I Walked to Another State and Back This Morning
A Look Back, But Only for a Moment
xstatic, My Friend, I'm Getting Closer to You!
My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-seven now, and we don't know where the heck she is."
Our friend and fellow hubber, Jim (aka xstatic), is someone I'd very much like to meet up with someday in a Eugene, Oregon, coffee shop. He's an interesting character who I'm surmising is quite the conversationalist, judging from the very cool hubs he's written regarding some really unique experiences.
Between his stints as a women's shoe salesman, doing commercial voiceovers, and playing a sheriff in a movie, and my crazy adventures on eBay, we could open and close that coffee shop in one sitting.
I live in the Southern Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest, sporting my crimson and gray WSU colors, and Jim's over there in Duck country wearing UO's yellow and green.
Eugene's only 350 miles away.
Today, I walked 1/70th of that distance--or 5 miles--before returning the same distance back home.
If I keep working hard at it, I might just make it over to Eugene on foot. Either that...or meet up with Ellen's grandmother somewhere.
My Walking Program for 2013
% of Days Walked
% Towards Goal
Weight on 01/01/13
Weight on 04/02/13
% of Weight Loss
Putting Things in Context
Walking...is how the body measures itself against the earth.
~Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
Sticking with my usual practice at the beginning of each month, I am posting a table highlighting my walking and weight management program.
Getting straight to the point, I gained a pound this month. I make no excuses. This was something I expected, having recently returned from a one-week stay in Kona and Hilo on the Big Island. If this was an item one could put a wager on in Las Vegas, it's a no-brainer! When Hawaiians get together, there's a lot of ono food and beverages to go around.
That's just the way it is.
I did some walking while in Hawai'i, and that helped manage my weight somewhat. Mostly, though, I quit worrying about dieting and had a great time.
But, anyway, let's take a look at the stats.
Speaking of Beverages
Place of Many Waters
Walking in the morning takes you to beautiful places where light and shade make love.
~Professor Mohamed Shareef
In the local Native American linguistics, Walla Walla means Place of Many Waters. The indigenous inhabitants were referring to the delicious water flowing from the majestic snow-capped Blue Mountains as well as the abundant deposits in artesian aquifers, of course, but my recent walks through the Walla Walla Valley indicates that the aboriginal name could also be synonymous with Place of Many Wineries.
Indeed, today, there are more than 100 wineries in the Walla Walla Valley. I happened to be fixated on Basel Cellars only because it was situated along the route I walked today. Long driveways behind gated entrances lead up to this magnificent real estate site that's perched on top of a huge mound. Whether that mound existed naturally or was created specifically for the estate of the previous owners, I'm not sure. What I am certain about, however, is that this is the most expensive real estate in all of eastern Washington.
From my vantage point, all I could see were the huge fields and the immense mound in the middle. I could barely make out the tops of the buildings on the mound. But check out the accompanying video to get a closer look at this magnificent winery estate.
Adjacent to and south of the huge property, a lovely creek meandered in a roughly east to west direction. I saw these two men standing on a small boat that was tethered to the bank by strong ropes. A rotating drum filter hummed in the middle of the vessel. The two men were using what appeared to be handheld scoop nets to periodically capture whatever was being filtered in that huge drum.
At first, I thought that they might be panning for gold. But that would be improbable, considering that news about something like that would travel fast and consequently bring hordes of panhandlers and looky-loos to the area. I then reasoned that these guys might be from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, conducting fish counts.
As far as I was concerned, either scenario worked just splendidly for me.
Another Roadside Casualty
Why I Walk; Why I Write
I walk that I might have something to write about.
I write that I might have something to walk about.
A few months ago, I wrote a hub about holding my young daughter and taking her outside. It was a special and magical once upon a time when a father is still his daughter's very own superhero. Gazing up into the tall spruce tree on the bank of the creek that runs past our house, I spied a little wood owl. I pointed him out to my little girl until she was finally able to see him, camouflaged as he was in his woodsy browns and grays.
We called the little owl, Keoki, Hawaiian for George.
I wanted to share this with you. So that you'd know I wasn't being morbid photographing a dead owl.
I just happen to miss what Keoki symbolized for me...that very special season in a father's life when his little girl looks at him in awe. You know, that certain incredible look that says it all--Daddy, how in the world did you know that an owl would be up there in the tree for us to see today?
In the natural, my mind tells me that this bird lying still on the ground isn't Keoki.
