Sunday, April 6, 2008

My Town Monday - Early Edition - Spaghetti legs

For my Home Town Monday series for Travis , I will post about my one good deed.

So I was one of thousands of people participating in the Walk MS 20th Anniversary presented by Booz Allen Hamilton on Saturday, April 6th. Being a slug by nature, I was able to raise quite a good amount of money from friends and family who laughed their collective asses off at the idea of me, Human Sloth, walking 8 miles. I'll show them, I thought. We shall see who has the last laugh. It turns out it is still them as now I am officially the Human Sloth with legs'o'spaghetti. I came home took a hot bath and passed out for about 5 hours. Got up and stuffed my face with every variation of junk that existed in my house.
Copyright by Lost Bob available via

The walk itself was in beautiful territory, starting at the C&O Canal from Great Falls Park to historic Glen Echo Park in Maryland.

"The C & O Canal is a 184 mile long National Historical Park. It begins in Washington, D.C. and follows the Potomac River to Cumberland, Maryland. Construction of the Canal began in on July 4, 1828. In 1938, the 184 mile long stretch of property was acquired by the Federal Government for $2 million and put in the domain of the National Park Service. The Service decided it would make a perfect Parkway - an attractive approach to the city of Washington. However, such was not to be. Justice William Douglas of the Supreme Court reviled the thought of the destruction of the beautiful river corridor. He challenged the editor of the Washington Post, who had come out in favor of the proposed construction, to walk the entire towpath and then decide whether he still thought the road project idea was a good one. The editor agreed to Douglas's proposition, and after completing the hike came out with an editorial in favor of saving the natural beauty of the river and dispensing with the highway. Public opinion turned towards keeping the land natural, and in 1971 it was designated the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park." Retrieved from
The towpath that follows the Potomac river takes you straight into Georgetown, Washington, DC another 10 miles or so from where we ended. My walking partner joked that we should keep going and have lunch in Georgetown. I laughed but deep in my heart I wanted to kill her.

Copyright by NK Eide via

The above picture is the view that was to our right as we walked along the walkway. We lucked out with some beautiful weather. A little chilly in the morning and ending in a lovely warm day. The walk started at 8 in the morning but because of fear of rain, my group decided to wait until 8:45 to start. Unfortunately, several of our ladies were delayed and we ended up not beginning our walk til a little after 10. Our group of 8 ladies walked under the name of Hot Mamas. I had nothing to do with the choosing of the name and in fact refused to wear the hot pink Hot Mamas pin that our team captain handed out because false advertising is unlawful. Apparently our team leader's oldest son also didn't approve of our team name either and said we should have chosen a name that was more appropriate, like Cranky Old Moms who may have been hot twenty years ago but no longer are and need to get over it. I told him it was quite catchy but might have been a tad too long for a button. The team leader is a good friend of mine who also happens to have MS. She is doing as well as one can in her situation as her MS is in remission. But there are days when she has episodes. I have so much respect for her and would gladly walk another 20 miles if she asked......... (Please don't ask.)
Copyright by NK Eide via

Here is another view of the incredible scenery that we had during our walk. So at our very first rest stop, we filled our water bottles and picked up snacks. My walking partner picked up an apple, another team member picked up a banana, others filled up with water. I picked up 2 slices of corn bread, yum. At our second rest stop, my walking partner picked up a banana, others helped themselves to apples and granola bars. I picked up a bag of cheese popcorn. At our third rest stop, I actually ate some oranges. They were good, like natural candy. I also helped myself to a couple of girl scout cookies. You can see what a healthy eater I am. My walking partner, who was awesome, is a foodie like me. So we spent the whole time talking about all the great food we love to eat. Causing us severe hunger pangs in the last 2 miles of the walk. When we finished, there were a whole bunch of Subway sandwiches waiting for us that we grabbed up and took with us onto the bus that would drop us off at our cars. You would have thought we would be so hungry after an 8 mile walk, but quite frankly we were dead tired, having speed walked through 8 miles (and leaving the other group members way behind!) to make it in 2 hours (might have been a little less we were walking so fast). And after talking about delicious meals the whole time, a turkey sandwich just wasn't going to cut it for me. So when I got home, I made hubby drive me and the kids for some delicious piping hot bowls of Vietnamese Pho from Pho 75 on Rockville Pike, the best place for Pho in all of the metro DC area. Oh joy in a bowl! And that, was probably the healthiest thing I had all day!

See the red stuff in the corner? That is Sriracha hot sauce. Man I love that stuff! I don't go so crazy with it like my husband does, his soup is bright red, but I do love to put a substantial squirt of it in. It burns the nose hairs out of your nose if you are not careful but the stuff is incredibly addictive. It was a fitting way to end to my busy morning. On Sunday I will attempt to play tennis (my husband and I have indoor court time on Sunday nights) without crying like a baby.


JaneyV said...

