Today Lucy dog and I start a walk from our home port and end up at our M/V Western Flyer. Walking is cheap so Lucy and I continue, until the point of forgetting the sandals that I was wearing. At about the halfway point I start to feel a small underfoot hot spot. These sandals are not for long distance walking. Yet, I quickly forget my footwear as I begin to admire what that little bit of rain overnight did to the scenery. All the pictures you see were taken on this one walk – today.
Perhaps the walk is not in the exercise but in the taking in of nature. To look at the flowers, birds, beach and boat. That is what this walking is possibly all about.
Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time, right?
“Distance changes utterly when you take the world on foot. A mile becomes a long way, two miles literally considerable, ten miles whopping, fifty miles at the very limits of conception. The world, you realize, is enormous in a way that only you and a small community of fellow hikers know. Planetary scale is your little secret.Life takes on a neat simplicity, too. Time ceases to have any meaning. When it is dark, you go to bed, and when it is light again you get up, and everything in between is just in between. It’s quite wonderful, really.
(Artificial wall as a result of some heavy rains one year)
You have no engagements, commitments, obligations, or duties; no special ambitions and only the smallest, least complicated of wants; you exist in a tranquil tedium, serenely beyond the reach of exasperation, “far removed from the seats of strife,” as the early explorer and botanist William Bartram put it. All that is required of you is a willingness to trudge.There is no point in hurrying because you are not actually going anywhere. However far or long you plod, you are always in the same place: in the woods. It’s where you were yesterday, where you will be tomorrow. The woods is one boundless singularity. Every bend in the path presents a prospect indistinguishable from every other, every glimpse into the trees the same tangled mass. For all you know, your route could describe a very large, pointless circle.
In a way, it would hardly matter. At times, you become almost certain that you slabbed this hillside three days ago, crossed this stream yesterday, clambered over this fallen tree at least twice today already. But most of the time you don’t think. No point. Instead, you exist in a kind of mobile Zen mode, your brain like a balloon tethered with string, accompanying but not actually part of the body below. Walking for hours and miles becomes as automatic, as unremarkable, as breathing. At the end of the day you don’t think, “Hey, I did sixteen miles today,” any more than you think, “Hey, I took eight-thousand breaths today.” It’s just what you do.”
― Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
My wife Patti likes stats so she keeps track of her steps by wearing a pedometer. Today I wish I had one on me. “Wearing a pedometer and recording her step counts gives her daily feedback on her activity level. Her aim is 10,000 steps daily. Lately she’s been above average. The average woman I am told takes about 5,000 steps daily.
Lucy dog just enjoys getting outdoors. But the real beauty (we ponder) is in the walking. Someone once said “we are betrayed in the destination.”
Today I started walking for no particular reason other than wanting to bring my bike back from the Western Flyer. All dog wanted was to pee and poop. Before you know it we were at the ocean.
In the picture below I peer through the fence and pay closer attention to the last remaining acre or two of marshland. Not far away are the cranes that lift thousands of containers onto awaiting ships.
Largest ship in the bottle you’ve ever seen.
On the final stretch.
Walking can and does add minutes to your life. Once we reached the Western Flyer in no time at all I find myself storing the dive gear from Saturdays dive – underneath the Western Flyer. My friend Mel and I tackled the boats bottom. In the time it took me to scrape off the rudders, shaft and propellers he finished the rest of the boat.
Then we were hungry! We started for the British Pub (The Whale and Ale) but it was closed as a result of the thanksgiving holiday. Mel then recalls that he recently ate at the “Happy Diner” right around the corner from the Whale and Ale. The food, service and atmosphere was wonderful. Before I could devour my Fajita Sandwich and onion rings my right ear began to ache. On the way home to drop off the rental air tank I purchase ear drops. They helped but not allot. My head still felt like it had sloshing water in it.
Today I am all cured. Following this mornings walk my wife finds me at the boat at about the same time I am unloading the bike from the Western Flyer. She is hungry. In no time flat we are once again at the Happy Diner. Enjoy your day!