I live in a town without hills, this is torture for me. Actually, there is one little hill at the nearby park, and up it goes a gravel single track that winds in and out of evergreens, spaced just right, next to the Taunton River, for a half mile loop. I walk that in circles, with my backpack, like a nerd. Sometimes I get the courage to walk the sidewalk that runs along a busy road that isn’t pedestrian friendly. This is how it is in America in some places, no one walks because it isn’t convenient or safe.
There is one woman who does here though. She walks the shoulder of the busy road I’m talking about, the one that I try to avoid because drivers, especially Massachusetts drivers, make me nervous.
All summer I passed her while driving from the orchard to the farmstand and I saw she had that same tired look some Americans have that work all their lives too much, for boats and big houses.
Then I got to intersect her while on foot, during one of my “training” hikes, where I pound the pavement at 3 mph. Anyway, I couldn’t wait to acknowledge her, another walker! As she got closer I could see she had fire in her eyes and hair to match. She smiled at me Big and I fell in love! What a character!