Monday, June 23, 2014

I am home

I ran out of money and had to come home. I tried to do things smart, coming home and staying when possible to save money, staying where breakfast was included so I had one less meal to buy and bringing some of my own food to eat along the trail. I did of course also eat in some better restaurants too. A lot of times that was because I got a really good rate on a room and had extra to spend on a nice meal. There were also times when I had very few choices on hotels or restaurants because of what was available in that area.  I had some money that was promised to me not come through. (ok enough wining)

If you would have asked me after the first week or even month of walking how I would feel about being able to finish the Erie Canal trail but not go on, I never would have expected to feel disappointed. I probably would have said relieved, maybe even glad to be home. The start of my trip was so very difficult. Now though, I am feeling disappointed that I was not able to go further. I was just getting to a point where I was enjoying what I was doing. I had a few episodes of foot problems (most of that probably because I did not walk while Noelle was in the hospital and then tried to get right into walking 20 miles again, not real smart). Another change in my attitude from the beginning is that even though I am disappointed to not be able to go on with my walk, I am not disappointed in my efforts. I did step out obediently in faith. I did finish the Erie Canal trail, how many people can say that. Am I questioning whether I heard God correctly, yes sometimes, but I do believe that all He was asking of me was to step out in faith. If more money comes in in the next week or so, I will go back out again, but I need it to be enough money for me to go for more than a day or two. If I don't walk, any extra money that came in I will divide between the two charities.

As for the two charities...I will keep this blog up for a while so you will be able to continue to link to the charities from here and I will update it if anything new happens with me. As I have time to reflect on my walk and God has a chance to deposit all He has for me I will also update with my insights. If you were going to donate based on how many miles I walked, 500 miles would be my best estimate. The Erie Canal trail was 400 miles, I did about 50 miles in Massachusetts and about 45 more miles in the southtowns.

My last days of walking

After Dunkirk, I walked to Westfield, where I finally had to admit to myself I just didn't have enough money to go on. I stayed at the Theater Hotel in Westfield. It used to be a drive in movie theater that burned down. It was a really cute motel, styled like the older motels with harvest gold toilet and tub, yellow and pink tiling. It was really charming and the people there were very nice.

While walking to Westfield I stopped the Erie State Park and had an impromptu picnic by the beach of beef jerky and a kind bar. It was nice to take a little time and rest by the beach for a while. The weather was perfect. On the way I stopped at the Sugar Hill Golf course at the Caddyshack restaurant for dinner. It was the only restaurant I had seen since Dunkirk. It was totally worth the stop. It was decorated so adorable, kind of country charm. I had haddock stuffed with crab and shrimp which was delicious, buttery, melt in your mouth. My waitress was very sweet.

I had a friend pick me up the next day to take me home. We decided to take the drive to Presque Isle in PA. I was a little bummed to find out that I was only 10 miles from the PA boarder when I stopped. I think I will take a day and do that last 10 miles soon even if I don't ever end up going any further in my walk. Anyone up for driving me to Westfield and picking me up at the PA boarder 4-5 hours later some day soon? Presque Isle park is amazing. They have so much beach area. We spent the day walking in the sand and water and just enjoying the sun and a perfect beach day.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

enjoying Dunkirk

I woke up to thunder and rain this morning so I decided to stay one more day in Dunkirk. It was a day that I really needed. Even though I stayed in one town, I walked at least 10 miles. The nearest restaurant was 1.8 miles away and I walked there and back two times. I went to Demetrys. Really good home style food and great service. I ate there three times in the last two days!

I walked the boardwalk and checked out the little shops. I went to the Dunkirk lighthouse and checked that out and walked around this little park and down to the beach. I walked barefoot in the sand and stuck my toes in the surf. Anyone who knows me knows that water and sand are amazing therapy for me. My spirit felt at peace. It was something I really need since I have to face the fact that my money has run out and I will have to come home by this weekend. I was hoping the article in the UB Reporter would help with some donations and I had some funding that was promised fall through. I have always said that God would let me know it was time to come home when the money ran out. I know there is still time for God to do something miraculous. If not, then maybe I have accomplished all He wanted me to on this trip. I am trusting Him either way, but I had hoped to do more.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

having a hard time lots of foot pain

I walked to Angola, well about 5 miles out and then my mother-in-law picked me up and I stayed with her in Angola. Then the next day I walked to Irving (I had hoped to make it to Dunkirk) and my mother-in-law once again was nice enough to pick me up and let me stay with her. We stopped at Aunt Millie's on route 5 in Irving for dinner. I had what they call Thanksgiving in a bowl. It was turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and corn all mixed together. It was really good. This is one of my favorite restaurants. I try to go there anytime I am in the area. I have never had anything that wasn't wonderful there, and their desserts are absolutely unbelievable. Today Noelle had a follow up appointment with her Endocrinologist from after her hospital stay.  Everything went well at the doctors visit!

I am hoping to make it to Dunkirk or farther tomorrow. I am having real problems with my feet. the top of my right foot is really hurting and I am having problems going further than 10 miles right now. It is weird, it's the top of my foot, where it bends. It makes it really hard to flex my foot. Hopefully having a day of rest today will help. It is about 12 miles from Irving to Dunkirk, so I think I can do it. I am looking forward to this, Dunkirk's waterfront is beautiful.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Link to article in UB reporter

Walking again!!

I finished the Erie Canal Trail!! Tuesday I walked from Medina to Lockport. It was a really nice walk. It felt good to be on the road again. I am so glad that Noelle is doing so well and that I am able to be going again. I stopped at the Tow Path Café and I had a side of corned beef hash, it was really good, but the best part was the women working there. I had a chance to talk to them about what I was doing and they donated to my walk. They were wonderful women and I really enjoyed talking to them. I will have to stop by another time and try more of the menu. I had really just stopped in mostly for a cold drink and to use a bathroom. The women there also offered to fill my water bottles and give me ice for my water. You all need to stop there and check it out and support these wonderful women. Then I finished my walk for the day at Lake Effect ice cream. If you want to try some unusual ice cream flavors that is where you need to go. So I ended up having ice cream for dinner. I had peach bellini and also sampled honey blue cheese. The peach was perfect after a hot walk. So refreshing.

The next day I walked from Lockport to North Tonawanda and stopped at the fire hall there. It was a hot and muggy day. I ended up with blisters on the bottom of my toes. It ended up being a really tough walk for me. I had hoped to make it to Tonawanda, but just had to stop about 3 miles from my goal. A friend from work, Mari Felschow picked me up and took me out to dinner. We went to Roadhouse grill and we both had Mauhi-mauhi with a strawberry/lime butter. The food was so good, especially since I was so hungry. I did not find any place to stop for lunch along the way.

