Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Short and Sweet Update

Courtesy, Chief Brenton W. MacAloney, Westminster F.D.We had a hot and windy walk from 'lemonstah' through Fitchburg to 'Westminsta' where the World was kept safe in the Fire Station cradled in their boat. We were invited by a sweet family for a healthy dinner and a shower (for which we are grateful.) This Morning we have been walking in a cooler wind through Gardener, the Chair city, and are taking a shade break close to a pond by the side of 2A. It is beautiful today and the air smells cleaner than I have sensed in a good while, very refreshing.
I must have done something right in bringing up my son. This morning a funeral procession passed by and we both stopped, removed our hats and respectfully waited for the cars to pass. I am proud that my son has respect for others...
Have a wonderful day New England!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Claims to Fame

All towns, large and small, have something that makes them special. Boston has the Joslin Diabetes Center, among many other things. This morning we are leaving Leominster near the birthplace of Johnny Appleseed on our way to the second most hilly town in the states, so it is said; Fitchburg Massachusetts. Along the route of the Boston Marathon we passed the home of the Electric Clock. I have been in the bell town and the city that was nearly our nation's capitol. Who knows what historic marker we'll see today hidden among the weeds.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Walking on Ayer and The Nor'eastern cook out.

On Sunday as we walked through Ayer we were invited to the backyard family and friend cookout of main Street and just could not leave until this morning. We have been walking on Old Union Turnpike and the New england hospitality has us waiting by an Ice cream stand while a woman has run home to make us a healthy sandwich.
We could not be rude and turn down the Nor'Eastern cookout any more than we can decline a hummis sandwich!
I intend to get a bit more walking done today. Let's see which way the wind blows...

Time Marches On

We left the early morning calm of Walden Pond reserve yesterday going into Concord and then found ourselves walking in the heat of the day on The Great Road. Along the way I saw a historical marker, the path the Minutemen of 1775 walked. I had a few miles to reflect on ther burden centuries ago as I carried my pack, bag, and staff and rolled the heavy world at my side with the wind tacking heavily at our faces. I have said this before: I have too much time to think.
We came to Littleton as the skies began to darken and as the rain came we were once again blessed with a family of "Road Angels" who rode me to our support van at Walden Pond where thestaff had allowed me to park in the service area. The night manager of the food chain let us stay on the property and New England Hospitality was topped off with a former triathelete taking us Kimball's for the best ice cream I have had in my recent memory.
Today after breakfast we are leaving the Great Road for 2A so we can stay in Massachusetts rather than head up to New Hampshire directly.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Out of Conord/Westward 2A

A good breakfast and scenic walk through Concord and now we are taking a shade break by the MCI fence before the afternoon walk in the heat of the Massachusetts sun. Still beautiful.

Please go visit the DESA site, accessible on the side bar->

And into Concord...

The Concord Fire Department were not to be outdone by Lincoln. So, they gave us a Concord patch and a union patch! Now we are having breakfast in historic Concord on Main Street. Should be a beautiful day...


We walked 13.3 miles from Fresh Pond to Walden Pond yesterday. I arose before sunrise and rolled down to the pond for acouple pictures. I will not roll around the pond, that would just be wrong as the idea is to preserve this beautiful scene as much as possible while developing it for tourism. It must be done. At 5 am a photographer and a man fishing in a canoe were perhaps the only deep thinkers. The triatheletes in training just rippled the calm waters.
It IS the journey, not the destination.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

On the Road Again

We got back to the road today after spending some restful time with family. We took the van ahead several miles from Boston into Cambridge, but not too far because of the heat and the storm that was to blow through this afternoon. It worked out well and we are "all set" for our push toward Concord in the morning. We had a great visit with my sister and her family, we had a wonderful time.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Similarities Abound

