Ruth Anne Wood and her husband Jason hosted Bernie McDonald on his Coast to Coast walking journey after making arrangements on CouchSurfing.org. Bernie stayed one night after walking into town around 5 pm. No rest for the traveled for Bernie was taken to three women’s 60th birthday bash with, lots of hugging, music, poetic roasting, hard to talk over music and dancing at Pebble Hill Church. (The birthday gals had been discussing this night shortly after they met a decade earlier.) Bernie wandered into the minister’s quieter room to return calls he got from friends and family earlier in the day. He doesn’t talk to friends while he’s carrying his sixty pound pack walking with poles because it drains his phone which he needs to navigate.
Bernie, Jason and Ruth bonded over two tables of delicious potluck dishes and a table of local bakery treats with homemade desserts as Ruth’s community of friends since 1987 came over to met the ambitious traveler and shower Bernie with hugs and friendly conversation. OK, after the first unsuspecting woman hugged Bernie in a big welcoming embrace, Ruth put a couple of her girlfriends up to the challenge.
Then the three went back home to Jason and Ruth’s abode for further exchange of ideas. Ruth did a kind of show-and-tell of her published books and 3′x5′ five element oriental medicine inspired wall hangings that she made into stationary in 2000. Then after a long Saturday Bernie left the living room couch to retired upstairs on the comfy futon in the guest/ massage room.
Ruth couldn’t resist recording the conversation Sunday morning between Bernie, Jason and herself over two smoothies; a bright orange one: Carrot, Mango, Apple and Cinnamon smoothie and a bright green one: Spinach, Apple, Banana and Date discussing how Bernie McDonald:
- Plans his days with paper maps and GPS
- Meets new people
- Lines up his lodging for the night
- Paces himself on physical activities between after he reaches the daily walking destination
- Helps others where he can
- Counsels well intended friends and family concerned about his travel status and well being
- Teaches yoga
- Practices mindfulness when stepping along the side roads that parallel the highway staying alert to turns before having to double back and expend unnecessary time and physical and emotional energy
- Realizing quickly he doesn’t need much to be happy and
- Humbly accepts donations for his teaching and awe inspiring stories of travels around the world.
These have been good ways to put into practice what he teaches in his yoga classes. This is Bernie’s new job that started August 23rd in Portland Maine. His work commute to California by foot is longer than most. From doing website design to working at a bakery Bernie is gratefully aware of his freedom right now to do this.
Follow Bernie’s adventures walking across the United States –>