Yesterday I walked from Niawanda park in Tonawanda. It was a day of ups and downs. It was really nice to be walking there since that is where I did a lot of my training. I know the path so well. Know where the bath houses are, where there are benches, I know it all so well it felt like a long lost friend. After a while though it started pouring rain. I put on my rain poncho but still got wet. I was lucky though, there was a park right there with picnic shelters and a bath house. I waited it out for a while there, went into the bathhouse and dried off with paper towels and sat under the shelter for a while. I started to walk again and discovered a restaurant about 500 feet away. I went to the River Grill on Niagara just past Sheridan drive. I had seafood chowder that was just overflowing with shrimp and scallops and I also had a crab poboy. It was soooo good. I sat for a while since it was raining on and off. After that I finally decided to go and figured it was going to be a day that I just didn't get anywhere really fast, so I just enjoyed the walk. There were rose plants (rose of Sharon maybe?) all along the path. I stopped every few feet to smell the blossoms the perfume was so wonderful. I also spent some time following a heron or crane trying to get a better look at him. I enjoyed watching the strength and beauty with which he took off and flew.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

I am getting ready to walk again

I am planning to start back walking on Tuesday. I will be starting in Medina where I left off and finish the Erie Canal trail then go to the Seaway trail and then in Ohio catch the American Discovery trail. I am really excited to get going again! There is so much out there yet for me to see and discover. There is so much more of God, myself and my relationship to Him to see and discover.

Exciting news: I was interviewed for University at Buffalo's paper the Reporter. I will get the article some time this week to proof and then it will go out shortly after that. I will let you know when I have the dates and hopefully will be able to link you to the article here on the blog, so stay tuned!

I am taking today and tomorrow to get ready. Doing some laundry, loading more music on my IPod, working on making a banner and I am thinking of having a few t-shirts made if I can get them done fast enough. Then I need to organize my stuff and get it all loaded on the stroller.

Ok, now to the part I like least...I hate asking for money, but it is a necessity. I really need donations, both for my expenses and to the charities. With what I have right now, I will be lucky to make it past Ohio. If you feel led, please do donate so I can continue my walk and so that I can let others know about the work Northtown Pregnancy Center and Olmsted Center for Sight are doing.

Also to save a little money along the way, I would love it if I could get rides to where I am walking and back home while I am this close. I have a ride to Medina Tuesday morning. I could use a ride home from Lockport Tuesday night, probably about 8pm or earlier, if it needs to be earlier, I will just stop where ever I am at that time. Then I would like a ride Wednesday morning to where ever I stopped in Lockport the day before and then someone to pick me up Wednesday night in Tonawanda, probably near Isleview maybe 6pm ish. Thursdsay I should be fine. I have a ride back to Isleview and then will head toward the southtowns. I still need to figure out the timing in the southtowns a little better to see where I will be when and maybe will be looking to get back and forth from West Seneca or Hamburg, but that still remains to be seen.

Once again, thank you all for your prayers and support. You all are what is making this happen. I could get nowhere without all of your help. I pray you all receive rich blessings for all you have done for me.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Updates - been a crazy few weeks

It has been a while since I have updated anyone, at least here on my blog. I walked the Erie Canal trail as far as Medina so far, and then there were 3 or so really stormy days coming up so I had my sister pick me up to wait the storm out at home instead of paying for hotels/motels. My plan was to then go back and walk from Medina to Lockport one day and Lockport to Tonawanda the next and thus finish the Erie canal trail. Then I would take about a week off and then go ahead and walk the Seaway trail to the American Discovery trail.

Well, the day before I was planning on finishing the Erie canal trail my daughter got really sick. I believe God had me home at this time for a reason. I had taken her to her grandmother's Tuesday afternoon and on Wednesday morning her grandmother called and told me I needed to come out there. When I got there Noelle had a temperature of 104 and was not responding to us. We could not even get her up and get her dressed. We called the ambulance and had her taken to the ER. When she got to the ER her temperature was 105, HR was 131 and BP was 67/35 all very scary. She ended up having some kind of bacterial infection, a spinal tap showed that there was bacteria in the spinal fluid. They gave her a broad range of antibiotics and antivirals and she is now home and doing so much better. She had gotten better as fast as she had gotten sick. We were in with her in ICU until about 3pm. She was still very confused and having a hard time following the Neurologists request as far as squeezing his hand, lifting her leg up etc. At about 6pm, I got a call and my caller ID showed that it was the hospital. I answered the phone and heard "mom" and then as clear as can be and as coherant as could be she started asking me to bring some things when I come back to visit. I sat there on the phone for about 5 minutes trying to get my brain wrapped around the fact that it was her. Just 3 hours ago she was totally confused and not very responsive. I actually remember thinking, is this really Noelle, is this some prank or something?

So, I have not been getting any walking in. I shouldn't say that, I have at least been walking from the back end of Millard suburban parking lot and up to Noelle's room. LOL I have prayed about whether I am to continue walking and I really feel that at this time I am being told to keep walking. I am not positive when I will start again. It will be at least a week. I need to make sure Noelle is fine and settled, but I plan to keep going until I feel I am supposed to stop. That might be soon since most of the money I had saved upnd my vacation that I was paid out is just about gone. So I am asking that if you are feeling lead to donate to my expenses, please do. I am really going to need the help. Also, please donate to the worthy charities I am trying to support, that is why I am doing this. You can donate to either me or the charities by clicking on the tabs above, or I am also on Crowdrise. Just search by Our footsteps count. If you can also help me to spread this over social media by sharing the link on your FB and such. Also, please keep me in prayer. That is the most important thing. If I am covered in prayer, I have nothing to fear.

Now that things have calmed down a bit, I will try to update you all much more. Sorry for the long silence.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The last few days have been rainy and just yucky so since I'm so close to home I had my sister bring me home to sit out the weather rather than pay for s room. I stopped in at work to visit. That was really nice. I really miss the people there. I spent most of the last two days hanging with my daughter. Hangind with her is one of the things I miss most about walking. Tomorrow I go back to Medina and finish the Erie canal trail probably by Tuesday. I'll spend a few days at home after that and then I will be off for the next leg of my walk.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Musings from this part of my trip

This journey has been so many things. It probably most of all has been a great big challenge, more than I ever imagined. I have seen and experienced so many wonderful things and suffered heart break and self doubt. I have found out just how much I can push myself. I have been to the point of total exhaustion and checked MapQuest to see how much farther I had to go to see that I had 7, 8 or 10 more miles to go. Thinking I was just going to sit down on the road and that was it. There was no way I could go further and also dealing with the knowledge that evening was coming and I only had so much time before it would be dark. I learned to just keep walking, even when I felt like I was sleep walking, like there was no way to make that next step. The reality is, every footstep did count. Each and every footstep I took would bring me closer and closer to my destination, closer to my goal.

