Dedicated to a loved Spirit who has walked along in our lives

Christopher E. Douglass

August 25, 1979 - May 31, 2008
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Sleeping with Trains
By Chris Douglass

 

July 24, 2007 - Tuesday
Sleeping With Trains

Figured I'd write a quick note since I have 'puter access for a night.

Some of you already know about the trip I have planned for next year. I'll skip the details for now and just give you the quick overview:

11,000 miles

18 months

Lots of walking.

I went for my first of what will be many long walks on Saturday to start gearing up for next year. It kicked my ass. I set off at 11 am with 50 or so pounds of gear on my back (about what I'll be carrying next year). 21 miles, 8 hours and two blisters later I collapsed into my hammock next to the Dead River in North Leeds. 5 minutes later the hammock collapsed. Actually it didn't collapse, it ripped open like a wrestle mania T-shirt and dumped me onto a tangled mass of tree roots a few feet below. A fitting end to a miserable day.

My makeshift campsite was only about ten feet from a set of railroad tracks. I didn't give that much thought when I picked the site. Now, you would think the sound of an approaching train would wake you up before it was right on top of you, but that's not how it happened for me. I awoke to the sound of thunder and what felt like an earthquake. Having been ripped out of a deep slumber, I had no idea where I was, let alone what the bright lights barreling toward me through the woods were. All I knew was that I was about to die. It wasn't until the first fifteen or so cars had blown by (literally ten feet away) that I managed to wrap my sleep numbed mind around the fact that this was a train, not a giant iron monster smashing his way through the woods killing everything in its path. Soon enough I realized I was safe and was back asleep before the caboose had passed.

On Sunday I covered another 18 miles, fighting the urge to hitch a ride the entire time. I eventually made it to my destination where I spent a solid hour cursing the day I decided to plan this trip. What was I thinking?

 



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