Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Day 39 - Were I an ode-writer…

Were I an ode-writer, I'd write an ode to the hypotenuse.  The midwest mile-grid is slowing down my northeast progress by limiting me to walking north then east then east then north… ugh.  The first day entering Iowa - a few days after the spectacularly fun Thanksgiving festivities in Nebraska - it finally snowed enough that I pulled my snowshoes off my backpack and stuck them on my happy feet.  The mile-square grid of Iowa is draped on a much hillier and forested surface than the land further west.  I enjoyed the unfettered freedom of snow-covered roads and took off cross-country in a northeasterly direction in an ode to the hypotenuse.  That was it, though, just one day of snow, then many days of icy  gravel roads with unfrozen mush underneath.  A string of sloppy days followed.

I'm having a ton of pilgrim fun, though, and should be soon 'off-the-grid' in the sense that as I progress eastward and northward on a few days more, and the mile-grid organization will disappear into topography more suited for cows than corn.  Iowa's been stellar pilgrim country, with everyone, including Catholic priests, telling me that I'm the first pilgrim they've ever met.  Protestants, mostly, saying they've never heard of a pilgrim, or a shrine for that matter.  It's a smashing delight to find my senior citizen hosts tickled to be learning something new.  All communities have accommodated me well, and always with genuine hospitality.

My delinquency in posting new updates can be attributed to the just-pre-dawn to the final rays of dusk walks every day.  I've been racing to get to the shrine Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin by Guadalupe Day - December 12th - but realize it won't be possible [by foot] until December 13th.  One day off… doh! … but it's okay.  The pace will only ease a little to make it to Our Lady of Good Help by Christmas, but the days will be getting noticeably shorter, too… blogtime is the thing that suffers most when I'm walking dawn to dusk…laundry, too, I must admit.


Michèle Dextras said...

I am so happy to be able to read you again Ann and pleased that you have had the chance to use your snowshoes! I am also relieved to know that your are "followed" by the group "Bottes et velo -le pèlerin dans tous ses états" I am pretty sure they will ensure you have a place to lays your head in Canada. Bueno Camino!

chenningsgaard said...

It was a pleasure to meet you today at my office. I look forward to reading about your travels past and present. I will keep hoping for snow so you can use your snow shoes and lighten your load a little. Safe travels and God Bless.

pilgrimpoustinik said...

Glad to know, Ann, that your legs, body, soul and spirit are holding up on what sounds like a marathon dawn to dusk project. You've set yourself a grueling schedule, but you seem to have the iron constitution to go with it. By the grace of God, may some of those who see you say to themselves "if she can carry that cross then I should be able to carry my much smaller ones." In Jesus' name. Pilgrim Geroge

Petra Wolf said...

Happy trails to you from Petra and Mike from India.
Nice to see you being back on pilgrimage. Here in south India the rainy season is over. Can you imagine! If you would have gotten all the water we good as snow you would have had 56 feet as snow in two month. That would be enough for your snow shoes!!
TONS of snow for you.
All the best and happy holidays from India.

janincolorado said...

Whoever said geometry was irrelevant didn't know that pilgrims need to know and understand hypotenuse.
Glad you are being well cared for, and that people are loving to hear about pilgrims and your story. (As I do!)
Praying for snow for you to make the walking easier and more pleasant.
Buen Camino.

Michel said...

J'ai appris votre existence via Bottes et Vélo. Au plaisir de vous voir au Québec dans quelques mois. Très impressionné de votre résilience.

Michel O'Neill

PS: comme vous mentionnez dans votre profil que vous avez appris un peu de français lors de vos précédents pèlerinages, je vous donne une occasion de pratiquer !