Congratulations on a great feat! The walk looked stunning (in more ways than one), particularly the fantastic scenery. You did a good thing! And I would have carbo-loaded too. A girl needs her energy.

I've not tasted he delights of Vietnamese Food but that looks delicious. Not sure about burning the hair off my nose though!

Charles Gramlich said...

wow, that is beautiful scenery. Any charity walk I've ever done has been on concrete in the city. I feel gypped.

Uhm, I like a good spicy meal.

Travis Erwin said...

That scenery is not at all what I would have envisioned and there is entirely too much green stuff on that plate.

Josephine Damian said...

Kudos to Justice Douglas for knowing how to make a point and get his way.

Like Travis, I too was surprised by how much nature there is in what I always imagined as an urban, concrered-over area. Like Travis, I'm put off by the green stuff in the Vietnamese dish - because it looks like cilantro to me (I hate cilantro even more than TE hates lettuce!).

Anyway, love that your friend with MS was able to participate - what an inspiration she must have been on such a arduous journey.

J. L. Krueger said...

My Vietnamese stepmother made that for me once! Only time I ever made it around when she was cooking. Unfortunately she died a couple years ago, but I have plenty of "aunts", cousins and a stepsister to hit up whenever I visit Houston. I'll have to put it on the list for my next visit.

I love cilantro...can't imagine a kitchen without it. My wife isn't as fond of it as I am, but our kids love it.

Larramie said...

Your scenic walk -- for a very good cause -- earned your spaghetti legs a great deal of respect, Ello. Way to go!

McKoala said...

You sports fiend, you.

Looks like a gorgeous walk, though, and a great thing to do.

I went to a vietnamese restaurant once with a vietnamese friend. He ordered all this fabulous food, which we had no clue about, but tasted wonderful. Although he complained that his mother's was better.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Fabulous scenery and congratulations on doing the walk-a-thon.

I had no idea that all this nature was so close to D.C.

Thanks for this.


Ello said...

Thanks Janey! It was a fantastic walk, now if only my legs would stop hurting I would be so happy!

Charles - come out to DC and enjoy some beautiful places! And then I will take you for some pho!

Travis - I order the Pho with no greens for my kids cause they hate greens too!

Hi Josie! Yeah I think people are surprised by how much natural beauty is in the area. The DC monument areas are stunning and the Potomac river naturally lends itself to lovely scenery all through this area. You must come up and see!

JLK - I am so with you! Cilantro is an absolute favorite of mine!

Thank you thank you Larramie! My spaghetti legs thank you!

McKoala - HA! I am such a sports fiend that my pinkies hurt and they didn't do anything during the walk.

Terry - thanks for popping by! I enjoy the fact that I am surprising people with these little nuggets about the area!

SzélsőFa said...

Re: CPS student: Get rid of him/her.
It's no use for taking up your valueable time and effort.
Is s/he can't do what a student is supposed to do, s/he'n not meeting the criteria of being a student.
It's not a kindergarten for Godssake.

Double Fs or whatever the lowest mark is.

Barrie said...

What a brilliant idea, having a charity walk with gorgeous scenery. Great pics! And the pho looks scrumptious!

Debbielou said...

Well done on your walk and what fabulous scenery !

lyzzydee said...

Fantasic story, felt like I was there with you!!! Great scenery, not sure I would have made it to the end though!!!

debra said...

What a beautiful place! Kudos to you for the feat of the feet! #2 daughter participated in the Swim for Diabetes yesterday and swam 400 lengths (that's 10,000 yds or 5.68 miles!) and raised over $200.

Sam said...

Great walk, beautiful scenery, good cause - & the soup made me drool.
Thanks for posting this!

ChristineEldin said...

I haven't been there in years. Thanks for sharing the history and the photos. It's gorgeous!!!

Vesper said...

Wow, congratulations Ello, despite your spaghetti legs! :-)
Beautiful scenery - what a luck it was kept untouched.

Carleen Brice said...

Good on you. Nothing like the virtuous stuffing of the face after exercising AND raising $.

Lana Gramlich said...

Kudos to you--great job! I'm jealous of the scenery--how stunning!

SzélsőFa said...

Ello, this one's for you:

Hotwire said...

those photos are spectacular!

Sarah Hina said...

Yay, Ello! I loved your travelogue, and all the pit stops. :)

MS is such a debilitating disease, and you should feel proud of yourself for completing that walk. I've been really into Jacqueline Du Pre's cello recordings lately, and she was forced to quit playing due to the onset of MS. Anyway, your spaghetti legs are badges of honor! ;)

(sorry I've been absent so long, by the way...I've really missed your blog--it always brings a smile to my day!)

Britta Coleman said...

Kudos on the walk, and what beautiful pics. I'm with you on the carb loading. Just a trip to the gym and I'm digging into the kids' junk food stash. (It's not mine, see, so it doesn't count.)

WordVixen said...

Yikes, I haven't done a walk-a-thon since I was about 8 years old! And then it was only 2 miles or so. :)