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.