Walk Marks Alumna’s Birthday—and Trail Recognition
from Titan Magazine (Fall 2003)
Confronting her 40th birthday earlier this
year, Virginia Gregurek decided to celebrate with a grand gesture.
Unwilling to settle for a big bash or two-minute skydive, the commemoration
consumed 112 days of her life and took her on a journey of 1,200
“I started with the idea of wanting to walk
across the U.S.,” Gregurek recalls. Daunted by the enormity
of her goal, she decided to look for a less-rigorous way to make
a difference in the world. While reading a magazine, she spotted
an ad asking for volunteers to walk the California coastline. “I
knew immediately I wanted to do it.”
The ad belonged to Coastwalk, a Sebastopol, Calif.-based
nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting a continuous border-to-border
California coastal trail.
Gregurek and nine others stood at the border between
Oregon and California on June 3 to begin their three-month-plus
journey. At press time, they were scheduled to reach the Mexican
border on Sept. 22.
Since graduating, Gregurek ’00 (B.A. art-art
history) has been working on a screenplay and taking writing classes
at UCLA. When she discovered Coastwalk, she knew she had the time
and the desire to do the hike, but she questioned whether she could
meet the physical demands.
Gregurek trained for a month, averaging about 12.5
miles a day. As a novice, she is comforted by the fact that her
companions are experienced hikers.
Along the way the group slept on the beach, in state
parks and in youth hostels. They toted daypacks while a 10-passenger
van carried their food and other supplies.
“It was really exciting for her, and I supported
her 100 percent,” says Gregurek’s husband, Philip Sadler.
A 1984 CSUF graduate (B.A. theatre arts), Sadler joined his wife
for a few weekend hikes as she trekked closer to Southern California.
Gregurek said she most looked forward to being in
nature 24 hours a day. “California is the most beautiful place,
and I want to make sure its beauty is preserved for all of us to
« back to People