After a 17 hour day where we walked 8 states, I'm now resting comfortably in a Motel 6 in Harrisonburg, VA. Those of you keeping score at home will know that we've already detoured from our meticulous schedule, shifting things around in a way that will help minimize the impact of our early "long" days. To give you an idea, today's 17 hour schedule is not a "long" day.
And still, I'm extremely tired. My legs hurt, my throat is killing me, and I've got some major-league fatigue. [FN 1] Yeah, already. That's what a couple hours of sleep will do when combined with fairly substantial physical strain. I'm sure everybody's going through this--but I also suspect it's hitting me a little harder. But this is what I signed up for, and I've got to take measures necessary to mitigate such problems in the future. The first thing's first: I need to sleep more tonight (which necessarily means I'm going to have to limit this blog post.
Before I cut things off, however, I want to relay a conversation I overheard the others having when we were finally pulling into Harrisonburg. Philip was asking around the minivan what was everybody's favorite state. There were different answers, and each represented a different facet of why this trip has been so great. Dave liked the tiny island in Maine best. There's just something great about struggling to find a mile to walk on a 1000 foot island, all while the pizza we ordered at the island's sole business is being cooked to perfection. Philip preferred our walk in New Jersey, which was located at a town park (Davidson Mill Pond Park) devastatingly off the tourist path. In fact, if it were on a tourist path it would surely disappoint. But being off that well-worn path, it was a revelation. I must be a sucker for sentiment, because my favorite walk so far was the trek across the fields and brambles of the nursery. On one hand it was a little depressing, because in recent years the terrain has changed--dramatically in places--from what I remember in my youth. At the same time, I felt a connection to land I haven't really rambled across in years. I've been talking a lot about how important the concept of "local" is to this trip, and, well, this is my local. It's not just my town, it's my childhood. In a trip of exploration and experimentation, this was my control.
Ok, I really need to hit the switch. A thousand miles of road await tomorrow. Atmore, Alabama, here we come.
[FN 1] BTW that was a completely unintentional use of two consecutive rhyming words ending in "gue." If it was intentional I'd have probably crafted a line decrying "major league intrigue fatigue."