Day 24

This morning I was pretty down. I have a little cold and some chafing, I was uncomfortable last night, and when I looked out the window this morning it was dark, windy and lashing with rain. But it turned out to be my best day yet, in terms of distance!

By the time I left the rain had let up but the winds were still high. The roads were still wet and I discovered within a few seconds that I needed to be on the right side because the winds were drenching me with truck spray:


Note that the sky has a little promise of some sunlight. The rain in the night took down many of the remaining leaves, but the wind was quickly drying up the road:


Everywhere I looked to the side of the road was water:


I came across Kutter’s Cheese Factory and suddenly had a craving for some smoked gouda:


Across the road was a gas station. I asked to use their bathroom but was told it didn’t work very reliably. This turned out to be related to a construction project going on just outside the station where I met these two fine gentlemen:


That’s Bruce (on the left) and Wendover. Normally I don’t use last names in this blog, in order to preserve a little privacy. But Wendover gave me permission to use his full name, which is Wendover Cory Neefus IV — magnificent!

They are engineers leading this waste treatment project. Wendover claimed that Bruce was legendary but they both looked legendary to me.

All of this occurred just as I was about to pass under I-90:


This is a road we have driven countless times back and forth to Toronto and I’m sure we never noticed this place where Route 5 passed underneath. I believe this is the fourth time I have intersected with one or the other of our two standard driving routes between NJ and Toronto.

This picture of the sky is representative of the day; bits of sun mingled with heavy dark cloud:


This stream was quite active, probably from all the rain last night:


OK, Kaboodles is hiring cooks that are expert? experienced? expatriates? experimental? …


Finally I reached a milestone — saying goodbye to Route 5, which I began on Monday morning; this looks back to the nondescript intersection:


Nice barn and silo almost immediately:


This may be the first announcement I have ever seen for a meat raffle:


I pulled up to a little office-type building and went inside to consult on my google maps walking direction as I was heading to some sort of path and I didn’t want to go wrong with a long back out. Lorrie and Jessica helped me out:


It turned out that google maps was about to take me into a gated mobile home community so it’s a good thing I stopped. Lorrie and Jessica gave me permission to walk through the property and even called down to one of the maintenance guys to ensure that the gate to the path was open.

So here I enter the community:


and enter a little section that is protected from the wind and still has some leaves:


Soon I arrived at the little gate that exited the gated community and entered this path that used to be a railway:


and this is what it looked like:


for nine miles!! I had it all to myself (saw one jogger and one cyclist the entire time). It had some pretty sections:


some more exposed sections where I fought just to keep the cart going against the wind:


and some sections that went through nice neighborhoods:


The news was full of stories about wind damage; here’s some that I saw:




Sadly the path came to a bold end:


Even though the road I was dumped onto (Transit Road) was busy and crowded (like Route 22 for my NJ friends), it did lift my spirits at one point with Tim standing alone and beckoning to the north:


A friend in NJ (Nancy) had reached out some days back to a friend of hers (Carol) who lives in the area, and as a result Carol and her husband Brad kindly offered to pick me up at the end of my walk. I arranged to meet Brad at a Dunkin Donuts, where I had time for a large cup of tea:


It wasn’t long before Brad arrived, we scooted down to his house and enjoyed some delicious chili together. Here are Brad and Carol with their son Aaron:


Each time someone makes this sacrifice to pick me up and offer me a meal and bed and drop me off in the morning, I am freshly filled with gratitude. This case is particularly sacrificial because Brad and Carol are leaving on the train early tomorrow for NYC to see their other son Josh run in the NYC Marathon on Sunday so we will have to leave especially early for my drop-off.

Just 18 miles to the border. I should easily be able to make that even though showers are predicted for the whole day. I’m excited because it is a major milestone of my journey and also because … well, I’ll tell you tomorrow, gentle readers!

58 thoughts on “Day 24

  1. jim lamason

    Well done old friend.. Well done…
    Tomorrow is truly a double. Less then 2 hours in you will be under 100 miles to Matts house.. The final leg will have begun… Not too long, it will be across the border into Canada and truly it will seem almost like a walk from say your house, to the chapel to meet us for prayer on a Thursday morning… Heck after tomorrow, you will even be under 90 miles to the end.. Hard to believe.. And the way you are going thats 5 days at leisurely pace.. You are almost done… Press on again old friend.. press on..

