Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Long, hot journey

Monday morning sure came around fast after our long day yesterday.

Of course, we picked the hottest day for our first full distance day. We planned to cover 21 miles today, from Gresham Lake Rd just north of the 540/Capital Boulevard interchange, through Wake Forest and Franklinton. Patrick and a few of his children were there before the rest of us - he said "You know your late if I'm here before you!". We had no fixed stops today, just marching. We left about 8:40 in the morning and set a quick pace, stopping briefly for water every two miles. We had 10 walkers for most of the day today, and 6 more joined us in the after noon.

The long walk provided a lot of time for quiet reflection. Some of that reflection was devoted to avoiding the hot sun. We found some relief when our course veered off of US 1 north, taking us along 1A through Wake Forest. We had a nice rest in the shade in front of Forestville Baptist Church. We reached the downtown area near noon time and asked a local fireman about a goood place to eat lunch (Over the Falls Deli). Patrick also stopped at the local Wake Forest newspaper to see if they had received our press release and if they would cover the story. The editor sent Leslie out to meet us, and she interviewed several of us at length about the Pilgrimage and the death penalty.

We left at 1:00PM and started the long march up to Franklinton. The walk through the older estate section of Wake Forest was beautiful. We also enjoyed the quaint town of Youngsville; the road crew working on road improvements through downtown were very friendly towards us. After passing through Youngsville, our route took us back onto US 1 north, which is a busy four lane highway. Soon, though, the business route veered off towards Franklinton. We stopped for a fifteen minute break in the shade, knowing we had only a mile and a half to downtown and two miles after that - about an hour of walking. Scott was not feeling well, perhaps from dehydration, but some PoweAde powered him through the rest of the day. Blisters also took out Grant and Moira.

Just south of downtown, near the elementary school, a group of kids had grown tired of bouncing in their trampoline, but found renewed vigor as we passed by. In downtown, a reporter from the Franklinton paper met us to take pictures and interview Scott and Patrick. A mile north of Frankinton, Business 1A merges back into US 1, so we marched another mile before finally stopping for the day at 5:30PM.

We regrouped, gathered our cars, and drove to Cedar Cross retreat house near Louisburg. Our gracious hosts, Margaret and John Hilpert, Betty Anne and Nancy, had a hot meal waiting for us, and we were very grateful for that! We also had showers! Yea!!! The Cedar Cross retreat center was the perfect place to relax, reflect, and rejuvenate. Many birds ushered in Tuesday morning, and we were ready to hit the road again at 7:30.

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