I’m sorry it’s taken me a week to update the web site. It’s been kind of crazy trying to get back to a normal schedule after only a week away. Unfortunately however, I’ve also had to take some time away from work this week, just to give my body a chance to recover. I had been training for a couple of months leading up to the walk but after 170 miles of walking in temperatures in the mid 90’s and sleeping in fields, a couple of months of training wasn’t nearly enough!
Well, as you know by now, I made it back to the Conservatory on July 25th without too much difficulty. Hobbling through downtown Columbus like an arthritic 90 year old man who has lost his walker, seeing my parents and Megan waiting in front of the Franklin Park Conservatory was one of the best things I think I had ever seen. I felt like a little kid taking his very first aw-struck steps towards gates of Disney Land. Except instead of running around, riding rides and playing games, I was going to sit down, take off my shoes and take a long nap! Do I sound like that 90 year old man yet? Before you know it, I’m going to be yelling at kids to stay off of my lawn.
Looking back however, putting aside all of the blisters and swollen feet, making a trek like this can really change your perspective on a great many things. I began to realize that you can’t truly appreciate the vastness, the beauty or the harshness of nature until you’re experiencing it first hand. I began to realize how bad it would truly SUCK to be homeless. When you’re constantly dirty and sweaty for days on end and forced to sleep outside, nothing sounds better than a shower, a cold drink and the company of your loved ones. And I began to realize how truly good-natured most people really are.
The greatest part of my walk was getting to meet and talk to so many interesting people. They were constantly stopping to talk and wish me luck because they had read about me in the newspaper or heard about me from a friend. A few people even stopped to give me a fresh bottle of water or snacks. When I started the walk in Downtown Columbus, Richard Lincoln came out of his house to talk to Megan and I and jokingly said “You’ve got a backpack with a plant growing out the back of it, you in the wrong neighborhood.” Then, of course we all had our laughs and went on our way but really, I don’t think there is a wrong neighborhood as long as you’re doing the right thing. What will I remember most about this experience? Definitely the people I met along the way!
But now that the walk is a week in the past, I just wanted to give a big thanks to everyone involved.
First of all, thank you Mr. And Mrs. Algeo for letting me come to your farm and inviting me into your home. It really was an experience that I will never forget.
Thanks so much to all of my family and friends who supported me along the way. Whenever things seemed to be at their toughest, I knew I could always turn to you for encouragement.
I need to give a very special thanks to Megan McCalla. She walked the first 10 miles with me through downtown Columbus and every day after that, she was right there whenever I needed ANYTHING. Just knowing that she was there, gave me something to look forward to every day and I know that I definitely could not have done this without her!
I will post pictures and video of my walk and the planting as soon as I get it all uploaded. Thanks again for all of your support!!!