Long Walk: Tuesday - Mile 51 to Mile 40

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

At mile marker 50 early today, half way there!

Today I walked the last 4 miles through Marathon and then 7 miles across the bridge, ending at mile 40. I’m feeling good about this! 

I expected to have very little in the way of pictures and commentary, but here’s what I’ve got. First up, I’d like to note that I’ve seen dozens and dozens of these things along the way. Be careful out there, m’kay?


Today was all about the 7 Mile Bridge, so let’s get right to it. I’ll admit, I was very tempted to not walk this bridge and I think I had a couple pretty good reasons to not do it. First and foremost, I’ve been telling myself that this trip was to be about having fun, and if I found myself in a place where I wasn’t having fun, I wouldn’t be afraid to stop. I knew walking the bridge wouldn’t be fun.
Another reason was an attractive detour that I could take instead. There’s a 2 mile stretch of the old 7 Mile Bridge that leads out to an island called Pigeon Key. The only way to get there (if you don’t have a boat) is to walk the 2 miles out and 2 miles back. It runs alongside the new bridge and every time we’ve made the drive, I’ve looked over and wondered what it’s like.
In the end, I walked the 7 miles across the new bridge. It wasn’t fun, but at this point I really want to be able to say I walked the whole 100 miles. I don’t want an asterisk next to my journey.
This is the walking path on the old bridge. Somewhere out there past the vanishing point is Pigeon Key. The new bridge runs alongside it on the left.


So I found myself on the apron of the new bridge, looking out as far as I could see. In the dim distance of this picture, you can see the 65 foot  “hump” of the bridge which spans the ship channel. That hump is 3 miles away. It’ll be almost an hour before I get there.


My biggest fear was that I’d get half-way across and have to pee. To that end I limited my liquid intake and set off with my fingers crossed. I made it without problems, but that didn’t stop me imagining what I would do if I found myself out there with a bursting bladder. 
One other thing. When heavy trucks rolled by, the bridge bounced like a trampoline. That took some getting used to.
This is Pigeon Key, 2 miles out along the old bridge.


And this is why no one walks more than 2 miles along the old bridge. : )


Walking along the first half, all I could see was that hump. After climbing the hump and starting down the other side, all I could see was more bridge.


The old bridge runs the whole 7 miles, too, but after Pigeon Key it’s totally inaccessible and slowly rotting away. There’s another break in it at the ship channel and it is now the home of birds and this tree growing right out of the roadbed.


One last picture from the bridge. Pretty water, perfect day.


And that was my day. Easily the least fun walking day thus far, but important nonetheless. I’m glad I did it and I’m even more glad it’s done.
Stay tuned - big day tomorrow!