|My Georgia Giant 'hiking boots.'|
When I was a kid, my dad and I started somewhat of a family tradition by walking from our house to my grandparents’ house for Thanksgiving. My grandparents only lived about 1-1/2 miles away, and I was probably around eight or nine years old when we first made this short holiday hike on Thanksgiving.
For a number of years after that we’d walked down to my grandparents for Thanksgiving, but the individuals participating in these walks sometimes changes. Some years, my dad wouldn’t go and other years, one or both of my brothers would make the trip. The first walk was over the fields between the two houses, but in other years, we walked the paved strip of county road to get to my grandparents' house.
I don’t exactly remember when we stopped doing this, but as best that I can remember, I was in high school, probably around the tenth or eleventh grade, that is, around the time that I got my driver’s license. Despite the fact that we quit making these hikes, I couldn’t help but think about them from time to time, especially when Thanksgiving rolled around.
Nowadays, I live a lot farther away from my parents and grandparents than just 1-1/2 miles, and I have often wondered what it would be like to walk to my parents’ house and how long it would take. According to Google Maps, I live 12.2 miles from my parents, so I knew that this walk was do-able. Not bragging, but I’d made longer walks before in tougher conditions while in the military and had run footraces that were more than twice that distance.
Several years ago, I put this 12.2-mile walk on my “bucket list” and officially scratched it off the list last Thursday, which was Thanksgiving. My young son and I set off from my house around 8 a.m. and 3.7 miles into this walk, my brother-in-law, Kenny Day of Athens, Ala. joined us when my sister dropped him off along the route. My son walked between nine and 10 miles before catching a ride to grandma’s house with my wife, who’d stopped to check on us on her way to my mother’s for our big Thanksgiving family get-together.
Kenny and I walked the rest of the way and arrived at my parents’ house a little after noon. I felt a little dehydrated, but the weather was cool, so I was none the worse for wear. My feet were a little sore for the next few days, but it wasn’t anything I could handle. Best of all, I felt like I’d “earned” everything that I planned to eat for Thanksgiving, which was more than a little.
I enjoyed scratching this item off my “bucket list,” and we’re already talking about doing it again next year. My brother-in-law wants to walk the entire 12.2 miles as does my son who’s disappointed that he got in the car with my wife after having covered nine of the 12 miles. Either way, I’m perfectly fine with this becoming a new family tradition even though it has officially come off my “bucket list.”
In the end, how many of you have interesting holiday traditions? What’s the farthest you’ve ever walked at one time? What other sorts of interesting “long walks” would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.