Tag Archives: walking

Long Walk 2018 – T minus 3 days

T minus 3 days till the Great Long Walk of 2018 takes place. This year I’ll be walking from the tip of Cape Cod to the Sagamore Bridge at the base of the Cape (about 68 miles total – I’ll be adding a few small detours from what Google Maps says.)

 

I’ll be walking alone for this one (not worried, there aren’t too many roads on the Cape so people will see me), but I’m also not going to be stupid. Yesterday I purchased a whistle and I’m going to be carrying a metal walking stick. (I’d like to say that it’s for protection but I’m also sure that I’ll be using it on hills and at the end of the day.)

I went back and forth on shoes. For the 2016 walk I wore sneaks and I shredded the tendon on the top of my foot (from walking on the roads’ inclines for so many miles.) I came very close to having surgery on that injury.

For 2017 I switched to hiking boots and ended up with 9 of the most painful blisters I’ve ever had -truly impressive.

The Cape is relatively flat. I’ve decided to go back to sneakers for this one (Saucony – which fit me well) and I’ll be packing bandages for any blisters that may occur. The goal is to walk 14 miles a day which may not sound like too much, but remember I’ve already gone beyond the time when my docs said I wouldn’t be able to walk anymore and would need a total knee(s).

This is why I continue to walk – because, for now anyway, I can.

And I will continue until the day that I can’t.

The weather isn’t going to be that great, rain is predicted for 3 of the 5 days I’ll be walking. I’m not afraid of getting wet, but cold is not my friend so I’m trying to figure out a layering system that will work. My last two walks were in the middle of August and as a result I’ve only done this in hot, hot, weather. It might be nice to have it be a little cooler (as long as it’s not frigid.)

And even though there has ever been only one bear sighting on the Cape (people think it swam over) I will keep the bear bells on my pack.

One can never be too careful when it comes to bears.

I will have access to the internet and will be making regular updates on this blog and on Facebook.  (https://www.facebook.com/wendy.thomas1)

I will also be updating on Twitter @WendyENThomas with the hashtag #LongWalk2018

 

Shoo bear. 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Lesson 1549: 2017 NH Border-to-border walk

Griffin and I are back from our 2017 Border-to-border New Hampshire walk.  As always we returned with lots of lessons learned. I’ll be writing up our adventures (just like I did from last year’s), but for now here are some tips for anyone who might be planning day-long walks.

 

  1. Water – make sure you start the day off with at least 2 liters of water. Large, tall slim water bottles (for example Smart water) fit well into backpack side pockets. For a daily 12 mile walk, we’d allocate ½ bottle of water for every 3 miles. Small sips are better than drinking a lot at once, however, always drink if you are thirsty and never refuse a glass of water or drink when in a restaurant or at a store.

Related: Always stash toilet paper and napkins in your pack. Often when you drink that amount of water quickly, you need to pee. Out of necessity, true hikers learn how to quickly pee in the woods.

 

  1. A hat – I had some skin cancer surgery prior to our walk. My doctor advised I used a strong sun block (50 SPF) as well as sunglasses and wear a hat with at least a 3 inch brim all around (baseball caps are no good.) I used two different hats, one was water-proof on the days I needed to keep the rain out of my eyes, and the other was a cotton floppy hat with ventilation near the crown. My hat had a chin strap which came in handy when large trucks drove by and the wind threatened to blow my hat away. When we walked through the woods, bug spray on the hat kept insects away from my face and ears.

 

  1. Food – Don’t’ worry so much about food. Always carry some kind of power bar, but if you eat a breakfast and then start your day, worst case is that you’ll not eat until the evening (at which point that food is going to taste great.) If there’s food, eat it, if not, no worries, there will be some soon. One of our most memorable lunches was the day we spent walking for 10 miles in the woods. There were no stores. Lunch was a power bar with water in a quiet peaceful cemetery. We survived.

 

  1. Rewards – Early on we discovered that motivational candy did wonders. Each day we’d squirrel away 3 pieces of hard candy and we’d break them out when we had 4 then 2 miles to go and then we’d eat the last candy in celebration of having reached our goal at the end of our day.

 

  1. Blisters – be prepared for them. The best defense is to get used to the socks and shoes you will be wearing. But even if you are used to the shoes, there’s a good chance you’ll get blisters. Make sure you carry blister bandages (they have a “jell” section that goes over the blister), regular bandages, tape, moleskin and scissors. If you can take your shoes off at stops and be sure to change into open sandals (flip-flops work well) at the end of the day.

 

  1. Ground cloth – Quite by accident I had packed a plastic bag in which to roll my raincoat in so I could carry it outside of my pack. I ditched the raincoat, but the bag stayed in my pack. Early on in our walk when we were looking for a dry place to sit, I pulled the bag out, ripped it in half and for the rest of the trip we used it every time we sat on the ground. It weighed nothing and provided a lot of bug and moisture protection when we took breaks.

 

  1. Pockets – During one walk I made the mistake of wearing shorts that didn’t have any pockets. Big problem. I couldn’t carry my chapstick or my phone for taking photos. Deep pockets are a must.

 

  1. Zip plastic bags – we ran into a lot of rain. Our packs had rain covers but had we not also packed everything inside of zip plastic bags it would have been soaking. We also had extra bags to protect our phones when it rained.

 

  1. Music – In the morning when it was cooler and our legs were rested we had conversations. After lunch when we’d start to get tired, we’d plug into music (using only one earbud so we could still hear things around us.) It’s quite the experience to walk through the woods listening to the musical Pippin. On the trail I lost my original MP3 player, a small replacement was well worth its $15 price tag.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Lesson 1542 -The power of a wave #WaveNH

So you know how I did a “5K -a-day” for a month as challenged by my son Griffin?

