Update from Bandon, Oregon!

Greetings from Bandon, Oregon!

It has now been 42 days since I began walking south beside the Pacific Ocean and I have covered a distance of 254 miles! A few of the towns I have walked through are Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Newport, Waldport, Yachats, Florence, Coos Bay and I am now in Bandon, Oregon.

[WATCH: Video Slideshow of Walking Yachats to Florence]

With each step, I feel empowered to go farther physically and in devotion to the cause of bringing people together to serve people in greatest need of love, friendship and life’s necessities. I feel called that this pilgrimage will be the core work of my life, and have made a vow to walk every nation on earth for the unity of humanity.

I have about 100 miles or so left to complete through Oregon, and then will walk the 1200 mile California coast to the Mexico border. After this, I am looking to go to Spain in June of 2017 to begin walking across Europe.

As I walk through places of greater populations, like San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, I am hoping to organize events for others to join me for a day on my pilgrimage.

There are so many things happening and vision becoming a reality, and I couldn’t do it without your connection and support. If you have any ideas about how we might work together for unity and service to others, or how I might serve you, please let me know.

If you would like to contribute towards helping me continue this walk, please go to gofundme.com/earthpilgrim.

Thank you,
Dylan Raines
dylan@earthpilgrim.net
415.484.WALK (9255)

The Power of Walking

When we walk we are undertaking an action which forces us to slow down. Walking, in a sense, is the same as playing music. One does not play music for the purpose of reaching a destination or an ending, but we play music to enjoy each pulsation of sound creating a melody.

In the same way, as we walk we take each step for the sheer enjoyment of movement. When we choose to go for a walk we do not do so for the purpose of arriving at a destination as quickly as possible, but for the sheer enjoyment that comes in the journey and the observance of the seemingly small details of life happening within our environment.

With the increasing normalcy of motorized-transportation, many of us spend most of our time in a hurry to arrive at a particular place at a particular time. We wake up in the morning and drive to work, oftentimes under the pressure of arriving on-time for fear we may get into trouble if we are late. We leave work in a hurry to arrive at our house or other plans we’ve made for our evening, and we rarely take the time to simply move without the pressure of getting somewhere else by a certain time.

Walking relieves the pressures of life. And that is a tremendous power which I hope to encourage us to experience more often.

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
Thich Nhat Hanh

VIDEO SLIDESHOW: What you see walking Yachats to Florence, Oregon Coast

Walking from Yachats to Florence can be difficult, with high elevation gains and not a single store of any kind within 30 miles to get any food or necessities. However, the rewards of the views along the way perpetually filled me with energy, as well as the people I met along these 2 days of walking highway 101 from Yachats to Florence. I hope you enjoy this video slideshow.

Day 37: Cape Perpetua to Florence

I woke up at my campsite this morning at around 6am and felt energized and ready to start the day. I quickly packed up my tent and sleeping bag, ate an odwallar bar for breakfast as I knew it would be about noon before I would get near any place to get some food.

As I started walking south along highway 101, I already began to feel the soreness in my legs from the previous day’s walk through Cape Perpetua. Normally, that would be a bad sign, but mentally I was so excited for the unknown possibilities that can happen in a day on the road that I knew this soreness would soon pass if I didn’t give it attention.

I have learned to grow fond of “Road Work Ahead” sign with the little stick figure of a man waving a flag. This means that I will soon meet a person holding a sign who will have no choice but to say hello and exchange at least a few words. I approached a man holding the sign that said “SLOW” so I quickly assured him (as would be obvious in that I am walking) that I would have no trouble obeying his sign. He chuckled and remarked about how beautiful it was outside today, in spite of a few rain droplets that had just started (I love the rain droplets).

I passed him to enter a tunnel (I also love tunnels) which was a bit disappointing in that because of construction the road was down to one lane. I say I was disappointed because I usually like the thrill of cars passing by inside a tunnel. There is normally a ledge I can jump onto to be a safe distance from being hit, and it gives me a sense of unique enjoyable oddity to be an on-foot traveler sitting inside of a tunnel carved through a mountain.

