So why?

So why would I want to walk  the American Discovery Trail through three states (or maybe 4, who knows?)  Why can’t I just do some walking around here?  Walking is walking and it would certainly use less gas getting to and from the various parts of the trail….and making less of a carbon footprint is certainly a part of living more simply. 

Excellent question.  So before I talk myself out of this project when it’s only just gotten started, here are a few things I noticed walking the ADT two weeks ago. 

1. Not many people are aware of this trail.  There are no signs that mark it.  One expects hikers on the Appalachian Trail which is well marked, but not not on an ordinary winding road through residential areas on the way to Annapolis.  This trail may not be in my back yard, but it is in the back (front) yards for a lot of folks, and I hope it becomes better known.  It is unique in that it includes stops of cultural or historical interest along the way.  I passed a coffee shop (not historical)  on the last walk, but I kept walking because I didn’t need coffee.  Later I wondered if the shop owners even knew occasional hikers would be going by.  There was a bench by the front door, and I wished I had stopped and told them about the trail and thanked them for the bench.

2. When I am walking on the ADT, I am aware that I may never pass by this way again.  Therefore there is a certain alertness to discovery, an expectation of meeting new people, new sights.  This kind of walking relates to the practice of appreciating the given moment, place or person.  Too often in familiar situations, I think I know what will happen, what I will see around the corner, or what someone will say, and therefore my observation skills are on a minimal kind of automatic pilot.  There’s nothing like a walk in unfamiliar territory to wake up my level of awareness and appreciation,  a practice I hope to increase in all areas of my life.

3.  On a new walk, especially on sections like the one I’m doing where there are no specific trail markings and only written directions, one must pay close attention in order not to get lost. I didn’t pay attention well enough last time and took a wrong turn.  For me this relates to the spiritual practice of listening to God in order to follow the way of Christ in my life.  If I don’t listen well, I inevitably get doing in the wrong direction.

4. It’s an adventure and a long-term goal.    At my age any helpful incentive to keep walking and active is something to take seriously.  I just might be reducing my carbon footprint by remaining more healthy….I’ll have to think about that one a bit.

5.  Because it means going to new places, it seems easier to set aside mentally rehashing the week’s work and to truly have some sabbath rest.   Part of that, again, comes with the paying attention that is required.

6.  I need help doing this.  I need Rick to pick me up at the other end and to be available to call when I get lost.  He does photography in the meantime or meets me at various places.  So all of that, along with the fact that it is simply a fun thing to do with my husband,  means that I am looking forward to the next fair weather and free Friday on the ADT.