Day 32

This morning I was awake early, greatly looking forward to the final, short leg of my journey. I took an early morning picture from Peter’s balcony:


Fiona, my wife, had expressed a desire possibly to walk it with me, so Matthew was to drive her downtown to where I was. I slowly got everything ready and then waited. Eventually the doorbell rang and imagine my surprise when my best friend Paul, from New Jersey, appeared at the door!


He had driven up from New Jersey yesterday with his wife, Laura. I had been worried about rain today but after a little early showers, by the time I was ready to go, the rain had stopped and there were even signs that the sun might peek through. Paul and I got going right away. We travelled north on Spadina, briefly looking back to see once again this Toronto icon:


Pretty soon we reached Casa Loma, but had to do a little detour in order to avoid a set of steps:


Here is part of the wall around the castle with pronounced pointing:


Eventually we passed the entrance to the castle itself as we walked along St. Clair Avenue:


St. Clair still has rail-based streetcars:


Here is a house with a turret:


This beautiful church has an interesting tiled dome portion:


The city of Toronto takes good care of its residents:


A number of years ago there was a tourist push that involved spreading around the city moose images, decorated in different ways. There are still residual moose here and there:


When we were within 1.5 miles of the endpoint, my nephew Dave and his children Camille and Caleb, who live very close to my route, appeared and joined Paul and me:


Before I knew it I came over a little rise and saw this cheering party awaiting my approach:



That’s my brother Jonathan on the left, wearing his own class-2 safety vest. Then Fiona, Matthew, Laura (Paul’s wife), my grandson Stuart in the stroller, Matthew’s wife Starr with my granddaughters Mya and Abigail, Matthew, Julie (Paul and Laura’s daughter), Diana my daughter (hidden by me) and Alison, my sister-in-law (and Dave’s mother).

At that point it all became a blur of hugs and tears (at least on my part) and I will just tell the rest of my little story with some images.







At this point I’m just overwhelmed that the adventure has come to an end. We are going to have a little celebration at Russell and Alison’s house nearby, so I must go to that. But after processing it all a little I would like to write one more post in the next day or two, so please come back then to hear a few final thoughts.

64 thoughts on “Day 32

  1. Jorge Ormaza

    This is great, Allan. Elizabeth and I are so proud of you. It has been an wesome adventure full of amazing stories. Thank you very much for sharing everyday of it.

    With lots of love,
    Jorge and Liz

  2. Nancy McClelland

    Allan I am so glad you arrived safely and were so surprised by your Family and friends meeting with you ! Congratulations you did it and enjoy this celebration with your Family and friends! It was wonderful reading your commentaries each day and seeing the beautiful pictures you took! Looking forward to you sharing your thoughts in a couple of days as your walk comes to an end ! What am I going to do now as there will be no more fascinating pictures or interesting commentaries for you to share with me? I am sure your trip back in the car will be very different! You have seen and shared so much in 32 days! God bless! Nancy McClelland

    1. Allan Post author

      Thanks for coming along with me, Nancy. What to do now? Maybe do a walk of your own!

  3. Bob & Kathy Homack - N.C.

    Praise the Lord ! All prayers for you were answered. We enjoyed following you each day. Your pictures were stunning and we thank you for sharing. We have a Canadian lady living in our village who I know will appreciate seeing a few pictures from your journey. We plan to have her over to view them.

    1. Allan Post author

      Sounds like a fun party. I’m glad to know that both of you were following along and praying for me.

  4. Tracy

    Oh, I’m so glad you made it! I’ve only commented on other time, but I’ve been reading all along and rooting and praying for you! This has become one of my favorite blogs in the short time it has been up and I am going to miss reading it. I’m so proud of you! (Maybe a bit weird coming from someone who doesn’t know you?) Enjoy your visit. You’ve also inspired my family to maybe do a vacation at Niagara Falls Canada side next summer. So, so happy for you in what you’ve accomplished!

  5. Joe Abdy

    Congratulations. There is great satisfaction in accomplishing a life long goal. Thank you for taking the time to share each day. As you head home, remember, the accelerator is on the right and the brake is the middle one! The Abdy’s look forward to your return.

    1. Allan Post author

      My brother followed me as I drove over to visit our mother this afternoon. When we got there he said that I had been a little light on the signaling. Perhaps I should take a driver’s ed refresher course!

  6. John Marshall

    Greetings (peregrine) Allan,
    Congratulations on the completion of your journey. Take a few days now to savour all the wonderful experiences and new friends.

  7. rachel furnari

    Had me tearing up over here!!!! So SO proud of you uncle barge! Wish we could have made it there for the celebrations, we are off to Costa Rica tomorrow. πŸ™‚

    1. Allan Post author

      I wish you and Mike could have been here too, Rae. Have a GREAT time in CR — it’s going to be fantastic.

