Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The #GreatWalk Recap

Cale and I completed our 100 mile #GreatWalk from Bellevue, WA to Great Wolf Lodge. We live-blogged on Twitter as we walked, and I have recorded our tweets on this blog in chronological order to make them easy to read. Thanks for sharing our journey with us!
  • Day 1: We depart!
  • Day 2: A long walk to the airport
  • Day 3: Getting tired and frustrated
  • Day 4: A candy discovery
  • Day 5: Skirting the military base
  • Day 6: A wet and rainy day
  • Day 7: Into the wilderness
  • Day 8: We arrive at Great Wolf!
  • Day 9: A day of rest
  • Day 10: The trip home
Some interesting external links about the adventure:
Internal links to blog posts where you can learn more:
The best part of the walk was spending time so much time with Cale. Every day we walked for hours. Our routine was monotonous: we would wake up, pack our bag, eat breakfast, walk, eat lunch, walk, check into our hotel, eat dinner, do laundry, go to sleep, and then repeat the whole thing the next day. We spent a lot of time silently trudging down the road next to each other, but our focus was always on each other, what we were doing, and where we were. And this created a really unique opportunity for us to connect and share.

As we walked, we learned to slow down and notice what was interesting about what was right in front of us. For example, Day 2 of the walk took us from downtown Bellevue to the Seattle airport. This is a route we theoretically know very well, but I think we could easily have spent days discovering all there was to see on just that one leg of the walk. There were beach parks to swim at, a defunct railroad track to follow, the Seahawks training center to explore, blackberries to eat, and more. If I were to do the walk again, I would create a little more space for meandering. Because we were walking 15 or more miles a day, we didn't have the energy to do anything besides get from Point A to Point B as directly as possible. For all of the amazing things we saw, I'm sure there are many equally great things we missed.

I am also struck by the sense of community that the walk engendered. Cale and I were alone on the road, but could sense the whole time that we had a huge invisible support network all around us. Rob and Jenn set up a treasure hunt for us, with clues and care packages hidden along the way. Others kept an eye on the weather and local news events remotely, so we could keep abreast of what was going on around us. Online you cheered us on, and we picked up additional supporters as we walked. The hotels we visited started following us, and it was particularly exciting when Great Wolf Lodge started replying to our tweets and offering encouragement. Even random strangers would stop to make sure we didn't need help, and get engaged with the walk as we told them about it. So THANK YOU for making the walk a success!

[Ribbon cutting picture by Shanna Paxton courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge]


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