An Appalachian Trail Ridgerunner
Her passion…to “express myself confidently, beautifully and easily with a healthy self-love that radiates out to all humanity with joyful purpose and prosperity.” — Regina Reiter
At the age of fifty-six, Regina Reiter began her career as an Appalachian Trail Ridgerunner in the state of Virginia. For five days out of the week she hikes within an eighty mile stretch of the AT (Appalachian Trail)…introducing herself and greeting hundreds of hikers each year. She loves her job, nature and long-distance hiking! Her nomadic lifestyle is full of adventure, challenges and transformation as she has traveled the AT now several times, along with many other trails. Having hiked thousands of miles, her desire is to share that passion with other women. She began her company…Forgiveness Walks, a business where she coaches other women to help them prepare for their Appalachian Trail experience…both inwardly and outwardly, she encourages other women to also live confidently, beautifully and easily with a love that radiates to all.
Regina and her companion John, have hiked numerous trails together. From the Pacific Crest Trail…the Appalachian Trail, the Benton MacKaye Trail, Foothills Trail and most recently the Long Trail…just to mention a few…these two individuals love what they do!
John is easy going and light hearted. He cares for fellow hikers and encourages “Leave No Trace” principles to all. As a ridgerunner over the years within the states of Georgia, Virginia and Maine, he continues to educate and inform other hikers. When I summited Mt Katadhin on September 2nd, 2012…he came to the Birches Campground where long distance hikers tent the night before they summit…and offered to us a delicious cake to be shared, congratulating those who would complete their hike the following day.
Both are very knowledgable and interesting as they shared their experiences of the AT as ridgerunners with us.
Our hike at the Reserve began at 6:00pm…with a chance of rain, Regina and I grabbed our umbrellas as we led the others through the prairie, lined with Goldenrod and New England Asters. We hiked at a slow pace, talking and sharing…stopping to watch the six white tailed deer and then later as we each separated ourselves for a few moments, breathing in the solitude, reflecting on the moment, listening to the sounds that surrounded us and looking out toward the sea of gold and purple. We each took some individual time of about ten minutes on the trail soaking in our surroundings with gratitude. We then re-grouped to finish the hike together, waiting and watching for the sunset.
per Wikipedia…”A Ridgerunner hikes sections of the Appalachian Trail, meets and greets hikers, provides Trail brochures and literature to inform visitors about the A.T. and its intended primitive experience, its location, regulations, and traditions. They take steps to encourage the best behavior on the part of hikers, to facilitate a positive Trail experience (particularly for those who are poorly prepared), and to elicit the support of Trail neighbors and those who live nearby, but who may not understand or use the Trail properly. Ridgerunners, by their presence, discourage and mitigate misuse of the Appalachian Trail and its environs by performing educational and public relations functions”…and that is exactly how Regina and John described and explained it to us while on our Sweet Arrow Reserve hike.
Afterwards we gathered at my home where we continued our discussions around a dinner of spaghetti squash topped with a marinara sauce, served with kale salad, asparagus and fruits of cantaloupe, raspberries and watermelon. A delightful time for all and after the guests left, Regina, John and I reminisced about the trails we had hiked. From the norovirus to mountain lion…from climbing Mt Mansfield in Vermont, Mt Katadhin in Maine to Mt Whitney in California and from the Florida Trail to the Long Trail…we talked about life on the trails till well after midnight.
I sincerely appreciated your willingness to come out to Bellbrook, Ohio where you shared your life with us for the evening. Thank you John and Regina. The best to you both as you continue to guide, share and protect the Appalachian Trail together.