  8. Nancy Tirrell

    Congratulations Allan! I am crying along with you all. What a feat. I can’t wait to hear about it in more detail. I’ve really enjoyed your pictures and commentary, even though this is the first time I’ve written. We love you and look forward to seeing you as soon as we can!

  9. jim lamason

    Well, Old friend… Its done… I too teared up when I saw the video of such a happy reunion.!
    A dream drawn up over so many years, then shared with your prayer brothers now, I think well over a year ago, is now history…. I feel bad we kidded you those first weeks you talked about this…. I suspect we all knew in our heart of hearts you would at least attempt it… Not sure if you would finish it as it seemed so daunting… But by prayer, courage, guts, tough mindedness on your part.. It is finished. Congratulations seem so small on such an accomplishment…. Thank you dear brother for letting us follow you along in this journey… I hope you do write that book…. Oh the stories you could tell! Atta Boy!!!!! Jim and Bev

  10. Russell Sutherland

    Well well well… So glad for you and your accomplishment. It’s a huge bucket list item, crossed off. And of course you will have the inevitable question: What’s next???

    Thanks for making our evening so rich and enjoyable.


    1. Allan Post author

      What an evening. You and Alison are remarkable people, Russ; quintessential hospitality.

  11. Dan & Sue Matlack

    Good job and well done! What will we do for our evening entertainment now? There will be such a void. Now swimming one of the Great lakes………..hmmm

    1. Allan Post author

      … or perhaps an ocean? Thanks so much for all your support and encouragement, both of you. Old friends indeed.

  12. Tom Turner

    Your smile and that of your support team that came alongside for the final lap says it all. It was indeed worth the experience and the grand finale makes all your blog family cheer as well.

    1. Allan Post author

      Thanks Tom. I look forward to seeing you again and reliving some of my adventures in more detail.

  13. Julie

    Three (loud!) cheers from the west coast! Rejoicing with you in the journey and its happy conclusion πŸ˜€

    Julie G

  14. Marnie

    Thanks Allan for sharing this journey with us over the last 32 days. It has been wonderful. More then delighted to be with many of your “followers” this evening. A grand bunch.

    1. Allan Post author

      It was a wonderful surprise, Marnie. Thanks especially for walking with me a little the other day.

  15. Cheryl Biswurm

    Congratulations! What a great ending…having people join you along the way for your last leg and then the cheering crowd! Wow. I also LOVED the story about the kids at your son’s school greeting you and you talking to them in an assembly. The charts on the wall that they created were amazing. What a great end to a really cool experience. Can’t wait to see you and hear it directly from the source! I want to give you a big hug now to congratulate you but it will have to wait until the next time I see you!

    1. Allan Post author

      It truly was a remarkable final two days, including a heart-warming surprise party last night that I wasn’t able to write about yet. Thanks for cheering me on, Cheryl. See you soon!

  16. Erna Tremper

    Congratulations!!! You have truly given us all many lessons we can learn from. Perseverance, gratitude, and an appreciation for God’s creation, are just a few.

    We have prayed for you from the beginning and thank our God that he has protected you on your journey. Sit back and relax while you think of your next adventure.


    1. Allan Post author

      Thanks for following, Erna. I’m certainly not thinking yet of another big adventure. In fact, I keep day-dreaming about sinking into my big, puffy easy chair in the family room. Someone said to give it three months and I would be planning another adventure, but I certainly don’t feel that way now. Thanks for your prayers.

  17. Kate and John Dening


    Congratulations on reaching your destination. I have greatly enjoyed reading your posts, seeing your pictures and tracking your progress. I looked forward to them everyday and will miss them. If it isn’t too inconvenient would you mind walking back to New Jersey. I also hear the walk to Vancouver is worth taking this time of year. All kidding aside I am sure you are tired from being on the road so long, I hope you enjoy the fellowship of all those who came to celebrate the completion of your journey. Look forward to seeing you on your return to NJ (via car).


    1. Allan Post author

      Yesterday was probably the most wonderful time with family and friends that I’ve ever had. I tear up just thinking about it. Thanks for sharing my trip with me and Ben, John. See you soon!

  18. Fiona More

    Welllllll done Allan, lovely to see the family gathering at the end, just wish we could have been there too. It has been the first thing I do when I got up was to read your blog and look at your pics. It was a lovely start to the day. Keep walking and you could always come over to bonny Scotland and a walk here!!!

    1. Allan Post author

      Now that it a HUGE temptation, Fiona. Land’s End to John O’ Groats via Golspie! Not a great deal more that I just completed. Hmmmm …..

