Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 2

Day 2: we walked from camp out into a cold & damp morning, up Bradley Blvd, to Old Georgetown Rd., and over west. We went through Bethesda, which is the point I took my first sweeper shuttle. The leg I took it on was marked as 1.9 miles, but given the time it took the other 2/3 of Team Turtle (and the other 1950 walker talking about it), the leg was actually closer to 3. They corrected it at dinner that night - apparently we walked (er, traveled) close to 23 miles that day - loooooong day! Walking into the rest stop where I picked up the bus was one of the more amusing cheering people - several guys with plastic lawn chairs & a couple of cases of beers - they handed them to those who wanted them (of which I was not one, believe it or not - first off, it was one of the Lite style American beers, and second, I was terrified of getting dehydrated. Also it was pretty early in the day still - hadn't even hit lunch yet!). So I got on the bus & met Jon & Candy at the next stop - had a little sit-down and got a little shut-eye (no, I didn't fall asleep, just shut my eyes). Once Candy & Jon got there, we walked up a lovely street with some beautiful (and I'm sure, expensive) houses. When we hit lunch, we all sat down & noticed lots of people walking around with those foil blankets you see on marathoners at the end of their races. Luckily, I had thought to bring both my sweatshirt and raincoat (talisman against too much rain), as well as a headband to keep my ears warm. After lunch and reapplication of foot blister care, we took off again to parts unknown (because I didn't have a GPS). It was a tough rest of the day, for me, at least. At one point I tried to catch another bus so I could have a longer rest at the next rest stop, but I couldn't find one that would take me to the next rest stop - all the vans at that point were just going back to camp! Eventually I made it to the last rest stop, and waited (for about 30 seconds) for Jon & Candy to show up. After a decent rest (and 2 bathroom breaks), we headed off on the last leg, which was a bit longer than the average leg length - close to 3 miles, I think. Also, it was through a residential neighborhood. I soon realized I was probably not going to make it this whole leg. Not because of my feet, either! I was so diligent about drinking enough water & Gatorade, that my bladder was full to bursting, and being in a residential area, there wasn't anything like a 7-11 to duck into - or even a patch of wood to jump behind a tree. So about a mile, mile and a half (generous) in, a van came by and I jumped out & waved it down while hollering back to my team "Ican'tholditanymoreIreallyhavetogoI'llseeyoubackatcamp!" So we eventually made it back to camp & to the portapotties. And let me tell you, I've never been so happy to see a portapotty. I was really disappointed that I didn't make it that last leg that day. But I suppose I would have been more disappointed if I had been arrested in Potomac for public urination. After availing myself of the facilities, I got a call from my mom - she, my dad, my niece, my dentist & his wife (Old family friends! Not just our dentist!) had come over to cheer us on - and what timing - they pulled up shortly after I did. So I had nice little chat with them. They made a "Go Team Turtle" sign, which they waved at Jon & Candy when they were leaving, neither of whom was quite sure what they saw. Apparently that gave them enough to talk about the last few hundred yards, that they forgot about their feet hurting! That night at dinner some people gave their testimonials, and that was heart-wrenching. One woman's mother had just died a few months before, and another woman talked about her story, which is kind of frightening in its mundanity. She found a lump, got a mammogram, and had to have chemo, surgery, and radiation. After the testimonials at dinner, there was a dance party. I honestly don't know how anyone could have gone! I had to go back to the tent and fall asleep - we had to be up and packed (including packing our tent away) by 8:00 the next morning! I think I was asleep by 9:30.

Coming soon (I hope) - Day 3!

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