  2. John M.

    Yea, rain can get you down a bit, but carry on. It doesn’t last forever. I hope you get a chance to ride the Maid of the Mist when you get to Niagara Falls, even if you’ve done it before. You’ll have to find a place to put your cart for an hour. If you can’t find a better place, leave it in sight of the ticket agents where a thief would be reluctant to take it.

    1. Allan Post author

      That’s an enticing idea, John, but I must press on. And there are other plans in the works for when I reach the border …

  3. Marnie

    You are within Striking distance now Allan, I checked earlier on the sightings map and was quite surprised on this windy day how much distance you covered. The cloud pictures are awesome .. really show that we have switched to a winter sky. I am guessing I know the surprise tomorrow.

    1. Allan Post author

      Yes, Marnie, and it’s probably better than a guess, I’m guessing. That wind was quite daunting at times, but it was really only the gusts that slowed me down, so that was only momentary.

  4. Julie

    Congrats on your best mileage day yet! Tomorrow – Canada! And what a day full of unique names and sights. Perhaps Kaboodles is looking for an expressive, expansive, expectant cook? Or an expedient one. If my boys were here they’d vote for an exploding cook (but that’s the testosterone speaking). And a MEAT RAFFLE! Sounds good to me. Better than an exploding cook. But not nearly as good as that wonderful nine mile stretch, protected from the traffic – looks lovely!

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey with strangers,

    Julie G

    1. Allan Post author

      Wow — you really outdid me on those EXPs!! Imagine the confusion all those potential cooks must feel upon reading that sign. DOWN WITH ABBREVIATIONS!

  5. Chris volinsky

    You are spitting distance from my alma mater, just up the road from SUNY Buffalo Amherst campus. Make sure to have some wings and a beef on weck on me. Wash it down with a Genny Cream Ale (actually you can skip that part cause it’s kind of gross but it is local)

    1. Allan Post author

      Yes, we passed the campus last night on the way to Carol and Brad’s home, and again this morning on the way to the Dunkin Donuts. What the heck is a “beef on weck”?

  6. Dave Sutherland

    Been elated every since I saw that you broke your distance record today. Amazing achievement this deep in, especially given the Eeyore start and the lashing winds. That nine mile secret road was a treasure! Straight and true.

    Godspeed good Nuncle.

    1. Allan Post author

      Yes, the secret road was wonderful. I had seen it coming up for a few days on the google map and couldn’t really figure out what it was since it cut across a number of suburban streets. Pretty sweet discovery.

  7. Amy

    Hi! I found your site through your daughter, Alli’s blog. I have been following your story and praying for you. At the end of each day I get my kiddo in bed, then pull out my iPad to check your progress. Your pictures are incredible!!!!

    Anyway, just wanted you to know some random person in Colorado is praying for you!

    1. Allan Post author

      Thanks for following along, Amy, and for your prayers. It’s amazing what you can see (through the camera, in this case), when you are going slowly. I think of the hundred times we have driven back and forth between New Jersey and Toronto, and seeing essentially only the interstate highways stretching ahead of us. Too bad we can’t do this all the time.

  8. Bonnie

    Hi Allan,
    Wow you have covered some ground! Even though I check your progress daily it surprised me that it was 18 miles to the boarder. It doesn’t seem that it was that many days ago that you were at the farm. I’m sure to you it might seem a bit longer ago :). There is a product that my boys use when playing sports to help combat chaffing issues. It is called “Glide”. You can get it at sporting goods stores. It comes in a grey package that looks similar to deodorant. Lance will not go to soccer camp without it. It has saved him many times.
    Keep up the good work! I am praying the weather is good for you the remainder of your trip.

    1. Allan Post author

      Hey Bonnie! Thanks for checking in. Your dad checked in the other day by phone from the Squirrel Club, but I missed his call because my phone wasn’t nearby. I did get to talk to him later. Yes, walking is slow and I’m a bit surprised myself to be almost to the border. Can’t wait! Unfortunately rain showers are forecast for the whole day, but I shall press on! Thanks VERY much for that Glide tip. I shall pick some up today, hopefully.

  9. Jonathan

    Hi Allan,
    Well done! I’m sure it was tough to set out despite feeling a little low but good on you for pushing through. I have four little words which will solve the chafing problem-Gold Bond Medicated Powder. Dust liberally and be amaxed! (Hat tip Philip C.)

