Monday, April 21, 2014

Enjoyed Easter with my Cousin and Uncle

Saturday my uncle and my cousin picked me up near Herkimer. I stayed with them and had Easter dinner. It was so nice. I used to spend weeks at my uncles house with Donna when we were much younger. Somehow we let life get in the way and haven't really seen much of each other in the last many years. It was a wonderful time. My uncle is so much like my father that it was like getting time to spend with my father again. Getting time to really talk to Donna like old times was so much what I needed to recharge. She brought me back to Herkimer today and we went to the Herkimer diamond mines looking for "Herkimer Diamonds" which are really quartz crystals. I found about 6 small ones and just had a good time doing it and just being able to spend the day with Donna.

She dropped me off at the Hotel here in Herkimer and for my second nice surprise, I got a phone call from someone I haven't talked to in while. A friend from Ohio that I met through Christian Mingle. He had changed his phone number so I didn't recognize the text. He called and we had a short but really sweet conversation. God does know exactly what I need. The time with my uncle and cousin, the conversation with Daniel. If any of you had read my poem I posted, I was in quite a dark place. Isn't it just like God to give us just what we need when we need it! He is so faithful.

Well I haven't gotten a lot of walking in this week. I had planned to be to Syracuse by now, but I am not. A have seen some nice sights and had some good food. I also had a lot of challenges both physical and mental. Tomorrow I walk on. I am going to Utica, then Oneida and then If not in Syracuse, near to it.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

I walk - a poem

The sky is dark and stormy and foreboding
But it matches my heart
And still I walk

The bitter wind whips my nose
And stings my tear streaked face
And still I walk

My joy and adventure and wonderment
Where did it go
And still I walk

There is not a right choice
They all lead to heartache and hurt
And still I walk

My heart is so heavy
It makes my feet feel like lead
But still I walk

God what is the answer
Until I know
I guess I'll just walk.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Even my eyelashes hurt

Yesterday was a long tough day. I walked 25 miles and the path was all dirt and gravel, which would have probably felt great on my feet if I was just walking, but since I was pushing my cart through all that I was exhausted. I didn't get to my motel until 9pm because going was so slow on the path. I was terrified I would be stuck on the path after dark, but I did get into town just at dusk. I had to take another day off, I am never going to finish this walk at this rate, but my ankle was swollen by the time I finished. I figured it was best to take a rest. I am in Canajoharie, it is a really cute town. I walked into town to get some lunch and was really glad I decided to make this a rest day. By the time I got back, my ankle was really sore. There would have been no way I could make it 20+ miles again today.

As I have been walking with my cart, I have developed a new respect for what handicapped people must have to go through. I have been so many places where peoples lawns have grown over the sidewalk so that there is really only half a sidewalk left. It was difficult pushing the stroller, I don't know how anybody in a wheelchair could make it. There are also many towns (especially the older towns) where they don't have the sidewalk ramps, so that you have to go up a curb when you cross the street. Makes me feel really bad.

Tomorrow I am off again, heading toward Mohawk. My cousin is going to pick me up after she finishes work and I will spend Easter with her. I am really excited for this. I can't wait to see her.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pushing my limits

Monday I think God was trying to show me just how much I can accomplish. It was a difficult but empowering day. I walked 26 miles pushing that stupid (lol) cart up hills. When I checked my phone at 3:30pm it was still 75 degrees out. It wouldn't be as bad if the trees had started to blossom and I had some shade, but there really was not a lot of shade to be had. I drank about 4 large bottles of water. The good news is that I sweated so much out that I didn't have to keep peeing (tmi?). Which was a good thing since the path had me back on the roads, though there were nice shoulders the whole way since it was the bike route, and it was mostly rural with no restaurants or gas stations for many miles.

I had gotten to the point of utter exhaustion, where I was sure I could not take one more step and I looked on MapQuest to see how far the motel was and it was still 7 more miles. I was about to pull out my tent and set up camp right where I was. I kept telling my self to just keep moving forward. I ended up at one point sitting on a guard rail on the highway just so I could rest, give my body a chance to cool down and drink more water. Then I walked a few more miles. I found a cement block just a little way off the road and sat some more, drank some more and went a few more miles. I checked MapQuest again and I was just short of 2 miles to get to the motel and still dead tired. Every time I saw a hill I would want to cry. I usually do a cadence type thing when I am climbing the hills, count 1-10, it kind of helps keep me moving but wasn't doing a lot to help at this time. I was listening to my IPOD and the song that came on said "when I call on Jesus all things are possible", so that is what I did. My cadence became saying Jesus over and over, and guess what, that next hill that seemed impossible was easy. I kept thinking about the poem Footsteps in the Sand (not sure if that is the exact name) where it says that where you only saw one set of steps, that's where I was carrying you. I felt like I was being carried.

About a mile and a half in, I called Paul. I just needed someone to talk me through the last part. I really need to get Bluetooth though. I was talking and trying to push the cart one handed. He got me through the next half a mile or so and then I had to hang up because I was at a point where MapQuest was having me make all of these crazy turns. I was in a nice little residential town and families were out playing so I stopped and asked someone for directions just to make sure. I really could not handle getting lost and walking any further than I had to. She was great, she told me I could go straight up the next street which had this vertical assent, or she told me to do this zigzag thing. I still had to climb some steep hills to get there, but not like the one I had seen on that one street and her directions were perfect. I ended up right across from the motel.