I decided that as long as I’m walking I might as well wave to people who drive by. Everyday, there I was in my sunglasses and wide-brim hat waving away. (You may recall that on our New Hampshire Border-to-Border walk, Griffin and I waved to people the entire length of New Hampshire. 

During my 5K challenge, one day I waved to a driver and a few minutes later he turned his car around, pulled up alongside me, and rolled down the passenger window so he could talk to me.

“Hey,” he said leaning over so I could hear him. “I just wanted you to know that I was in a bad mood and then I saw you wave at me and that made my day. Thanks.”

Incredible. It’s absolutely incredible that a small action like a wave can make such a big difference in someone’s attitude.

We must never, ever forget how powerful and uplifting it is to simply be nice to one another.

#WaveNH

 

***

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.

2 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1540 – Results from the best motivation out there (I’m not kidding)

Final results of my 5K-a-day for 30 days challenge.

ACLU – $30
Trump Re-election Campaign – $0
(fin.)

(Want to know what this is about? Click here.)

 

***

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1539 – The best motivation out there (I’m not kidding)

My son heard a story on NPR about how using a negative “reward” is more effective at motivating behavior than a positive one.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

He proceeded to tell me that while a positive reward (I get an ice cream cone every time I do …) helps to motivate people, it’s having a negative consequence that really makes a difference and which actually  makes people do the task. This is how it works.

Step 1:

Choose a task that you want to do every day for the next 30 days, i.e., stop snacking, stop drinking alcohol, or even getting out and exercising every day. In my case it’s going for a 3+ mile loop around our neighborhood.

Step 2:

Choose an organization that you would *NEVER* give money to. (I looked for a “New Hampshire adorable puppy, kitten, and baby raccoon kill center” but apparently we don’t have any of those up here, so I chose the next best thing.)

Step 3:

For the next 30 days, every time you complete the task, reward yourself with a dollar.

If you don’t do the task on one day (it’s hot, it’s raining, I’m too tired) then all of the money collected to that date gets donated to the organization you chose.

The next day you start over at $1.

Step 4:

At the end of 30 days you either have $30 to spend on anything you’d like or (as it is in my case) you will have contributed to Trump’s re-election campaign.

We’re having a wet summer. I’ve walked in pouring rain, I’ve walked under stormy clouds. I’ve walked when my legs are sore from a weekend hiking. I’ve walked late at night.

But I’ve walked Every.Single. Day. since we started this challenge.

Because there’s just no way in hell, that man’s campaign is going to get a cent of my money.

I guess this method really is motivational.

 

Wendy – $15

Trump’s re-election campaign – $0

 

***

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.

5 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1505 – 10K steps at the outlets

 

When you live in New Hampshire, you accept there is snow during the winter. For those of us who can’t maneuver as well in the snow and ice, it can present a bit of problem when it comes to walking. Roads are narrower due to snow build-up and even sidewalks are  icy. There are many days  it’s just not worth trying to get in a walk.

But one good thing is that our town hosts an outlet shopping center. It’s a loop of stores where the walkway is always plowed and salted. They even have music constantly playing so you don’t need to carry any ear buds.  Granted our outlet is at the top of a hill so it can be chilly, but if you plan for it (a hat and gloves is a must) then it’s not bad (at least not once you get going.)

Each loop is about 1.5K so 9 -10 laps around does a walk very nicely.

I have some walking friends who have met at the outlets to do a few loops and my daughter Emma and I have gone up a few times to get some steps in. Granted it’s no trek through the woods, but at least it gets us outside and walking. Here are some views from a recent 10K step walk at the outlets proving that there are interesting things everywhere, you just have to look.

An outdoor fireplace (that I have never seen lit)

2017-01-12-14-21-26

Walker friends. (I’m the light blue on the left.)

2017-01-12-13-41-52

Even rain will not hold me back as long as the ground is cleared to walk.

2017-01-12-13-28-48

This is about as close as I could get to any signs of Spring.  sigh.

2017-01-12-14-11-22

What would an outlet be without colorful strollers?

2017-01-12-14-12-14

This particular outlet needed to be carved (blasted) from the rock (Granite State, remember) check out that vein.

2017-01-12-14-18-11

If you’re lucky, you  might even come across some favorite childhood characters, like Lowly Worm here.

2017-02-02-20-18-37

***

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.

2 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1497 – Grandma Gatewood’s Walk

I mentioned this book on my Facebook page but I also want to let my blog readers know about it.

I recently had (yet) another birthday (don’t ask) and as per my request I got several books (is there really any other gift to give me?) As I’m still getting over this coughing crud, I had plenty of time to sit and read. (I can think of no better medicine.)

grandmaOne book in particular looked interesting and so I picked it up and started reading.

I was still reading at 11:00 at night when I finally coughed myself to sleep.

And then I got up the next morning to read some more.

The book – Grandma Gatewood’s Walk – the inspiring story of the woman who saved the Appalachian Trail – written by Ben Montgomery, is the story of Emma Gatewood, a 67 year old mother of 11, grandmother of 23 who, in 1955, decided to walk the entire length of the Appalachian trail starting in Georgia and ending in Maine.

Emma had spent most of her life in an abusive marriage where her husband would routinely beat her to the point of injury. Broken ribs, cracked teeth, bloody head – when her kids were finally old enough, she stood up to her husband and was granted a divorce. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Personal, Recipes, Teaching kids, The Family