Stepping off the porch into the arctic night air sent a rush of realization through me as I had now taken the first step on a journey that until this moment had been a crazy concept in the back of my head. The colored lights of the fireworks dancing across the sky as the community of Big Lake Alaska brought in the New Year in truly spectacular fashion provided a great backdrop for the first steps in what should become a most excellent adventure.
The outside temperature held the thermometer at -7 and the libations my friends were sharing were freezing solid before they could empty their cups of holiday cheer. Fire pits gathered in the field with everyone gathered around them enjoying each others company and the light display we were putting on along with everyone else in town. Shortly after the ring in of midnight and the beginning of the New Year I decided there was no better time than the present to embark on my journey. I donned my running jacket and cellular phone (this has a mileage tracking application that syncs with a chip on my shoes to give me a distance and speed measurement for running) and dropped my parka off in the house and headed into the night.
These would be the first steps on a journey that should take me to new places and give me something to occupy my time for a while. I decided to take a trip across the United States, although I will be doing it virtually. I am going to take a trip on foot from Anchorage, Alaska to Davie, Florida. The distance from Anchorage to Davie is 4965 miles. I am going to run or trek that distance, which is an average of 13.6 miles per day if I were to do it in a one year period. I am going to track my progress with my Nike+ once it gets calibrated and is working again. My old device threw in the towel yesterday and I had to purchase a new one and it did not work to register my first run.
My run last night was 1.3 miles and the device only registered .05 miles. I will have to calibrate it and get it functioning properly. 4963.7 miles still to go, which is a long way from the beach in Hollywood, Florida. Ironically I ran down Hollywood Street in Big Lake last night.
Over the next year or so I will be tracking my progress as I make my way across the North American continent on my way to Davie, Florida. I will only be tracking my distance and time spent running and hiking, but mostly running. I will not be able to track my hiking time with my Nike+ as some of the hikes planned for next summer are multi day trips with limited or no cellular service or facilities in which to keep a phone charged.
You may ask “why Davie?” We have friends in Davie that my wife and I visited a few years ago and had a great time with. This seems like a good reason to go back. Who knows, perhaps sometime in the not too distant future we will be standing in Davie once again.
For now, the road ahead beckons; let’s see where it will take me.