Day 151 (Northboro to Waltham)
Another day of rain! The thought of being on my second to last day of walking does not help the ugliness and dreariness of the weather. People paint walls neutral colors to calm the nerves but there is something about gray that just brings your spirit down whatever accomplishment that may be achieved that day. There have been so many days of rain and uncomfortable walking that I wished a thought of finishing would comfort the wet shoes I was walking in but unfortunately it did not. The only thing that did lift my spirits was people waving, stopping, and asking what I was up to. One woman in particular seemed to bare her soul on the side of the road after about 5 minutes of speaking with me. At first she was a little concerned with what I was doing but once we began to converse and understand each other our focus was together and the rain that was once downing my day was no longer noticed.
She gave me a little food and with a hug we went our own way. Because I have spent so much time away from writing about these last days I cannot remember this woman’s name but her presence will always be remembered and much appreciated.
I knew I was on my way to Waltham where my friend Greg lived. I was going to spend my last official night on the road here before heading to the Atlantic by way of Columbus Park in Boston. Even with spirits lifted each step took a little more effort than the last. Walking in the back roads of Massachusetts has this completely different feel with trees looming over, gathering rain drops on their leaves, waiting, and then finally releasing them as if they were waiting for you to pass by. The openness out in the Midwest, especially in the high desert has the ability of giving you a sense of freedom. A storm in the distance slowly creeps over you allowing you to see the beginning, brace for the middle, and long for the end. Massachusetts you are in a 200 yard stretch of road opening in front of you and closing behind you continuously. I do not know what I prefer, the perpetual state of vastness or the continuous inconsistency of Massachusetts. Both offer their own perspective on the states in which they traverse, each unique and valuable to the travelers on the roads.
Twenty three miles after starting I was finally in a place where my friend Greg could pick me up and we could relax for the rest of the night. It was a gas station right before getting into downtown Waltham. Buddy, with very little in his carrying area was folded up easily and put into the trunk of Greg’s Corolla and we had a nice ride back. I was so excited to be out of the rain and know I could put my clothes in the dryer and change. Greg was more than welcoming letting me stay with him. With him being out in Waltham I do not get to see him all that often, so to have some time to catch up was nice, especially on the verge of completing my trip. Greg made a few plans for us to go out and play some trivia at a local bar with some of his friends. The people you hang out with can be a reflection of the type of person you are and to no surprise Greg’s friends were welcoming, funny, and kind. I appreciate the time I was able to hang out with him and his friends and felt like I belonged. Unfortunately we found out we were not very good at trivia but the beer was refreshing, food was delicious, and the company entertaining. I thank you Greg for providing a fun night and including me in your plans.
Now all there is to do is sleep, walk, and finish!
Day 151 (Northboro to Waltham) Miles 3180 - 3202