My new big sister was born in Boston.
Our parents had a secret: they were both in college and, though they were married, put her up for adoption. Our parents told no one, and took the secret to their graves. There were a few things my father said to me nearing his death that are clearer now in "the light of day". He shared he had no regrets for the full life he had. Years later when the information laws changed in Massachusetts "My new big sister" contacted us. I am the youngest and was the last to be told. She had sent, via the web, pictures of original records and several pictures of her as a child and young woman. When I saw her photos I could not tell her and I apart from my teenaged years when my hair was long (when I had hair). The childhood pictures were the same. When I spoke with "my new big sister" on the phone it was like talking with myself, the same tone of voice, the similar laugh. Her meter of speech the pauses and points of emphasis were that of our father. Months later, she and her partner traveled to Louisville to look in the archives of our mother that had been collected and given to the U of L library as well as meet us, her sister and two brothers. The striking thing for me then was how she was our father, similar hands build, knees and mannerisms that perhaps only a child who had grown up watching his father could perceive. It doesn't end there, the blend of us all to me is amazing, the social attitudes, work ethic, strengths, interests and quirks.
She is my sister, and though we grew and lived apart, there is no doubt we have been struck from the same mold. My journey has led me now to Boston, and staying these days in my sister's home I see in its decorations similar tastes in color and decor to our father's as well as his love of gardening and more. A good visit with family without the baggage of a lifetime of childish mistakes and hurt that all families must endure and work past.
There is more, our mothers suffered from diabetes and passed-on from its complications, both our birth mother and "my new big sisters'" mother whom she cared for for years with her slow decline from diabetes. As with most everyone I have met on these walks, our families and the households of those we hold dear, are devastated by the varied forms of diabetes and it effects. This is not a similarity of family, but of a people, and one we all need to strive to change. Diabetes has its hold on the World. Diabetes effects too many cultures, and we all need to come together, like a family, to slow and reverse this.

If nothing else, be an advocate for yourself by being fit, healthy, and active.

I am happy to have this time with family. I will stay with my son another day to enjoy our rest, our "eddie" in the river which is this journey, Nice (the dog) is well rested and is anxious for action. There are people we need to meet tomorrow as we angle toward Maine, perhaps another mountain, certainly to meet new good friends.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Shameless Promotion and a Beautiful Representative

Last week on our first day in Massachusetts I was standing by the front door of an insurance agency while waiting for Ethan (my son) to get a sandwich at the deli next door when I met a lovely woman who was calling on the insurance broker. The beautiful and smartly dressed woman,  I will call Kim Hayes-senior account executive of JN Phillips Auto Glass. While talking with her I asked if the auto glass chip repair polymers were as good as I had heard. She gave me a professional description of the process and her card. This morning I called for the repair as I am taking the day to visit my eldest sister near Boston and cleaning up the supply van while giving us all a much needed rest from walking ten miles a day for diabetes awareness. When I called the customer service line 508-795-0053 I was treated well and was given an estimated arrival time for this afternoon which they were able to beat. While making the repair, the service technician (I will call him Jim) was called by dispatch and told that the repair was taken care of by Corporate Headquarters (I was ready to pay for the $75 repair.) The repair, though not invisible, was what "Kim" had described and saved the overall expense of replacing the windshield. From my experience keeping the original glass is better. Jim, Kim, ans the dispatcher on the phone this morning were all fine representatives of JN Phillips Auto Glass and I am thankful for their help. Should you need auto glass replacement or repair from any of the region's over seventy mobile service locations call (I'll call her Kim) 401-327-1891, or the service fax# 508-753-5424.
Shameless promotion complete...

Monday, June 21, 2010

From Curbing "Heartbreak" on Fathers Day, Saving Rain and a Summer Break

First I want to thank the Fire Company of Newton Massachusetts, the birthplace of the Fig Newton, who gave us a place to sleep and literally held the World up, as a team, while I took a picture. Where Perth Amboy New Jersey struggled with the task, the men and woman of Newton needed no coaching whatsoever. Though it was a coincidence,after completing my personal Boston Marathon and getting a ride back to the firehouse, I stepped out of the car and was greeted by the strains of the bagpipes from inside the building. A Newton congrats for a job completed, in World record time. Thanks again!

When we left the station on Fathers Day morning it was still cool but soon we were sweating from the steady rises over to "Heartbreak Hill" where I gave myself an extra challenge by pushing the World while balancing along the Six inch granite curbing all the way to the top. All across Maryland and much of New Jersey the roads had miles of roadside curbing that served as good training for the three teared heart breaker. I took the tortoise approach to Boston's World Class Course by stopping to rest, eat, and talk along the way. Still the hills were tough and I could see why it had the name, "Heartbreak". By the summit my legs were burning and I was occasionally miss-stepping off the edge of the narrow curbing. Nice (the dog) was ready for a shade break as the morning cool changed to full-on heat. Like a well conditioned athletic tortoise, I opted to stop for coffee and a breakfast sandwich while the dog rested in the shade of the World. It was then when my son was reminded it was Father's Day and gave me an obligatory Father's Day hug that I realized why I had awakened in the night to review Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet which I read to my Father on his deathbed. I think too much sometimes...