I have tasted so many great foods, as evident in this blog. One of my most favorite things to do is to find a little family restaurant or diner and be amazed by the great flavors that they create. It has been a really enjoyable part of my journey. I love finding new foods, new flavors, new spices.

I have seen spring come into bloom right before my eyes. I started out and everything was asleep. All I saw was browns and greys. It seemed like overnight everything just started to get greener and greener, and the dogwood and other flowering trees are opening their fragrant blooms and carpeting the ground with there beautiful colors. I have seen robins, cardinals, blue jays, red winged black birds, cranes, hawks and I think I saw an eagle I can't be positive but I am pretty sure. I have seen ducks and of course the dreaded goose! I've had butterflies flutter around me along with seeing flies, bees and eeeww spiders.

I have walked across countless bridges!! Bridges of every kind. From my first one that was rather large and intimidating crossing the Hudson river to draw bridges and lift bridges as I cross and re-cross the canal. Every time I see a draw bridge I thing of the song about the Erie canal...low bridge everybody down, low bridge cuz were coming to a town, where you'll always know your neighbor you'll always know your pale if you ever/never traveled the Erie canal...It is true, I know when I see the draw bridges that I am coming to another adorable canal town and I am excited to see what the next town has to offer. I even crossed a lock. That was absolutely horrible. It was just a thin section about the width of a sidewalk. There was open metal grates to walk on so you could see right down and just a railing. I made it across, but whined the whole way.

I am so close to home now. I look at my map and just can't believe how far I came. Just a few more days and I'll be home. At least I hope so, the weather does not look like it is going to cooperate. It is supposed to rain until Friday. Oh well, they said it was going to rain today, and instead I fried. The sun beat on me constantly, someone told me it had gotten up to 85 today. So much for the rain! So I am trying to judge when to walk this week, hopefully I can rely on the weather people and figure out my best plan and get home and see everyone soon and recharge a little before starting this all over again for another 3000 miles or so.

wonderful times

I have had horrible Wi-Fi or none at all so time to catch up again.

A few days ago, I headed for Brockport. The section of my trip from Rochester on has been my favorite. There are these adorable canal towns every 5 miles or so. On my way to Brockport I stopped in Spenserport at the Galley Restaurant right on the canal. I sat out on the covered patio, enjoyed the view and really, really enjoyed the food. I had shrimp and corn bisque. It had a little bit of dill and was so creamy, like silk on your tongue, and had this great buttery flavor. I also had crab stuffed mushrooms and onion rings. The mushrooms were great. Stuffed with crab and melted cheese with just a touch of spiciness to it. The onion rings were thick cut and fried golden and crispy. All in all it was a really amazing meal.they had a really varied menu. I'd like to go back and try more.

I got to Brockport and spent Saturday and Sunday night there. I went to Christ Community church. It was a wonderful, Spirit filled church and I met some great people there.

I can't believe I am so close to finishing this part of my journey! Please keep me in prayer. I have funding make it for about one more month and I still could really use someone to drive along side of me.I kind of need that person to be a PR person. To go ahead of me and let people know I am coming and try to arrange food and lodging for me. I also have to really scramble to figure out the next part of my route. I ordered the guides for the American discovery trail, but they didn't come until after I left, so I haven't even looked at them yet.

Sorry for typos. I don't have Wi-Fi again and am doing this on my phone.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Day off in Rochester

I stayed an extra night in Rochester. I originally thought I would walk 6 days and rest one, but it does seem like after 3 days of walking that I need a day of rest. I am learning as I am doing this. The thing is that I don't really rest on my day off. I want to explore when I have the time. Today I walked to the Memorial Art Gallery and then of course, walked all around the gallery. It was pretty awesome. They had a special showing of Matisse's print work. On the way there I stopped at and Ethiopian restaurant on State street. The food there was amazing. It was all vegan, mostly lentils in sauce and cooked veggies. The spices were so amazing tasting. I ate at a regular table, but they had these woven tables with bowl shaped tops and small cloth covered stools that reminded me of a drum for sitting. They would place the big platter of food in the bowl shaped top of the table and then everyone would eat from the tray using the bread to pick up the food and eat. I did get a cab to come and pick me up from the gallery and take me back to my hotel. The neighborhood I walked through to get to the gallery was kind of like walking through the east side of Buffalo, so I figured a cab would be a better answer. All in all it was a pretty great day off. The weather was great and I had wonderful food and saw some interesting art work. Now I am going to soak in the tub and get ready to take off tomorrow.

In Rochester, almost home!

Wow, I can hardly believe that I am just about done walking the Erie Canal Trail. It has been all kinds of things. Up and down, horrible and great. I have seen a lot of amazing sights. Hopefully I will get my pictures on here soon. It may not be until I get home and can use a better WI-FI connection. I will try later today though as the WI-FI seems good and I am taking today off so should have some time to play around with it.

Last night I stopped in Fairport at the Budget Inn. There was a guy, Frank, checking in ahead of me and he asked me to join him for dinner. We went to the Golden Phoenix on Route 31 in Fairport. It was really good. The menu was huge (and heavy). I had Vietnamese Shrimp with lemon grass. It was a little spicy with and then with the cool of the lemon grass was just a perfect flavor combination. It was loaded with at large shrimp and served over shredded lettuce with tomato and cucumber slices. It was great to have the company for dinner. We had some really great and in-depth conversations about science, God, Jesus, history. There was a lot we didn't agree on, but we both listened to each others opinions and respectfully debated back and forth. I really enjoyed the conversation.

