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What I’ve learned in 4 weeks:

  • You’ll get blisters, they’ll hurt; then they turn into callouses, and stop hurting.
  • If you’re pushing too much weight, get rid of stuff.
  • They say if you want to hear God laugh, make plans. God hasn’t stopped laughing since I took my first step. I’m still making plans and God is still laughing.
  • The desert will kill you without a second thought. It defeated me, but it didn’t kill me because of the intervention of friends and my desire to live.
  • Don’t ignore angels. Some people will go out of their way to help you.
  • Most people have bigger problems than you do.
  • This country is not designed for walking. Both Bill Bryson and Paul Theroux have written about this. Lot of good it’s done.
  • Route 66 may have been charming once, but it isn’t anymore.
  • Pricier motels aren’t necessarily better than cheaper ones. Motel soundproofing is an iffy thing.
  • I love Jacuzzis.
  • After walking and camping for weeks, your level of personal and food hygiene drops a few notches.
  • There’s a knack to “relieving oneself” on the road (a book has been written about it).
  • There are good cops.
  • There are no perfect shoes.
  • You never think about Indian Reservations until you’re walking through one.
  • On any journey you must maintain a balance: time vs. miles-to-go.
  • Man and nature will throw impediments in your way.
  • There are limitations to your own physical and mental strengths.
  • Sometimes you need to make quick decisions; other times you need to take time thinking things through.
  • If I take a “day of rest” each week, it will take forever to reach my destination.
  • Some people think what I’m doing is fun. (Queen Isabella: “Cristoforo, I’m sure you’ll have fun on your voyage.”) This is not fun. My wife and close friends will tell you that I don’t understand the concept of fun. I just want to finish this journey and wade in the Atlantic.
  • I’ve been advised not to say, “I’m attempting to walk across the country,” but instead say, “I’m walking across the country.”
  • If I knew 30 days ago what I know now…well, life doesn’t work that way, does it?

That’s what I’ve learned so far. I’m sure there’s plenty more to learn.

@ Flagstaff, AZ

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