Day 8

Taking this day off from walking has been a terrific decision. I walked up to Sickler’s Bike and Sport Shop when it opened at 10 and was well taken care of by Mark:


I did indeed have a very small hole in my front inner tube. The new tube I had replaced it with yesterday was in fact just fine. I think in retrospect that my air pump was malfunctioning. I remember acquiring it when I was a teenager when I got my first 10-speed and it’s been through a lot since then. I bought a new pump and threw the old one out. I also bought another spare tire from Mark, so after repairing the holey one later, I now have two spares.


Mark had almost as much difficulty as I did yesterday putting the tire back on the rim — really hard for those small tires. He also lubed the axles and bearings, and didn’t charge for any of the labor — thanks, Mark! Now my cart is ready to go again and is in even better shape than when I began a week ago!

The cycle shop is on the first floor of this building:


which used to be the old Bellemonte Silk Mill.

The Ledges Hotel where I’m staying is just below the left hand end of this building — there is a sharp drop there. Here are a couple of views from the hotel’s wrap-around balcony:



After my good cycle shop experience I headed down to Church Street to the laundramat and threw in a load of smelly clothes. I wandered off to grab a little lunch in town and this nice lady had all my clothes dried and folded by the time I got back!


The great hotel staff allowed me to dry out my tent (I guess backpackers must go through this all the time — having to pack up their tent while it is still wet with dew):


So I’m good to go for tomorrow, and probably even better prepared than when I began a week ago. I’m excited to get back on the trail and I will be undaunted by them thar Pocono hills.

A couple of general comments about blogging. One thing that I didn’t expect on this journey is how lonely walking is. In spite of the fact that I’m meeting many wonderful people, I spend a lot of time by myself. Those of you who know me know that I’m not very talkative, so it’s a measure of my loneliness that whenever I talk to someone I’m quite uncharacteristically chatty!

For this reason, I have to say that I REALLY appreciate reading everyone’s comments on this little blog. I don’t respond to all of them, but I so enjoy each one. A number of people have spoken of taking this trip with me vicariously; I can say that the inverse is true — that when people respond to the blog I feel they are here with me. So thank you for all your replies.

On a technical note, because of the big, nasty spamish world around us, I set up the blog so that I have to approve every comment before it actually appears. That way you don’t have to see some of the ridiculous, robot-generated responses on my blog. But one consequence of this is that there is often a delay between when you submit a response and when I approve it and therefore when it appears. I apologize for this, but it’s as it must be.

On another note, David, the president of the hunting club who graciously allowed me to camp on his property two nights ago, informed me that the howling I heard was coyotes.

I have one more thing for this blog post — I would like to show some pictures of my cart. Probably most of you won’t be interested, but my son Peter said his middle school class was asking about it, so I took some pictures this afternoon after I had finished all my other chores.

So here is the basic frame of this New Zealand Mountain Buggy, Urban model:


Not shown here are two canvas pieces, one for the baby to sit in and one to hold the baby’s “stuff” underneath. It also has some other bits and pieces near the handle, which were all discarded.

The frame collapses very easily:


and if that isn’t enough collapsing, the wheels just pop off:


This makes it very convenient to throw in the back of a car if I get a lift at some point. Now I actually do use the lower canvas:


I add a flashing LED light that points forward:


and I just set a large plastic bin into the frame — it fits perfectly! I could probably just leave it like that but I secure with a single bungie cord:


On sunny days I can lay a little portable solar panel on the lid and attach my iPhone:


This works really well and is important because I use the iPhone for GPS tracking of my route, for google maps to make sure I’m on track, and for keeping in touch with family and friends (especially if there were to be an emergency). With no power boost the iPhone is getting lowish by the end of my 15 miles, but on a sunny day it can be at 100% when I arrive at my destination. I have a backup battery in case I need power on a cloudy day. I have only used it once so far, the night I stayed at the hunting club.

That’s it for today!

61 thoughts on “Day 8

  1. Jim Lamason

    Thank you for the update and review on your cart. You shared that with us at breakfast right before you left to go to England.
    We do miss you.. And though I will not be there tomorrow morning (Thursday) rest assured, Mark, Carl and Andrew who has become a regular now, will be there. And I am sure you will be brought up in prayer…
    Yea I am living vicariously through you. I treasure each and every one of these blog entry’s. Heck I just sat here for the last 30 minutes waiting for the day 8 update. Just to catch up on your doings. Yes you made a great choice to take a day off… Now you are ready for the Pocono climb… God speed my brother…. Til the next update.. Press on!

