Day 15-3 – Manchester to Merrimack
By the end of the day, we had made it to a park in the next town on our route -Nashua. At the last minute we had changed our route from following the main drive down to the Massachusetts border going past a large mall to instead walking circuitously on back residential roads to get to a white pole indicating the state line between Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
We had wanted a good resting place for the rocks which we had picked up at the Canadian border and carried with us the entire way. Proof that we were there, that we had made it.
Because of our route change, we thought our final day was going to be a 15 mile walk. Not impossible but when you considered the injuries, along with the heat, it wasn’t going to be easy.
We added a few miles on to today’s walk so that tomorrow wouldn’t be so brutal. A roadside equivalent of taking from Peter to pay Paul.
We called Marc and he came to pick us up at the park. We were hot, and tired. Even with the constant water we were getting from people and businesses along the way, we were still a little dehydrated. We were done for the day.
A hotel in our town, Holiday Inn, had offered to put us up for the night. While it would have been easy to stay at home with my family, both Griffin and I thought after everything we’d been through it would be the perfect way to end our trip. The last night together, talking about what we had learned, what we would be doing next.
As we were packing the items we needed for the night (I packed my heavy cotton nightgown instead of the thin tee-shirt I had been wearing throughout the walk – just a tiny slice of heaven) I asked Marc to check google for our revised route and to let us know how many miles we had saved by going a little further than we had planned today.
“Let’s see,” he said punching in the streets names we would be taking. “It looks like your walk tomorrow is just a little over 7 miles.”
“Did you day 17 miles?” I said, thinking I must have misunderstood.
“Griffin!” my eyes were wide, the smile on my face reached from ear to ear. “Did you hear that? Tomorrow’s walk is only 7 miles!” I was ecstatic. “7 miles!!! We can do that with our eyes closed.”
Griffin went over to Marc’s computer to double check the route.
“Do you know how easy 7 miles is going to be?” He asked me.
And that’s one of the reasons our walk was so important to both of us. Before we had started – if you had told either of us, especially on days when our joints were sore, our heads hurt, or our muscles didn’t really listen to what we wanted them to do – if you had asked us to walk 7 miles – we might have thought you were crazy. We might have said, “Nice try, but my Lyme and auto-immune compromised body is just not going to do that.”
But in the matter of just two short weeks, we went from that to “Holy cow, this is going to be a piece of cake!”
Personal strength is something that can only be discovered one step at a time.
Exhilarated and greatly relieved by the easy day in front of us, we were dropped off in front of the hotel. The woman at the front desk heard our story and was amazed at us.
When hearing that we had met the Governor she told us that she had just been in the news because she and her husband who was in the military had just moved into a habitat for humanity home. “I never thought it could happen,” she told us.
I was amazed at her.
Strength comes from so many different journeys.
Griffin and I made it to our room, changed into comfortable clean night clothes. I read my last Hitchcock story for our trip. Griffin slowly took the bandages off his feet to let his skin breath. He took his antibiotics. We each took Motrin.
When we had gotten under the covers of our beds, I pulled out the trusty green moleskin notebook that had been my constant traveling companion along our journey. In it I had penned journal entries and notes of things I hadn’t wanted to forget.
There were so many lessons we had learned along the way.
“Hey Griff,” I said pen in hand. “What are some of the things you remember most about this trip?”
The only answer I got back was a soft snore from my sleeping son.
(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.
Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.