Forest Medicine, Wild Water, August 30

I was supposed to work overtime today, but something came up. Essentially I couldn't stand to be there anymore and I needed to get to the woods.

The soil in the gully down was easier to traverse today on account of the rain earlier this week. And partially my own increased confidence. I did a lot of things today on account of confidence. Lots of jumping mostly.


Life has been really freeing lately. I'm getting stronger, and learning how to use that strength. Learning my natural body and getting it more attuned to it's natural movement. It hurts a lot right now, but that's the physical manifestation of a paradigm shift. My life has been longing for this gentle pain for a long time. I'm 30 years old now, and I feel phyaically better than I did in any of my 20s.


There was a snapping turtle in the creek. A cool native that I haven't seen in here yet. He didn't seem to mind me as I walked the creek. We both know I'll keep my space.

My new shoes are amazing. The sole on the Vibram Fivefingers V-Alpha is amazing. In places where my bare foot slid around and nearly tripped me, the Megagrip sole clung to the rocks like Velcro. I love it. It added a good deal to the confidence today.


There's a resting shot from a quick video I took. I'll post it and another video another time. It was a good trip. I harvested some poles from a beaver dam a few bends downstream from the swimming hole. At places the creek bank was probably 10m deep, but the water was shallow and wide over fairly flat rocks, so when I was making trips back to the dam, I was able to comfortably jog. The water drains so easily from these shoes, and it is so refreshing to be able to feel it. The coolness helped my heel, which has become slightly bruised from wearing my big heavy stiff work boots. Wild water is very healing.


Someone, some time back, carved steps in the stone on the bank immediately past the swimming hole. I wonder how often they visit. I was appreciative of their work today. It made my work much easier.


That pic shows their handiwork and the swimming hole in the background. The poles I harvested were to make a ladder for getting up to the woods more easily. It will be included in one of the videos. My intent was to take a swim after it was done, but a thunderstorm popped up while I worked on it, triggering a flash floods in the creek. I carried on my work, mindful that there was a very high energy force just feet away. The usually calm babbling creek quickly reached a roar that I didn't dare enter. I watched as debris was brought down, bounced along rocks, smashed down to the bottom of the swimming hole, and sent on it's way over the calmer, wider space downstream. It's probably lodged in the beaver dam for me to use another time.

A few notched poles for the ladder

The sky got dark, a cold wind blew down the creek bed and stirred the trees, and thunder rumbled faintly through the sound of the blowing forest. It all whipped up, and I doffed my shirt to soak up the cool rain on my skin. My phone went into my backpack and I continued to work.

When it was time to go, after about five hours of exploring and building, I went through the woods. No trails exist here that I haven't built, at least not to my current knowledge. I don't want this place to be heavily accessed right now, so my trip out was nearly a crawl on a winding route through low saplings and understory in an attempt to not leave a trail. I was careful to avoid poison ivy, as it had been progressively presenting itself through the week after last week's exposure. The pain is active in my mind. I doubt I avoided it all perfectly, but I doubt I'll notice of o didn't. I'm already nearly covered in the rash below the knee. My yarrow, plantain, and comfrey salve is keeping it manageable.

My loadout is getting lighter. I have stopped taking water with me to the woods. There's living water there in the creek. I take a Sawyer Mini water filter with me instead. Benefiting from the landscape. Obtain a yield. I did bring my shears today, but didn't use them. I wasn't up in the woods much to work on clearing things. Maybe I'll get back out on the long weekend. I'll need a few nails to hold the ladder together. The notches held on the first and fourth try. The second and third it tried to toss me in the roaring creek.


Overall, this was the most therapeutic trip yet. It just keeps getting better. I ran about half of the route home. I'm not supposed to be running yet this early in my transition to barefoot shoes, but I couldn't help myself. Between the cool fresh water and the lightness of my feet, it just kind of happened. My calves are sore, but that's to be expected. My lower legs are relearning how to bear my weight. My feet are shifting to a more natural interaction with the ground. It's going to take adjustment, maybe for a month or more. More to look forward to.

I've been up 24 hours now, and I'm tired. Even with all the day's healing.

All action for the good of all,


Comments 20

Look at you being a woodsman with your water filter and making a ladder from wood and all!! That is so cool. Please tell me you have an ax!!