From Fairport I traveled to Rochester. I actually ended up on the far end of Rochester (closer to Buffalo) in Gates. I was on the Canal Trail the whole time. Except for a few detours because the are working on the trail. The section when I left Fairport was totally beautiful. It reminded me of the North Tonawanda/Tonawanda section of the trail. A lot of houses and docks lining the trail with lots of people enjoying hiking and biking the trail. It was a peaceful, but not secluded feeling. The motel I stayed at did not have breakfast and there was no place really close by so I ate a Kind bar and started out. At one point about 3 miles out, I had to detour because of the trail construction and went through a really cute village in Fairport. I went to the Dollar Tree and loaded up on a few supplies and asked around to find out where I could get a good breakfast. The one woman I spoke to told me Ricki's. It was really good, fast and inexpensive I had an omelet with bacon, peppers, mushrooms and onions. It had gotten close to 80 degrees out and there wasn't a lot of shade. It was hot, but oh such a beautiful day to walk. The canal trail brought me right through Pittsford and by then I wanted ice cream. There was a place right off of the canal that sold gelato, so I had a mango and pineapple gelato and a bottle of water, found a shady bench by the water and sat, watched the people birds and ducks and cooled off and relaxed a bit. Sometime before I had entered Fairport the trail had gotten difficult. It was all stone. Not the crushed limestone and dirt, but more of the big stones the size of marbles and golf balls. Now that I have the jogging stroller, I really don't mind the gravel/dirt paths, but the on the ones with the larger stones I tend to keep twisting my ankles, so I was sore and hurting by the time I got to my room. Even though, it was a really enjoyable day. The weather was amazing. There were lots of friendly people on the trail and I walked through some beautiful towns. I really think I want to come back to Pittsford sometime and spend a few days. It was loaded with cute little shops along the canal.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Got some catching up to do

Ok, it's been a few days since I wrote. Between not having Wi-Fi and hanging with my cousin and just being plane old tired. My next stop since I wrote last was supposed to by Clyde, but there was no lodging in Clyde so I went a little more to the south and stopped at Seneca Falls. That is where my cousin and uncle live (well in Waterloo, but they're right next to each other) I had a great time once again being with both my uncle and my cousin Donna. Me and Donna spent the day together Monday. We went to Seneca Falls, the birthplace of women's rights. All the women's rights museums were closed Mondays and Tuesdays, so I guess women have no rights in Seneca Falls on Mondays and Tuesdays. Since we couldn't check any of that out, we stopped and got a bite to eat. I will have to get the name of the place from Donna, I just can't think of it now. I think either Paul's or Paula's pub. We had some jalapeno poppers, Donna had a burrito and I had a pastrami sandwich. The jalapeno poppers were real good and came with tortia chips. The pastrami was so good! Very lean and lots of it. I only ate half of it and gave the rest to my uncle. Since everything was closed, we exercised a women's right to shop and went to the Waterloo Outlet mall. We had a good time and spent too much. LOL Not really, I bought a few things I needed. I don't buy much anymore because I have to carry whatever I buy with me till I get home. I got a few tank tops now that the weather is getting nicer and a pair of sneakers since I blew through the first pair already.

I left Waterloo and walked to Palmyra which was around 23 miles. It was a long walk since I had to get back up more north and get as far west as I had hoped for the day. I got to the hotel at around 8pm. I then did some laundry and ate a healthy dinner from the gift shop in the hotel of microwave French bread pizza and an icecream sandwich. I was just way too tired to get out my computer and blog. I guess Palmyra is a big place for the Mormons. I don't really know except for seeing signs along the way, since I got there at 8pm and left early morning. I did feel led to pray as I was leaving. I prayed that my footsteps would reclaim the ground for Jesus. Palmyra is a great place to walk and bike though. As soon as I can download pictures I will. I got some great ones from the trail. It was really beautiful. The first bridge made from iron instead of wood is there and and aqueduct. I got pictures of both. This was a pretty short walk for me only 11 miles, so I had plenty of time to just take it all in and enjoy.

I got to my motel and there was a man checking in in front of me. He happens to be only two rooms down and he invited me to go to dinner with him. We're gonna go at 7. That gives me time to settle down, stretch my poor body and write to you all.

I am finally at a point where I am at peace with my walk. I have been battling with God on this for a while. Did He really want me to do this and why was it so hard. Why wasn't I enjoying myself. I had some personal problems thrown into the mix and it made it just so hard to concentrate on walking. I have found my peace though. I am enjoying myself, most of the time. I am feeling like my old happy/hopeful self again. I have let go of my problems and there is now such a feeling of easy. Not that the walking part itself is easy. Towards the end of walking 23 miles yesterday, I felt like I was sleepwalking, which wasn't a good thing since I was walking roads the whole time. I had gotten about 19 miles in and was dead tired, only to see another one of those steep vertical hills in front of me. I got up the hill and I got to my hotel. I am finding out just how far I can push myself. When I started this walk after about 10 miles I would be dead and think I can't possibly go any further, but I would be able to somehow push and do those extra 10 or more miles. Now I can go about 15 miles before feeling that "I can't possibly take one more step feeling". The best part is I have been able to push myself no matter how tired and get to where I need to be!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Of cities and countries and rain and sun

I left Syracuse yesterday to go to Camillus and today walked from Camillus to Weedsport. My walk from Syracuse to Camillus was almost all city walking. I walked through some not so great sections of Syracuse, and was a little fearful. Psalm 23 was on my mind, especially verse 4 "Yea, though I walk through the valley or the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." I was led to pray for the city as I walked. As I left Camillus today though it was almost all rural. It was very quiet and peaceful a definite contrast from yesterday. As I was walking through a wooded area and looking at the fallen trees and the other trees that were just starting to turn green and was in awe at God's amazing plan. The trees live their whole life and then fall, start to decompose and then provide nutrition to the soil for the next generation of trees. The whole circle of life. It is so cool.

Yesterday, it rained off and on all day. I kept putting on my rain poncho and taking it off again. At one point it really started to pour down. Luckily I was still in the city and there was a Subway restaurant right there. I guess that meant that it was time for a lunch break. LOL I had gotten about 5 miles from Camillus and it started coming down pretty hard again. There was a Catholic Church across the street and I could see that there was a bench under an eaves there. So I sought sanctuary at the church for a while. I sat for 5 or 10 minutes and it did stop raining. I got about 3 miles from my motel and MapQuest had me going in circles for a while. I think I was 3 miles out for about an hour as I walked in circles. I figured out my problem. MapQuest was having a problem keeping up with me and was giving me directions from where it thought I was, thus having me going in circles. I stayed at the Thomas Motel on W. Genesee Turnpike in Camillus. I would totally recommend this motel. It is a small no frills motel, that charges a really fair rate and is decorated so adorably and is very clean.

