Day 148 (Russell to Brimfield)
Today my mom and I woke up early so she could drive me back out to Russell so I could begin my walk through Westfield and Springfield and push towards Charlton. The weather today was perfect walking weather. There was a little chill in the air getting out of the truck and setting up my gear where my brother Chris picked me up yesterday. There was fog rolling over the hills with the sun poking through as it has throughout my trip on the beautiful days I’ve seen. After saying goodbye to my mom and walking to the point in which I stopped yesterday making sure I walked all of my home state, I began my day.
It was a perfect day to walk and I had vigor in my step. Each step I took had meaning, purpose, and just felt good. I had passed the test of yesterday and God has given me a day to accomplish much an I planned on taking advantage of it. In no time at all I was in Westfield, stopping at a gas station to grab a quick pick me up. A woman outside the gas station stop and spoke with me about what I was doing. She had seen me the day before and now seeing me again she was intrigued enough to come and speak with me. It was great to still see that sense of wonder in my own state and the confidence of this woman to come and ask me what I was up to. it’s the little things such as this that can renew a dried spirit. Where we had stopped to talk I was standing underneath a street sign. Route 20 with an arrow and underneath it, it said Worcester. It was great to finally see a road sign with such a familiar name. It was a day of small goals that perpetually pushed me forward for the day. I continued down 20 through the construction of downtown Westfield and before I knew it I was in Springfield. I stopped once again and had a snack and rested my feet. Looking at maps and the time at this rate I was moving right along at a great pace of nearly 4 miles and hour. It may not sound like much but to maintain that pace is not the easiest. When you are walking, move up to a power walk and see how that feels. A power walk is usually at about 4 miles an hour, it is a little out of the comfort zone of walking but that’s where I find my rhythm. So here you have me power walking through Springfield pushing Buddy along, I must have looked ridiculous! After pushing through all the difficult areas of Springfield I was back into the outskirts which had much more defined sidewalks for walking only to come across one of the most dangerous curves I have had to walk on this trip. It was over a bridge with no sidewalk downhill and a leftward bend that was blind. I would wait and wait for a clearing, run with Buddy a little bit, stop, wait and wait, run, wait, run, I felt like I was in the new version of Frogger. Making it down was a relief and another battle won. I stopped for a quick Subway lunch once I was a little ways out of Springfield and had a good conversation with some of the people that had worked there. We spoke of my walk and the reasons behind it. Also I answered the usual questions that I’ve become very good at, almost script like. But after a few minutes I was ready to get back on the road.
I was tearing it up at this point. No more stops on my mind, I had Brimfield on my mind, which is about 45 miles from where I had began my morning. I was trucking through all these small towns. Wilbraham, Monson, Palmer and then I saw it, Boston 77 miles. 77 miles has never seemed so close and so far as it had at that moment. IT was one of those bittersweet moments. I guess it would have been depressing to see a Boston sign out in Oregon saying 3,300 miles, that actually may have felt better but there was no time for sulking only walking! I continued to push the rest of the day more than I ever have. My body was definitely feeling it but this almost IV drip of adrenaline kept me going for the rest of my day.
The air started to chill and the sun started to set and I was on the edge of Brimfield. My parents and I were in contact and they were going to drive until they saw me. Brimfield is only 20 minutes from my parents house so I would be picked up and dropped off the next morning, where people from my church and community were going to meet and walk with me. I had Brimfield center in mind and I was determined to get there before my parents. It felt like a weird game and I was against the clock. I turned the corner and there was the straightaway with Brimfield center at the end of it, so close! I pushed, Buddy towards my goal, body aching and now all bundled up because of the cool air, I felt good, I was going to reach my goal. I pulled into a gas station in the center of Brimfield and literally as I walked in, my parents drive by. I had met my goal and the victory was mine! I was 45 miles from where I started the day, headed home for a hot meal, and ready to conquer tomorrow.
Day 148 (Miles 3102 - 3147) Russell to Brimfield