I passed through the tunnel and caught the other guard of the construction zone. She was a cheerful girl and we stopped and chatted for a few minutes.

I got to the Sea Lions caves and at this point the rain had kicked up a notch. I took a few minutes underneath a covering of the gift shop there to put my backpack’s rain cover on. Of course, as soon as I started walking again the rain stopped.

I had walked 15 miles and was getting close to the city of Florence, when a pickup truck pulled over behind me honking the horn. I turned back and there was a little ol’ lady behind the wheel who in a frail voice said “please let me give you a ride to get out of this rain.” How could I refuse? It was only about a 5 minute ride to town and I had already walked almost all the way, but perhaps she really needed a friend, even if for only 5 munites.

I asked about her life in Florence and she mentioned something about her child. I then asked about where her child lives and she said “Oh, still in Florence, but she hasn’t spoken to me in years. She blames me for the divorce with her father and thinks I’ve ruined her life somehow. I just don’t think I can bare this any longer. I wish the Lord would just take me now. I’m done.” She was coming to tears emotionally and nearly physically as it seemed I had touched a nerve that is most likely always on her mind- somewhere. Knowing that time was not something I had much of for this car ride, I suggested that she pray and listen to God to find out who she is and what she is here to do- how peace will come to her relationship with her daughter. She thanked me and had a big smile on her face. I think her smile showed hope.

I got some food for lunch at Fred Meyer and then walked about 45 minutes southward to the Siuslaw Coffee Roasters, one of my favorite coffee shops of the Oregon Coast. There I met a man named Matt, a local but an avid cyclist. We were talking about traveling, cycling, walking, the world, etc. when he said “You know I saw this Ted Talk a few years ago about a man who quit speaking for a long time and walked the Earth.” I said, “Oh, Dr. John Francis? I did his website and work with him now.” I think it was cool that he knew about the Grand Planetwalker.

After coffee and conversation and wifi I walked another hour and a half to J. Honeyman State Park, where I slept beneath the tall and wide trees who sing to skies.

Good night.

DAY 1 – 36: Walking the Oregon Coast

I began a global pilgrimage to end poverty back on June 5, but unfortunately I haven’t been doing a very good job of keeping a daily log book of all the events and things that happen each day along a journey like this.

That is something I shall attempt to remedy now! And so I will give you this (somewhat) concise overview of what has happened, as I hope to be posting these from each day from now on.

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The first 10 days of this walk down the west coast went by pretty quickly (well, as quickly as moving 3mph will get you). I started at Fort Stevens State Park which is located at the very NW tip of Oregon. I was living in Seattle since last August, and had one of my roommates who was moving to Los Angeles drop me off somewhere along the Columbia River where I caught a short bus ride heading west. I arrived at Fort Stevens in the evening and as soon as I entered the “hiker-biker” camping area, I was greeted by two new friends. “Hiker!” A girl yelled excitedly from her tent window. Her name was Rachel. Later we gathered around a picnic table with another newly-found friend named Eddy. We talked about relationships, corruption in the world of commercial fishing, philosophy, psychology, mindfulness and…you name it, we probably talked about it.

I made my way over a couple of days to Manzanita, my favorite town on the Oregon Coast, where Rachel was because she chose to take a rest day. We sent the day in town having coffee and lunch. She bought a kite which, with two other cyclists we met later at the campground, we all flew on the beach.

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I walked from there to Garibaldi, where an RV park had offered me a free night to camp. I didn’t meet anywhere here, as it seems to be more difficult to meet people at RV lots then at the “hiker-biker” campsites, but I thoroughly enjoyed a peaceful night’s sleep as it began to rain- all night.

The next day I walked in the rain to Tillamook and at this point I thoroughly realized the folly of walking in the rain while wearing jeans. “It all dries out eventually” I would tell myself for encouragement.

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Over the course of a few days, I continued walking through Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport and then to Yachats. At this point I had a decision to make. I was planning to go to a retreat for a ministry called Pray Oregon whom I built and manage the website, which was happening in about a week. If I continued through Yachats, my route back up to Salem would be quite difficult to foresee. So, I decided to take a short break from my southward path and took a bus back north to rest for a bit and connect with towns that I had previously walked through without really walking around very much.

