Friday, June 9th, 6:05 a.m. – Departed from the Emergency Operations Training Center in Minneapolis, MN.
Conditions – Temp – 63* / Calm, increasing to 10-15 mph out of the SSE by late afternoon. / Sky Conditions – Clear but hazy, thickening cirrus and stratocumulus clouds throughout the day. Temperature reached 82* by late afternoon.
7:20 p.m. – Arrived at Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis, MN, 19.8 miles, 53,00 steps, 383 miles remaining.
The Walk through Minneapolis
I decided that for Day 10 – the part of the walk that started in northeast Minneapolis, went directly down Hennepin Avenue through downtown and ended at Minnehaha Falls – I would simply let the pictures that were taken tell the story. It was an amazing walk fueled by the energy of the city itself, the diversity of which is evident in the photographs. The images that were captured with a camera – and especially those in my mind’s eye – will be carried with me for as long as I live. I hope the collection below will give you some idea of how impactful this day was on the Walk for New Wings, and how beauty can be observed and enjoyed in so many different ways! The images are in no particular order. Have a look at them, then read on below for some observations I’ve been able to make after being on the road for 10 days, both about the logistical challenges of the walk, and my personal struggles in writing about the experience.
10 Days Worth of Observations about the Walk
Good Things, Bad Things, Disturbing Things
- I have found the goodwill of people to be an amazing constant. From little boys donating bags of change to people giving me food and supplies to people stopping me on the road to say, “Nice job!”, everyplace I’ve gone, there’s been support for what I’m doing, and a willingness to help me in any way possible!
- I’m losing weight. Apparently over the course of being in college for a few years, I gained more than just knowledge…
- I have a new appreciation for my home, my loved ones and the many cool people in my life. I love and miss you all!
- There is an appalling amount of garbage on our roadsides. As I got closer to the Minneapolis area, the amount decreased, but was still significant. I understand that some of it is blown there by the wind, but not all. Please dispose of trash and recyclables appropriately!
- Pain – I came to this realization at the end of the first week: Pain is part of this experience. Deal with it, or go home.
- Days seldom work out as they are planned. Especially when trying to find places to sleep, the process can be, shall we say, trying…
- Especially in the first week of walking, a significant amount of the garbage on the side of the road was alcohol related. I was under the impression that more progress had been made about the dangers of drinking and driving! Also, I have seen hypodermic needles and those little orange caps from them in every county so far. This is not good news either.
- The dye in my Duluth Trading Buck Naked underwear is unstable. On those really hot days when I sweat for hours on end, my buttocks turn the color of my underwear! Should a file a complaint? Some of the colors don’t mix well…
- Lastly, I’ve never minded spending time by myself. However, I believe that a limit may have been reached. Not that I’m losing my mind or anything. It’s just that some of the things my mind conjures up after countless hours alone in the sun are suspect even to me! No worries. I’m working through it. Maybe I’ll get a dog…
Walking 20 miles a day AND keeping up with social media and a daily blog is challenging to say the least. The blog especially is quite time consuming, and there are times when my mind is so tired or in such a state that I can’t even tell if what I’ve written is good or bad. Concerning the blog, then, I’ve come to a couple of realizations. First, aside from grammatical and spelling errors, it’s going to be what it’s going to be. While I would love to have someone go over it with a fine tooth comb, that is never going to be a reality. What I post stands, and that’s just the way it is. So again, I say to myself, deal with it, or go home.
Secondly, and more importantly, the style of writing in my blog has been slowly changing. While initially it felt more like I was “reporting” my daily occurrences, more recent editions include more introspective. I imagine there will be more of that in the future. I feel almost as if I’ve been holding back in a way, and that’s not fair to me, or anyone reading what I write. Future editions are likely to include more intimate details about my feelings and observations throughout each day, in addition to the physical trials and tribulations of the walk on a relatively personal level. I’m no superhuman. I don’t want anyone to think I am. So I guess what I’m saying is that sometimes you’re going to read about my green buttocks, and we’re both going to have to be okay with that. For my part, I do feel better for having warned you…Stay tuned!