    1. Trixi

      Allan!!!!! How are you? love to read about your daily advetures ! Hope
      You find a safe place to sleep tonight!
      Buenas noches amigo!

      1. Allan Post author

        Gracias, mi amiga. I have a wonderful place to stay tonight as you will read shortly.

  2. Tom & Bonnie

    Glad to hear you took the time off today to recoup and prepare for the next walk. We keep telling people we run into about your journey. Your in our prayers Tom & Bonnie

  3. Alice Palmer

    In light of your comments about appreciating comments–I have to say that I am enjoying following you on your journey! I learned of it at the Terrill Rd ladies study last Thursday when we prayed for safety for your journey and then saw a link on Fiona’s fb page! I bookmarked it and check in with you every day, my boys ask me where you are everyday as well!

    1. Erna Tremper

      I am truly enjoying following you along on your incredible journey. What tales you will have to tell when you come home!! Know that we are all praying for you. And as you learn to enjoy the solitude, it will be easier to hear God’s still small voice. Keep on keeping on!

  4. Russell Sutherland

    So glad you got some R&R as well as stocked up on tyres * there is that SByers word again *. You should know that the smaller the tyre and tube in general the harder to manipulate * more curvature * and generally needful of higher air pressure, though that is based on the cross section of the tube.

    And shame on you for not packing a nifty pump!!! 🙂 Just because, the new ones are much better than the decades old ones we used to employ.

    Really nice illustrations of your walking buggy. The kids in Pete’s class will love it.

    What is the nominal power output ( several milliWatts) of your solar charger? I quite like it.

    And also please let us know your camera type and how you are taking your shots. Do you publish 10% of what you take? So far the photos are TOP DRAWER!!!!! The nice one with the reflection in the pond is well published on my FB wall. It’s a real keeper and should be kept for later publication.

    I know there are too many questions here to answer all at once. Pick and choose. Zero is also OK. 🙂

    Carry on camping!!!

    The Quistinator.

    1. John Bosse

      Allan… SO jealous. What a beautiful time of year to embark on such a journey!! I love reading your blog and seeing what new adventures pop up. Just wanted you to know that I’m praying for you and “walking” with you through this. Love you bro. –John Bosse

      1. Allan Post author

        Thanks, John. It is indeed a great time of year to be walking. I chose it particularly for this reason. It can get a wee bit chilly at night but I’m prepared with my three-season sleeping bag.

    2. Ann Furnari


      Love the cart! I wait everyday to see your pictures and hear about all your adventures!
      Yes, we are with you in spirit. Would be nice if you had a radio, but it might be a distraction.
      I am amazed at your persistence!

      Love you,
      Annie Furnari

      1. Allan Post author

        Do you mean a radio to listen to? I do have music on my iPhone, plus podcasts, but I find I need to concentrate more than I expected. I ought to speak in one of my blog posts about road crowning and banking and how that affects the cart. I hope I’m persistent enough to finish the trip. I have realized a number of times how very easy it would be for the trip to get scuttled.

  5. Tom Turner

    I am totally taken by your daily reports. They are so well written and your photos really make us feel part of your support team. There are a few times I wished I were driving behind you in an RV with the flashers going so that you had a warm place with a shower to recuperate each evening.

    I wrote a magazine ad years ago for a Christian organization and the headline was, “Lonely…But Not Alone!” Brother you know He will never leave or forsake you, but do know that there are many of us that pray for your safety and good health many times during the day when The Lord brings you to mind. And, that’s quite often. To use Nate Bramsen’s sign off phrase, “Be Encouraged Brother!” The blog and the map is great.

    1. Allan Post author

      Thanks Tom — that’s very encouraging. I wish there was such an RV behind me. But so far The Lord has provided amply for my needs. Thanks for praying!

  6. Chris and Nancy

    We enjoy your posts and pictures immensely ! You take very good pictures and I like that you include people and their stories in your posts. I’m glad that the coyotes did not come by you and hopefully will wisely keep their distance. You’re actually bringing quite a large gathering of people with you by sharing your story with us along the scenic back roads of America to Canada that many of us have not seen 🙂

    1. Allan Post author

      I’m assured that coyotes are not interesting in eating people. But someone was saying that they are as large as a German Shepherd — I always thought they were the size of a fox. Anyway, I’m glad I didn’t have to meet one.

