Today, as I crossed the 100-mile mark on my treadmill desk progress, I toyed with the idea of journeying to a fiery volcano. However, the lava-drenched peak you see here is not Mt. Doom. It's the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica.
See, Costa Rica tops my list of must-see travel destinations. It's a land of pristine nature, incredible culture, breathtaking scenery, and maybe, just maybe, somewhere I could get my kids to learn Spanish. If I'm going to walk somewhere, especially to a volcano, I want it to be there.
Well, I've always wanted to walk from home to Cannon Beach, which is about 70 miles on foot. Cannon Beach is the closest thing I have to a spiritual Mecca. It's a tiny little coastal town filled with wonderful people and a lifetime of scattered memories for me. If I'm going to start a quest, Cannon Beach is where I'd want to begin.
And then where? I played around with Google Maps for a while and arrived at a fanciful route:
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B: Cannon Beach, OR
C: Redwood National Park, CA
D: Yosemite National Part, CA
E: Chandler, AZ (Because I have friends there, and they'd freak out if I arrived on foot.)
F: Mazatlán, Mexico (My one blatant tourist stop.)
G: Teotihuacan, Mexico (Awesome ruins!)
H: Palenque, Mexico (More awesome ruins!)
I: Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Google won't compute my route by walking, but by car it comes to 4,798 miles. Let's just call it an even 4,800 since there might be a couple potty breaks along the way.
Math time! Let's say I average three miles with each treadmill session. Also figure in some weekends, vacation time, sick time, unplanned days of absolute work madness, etc. Call it 20 days per month in which I complete treadmill writing sessions. At 3 miles per day, that's 720 miles on the treadmill per year, or roughly six years and eight months to walk my route to Arenal Volcano.
Once upon a time, I aspired to be the next Stephen King. That would be great and all, but these days, I just want to pay the bills and send my kids through college. Given the time I've already put into working on writing fiction, I think a walk to Arenal Volcano might do the trick. A distance of 4,800 miles divided by a walking speed of 2.5 MPH gives us 1,920 hours of walking...and fiction writing. (That's also about half a million calories burned for you fitness freaks.)
Maybe this is all a nutty psychological game. Or maybe it's an adventure in pursuit of a dream. Whatever. Everybody needs their own crutches and motivations. Maybe I'll make it to Arenal and maybe I won't. But I'm already 25 miles past Cannon Beach...and I'm not looking back.