The ADT: Days 1-3 in Delaware

Notes from the field

Day 1

What a privilege and blessing to have, somewhat by accident, walked into Cape Henlopen in the middle of the night under a nearly full moon.  The beauty, the solitude, the undiluted or convoluted auditorium of nature quite appropriate for the journey I’m about to take.  My only company last night, the moon and a pair of white tail deer bounding across my path.  The waves lulled me to sleep and healed my aching legs (I hiked in from Dover in two days!).  This morning I’ve spent some time photographing and getting to know a place I can only share a brief moment with…as is the nature of “beginnings.”  What an opportunity beyond words, if only in moment and passing…much to do, much to walk…

Thank you for being here 🙏🏼

Day 2

An easy first day, 12 miles after the 50 I pre-hiked from Dover to Cape Henlopen the two days prior.  My legs and feet needed a chance to work out the lactic acid and acclimate to our new normal.  I awoke in a hay field (tent pitched of course!), hidden just off the road by tall, thick grass and a few trees.  As I walked, poetry began to dance in my mind as it often does.  I wrote (voice to text) as I walked.  A few miles down the road I took an opportunity to restock my candy bars (Snickers, my favorite densely concentrated calorie pack!) and continue on my way.  The walk continued easy, though one missed turn I caught quickly enough to not, you know, grimace in pain (not sure just how many miles a person needs to add on to 6,800!).  I was able cut through a field to regain my path, the shift in gate and terrain reinvigorating my energy (so I guess maybe a happy accident!).

Along the way, the Delaware State coordinator for the ADT, Terry, came out to say “hi” and make sure all was well… another boost to my energy (such small efforts can have such a huge impact out here!).  I set up for a late lunch a ways further on, having covered ten easy miles.  Then came the rain and just a speck of thunder.  I threw up my tent on the side of the road, my food still cooking and not excited about getting soaked while sitting.  I took the opportunity to rest a couple hours until the rain let up.  I continued walking, my energy and spirit high.  I arrived at a highway intersection, the light red…

…(see notes, Day 3!)

Day 3

Last night I stood at an intersection waiting to cross a highway.  The evening was waning, a forecast of heavy rain soon ahead, many miles without services before walking into my next town.  Just before the light turned green, I heard a voice behind.  I glanced back to see a guy on an ATV waving me over.

“Where are you headed?”


He grinned,

“Hop in, let’s get you warm.”

He drove me a few hundred feet back to the house and guided me into the furnished garage, living loft above.  He prepped the wood stove and set up two foldout tables, one for my gear and the other to unload the contents of the refrigerator onto.  Then he made me an omelet.  All this before I could even take off my shoes or catch my breath and collect my bearings from the overwhelming generosity.

I took a shower, he loaned me a set of sweats to get out of my hiking clothes, I filled my belly with food and drink.  I charged my devices and my battery pack, took some time to process (edit the RAW) photos I had taken thus far.  I caught up on some reading from a few of my favorite writers and people on Medium.  I turned on the TV for some white noise…I drifted to sleep.  I woke the next morning, walked down the stairs of the loft (last night my host said—“it’s yours…help yourself to whatever you see in the fridge”), and found some more food set out to pack for the next many miles without service.

They offered another night, the rain pouring hard most of the day.  It’s supposed to let up tonight and hold for a few days.  I think I’ll set out this evening.  I enjoy some night hiking and I’m eager to get back on the road, equally overwhelmed by the generosity so early in what will be a long road ahead…

Much shorter with the kindness of strangers ☺️


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