    1. Allan Post author

      Gold Bond is what I’m using! Two days ago was the one day I neglected to apply it — bad on me. Glide has also been recommended; I shall use both!

  10. Russell Sutherland

    You really kicked up the momentum for this day bro! A new distance record, and in less time (1/2 hour) than your normal long days. The 9 mile “path” must have helped somewhat in moving you to the goal as it seems rapier straight.

    Once the boyz have finished their brewing we are heading towards NOTL to get your veins satiated with some Canadian Timmy’s or other people’s brewing products.

    See you soon, you behemoth!


  11. Joe Abdy

    I noticed that the bike/walking path was part of your suggested route for the day. Was it a walkers dream, no traffic to worry about, or a little to sparse, no one around? Lord willing, the boarder will be at the end of you day, will it take long to check your passport? Plus, will you have to declare anything from your tote?

    1. Allan Post author

      The path was both a dream and lonely — REALLY lonely. Immigrations and customs at the border should be easy — lots of people walk across at the Rainbow Bridge every day. I do have my passport, AND my Nexus card. I have been wondering the whole time if customs will want to peek in my bin — they are welcome, of course. Maybe I can even convince one of them to make a comment on my blog! But the answer to your question is no, I don’t have anything to declare.

  12. Fiona More

    You are fairly eating up the miles Allan. Keep on going and keep the pics coming.

    1. Allan Post author

      Thanks, Fiona. I have been reviewing what is left and I think I won’t have anymore long days like yesterday. Today is 18 miles, ending just inside Canada. Then, roughly, five 16-mile days and a short final day within the city. So if that pans out then yesterday was my peak.

  13. Tim

    It has been fun to read of your progress. You have many stories to tell and many rich memories that you have gathered. Well done.

    1. Allan Post author

      Yes, I have thought a number of times how my experiences on this trip will be great memories for the rest of my life, not to mention a source of stories for the grandchildren. Thanks for following along, both of you.

  14. Dan & Sue Matlack

    Oh Canada! Here’s our guess from last night – we had fun envisioning your approach – the entire Family waiting at the other end of the bridge with signs and horns and JOY to greet YOU! Hugs and back slaps – a luscious dinner, a pint or two and a great time to be had all around – can’t wait to “hear” all about it tomorrow – if you have the fortitude to blog after the reunion.

  15. Jerry and Marilyn Risden

    Our daughter will be running in the NYC Marathon on Sunday and we will think of your friends and their son as they are there, too. It’s a small world! While they are running, you will be walking and we will be praying for all!

  16. Tom Turner

    It’s Saturday morning as I type this after reading yesterday’s blog. I know you are excited as you approach the border and so is ever one of your readers who have travelled along with you during this momentous walk. Way down here in Lancaster I can faintly hear the Royal Mounted Police Band rehearsing “Oh Canada” for when you set foot on Canadian soil. Can’t wait to read your post after you arrive in Tim Horton territory. Perhaps you will even have a coffee rather than your regular cup of tea to celebrate.

    We are all proud of your progress and continue to ask The Lord for good health and safety for you! You can almost see the finish line ahead so press on for a few days more. 24 days behind you and only a few more to reach your goal.

    1. Allan Post author

      I think the RCMP decided not to greet me because of the rain. It would have been a nice moment!

  17. Kathy

    Allen…so sorry to read you are starting a cold. I will pray it leaves quickly.

    Your postings and pictures are so symbolic of life…… (ok so I am a little strange?) but I hear the journey speaking loudly…the good days with people along the way to pick you up (literally) the beautiful scenery, the presence of God loudly proclaimed. Then comes the storm clouds and the strong winds, the drenching of road spray and the long stretches of drudgery as you take one step at a time and perhaps wonder why you ever began this journey. Tires blow but God provides a cycle shop. Just as you start to grow weary there is a humorous sign to lift your spirits and take your mind off your aching feet. And then the wind dies down and the sun returns and you are still safe and in the arms of our Father.
    May you feel Him extra close as you leave this country and step on “foreign” soil! Safe travels!

    1. Allan Post author

      You’re doing a better job than me understanding my adventures, Kathy! Thanks for this and for your prayers.

