Robert Hordan, my host on Capitol Hill, and I rise early and do the hearty breakfast thing. He thinks I’m melting away and wants to beef me up. I think I have lost a few pounds–might explain the pants slipping down easily as I walk these days. My dad would have suggested a 2″ nail to fix the problem. No thanks!
I say goodbye to Robert, my last host on the Camino de Nathaniel South. Endings are always a bit sad. Maybe that is why it’s raining today. To finish strong, I do a few more visits on the Senate side–Senators Al Franken (MN), Elizabeth Warren (MA), and Kelly Ayotte (NH). It’s easy for me to compare and contrast the cordiality factor in each office after each stop. Perhaps a professional development workshop on hospitality would do the trick. The welcoming factor varies.
I leave the Senate buildings and head for Union Station. It’s pouring outside and I get thoroughly soaked. I find that walking briskly around the train station achieves two ends–dries me out and adds additional steps to my walk goal. At last count, I have exceeded my original estimate of 380 miles from April 8 to June 8. Put me now down for 455 miles which translates into 910,000 steps.
I lunch with a friend whom I have never met before. Our common bond is that we are both dads and we have both lost sons. That experience alone brings the conversation to a deeper level rather quickly. We talk for an hour and a half, sharing our and ours families’ journeys of grief. I am grateful for the invitation and the gift of a good meal in one of my favorite train stations. Thank you, Steve.
Turning the GPS off for the last time, I hop on to the metro to National Airport where the complexities of modern travel kick in. The metro ticket machine doesn’t like my money and refuses to sell me a ticket. I argue as much as one can with a machine. Not very effective.
The first hurdle resolved, more move in to take its place to challenge my patience. Walking has its limitations, but nothing is as irritating as the ones I face trying to take a flight to Boston for tomorrow’s walk. Inventory of obstacles: Where is my driver’s license? I had it the other day. Why can’t my walking stick travel with me? I’m a pilgrim. Does it count as two pieces of luggage requiring me to pay the additional cost? Checking with Home Land Security about this walking “weapon,” I travel up and down the corridors of National airport increasing my mileage as I go. Today’s total grows to a whopping 13.50 miles.
And then there’s the flight delay. Had I known I had another hour, I would have squeezed in a couple more congressional visits. It looks as if it may be another hour before we depart. David Levinger, Westtown, crosses my path and we talk. We had just met at Karabi’s gathering last Monday evening.
By 4:45 the flight finally takes off, and Boston seems a possibility. The great convergence is Denis from Washington, DC (by plane), Judy from Cheyney, PA (by car), and Carrie from MGH, MA by metro. We plan a reunion at the Italian North End of Boston in our favorite restaurant, Terramia Ristorante, on Salem Street. There is definitely good reason to celebrate. Our accomplishments for the1,000,000+ Steps 4 OCD campaign. All that remains now is the Cake Walk around Jamaica Pond (5K) tomorrow. Do join us if you are in the vicinity!
We are raring to go and cross the finish line of this year’s walking success.