31.08.2019 02:33

A tomahawk :)

It stays in my backpack in my truck wherever I go lol

31.08.2019 12:21

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31.08.2019 02:39

Go you!!

I love my barefoot runners, although I can’t wear the 5-finger vibrams because they don’t fit my foot shape properly, I have a pair of Merrels. They made a massive difference for doing Tai Chi and Qigong outdoors (especially in winter).

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31.08.2019 03:47

Yeah, the movement that's possible in barefoot shoes is really awesome! This is my first pair, I'm going to eventually try more too! Have you heard of movnat? It's an approach to exercise and movement as a way to interact with your natural landscape.

Check it:

@riverflows, what about a natural movement archive? :)

31.08.2019 12:44

I like to run around barefoot a lot (which is interesting in the city sometimes... ), and my footfall is entirely different with and without shoes. No shoes, I walk toe-heel, or more specifically ball of foot-heel; with shoes I feel like I'm clunking around going heel-toe. It feels rather like my feet are blind. People who are always strapped up in hard shoes probably find the phrase "my feet feel blind" weird, but I can't think of any other way to say it. It's like when I first learned to drive a car, I did it barefoot, and could feel the engine through the pedals. Then someone told me it's illegal to drive barefoot (which apparently isn't true? But I didn't know that in the 90s), so I had to practically re-learn because I couldn't feel what I was doing with my feet and how much the engine was revving. This was most notable driving stick - barefoot, I could feel when to change gears, but with shoes on, I was like, "WTF am I doing, AAAAAHHHHH!" LOL

01.09.2019 01:27

Lol I drive barefoot more since Melissa told me it's illegal 🤣 I'm not a contrarian, I promise. Ball-heel is the natural way, and I totally feel you on being foot blind! We have to wear steel toes at work, and I can't feel a damn thing.

01.09.2019 17:55

You’ve been visited by @porters on behalf of Natural Medicine!

I think we all need those breaks away from work to reconnect with nature! It looks like such a wonderful spot you have discovered and it's great to hear how invigorating and how much these trips to your creek is adding to your well being! I'm so happy for you to be on this exploratory, healing journey! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

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31.08.2019 04:45

Thanks for stopping by, @porters! 💚

I can't get enough of this place out here. I wish I had the ability to get out every day like when I was a kid, but once a week is proving very beneficial.

31.08.2019 12:46

The contact with nature will always be good, but if you have the experience of leaving everything modern and entering primitively, if you are strong but you have the safisfaction of comforting the soul ...

31.08.2019 13:46

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31.08.2019 16:08

I was supposed to work overtime today, but something came up. Essentially I couldn't stand to be there anymore and I needed to get to the woods.

...I felt that on a deep and personal level, man.

I love your sharing of your time in the woods. Man I miss wild water. I've been curious about those filter straws, too.

Have you ever tried the poison ivy soap? It's supposed to be really good at keeping the rash at bay after exposure, but I've never tried it, as I don't usually encounter poison ivy around here (Denver).

01.09.2019 01:20

So, that filter is called the Sawyer mini. It's a much finer membrane than what's on the lifestraws, so it filters out a lot more bad stuff. I've not used a lifestraws, but the flow rate through the Sawyer is really really slow. The end that goes in the water can screw onto a water bottle. I'm gonna experiment with picking up a trash bottle and using that. It'll get me water for the day and I'll be picking up trash. The trash cleanup out there is a big project by itself.

I've not tried the poison ivy soap specifically, but I did used to have a bar of soap that had plantain in it. It worked well. Plantain is a good remedy for poison ivy.

01.09.2019 18:05

Ahhh, GTK about the finer membrane, I honestly didn't know the difference between different brands I've seen. Thanks!

01.09.2019 18:07

Sawyer and lifestraws are the most popular two. Only two I know of actually. The Sawyer is shorter and fatter than the lifestraw, and I think a few bucks more. But for the quality of filtration, the price can't be beat.

03.09.2019 01:44

I just looked them up online, and since they come with a cleaner doohickey and a pouch that you can FILL or alternately, screw it onto a water bottle - I think they're more versatile. :)

03.09.2019 13:30

Sure seems that way. Just don't lose them somewhere in the only two or three boxes of random crap from your side of the room that you're tired of organizing whenever you move. 🤣🤔🤣🍄

05.09.2019 10:19

LOL. Good advice.

05.09.2019 16:06