Kumano Kodo: Day 2

I was really sore from pilates yesterday, and a run the day before that and yet we hiked. And hiked, and hiked. Longer on the City Creek Trail than we have ever done. I don’t know how far. All I know is that my fitbit buzzed a little bit after the turn around point. And today, I have zero photos to show for it. What I do have is a memory full of hiking with intention, and yet lots of daydreaming. A good balance I suppose. Watching where I put my feet. Thinking about how healthy they feel compared to this time last year when I was in pain on both, likely with plantar fasciitis. But they are healed, save for maybe a little tendonitis in my right metatarsals (extensor tendonitis). Nothing I don’t feel like I can’t work through. More calf stretching is needed apparently.

Daydreaming about Japan a lot lately. This time last year we were there and I can’t help trying to figure out when our next visit will be or if I’ll be able to live there at some point in the future. Google photos keeps reminding me of what I was doing this day last year, as if I’ve forgotten. Seems like a fine thing to share here. These are from the Nakahechi route of the Kumano Kodo (11/12/17) and then the hiking route over a mountain to Yunomine Onsen. Scheming to go back.

Third generation operators of Chikatsuya Minshuku. So sweet. Yoroshiko onegaishimasu.

Tired feet and bodies riding the bus to skip ahead a few miles. Mountain road views.


All are welcome on the Kumano Kodo.

Oyunohara in the distance. Pilgrims in the foreground.

Entrance to Hongu Taisha from the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi trail.

Hongu Taisha shrine purification.

Entrance to Hongu Taisha. No photos allowed in the shrine.

Steps leading up from the parking area at Hongu Taisha for the non-hiking pilgrims.

Oyunohara. (huge torii gate!)

Steep steps up the mountain over to Yunomine Onsen.

Choose your own adventure Kumano Kodo style.

Street of Yunomine Onsen. Boiling river water from the onsen that flows into the stream. The onsen itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

View from Minshuku Omuraya in Kawayu Onsen. Lovely river.


(not so) EZ Dresden Quilt Challenge

So we’re now on Day 6 of the EZ Dresden Quilting Challenge and by now you know all of the details and the PRIZES and have seen some really talented quilters in the likes of Lee, Kati, Victoria, TanyaVal, and Leigh. Are you inspired yet to join the challenge, or are you still on the fence about committing (although we’ll have all summer to stitch)? If you’re already on board GREAT! But if you’re still undecided because of time, or overcommitment, or whatever, I offer the following insight that will hopefully get you to change your mind.

The Idea

I am process-driven. I am not in a race to finish a quilt a week, or even a month (as my guild members can attest at my lack of show and tell). Combine that with the fact that I am a list maker. I make lists. I’ve always been this way, but started making lists even more frequently in college. It is not uncommon for me to write something on my “to do” list that I’ve already completed just so I can feel like I accomplished something cross it off.

I currently have 18 “planned” quilts on my list. 18. That were in my head, and then made it to the list. Not to mention the fact that the list needs to be updated. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by my own hobby. How wacky is that?

So when the idea came about to organize and participate in a Dresden Plate quilt challenge, honestly, I felt a little lukewarm about it. Don’t get me wrong–I LOVE Dresdens. And I love my friends at EZ Quilting, especially Darlene Zimmerman, so how could I not participate in a challenge to celebrate her 20th Anniversary of making my quilting life easier? So the big question for me was how do I fit this challenge in to my “quilt schedule?” Currently it is on the list as number eight:

#8 EZ Dresden Quilt Challenge: “Gingham” inspired, navy, off-white, grey, beige, brown, color (yellow? Red, orange (sm. Gingham))? Asian? Use real Japanese. Homemade (Gwen 37 Sketches) gingham.

How is that for a ridiculously complex description of a quilt? I clearly had some initial ideas about fabrics and colors. Although what I had in my head then, was not what I am working on now. Continue reading


“Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” –Sylvia Plath