I knew the water in the Atlantic would be chilly in mid-April, but I had to walk in anyway. The veins on the tops of my feet popped out as I entered and officially began my second crossing of America on foot. I touched the ocean at 6:30 PM April 11th.
Just getting to that point was a bit of an adventure. I took three trains from St. Louis (the first of which was delayed seven hours). I barely made my connection in Chicago, but arrived in Boston 24 hours later. From Back Bay station, I walked an uncomfortable two miles with Forest (my trusty backpack), two over-loaded duffel bags, and an umbrella to Boston North train station, where I boarded my final train to Portland.
I arrived in Portland at 2 AM. After three hours at Dennys (the only open restaurant) I picked up PJ from a UPS store. As it turns out, PJ’s shipping cost was 50 dollars more than my train ticket(s)!
From UPS we walked a chilly 10 miles (chilly will be a consistent theme during the first few weeks of my walk) south to Zephyr Cove.
I started walking west early on Thursday, April 12th. I walked 15, 24, 23, and three miles, respectively, during my first four days on the road. I crossed my first state line and entered New Hampshire on day three.
Spring hasn’t quite sprung in Northern New England. Crocus, iris, and tulips just started sprouting in Portland, but colder temperatures and higher elevations inland have the region stuck in winter. Many hillsides are still covered in snow and lakes remain frozen.
I managed to dodge wet weather until I neared the White Mountains. Sleet and freezing rain pelted my tent as I camped next to a little lake three miles south of Conway. After packing up in 20 degree temps the following morning, I walked the last three miles into Conway as it snowed lightly. Fortunately Sunday morning traffic was minimal.
My body and mind will take time to adjust to the walking life again, but every morning I’m filled with optimism and gratitude for the upcoming journey! Temperatures may be cold, but I’ve been given an incredibly warm reception by the folks, and courteous drivers, of Maine and New Hampshire.
I am staying at a hostel in Conway, New Hampshire for two nights to warm up and, perhaps more importantly, to shower and do laundry.
From Conway, I’ll follow Highway 302 through White Mountain National Forest, then head northwest and meander my way on state highways to Lake Champlain and the Canadian border. The weather forecast continues to be cold and rainy/snowy/windy/sleety/crappy. It will be a slow-going challenge in coming days.
However, I am hoping the warm reception I’ve received cancels out the cold weather!
In every blog post, I’ll update you on miles, jars of peanut butter consumed (12 oz), days walked, my favorite roadside find, and my three favorite pictures.
Day – 4
Miles – 64
Peanut Butter Count – 3 jars
Favorite Roadside Find – A free leather couch where I sat, journaled, and ate a banana for 30 minutes.
Until next time, walk on!