As I left the motel today, there were dark clouds all around me. I was tempted to go back and spend an extra date at that adorable motel. I decided instead to keep going. I had let the weather interfere with my walk way too much. I totally felt that God was with me on my walk today. I kept seeing dark clouds all around me, but over my head was always a circle of blue sky and I even got to see sun too. I did not see any rain at all while I walked today. The terrain was really interesting today. I had done a lot of uphill before, but there didn't seem to be a lot of downhill. Today, there were lots of steep climbs, but they were followed by steep declines too. I got my whole body worked out today. Up until now, it had been mostly my glutes and my push muscles in my arms and back. Today I also got the front of my thighs and my pull muscles, trying to keep my cart and myself under control while going down the hills and having the cart pulling me. Tomorrow I hope to reach Clyde.

Once again, thank you everyone for all of your support. Everyone's support had meant so much to me. Still, I could use prayers for funding and for a driver to drive along with me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Syracuse finally

I finally made it to Syracuse. It looks like this is halfway on the Erie Canalway Trail. I am hoping to get to Rochester in a week (let's see how long that actually takes me) and another week till Buffalo. The weather has been horrible. I didn't walk today, it was pouring rain all day. I don't mind when there is a light rain or on and off showers, but pouring rain and barely 50 degrees out just doesn't mix. The Syracuse news showed some interest in doing my story, but Noelle has been contacting them to let them know I am here and that I will stay a few days if they need me to and we're not hearing anything back.

The walk to Syracuse was interesting. I found the trail right away, no walking 5 miles out of my way this time. Which was a good thing since it was over 20 miles to get to the hotel here in Syracuse. The beginning of the trail was a little scary. It was really desolate, but also very peaceful. I pulled my bear spray out of it's holster and kept it close at hand, just in case. The trail went from gravel and dirt to just stone with grass in the middle to some places where there was just a very narrow path of stone in the middle, basically just wide enough for a bike. I am so, so, so glad I got the jogging stroller. It handled all of it easily. I wasn't wasting a lot of energy pushing something that didn't want to move. It really glided above almost every surface. all in all, it was a nice but long walk. I was exhausted when I got to my room around 8pm. I went into my room and found out that I had a Jacuzzi tub! I did not request it, or pay extra for it. God is so good. It is time for new sneakers. They are really breaking down and I twisted my ankle a few times on the rough surface of the trail, so I was achy and had little energy. Sitting in the Jacuzzi was exactly what I needed.

I stayed today in Syracuse, hoping to hear something from the news, and the weather was bad. I got a cab and went to the Destiny USA mall. It was really huge. I got an air pump for the tires of my stroller and a couple of tank tops. I had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. I have actually never eaten there before. I had a grilled shrimp and bacon club. What an amazing combination. For dessert I had carrot cake cheesecake. My two favorite desserts in one!! The best part was that the carrot cake in there was really good carrot cake, not just the boring spice cake tasting kind, but this had pieces of carrot and nuts. The whole thing was really good. I came back to my hotel and tried to do laundry. First the machine ate my money and wouldn't give me any laundry soap. I used shampoo. Maybe now my clothes will be shiny with lots of body. They have lots of body while I am in them LOL. Then I put money in the washer and the thing that you push the coins in got stuck. The maintenance guy was nearby and he monkeyed with it and got it to work. Then the same thing happened with the drier. The maintenance man could not get that to work, so they let me use there drier. Well I will go for now and fold my clothes and enjoy the Jacuzzi again while I can. My next stop will be Camillus. It is about a 15 mile walk.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Feeling at peace

I am in Canastota today. I got here yesterday and spent an extra night. My soul feels at total peace here. I have been having a hard time, battling my mind and the weather and some general personal problems. I got here to Canastota and as I turned into the village at the top of a big hill I saw the most amazing view. The houses were at the top of this hill which looked down into the valley and the hills past that. Can you imagine how beautiful that sight must be in the fall when all the leaves are changing. Actually it must be an amazing view no matter what the season. Getting to see as the valley and trees just start turning green and awakening and blossoming in the spring. Or to look out in the summer when everything is filled in and lush and alive. I am not a big fan of winter, but it would be an awesome sight from there seeing everything blanketed in white and sparkling from the sun. I wanted to go up and knock on everyone's doors and ask them if they realized what an amazing view they had and how lucky they were! I had a short walk to get here, so I just took my time. I strolled along looking at the view, purposely going down a dead end street just so I could get a better view. I just drank it all in and could feel it just draining all tension away from me.

I spent the afternoon wandering the town. I found a family dollar and stocked up on some necessities. I got some snacks, some powerade, an umbrella (I left my in my car when I came back home last time)and some other things. It's really chilly out, so I came home for a while to drop off my bags of stuff and bundle up some more.

As for my gastronomic adventure...I am at "The world famous Graziano Inn and Restaurant". I stopped at Graziano's restaurant yesterday and had a homemade Italian sausage sandwich with peppers and onions on garlic bread. The sausage was great, but having on the garlic bread just made it even better.

I am on to Syracuse tomorrow. I feel like I have said I would be in Syracuse a dozen times, but I think that tomorrow will finally be the day!

Thank you once again for all of your support and prayers. I can feel the difference in my spirit, the darkness that was surrounding me on the road is lifting. I seem to have found my joy again. Thank you, your prayers have made all of the difference.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Interesting day

Well, I started my day the same way I did yesterday. I got lost trying to find the Erie Canalway trail and walked about 5 miles out of my way. That is probably one of the biggest challenges, finding my way back to the trail. To get off the trail and find the hotel, MapQuest has usually been helpful, but not in getting back to the trail. The way I went though, took me through Rome and it is a really beautiful town. I promise, I will get pictures posted sometime. I have figured out how to do it, but when I do the computer freezes. I think it just may be that whenever I have tried it I have been somewhere that didn't have the greatest WI-FI.

I stopped at Joels Frontyard Steakhouse in Verona at routes 365 & 31. I had a bull ship sandwich. (had to make sure spell check didn't change that name to one I didn't want, LOL) It was 3 different kind of steak tips on a grilled hogy roll, with this wonderful gravy over it. The steak tips just melted in your mouth and the hogy roll was wonderfully grilled with the grill marks on it. The gravy soaking into the roll just made the whole thing. It was definitely a fork and knife sandwich. There was no way to pick it up, it was just overflowing with steak. If you have been reading my food blogs, you know why I look the way I do. I love good food!

When I left Joels, it had gotten colder and cloudy and just felt like rain was in the air. I had five miles left to go, so I cheated and called a cab. I figure it evened out since I walked about five miles out of my way in the morning. Oneida cab company came and picked me up, really fast service. I was telling the driver about what I was doing and she decided to not charge me for my fare. How wonderful was that! If you are in the area and need a cab, please support them. You won't be disappointed with their service.

