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.