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.