Tomorrow will be a short one, if I don't get lost again. I am heading for Canatota. It will be about 10 miles. It is supposed to rain off and on, so hopefully I can miss the raindrops. I got some exciting news from Noelle, the news in Syracuse wants to interview me. I haven't heard from them yet, but I will give you more details as soon as I know. I should be in Syracuse by Sunday, Monday at the latest. If I have to stay for a few days to get the interview done, well that will be fine.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Today started out really great. I tried to leave Utica and walked 5 miles only to end up right where I originally started. It was such a stupid move, I really did know where I was going and it should have been an easy start, I have no idea what I was thinking. I had hoped to get to Verona, but because of my miss steps I am now in Rome.

The trail from Utica was wonderful. A lot of wet lands, very beautiful and scenic. It did turn to dirt and crushed stone and I couldn't be happier with my new jogging stroller. It just glided over the surface. My poor aching wrists are finally getting a break. I had another small misdirection on the path in Utica. It comes to a V and I wasn't sure where to go. My map didn't show any turns, so I figured to go straight. I only walked a few feet when I decided it was wrong and got back on the path where I should be. Not too long after I passed lock 20 the path became very rough, just trampled down grass and there ended up being a tree that fell across the path and blocked it, so I headed for the roads. I had almost gotten to Rome when I saw a little bar/diner called Casey's on Country road 88. It was a really nice little neighborhood spot. I talked to some of the people about what I was doing, left some bracelets so they could follow my blog and had one really nice guy donate. It was a really nice place and I was just grateful for a diet Pepsi, a place to rest my feet for a few and a bathroom.

I left there and headed for my hotel since I didn't want to be on the road once it got dark. Once again I got lost. It wasn't too bad, I just went up and down this one road 3 times. Unfortunately it happened to be one with a huge hill. By the time I did get to the hotel, it was dark. Fortunately I wasn't walking around in the dark for more than 15 minutes or so. Luckily the weather was pretty good the whole time. It was windy, but the sun was shining the whole time (except of course when I was walking after dark, lol) I hope to get to Verona tomorrow. It shouldn't be a problem, it is a short trip. I will probably take a break Saturday as right now it looks like rain and then head for Syracuse Sunday.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

rainy days and good food

Monday it was raining but not too hard so I left Herkimer for Utica. It was slow going because I stopped several times because of the rain and once to sit and figure my route. The bike route follows route 5S so in the spots where there is no walking path I follow the bike route. It is usually good, real nice shoulders and an easy walk. There was no walking path the whole way from Herkimer to Utica so I headed for route 5S and there was a sign saying no Pedestrian traffic, so I headed for Denny's which was real close and went on MapQuest to figure out a good route. I found something that took all side streets. It was raining lightly and sometimes started coming down hard. At one point it started pouring like crazy. I was where there was nothing else in sight and just a few miles from the hotel. I saw a garage for an excavation company and asked if I could duck in there. I called a cab to take me to the hotel and the owner of the company tells me, "we are closed for the day now" so I had to go wait outside in the rain for the cab to come. Talk about chivalry. So I stood out there and waited, cold, wet and miserable.

Today I stayed here in Utica for the day. It was rainy and a lot colder than yesterday so I decided to not walk after being wet and cold on Monday. I went to Burlington Coat factory and got a new stroller to hold my stuff. I was about to lose the wheel for the old one and I had e-mailed the manufacturer and replacement wheels were out of stock. It was tilted so bad that it was rubbing against the brakes and making it even harder to push. I found a jogging stroller for a really great price. It has all terrain wheels and is soooo easy to push. I love it. So on to stroller number two!

I really need someone to drive along with me. I would not have been stuck in the pouring rain and I wouldn't be going through strollers like crazy.

I went to dinner both Monday night and tonight. Monday I went to Delmonico's and had ravioli with 1/2 vodka, 1/2 marinara sauce with a Caesar salad. It was really good.

Today though, I think I am in love...with a restaurant...I went to Aqua Vino, I had drunken clams (steamed clams with a beer and wine sauce) shrimp and lobster bisque (it came with a crab cake) and Caesar salad with grilled shrimp.  Everything was just amazing. I was worried I was going to recreate the seen from "When Harry Met Sally". If you end up in Utica, I would definitely check Aqua Vino out!! Well worth it! My waiter, Patrick was wonderful too. I had gotten there early since I hadn't eaten lunch, so for a while I was his only customer and we really had a chance to talk. He is also a teacher. He also had a lot of great information about the Erie Canal trail.

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!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

feel like a GPS - recalculating

OK, I am home for hopefully not more than a week. Route 20 was a big mistake, so now I am recalculating my new route.

I am going to do The Erie canal trail through New York and am planning on joining The American Discovery trail in Ohio. I just have not figured out the exact details on that yet. This is a little tough, I took about 5 months on and off to plan my route before, now I have yo try to do it in a week.

I spent the last two days kind of hiding out and licking my wounds. Was fight feeling like a failure, even though I knew it was totally unsafe to keep on route 20. I've had some time to give myself an " attitude adjustment" and I am feeling better. So it is time to scramble and get my new route mapped out so I can be ready to start out again soon.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

comming home, regrouping

I cannot keep walking route 20. There are miles of twist in road with no shoulder. It simply is not safe. If I don't get killed, I will cause an accident by cars trying to avoid me. I expected long areas with no sidewalks, but I didn't expect to have no shoulder, especially in areas where it isost needed.

I have been able to do it physically, though it hasn't been easy, but having areas without the shoulder made it even more difficult. I was continually stopping on the shoulder to wait for traffic to clear and then jogging with my stroller to get to the next side street, parking lot or driveway. I also added a lot to my route by trying to avoid unsafe areas of the road.

I haven't decided to quit just yet, but I need to change my route. I am thinking about the American Discovery Trail. I will check it out when I get home and have more than my phone to use. I am taking the Amtrak from Springfield, MA back to buffalo tomorrow. More updates to come. I am not quite ready to admit defeat yet, but dodging big rigs on the road does get exhausting.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

a day of ups and downs

I left Auburn, MA this morning and the sun was shining and it was warm. Near 50 I think. It was a great way to start the day. auburn was a nice town and there were lots of people jogging and such. I didn't really stop and check anything out, I knew I had a long way to go and it was supposed to start raining about 2pm.

