Day 13 (cont) Canterbury to Concord
After lunch, we came across a young man singing and playing his guitar while sitting on a bench. This was what we had been looking for. I dropped our collected money collection in his guitar case, wondering what he would think when he pulled out the salt encrusted, road traveled, in some cases car smooshed coins at the end of the day. Would he have any idea of how far they had traveled to get into his hands?
Although there was open land past Concord, we didn’t see the large rambling fields or open vistas that are so common up north. Instead we saw machine flattened areas, ready for construction and development.
And while we were still following a river, now the Merrimack, and it had slowed to a lazy crawl – debris collecting in the corners, algae growing in stagnant pools. The water smelled different down here, heavier, more deeply organic, a little bit of decay.
I called the Governor’s and Senator’s office, Yes, of course we could meet with them tomorrow. We’d be honored.
We were reaching the end, people wanted to acknowledge our accomplishment.
Although we still had 3 days to go, it felt like we were already preparing our goodbyes.
Goodbye to the wild openness of the north.
Goodbye to the fending for ourselves.
Goodbye to the appreciation of food when we could get it.
Goodbye to our new friends.
Goodbye to our life on the road.
Hello to our regular lives.
At 5 o’clock, when we had not only walked the distance we had planned for the day, but a few extra miles to lessen tomorrow’s mileage, Marc drove up to bring us home for the night.
He had prepared a dinner of burgers on the grill, Caprese salad, corn on the cob, and ice cream for dessert.
The kids sat around the table and listened to Griffin and I tell our stories. They laughed at our foolishness and widened their eyes in disbelief about the bear and our involvement in small-town crime. They heard us talk about the new friends we met, the places we saw, the difficulties we encountered.
My family saw that Griffin and I had set out to face a challenge 13 days ago – we were well, in good spirits and had had a fantastic time doing it. Not only that but we were almost at the finish line. They were inspired.
Glasses were raised in a toast “Here’s to mom and Griffin! Hip hip hooray!”
We still had 3 days to go on our journey, but we had certainly come home.
(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
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