Today is pouring rain all day and the temperature is going to drop, so I am spending an extra day at the motel. They had a laundry facility here, so I spent part of the day doing laundry. I am really not going to get any sight seeing in here today (by the way I am in Amsterdam today). I just looked out the window and it was raining so hard I could hardly see across the parking lot. It will be a good day to rest my body, get clean clothes, catch up on my blog. They have just about everything I could need here at the motel so I don't have to go far. There is the laundry, a mini mart and a diner. I am all set for the day!

Since I have the extra time, I will work on getting pictures up and doing my FAQs page today. Here's hoping it all works.

Prayers needed still for a someone to drive along side me. I am guessing I haven't had my driver yet because God wanted to show me just how much I can do. If I had had a driver, I probably would have had them take me to the motel when I had the 7 more miles to go. Instead I got to see that I could push myself further than I thought possible if I have to.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

I think this is what I was supposed to be doing

Saturday was a good day, I got 20 miles in and got to Schenectady, NY. It would have been much faster taking surface streets, since the trail took me about 20 miles out of the way. (at least the part that I followed) There was another bike path route that ran diagonal and would have saved me some time and wear and tear on my feet, but I would not have gotten to see the sign for showing the start of the Erie canal if I had take that one. I have a picture and I will post soon. I started a page for pictures, they are just taking forever to upload and I don't have the patients today. I also need to change the first paragraph of my blog since I am no longer taking route 20. I will hopefully do that tonight.

I decided to spend the day here at Schenectady, since when I started out I had decided that Sunday would be my rest day. When I got here last night I was starving. I hadn't found anyplace to eat while I was on the trail, so lunch was a Kind Bar (I love these) and pretzel rods with cashew butter. I ended up going for dinner at the Back Stage Bar and Grill. I had fried dill pickles and a mushroom burger. The fried dill pickles were amazing, there was a big basket of them. (picture to follow when I get my picture page all figured out). It is near Proctor's Theater and I guess a lot of the stars show up there after the shows. Kathy Gifford was performing last night, I don't know if she ended up there after.

I spent today exploring Schenectady. It's a really nice town, and like any city has its good and bad sections. I went to this Italian bakery (pix to follow) and had some gelato since it was 70 degrees out. They had autographed pictures of Ray Ramano and other stars who had eaten there. It was kind of cool. Then for lunch I went to Katie O'Byrnes. I had shaved corned beef with sautéed onions and melted cheese with home made taco chips it was so yummy (also have pix LOL). I am starting to think this is turning out to be my Great Gastronomical Adventure, LOL. It is a good thing I am getting a lot of walking in or else...I am really enjoying finding these nice little restaurants as I go.

I am off again tomorrow, heading for Amsterdam, NY. That should be about 17 miles. This is finally starting to be what I had hoped it would be. I am getting to see places I had never been to and really experience them. I have been talking to and meeting so many people. I've been handing out a lot of bracelets, I hope at least some of the people are reading my blog. I feel like I am where God wants me to be. I am more than sure that it will not be a totally smooth ride (or should I say walk), but I just pray that the good outweighs the bad, that I end up where God wants me to be and that I can touch and inspire others.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Amazing Day

I left my hotel and started out on route 20 again! I needed to follow it for a while until I found the walking path. It was pretty good, sidewalks and shoulders most of the way. Then I got to this spot where once again there was no shoulder and even worse no shoulder and going over a bridge. I saw a side street and it seemed to parallel route 20 so I decided to try it. I found the bike path!! Woo Hoo,I felt like God was really guiding my steps to get me right where I needed to be. Since Map Quest was taking me a totally different way.

The path took me on the bridge and I crossed the Hudson river. If you don't know me that doesn't sound like a big deal, but if you know me, you will know just how big a deal that is. I am terrified of heights, so much so that I have a hard time looking out of windows in high buildings. This also makes me really, really, really afraid of bridges. I don't like to drive over them let alone walk! I walked across that bridge with tears in my eyes because I had absolutely no fear. I even looked down over the river with no fear, no feeling of falling, no dizziness. I really felt God's presence with me.

I walked through Albany, got to see SUNY's headquarters, and the Capital Building. I took myself a little out of my way, but it was so worth it. I have pictures that I will be posting soon, I just need to figure out how to. They are on my Facebook.

Laura, thank you so much for the computer. I am using it now.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

miss steps, recalculating, ready to try again.

So I found out pretty quickly that route 20 was a no go. I came back with a bruised ego and licked my wounds, prayed, went to church and was refreshed and now I am ready to try again. I am thinking of changing the name of my blog to: our footsteps count and so do our miss steps. Lol

I have had a few days to replan a route that I originally took 5 months to plan. I still don't have all the information on the american Discovery Trail, but I will have it by the time I am here in Buffalo again. Talk about a leap of faith.God is definetly teaching me to rely on Him.

OK here is my route so far, it may change again once I get all my final info together. I knew that all my planning could not prepare me for everything, I just didn't know it would be this early in my trek. I am leaving for Albany tomorrow by train. I will then start walking the Erie Canal Trail to buffalo and then take the seaway trail through to Erie PA. Then in Ohio I will join the American Discovery Trail. That part right now is fuzzy. I will be very northern Ohio and the trail is much more in the southern part. Here is where having a driver would be wonderful! I really need someone to drive along side me. I would feel much more secure and safe. Of course you couldn't drive right along side me as I would be on trails, but you could pick me up and get me to lodging. Carry my supplies so I would only need to carry a few necessities.

If this is of God and not of myself( which He has been faithful to show me over and over again) I am believing in His provision at the perfect time.
Prayers please... I need donations to come in, I need a driver, I need my steps to be made clear to me and I need continued support for North town Pregnancy center and Olmsted Center for sight.

As always, everyone's overwhelming support and prayers have meant everything to me!!!