I recently had the privilege of joining 16 other “pilgrims” in a journey to walk 100 miles across the Eastern Shore of the United States. My fellow pilgrims and I accomplished this lofty goal in a mere seven days’ time. We averaged 12-14 miles per day, except that one day when we got lost and had to walk 21 miles to reach our destination! (Can you say, “Oh! My aching back and feet?”)
The purpose of our walk was to support religious freedom for all people and to peacefully protest the fact that recent times and decisions made by government have threatened, if not undermined the freedoms of many in this nation.
Throughout my week-long adventure, I realized that walking is a great way to see the beauty of America! Lyrics from, “America, the Beautiful” kept coming to mind (and across our lips as we sang together) while we strolled past the expansive, serene, lovely landscapes of farmlands and rural fields. Words are ill-equipped to describe the thrill of literally walking all the way to the ocean shore, 100 miles after we began.
Along the way, we toured a naval academy, and entered the oldest functioning capitol building in the nation. We met people from all walks of life and were welcomed into homes for a few moments’ respite out of the mid-day sun and a cool drink of water. Horns honked and thumbs thrust upward to support our cause, and children smiled, giggled and waved as we passed by.
Fortunately, we had places to lay our heads each night, generously provided by various local churches and schools along the road. However, I think it would definitely be possible to arrange inexpensive lodging (camping, perhaps?) should a family venture out on a personal walking expedition of its own.
There is something quite organic-feeling and simplistic about walking. Feet to the pavement, one step after another, stopping here or there for a restroom break and much-needed hydration. It’s a good feeling to know that I can get from Point A to Point B without use of any equipment that requires gasoline to move. My own body and mental stamina provided all the fuel needed! (Thanks be to God for good health!)
Perhaps walking 100 miles is not what you have in mind this summer. But, maybe a smaller excursion might be to your benefit! Take a day (or, two or three) and start walking! (A planned route is highly recommended. Also, pay close attention to state laws in any area you visit to make sure it is legal to walk on the roads you have chosen.) Walking is a great activity and a fun way to get out and see the beauty of nature that surrounds us.
If you plan to walk more than 10 miles, you’ll want to research the best types of supplies such as moisture wick socks and a sturdy cross-training style shoe. Time of year, climate and terrain are other important issues you’ll want to address.
Once you’re all set, there’s nothing left to do but get out there and walk! It’s a wonderful way to relax, think, pray and see the world!
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.