This walk happened between 9AM and 10AM on 10/8/14 in Gainesville, Florida, the town where I lived from 1990-2008. I didn't have any plan for the walk, and I stopped when I got tired of walking. When I got tired of walking, I called my dad and he picked me up at the Krispy Kreme doughnut store on 13th street. I bought orange juice, and he drove me back to our house.
On 12/18/15, I walked 10 miles from my parents central Florida lake house to the lake house of one of my very best friends, Marianne. About 25 miles from Gainesville.
My parents and Marianne both moved to their current homes in 2015; my parents left behind the house where I was raised to begin retirement, and Marianne left an unfulfilling life as a writer in New York City. I don’t know very much about this new place, it feels so distant from where I grew up (despite the close proximity). This was my first extended stay in the area, and it felt like the best way to get a feel for the land was to walk through it.
I invited my parents to walk with me along the highway to Marianne’s house, but I wasn’t sure when I started if either would join. I also asked friends and family for advice about the walk, with the promise that I would enact all the advice. Ie. “You should wear a safety vest, wear blister preventative band aids on your feet, don’t walk too close to the highway.”
This started as a walk about friendship, transition, Florida landscape, and personal meditation - the idea to walk from one house full of people I love to another, with the intention of taking only ten photos as documentation. The walk transformed into a three hour experience with my dad that I’ll never forget. He’s sixty, and he said he’s never walked for eight consecutive miles before. We walked along the highway together, sometimes he made me carry his walking stick because it was annoying to carry. He helped me select what we should take photos of, and we talked a lot. He got really excited when we found a $20 bill in front of the pizza shop he likes to go to, and he exclaimed that our first photo should definitely be of a decaying deer carcass we saw in the woods. Around mile eight, his hip started to hurt, so we called my mom, and she joined me for the last two miles. She really enjoyed seeing birds and different types of plants. At the end, Marianne was in conversation with my dad next to the lake with homemade Bloody Mary’s and toast. It was a really loving day.