My last night during this “rest time” I stayed with a host, someone on twitter who had seen tweets from my walk and invited to me to come stay at his house with him and his fiancee. We had a wonderful evening with a meal made of all organic products (many we picked from his garden in the backyard) and his fiancee, who is a chef at a very fine restaurant brought home some of the most amazing desert I’ve ever tasted.

Before I departed in the morning we filmed a video interview about my walk.

I went to the prayer retreat near Salem for 3 days. It was awesome! I connected with many “prayer leaders” from around the state and was able to see first-hand the power of unity and prayer through what they/we are doing together.

I returned to Lincoln City from Salem, went back to Manzanita to spend the 4th of July (because it’s my favorite), then continued south until today.

Today is day 36. I just completed walking about 21 miles from north of Yachats (where I had previously left off) to Carl G Washburn State Park. I feel incredibly energized and ready to march through the southern coast of Oregon.

Day 1 – 36 has been filled with so many excpetional people and if I were to write about them all I would have a book (maybe I should write a book?). I have been overwhelmed by the sense of freedom one receives from living with simplicity and on the road. Every day I awake wondering who I might encounter and what that experience will be like. Lives are being impacted every day, and it’s only just beginning… (day 37 to be posted soon!)

Thank you to everyone who has supported this ever-continuing on-foot journey!

Walking 1400 miles to end poverty!

Hi friends! If you didn’t know, a little over a week ago I started a 1400 mile pilgrimage down the west coast. It should take at least 3 months to reach San Diego. I have thus far walked about 140 miles to the central coast of Oregon.

The purpose of this walk is to raise awareness and funds for humanitarian projects that set people free from poverty. I envision having a network of causes who are transforming lives around the world to promote their work, invest funds I raise into their projects and eventually walk places around the world to witness the projects first-hand.

If you would be willing to support what I’m doing with a few dollars or whatever you wish to give, it would go exceptionally in helping me continue by paying for $5 a night campsites, food, clothing (looking for some better pants than jeans) and occasional necessities as they arise.

And if anyone happens be on the west coast over the next few months and cares to walk with me, I would love it!

Contact me anytime: dylan@freedomraines.org
415-484-WALK (9255)

The Monsters of Our Faults

It’s been 24 hours since I left Seattle for the grandest adventures of the unknown road, free of expectation and abandoned to limitless possibilities and already I have met an incalculable number of people who have impacted me deeply. Predominantly I see in the face of many a deep longing to be understood, listened to and profoundly questioned.

This also present the related introspection into our great family of humanity which is; could it be that being listened to is at the root of our great need? Our great disconnect between truth and the world we currently experience.

One of these in particular is a man I met yesterday named Joe Thompson. This was a man of fine character and caring for others and although his service to others likely stemmed from insecurity (as our conversation later into the night came to admit) and fear of rejection, his actions spoke louder than motivations. His soul cried beyond insecurities voiced and pain experienced to unveil and reach into a heart born to be free, to expose corruption and, as he requested often, to hug and be hugged.

We talked of the girl he’d been dating for 4 years yet only in the past 2 weeks started bringing up the idea of breaking up as though on a whim. When asked if he was afraid of losing her because he’d be alone he quickly responded with a hearty “I love being alone. I would rather be alone. Alone would be easier. I don’t want to lose her because I actually love her.” This I knew to be a man of finest breed. One who would lay down his life for the woman he loved yet at the same time perplexed with questions of “what did I do wrong?” Seeking blame to justify a relational circumstance he had no explanation for, he looked at himself because isn’t true that it’s always easiest to blame ourselves when we don’t really understand what nor why something is happening?

Yet blaming ourselves and searching for fault is the finest way to create monsters of our faults. Once the monster of fault is born in the mind it sprouts and grows with each blow we try to swing to bring it down and bridal its beast. The beast rages uncontrolled until we let it alone, let it be, let it go.

380 miles to go!

The great highway 101 of the west coast.