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September 2019
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Walking and thinking

By Damon Howell

Photo Editor

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I woke up Saturday morning with a pain in my back so I decided to walk out the kinks.

I’ve always wondered how long it would take me to walk to town from my house off of  Price Creek Road. I knew it was a little over seven miles.

Down Burnt Mountain Road I strolled with no arrival time in mind. I simply said to myself, “I’ll get there sometime today.”

Beforehand I figured I’d have plenty of time for thinking, but once I got on (Burnt Mountain Road) Hwy. 136, it became very clear that most of that quiet time would be interrupted by passing cars. The majority were courteous enough to slow down as they passed. My nerves appreciate courteous drivers.

Some things I did think about when I wasn’t dodging traffic:

• My pace seemed good until I got about two miles out of town, when I started slowing down, mainly because I’m in terrible shape, I guess. Or it could be that I didn’t have anything to eat before I left.

• It’s easy to fall into a routine life. Getting out and doing something out of the ordinary is healthy.

• It’s a shame Burnt Mountain Road is so littered.

• Looks like we’re going to have a rock slide soon the way those cliffs look along the road. There are huge crevices where it looks like the cliff face is splitting apart and giant overhangs where some rocks have already been dislodged.

• The thunderstorm we had the night before I walked broke that beaver dam at the bottom of the hill going out of town.

• When I got to Mountain View Citgo and saw the price for gas was $3.80,  I thought to myself, “That sure is cheap”  - compared to the time and effort walking to town requires. I later figured I paid myself 23¢ an hour to walk instead of drive, figuring how long it took to walk and how much a gallon of gasoline costs.

• Hitching a ride entered my mind once I got to the entrance of Hunter’s Ridge on my way back home. I decided to stay on course and finish the walk, so I would truly appreciate the luxury of a vehicle when I got behind the wheel again.

• I thought a bicycle sure would’ve been nice on the downhills.

• You know that saying, “It’s about the journey, not the destination?” Well, it is true.

• I could not walk the Appalachian Trail when I’ve heard it takes 17 miles per day to do it in three months.

• I believe those old folks are fibbing when they tell about being kids and walking to school ten miles, uphill both ways, every day.

• Technology has made my day-to-day life so easy I don’t really engage all of my senses. Therefore I haven’t been fully “awake” and alert. The one thing I really enjoyed was seeing all the flowers and trees budding out for spring and hearing the birds (when there wasn’t traffic).

I miss all this stuff when I drive.

Keeping in mind I walked leisurely with no arrival time in mind, it took 2 hours and 45 minutes into town from my home off of Price Creek  Road and 3:20 going back.

Surprisingly I wasn’t sore the next day and probably could have done it again, but I don’t think I will.