Because the entire camp had to be broken down and put away by 8:00 am in order to make room for another event, people got us early. There was no need for an alarm as no one could easily sleep through the hustle and bustle. Allison and I were still hurting. I went to medical at 6am to have my blisters re-bandaged. I was not the only one. There was already a long line of people preparing for this last day of walking. I felt I was in better than average shape when I saw how many people had so many more blisters on their feet than my one huge one.
After I was properly new skinned and mole skinned, I walked back to get breakfast. Then we broke down our tent. It was a little bitter sweet as I knew this was the beginning of the end to this amazing adventure. Jill arrived after 7:30 and we were among the last to leave for our walk. Allison was walking with a noticeable limp. I had suggested she not be afraid to fast forward in the sweep van to lunch, but she gave me a look that said "not in this lifetime!" so I never brought up the idea again. My foot was very sore and I found my gait to be much slower than the previous days. As the day progressed I developed the same enormous blister on the other foot as well as two good sized ones under the calluses of my big toe. The day would definitely be a challenge, but like my daughter, there would be no way blisters would stop me!
Today's walk was through the streets of San Francisco.
There are few cities in the world as charming as San Francisco. How lucky we were to be walking through its streets on a sunny day with such amazing people. I felt like my heart was getting bigger with each step and worried all the emotion that was building up would simply burst through at any moment.
We had walked down Sacramento Street toward the old Children's Hospital (where both Allison and Katie were born). Then we made a turn on Commonwealth where I saw my most favorite spectators of all, with their little "lemon-aide like" stand, only this was a boo boo stand. They had bandages, antiseptic etc...waiting along with animal cookies. I thought, "good for these little girl's parents," because they were teaching them how important is is to lend a hand in support of others.
I regret a couple of things on this walk. I didn't take enough photos of the people who volunteered and through their giving spirit lifted mine. This was safety monitor Bill. Bill would welcome you to his safety post like this, "Welcome to my crosswalk." Then later in the day you would see him and he would say "Welcome to my parking lot." He always had a warm calm smile under that pink cowboy hat. I loved Bill.
We weaved our way through some more streets in the Jordan Park neighborhood until we came to Oak and Stanyan. This was one of our pit stops. The Oakland Firefighters had brought an old rig out from which they blasted music and handed out candy (sugar daddies). They had a sign the said "random acts of kindness."
We sat down and snacked and rested, maybe a little longer than we might have on day one. The feet were...not happy, but I was.
Seeing Jill eating Lays Potato chips was quite a sight. She reads every label, watched "Food Inc" and is a cautious eater.... I think the walk changed that, at least on this day.
The team... still together on Day 3!
Girls at the bar
The holding area was in a small park, when we walked up the steps to enter the ground we found the smiling faces of walkers and volunteers standing like an honor guard, applauding as we walked through. The tears came, my heart finally burst with the love and pride and humility of being around such committed and positive people. Cameras and video came out as Allison and I limped between the corridor of people. It must have been quite a sight to see this mid century woman in her hat of buttons, with a tear streaked face, arm in arm, with a young glistening eyed woman both hobbling to the finish.
Photo by BB
Photo by BB
Photo by BB
Patti and I are in the lower right corner.
Cathy is there....
"They are a symbol of hope. Just to fight the battle of breast cancer, mostPatti's eyes saw one of the crew raise a shoe in salute, then another, then another. We turned around and saw all the walkers saluting us, holding their one shoe high into the cool afternoon air. The moment took my breath away.
people would say, this is enough. But these are not most people.These are the
walkers and crew who said it is not enough to have survived, I must
save the lives of thousands to come....Please welcome home your breast cancer survivors."
Bill and MB, Allison and Chris
We finished the evening with a grand celebration at the St Francis. A lavish buffet, in our regular clothes... Wishing I had my Eveready bunny slippers, I sipped my wine and relished in the glow still surrounding me from the most amazing adventure I have ever experienced.So dear readers, you will excuse me if I take a break to process this all. I will return with at least one more post to try and express what it really means to go form 0-60 in 3 days.
PS - I have signed up for 2010..If you want to join me... let me know.