Day 15 – Manchester to Merrimack
Griffin and I didn’t even need the alarms this morning. Excitement has a way of getting you up and out of bed. Both of us had gotten up with the sun. We only had two days left before we reached Massachusetts and this was the day we were going to be walking through our town. What had seemed so unlikely two weeks ago was now literally coming home to us in a big way.
We were positively giddy.
Both us stood in the living room of our house emptying our backpacks. IN each pack, we only kept one bottle of water. One granola bar. Sun glasses. Chapstick. My sitting towel. And money.
I thought back to a conversation I had had with some hiker friends. Money, they told me was far lighter to carry than anything else. Bring only what you think you’ll need and buy any extras along the way.
I also put a bottle of Benedryl tablets in my pack– a precaution the doc had warned us to have if there was an allergic reaction from Griffin to his antibiotics. And for the first time during our walk, due to a proliferation of sidewalks (something we didn’t see much of up north), I decided to leave my trekking poles at home. Sidewalks are flat, I didn’t have to worry about twisting my foot (as much.)
And that was basically it. Our packs were now feather light. A weight had literally been removed from our shoulders.
Marc drove us to the place where we had ended the day before in Manchester. After another breakfast of bagel sandwiches and coffee (why not have coffee? We had access to plenty of bathrooms) Griffin and I started the day’s walk.
Yes southern New Hampshire is more populated, yes, there is much more development and construction, but if you look closely, the southern part of the state shares much with the north.
We saw a flock of geese and waited while the birds strolled across the road in front of us. In between the cracks of pavement, under the harshest of conditions, we saw blades of grass valiantly trying to grow and thrive enough to throw off seeds for the next generation.
We saw water, ever present water responsible for bringing life and people to New Hampshire.
And we saw people. All kinds of people going to work, riding bikes, and, even like us, just waking. People everywhere do the same things day to day.
Soon we arrived on the outskirts of our town – Merrimack. The place where Marc and I had moved to almost 25 years ago in order to raise our family. The community where I lived and worked (and yes, on occasion, disagreed with its residents.)
We were coming home. Continue reading