I would be waking up early to get back on the road after a great day of rest. It would be my last day of rest before this trip would be completed. The idea of being this close to home after spending nearly five months walking is intangible. I have been in this mode for so long that it does not seem like a big deal. I really do not know how to describe it. Knowing I would be in Massachusetts today, by foot, is a surreal thought and one I had been picturing for awhile. I know I have been home before but not in this manner.
When you accomplish a feat and you are by yourself, it is truly a humbling moment and one that allows you to reflect but at the same time continue on. I knew when I would get to the part of the road, an imaginary line that divides New York and Massachusetts, there would be no celebration waiting, it would be a quiet moment. I think some of the biggest triumphant have been celebrated in silence on this trip. Passing form state to state, town to town, and even mile to mile have all been a celebration between God and myself. It is through blessing from above, a wink and a smile that one foot was placed in front of the other. These moments although the most quiet were the most significant.
My father set me up with his friends, Buster and Sherri in Pittsfield, MA so when I arrived I would have a place to stay. It was an easy day to walk, a beautiful day that had its variety of ups and downs, flats and beautiful scenery. It is hard to be in a bad mood when conditions align so well. I was able to pass some interesting points of interests, like where Yankee Doodle was written, I mean how often do you pass these places by. As I am walking I begin to see signs for Boston and Pittsfield. Imagine that, places I have been before and now they are in sight. A beautiful thought and only furthered my motivation to continue. Even with 35 miles today, it may as well be 10. I am finally walking through the New England I know, old granite houses, white picket fences, and changing colors. Then that moment arrived where I finally saw the “Welcome to Massachusetts”. There it was, I have seen 10 other signs like this one was different. While taking pictures, the realization of walking uphill against traffic does not fade lightly and with a quiet modest smile, I pushed on.
I was able to get in contact with my fathers friends, Sherri and Buster and we planned a pick up spot where we could meet and I could get a ride to their house. Sherri showed up while I was making my way into Pittsfield. Her smile could be seen from miles away and she was so excited to help out. I was just as happy to know I was with a friend of the family, I knew I was in good hands. I am able to relax. Sherri was telling me she was nervous she was going to miss me and drive by, she then laughed realizing I stick out like a sore thumb with my bright colored shirts and jogging stroller with my lime green sign on the front.
Sherri and I hit it off right away and I was comfortable and looked forward to getting to know her and Buster. She prepared a wonderful meal for Buster and I and after a couple hours of sitting, talking, and getting to know each other I excused myself and headed off to bed. The only thing that could stop my motivation now is rain. Goodnight!
Day 145 (Miles 3024 - 3059) Albany to Pittsfeld