The headline for today is that we’re taking a day off.
We initially walked 10 days, took a day off for sightseeing with friends, then walked 11 days. To top it off, the last three days were fairly long, ending with a 16-mile walk that was mostly along a shoulder of a busy highway. The result, we were worn pretty thin by the time we reached our Hampton Inn stop in Rome, N.Y., Wednesday afternoon.
Today, we awoke from a good night’s sleep, enjoyed a breakfast (with coffee, which we don’t drink on hiking days) and then rested. Shortly after noon, we walked maybe two blocks to a restaurant for a nice lunch. And now we’re resting again.
We also made a big decision about Friday’s walk. We’re calling a taxi in the morning to take us to the head of a trail along the Mohawk River instead of walking about three miles through town. That still leaves a 14-mile walk but a much more pleasant one.
The good news is, while we felt Wednesday night like we might not be able to go on, a night’s sleep seemed to assure us we could still do it. The human body is an amazing machine.
I was sure I would have nothing to write after Wednesday’s leg because all we did was walk 16 miles down a highway shoulder.
But, on the way to our hotel, we passed by Fort Stanwix National Monument. I had seen it on the map but had no idea of its historical significance. We have been learning the history of the Erie Canal on our hike, but Fort Stanwix is all about the Revolutionary War and the French and Indian War.
The city of Rome, on the Mohawk River, was at a pivotal point, literally known as the carrying place for trade and transportation between the Great Lakes and what would be the United States. The battles in and around this area were bloody and complicated involving colonists, loyalists, and six nations of native Americans.
We just tasted the history of this area at the national monument with the help of Tom and Dave (pictured) and the ranger at the desk, a retired Air Force veteran from Tyler, Texas, whose name I didn’t get.
Thank you all for giving us new insights into our country and our ancestors.