Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wednesday Walking - Our First 20 Mile Walk! Baldwin Rail to Trail

I like to walk but last year if anyone told me I'd walk 20 miles in one day I'd have had a good laugh!

But walk 20 miles we did! Whoop-Whoop!

This is all in preparation for our trip to New York next month. We'll be joining about a thousand other folks in  The Great Saunter a 32 mile walk around the shoreline of Manhattan.  

Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail

The Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail runs 14.5 miles between Imeson Road Trailhead and Brandy Branch Road Trailhead. There's several places to stop along the way including the Helsema Road trailhead, Baldwin Station and Camp Milton Historic Preserve.

Our walk started at the Helsema Road Trailhead on the Baldwin Rail to Trail. We walked 12 miles round trip to the Imeson trailhead, back to Helsema and then four miles towards Baldwin Station and four miles back to Helsema.

A total of 20 miles! 

The Baldwin Trail is a nice flat paved over railroad track that runs mostly through farm land.

This little black cow followed us for quite a ways on our walk.

We walked under a tunnel of sorts and there's even trail for horseback riders that runs along the side of the walking trail.

Our First Bike Encounter

There are no cars allowed but walkers and bikes share the trail. And on this walk we had our first run in with a bicyclist. Signs at the trailheads instruct everyone to stay on the right side of the trail. The idea being that faster traffic can pass on the left.
You can hear the bikes coming up behind you and most of the riders call out "passing on the left!" which is great. Unfortunately one woman on a bike didn't see us because the visor of her helmet was obscuring her vision and she plowed into us.
It's weird how things like that seem to go in slow motion. All of a sudden she was there falling to the ground between us.  Thank God she wasn't going very fast! She pretty much missed me but John caught it on the arm and foot. Poor lady she was so embarrassed and apologetic but we were none the worse for wear.
She got back on her bike and we went back to walking. But after that I was a little paranoid and couldn't help but turn around whenever I heard a bike coming up behind us.

A Few Tips For Long Distance Walking

  1. Start by walking 1 -3 miles a day on most days.
  2. After you're used to walking short distances daily begin adding a longer walk once a week. We did a few 6 miles walks then moved up to an 8 mile then 10, 17 and finally our 20 mile walk. 
  3. Stay hydrated! Sweating and drinking plain water tends to wash the minerals out of your body so consider a sports drink. We take Lemon-Lime Gatorade in a 3 liter hydration system that's in John's Deuter backpack. Plus I carry powdered Gatorade and a water bottle as well. 
  4. High energy salty snacks are a must. We take a snack mix of dried fruit, salty nuts and pretzels. We also take a few bananas and PBJ sandwiches are nice and portable. 
  5. Think about eating a good (not heavy) meal at some point in a long walk. We stopped back at our car after 12 miles and ate the picnic I'd packed. Turkey, ham and cheese sub sandwiches with lettuce, pickles and black olives.  
  6. Take frequent rest stops. At the beginning of the walk we stopped for about 10 -15 minutes after each 3 miles. The last three miles I think we stopped for about 5 minutes every mile. 
  7. For ladies consider taking something like a P-Style along. We don't have the freedom to pee on a tree like the guys but there are products available that make it possible. Carrying something like the P-Style means you don't have to drop your drawers and squat behind a tree! When it's a two mile walk (that's forty minutes!)  to the nearest bathroom you'll be glad you've got one with you. 
  8. For me I need a walking partner. If John wasn't encouraging me along the way I'd have stopped at 12 miles! 
  9. Plan on a really good high calorie meal after your walk. Even if weight loss is your goal you need to replenish your body. I burned 2100 calories on this walk. 

You don't have to walk 20 miles but lace up and take a walk today!

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  1. Congratulations on your 20 mile walk! That's some accomplishment! I'm glad to hear that no one was hurt in the accident. Oh.My.Star. I love that P-Style gizmo and had never heard of it! So cool!

    Thanks for joining us this week on The Maple Hill Hop!

    1. Thanks Daisy! Yes I wish I'd had that P-Style years ago! It's a life saver.

  2. Wow! That's quite an accomplishment!! Congrats!

  3. Wow! That's impressive! I'm not sure if I ever hiked that far before..probably and didn't know it. Thanks for the nice comment you left on my blog. How fun to hear you used to live in Christmas, Florida!

    1. Well I might have walked that far at Disney World but this is the first time we set out to intentionally walk 20 miles! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Your pics of the beautiful scenery during your walks have inspired me to do what I enjoy (walk) more. I walked 4 miles on the Baldwin trail today, but I found myself longing for a trail through the woods. I can't believe I just said that. Well,
    thanks for leading the way to great walking adventures. Also I love the name,"Lace up and Walk"

    1. I never thought I'd hear you say you want to walk in the woods!!! Try the trail at Spanish Pond across from Ft Caroline. That's a nice walk in the woods.


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