We passed along the route of a 5k race just before it's start and were ale to use the road for awhile where it had been blocked off with cones.The cones only served as obstacles for the traffic to swerve in and out of, but I still rolled in the street for the fun of it. We then came close to the route of the Flag Parade and were asked to walk along with the Flags of the world. I declined and turned toward the finish line in downtown Boston. The heat of the city streets super-heated the air, and my lack of enough sleep compounded my fatigue. Then, while my son shopped for a tape in a vintage record store, Nice and me found shade in the green space across the road on Commonwealth Ave. while he found his selections, Then we were off to the finish line on Boilston Street. When we reached the finish line I blocked traffic and gave my boy the phone for a picture... which was no easy task as he had his headphones blasting and could not hear what I was saying when I asked him to take the picture. Gotta' love modern technology: my fathers Day gift of having to yell at the top of my lungs at my teen. Though my voice echoed off the downtown buildings he could not hear a thing, funny to me and shocking to passers by. I had accomplished what no one had before, The Boston Marathon, in traffic, with a six-foot canvas World.

Copley Square is where we rested after the finish. I received a call from a nice man who brought us a snack, or rather, brought Nice (the dog) a snack. He let me know of the memorial to Kahlil Gibran at the edge of the Square, and I walked with he and his daughter to the stone marker with Nice. I wanted to see the memorial and could sense that Nice did not like the man who was talking with Ethan just behind us. As I began to walk with them Nice snapped at the man who had reached out to pet him with an open hand. The man had not read the signs the dog was giving him which I could read without looking, "Stay away from Ethan (my son)". The dog doesn't like some street people. He had Ethan fooled, but not Nice. After saying goodbye to the nice man we went on to the Boston Commons and called my sister who lives nearby who came give us a ride to the van.

Just before she arrived, a storm blew-in and drenched us and the world which we deflated and stuffed into the back of her car. My sister saved us from being miserable and took us back to the van. We then went to my sister's house where we spent the first day of summer resting and talking. We are having such a good time washing clothes and drying out the world. We will stay here Tuesday to enjoy another day of rest while I sew up my ragged back pack and straighten the supply van. All this is a fabulous excuse to hang out with family. Giving my Achilles tendon time to rest also has merit. We have been walking and I have forgotten to take a day here and there to heal and rest. Where better than with family? If not for the rain I may have missed the opportunity.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A "World" Record!

We did it! We started and finished the route of the Boston Marathon in fortyseven hours and one minute! Now I know what it's like to be the first kernel to pop! Feel free to get an earth ball and beat this new "World" record.

Marathon- Metaphor

We have been giving a space to sleep by the good men and woman at Newton. I napped a couple hours, read a book from cover to cover aloud to myself (in a whisper) by the light over the bench outside the firehouse. I have carried this pocket sized book with me during al my walks for diabetes, the disease that took my mother. I recited the book to my father in his last hours. Why I read it to him, or grabbed it as I hurried out thee door to catch the plane to his bedside instead of packing one piece of luggage, is still a mystery to me. He passed moments after I finished. Why I woke and felt the need to review it aloud to myself and share that I did to the www is also unknown to me. I should be asleep, resting for the last miles of my World rolling record of the Boston Marathon coarse.

The marathon doesn't end at the finish line.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Route

Today we made our way from Upton to Hopkinton and passed the start line for the marathon. ThE way was tight.
I was also at the end of the day. Thankfully I again got help from the fire departments who called ahead to Ashland so they knew we were coming. Just when we arrived the one man who I gave my number called and came to shuttle me to the van. The fire dept let us shower and now we are going to try and get up early to beat the heat. I have a few tales of the day but I must rest, sorry.

No Wrong Turns in Massachusetts

After getting a late start yesterday morning we rolled along another Main Street, and we have walked many on our journey, into town. We passed by small lakes as the brisk wind had me walking as fast as I could until we came to a business named Potpourri who were preparing for a company cook out who gave us a piece of grilled chicken before we went on our way. We stopped at the Northbridge Fire Department for a company patch and some advice to head toward Boston. I followed the direction to go straight, but I went straight straight not left straight which I later discovered was the right straight. This led us past a couple who stopped us and told us we had taken a wrong turn after I told them where we were headed. It turns out the wife was diabetic and we talked of the eye surgeries she had received at The Joslin Center and important proper regulation and knowledgeable physicians are to proper care. This wrong turn had led me to have a fulfilling conversation and memory I will hold dear.

We turned around, now pushing against the strong wing and went slowly the short distance to the Cross Street that had us on course to Boston again. A short time later we met a woman whose husband had seen us as we walked by during our "wrong turn" and she took our phone number and helped us during the day to clarify the best route. She also gave me the ride at the end of the day to get our support van moved up. Our "wrong turn" led us to one of many Good Persons of the day.

