My Weight Loss Progress

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Long Road Home

Have I mentioned that we have a lovely little wooded area just about a quarter mile from our apartment?  Hardly anyone ever goes in there except bicycles on weekends.  The trails are build with interesting curves and jumps for bikes, along with markers about how difficult each trail is. That's helpful for walking.

A bicycle waits near the trail.  If you look ahead you can see that the center of
the trail is a long skinny "balance beam" made of railroad ties.  
Yesterday, we ended up on the "road"  through the outskirts of the forest.  It has two ruts instead of one!  Someone mows the trails, or we would be walking through chest-high prairie grass in the hilly areas.

This entire experience makes me think of the pioneers who crossed through the Midwest on their way to Oregon, California, Utah and Wyoming.  I wondered how a child could get lost on flat land, which is recorded as happening.  First let me say that the plains are not flat land.  They are full of rolling hills and shallow valleys.  When the grass is chest-high on adults, it would be over the heads of children.  This is not a nicely mowed lawn.Yet still there is no shade for adults--and, for the pioneers, no one to mow the trail.

I think the mothers must have looked forward to the occasional shaded area near a river or creek, while at the same time dreading the increasing dangers for their children.  Creeks and rivers and trees to wander in, shadows to hide them, wild animals...all must have been scary for those who came from cities to try to make a new life for themselves.

We find areas where deer have lain; the grass is temporarily matted down in large areas, yet there is very little sign of entry.  A child could easily wander through grass and be lost.

On the bright side, there are many beautiful grasses, trees, wildflowers, moss, ferns, mushrooms...birds singing, signs of other small animals but I probably talk too much and scare them away.  We saw actual deer once, though.

Anyway, back to yesterday...we found ourselves at the end of this forest road, and it came out on a paved road, so we decided to walk a little way and figure out where we were and where it went.  Next time I'll just come home and use the internet maps!  We had walked 1.3 miles, according to my pedometer, and by the time we were done, we had walked 3.2 miles!  That means we walked 1.9 miles along a paved road.

A close-up view of part of the woods. Courtesy 
I walked enough later to make up 4.75 miles for the whole day!  That's only 600 steps short of the 10,000 steps recommended by whomever recommends those things.  How do people really walk that far on an average day?

The nice thing is that I can do it!  I was tired, and we did a 10-minute yoga session to stretch out after our little hike, but I did it!  And I only hurt a little bit today.

We took it easy today, though, only a quick 1.2 miles around in the mall.  If that sounds to you like it's not easy--because don't you hate it when someone walks an "easy" walk and it sounds like it would kill you--don't chastise yourself.  You can only start where you are.  When we moved here a year ago it was hard for me to walk the quarter mile to work.  And look at me now!  Climbing around on bike trails and taking the long road home!


  1. That sounds like a beautiful walk. Somehow it's easier to walk when there are things to see! What kind of a pedometer to you have? I was just thinking of buying one for myself. Now that I can walk a little more after my toe surgery, I'm curious to see how far I'm actually walking. I know it's nothing big compared to a "regular" person, but being that before my surgery I couldn't walk a 1/2 block without limping in pain, I've made serious strides! :)

  2. I will answer your question when I find my pedometer! It's not in its usual place.

    Don't worry about what a "regular" person does; it's the progress you make in comparison to yourself that counts.

  3. My pedometer is a "Walking Advantage" by Sportline. (345 Step, Distance & Calorie)

    I like it pretty well, except that it can be hard to reset. The clip is a little loose but it stays on really well as long as my pants are up. I've dropped it a few times in public restrooms, but it never has broken in spite of hitting tile or concrete. Maybe the newer models have worked out the kinks.

    It has a little hinge so that if I flip it up to look at it, the numbers all go right side up. It will show distance, number of steps, calories burned, or what time it is.

    Mine is at least four years old, and I've only had to change the battery once. My husband, who is rougher on things in general, has gone through three or four pedometers in the last year, so I'm pretty happy with the longevity of mine.