In the spiritual, my heart soars knowing Keoki is free to find another spruce tree, sublimely primed for another encounter with a father being a superhero to his little girl.
What Lies Just Beyond the Bend?
Do I Miss Cars?
When I walk, I love it when there are no vehicles around.
I don't miss cars at all.
But I love it more that they miss me.
I love bends in the road. I'm more often than not surprised by what's just around the corner.
Cool Things Just Beyond the Bend in the Road
The Stateline SDA Church
Our Former Church
My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.
My wife, children, and I attended this church several years ago. It will always have a special place in my heart.
It seemed fitting for me to walk up and touch the front door one last time.
As I stepped back far enough to photograph the entire front of the church, I saw the Fellowship Hall to the left. The 7th and 8th grade teacher and his students at the Milton-Freewater SDA School a few miles to the south would host a fund-raising pancake breakfast here periodically throughout the school year. We faithfully supported that cause, even long after our children had graduated from middle school.
This was also the site for our frequent post-church fellowship meals (or potluck dinners, the colloquial old school term). On special holidays, like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Valentine's Day, we would enjoy the wonderful socials that this church organized for the community at large.
This was the church where I learned to be less anxious over time about singing Christian solos.
My family and I have since moved on, but it surprised me today just how nostalgically touched I was to see her up close once again.
I paid my respects and then quickly proceeded due east until I reached the intersection of Stateline Road and Highway 11.
One More Mile to the Turnaround Point
You Are Now Entering Oregon
More Hubs About Walking
- March into Spring--The Further Adventures of Walking...
Two months ago, as part of my comprehensive life goals for 2013, I began a walking campaign to lose weight and improve my overall health. On the first of each month, I'm reporting in with an update.
- How I Went From Couch Potato to Walking Spud in One ...
In December of 2012, this writer drafted his goals for the new year. He stated that he would walk 1000 miles in 2013...and this from a sedentary individual with a high risk for a coronary surprise.
- I'm Walking My Dog...and His Name is HubPages
It's said that a dog is man's best friend. The one I own happens to be a pedigree cyber canine and the most faithful and omnipresent non-human companion of all. Come walk with us, and I'll explain...
- How Walking Enhances My Writing
By necessity or by choice, the writers of yesteryear did a tremendous amount of walking. This aspiring writer is beginning to understand the symbiotic relationship between the two actions.
Four Miles Down with Only Six More to Go
The longest journey begins with a single step.
In the map above, the letter A marks where the convenience store and powerball sign to the right are located.
At this point in my walk, I was feeling invigorated and enthusiastic about getting to the halfway point at the Stateline Chiropractic office.
I actually jogged for a couple of minutes. With oncoming traffic cruising by at 55 miles per hour, however, I did find the activity intimidating, so I slowed down to a brisk walk and hugged the side of the road even more. The peace of sauntering on the country roads had given way to the nerve-wracking task of being super aware of the oncoming traffic.
Just a few hundred yards to go...
Finally, I arrived at the chiropractic office. I dashed in, said a quick hello to the friendly receptionist, and used the restroom.
Quickly emerging from the office, I headed due north for Stateline Road, retracing my steps.
Funny thing about walks--the return trip, as tired as one might be, more often than not seems shorter.
Before I could fathom just how much the arthritis in my lower back and the fatigue in my legs and feet were affecting me, I found myself at the point of the very first photo--looking north, almost exactly one mile from home.
Our cat, Kona, came running out of the carport where he snoozes in an old suitcase during the day, to greet me by rubbing against my right leg. It was his way of telling me that he was dying to go back inside the house for a snack.
But there was something that I needed to do before going inside.
The walk today was actually special in two ways. I've shared one of them with you--the fact that I actually walked to another state and back this morning.
Here's the other unique difference about this walk. I had a backpack on. Inside the backpack was a plastic bag. Throughout the walk, mostly on the return trip home, I picked up miscellaneous items that I found on the side of the road.
I emptied the bag, organized the items on the concrete front porch, and took photos of the entire lot and then some individual as well as small group shots.
It's almost 10:15 PM as I write these words, but my plan is to list the twelve items as one lot in a special 10-day auction that begins tonight.
Why am I doing this? Well, you'll just have to read my next hub to find out what's going on.
Until then, I bid you a fond aloha and invite you to pick them up and let God put them down, one step at a time.
Aloha, my friends!