Updates from the road

Moving towards a nuclear free future

April 23rd

Aujourd’hui the runners team a couru 28miles et les marcheurs on parcouru 12miles. Les bikers on realiser toutes la distance comme d’habitude. La journee ete tres ensoleiller mais ce soir nous attendons une tempete comme il y a 2 jours.  Nous somme arriver chez Zoe qui a une grande et tres belle maison et qui nous acceuil avec une grande generositee.

April 19th

Vigil at Three Mile Island

April 14

RAIN!!!!

Day 11

My day went really well. I am one of the runners and for much of this event I have struggled with sore muscles and bones, but for the last couple of days my soreness has subsided and I’m mostly just tired. But while I am out running my old love for running has returned. Today I was reminded of what an old friend, Bob Klingler, once described running to be like. It can be like riding a horse, where you are on top of (in this case two) sturdy legs that are carrying you. You are connected to your legs but they are also separate from “you”. You are able to let go of the effort it takes and allow your mind to go wherever it needs to go. Getting to that place while running is a pleasant experience and I was able to get there today.

So my mind wandered and it went to how fortunate I feel getting to participate in this wonderful event. I know it is often difficult for the participants and we are entering the phase where we often reach a low point: roughly half way through, where the excitement of the beginning has subsided and the euphoria of nearing the end isn’t in sight yet and the predominant feeling is of exhaustion. I want to express how grateful I am for all the effort everyone with us is putting forward. We are all stretched every day to just get through the day. Everyone is doing everything asked of them and more with tolerance and generosity. It is a real pleasure to be with such a great group. I also thought about all the great people we have met along the way. All of our hosts have been so great. They (you if you are reading this and hosted us) have fed and housed us, and most importantly met with us and shared their stories and listened to ours. I just had this type of sharing with Illana, our host while we are at Manassas Church of the Brethren. We truly would not be able to pull this off without the wonderful people we meet along the way and I am eternally grateful for the leap of faith that is made to offer strangers a place to stay. Our hosts are as much a part of this event as the participants, and we carry our memories of them with us as we make our way to the NPT. I am looking forward to meeting the rest of the people whose communities we will invade and hope that their encounter with us will be as rich as I expect ours will be with them. -Jon

Day 10

This morning we said goodbye to Gem, Marcus, and Peter who are travelling up to Quebec Canada to take part in the International Uranium Conference. While we were sad to see them go it was exciting to know that they will be taking the energy and determination of the walk to the conference. They will be rejoining us in Philadelphia to share stories and join up for the final few days to New York.

Also this morning we heard from some of the Australians about what is happening to remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. Jeanette told us of how the government is trying to shut down remote communities by cutting off services and even their water supplies. It was good to explain the situation to our new friends in the US and we took a photo of us all to send our solidarity to everyone protesting back home. You can find out more about what’s going on at – https://www.facebook.com/events/431020920389568/

Then it was onto the road again.. A beautiful spring day, with no threat of thunderstorms this time. The bike crew was just Jim and I and we cruised along with ease. I got a bit startled by a Groundhog bustling right near the road, we were both chased by 2 little dogs and we crossed many gurgling streams and rivers. We arrived at our destination to realize that we’re at our half way point. Good work everyone! A super day all up! Over and out. Crunch.

Day 9

UPDATE 10-4-15  Lynchburg to Arrington
The day started, as always, with the haunting and beautiful mantra of Utsumi Shonin, the methodic drumming and meditative sounds to re-welcome the less devout of us into the world. We missed his counterpart, sister Denise’s usual echo of the Lotus sutra, but with 4 year-old Shae finding his place back along the walk with drum in hand and cheeky smile, we all got on the road before the grey clouds could loom darker.
The lovely Anne, Chaplain of Lynchburg College, and Susie from the Peace Education Centre joined us for the walk out of town. Meanwhile, the Australian contingent reached new heights with Jeanette from Wongi-Yamatji country (Western Australia) and Peter from Arabana mob near Kati Thanda (Lake Eyre) joining the walking crew. This now means the Aussies have full rights on accent-mockery (lucky Jon and his veHIcal, and BUdeefull days)…
Highlight as a runner – other than being chased by two dogs, attempting to follow ambiguous directions (why do y’all insist on naming streets after numbers and then doubling them up and then not naming other ones?!), and having a BUDEEfulll run through the winding backstreets of Arrington county (but what is with the NO TRESPASSING signs?!)  – it would have to be the family of 7 Menonites the others happened to park in the drive of, as they waited for me to finish my miles. This meant that as I attempted to out-run (or failing that out-growl) Dog #3, two boys in matching t-shirts raced me to the 5 mile mark. Swarms of high-pitched southern drawls excitedly explained their own exercises, rabbit’s nickname, and the Civil War re-enactment they were on their way to. Turns out the mother had lived in NZ for 15 years, and we had once again managed to defy the odds of backwater Virginia and find some folks who not only thought we were fascinating, but also liked us enough to want lots of photos with us 🙂  Perhaps Viriginia is for Lovers after all? They took off before they missed the artillery, but have promised to join us for dinner…

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Day 8

Tuesday, 7th April 2015

Last night, Crunch and I interviewed Larry and Denise for our radio program back in Melbourne, Australia. We just had to ask Larry one or two questions and philosophy and politics came tumbling out of his mouth. He talked about the ripple effect; trusting that when you take some form of positive action its effects will ripple out in ways that you can’t even imagine at the time. Denise perched in front of a beautiful Noah’s ark mural at the Christiansburg Lutheran Church and told us about the importance of physically acting out the principles that one holds. Her Buddhist order is focused on the elimination of nuclear weapons and the walking, chanting and drumming is an age-old manifestation of that goal.