      1. Fiona More

        Or do the coastal route round Scotland, though that might take a mite longer than a month!!!!

  19. Michèle Dextras

    Congratulations Allan! One little warning, when we finish such a tremendous challenge we have given ourselves, there is a adjustment back to mundane life to go through. What now??

    1. Allan Post author

      Yes, I’ve thought of that Michele. We shall see; for now I will be content to get back to the responsibilities that I’ve ignored for the last month, but I’m sure there will be some private mourning of the loss of this daily adventure. Thanks for your interactions during the trip!

  20. Bonnie Jensen

    Yaa Hooo for you Allan!!!! Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. The pictures especially were my favorite. Your family is very proud of you I am sure. We enjoyed checking in on your progress every day. Please stop in with Fiona on your way through sometime.

  21. Donna Bristow

    Such a sweet reunion… we’ll miss reading your blogs; you’ve done something that many of us would hardly even dream about doing! Maybe blog about some of the things you’ve learned along the way as you process it all. by the way, did you lose weight? Not saying you needed to, just curious! You must be in great shape now. Will you ever use a car again haha!

    1. Allan Post author

      I’ll know about the weight when I get home and weigh myself on the same scale I used when I started. I do feel in better shape — hopefully I can keep up with that. I will definitely need to cut back on eating — I ate a lot of food over the last month to keep up with all the calories I was burning. I drove yesterday for the first time in a month and my brother, who was following me, said I wasn’t signaling enough. Hmmmm.

  22. bill cheswick

    wow! well done! it figures that you would take a round number of days to make the trip.

  23. Kenneth Holms

    Well Allan your big adventure is over and your daily stories were so interesting along with the beautiful scenery and people you encountered along the way to Toronto. It was so nice to see that everyone had congregated to meet you after your marathon stroll.
    I see your brother was commenting on your lack of indicators, remember when we were over and we went to the auto store for new bulbs to sort your indicators ( ah well I see nothings changed then, I’m sure your brother knew the way ). Looking forward to your next part .

    Kenneth & Elma

    1. Allan Post author

      I had forgotten about that Kenneth. I actually think it was only one ambiguous spot where I didn’t signal, but it makes a good story that after all that walking my driving skills are slipping.

  24. Jean-luc Tabailloux

    What a moving reunion. Bravo again rejoicing with you on your accomplushment. You inspired me.
    so what s next ?
    I suggest a tour de France or at least part of it. I could walk along as your translator ??? πŸ™‚

    1. Allan Post author

      Paris to Montpellier perhaps? πŸ™‚ All I want now is to sleep in my own bed and rest in my own easy chair.

  25. Scott Vander Wiel

    Allan! Wonderful!

    We especially enjoyed reading and thinking about the cool time you had with Peter’s class. We imagined the excitement of following this eccentric traveler and then having him and his stroller stop by in person, right at school. That was great. Way to go Peter! Reminds me of my english teacher who invited a poet to read his work; one of the kids asked, “Is that a real poem, or did you just write it.”

    So glad you made the goal,
    Scott and Linda

    1. Allan Post author

      Yes, that was a wonderful afternoon indeed. I hope Peter reads your comment because he works hard on poetry with his students. I love the question that kid asked. I wish I could have published more pictures of that interaction, but I couldn’t show the student faces.

  26. Julie

    Congratulations on finishing the journey! It’s so interesting how you said that it seems less possible now than before you started…perhaps the mathematics vs all the challenges that come up along the way? But so good to see your perseverance, and all the pleasant moments that also were a part of your trip.

    I’ve really enjoyed following your daily adventures, and all the amazing photography! You’ve also inspired me to start on my own 30 day journey taking on a different sort of challenge step by step. πŸ™‚

    1. Allan Post author

      That’s wonderful, Julie! Please blog about it, if that’s appropriate — I would love to read about it.

      1. Jay Allen

        Congratulation on the long journey, must have been great with all the family and friends to meet you at the end.

  27. Debbie Frizzell

    Thanks for the journey. I have so enjoyed following along. And really big congratulations!

  28. kathleen VanNatta

    Congratulations, Allan! Will the blog stay available for a while or will it go away. I would like to read it more thoroughly. Your stroller is similar to Stuart’s! Will you discard it now?
    I hope to meet you in the neighborhood someday. I was talking to Barbara your neighbor today about you.
    We are very proud of you in Scotch Plains!
    Kathy VanNatta

    1. Allan Post author

      I will definitely leave the blog up, Kathy. I’m not sure about what to do with the stroller. It’s a nice memento of the trip but it’s pretty bulky to store. Let’s meet for sure! Just drop over any time.

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