the final mile

Yesterday was a very interesting day. It was cloudy and cool, and everything was wet and damp and growing and smelling wonderful.

Slater dropped us off at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Bloomfield Boulevard. We walked 7 miles to the Recreation Dog Park in Long Beach. There we met with our parents, and Slater, and Kait’s uncle Rick and cousin Sarah, and Lacie and Travis, and a lot of other people.

this was some of it.

The Recreation Dog Park Association was kind enough to sponsor a pet fair to honor the end of our Walk. Our good friend, Lacie, coordinated vendors and press and pulled a really fun afternoon together in no time flat. Porky’s Pizza provided lunch, and Best Friends had a booth representing No Kill LA.

We mingled and the dogs got to socialize in the cool morning. We were interviewed by The Pet Post, and we gave an awkward little talk about ourselves, the dogs, and the walk, and everybody was very nice.

Quincy from the Pet Post

Rob showed up!

Rob surprised us all when he walked up to the park. He wrangled a car and drove from Utah to meet us for our last day. He really was the cherry on top of a significant day in our little timeline. After our speech or sermon or whatever it was, we took off to walk the last 2 miles to Rosie’s Dog Beach, where we would find an ocean. We were joined by family and friends on our walk, and dogs galore.

Dog Parade!

And we rounded the corner, and turned onto Granada Avenue and there it was, stretched out in front of us.

shoes off.

We walked down to the water with our little gang, let the dogs loose, and finished what we started back in Delaware.

victory!

There was some more awkward as all of our family and friends assembled on the beach and snapped a ton of photos of us in the water. Justin Rudd, who was spoken of highly by everyone we met that afternoon and who I understand is responsible for the existence of Rosie’s Dog Beach, offered to take some shots of us with my camera. I handed it over.

Justin, Jenny, and some dog

the team

Kait and I felt weird. We still feel weird. It’s good, mostly. A little sad, too. Overwhelmed. Short of words. Introspective, and a little strange-ed out about the whole experience. It seems very big in scope – a large accomplishment, a significant passing of time and exertion of energy; but it is also a very small thing in many ways, a relatively minute and thin sliver of the experiences to be had in this country, world, and universe. A toe, dipped most briefly into the ocean of life.

As we stood in the tide and tried to think thoughts about all of this, the dogs frolicked as they are prone to doing. I don’t know if they understand what we have accomplished, but they knew something was going on – and they were excited. The Brown Dog even chased a seagull! She didn’t catch it.

no idea why she looks so weird in this one.

a group shot of everyone who was on the beach with us. pretty cool party.

We have a lot of people to thank, but it is a list that deserves its own entry.

Today was a good day.

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16 Responses to the final mile

  1. Mamafrog says:

    Congratulations on the completion of your journey.

  2. Kate says:

    I will miss reading up on your travels with my own dog in my lap but I so happy for you both! I am in awe of what you’ve done here, and can’t wait to hear what’s next for you. Good luck, God speed, and get some rest and relaxation in before the next big adventure. You’ve earned it!

  3. Sherri says:

    what a great thing ya all have accomplished…..great pics and how cool that rob showed up! now for a bit you can enjoy sleeping in and being able to ride instead of walk..lol. and, don’t forget, any of ya all, or your family members make it out this, ya all will always have a place to stay. hugs and <3 to ya all and for what ya all have done!

  4. Gail Pigion says:

    Seeing the completion of your journey with all your family and friends brought a lump to my throat. What a huge accomplishment !!!! So happy for you and hope to see a book or something to put on my coffee table to share. You have brought exposure to animals and peope in need. All I can say is thank you for all you have done. Please keep us posted in some way of future endevours. We wish you the best :)

  5. James & Kyra says:

    We are SO proud of you guys – your message and your strength of character speak volumes. Thanks for taking the road less traveled by.. we hope to meet again!

  6. Rebecca says:

    Wow, I’m almost sad to see it end as I have so enjoyed your journey. Much admiration here for what you’ve done. Congratulations from Ohio! Rebecca

  7. Wow. I have tears of my own, as I can imagine (a little) what it must feel like. I have followed your journey with longing and even a little envy, as it is a journey I want to make myself, and yet my husband’s health (and our finances) has made it impossible for me to go.

    I’m proud of you for what you’ve done. This is something that you will never forget and it will undoubtedly change you. I’m curious to see where you will go next and what you will do with your experience.

    Good luck!!

  8. Mary Lou says:

    What a wonderful accomplisment indeed. I totally understand your mixed emotions, joy at reaching your goal, but hard to believe it is the end of this journey.. and have no doubt, you did have a lot of impact in places where you stopped along the way.

    No doubt you are all changed by this experience and in best way possible. You walked through the hottest summer on record, in middle of horrible drought, political turmoil and countless other goings on… yet you met so many kind people and lived the simplest of lives. Amazing. and Rob, how wonderful for him to join you for your celebration!

    I hope to meet all of you sometime if you return to Kentucky, as it is my home state.
    Enjoy and relax and recharge and reflect on these last incredible months. I have so enjoyed reading your blog and I want to thank Benoit Lewis for bringing it to my attention through his Travels with Casey blog.

    Blessings for all of you and the pups..

  9. Ian says:

    Congrats from back where you started in Delaware! It’s interesting to follow people who walk from my home state all the way across the country. Good luck on your next adventure!

  10. Susan Cohen says:

    Congratulations on finishing the walk. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. You are going to keep Jenny, aren’t you? I can’t imagine you could give her up and I don’t think she will give you up.

  11. Cindy Adkins says:

    Congratulations!! Wow…don’t know why, but I have tears in my eyes! I’ll miss your updates, but gosh, what an adventure for you! Give the dogs a hug from me! Hugs for you, too.
    Cindy

  12. Mary says:

    Very happy to have been along with you on this epic journey. I hope it is just the beginning of a new “start” for you and what is to come. Congrats. Go eat steak and sleep for a few days. Mary in NY

  13. Vlad says:

    Congratulations on the incredible journey! You’ve traveled so far since we met in little Greenbelt Park, MD! Shared your blog with lots of folks in this area, we’re inspired. :)

  14. Paul & Sharon Weekley says:

    Congrats on finishing your incredible journey.

  15. Beth Szelog says:

    Congratulations!

  16. Kathleen and April White says:

    What a wonderful happening. And to think we met you in the beginning. Has been great fun following you online. I do hope you don’t plan to walk back.
    Best wishes to you and all yours. The Whites of Queenstown, MD

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