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Down the Road

Walking to walk
By Milt Gross
Jan 31, 2016 - 7:25:25 AM

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Just got back from a walk, cold, too cold, but I did the walk...cold.

I need to walk more, according to a heart doctor. I'm waiting for an operation to replace the hip in my other leg...left or right, would forget which except the one with its original hip is a bit hard on which to walk.

Walking. Anybody can do that. Except me. I call it limping, one repaired leg and one not yet repaired.

Walking! I've done a lot of that in my too-short life, Katahdin (notice, one word, meaning Greatest Mountain...not Mount Katahdin as those new guys like to say and write) a half-dozen times, several trips up Mount Washington, and several high mountains along the Appalachian Trail in Maine.

Been there, done dat. Now I'm learning to walk all over again. It's a little hard because I'm leaning on a couple of walking poles that make things a bit easier. No woods walking yet, because everybody -- a doctor or two and Dolores -- think I'll fall in the woods.

Fall in the woods? Me. Yup, been there, done dat. But that was before I was limping along with a couple of walking sticks. Plus, I've walked around Eagle Lake on the carriage road, long walks on other carriage roads and on "regular" roads, the kind built for vehicles.

When I fell. Guess what I did. I got up and kept on walking -- or at times, limping.

I even finished off a pair of shoes once, walking around Eagle Lake. That was in the old days, when I wore regular shoes -- the kind made of leather that tend to fall apart after several hundred miles.

Now I wear walking shoes, which are actually designed for walking, or hiking shoes, which are designed for.....what's that long walk called again? Been such a while since I've been on a long walk, I forget the proper name.

A fair amount of my walking was up mountains, which makes it climbing. I've done it in cold weather too, when boots, were the proper footwear. I remember one winter night over in South Paris standing atop Singepole Mountain, looking out at miles and miles of darkness and glittering lights.

Did I pound my chest because I was able to get up that steep hill in the snow? No, I thought, that I did this in winter is pretty dumb. But it was also pretty, so, looking back, I'm glad I was there and done dat.

Have I ever met a moose during my before-surgery rambles? Too many. They cheated. They had four legs on which to outwalk me. You know how long a moose's stride is? I don't either, but its longer than mine ever was or will be.

I know some guys who have met coyotes and other critters, which were walking in our forests. I wasn't walking when I came across a coyote or a bear -- once a domestic bull that had escaped. I was...thankfully...driving.

I remember when I was a young buck -- buck? -- young guy. Walking out of a woods road in Pennsylvania and seeing a gorgeous young thing standing in the yard of a house across a paved road from the trail. That walk was worthwhile!

I was trying to remember while lying on the sofa this morning, resting my yet-to-be-repaired leg, of all the walks I've taken. Couldn't think of many. But they were...many, that is.

I used to have to slow down and wait for Dolores. Now she has to slow down and wait for me.

A doctor this morning did not acknowledge all the walking I've done. He said I had to do more to strengthen my yet-to-be-repaired leg as well as the rest of my body before the next surgery.

Oh, I groaned inwardly. More walks? On that not-yet-repaired leg?

But, yup, more walks is why I'm walking. To get this somewhat worn-out body ready for that other hip replacement -- and for more walks.

Think back in history of all the writers who thought while they walked. Go ahead. I tried and couldn't remember any...well maybe old Henry David and some guys in England whose names I have long forgotten.

And one more thing. Do you recall how our forefathers made their way across this grand nation of ours before highways were invented?

Most of them rode wagons...they didn't walk.

I wonder if any of them had to have a hip replacement.

I can't wait, because then I'll be able to walk.


Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at lesstraveledway@roadrunner.com.

Milton M. Gross Copyright 2015


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