  18. Janna

    I’m so excited for your evening tonight with family! After long days, feeling alone much of the time, it will be such sweet relief to sit around the table with loved ones. 🙂 Perhaps this day will feel the longest yet, but i bet it might be your fastest! congrats on making it to Canadian soil…see you soon! 🙂

    1. Allan Post author

      You nailed it Janna, regarding the relief. As to the length of the day, I will leave that to my blog to tell the story. Still six days to go.

    1. Allan Post author

      It was a great meeting, Kevin and Faye. And all because I had to use the restroom! Thanks for being so accomodating and for being willing to host me, even though I didn’t need it.

  19. JL Tabailloux

    bravo my friend. you are a seasones walker by now. Agaisnt wind rain and wahetever else … Fire next ? hope not!
    I bet u must be in a terrific shape. Not an ounce of fat after all this exercise …bless you.

    1. Allan Post author

      I wish the fat were all gone, but alas! I agree, walking through fire I can do without. One of the reasons I chose to do this walk in the autumn was the cooler temperatures — perfect for walking.

  20. Parni

    Hi Allan,

    What a fantastic trip! That long stretch of former railroad is beautiful.

    Stay safe and healthy!


    1. Allan Post author

      Parni — how nice to hear from you! Yes it has been a really excellent trip, in many ways. I did enjoy that “rails to trails” part yesterday, though it was very lonely.

  21. gladys essex

    I just wrote a note, but it didn’t go through. One day I’ll learn how to use this machine. I was so excited about you getting through the border into your homeland and mine. “Oh Canada,our home and native land,” Not to say I’m not happy here in N.J., Scotch Plains also. Keep on going on, Allan. We are all excited to see your blog, and so many are praying for you. What a feat for those shoes that are made for walkin’.

    1. Allan Post author

      How exciting to hear from you, Gladys, you internet wizard! I’m also excited to be hear — it was an amazing day.

  22. jim lamason

    Incredible… the border crossed under a hundred…. and tomorrow two miles in you are over 400 miles… congratulations a re in order….. one last question.. have you thought about how u are going to think and feel when you are done with this noble adventure? Press on!!!!

    1. Allan Post author

      Yes, I’ve wondered about that Jim. I suppose life will go back to normal, but I’ll probably be connecting my many experiences with daily life for quite a while.

  23. Audrey

    Thank you so much for blogging in so much detail about your trip. I feel like I’m along for the ride..ahem, walk.

    Press on weary lad. Can’t wait to hear about your day today!!

    1. Allan Post author

      Not so weary these days, Audrey. My legs are not even cramping in the evening any more. Feeling strong! I suppose I shall have to continue some significant walking in my daily routine after it’s all over.

  24. Julie

    It’s great to hear that on a day that started so iffy, that it was a monumental day! Congrats!

    Really neat to see the old railroad paved over, and how many different types of scenery you passed through on it. Among today’s pictures, I especially enjoyed the pictures of the clouds! They would be good candidates for the Cloud Appreciation Society.

    1. Allan Post author

      Ah yes, the CAS! Plenty of clouds to choose from, while I’ve been outside. Seriously, though, it has been amazing to watch all the cloud formations during the walk, with the exception of the uniform grey today that was spitting rain. Not fun.

  25. Cheryl Biswurm

    So excited for your border crossing! Many of us that have been following you will be sharing in your excitement…even though you’re doing all the work!!! We turn the clocks back an hour tonight so technically you have an extra hour of walking tomorrow right?! Maybe you can cover an extra two miles!

    1. Allan Post author

      Or maybe I will just sleep in! Joe Abdy wondered what I would do with the extra hour and I hinted that I would walk for an hour at 2 AM. But it certainly was an exciting day.

  26. Chris and Nancy

    Hi Allan, I’m so happy that you were able to meet up with Carol and Brad and their son ! They are such nice people.Carol has been a pediatric nurse for many years, I would love for Ali to meet her.I remember having beef on weck once when I lived in Buffalo.It’s a special sandwich I believe is only made in the Buffalo area. If I remember right its a salted hard roll stuffed with sliced beef. There might of been a sauce I can’t remember.We are all so happy you made it to Canada !!! Yea Allan, you did it !!!

    1. Allan Post author

      Yes, it was a great connection; thanks again, Nancy. I think I’ve heard of beef on weck, but I didn’t have any. Carol had made a delicious chili — perfect after the walking. We did discuss Ali.

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