After a while I hit more stretches of roadway s with almost no shoulders or sidewalks. I was walking along praying to God and doubting (yes once again) that this is what I should be doing. Telling Him that He really needed to give me a sign because this just wasn't fun. Right after that a car stopped up the road to see if I was OK. We moved over to a side street where we could talk safely, they donated some money to my walk and gave me a bible.(how's that for a sign?)

I went on walking farther and the road did not get any safer. I had made it about 3/4 of the way when an officer stopped me and gave me a ride and I did have to agree that it wasn't safe where I was walking. While he drove me he was very discouraging and once again I was ready to go home.

I got here in Sturbridge and I fell in love with the town. It is what I was hoping to see while walking. Its full of beautiful old houses, antique shops and boutiques and history. I reserved my room for an extra day and I am going to explore the town tomorrow! After I checked in today, I went to this BBQ place I passed on the way to the hotel. They had amazing food! It was 3pm and the place was packed! I ended up sharing a table with three other people because it was so packed. I had a great time. I walked back to my hotel singing praises to God the whole way! It was what I needed.

So I will rest my mind and body in this quant town for now and go on from here. What this has been showing me is how much I need someone to drive with me. Please keep this in prayer for me.

Friday, March 28, 2014

its the hardest thing I have ever done

This is by far the most difficult thing physically I have ever done. I am questioning the sanity of an overweight 51 year old taking this on, but here I am trying to do this. Lol Some advice for anyone wanting to try this... mall walking is NOT good prep for this. I just went through Shrewsburg And though I love the people I met there, it is not s good place to be walking.

As for the people. I went to DeeDees diner in the Sears Edgemere plaza. The food was great and the people were wonderful.

As for walking, there were many places where there was no shoulder or sidewalks and they all seemed to be at the worst places like blind curves and big hills.

I am going for 17 miles tomorrow. Gonna try to get to Sturbridge.its supposed to rain tomorrow. Its not supposed to start till after 2pm. I hope they are right, and that the terrane will start to level off so I can move faster.I'll make sure my rain poncho is within easy reach.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

day two of walking

Today was a much better day. The sun was out and it was in the 30s. It was still a lot of uphill, but I went through some adorable New England towns. I met a truck stop Chaplin named Earl. (No it wasn't Billy all my cm friends) He was very sweet and encouraging. I know God is going to put all kinds of people in my path and he is one of many. I am staying at a friends sons house. It is really nice.I am feeling right at home.Tomorrow will be an easy day. I could either get a hotel 6-8 miles away or more than 25 miles away. I chose the 6-8 miles. I will be able to stop and check things out a long the way and not feel like I have to rush.

first day of walking

Yesterday was my first day of walking and it was horrible. I walked up hill 90% of the time and the wind was in my face making it even harder. They use sand on the roads so the wind was whipping up the sand and it was hitting me in the face. I got about 10 miles in, but they were hard miles. Here is hoping that today is better. The weather is supposed to be better, that is a big plus.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

yesterday was kind of a fail.

First off for everyone who is hearing about the weather on the cape and worrying. There is no snow where I am and light winds. Its a little colder than I would like, but not dangerous.

Yesterday I refined my cart. It was just too heavy to pull and too short yo push. I was really doubting how I was going to do my walk. I bought a stroller frame, removed the bag from the cart frame and put it on the stroller. Soooo much easier.

I didn't walk at all. We took time adjusting the cart and drove to the coast and got totally lost in the city of Boston. By the time we found route 20 it was 3:00 and we were in Sudbury. Paul and noelle drove me to a motel here and I will be starting my walk from here this morning. Noelle and Paul made it home fine. I was worried. They had a long drive and we were all worn out from driving in circles all day. Oh well gotta go now so I can start my walk!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I'm in Boston

We got into Boston last night (actually Framingham). I am getting ready to start out today. They were supposed to have a snow storm today. So far I haven't seen any snow here. We went to dolphin seafood last night and had a real good seafood dinner. I will update more as I start my walk. Right now I am using my phone to update. Still need to get a tablet. That will make updating much easier.

Friday, March 7, 2014

It is almost here! and Sponsorship info

It is almost time to walk! I am planning to leave for Boston in 12 days, on March 19th. It's hard to believe that time has gone by so fast. Everytime I have been unsure if I am really supposed to be doing this, God confirms it, whether it be a donation from someone totally unexpected or a great sponsor. The Good Feet store has donated some amazing arch supports and sneakers to me. My feet feel so wonderful in these, that maybe I'll walk 30 miles a day! I'm only half serious there. I will start out slow and careful. I don't want my walk to end before it starts. Please see my "sponsorship" tab for a link to The Good Feet store and stop in and see them. I was at the store on 1625 Walden Ave in Cheektowaga. It's right near Galaria Mall, easy to find. Justin was so very helpful! It was a really great experience.

I am now working on getting some of the larger chain restaurants to donate gift cards. I have asked a few and will continue to ask more.

I met with Maura from Olmsted Center for Sight and she just had so much helpful information for me. It was a really productive meeting. I have a meeting scheduled with LouAnne and Colleen from Northtown Pregnancy center Thursday. I am really looking forward to seeing them again.

I have another way to donate if you would like. I have set up a sight on Just search for "Our footsteps count". There are three different fundraisers there. One for each of the charities and one for my expenses.

I have a few prayer requests please:

Sponsorship, please let there be favorable decisions for the requests I have sent out for sponsorship and let their yes's actually be yes. I have had a few who said they would sponsor me and then when it came down to it backed out. I just wish they would have said no from the beginning instead of me thinking things were in order and then having to try all over again.

My health - my surgery went really well and I am recovering really well. Now with the new arch supports and sneakers hopefully foot pain/body aches will not be a problem, so just please pray for continued good health. Also Noelle had her yearly MRI and the tumor they saw last year is actually shrinking!!!!

That I stay humble and always realize that I cannot do any of this without God's hand being in it.

Thank you all for all of your prayers, encouragement and support. It has meant everything to me!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Eventful week

It has been quite an eventful week. Some great things happening, some not so great but still good.

Noelle had her yearly MRI and the tumor they saw last year that they were contiplating doing a Gamma Knife procedure on but decided to wait since it was still small, is SHRINKING!! God is soooo Amazing!!!

They had found a 5cm cyst on my ovary, so they decided to remove both ovaries. I had the surgery on Thursday and I am actually feeling pretty good. I am trying to take it slow. I am not walking right now, I will wait until my follow up appointment on Monday, March 3 to start training agian. (maybe a little after that depending on what the doctor says). If necessary, I will leave a little later than scheduled, but I am still going to walk!! Right now I have very little pain from the surgery and I feel recovery is going smoothly. My stomach is one huge purple/blue/green bruise, but other than looking like a rainbow and being tired I am feeling good.

