Europe N to S: Farther Than That (11/26/16)


​Today’s Miles: 24.5

Total Miles: 3,011

Past Frankfurt, Germany – November 26, 2016

It happened in the heart of Frankfurt, somewhere between staring up at the tall buildings of steel and glass and getting glared at by a white-haired lady on the sidewalk for no reason at all. It’s just steps, one after another, steps between the first bakery I stopped in and the overcrowded grocery store at the south end of the city, steps between taking pictures of strange pink pipes running through a plaza and snapping a selfie with a monument to the Euro, steps from Kinnarodden to Frankfurt that would have brought me to Waterton Lake on the Canadian border at the end of the Continental Divide Trail.

Three thousand miles.

I count the months in my head, end of April at the Mexican border, middle of September touching Canada. It’s taken me an extra twenty days this time. Maybe it was the hard terrain in Norway. Maybe it was the difference between walking into the expanding days of summer instead of the shrinking days of winter. Maybe it’s not fearing that the next snowstorm is hanging over me, ready to slice away the end. Maybe I’m just older and not as strong. Or maybe it’s knowing that this is not the end, that this is Frankfurt, not Waterton Lake, that I have so many more steps to go, that I can’t arrive here thin and worn out, that tomorrow I’ll have to wake up and walk again.

I’ll walk the next day too and the next and the next and at least a hundred after that. Maybe that cost me the extra twenty days. But today it doesn’t matter, today I just took another step, and another, and kept walking until Frankfurt faded away behind me, the light disappeared, and I closed my eyes to rest for tomorrow. 

I drifted off thinking of Waterton, of sitting alone by that monument at the border, of the sunshine and blue skies overhead, of reading back through my journal, reading back through the three-thousand miles between Mexico and Canada.

“Now you’ve gone farther than that,” I told myself. “Farther than you’ve ever gone before.”

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8 thoughts on “Europe N to S: Farther Than That (11/26/16)

  1. Good for you, Daniel! Keep walking! We are walking with you as we read about all you are enduring and enjoying, as we cheer you onward from the cozy confines of northern Wisconsin. A plate of food, good conversation, and a warm bed are waiting any time you are near our door.

  2. I am so grateful you share the joys and challenges of a journey of this magnitude! Hiking is such a meditation and challenge to stay in the moment for me. We are all rooting for you! I loved the blog from CNorseng, you’ve got a plate of food and great friends so many places in the world! It’s inspiring to read words of love and friendship!

  3. Great accomplishment Daniel! We’re all excited about the stories you will share with us in the next couple of thousand miles.

  4. Always amazed at your journeys D. Having shared with you those last miles to Waterton Lake made me realize the incredible changes you go through after 3,000 miles. The acuteness of you sensory organs and the strength of your body made me understand how humans survived in the wild.

  5. Congratulations Daniel! You’ve passed a previous landmark distance. This is an epic journey . Your stamina and endurance amaze me.

  6. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step” – Chinese Proverb
    So what does a journey of three thousand miles begin with? The first step! And so it goes…
    Sounds like a Be Here Now atitude.

  7. My friend Beate just told me and I wish I knew early so you could have stopped at my friends in Frankfurt for a rest . Are you going to be in Italy ?

    1. I’m not sure! I originally hoped to cross the Alps into Italy, but I am now doubtful that I can this late in the year. I’ll know by the end if the month! 🙂

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