Published on Tuesday, July 29, 2014
My wife Sarah and I have been talking for quite some time about walking the Monon Trail. For those around Central Indiana, you will know of the Monon as a reclaimed railroad that has been turned into a trail for running, walking and bicycling. To say we wanted to walk the Monon is a little ambiguous, because there are many entry and exit points to the trail, and there are many stretches of the Monon one could walk.
Our intent was to walk the entire length of the Monon. But in all actuality, I think we missed a little bit of the Northern edge. We started in Westfield at a park called the Quaker park. I believe there is a little bit of the Monon that goes north of there, but we were unaware of another entry point North of that location. So for the purest, we may not have walked the entire Monon in one setting. But for the rest of us, let me just tell you we walked exactly 20 miles when our Monon adventure had come to a close.
My wife had a race that morning, and I was busy getting steps myself, as I anticipated making this a record day on my pedometer. Long story short, we did not get started walking the Monon until around 2:00 p.m. Our preference would have been to start earlier, but we still were set in to finish it before dark (depending on how many times we stopped). It could not have started any better in terms of weather and our excitement level. The threat of rain was there almost all day, but the cloud cover and the temperature made it very nice.
We made it from our starting point to Carmel without any trouble at all and we were so confident in how our day was going that we sit down to a nice lunch at a pizza place right along the trail. Lunch was great, the rest was nice and we were ready to head on down the trail to our next stop.
The stretch from Carmel to Broad Ripple was still very comfortable and very exciting. We were still feeling very confident in our abilities, so confident we (I) took time to stop at a local ice cream stop right along the trail. I figured burning nearly 2000 calories along our journey, afforded me a little leeway in extra refreshment.
Now we were heading on to the south and had about 5.5 miles until the trail ended (as we understood) at 10th street. Fortunately, we only decided to take on ice cream in Broad Ripple and not stop for an entire meal as we would need those minutes later in the journey. From Broad Ripple to the State Fairgrounds was still very enjoyable, very exciting and what we anticipated for the most part. Interestingly enough, I feel like I know the fairgrounds very well, and I never knew the Monon ran adjacent to the fairgrounds until this weekend.
Originally when I was going to write about this adventure I was going to entitle it “the worst or longest 2.8 miles of my life.” This original title came about as I recounted the section from the fairgrounds (38th street) to the end of the Monon trail at 10th street. Now, I’m sure it was because we were some 15 miles in to our journey, and because it was unfamiliar territory, and the fact it was a slightly less friendly looking part of town, and it was beginning to rain (big drops) and lightning. I am very able to admit that this portion of the trip was less fun and more stressful than the earlier portions of the trip.
In addition, the other thing that kept weighing on us was the view. Every once in a while you could see the skyline of Indianapolis. In some ways that was comforting, in others a little spooky because we looked like we were a long way from downtown and where our car was parked at.
Now for the reason behind the new title. It dawned on Sarah and I that we were both a little tired, a little concerned and out of our comfort zone by a lot. We began to pray for safety, energy and answers (because at this point we weren’t even sure exactly where the Monon finished up in relationship to where our vehicle was at).
Thankfully, we eventually made it to the end of the Monon at 10th street. From there, we were able to navigate the remaining half hour to our car and even get back to Noblesville in time for a late dinner before we both fell asleep.
Needless to say, after walking 20 miles, it was a record setting day on my pedometer!
It wasn’t until church on Sunday that the title change became fully evident. The message was about prayer, and how giving praise is one of the most important aspects of prayer life. I couldn’t agree more, and it would have been very easy to just tell this adventurous story without giving credit to God for the protection that he gave us, the energy to accomplish the goal, and the ability to carry on in the face of what seemed pretty spooky odds at the time.
So just like in farming, we can do all we can with the most energy and purpose on a daily basis, but at the end of the day, God definitely blesses our lives and our crops in so many ways. I was extremely excited by the entire adventure, but the 2.8 miles that seemed that darkest at the time, will now be my fondest because of the most evident help that we had on that leg of the adventure.
Author: Doug Clouser
Categories: Beck's Research, Looking Past the Numbers
Tags: Beck's Blog, Beck Trek, Looking Past the Numbers, Monon Trail, Monon Indy, Carmel IN, Broadripple, Monon Walking Trail, God's Blessings, Faith in Farming