Saturday, October 11, 2014

Lessons Learned on our 480 km/300 mi Walk

  1. Each person that does such a walk will learn different lessons.
  2. I learned that I am still in good physical condition. With the exception of the first day, when I had the wrong socks and the wrong orthotics in my shoes, the walks were easy for me.
  3. I am not as observant as I would like to be. (How could one not notice a hippopotamus head mounted on a garage in the state of Vermont?)
  4. Even though most people try to avoid walking even short distances there is often little response to the statement that one is walking a 300 mile distance.
  5. For walking on roads, good running shoes are as good, or maybe better, than hiking boots.
  6. Eating becomes less important during the walking part of the day. I often ate very little and sometimes nothing during the day. 
  7. Sipping water every 15 or 20 minutes keeps one hydrated.
  8. Sipping water every 15 or 20 minutes is a lot easier with a “camel back” water container.
  9. When driving the same distance that one walks, the driving distance is perceived to be much longer. (I’ve noticed this when running also. Somehow distance is shortened when one’s feet are on the ground.)
  10. Taking a day off every 6th or 7th days does make a big difference in the ability to keep going.
  11. Taking time to stop to take photos puts one way behind anyone not stopping for photos.
  12. Taking time to stop to take photos makes writing about the day much easier.
  13. Using a sound recording device to dictate notes while walking also helps with memory even if one does not listen to the recordings.
  14. When walking, I can be comfortable in short pants down to 6 or 7 degrees Celsius, if it is not raining.
  15. The hardest part of walking in the rain, like running in the rain, is getting out the door of the house, tent, or car.
  16. My arms and legs are not as flexible as they used to be. Getting dressed in the small area of a tent is much more difficult now than when I was younger.
  17. Even something as simple as putting on a watch is much more difficult when done in a small space in darkness so dark that one cannot see the watch nor the arm. 
  18. I am not aware of which side the buckle on my watchband goes on without looking. (Sherlock Holmes would be appalled!)
  19. It is much easier for me to get dressed if I have all my clothes in a bag in the tent and just leave the tent with my clothes bag and walk the 50 to 100 metres to the state park bathroom in my pyjama shorts and sandals and get dressed in the light. 
  20. Walking 50 to 100 metres to a lighted state park bathroom in pyjama shorts and sandals is possible even if the temperature drops to freezing or if it is raining lightly. (I say possible, not comfortable.)
  21. I prefer walking to a bathroom in a B&B to walking 50 or 100 metres to a state park bathroom.
  22. I can recharge a phone or computer in a state park bathroom as long as I get there before another person with his coffee maker.
  23. Some state parks in Vermont are almost empty at this time of year but many are open until early October for the leaf peepers.
  24. One laptop computer is not enough for two blog-writing people with limited time to write.
  25. I do not like the iPad for productive writing.
  26. Vermont state parks all have lean-to buildings that are large enough for two tents with space left over to keep other items dry in a rainstorm.
  27. One can easily use cup hooks as replacements for tent stakes in a wooden floored lean-to.
    They screw easily in and out of the wood, leave only a very small hole, but will hold firmly
  28. Cup hooks can also be used to attach ropes to a lean to wall for clotheslines.
  29. Cup hooks can also be used to attach light tarps to the front of a lean to in order to keep a table dry in front of a lean to.
  30. Ropes of various lengths are great for clothes lines and for attaching tarps to trees near the lean to.
  31. Old Coleman camp stoves are not always reliable.
  32. The leather gaskets in the pump mechanism of a Colman stove can be oiled using oil from a car dipstick if necessary.
  33. Birch bark from dead birch branches is available at the side of the road for fire starting.
  34. I can still light a fire in rain using birch bark.
  35. I prefer lighting fires when it is not raining.
  36. One does not have to light camp fires when staying in a B&B.
  37. Many Airbnb locations do not serve breakfast. 
  38. Some, but not all, Airbnb locations do provide food that one can make for oneself for breakfast.
  39. B&B hosts often go out of their way to be helpful.
  40. If necessary, I can run even after days and days of 29 km walks.
  41. I can get dizzy by looking down at the brilliant autumn leaves of Vermont and Massachusetts.
  42. The brilliance of the leaves of Vermont and Massachusetts must be seen to be believed and even then it is hard to believe.
  43. I am not as good at sharing inner thoughts as my beautiful partner, Fleur-Ange.
  44. I am very blessed to have Fleur-Ange as my current partner, mentor, supporter, and encourager!
  45. I cannot possibly remember all the new things I have learned during our long walk!


1 comment:

robin andrea said...

This is a wonderful, thoughtful list. If we ever take a long walking journey like you and Fleur-Ange did, I will recheck this and probably print it out. Excellent!