I will post a much longer update later today or this weekend, but I wanted to take the time to let everyone know we did it. A special thanks to all my friends and family who followed along all day, and to my co-workers who kept in touch and spread the word at the office., especially Kris, but more on him tomorrow.
It was a beautiful morning at 3AM when I set out through Old Baltimore. Even the thunderstorms and tornado warnings didn’t dampen my mood as I moved from Baltimore City to Baltimore County then to Carroll County. It did dampen my feet, though, and I don’t think I could have finished if Mary hadn’t brought that ice bath for my feet at the 30 mile mark at St John’s Church in Westminster.
That’s where Karlos came out and met me, as well as Diane DeMarco, who coordinated the newspapers covering my hike, as well as updating the Facebook page and keeping the Seton Shrine people informed. Outside of my wife, Diane helped get this done more than anyone else, and her efforts getting the press coverage will be a force magnifier unmatched by anything I could do.
As much help as Mary and Diane gave me, I cannot express that I could not have finished this hike without Karlos. He met me at mile 30, at which point my storm soaked feet were blistered and hurting. From that point onwards, every time I stopped and took the weight off my feet, getting started again was agony for the first 5 minutes or so.
This leads me to tell you something I am having a hard time quantifying. I could not have finished this hike without Karlos. I don’t think I would have made it out of my church parking lot in Westminster. He has been a constant training companion for me, so he just has the assumption we’ll start moving and keep moving once we start.
Stopping was not an option, and when I did take a scheduled break, Karlos always pulled me back onto my feet. At one point, early on the road between Westminster and Taneytown, my shuffling slowed to a snails pace and Karlos hopped in front of me, jumped up and licked my face. Then he hopped back down and let me know he was ready to get going. Because of his determination and discipline I was able to carry the day. Without him, I can think of at least a dozen times where I might have stopped and called Mary to come get me.
I swear that dog carried me on his back that last 8 miles from Taneytown into Frederick County and Emmitsburg, into the setting sun and later in the dark. I actually jogged most of the way from Taneytown and into Emmitsburg. So to Karlos, thank you my friend and constant companion.