FreeWalkers: a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that offers events, information, & networking educating the public on the benefit of walking.
Just a few days ago, I noticed, maybe for the first time, the sounds of the Great Canal Walk. For most of the 40 miles and 15 hours that day there was an absence of sound in this body of water as still as glass on that calm day....
FreeWalkers is a network of individuals interested in walking. We organize events and provide information designed to encourage the practice of walking. Our group is free and open to everyone. We encourage each member to accomplish challenging goals as we work together, experience, and promote pro-pedestrian issues.
FreeWalkers is an informal group of individuals who plan interesting and challenging walks and invite others to join but do not accept responsibility for their safety and welfare. Walkers who participate in any event should understand that they are participating separately and should be physically prepared and adequately supplied. Any advice offered makes no claims of expertise. Walking a long distance requires above average physical stamina, necessary rest and adequate food and water; which the walker must be prepared to carry or purchase along the way. We encourage all participants to walk together as a group and to have an emergency phone contact or other means of assistance in case of problems.
1 Man, 1 Canal, 1 Long Walk: Creating a National Park
On January 3, 1954, an editorial article appearing in the Washington Post which became a flashpoint for those that opposed the U.S. government's building a parkway that would pave over the old 185-mile C&O Canal. It was a long hike proposed by Associate Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas that would settle the matter and set a trend toward preserving nature and history.
A brief essay by Loredana Delluchi
One beautiful day, while walking with FreeWalkers on the Connecticut East Coast Greenway (ECG), the desire to keep going all the way to Canada came over me. I spoke about it with my friends and the more I played with the idea, the bigger my smile became.
Suddenly, my friend Ian Hochstead bent down, picked up a coin and said "Look Loredana! It's a Canadian penny." Overjoyed, with a theatrical reaction, I said "It's a sign! Now I must walk all the way to Canada to return the coin."
During that same walk I met Ken Kurland who had the same dream of exploring the ECG to the Canada-US border at Calais, Maine. In fact, Ken and Nancy Jonap were already planning the next segment of the walk. I joined them and together we arrived in Providence.
This year we are walking from Providence to Boston and I'm filled with joy thinking about the privilege I have to admire the beauty of America one step at the time.
Author Paulo Coelho wrote "When you really want something, the world conspires to make a dream come true".
I'm grateful to Ken, Nancy, FreeWalkers and the ECG for helping me with my dream. One day I may be able to return the coin. :)
Loredana lives in New York City and has been a FreeWalker for over 5 years. She is the founder of a non-profit Knitting Without Borders, which provides hand-crafted teddy bears to sick children around the world. Her indomitable spirit inspires us all.
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