After rolling through a gauntlet of narrow roadway playing dodge ball with traffic we finally came to open sidewalks as the clouds grew dark and I was wondering where we may be able to stop for the night. It was then that an Upton Patrol officer pulled up and noticed we were "having a ball". In all the mile I have walked this year that waS the first time anyone had said that line, I had to laugh out loud. As we talked I asked for his help to find sanctuary for the night and he did just that by talking to the fire department of Upton who have let us stay in the back lot.

The members of the police and fire community in Upton were more than generous with a place to park, they have fed us and given us some extra supplies for our journey. It is warm hearted generosity of Angels of the road that make this journey more than special. II am doing the walking, but our sponsors like Uptons' finest and the good woman who helped us through the day are the heroes.

In Massachusetts some drivers stop to let us cross even when we aren't thinking of going to the other side. I will admit, I crossed anyway.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hello and Goodbye

Two days ago we began our day in Connecticut and were walking on SR 6 East when we came to Cross Road. I turned to my son and joked about the name, then. The State Troopers came and told us that we had to deflate the World so they would stop getting calls about our walking on the roadside. They thought our cause was good an would allow us to walk without the World suggesting we just walk in towns. We had walked in downtown Willimatic the day before where I had to roll out in the street often because the sidewalks were too cluttered. The two young troopers were unmoved by my pile of news articles and firehouse patches or that we had been on the local Tv news in recent days. They walted no more calls and we had to go, anywhere but there.
We were given a ride back to the van and I deflated the World there on the roadside and drove the rest of the way out of the state. I drove the speed limit and the only car to pass me was pulled over a mile ahead by the same state trooper who had been concerned for the rubber neckers who may keep a'callin.

Yesterday we walked twelve miles across the Northwestern corner of Rhode Island before the rain caused us to bounce to the nearest Walmart in Massachusetts to begin our edging over to Boston. The sky was sunny early, then the clouds and rain moved in until a few moments ago. We will begin our days in this fine state from Whitinsville with a strong wind to guide us.

Godbye to Connecticut and Rhide Island an hello to Massachusetts!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

" It's your call."

It was your calls that got us in more newspaper articles than I am able to keep track of.

It was your calls that had us on two area TV news programs in the past few days.

It was your calls that had two young state troopers of Connecticut come and make "the call that wide state road 6 was too hazardous to travel.

It was your call that gave us the excuse to take a day to drive to the beautiful beaches of Rhode Island before returning to the borders edge.

It was your call, you hens of SR 6. May you drive undisturbed by pedestrians walking legally on the right side of the white line on the pull off lane that was wider than the driving lane for almost the whole way to the border of your fine hen house- I mean state.

Thank you Connecticut!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Special Deliveries with a Smile

I got a visit late last night from a fireman of Columbia who gave me a patch and more compliments than I deserve. I am just a man walking with a little message to walk and be fit for your health. Still, I am thankful for the support.

This morning I rose and when I got to the road I was met by a man on a mustang with friendship muffins on a silver platter, he shared one with me. ( I am not kidding, literally a platter and a Mustang... Convertible).

With. Sunny skies and an equal disposition I think it will be a warm day figuratively and literally. Thanks to our Hostess last nightn a woman of beautiful design and a big heart.!!!

Have a great, sunny day Connecticut!


I just got a comment that said I blew off someone who came to talk to me on the road. I am sorry I hurt their feelings. I may have been tired. I may have been watching traffic bearing down on them when they weren't. I may have been having a flashback of New York where bluntness is the norm. We talk to sometimes hundreds of people each day and I am sorry I was short and hurt feelings. Maybe I will get a chance.

P.S. Coca-Cola coworkers, yes we stayed in his driveway.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Good Day For Walking

Sunday we started a bit late because of the mist but once we were underway the overcast sky made for a easy walk without the sun forcing us into the shade throughout the day. We rolled just under ten miles up hills and around bends in the road with some guard rails on both sides but the travelers on the road were for the most part willing to share the road.Once when we were standing well off the road a car load of old women honked in protest like the chipmunks in New York that had issue when we crossed there territory. Only a few drivers stopped in the roadway when they could have pulled to the side, these people I get nervous about but the best thing is to answer their queries as fast as I can and hope they don't get rear ended and end our walk. Generally the people of Connecticut are better than most states about road safety for which I am glad. We had a good day of conversations and I was surprised we walked the distance we did with all the stops we made during the day. I we walk only a mile and talk all day to promote diabetes we are doing our job.
I didn't take time to applaud the man I met on Saturday who walked across the road with his wife to talk to us, he had lost over fifty pounds in the past several months after being told he was on the verge of becoming diabetic and said he was still loosing weight. Sir, you deserve a star for your lunch box!
I Also failed to mention meeting the grandson of the founder of The Joslin Diabetes Center. We talked about the oncoming pandemic of diabetes. He is working in research and his family is very involved with the cause. It was an honor to meet him. I hope I can do a small service for diabetes awareness, the Joslins' can help find cures. Again, an honor.