      1. jpl

        I did a coyote survey in Yellowstone, prior to the reintroduction of wolves. They are a bit larger than a fox, but not nearly as large as a German Shepherd. You aren’t likely to encounter wolves anywhere in the US east of the Mississippi, and coyotes aren’t a threat to adults.

        Incidentally, the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone has actually changed the terrain there! When coyotes were the top predator, the elk got pretty sloppy. Coyotes cannot bring down a healthy adult elk. So the elk would hang out at ponds and nibble at the willow growth, a favorite meal. Wolves, on the other hand, can take down an elk, if they can catch it. So now that the wolves are back, the elk are less likely to hang out near the ponds, where the wolves can stalk them. This has lead to a resurgence of the willows, which, in turn, has lead to a resurgence of beavers. The beavers have dammed up many streams, converting ponds into swamps and meadows. What an amazing ripple effect, no? (The wolves have also gone after the coyotes. Fewer coyotes means better times for foxes, who competed with the coyotes for small prey. I guess the wolves aren’t as aggressive about going after the foxes.)

  7. Scott Vander Wiel

    You should hear the pack of coyotes in the canyon across the street from our house. Some nights they howl as if they’re insane! Creepy. They’re mainly looking for small animals to feed on, not humans. Glad to see you are ready to roll again. Cheers!

  8. Tracy

    I learned about you via your daughter’s blog about her adventures in Africa! And now here I am enjoying your adventures just as much as hers! I don’t know you, but my job requires that I drive around town going in and out of families’ homes. I’ve been thinking about you while I’m driving around, how I’m mostly going in circles and you’re headed far, far away! Keep safe and I’m keeping you in my prayers!

    1. Allan Post author

      Thanks very much Tracy, for your prayers. I know what you mean about circles. At home I try to walk about six miles per day, but it’s always in a circle. It’s so nice to have a destination in this case.

  9. Gail

    Your daughter shared your journey with us on a parenting website and I have really enjoyed reading it this evening. I will continue to follow you and your adventure. It’s sad that more people don’t just take time out, like you are, to enjoy life and do something they want to do. Even if it is way out of the norm. Good luck and I will be rooting for you !

    Gail Honeycutt ~ Florida

    1. Allan Post author

      Thank you Gail. Walking was not out of the norm not so long ago, as Mark said to me this morning in the cycle shop.

  10. Marnie

    Really intrigued by this silk mill. Good to know about it. Thanks Allan for the pictures of the stroller. Now a quick view inside the rubbermaid container 😉

    1. Allan Post author

      Good idea, for a future blog! I too am fascinated by the idea of a silk mill. I thought that silk was only produced in Asia. There is a much smaller building nearby (I didn’t show any of the pictures I took) that was where they kept the cocoons. It’s now a really cool coffee shop call The Cocoon.

  11. josh

    Loving the blog so far, Uncle Allan. What a grand time of year to go on a wee stroll, with the leaves bursting into color, and the early mornings nice and crisp.
    Also, I wonder if your iPhone would pick up the sound if you were to record the howling at night? I imagine not, but it would be sweet to upload that audio onto the blog, if it were possible!

    Much love,

    1. Allan Post author

      I could probably have recorded the sound. I must say that it didn’t occur to me at the time; I was more concerned about finding my pepper spray. But I will give some thought to sounds in the future.

  12. Amal

    I’ve been enjoying reading all about your adventure, Allan, and seeing how the Lord has placed different people along your path for your blessing and theirs. I confess I laughed when you thought about calling Fiona to pick you up. You are a brave man. Keep up the good walk! 🙂 Ebenezer …

  13. Elizabeth Ormaza

    What an amazing journey! Jorge and I are enjoying your blogs and keeping you in prayers for safety and provision. We miss you and are with you every step of the way. I think it is very clever how you put together your cart/bin! I enjoyed seeing the step by step pictures! Glad you took a day to rest, and hoping for more interesting adventures to come. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Allan Post author

      I should give a shout-out once again to my pal Simon for finding the stroller in the Summit dump. He and his wife Miriam are experts in strollers, given how many they’ve reclaimed for a second life from the dump and the side of the road. He knew just the one that I would need for this trip.

