The eve of distraction

Years of training.  3500 miles of walking.  Thousands of hours of planning, poring over routes, images and notes.  Direct-depositing my paycheck to REI for two years.  And now here we are.  The Long Walk Home was intended, from the beginning, to be a strategic pause … a time to reflect, regroup, re-align, and just generally be distracted from what I would call a now-irrelevant lifestyle.

My buddy, David, and I will dip our heels into the Atlantic Ocean tomorrow morning at Cape Henlopen State Park.  Then we’ll face west, put one foot in front of the other and make the first of roughly six million steps.  Somewhat auspiciously, the weather forecast calls for temperatures in the low 20s.  I’m sure that in a few months, when I’m fighting satanic heat in the Great Plains I will recollect fondly the cold we’ll face tomorrow in Delaware. But right now, after historic snows back in Oregon and several stints of failed heating systems in our brand new home in Bend, 21 degrees is just a little cooler than what I’d hoped for.  Oh well, this is just the first of what I’m sure will be many meteorological surprises.

So, the countdown begins.  And just for giggles and kicks, here it is, in a unique format:

10 – the number of times in the last week I’ve asked myself why I’m doing this…

9 – friends who’ve guaranteed they will join the walk somewhere along the line (we’ll see how that changes!)…

8 – yarn stores per day that Alanna expects to visit …

7 – months I’ve ‘budgeted’ for the walk … could be more, could be less, doesn’t really matter …

6 – pounds of Aleve I’ve packed …

5 – pairs of shoes I plan on wearing out (and, oh by the way, Keen’s, I’m still waiting for that endorsement contract!) … 

4 – time zones I’ll pass through … that’s why I’m walking east to west: I’ll save three hours that way! …

3 – years of training,  or, more correctly, walking in circles and spirals throughout the DC area …

2 – good friends, David and Peg, who’ve been so generous, and will be great traveling partners …

1 – absolute saint of a wife, whose motive for supporting me is still something of a mystery.

That’s it, my friends.  My next post will be along the trail.  The route’s still the same as indicated in the earlier post, but the dates have changed (later by a month, now).  For those eager to track us more regularly and more accurately, my InReach tracker will be posting my position every ten minutes to a web site accessible to my friends on FaceBook.

Horace Greeley said, “Go West, young man, go West. There is health in the country, and room away from our crowds of idlers and imbeciles.”

Willie Nelson was “Goin’ places that I’ve never been, Seein’ things that I may never see again.”

And, of course, in light of a sixty-something year old beginning this goofy endeavor, I can only quote Luis Bunuel, who said, “Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.”

Happy trails!

8 thoughts on “The eve of distraction

  1. Great! You are an inspiration! Stay warm and dry and take great care of your feet. I’m looking forward to your logs. Thank you! Jim

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Bon courage mon ami !!!

    – Bill Woodward

    *Bill Woodward* *NOAA/IOOS * *Animal Telemetry Network Coordinator* *1315 East-West Highway * *Silver Spring, MD 20910* *Direct: *240-533-9442 *M:* 240-460-5397

    “…..To live on the Land We Must Learn from the Sea….” * Calypso – John Denver*

    *Web*: h ttp:// *Social*:

    On Sat, Mar 4, 2017 at 8:43 AM, rickspinraddotcom wrote:

    > rickspinrad posted: ” Years of training. 3500 miles of walking. > Thousands of hours of planning, poring over routes, images and notes. > Direct-depositing my paycheck to REI for two years. And now here we are. > The Long Walk Home was intended, from t” >


  3. Good luck! And remember, you aren’t walking 3500 miles, you are walking 15 (or whatever the number) today and then the same tomorrow. And when it gets tough, just to the top of the next hill and then the next one.


  4. Rick — Best wishes for a great adventure. I look forward to tracking your progress, hearing your stories, and seeing you at the end point (if not in between). Walk on!


  5. Rick, impressive perspective. I am thinking daily, sometimes, hourly about relevancy. Haven’t figured out what to do about it yet. Hope you are sensing a new strength of purpose as you take those first steps in the Atlantic this morning, then turn west. Take good care, my friend.


  6. Rick,
    Good Luck on your latest adventure!! Will be following your posts from warm, sunny Fort Meyers Florida 😂 Safe travels and give our best to Alanna.


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