October 21 – Hillsborough to Mebane

Day 24. 500 mile Journey to Salem. Hillsborough, NC to Mebane, NC. About 13 miles. 43,000 steps. Low 46. High 79. Gorgeous blue sky. Relatively flat route with some busy traffic stretches. We have NEVER had a start like today!! Incredible. Totally. I innocently walked into the lobby and was greeted by two “sisters” offering me sugar cake. Please see photos for visual impact! Laura, you REALLY out did yourself!! Thanks to you and your daughter!!! And thanks to Jenny Eury for the amazing cookies with logos!!! And, thank to Liz Baird for the Dewey’s boxes full of goodies you sent!!! Wow!! You guys are just the best!! Your efforts meant so much to all of us! Welcome back, Kate!!! And, thanks to everyone who walked with us. We had a wonderful day with you!!! We were also joined today by a reporter and photographer from the WS Journal. Thanks so much to them for spending time with us today!! We loved walking with both! Good morning walk, though a little more traffic than we have recently experienced. You can tell we are back in more urban areas. Lunch today a mixture of some walking through it, some eating at a Mexican restaurant, and some making sandwiches from food in the cooler. All good. Walked through Mebane, including several residential areas decorated for Halloween. The shade and sidewalks made that a treat! Everyone made it safe and sound the whole way!! Congratulations! Martha Manning made Hello Dollies for everyone and we ate as snacks when we arrived at the hotel. Yum!! Laundry done tonight. Lots of foot and ankle care by everyone this evening. Several business calls for me. A relaxing dinner at Cracker Barrel, with lots of vegetables, for several of us. Profound thanks to everyone for your many gifts yesterday and today, tangible and intangible. The gift bags, the cookies, the costumes, the Hello Dollies, the walking side by side, the words of encouragement, the hugs, and just being here. We are grateful for all.❤️ #mysalemjourney. #journey2salem

– Lucy Rose C’76

Day 24 Journey to Salem.
Hillsborough to Mebane, NC. One of our shortest walks. Another gorgeous day! The day started with a great surprise. Two alums dressed in Moravian clothes to greet us this morning and offer us sugar cake and Moravian cookies. Then, a good friend of mine from Salem Academy, Sarah Goodwin Carey, surprised me this afternoon with a visit and she brought a delicious salad and rotisserie chicken. We visited for hours and said goodbye just a few minutes ago. Martha Manning surprised our group with home baked Hello Dollies! I met new friends who walked with us today. I continue to be amazed by all the surprises and support we are receiving from Alumnae along the way! Thank you everyone!!! #mysalemjourney #journey2salem

Debbie Faires A’82

Day 23 Hillsborough, NC to Mebane, NC and 14 miles. Never quite realized the two towns were so close! I imagined it would be a very long distance by foot. I guess “long” is now a relative term!

Today we had over 15 walkers plus two reporters from @wsjournalnow so it was a big group to Shepard along many busy roads! Once we were on highway 70, we fell into a natural solution by having two “through walkers” in the front, two in the back, and one in the middle. To stay safe, we needed to stay single file and prioritize watching cars over conversations. Of course that was so hard as everyone enjoyed sharing stories and catching up. At our lunch spot some ordered lunch in, some to go, some ate a packed picnic, and some skipped lunch in favor of an early finish. At the finish of our 14 miles, several of our “day walkers” were thankful they were not on an 18-22 mile day as 14 miles was plenty!

We only have 5 more walking days left in our 500 mile journey. In the recovery pool and at dinner, we started reflecting on our experience: the endurance of long distances, consecutive days, no days off… what makes it possible? Here’s a short list of what worked for me:
1- the right shoes! I use #hokachallenger made with #gortex to be breathable and waterproof. I discovered these were right for me by trial and error. I rotate two pairs daily so shoes have time to recover.
2- Socks! I use #balega blister proof crew socks. But they have tons of loose threads on the inside which I find irritates my skin, makes hot spots. My solution is to turn them inside out when I wear them.
3- Foot breaks! When we break for snacks or lunch, every three hours, I sit down and take off my socks and shoes, elevate feet. Cooling heels is my way of preventing blisters. I prefer to walk on grass or dirt, not asphalt.
4- water and snacks! I prefer #nuunhydration added to my water. For snacks I pack bags of assorted nuts, dried cranberries, and bacon jerky. I also aim to have an Apple, banana, and Orange once a day while walking. After that, I break into my #twixfunsize stash.
5-Before dinner, tepid shower, lotion everything, elevate feet. Keep hydrating at dinner and over night. Take Vitamins!

– Frances Cronlund C’98