  14. Graeme Wolf

    What you are doing is absolutely awesome, and you have jealous fan here. When I was a kid I thought it would the coolest thing to do something like this. Men love taking on challenges, and every guy following your progress has got to have a certain amount of envy for the trip you’ve set out to conquer. I’m really enjoying keeping up with your progress and reading about your different experiences on the road. You’ve probably already discovered that half the stuff you worried most about bringing really didn’t matter much and now you’ve got a list of things you’d wished you brought instead. That’s usually the way it goes ( at least for me) 🙂 When you rough it on your own with only a limited space to carry your few possessions, you figure out real fast what’s worth it’s weight to carry (or push in your case) and whats not. Man, I’ve really got to say too, incredible opportunity you’ve got being just you and God out there on the road all day, those moments when I can get off alone outside somewhere just me and God are what I live for. You truly are blessed man! I’m praying for you and cheering you on all the way from TX!
    Heb 12:1

    1. Allan Post author

      Thanks for the encouragement, Graeme. You’re right about not gauging the load correctly. I may have opportunity to adjust this weekend. More about that later …

  15. Cheryl Biswurm

    I agree with other posts…your pictures are all great! You’re documenting your trip so well and your pictures give all of us a real sense of “experiencing” the trip with you. So when someone asked the question of what camera you’re using Kevin and I assumed you were taking the pics on your iPhone but then read you were using the Canon. Kevin wants to know how you’re uploading your photos each day? And I’m wondering how you’re posting to your blog. Do you have an iPad or laptop with you that you’re using when you have wifi? I can’t imagine you’re typing your whole post on your iPhone…or are you?

    1. Allan Post author

      I pop the CF card out of my camera and insert it into a little converter that plugs into my iPad, which allows me to upload all the pictures to the iPad. I then select some of them and upload them to my WordPress media library. Then I write the post, referring from time to time to the media library. The iPhone camera is pretty good but the Canon S100 is better, so that’s why I use it. My iPad does not have cellular so if I don’t have wifi I turn on the “personal hotspot” on the iPhone, which then acts as a wireless access point for my iPad.

  16. Mickey M

    I’m a long follower of Ali’s Africa Mercy blog and she pointed us in your direction. While she’s taking time away from the Africa Mercy, we have your adventure to follow. Keep up the interesting posts and pictures may you be safe.

  17. Fiona More

    Hi Allan
    Glad you are enjoying your walk. It was lovely seeing you all especially Zoe she is adorable.
    Glad you got a new pump, shades of Gran McNab comes to mind as she never threw anything away either.

  18. Philip Parsons

    WOW! Since being in Colorado Springs for the Workers and Elders Conference, I have missed monitoring your progress so this morning I did a little “catching up.” You certainly do a fantastic job in describing your adventures. It makes for great reading.
    The conference has been a wonderful experience. Yesterday was my day to present and many shared that they appreciated the content. Bill Yuille is the keynoter this morning and we’ve invited them to join us for a drive up to Pikes Peak this afternoon. Chilly here and we did have some snow flurries the other day. But the mountain vista when it is clear is breathtaking.
    All for now – happy walking!

  19. Andrew Haggan

    Hi Allan! I love reading your blog and it is an inspiration to keep writing mine. One night at His Mansion I was on stoking duty alone and as soon as I walked out of the dorm I heard coyotes howl and thought to myself, “great! I’m just about to spend an hour walking around in the dark and I have to hear coyotes!” It was very unnerving but obviously I lived to tell the tale 🙂 Love you!

    1. Allan Post author

      I heard today that coyotes attacked a human in Colorado! But hopefully this doesn’t happen in Pennsylvania.

  20. Dave Sutherland

    Just finished teaching Newton’s First Law of Motion to my 8:15 AM class. Now I’m on spare, enjoying a yogurt tube and a cheap muffin and thinking about you walking.

    An object in motion will remain in motion, until acted upon by an external unbalanced force.

    Once you get going every day, inertia is on your side!

  21. David

    Sounds like it was a productive Sabbath – great way to rejuvenate your body and spirit for the next 6 days. Sounds like the stroller benefited as well – Those hills will be no match for you now!

