes me wonder about the flu shot I had a few weeks ago.  Perhaps they guessed wrong this year, or it provided enough protection that things could have been worse without it.  Whatever the case, I have no regrets about getting it.  I hope you got one, too.

Ok, then.  Let’s go.  As always, I’m including photos from one of my walks throughout the post.  They are from our trip to West Virginia.  Just a small handful of all that I took.  Apologies in advance if I missed anyone or put in an incorrect link.  Let me know and I’ll take care of it.

That is a big rock!

First up, Princess Katie does Walktober with the Queen.  I think Princess Katie has been first for a few years now, as befits her royal status.  Katie and her companions met up at a park near Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Both Katie and Queen Abby posed beautifully for a number of photos even though I think they would rather have been adventuring and exploring (or resting without the paparazzi bothering them).  Thank you, Katie and Abby.  And thank you to your moms, too.

Eliza joins us next, taking us along to Skinner State Park in Hadley, Massachusetts, for her Walktober 2021.  The views from there are spectacular and you just have to see the broad-winged hawk that Eliza captured.  You can practically count all of his/her feathers!  Thank you, Eliza, for joining in for the past nine years.  (I can’t believe it’s been that long!!)

A little misty.

Let’s go and enjoy The Quiet Beauty of Viles Arboretum in Augusta, Maine, with Laurie.  My favorite part of the walk is the path lined with birches.  Or maybe it’s the cosmos.  Or the sculptures, particularly the first one.  Ok, maybe all of the walk since I just can’t choose.

Kathy and her mother take a Miracle of an October walk beside the Slate River.  I am so thrilled that Kathy’s mother was able to join us.  There is nothing like a walk with family, especially during these pandemic days.  Black Slate Falls is so beautiful, but not as beautiful as the selfie at the end of Kathy’s post.

Some hints of color up above.

It is time to meet up with Jo for a Monday walk:  Milreu, a walk back in time.  We have to travel to The Algarve (in Portugal) as well as back in time for this walk around the ruins of what was once an old farmhouse built sometime in the 1st century and then redeveloped later.  I don’t know about you but I thoroughly enjoy exploring ruins, and in this exploration we are treated to some wonderful mosaics as well as the history of the place.

Searching for fall color on another hike. It seemed as though we had arrived a little late.  But maybe not…  (At the beginning of our adventure on the Balsam Fir Trail, Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia.)

We have to make our way back to the U.S. to go for a walk with Barbara and enjoy the Sunlight by the Sea.  There is, of course, so much more to see than the sunlight and the sea.  I particularly enjoyed the birds, especially seeing a heron and an egret visiting with each other.  I hope the mosquitoes are gone by now, Barbara.  (We’ve had a long season of them, too, this year.)

The Yoga Cowgirl (Sarah) takes us to the Green River in Mammoth Cave National Park.  I’ve been to Mammoth Cave National Park so long ago that I barely remember it so it was a treat to be able to visit some portion of it again.  I had forgotten that there is a River Styx there.  Before you start on your hike with Sarah and Jolene, I would suggest playing Paradise by John Prine (quotes from which are to be found at the beginning and end of Sarah’s walk).

Sometimes the color isn’t in the trees.

I am so happy that Carol decided to join us this year with a little walk around her yard in My Walktober.  I love seeing where people live and spend their time, and I thoroughly enjoyed the chickens and the monster tomato plant(s).  I think the tomato plants might qualify as Halloween decorations (shades of Audrey II).

Time to go Once around the block with CandidKay (Kristine).  I always enjoy Kristine’s storytelling, and particularly like her bit of advice at the end of her post.

Through the darkness of a stand of hemlocks.  The scent of the trees here was wonderful.

I was stunned, in a good way, by the opening image of Cindy’s Walking in October.  The colors are simply amazing.  Please hurry over now and have a look, if you haven’t already.  We’ll wait until you return to carry on.

Rupali is Getting back to routine after vacation for her Walktober in Norway.  Such gorgeous scenery, including a waterfall, to be seen along the way.  I know just what you mean, Rupali, about getting back into routine after being away for a while.  It must be especially difficult to readjust to colder temperatures after visiting a place that was warm.

Beginning to find a bit more fall colors.

It’s on to Singapore where we will accompany Ju-Lyn and Loving Husband in Searching for Bukit Brown Cemetery.  It’s quite a change from our last walk, going from Norway to Singapore where it looks much warmer (and perhaps a lot more humid).  As you might remember, I enjoy visiting old cemeteries.  This is my first visit to one in a rainforest, and it’s quite beautiful.

