Saturday, October 22, 2011

October 22: Walk

Despite a slight cold that's left me a bit tired and achy the past few days, I eagerly participated in today's four-club Rotary marathon walk for polio. The idea was that each of the four local Rotary clubs--Rockland, Camden, West Bay (also in Camden), and Belfast would each walk a 6.25-mile leg of a route that would start at the two ends, in Rockland and Belfast, and have us meeting in the middle--conveniently located at the Whale's Tooth Pub in Lincolnville Beach. My club, West Bay, began our southbound leg at Northport Marine on Route One, after a hand-off from the Belfast club.

I drive that stretch of Route One all the time, but there's nothing like on-the-ground experience to help you notice things. Like the beautiful views of Ducktrap Mountain and the Camden Hills you get from the tops of several rises in Northport, the colorful slopes periodically lit by sun breaking through the clouds. Or all the narrow driveways that head off toward the water along that stretch. Or the number of cardinals calling from the underbrush, or scenic streams passing under the road. Businesses had popped up that I somehow hadn't yet noticed from my car. You also see first-hand what's underfoot, literally--strewn trash, roadkill, toppled street signs, how close the shoulder is to a seriously deep ravine.

There's also nothing like a shared physical endeavor to help people connect. I enjoyed several conversations with various fellow Rotarians as we walked along Route One with our red balloons. I'm relatively new to the club, so it was a good bonding experience for me. As was the camaraderie after at the Pub. People should get out and walk together in big groups more often, even if just for the pleasure of it. (Not that walking for charity is a bad thing--for every $6 we raised, 20 kids will get polio vaccinations.)

Walk for charity
but also for that cardinal,
view, conversation.

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