  22. Donna Bristow

    Dan, Danielle and baby Silas just returned to Dubai yesterday eve (they’ve been here for over a week) and tonight at supper i said to George… “wonder how its going for Allan.” Good to catch up with you. I can just imagine the loneliness of walking alone. We were meant to live in community. Makes one appreciate each person that carries on a conversation with you i guess. Look forward to more on what you are learning in all of this….
    love Donna, George and Carrie

  23. George Bristow

    This is really quite a trip, Allan! Donna just brought me up to date a bit and I read today’s entry.
    We had some friends over a couple of days ago, long time workers here in Turkey. They told about doing a personal retreat last year, which included 8 days of silence. That is, no conversation. One can sing or pray or read aloud. Quite challenging I guess. So it will be interesting to hear your insights into the solitude you are experiencing. Are you learning anything new about yourself ?
    I’m off tomorrow to participate in a large first-ever country-wide youth conference with 250-plus young believers from all over Turkey. I’m helping with a workshop on how to study a passage of Scripture.

    1. Allan Post author

      I”m not sure yet what I’m learning about myself George. Perhaps I will reserve judgement on that until the end of the walk.

  24. Ed Beidleman

    Hello Allan,

    I was wondering what walking boots you are using and what attribute you are using for your GPS?
    It has been interesting following you on the blog.

    Retired AT&T…………Ed

    1. Allan Post author

      I just have a pair of running shoes that I bought specifically for the trip. I’m on roads the whole time so I figured that hiking boots were overkill. So far so good. For the GPS I’m using the MotionX-GPS app on my iPhone. Thanks for following, Ed!

  25. Kate and John Dening

    We can’t wait to read the newest entry and are glad you are making good progress, with only a couple of minor set backs. You know who would have enjoyed reading these entries- BNS!! Keep on keeping on! Quick question, are you keeping a running total of all your expenses?
    Be safe and we continue to pray!

    1. Allan Post author

      Good question about the expenses. No, I’m not keeping a total. I spent a bunch of money prior to getting started and I’m sure that I would be unhappy with adding that into what I’ve spent during the trip so far, so I just don’t do it. I figure this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience so I shouldn’t let the cost get in the way (within reason, of course).

  26. Allen Goetz

    Allan – Just wanted to let you know that I am following along…greatly enjoying the trip and your posts. The trip is a wonderfully neat and interesting idea. Thanks for sharing it with us. Godspeed. -Allen

  27. jim lamason

    Allan, hope u button up and some where safe u have heavy weather headed your way. Jim

  28. Jerry and Marilyn Risden

    Really enjoying your adventure! It’s nice to see people fulfilling their “Bucket List”. Praying each day for your safety on and off the road.

    1. Allan Post author

      Thanks Jerry and Marilyn. I guess this is a “bucket list” item, though that makes it sound so end-of-life, doesn’t it? But it has certainly been a dream for a long time.

  29. jean - luc tabailloux

    So the sound of silence is starting to get to you ?…and you r only at the beginning if your trip. Silence is so rare…
    Should be interesting to see what you end up hearing in the end. You may well hear the voice if God as He said : “faites silence et sachez que je suis Dieu”…Psaumes.
    Make sure yio chronicle what He says (so to speak )as you go along.
    Blessings to you

  30. Bill Cheswick

    A few things:

    – I, too, am enjoying the blog. Reading on your progress has become a part of my morning news ritual, and a nice quiet period in a time of Many Things Happening.

    – That pipe coming from the lake flows downhill to a small power plant. For obvious reasons, the turbines need to be at the bottom end of the pipe.

    – Such an app is possible, and I have considered writing an “are they here yet” app that one can run while traveling and grandma can look up your position on the map. Alas, you really want to run such an app in the background, and Apple pretty much reserves such apps to network telephone apps, last I looked.

    Keep slogging, this is great!

    1. Allan Post author

      It’s a 14 foot diameter pipe — massive. It’s easy to see the whole thing in google maps satellite view. I hadn’t known until a few days ago that Lake Wallenpaupack was built by PPL for producing energy. Too bad about that app; surely that’s why one doesn’t exist, then. And thanks for reading, Ches!

  31. carl

    There have been other lonely travelers out on the highway keeping you company in spirit. This one is not from highway 81, but 51:

    Have you ever been walkin’ down Highway 51
    Well, i walked that highway from night time to the dawn

    Highway 51 runs right by my baby’s door
    If I don’t get the girl I’m loving
    Won’t go down to Highway 51 no more.

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