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Jennifer Popper

Join Jenn's Journey North

on Wed, 09/27/2017 - 16:01

I’d like you to join me on is a personal journey.  In the summer of 2018, I plan to walk north on the East Coast Greenway in memory of Michael.  In memory of the walks around our Plainfield, NJ neighborhood, of the peaks we climbed, like New Hampshire's Mount Washington, and of the treks we made, like the one on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru just weeks before the accident.

My journey will start on the East Coast Greenway in Cranford’s Nomahegan Park, and end in Gouldsboro, Maine, in the town where that fateful kayak trip took place.

The East Coast Greenway, or ECG, was conceived in 1991, and consists of a traffic-free bicycle and walking route that extends from Maine to Florida. And the East Coast Greenway Alliance (ECGA), whose mission is “to partner with local, state, and national agencies and organizations to promote the establishment, stewardship, and public enjoyment of a traffic-free multi-user trail linking cities and towns from Maine to Florida,” is the non-profit organization that spearheads the development of the greenway. 

I have been in contact with organizers, and they have agreed to help me in any way they can.  So far, they interviewed me, and feedback has been positive, with total strangers offering to put me up for a night.

How many miles are we talking about here, you might ask? 
Roughly, four hundred and fifty.  Crazy, I’ve been told. But not impossible, right?

Why, you might also wonder?  Well, why not? 
After the accident, a friend shared a poem called “The Dash” by Linda Ellis.  I think of it often, of what Michael’s “dash” represented, and how I can improve upon my own.  I aim to raise $15K for two charitable organizations, one being the ECGA.  The other is Freewalkers, a non-profit that promotes events, disseminates information, and encourages networking opportunities to educate the public on the benefits of walking.

What are my goals for this column, and what role do you, the reader, play? 
Join me in person for a leg of my journey, through New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Maine.  Or follow me virtually – more on how to do that in a later column! 

In the meantime, get yourself, and your family and friends, outside for a journey of your own.  My hope is to inspire you to walk, and to think about your own "dash."