More donations are coming in...I would like to thank Jodi Keklak for her donation! I have also purchased silicone bracelets with my blog address printed on them that I will sell to raise money. I should be getting the delivery today or tomorrow. Exciting!! I can't wait to see them. They are glow in the dark, how cool.

I can't believe how fast time is going. When I started planning this six months ago it seemed so far away, now I have 21 more days!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

New***Prayer Tab

It is my intention to be in continual prayer as I walk, so I have created a new page on my blog for prayer requests. It contains a link to my e-mail (one I don't use for anything else, so the requests hopefully will not get lost in with other e-mails). If you would like to keep your request private, please click on the link. If you would like to have others who are reading this blog praying for you too, please enter your request in the comments section of that page. I will be checking for requests about once a week now and then everyday while I am walking.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

It is getting closer!

Only 42 more days before I leave. I am filled with both excitement and fear. I have so many loose ends that need to be tied up before I go, and though I am doing all I can some of these are just out of my hands. So I have to just keep placing my trust in God. He would not ask me to undertake this journey without equiping me for it. I really am excited to get started, but I am really hoping this weather breaks soon!

Donations are starting to come in, which really helps me to lean more on the excitement side of things. I would like to thank:

Bob Hopkins - the first to donate, thank you for believing in me when this was still just in the planning stages.

The Ark Community Church - I just can't say enough about how generous they have been. Please visit there website at:   Please help support them if you are able.

Steve and Laura DiIoia - Thank you, you have been so generous and your support has meant so much to me.

I am once again asking for prayer:
I still have not heard anything from many of the companies that I have submitted sponsorship proposals to. Please pray that I hear soon and that I hear favorably.

I would feel so much more secure if I had someone to drive along beside me. I have absolutely no doubt that with someone driving along beside me, I would have no problem finishing this walk. It means safety and security for me.

My daughter is going for her annual MRI on February 19th to make sure the tumor has not come back. Please pray for good results. Her health is one of the few things that could keep me from walking.

I went to my doctor to get checked up, to make sure I am ok to do this walk and they found a cyst on my ovary. I am going in on February 20th to have both ovaries removed. The surgery is outpatient, overnight stay at the most and they say it should only be about a weeks recovery. Please pray for a good outcome from the surgery and speedy recovery. The worst case would be that I push the walk back a week or two, but I still have every intention of walking. This whole thing is good...if they did not find it, it could have burst while I was out in the middle of nowhere and that is supposed to be very painful.

Thank you everyone! Your support, kind words, prayers all mean so much to me. I especially thank those that are there to lift me back up when I am sure that I cannot do this. Thank you for letting me lean on you for a while.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Update on needs for my walk

I had posted things I will need for my trip before, but I now I will update that list with what I do have and what I still need. If you have any ideas or think of something I missed, please let me know. If you have any of these you would like to donate, that would be great (I would say lend, but with what I am doing, I cannot guarentee that anything would come back with me or what shape it would be in if it did)


Laptop or notebook. I really like the microsoft Surface 2, anyone had any experience with it?
Ipod (I actually have one, but would like one of the newer ones that have the pedometer)
Extra wheels for my cart
Packets of oatmeal, noodle mixes etc.
Unbrella for sun and rain protection
gift cards from chain restaurants - Subway, Wendy's, MacDonalds etc.
gift cards from sporting good stores
(for clothes and basics while I am walking
warm/waterproof/lightweight hiking boots
Bluetooth Headset for my phone. Looking at Jawbone, does anybody have any experience with the Jawbone/any advice?


compact/lightweight tent - I hopefully will not have to use it, but need it just in case.
Sleeping bag liner/sleep sac
Duct Tape
Yoga mat
Water bottles and water bladder
plastic bowl, utensles
Pocket knife
Rain Poncho
First Aid kit
alergy pills/vitamins
s-clips/fasteners/bungie cords
Travel Pillow
Maps and atlas
winter coat/mittens
flash light/clip on lights
bug clip
bear spray
Space bags for packing clothes/keeping dry

I will also need to bring sun screen, toiletries. I do still have proposals out to several places for footwear, laptop or notebook, Ipod (please pray that the proposals go through)

I have gotten several pairs of hiking socks, some performance wear clothing. I have gone through all of my clothing and I should have enough performance wear for now. Most of it is long sleeved and pants, so I will have to update things as I walk, but hopefully by the time I need more of the warm weather clothing I will be a few sizes smaller anyway.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The link to my interview with channel 7

Here is the link to the interview I did with channel 7. It turned out really good especially considering how nervous I was. I think the actual walking will be a breeze after dealing with the promotions part of this. LOL

Friday, January 17, 2014

Interviewed by channel 7

I was interviewed by Channel 7 news today. I think that was even more scary than the thought of walking coast to coast. It went really well I think. They interviewed both me and Noelle. It will be showing Monday, January 20th between 5 & 6am and then at noon. I am excited to be able to get the word out there some more. I have been moving forward with sending out more proposals for sponsorship, contacting the local news and radio stations and contacting the pregnancy centers in other states to try to get people to walk alongside me and people to drive along too. Once I get the link to the interview, I will try my hardest to link it here. I am not making any promises though, LOL.

I would also like to thank Mike Campese for helping to keep me motivated to work out. He has been walking the malls with me and having someone to be accountable to really helps me to get out there and do what I need to do. Check out his website at for any of your IT needs.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

77 more days!!

Once again it has been a while since I posted. The holidays are over and things will start to get back into their normal rhythm. I just opened up my new calendar for this year and so decided to start my countdown. 77 days until I start my journey. That is pretty scary, 77 days is not a long time! I have so much to do in that short time. I guess now is really getting to be crunch time!

Once again, I am asking for everyones prayers and I want you to know how greatful I am for everyone who has been praying. My needs are pretty much the same as they have been...Please pray for sponsorship especially from Verizon and for someone to cover the expenses for my footwear. Pray that I have people walking along side me and someone in a vehicle to drive along with me. Pray for continued health for my mother, my daughter and me, that I continue to stay humble and continue to realize that I can only do this by leaning completely on God. I cannot do this in my own strength. Pray that the charities I am supporting (Northtown Pregnancy Center and Olmsted Center for Sight) will be overwhelmed by donations.

I thank you all for all of your prayers and support. You don't know how many times just a word of encouragement has made a difference to me! I should be updating my blog a lot more now that I am getting close. I will have so much more that I need to do, and then have so much more information on my progress for you all.