On September 8, 2019, I started walking all the streets in my hometown, Carrboro, North Carolina. Why? My reason is two-fold:
- To see every nook of my community of 10 years.
- To meet folks I’d otherwise never meet and retell part of their story.
I also have a few rules:
- All walks start and finish from my house.
- I am using the Town of Carrboro trash pickup map for boundaries and limits.
- I will walk every single named street in Carrboro, excluding those within private communities.
- I will walk named streets deemed “private” unless it’s merely a long driveway for a residence.
- I will only make exception to the rules above for safety reasons or if instructed by law enforcement to do so.
The details of my journey can be found on my Instagram page, but here’s a quick synopsis so far.
DAY 1 – 23.5 miles – 7 hours: Heading directly north from my house on Westview, I turned right on Homestead and walked all the tracts between there and the end of Rogers Road, including Morris Grove Elementary, a Carrboro “island” surrounded by Chapel Hill’s urban buffer. I met Beth and her dog, Bumble. My path was also crossed by a fellow transcon walker, Chris West, who read my Instagram page and found me en route home from a few weeks on the AT. I also met Aaron and his dogs, Max and Banjo.
DAY 2 – 19 miles – 6 hours: Following the same approach as yesterday, I veered left when I hit Homestead and entered the Hogan Farms neighborhoods, including a section of Old 86. On my return route I knocked out a couple other sections of town to make some additional and unplanned progress. Exhausted, I wasn’t putting off much of a social vibe, so it’s no surprise that I only met my buddy Jon, who chased me down when he saw me walk past his house. An energetic exchange with him was all I needed to get home without collapsing.
DAY 3 – 18 miles – 5 hours: Later start after a dentist appointment. Busted out my floppy hat from when I walked across America and am convinced its sun protection made all the difference. I walked up Old 86 and knocked out a few private streets and a trailer park before checking off the long drives that feed into Anderson Park. Back onto Old 86 before hitting the neighborhoods to the east and west of the approach route from days one and two. Lots of shade, thank goodness. I met Anthony and Star as they got their mail and I am pretty sure I interrupted a tiff. I met Erin who thought I was a dude named Joshua. I also walked past a friend’s house that I didn’t know was a friend’s house. Shelby and Sunny gave me the best hugs ever.
DAY 4 – 16.5 miles – 5 hours: Late start because I was hemming and hawing about the heat. Plus, my late finish yesterday didn’t leave me very rested today. Followed Old 86 to the neighborhoods near University Lake, then got on Jones Ferry to Highway 54, then Smith Level and all neighborhoods on the south side near Carrboro high school. Met Jennifer who was waiting for her grandkids to get home from school. Then had a great conversation with Tommy Noel who held up his “please help” sign at the corner of Highway 54 and Smith Level. And finally spoke with Ray, a UNC employee, as I stepped through the Manor Ridge neighborhood.
There’s more to come, but I need a couple rest days. Plus, I am off to Virginia to visit with a couple guys I met while walking across America. When we crossed paths in west Texas, hey were riding their bikes from San Diego to St. Augustine. For a few days we shared a similar pace, which meant we shared a few meals together, too. Looking forward to some down time commiserating with them.
All the Streets in Carrboro will continue on Monday, September 16. Probably two more long days to go – then one more after that to hit the random spots I totally missed on my first go ’round.
Thanks for following along!