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  • peacelovehaiti

"Are you ready, boots? Start walkin'!" -Nancy Sinatra

Updated: Jul 8, 2023

“I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,. Hoping to cease not till death.

Walt Whitman, that lusty, sensitive, rough poet-laureate of the road, who inspired the likes of Kerouac, as he set out to write Leaves of Grass.)

Whoa! Despite a somewhat shitty night of sleep we woke up pretty excited. The day had finally come.

It took us several hours to get it together (loading maps, talking to the volunteer ranger who lives here and knows the roads and trails, finding our gear…) but we got to the water at noon.

We asked a woman to take a picture of us near the water’s edge. The tide was low so we couldn’t get to the actual ocean due to rocks and seaweed. A shallow pool had to suffice.

At 12:11 (11:11 Grand Portage, Minnesota time) we took our first steps on this 3500 mile journey.

Julie and I walked together for the first mile, with Giizhik on a leash with Julie, and me carrying Izzy. The plan was to walk that first mile together, then she would go back to the car, drive about 12 miles up the road, and start walking from there.

And it worked perfectly. I found the car in the shade 11.5 miles from the start, with the dogs sleeping in it. Julie was found 5 miles from there at an ATV trail—the Down East Sunrise Trail—at which we will start tomorrow.


During my miles it struck me at about 2.5 miles that we had several thousand more miles to do, and months of just this! It felt, just for a moment, overwhelming. What had we done?!

Today is Julie’s birthday and in all the hubbub of getting to this point, I hadn’t gotten her a bd present. But, it seems like it somehow always works out. I saw a “pottery for sale” sign and two young guys were sitting there reading books. So I walked over and checked out the wares. I explained what we were up to, after they asked where I was walking to, and was able to tell them about Narcan, which they’d never heard of. I bought a blue wine cup and a hand-made card with a bluebird on the front. It cost me the $20 I was carrying.

This inspired me to make Julie’s bd a “blue-themed” one. A bit later up the road, I saw another shop in a yard with a variety of wares…vintage clothes, soaps, candles, and various other things. I was able to score a blue box of stick matches with La Luna/ El Sol on it, a blue dish scrubby, and a jar of blueberry jam. As I type this, I have yet to find the alone time to write out Julie’s card. Maybe it’s time to hit the bathrooms…wink wink.

Day One: Total miles 16.5

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