Debbie, who is another veteran of Walktober, takes us around a part of Central Illinois in her Walktober 2021 where there was not yet a lot of fall color to be seen (we are just starting to see color here, Debbie — it’s been slow this year) but we do get to see plenty of Halloween decorations.  I think that’s as much fun as leaf peeping.  It’s fun to see how some go all-out whereas others are more sedate in style.

I enjoy the browns and golds and fading greens almost as much as the brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds of autumn.

Frank, who has been away from blogging for a little while, comes back to us with a post about Friends (Beach Walk 87).  If you haven’t gone on a beach walk with Frank yet, you really should.  He likes to ponder and wonder about some of the most interesting things while he walks.  I thoroughly enjoyed his beach walk through friendship and what it means to be a friend.

Dawn had to change her plans.  Life is like that.  I’m kind of glad it happened that way because for Dawn’s Walktober 2021 we were able to go to the park where the birds come to eat from her hand.  I very much want to do this with Dawn someday (I have promised myself I will!).  It looks truly magical.  But don’t take my word for it, go and have a look.

There is always time to stop and hug a tree or two (or three, I think, is the right number for the Wookie).

Are you ready for a good trek?  Thank goodness we’re doing this virtually or I’d have been out of breath writing this.  Dale takes us on her Walktober 2021 St-Rémi d’Amherst & Brébeuf where we will have to climb some stairs.  It’s well worth it.  Trust me.  And that’s only the beginning.  The big question of the day is:  Would you be willing to climb the tower?

Let’s follow Helen to the W.E. Burton Conservation area for her Walktober walk.  Helen picked a beautiful place on a beautiful day.  The trails look lovely and I really enjoyed the views of the river.

It was rainy and misty and cold, but we didn’t let that us stop us from our hikes that day.

Walktober for us folks in the northern hemisphere is usually about autumn walks.  It is also an opportunity for us to experience spring again when those from the southern part of the planet participate.  We are being gifted this year with A Stroll — Maungawhau/Mt. Eden in Auckland, New Zealand, with Suzanne.  This is such a gorgeous walk, with my favorite part being the volcanic rim (so cool!… or it is cool now, I assume, given the grass growing there).

I am happy to see Sallyann is joining us again this year with her Walktober — coastal path.  And oh!  There is a twist!  You’ll have to go over to see what the twist happens to be.  I can’t decide between the white cliffs or the Durdle Door when it comes to favorites.

The ferns were one of my favorite parts of this hike.

It is time for A day out in Greenwich with Anne.  I’ve been to Greenwich but so long ago that I barely remember it.  (It was in 2000, when we lived in London for a time, and our days were packed with seeing so many things that it all sort of blurs together for me now.)  Anne’s images and descriptions are wonderful.

And oh, we get to head back to spring again in Perth, Western Australia, for our last walk this season!  Dawn’s walk, A spring in my step, takes us through some of her walks from the month of October.  I am not sure what I enjoyed more — the flowers, the trees, or the kookaburras.  Maybe the kookaburras because I’ve been singing about them for the past couple of weeks (there are several and more versions on YouTube; I like this one best).

A little mystery and hints of color.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all who participated this year.  The variety of walks was wonderful, and it was lovely to see familiar and new faces.  I hope you’ve either already found the time to visit some of the other walks or that you’ll find the time soon.  There is so much beauty to explore.  Maybe someone will come up with a springtime version of Walktober so we can visit each other again and share more beauty.  (Or maybe someone has and I don’t know about it yet?  Please let me know, if you know of one.)

Please be safe and be well.  ♥♥♥

So many different colors in one tree.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,896)  Walktober and the chance to enjoy so many beautiful walks.  Thank you, everyone.  1,897)  All of the well wishes while I was sick.  Thank you, so very much.  Please excuse me for not responding to comments on my last two posts.  Walktober was my top priority.  Hopefully I’ll get back to those comments soon.  If not, please know that I appreciate each and every comment and each and every one of you.  1,898)  Reliving the walks and hikes from West Virginia as I sort through the photos.  (This might take a while.  I took a lot of photos!)  1,899)  Rain.  We got a good soaking the other day.  The wind with the system also brought us quite a bit of high tide flooding which, as of this writing, continues.  It got me to thinking about how I’ve attended a lot of online classes and talks where the speaker begins with naming where they are from and the people the land was stolen from.  I normally say that I live on the Eastern Shore on Pocomoke lands, but I might start staying that I live on land that is being claimed by the sea and will soon belong to her.  Soon, of course, being a relative term.  With climate change and rising sea levels, it could take a few years, but I don’t think it will be all that long.  1,900)  Regaining some of my health.  I think ruling out Covid helped.  At the very least, it brought down the stress levels.

