Oh my...we try not to think of April 2010! We had 70s and 80s most of the month. Steve had some docks in the water, I had most of the cabins cleaned and the resort grounds looked like early June. Not so in April 2011! Yesterday, we woke up at 5:45a.m. to get ready to walk from Bemidji to Blackduck with a group from church to raise funds for our building project at our Blackduck Free Church. This is what we woke up to....
We had worked outside the day before with no snow and the grass turning green...then we get up in the morning to 8"+ of new snow! Now, if it was November this would be a welcome sight! Steve could gather wood for the fireplace and I would be settled in my sewing room working on a project. But no....we were up early for our 25 mile walk!! So...we bundled up, layered for the weather and reluctantly put our boots on instead of our walking shoes. We loaded up the water, gatorade, energy bars and extra socks(along with our walking shoes) and headed to church by 7a.m. We almost didn't make it because the plows were not out and we had a hard time driving on the snow & slush-covered roads.
We walked into church and joined our group of 35 people who planned to make the walk...
You can see from these photos that alot of the walkers were prepared with their winter gear...not an easy way to walk a long distance with all those layers of clothing on! So much for trying to wear our new, bright green t-shirts to show who we were and why we were walking...the shirts just weren't made to fit over our snowsuits!
We all gathered in the church hall and shared lots of ideas on where to walk, how to walk and thoughts of rescheduling the walk until a better day...but you can see the date is on the t-shirt and we all were pumped to do it! So, it was decided we would get permission and walk inside the Blackduck School. We loaded up our gear and our plump, snowsuit-clad bodies and drove to school. We "re-dressed" ourselves to walk inside and, thank goodness, could take our boots off and put our comfy walking shoes on. The walk got underway at 8a.m., as originally scheduled, and Steve and I started our walk, quickly falling into step with a person walking our pace. We were able to keep that pace and we each walked with our "partner" to the end of our walk. I walked with Verna and we were so thankful for each other...we both said we were able to walk as far as we did because we kept the same pace and chatted the entire time. Steve walked with Cheri and they even stopped to stretch after several laps and kept going, walking side by side. The walk ended up being such a great time in the school because we were always in close contact with everyone else, passing in the hallways and gyms and hollering words of encouragement to each other. It was such a wonderful day, touched by God, that brought 35 people together for a common cause. All the walkers had received pledges and donations for their walks and we were ready to make those people who had donated proud of our efforts!
And...what a successful day we had! Everyone of us surprised ourselves by the distances we were able to complete. Verna and I walked over 5 hours, stopping one time and sitting down for a few minutes to rest, pausing for a drink of water, grabbing a banana or granola bar. She went a few more laps than me...I just reached a point where my legs and feet told me I was done! Steve and Cheri walked almost 6 1/2 hours, stopping once to change socks and get drinks, but continuing the laps over and over.
When we got home, Steve and I agreed that our minds and hearts could have kept us going for the finish of the 25 miles, but our feet and legs warned us over and over that we needed to quit. We both knew that we needed these legs to get our spring work done...we couldn't abuse them! We totally surprised ourselves by the distances we were able to walk. I went almost 15 miles and Steve walked 22 miles! That is by far the most either of us has ever walked....or probably ever will again! All evening we moved through the house like the old wind-up toys that teeter down a slanted board...we gave each other a foot rub that felt heavenly and called the day a fun successful time!
I think that my 3-4 mile walks this week will feel like an easy time after such an accomplishment!