Now I will thank the people who helped us this weekend with snacks and advice about how we might find our way to step a foot in Rhode Island.. Especially the family who took us in for dinner and a shower Sunday. They have let us stay in the van in their driveway. With their help we are clean and well rested. Clean is good when you talk to so many people during the day.

Now to prepare for the day of smiles and traffic dodging with my son and Nice (the dog).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Misty Skies after a Day in the Rain

I can't blame my son or the dog for staying asleep and under the covers with the mist falling and the sky fully blanketed in grey. We are in a quiet parking area wher the local police helpfully led us and here we will stay until I can quell this sleeping mutiny. Mist will get you wet before you realize it. Saturday we were rained on and walked over seven miles, most of it over wet grass and roads so a late start is the best I can hope for this grey Sunday.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Running Bridges to the Road Less Traveled

After being turned away by the Meriden Fire Dept. With my pile of fire house patches and pictures on news articles, them saying they had no way of knowing if we were nartoowells with intentions to break into vehicles and cause general mayhem in the fire company parking lot. We moved onto Guida's,
Who serve up a tasty burger and shake as well as hospitality unmatched in certain municipal circles. They were even trusting enough to leave the bathroom door ajar after giving us permission to stay in the parking area for the night. In the morning, our day of spinning out of kilter ended, we had a fresh and delicious breakfast in Guida's at the intersection of Routes 147 & 66 where your coffee is refilled with a smile. Fed and refreshed we began the walk on Route 66 into Middletown, through to Main Street and the "bridge" to Portland.

The bridge has a name. The people of Middletown call it the Portland Bridge and Portlandians call it the Middletown Bridge despite it's given name, which I have forgotten already. I was told by a helpful couple that when it was built it was one of two identical designs, and the only of the two which survives. The other fell into the river some thirty years ago. I will remember it as Portland's Pike's Peak. It's approach was long and curved with a narrow walkway which had a four inch round hand rail on one side and square topped posts on the other to the main bridge structure. I balanced the six foot World on the rounded rail and rolled it up the long approach which I likened to the railings on the trails to Pike's Peak in Colorado. One error and the World would come to an untimely end. Then when I came to the bridge beams I tempted fate and ran the bridge on the four lane roadway to the shock of the speeding traffic who I found do not take kindly to changing lanes or going the speed limit. It was a nervous four minutes. Then the decent upon the opposing side on the railing that wound down into Portland was no easier as the cars and trucks seemed less inclined to move to the inside lane as they honked in plea for me not to send the World crashing onto their vehicle, as if... When I arrived at the end of the rail where gaurdrailing supported by -I-beam hampered my way I had to detach the world from it's leash and shove it over the wall and down the grassy and steep side where it came to rest next to Lower Main Street.Then the police came for an explaination. They had been called thinking I was going to send the world into the river. Pshaw!!!
It was then that I met the Good People of the afternoon who took me to the support van after a cup of coffee and some historical conversation about the bridge and the two river towns. I am thankful they sowed up when they did as it may have been difficult to get someone to ride me back to Guida's once we had walked into the evening. Also I want to thank Pro Mold Plastics for letting me leave the Van in the parking lot for a few hours during or walk out of town along Route 66. I can not leave out the Sisters who were so helpful at days end in getting us situated and taking some photos at the East Hampton Fire house who, by the way, aloowed us sanccuary in their parking area sight unseen.

Finally, Thanks to the patrons and managment of Winchester's who ledd us to the backroad around the "ledges" on Route 66, The scenic and less traveled road where we walked under an arched rail bridge and met many locals who were able to take the time to safely stop and talk.

My thumbs are getting sore from punching on the "thumberry" and My son has just crawled out from under the blanket so I will forgo a spell check and hang the phone back on my neck to prepare for the day , just for kicks, on Route 66.

