Another Training Walk

by breavman99

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We leave today for Swift Current and the long walk to Battleford. Yesterday I had one last chance to walk with everything I’ll be carrying in my pack, and I took it.

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I had to visit the credit union, so I took a slightly different route from Sunday, and I walked the loop counterclockwise instead of clockwise. That meant I got to walk past the house in our neighbourhood where sunflowers seed themselves in the cracks of the sidewalk every year. Those sunflowers are one of my favourite things about this city.

On a gravelled front yard, a merlin was eviscerating a headless pigeon. He flew to the neighbour’s front porch and glared at me. “It’s okay, buddy,” I told him. “I don’t want your breakfast, and frankly I support the good work you’re doing, keeping the pigeon population down.”

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I walked north on Albert Street. After a while I turned west. I passed someone’s plastic raincoat, somehow caught high in an elm tree. I started to feel hungry, so I stopped at a convenience store and bought a little bag of peanuts. I thought about my current writing project and wondered what the Swift Current to Battleford Trail Walk is going to be like. Eventually I found myself on Rochdale Boulevard, where I ate lunch.

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After lunch, I headed back south. The clouds and occasional breeze promised some long-needed rain, but none fell while I was walking. I surprised three men resting in the shade of a sign announcing the project they were supposed to be working on. I saw joggers and cyclists and people walking their dogs, as usual. At one point a peloton of four bike cops on what must’ve been a training ride passed me.

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After six hours and 25 kilometres, I was home. A few weeks ago, a friend told me I must be very fit, what with all the walking I do. “Not really,” I replied, thinking about all the things I can’t do, like haul myself into the gym in the winter. But it looks like I might be fit enough for the walk that begins tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

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