Saturday, July 22, 2017

Ink? (Or what?)

'Ink' -- as in 'press coverage'.  And here is another surprise!  Again with thanks to my DC friend Andrea, this journey has now been celebrated in a style beyond my imagining, in the Washington Post, of all places!

The whole issue of media interest continues to be an evolving story.  Given my reticence around all forms of social media, I had felt a little squeamish, at the outset, about the prospect of publicity.  Pretty early on, though, it became clear that the mission was more important than my personal sensibilities, and somewhere along the way I began welcoming opportunities to speak to the press.  There were not too many.  Some few articles that came out in small town papers were embarrassing, with many inaccuracies and little to do with the spirit of pilgrimage (at least as I saw it).  A few others were well done and seemed encouraging - environment may not be a regular topic of discussion in some of the places I visited!  In any case, this year I've been 'on my own' for the most part.  Until Washington D.C.!  This article is also a little embarrassing, but I did think the journalist captured the spirit of the walk.  Her name is Mary Hui. Here is the link:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2017/07/20/this-zen-priest-continued-her-cross-country-trek-against-climate-change-even-after-it-resulted-in-a-rare-disease/?utm_term=.923c52609231

Been having a 'weather break' in Annapolis, many thanks to another long-time friend and 'road angel', Breck.  Tomorrow I'll be crossing the Chesapeake Bay and embarking on what most likely will be my last week of walking to the Atlantic coast!

At the Hirshhhorn Museum

Ai Wei Wei exhibit

This part of the exhibit was part of the installation on Alcatraz a few years ago.

Smithsonian Castle





Saturday, July 15, 2017

Holy milestones, Batman -- Washington D.C.!!

Well!  This was something -- arriving in our nation's Capitol, sweating and bug-bitten, to be welcomed by my good friend Andrea.  Who, among other things, instigated a very interesting meeting for me, with my elected representative, Congress-person Jackie Speier!  Without Andrea's encouragement I probably would have been satisfied with parading around the Capitol, my Climate Flag flying (avoiding the White House, in the end, due to the appalling nature - to me - of its current resident!)  Why I hadn't thought of this already (calling on our elected officials), I don't know.  But it may be because there has been so little media interest in this pilgrimage (at least in relation to the distances covered!) that I had begun to feel it was more a mission I'd been carrying out just for my own integrity's sake, out of reverence for the earth, and for the many amazing contacts I have made with an equally amazing and diverse group of people, so many of whom DO care about the environment...  If not for the same reasons, or in the same ways as I do...

BTW, I did end up staying for a night in one of the lock houses I mentioned last post.  It was fascinatingly rustic and so hot overnight that it was hard to sleep.  But then, my last several days on the C&O Canal were extra hot (90's) and humid.  I keep having to re-remember that in an eastern North American summer, it is so green and leafy that you can't see the terrain unless you come to a field or wide body of water, or are climbing/descending a hill yourself.  The Potomac was often visible, but not always.  Much interesting flora and river/canal fauna.

It looks as if there will be about seven more walk days to go until I reach the Atlantic coast - at Lewes area, Rehoboth Beach, Deleware.  There is so much of interest to see and do here in D.C., that I could get immersed very easily.  But 'duty calls', as they say - so in a couple of days I will head to Annapolis and another generous host there!  I hear that there will be a post on Jackie Speier's FB site, about this trip(!)  It should be view-able soon at FACEBOOK.COM/JACKIESPEIER.



A memorial at Antietum National Civil War Battleground site


The pedestrian bridge to Harper's Ferry
At Lockhouse #22




Thursday, July 6, 2017

C&O Canal trail mile 100 -- Williamsport

...And if there are particular themes to this stretch for me, they are mostly very green and rainy ones --  grabbing walk days in between thunder storms, sharing the trail with hundreds of cyclists and (again) scaling back my daily mileage expectations while sweating profusely in the amazing humidity! Camping areas (as well as the trail itself) along the Potomac tend to be beautiful and fairly buggy, including gazillions of fireflies after dark - dazzling!  And of course, the area abounds with early U.S. historical battlefields and other significant places.  For example, Williamsport was one of the sites considered by President Washington for the future Capitol city.

A interesting feature along the trail, the 3000' long Paw Paw Tunnel was closed for safety reasons, and there was a steep and rocky detour trail by-pass.  Luckily for me, the awesome folks I stayed with in the town of Paw Paw shuttled me around the by-pass.  I got to explore the tunnel entrance and enough of the by-pass route to know it would have been an act of penance, indeed, to drag my cart over that hill!  There was also a 20-mile stretch of parallel Western Maryland Rail Trail (paved with asphalt!) running alongside the Canal trail.  Needless to say, I switched to the converted rail path for some easier 'rolling' along that stretch.  Ft. Frederick State Park has a very well restored 18th century fort to explore as well as an impressive nature center it would have been great to revisit for all of my flora and fauna questions!   There are scores of building ruins along the Canal route, some of them restored to use as overnight bunkhouses furnished in period styles.  The one bunkhouse I have experienced myself (so far) is attached to a bike shop in Hancock, sometimes affectionately called The Chicken Coop!

So.  I am a possible 7 days from Washington D.C.(at my current reduced speed!).  After which, it may be that a week or 10 walk-days could get me to the Atlantic!  Will that be a 'wrap'?  I can't imagine what that would feel like...



Former mill site

Lock #50



View from the Paw Paw Tunnel by-pass trail

Paw Paw Tunnel


Taken by my walking companion of an afternoon.  

Paw paw tree.  It has edible fruit later in the season.

8-spot butterfly

'The Chicken Coop' (C&O Bicycle Bunkhouse)


In Fort Frederick barracks room; the barracks buildings were rebuilt in the 1970's, although the original fort was pre-Revolutionary War.