Jan dropped me off where the trail crosses M-89 just North of the Kellogg Biological Station Forestry Farm and North East of Battle Creek. I walked North toward where she had picked me up the previous afternoon. I was stiff and sore but had no bruises, sore toes, or blisters. The first hour was in the woods and then the farms and research plots of Michigan State University on Kellogg donated research land. It was a beautiful day, clear and sunny once again and then becoming more beautiful with a few snow flakes that turned into a couple of inches on the ground. The temperature was about 35 degree Fahrenheit.
When she picked me up five hours later her first words to me were, “You need to get cleaned up.” Looking in the car mirror my cheeks were frosty and rosy red. I was dripping frozen nose snot, and generally looking like a wet muskrat. We stopped and shivered for lunch. When I got home I crawled into the hot jet tub and promptly went to sleep for 90 minutes soaking away the cold and aching muscles.
Don’t make the mistake thinking it was awful! It was incredible! The trees and bushes were covered in luminous white snow. It was perfectly quiet. The solitude was holy. There was no movement from houses I walked passed, almost no vehicles on the road. The world was silent. It had nothing to say and could do nothing as Winter kissed the earth one last time before Spring burst forth.
I kept thinking of that one family that will have clean and safe water because there is a donor who agreed to sponsor this walk at the rate of one dollar a mile. Thank you!