Have a wonderful Saturday Connecticut!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Two Guys from Kentucky and the Day in Naugetuck

WE LEFT Middlebury and made our way down the remainder of the Greenway path and on to the wide pull off lane toward Naugetuck where we were to turn and head toward Cheshire through Prospect. Our directions bypassed the Naugetuck Town Hall and it's Village Green but another series of circumstances led us for an interview by the "Green". Before we made it to the town center we came upon the school of St. Francis of Assisi where the whole school came out to the sidewalk to hear our story. The excitement was infectious and I was very touched when they burst into cheers when I was finished with the tale. I then thought the side trip worth the effort. The interview and the recommendation to see the Mayor was not as fulfilling as the smiles on the children of Naugetuck. We met with the reporter in front of the Town Hall and saw no sign of the Mayor before moving on for lunch, then back tracking to our route out of town.
The skies had been overcast all day and the cool weather helped us make good mileage before the rain came. As it began to mist lightly we came up to two friends who offered the World shelter and later gave me the ride I needed to the support van. After a delicious lasagna dinner and good conversation we deflated the World and piled our gear in the van then moved along. There is no need to walk every inch through the rain, so we waited out the weather in a parking lot recommended by the Cheshire policeman who I met. He relayed our info to dispatch for safety and this morning we found ourselves at Cheshires finest family owned Main Street Caffe, and our picture on the front page of the paper on the table where we sat. The conversation was so enjoyable it was well past eleven before we could get out the door. The skies have been threatening rain and then sunny alternatively all afternoon. The forecast is for thunderstorms today and clearing tomorrow. We will take time for personal things today and find ourselves back on the ever different road on Friday. When people ask when we expect to reach the end I can never be sure where each days adventures will lead and say "months" in reply..

It always leads to special people. Now we are lead to the special people of Connecticut.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sleeping Late

6:30 am comes to soon after a relaxing shower and a cool nights sleep with the dog curled up under the covers. With miles to go and the bustle of the greenway of Middlebury just accross the road. The morning walkers and pitter patter of small dogs feet makes it hard to stay asleep. Of coarse, I am joking. We walked from Southbury yesterday and walked several miles in the safety of the greenway walking path along the road to town when I had to stop for a rest. One foot was barking and my other's Achilles heal is still recovering from the grass covered hole I fell in way back in Maryland as I walked into Havre De Grace, The city who lost the privilage of being our nations capitol by one vote - the locals proudly boast this fact-. Whuile sitting we noticed the Volunteer firehouse across the road. Soon a woman pulled up to ask our purpose and soon we were offered a ride to the support van and allowed to stay over at the firehouse parking lot. We could not have planned it better if we tried. We had walked ten miles and though I wanted to go farther we all agreed you can't argue with favorable circumstance.
Connecticut is beautiful and the people that do stop are a joy to meet.

I have to get going now to wake up the boys and add a little pressure to our world before our day of walking.

Good morning Connecticut!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Walking. Does a Body Good.

I have walked in sixteen states and talked to thousands of great, warm hearted people. I wish everyone had a reason to go on a trek so they could enjoy the richness of chance meetings, passing conversations that stay with you for a lifetime, and the beauty that you can only glimpse through the trees as you stroll slowly along. Walking is a low impact way to get fit, even if you are a fat man like myself but if you do it long enough the benefits are countless, for body and mind.

My son has joined me and in this full week of walking he has gotten his smile back thanks to the therapy of the people we have met who tell their story as he shares his. I have moments everyday that make me think, laugh, and sometimes cry like a girl; which enrich me forever. I'm happy I can share this with my son and you, my neighbors from a few states over. Words can't express what only a passing smile shares so deep.

Some say there are no chance meetings, and things occur for a purpose. Like the wind storm Sunday that blew a tree down and caused us to meet a wonderful family of friends, and them to meet their neighbor from across the street after ten years. We were talking with two women yesterday who asked us to walk back to the front of their store for a picture, as I hesitated, the wind reversed directions and blew the World back toward their door where we laughed and had a good time smiling for a moment out of our busy day.. It was just the Wind...

So, get out and walk a little, you may see a stream through the trees,or have a "chance" meeting with the love of your life, or a neighbor you have yet to meet, who knows? Surely not the wind.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Wind and My Nasty Habit

