We spent the better part of the day at Pensacola Beach today, a rare departure from our usual Monday routine. But we weren't just lounging on the sand or playing in the waves; we had a purpose.
On June 1 Wayne and I started a virtual Walk Across America following the American Discovery Trail from Cape Henlopen on the Atlantic Ocean to Point Reyes National Seashore on the Pacific. It's a distance of 5,048 miles but our webwalking formula is 10:1; for every mile we actually walked, we covered ten virtual miles on the map. That's a very favorable ratio but it still means we would walk 504.8 miles.
It's taken us 127 days (18 weeks and 1 day) to complete our journey, far faster than I expected when we started. I'd been walking three miles a day before setting this goal so I anticipated it would be December before we'd "arrive" in California. But early on we increased the walks to an hour and as our fitness grew, we covered more miles in that time. We walked every single day since June 1...in the heat, in the dark and occasionally in the rain. And while most of the walks were of the four-mile range, we had some that were six and seven miles, too.
We only needed 3.3 miles today to finish, and since the actual trail would end on the beach in California had we been attempting it in real life, we decided to do our miles at our beach. Wayne tracked down some caches out at Pensacola Beach and accumulated our miles while enjoying the sound of breaking waves and the smell of salt air. And we found some "treasure" in the process as well.
So here we are on the beach at the end of the walk. I intentionally did not crop out the boards the camera was sitting on...it's a reminder of how tricky it is to prop the little camera up and how long it took both of us to figure out how to use the timer. Needless to say, we don't use this camera very often.
Tomorrow we'll be back out hoofing our way around the neighborhood. There are too many benefits to walking to quit just because we've reached this goal. Maybe we'll set a new one...find another path to travel virtually. Or maybe not. For now I'm going to enjoy this sense of accomplishment.