We arrived in Bath tonight after a 19 mile day from Lewiston. Very cold and windy but dry. Yesterday (Norway to Lewiston) was warm and sunny the entire day. The weather is bouncing back and forth from one extreme to the other. Our first day (Bethel to Norway in the photos above) was snow the first half of the day.
Not only did we experience the weather fluctuations but we also got a good look at rural and urban Maine the last three days. The roads are falling apart, there are legions of people without work, and many of the homes and buildings along the way are in disrepair. The cost of paying for war is hitting home.
Each day we've had different people come and go from the walk but we've maintained a steady group of about 15 throughout. Maggie Finch, our oldest walker who turns 89 next week, is doing very well and is a joy to have along with us.
Folks in Norway turned out in big numbers and gave us a feast the first night. Last night we stayed at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Lewiston and the mayor, Laurent Gilbert, joined us for supper after spending one and a half hours meeting with our group of walkers at City Hall. I'll write more another time about some of the great stories he told us. He is a member of Mayors for Peace.
Today fellow Maine Veterans for Peace member Doug Rawlings, who teaches at University of Maine-Farmington, brought eight of his students and they spent the day with us. They walked the whole way and helped carry the banners and really helped make it a special day for all of us.
Because it was so cold we needed a place to eat our lunch inside so we asked an Italian restaurant in Lisbon called Graziano's if we could sit in-doors. They were so nice to us that we ordered a bunch of pizzas rather than eat our leftover food and when we were leaving our waitress come outside with her coat on and told us she asked the owner of the restaurant if it was OK if she walked with us for awhile. He told her go ahead so she walked for three-miles and then we had our blister van drive her back to work. She said she wants to walk with us on Monday as well.
These walks are special like that - magical things just keep happening. One of the walkers said tonight at supper that an energy flows out of the walk and gets inside people along the way. I think he is exactly right. These walks are more spiritual than most peace "marches" and create a different dynamic.
We have a brunch at our house in the morning and then we will join the weekly Lenten peace vigil at Bath Iron Works where the Aegis destroyers are built. Then we'll walk on to Brunswick with a stop along the way at the Naval Air Station that is closing next year. We want to send some good vibes toward the base in hopes of ensuring that the "redevelopment" process does not turn it into a drone flight test center.
My knee is holding up very well, one of my ankles hurts and is stiff as a board, I need a bath very badly and am going to go sit and soak in the tub.
I'm having a great time.