Day 12-3 – Sanbornton to Canterbury
Lunch was at a local restaurant that served wild game. Prior to this walk I would have *never* even entered an establishment like that. In my earlier years, I used to be a vegetarian (I did it all wrong and was one of those people who got very sick from malnutrition) and while I ate meat now (mostly due to craving meat when I was pregnant), I saw no need to eat anything other than beef, chicken or fish.
No tongue, sweetbreads, lamb, veal, rabbit, frogs, or any other “odd” sort of meat for me. No thank you very much.
And yet Griffin and I decided to eat here. Part of it was because I had started to see that I was a bit of a hypocrite by feeling good about eating meat that didn’t even look like the animal it came from. And part of it was recognizing that, especially up north, hunting was an important part of eating.
We sat at a table and looked at the menu. Griffin ordered an Elk burger and I ordered a Health Slow Roasted Wild Boar Reuben. After all when in the northern country…
When the sandwich arrived, I looked at it, working up the courage to take a bite.
Griffin didn’t even hesitate. He picked up his burger and dove in.
Guess what? When I finally screwed up the courage to take that first bite, nothing happened. It didn’t bite back at me, I wasn’t struck by lightning for eating a doe-eyed animal, and perhaps most importantly, I didn’t gag on the meat.
In fact it was tasty. I chewed and swallowed and then I took another bite.
It was meat. A bit gamey and more dense (due to less fat) but it was okay. I thought of the deer raised on farms for their meat. I thought of my new found respect for the hunters we had encountered along the way.
How silly I was to have even criticized them for their choices. Food is food is food. And the animal whose meat I was currently eating had most probably had a better life than that of the cow whose burger meat I purchased and prepared at home.
The sandwich was huge and I finished most but not all of it. Would I order one again? Probably not, especially if there were “safer” choices to have (like my standard beef and chicken) but was I glad that I tried it?
It was yet another lesson, another experience I had had as a direct result of this trip.
After a long lunch, we started walking again. By now my foot was really hurting and I had a pronounced limp. We couldn’t go much further than a quarter mile before I had to take a break. Something was definitely up.
Through nothing short of perseverance, we reached our hotel late in the afternoon. It was another common hotel chain. The memories of quaint cabins and mismatched furniture were becoming more and more distant.
I checked in while Griffin helped himself to an apple from a large bowl near the front desk. I poured a cup of lemon water from a dispenser near the apples.
I filled out the paperwork – no car, we were walkers.
The clerk was interested when I pointed that out and asked us about our walk. By now we had our story down pat. 12 days ago we had started at the Canadian border in Pittsburg. We had walked mostly on old Route 3. We had seen a bear, a bald eagle had flown over our head, we had met friends, this afternoon we had eaten elk and wild boar.
“And,” I said delivering my final line with a practiced flourish “It has taken us 12 days to get right here, right now.” Taa –daaa!
The clerk was impressed with our story, but as he sat down, his buttons straining over his protruding belly, he shook his head. “Man,” he said “I don’t even like walking to the kitchen.”
He meant it as a joke, but it was one of those bittersweet jokes.
How many of us haven’t walked lately -whether it’s because of illness or time?
Walking is one of the easiest exercises there is. We’ve all been doing it since we were babies. All it takes is the desire to get up and do it. I felt for this guy, remembering the times I couldn’t get up to go to the kitchen for water due to my Lyme joint, muscle and nerve pain.
It’s not easy to move when you are uncomfortable in your body.
But when your body becomes uncomfortable that’s when it becomes imperative to move.
I told him a little more about our Lyme disease, about our arthritis, about how some days it was near impossible to move.
“All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other,” I told him. “Trust me, if we can do it, so can you. “
He considered this as he gave us the room key. We walked down the hall to our room, a hot shower, and much needed time off our feet.
Dinner that night was delivery from a local restaurant. Now that we had access to more restaurants and stores, we were naturally eating more. When there is abundance and you don’t have to work so hard to get your food, you tend to overindulge. I was still stuffed from our lunch, but I went ahead and ordered not only a salad but chicken tenders.
The food came with a small container of complimentary gummy bears.
The meal was tasty, exactly what we were expecting. I picked at my chicken and Greek salad while Griffin ate a chicken parmesan sub. Our food had been cleaned up, sterilized and made to look exactly like it did in the menu’s photo.
Impossible to connect the end product with the animal from which it came.
(Here’s some information on why we took this trip.)
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.
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