Stopping to smell the flowers

Day 13–July 16 (Reels Corner, PA-Indian Lake, PA, 3 miles)

For more than an hour I sat at the Subway shop at the intersection of Routes 30 and 160 in Reels Corner debating whether to rest a day or push on. At some point during my walk yesterday I injured my ankle. But despite the pain I was anxious to continue walking. My ankle won. Why push ahead through intense pain, particularly when I was just three miles from beautiful Indian Lake?

I may be walking for a cause, but it is equally important to take the time to enjoy the beautiful places and interesting people I encounter along the way. As I was walking to the lake I decided to accept a ride for the first time since I began walking–I was injured after all. As we drove around the lake, I talked with the guy who had offered me a lift about jobs and life and it was revealed that he had just gotten married. I congratulated him but was disheartened by the fact that he and his new bride couldn’t afford an inexpensive part for his car let alone a honeymoon. Having been in a similar situation a decade ago I passed along to him some money I’d been given in my travels. It wasn’t a lot of money and I doubt it will make much of a difference in his meager budget but I hope it means he and his wife can at least take a few minutes of their own to enjoy the small pleasures in life.

– By Jennifer E. Cooper