Posts Tagged With: West Highland Way

Readers Respond

We love to hear from our readers!
Thank you all for your ongoing positive responses. Your Amazon reviews help keep Trippin’ Through My 60s at the top of the hiking books reading list.
Keep ’em coming!

Categories: My books, Reg’s Books, Scottish Highlands and beyond, South West Coast Path, The Way of Saint Francis, The Way of St Francis, Tour du Mont Blanc | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Readers Respond

We love to hear from our readers!
Thank you all for your ongoing positive responses. Your Amazon reviews help keep Trippin’ Through My 60s at the top of the hiking books reading list.
Keep ’em coming!

Categories: My books, Reg’s Books, Scottish Highlands and beyond, South West Coast Path, The Way of Saint Francis, The Way of St Francis, Tour du Mont Blanc | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Readers Respond

We love to hear from our readers!
Thank you all for your ongoing positive responses. Your Amazon reviews help keep Trippin’ Through My 60s at the top of the hiking books reading list.
Keep ’em coming!

Categories: Reg’s Books, Scottish Highlands and beyond, South West Coast Path, The Way of Saint Francis, The Way of St Francis, Tour du Mont Blanc | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Readers Respond

We love to hear from our readers!
Thank you all for your ongoing positive responses. Your Amazon reviews help keep Trippin’ Through My 60s at the top of the hiking books reading list.
Keep ’em coming!

Categories: My books, Reg’s Books, Scottish Highlands and beyond, South West Coast Path, The Way of Saint Francis, The Way of St Francis, Tour du Mont Blanc | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

European Trekking Adventures Await

Announcing the release of Reg’s new book.

“I needed a reality check. I was lost on the first day of the most challenging trek of my life.”

Reginald Spittle

Trippin’ Through My 60s

Leaving the working world behind, Reg closed his office door for the last time. Rejecting a life of golf and relaxation, he soon discovers his new passion where he least expects it. In Trippin’ Through My 60s, Reg and his wife Sue continue their adventures on four famed European long-distance trails:

  • Scotland’s West Highland Way
  • The Alps’ Tour du Mont Blanc
  • Italy’s Way of St. Francis
  • England’s South West Coast Path

Unexpected turns, humor and memories of life in the Sixties create the backdrop in this gripping story as Reg tackles backpacking escapades the push him to the edge.

Now available at Amazon.com

Categories: My books, Reg’s Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coming Soon to Amazon!

I am excited to announce that my second book is just days away from publication! Stay tuned here for updates or send a note to spittlereg@gmail.com to receive your personal notification.
Categories: Reg’s Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why I Trek

As we begin the countdown to our fifth European trekking adventure, I felt it was time to share my story of just why I’ve become so obsessed with walking. I feel extremely fortunate to have recognized the proper trail that would lead me through troubled times.

You never know who you’ll meet walking along the trail!

The door opened and he extended his hand, introducing himself. “Hello, I’m Dr. J. I can’t believe you are still walking!” I shook his hand and glanced over at Reg in stunned silence.

As Reg shook the hand of the neurosurgeon who would ultimately save my life, I tried to prepare myself for what was to come. Six months earlier, I had noticed numbness in the ends of two fingers on my left hand, and I soon found myself shuffled between a series of appointments and doctors. Days earlier I’d had an MRI of my cervical spine and had been told it revealed a tumor. I was about to learn just exactly what that meant. I suspected the news would not be good.

It was November of 2011. Reg and I studied my MRI on Dr. J.’s computer while he explained that my tumor, a fairly rare intramedullary ependymoma we would eventually learn, was located within my spinal cord and had grown large enough to begin restricting the flow of spinal fluid. That was causing the numbness and tingling, along with a host of other symptoms that I would eventually piece together.

“You will need surgery, he said. “It is not without risk. We will take every precaution, but there is a chance you will be left quadriplegic. It is also possible that you will not survive the surgery…but if we do nothing, the tumor will kill you.”

Three and a half weeks later, two weeks before Christmas, I was prepped for surgery. There was really no other choice. Ratcheting up my powers of positive thinking, I put my life in Dr. J.’s hands. I did tell him, in all honesty, that if I couldn’t walk out of the hospital, not to bother waking me up. The next thing I remember, I was in a hospital room bed with Reg by my side.