So our motley crew took off in the rain this morning and headed down Route 11 on wheels and by foot. We pass motels, fast-food stores, funeral homes, churches, car yards, rivers, forests, bridges, houses and thousands of people. We meet people every day; they open their homes, churches and colleges up for us to rest and eat.

Lots of people support this bizarre mission we’re on, and I’m sure lots of people don’t (or haven’t thought about it yet). Not everyone is for the abolition of nuclear weapons, or even for peace.

For me, travelling through this land I barely know, this is not just about peace or nuclear weapons. As we travel we’re talking about history, ongoing struggles for racial equality, the prison-industrial complex, workers rights and agribusiness, coal mining and mountain-top removal, and hundreds of the threads that make up this wildly unjust and complex world. What binds this group of people together is the common will and commitment to do something that takes us a footprint closer to the world we want to live in. Something positive; a political action in the physical world. The journey will keep unfolding but for now, it’s dinner time and Jim’s keen to post this update online! This mini-rant is (temporarily) over.

(The photographs are of my DIY waterproof footwear enhancements, before and after today’s ride. Fortunately, rain was scarce).

Day 7

1 Mountain climbed by cyclists and one lucky runner
2 States covered so far
3 Runners running
4 Cyclists cycling
5 Walkers walking
6 people to push a big truck onto a ramp at walkers’ morning tea break (see photo)
7 Days on the road
8 hundred miles to UN Building, New York
9 miles Bambi (Jon) to make up for last weeks’ shortcuts and missed miles
10 years since the first NPT walk in 2005
11 miles – a personal record for longest distance ran for our newest runner
12 of us sleeping soundly tonight, dreaming of a nuclear free future!

Day Six

Easter Sunday!

Marcus, KA and Shea returned back to Knoxville to pick up more participants coming in from Australia and as an extra bonus participated in an Easter Egg Hunt.

It was a beautiful day and the roads where quiet we walked, ran and cycled through the rolling hills of Virginia. We arrived at the church relatively early around 4pm and shortly after we arrived some members of the church showed up with a ham, green bean casserole, dinner rolls and a variety of sweet treats . They said these are left over’s from Easter Dinner and we would like you to have it. We added it to a meal that Crunch and AC made for us and had our own fantastic dinner.

Oh and Jon got attacked by a pack of wiener dogs while out for his run 🙂

Day Four & Five

It was a wet day on our walk, cycle, run from Oak Ridge, TN – NYC/UN, most all participants were rained on while representing. My running was one prolonged struggle, but on the other side of the tree I enjoyed the rain as it stayed with me on my 11 miles. This poem by Faulkner may be too solemn for good people on this walk, but it remained and kept company with me through out the day.
” My Epitaph ”
If there be grief, let it be the rain
And this but silver grief, for grieving’s sake
And these green woods be dreaming here to wake
Within my heart, if I should rouse again.
But I shall sleep, for where is any death
While in these blue hills slumberous overhead
I’m rooted like a tree ?Though I be dead
This soil that holds me fast will find me breath.
~William Faulkner~

 

Day Three Morristown TN to Kingsport TN

Another beautiful day Moving Towards A Nuclear Free Future we started out from Morristown TN after a fantastic night at the house of Williams Isam. We picked up a new walker Emma McLeod and now she is going to take over this update.

Today we had to go 57 miles. It was a personal record for several of the bikers! It was nice and warm and the rain held off until we were cozy in the Catholic Church in Kingsport.  After hot dinner and showers, we are ready for bed and getting ready for another grueling day tomorrow. Emma 🙂

Day Two Knoxville Tn to Morristown TN

Hey People, out there wherever you be

This is a public relations announcement from one of lowly runners of three on Moving Towards A Nuclear FREE Future (aka Oak Ridge, TN – NYC/UN Walk).  Anyhow all is well for Walkers, Cyclist and the elite three runners, that’s why there are only three of us running. So second day of this event as usual is almost there in getting its groove, we’ll be there in a couple more days. Keep following the walk – cycle-run on whatever device you have ==== Thanks ===AR===

Day One Oak Ridge TN the Y12 National Security Complex (or the Bomb Plant) to Knoxville TN

The night before on the 30th we all gathered at Riverside Community Catholic Worker and after a great meal provided by Food Not Bombs of Knoxville.  Ralph Hutchison of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA) joined us to give us a brief history and update of the Bomb Plant.

Today we caravanned to the bomb plant with walkers, runners, cyclists and a group from OREPA and the local community. The day started off cool but quickly warmed up. Utsumi and Denise started us off with some drumming and chanting then we had a circle at Y12 and introduced each other.  Marcus, Jim and Ralph spoke about Y12 and issues revolving around Y12 like weapons, waste,  health issues around workers at the plant, and safety on the road.

After the circle we all headed out.  From my perspective it was a beautiful day: sunny warm a perfect day to Move Towards A Nuclear Free Future………….

Tonight we are having a Pot Luck dinner at Riverside Community Catholic Worker. Gem from Melbourne Australia also with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons – icanw will speak tonight after the dinner. For more information on icanw visit their web site : http://www.icanw.org

#NPT
#Goodbye Nukes
@nuclearban