Lichens and ferns and hints of fall color, oh my.


Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

25 thoughts on “Walking with the Walktoberists

  1. So happy to hear it wasn’t covid, Robin. Love that big rock and the scenes from West Virginia. My aunt and cousin live there — it’s very beautiful country. I’m looking forward to savoring all the walks above! Thank you so much for hosting again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re welcome, Barbara. 🙂 I agree about West Virginia. We lived in Huntington for a while, and used to vacation in the Blackwater Falls area in the summers. I’d like to get down to the New River Gorge area again someday, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think Rock Cave might be between Huntington and the Blackwater Falls, depending on which route you would take to get there. I think they took us to Holly River State Park and they both volunteer at the West Virginia State Wildlife Center.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, thank you for hosting this! How lovely to be part of your Walktober challenge. I have already read many of the posts and look forward to reading the rest. On another subject…so very glad you and your husband do not have COVID. Hope you both feel better soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Glad to hear you didn’t have covid, Robin. Phew. It’s really amazing how many folks participated in Walktober this year. The nerdy stats side of me wonders how many people usually hike along and blog about it? It was so fun to do it this year with my mom. If there’s time would love to read more tales of Walktober from around the world that you listed here. (Have read several already.)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. So happy to read that your illness is not Covid-related but hope you get over this darn flu as soon as possible!
    Beautiful recap of all the participants’ beautiful posts and of course, the addition of your own lovely images…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy glad you do not have Covid – and hoping your flu (or whatever it might be) goes away soon. Thank you for hosting this Walktober – it seems it is quite a lot of work, but work with a good deal of beauty. It’s going to take me a few days, I think, to go on all these walks.


  6. I’m so glad you don’t have covid, but wonder what it is? I know you and your family have been so careful it’s hard to imagine what got you! Thank you so much for hosting Walktober. I look forward to it every year and it seems to come around quicker these days. I know it’s a lot of work to compile them all, and this year there were so many! Congratulations on a very successful event!

    Hmmm…a spring walk…that could be very fun. Something in April? Or maybe May when, here, anyway, things are getting pretty? Both those months have titles that would make it hard to add the work ‘Walk” to come up with a catchy blog title. …well…maybe Maywalk would work….
    Definitely something to keep in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I will have to come back and visit all the Walktober posts when I have more time.
    I’m glad you’re feeling better. My nephew was home from college for almost two weeks with some kind of virus–tested for Covid twice, and now my brother-in-law has a bad sinus infection. Apparently, there are some nasty non-Covid viruses around this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Robin, thanks again for hosting Walktober! I always enjoy reading those posts and seeing new parts of our beautiful planet. I’m glad you and your hubby don’t have the COVID, and I hope you both feel well soon. Yes, we should do a Spring walk (for the Northern hemisphere), I’d love to see what the Southern hemisphere looks like in their winter. Perhaps we could do a May Meandering? Or a June Jaunt? I’ll bet it would go over big!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A splendid turn out this year– thanks for hosting, Robin. I love visiting all the various places all around the world – truly wonderful!
    Loved seeing your photos, too, and that photo of Wookie hugging a tree is SO endearing!
    Wishing you a speedy recovery and that you’ll be feeling a skip in your step once again. ❤


  10. Well I’ve spent the evening reading all the walks, even those I’ve read earlier. Such lovely walks. And what a great video you’ve provided at the end. All of this has made me smile really wide.


  11. Thank you for including me in this lovely roundup! I will enjoy checking out everyone’s walks and I am relieved to know that you are Covid free. Keep walking and riding. It’s always so nice to connect in the ether with you.


  12. First of all, and most importantly, cheers to both you and M for the negative tests. I know the two of you have been careful during these crazy times – so thumbs up! Thanks for the kind words and including me in this walk (which is different than in the days of my other blog life. Here’s something others may enjoy is is more fitting …. a beach walk about Autumn.


  13. Thanks for adding my post. I have very much enjoyed reading everyone’s entries and enjoying a virtual world tour.


Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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