As I slowly became aware of my surroundings, Dr. J. hurried in and began touching my fingers. “Move this one, now this one.” When I wiggled each finger, as ordered, he turned to Reg and announced, “She will be fine.” And off he went.

While the diagnosis was devastating, the recovery was absolutely traumatizing. Surgery had been pretty much a complete success, but I hurt every time I moved. Two days later, I was sent home. I could walk but I couldn’t feel my feet. Sheets and pants felt like sandpaper dragged across my bare legs. My rib cage felt as though it had been wrapped with an elastic band, and both hands were numb and tingling. I felt as though a spike had been pounded down alongside my neck, a neck that sported an angry, red six-inch scar. All part of the recovery process I was told. My nerves had been traumatized and needed time to recover…and so did I!

A year and a half later, in 2013, Reg and I trekked Spain’s Camino de Santiago together. It was a walk of discovery and gratitude for us both. We had our individual reasons for tackling such a challenging feat. For me, walking is something I will never again take for granted. Reg and I have continued to trek the trails of Europe where we find both a sense of adventure and contentment.

While I’m left with a few lingering side effects from the surgery, I’ve learned not to complain. Some (most) days are better than others. When so much could have gone wrong, I will forever be in debt to, and in awe of Dr. J.’s skills. To keep trekking is the best way I know of acknowledging how incredibly thankful I am that he was able to save my life.

And that is why I trek.

Categories: Inspiration, South West Coast Path | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Walk Scotland’s Highlands With Us

The year after we walked the Camino de Santiago, we journeyed to our former home, Scotland, to walk the West Highland Way. It was magnificent! Sue has a slide show for you.

Categories: Scottish Highlands and beyond | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Ashland is officially home, sweet home!

The bamboo floors were the last piece of the renovation project. West Highland Way fans may note the photograph of Buachaille Etive Mor above the couch.


Time to celebrate with a barbecue on the front deck!

Four months after moving to Ashland, Oregon, our home here is complete, thanks to excellent work by kitchen and flooring experts. It was challenging to live in the mess and without a kitchen, but we got lots of exercise going down and up the stairs whenever we needed food from the fridge.

There are two bedrooms, a garage and a bathroom downstairs. The master, a bathroom and a half bath are on the same floor as the living area.

The best part: Downtown Ashland is just a 10-minute walk.

We miss (not really) going downstairs to the old fridge in the garage and doing dishes in the laundry room during the kitchen project.

 

 

 

Categories: Ashland life | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

Appalachian Trail record setter has world at her feet

Jennifer Pharr Davis and her daughter pause for a photo with Reg.

After walking 12,000 miles on six continents, Jennifer Pharr Davis has her heart with Brew, her husband of six years, and their toddler daughter.

During her talk at the Ashland Library Wednesday, though, it was clear that part of her longed to be back on the trail.

In 2011, Jennifer hiked the 2,181-mile Appalachian Trail in a record 46 days. National Geographic named her Adventurer of the Year.

Her first trek was at the age of 21 and it was one of three times she has walked the entire Appalachian. It took her five months. She learned “it all starts with a single step.”

After the first walk, she said she longed to be back on the trail. “I missed how beautiful I felt on the trail…you can do so much more than you once thought was possible.”

Her message in Ashland: “Go outside! You grow so much through things that are not in your control.”

She is quick to credit her husband and many others for their support during her record-setting walk. They met her at the crossroads with food, clean clothes and other necessities. Her journey started in Maine and ended in Georgia. She endured shin splints, saw 36 bears and logged two 60-mile days.

She remembered one particularly painful day when she told Brew she was quitting. He told her to “suck it up” and give it at least one more day. It was an example, she says, of how you have to go backwards before you can go forward.

In ten years, her walks have included the Pacific Crest Trail, the 600-mile Bibblemun Track in Australia, the Inca Trail in Peru, Mount Kilimanjaro and the West Highland Way in Scotland. Only one continent, Antarctica, has escaped her feet and it is unlikely to change anytime soon. She says she cannot take the cold.

Her stop in Ashland came near the end of a 50-state speaking and book-signing tour that ends later this month in Las Vegas. She is the owner and founder of the Blue Ridge Hiking Company and lives in Asheville, N.C.

In Sue's and my copy of Called Again: A Story of Love and Triumph, her story about her record-setting walk, Jennifer wrote, “Keep going and travel light!”

Precisely.

 

 

 

Categories: Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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