It is a beautiful, cool morning while I watch the skies fill with light and the sun begins to rise. Our first day in Connecticut was filled with sun, rain,wind and interesting twists of chance or fate. We began walking after a cloudy morning, then when the sun cleared through the sky we started from Walmart after talking with several people as we prepared to go. I was stuck by the stark difference from the state we just left. All states have their own flavor and Connecticut is very nice. The first car to stop quickly pulled to the side so not to hold up traffic, I was thankful and relieved after our Saturday walk in New York where I was left a nervous wreck by so many cars stpping in the road with traffic bearing down on them. During the time we walked yesterday just one car did it, but she stopped in a yellow painted turning lane for just a moment before moving along safely.
The clear skies turned dark and windy as we walked. We walked up a side road that winded away and then back to the main road as it climbed a hill with gaurdrails on both sides. It began to sprinkle and I saw a good place to put out our little tent shelter but stubbournly pressed on with the feeling we would find a better spot or the weather would blow over. Blow over it did, We made it back on the highway and up a little further when the rain came on hard. We rolled into a small patch of trees at the next street and I heard trees crashing close by us from the stong gusts but only saw a small branch fall as I tied the world to a tree and began to set up the tent. We were getting drenched. Then a young woman appeared to ask if there was anything she could do to help. She had seen the World in the woods andeven in the blowing storm she had to know. If I could get a ride to the supply van I could get us dry clothes, shelter etc. She called her father who said he would help with the ride.
The strong wind had blown the top of a large tree across their drive but he was able to drive around the house to take me back the four miles . He offered for us to stay on their property untill morning and I offered to help clear the tree from his yard as I have been rolling a huge ball for hundreds of miles and could use a change of pace. Plus the World does much better when I let it dry a bit.
By the time we had cleared the huge tree top from the drive and another chore which needed my help they had offered us dinner and lodging in the garage loft/studio for the night. We had a wonderful evening with them. I am always amazed at the beautiful people we meet thanks to the wind and chance. I am glad I was able to do something in return for the kindness.

Now on to the nasty habit. I checked for comments to the blog and an annonomous reader asked " Are cigarette good for diabtes?" The answer is no! My NASTY habit. I would like to stop. As the saying goes " Don't do anything you would not want written in the newspaper." I am sorry I have this nasty habit and the comment does not go without shame. I will keep trying to stop. I'd like to say I will stop because of one annonmous comment. I can only keep struggling with that demon.

This morning we wil continue traveling north east across Connecticut toward Rhode Island for diabetes awarness. And I will hang my head a little lower when I lite up.

Thank you to the wonderful family and their generousity, without them we would have been quite miserable.

The Calm of Connecticut

After we drove into Connecticut in the rain last night we looked up the nearest walmart for our beginning stag. This morning we aired up the World and got ready for the road. We are taking a short shade break and I want to take the time to applaude the drivers of Connecticut for pulling to the side of the road and sometimes parking off the road to ask about our walk for diabetes. It is so much more calming to talk when I am not concerned for peoples safety if they stop in the driving lane to ask our purpose.
If you have read this far please take the time to click on the Diabetes exercise an sports association link. DESA is a good source for information and help. I also urge you to give through their donation link.

Storm clouds are brewing so I must be moving on.

Have a great day!

The Don of Sleepy Hollow

Friday we stayed in Sleepy hollow to wash clothes, touch up the paint on part of the World and get some good directions from the police department. At the end of the day as I was painting a local Sleepy Hollow native came to joke and talk about the world as we know it. We talked for hours of everything under the sun. I at some point explained the way we move our van forward at the end of each day with the help of a good person we meet during the day who will take me to the van so I can leap frog it to our end point of the day. I had never asked someone to call me to see if I needed a ride the day before, but it seemed a good safe guard. He dropped the note paper with the number twice while we talked and then lost it in his own back pocket before put finally putting on file in his car ashtray. His front seat was piled with "things" above the seat. I joked that he would not call tonight for loosing track of the paper note, but he assured me he would remember.
The day had many good people and fine conversations as we walked along Sleepy hollow road. I noted many who just stopped in the lane of traffic with cars behind them but thought it was because it was a quiet road with a slow speed limit. As the day progressed and we were on roads of fast cars I saw too many just stop to ask us questions. It is scary and very dangerous for people to do this. One rear end collision from a speeding motorist into one of these inquisitive people too busy to pull off the road types and my walk may end for good.
At the end of he day "The Don" was our only hope of a ride. Those who stopped were too busy to ride me back, and everyone else just tempted disaster by stopping in the road. No help was to be had and if not for the Don Of Sleepy hollow we would not have been saved.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Don..

So, in the dark of night we slipped into Connecticut to save New Yorkers from themselves. I thought it the safest thing for us and them. Since I walked in New York City two Sundays ago I am justified to skip a days walk out of the state to Connecticut. I hope there they have time to pull to the side of the road and are not so busy that they risk their lives to question our cause.
Hello Connecticut!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

drive by state

Maybe I'm tired, or maybe I can't count but more people have stopped in the middle of the road to look and ask what we are doing than in all of new jersey. And I was walking through there for weeks. Now it is almost dark and I am two miles from the next store and sorry to say have had little gps assistance from the Empire State. Sleep well New york.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sleepy Day in the Hollar'

I have wanted to nap all afternoon. The world needed some attention and no one else but me will do it. I found myself wanting to load up and start up Sleepy Hollow Road a few minutes ago but fear of the horseman on the corner kept me to my plan for morning. Legends don't die easy, especially already dead - headless ones.
Yup, I called it Sleepy Hollar' 'cuz where I 'cum 'frum things 'er 'dun with a 'southern accent.

