by Dwayne Phillips
My wife Karen accompanied me for the first half of the walk – Reston, Virginia to Chattanooga, Tennessee. She drove our car and walked much of the way as well. The basic scheme was:
- Karen drops me at Point A
- Karen drives the car to Point B and parks it there
- I start walking from Point A to Point B
- Karen starts walking from Point B back to Point A
- We meet about halfway between Points A and B
- We walk together to Point B
This worked well. I walked the full distance from Point A to Point B. Karen walked about halfway from Point B to Point A twice.
There were several problems to this scheme. One was when Route 11 became a four-lane road and there were woods between the divided lanes. We couldn’t see across the woods to the other side. I would jump into the woods now and then to see if she was approaching. We never missed one another.
Another problem was Karen finding a place to park the car. Churches are a great place to park. Most rural churches are unused during weekdays. Those churches who had staff at the buildings always have friendly staff who don’t mind you parking. They like to come out of the office and chat.
Another good parking place was a gas station. Gas stations have bathrooms. A technique we used was to never fill the car’s tank with gas. We kept it around a quarter tank. That way, when Karen parked at a gas station, she could first buy gas, then use the restroom and ask about parking. No one turned us away.
Karen and I had a lot of fun walking like this. We had celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary a couple of months before starting the walk. We get along well and enjoy each the company of one another.