Y'all have a good'un New York!

Over the Tappan Zee Bridge and a Maintainence Day in Sleepy Hollow

Yesterday we walked a bakers' dozen to get as far as we could to the Tappan Zee Bridge which needed to drive over across the Hudson. Thanks to the help of the man in the Mini who gave me a ride back to Oradell we sayed in a mall parking lot till this morning when we drove into Sleepy Hollow NY. We found a coin laundry and then I went and reviewed what we were doing at the Sleepy hollow police headquarters. They looked at our google walking route printout and recommended a more direct version for the first twelve to fifteen miles. Since it is late in the day I was told a place we could stay over night and they have note of our vans description and plates in case we should. Find ourselves delayed in returning. Now I can take the rest of the day to recoat the world after the rain from Wednesday that was unusually hard on the world thru Paterson NJ. I can't rush progress and destroy the only world I have.
Thank you to the helpful law officers of Sleepy Hollow. We will start off fresh and clean in the morning into the hills of New York.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Taking a Knee in NEW YORK!

We just walked into New York State and are having a well deserved shade break. Nice the dog is digging a deep hole and his whole head is covered with dirt while looking for a frog. He is happy to look but I don't think he will find one that deep.
Thanks to the people in New Jersey who have helped us since Pennsville where we began our visit through New Jersey.
Hello New York!!!!

late Night Post...

I just woke up stiff and sore, ibubrofen takes away the pain enough to be able to turn over while I sleep. Enough whining for now.
The walk on Wednesday was pleasant in the morning , we walked through miles of neighborhoods in Paramus County and during the day as the temperature increased I was thankful for helpful directions from the trooper we met last night led us along tree lined streets so we could have some relief from the heat. Still, we did take several shade breaks. We stopped at the edge of a park area where the canopy hung over the road o snack on the few clementines and chips I had brought along and a postal worker gave Ethan a snack can of sausages and his coke. The man also called the weekly newpaper who sent a reporter who graciously let me fill some air in the world that had become soft in the shade during our break. The earth ball we roll all these miles is over thirty years old and the inner bladder is beginning to fail around the fill hole where the water bed sized hole meets the rubber fabric. My brother has been calling the california company that's still sells the large activity balls as a special order item online but I am guessing the economy is so brisk in calf they don't have time to answer messages. I will have to make do with gluing the fragile seam and hope the world can endure the strain of the precious gas leaking from it's ocean all day until a way is found to repair the leak.
Maybe I should not get up in the middle of the night to peck out a post, I do tend to wax on about nothing at times like these...
During the day I met a man very active in diabetic fundraising and awareness. His wife works for a company that makes needles especialy for diabetics and his family has diabetics . We talked of the importance of awareness and activity. Another man stopped whose son was type 1, we also had a good conversation. The day was filled with moments like these. Some days are filled with sad tales of lost loved ones and amputations and blindness. I prefer the days where awareness prevails.
We ended our day in a new county and were helped by a fireman who shuttled me back for the van and helped to get permission to park behind the police complex. Again, I am grateful for all the support we get from our sponsors, the people we meet along the way.

The boys are snoring, I think I'll join them.
Goodnight New Jersey. This may be the last night we sleep under your care, I will miss you.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Good People System

We walked using the google walking route all day yesterday which led us through many borroughs and to Dominics pizza who offered a slice as a rain burst forced us inside. Then we were led into the heart of Paterson where rolled through some modern culture. The smells of the shops mixed with the slight smell of inner city road kill was quite an experience for the nose. We passed by a man training a young pit bull for a bad endn and heard an old guy "OG" back down some young men who had bad intent as we passed . He had just come up to shake my hand , having heard from the street talk we were walking for diabetes.
We had good talks with some folks as well, no neighborhood or culture is free from diabetes. But the dirt from the city left our world grey as we walked over the side streets of paterson. The google directions had an error that led us a mile off coarse and after having to rush to get out of the rain in a local park a good man gave us hand written instructions to a nice area. It was growing close to nightfall and our usual good person system had not emerged out of patersons hard streets. We had no ride to retrieve the support van until the last moment by a generous family in a good neighborhood. I usually try to get to a firehouse or the parking lot of Walmart, with the google directions these considerations are not factored in.
Today, after some hand written instructions from a state trooper who lives in the neighborhood we will go back to the true GPS, the good people of New Jersey who know the streets and don't send us down two forks off the same intersection like google did yesterday.
Have a wonderful day New jersey. We will be leaving you soon.