In the spring of my freshman year at Ozark Academy the school held its annual school picnic not at a park or a lake or someplace new to us but on campus. I decided to use that day to do something I’d never done before: see how far I could walk in one day.
So in the morning I took off out of the dorm, crossed the Flint Creek bridge and walked north to Sleepy Hollow Road. I walked east past the Sleepy Hollow Store on the highway and all the way to Cave Springs. It was sixteen miles one way. There was nothing special about Cave Springs as a destination; it wasn’t much of a town at that time, it was just a place to walk to and then turn around and come back, which is what I did.
To illustrate how lacking in imagination I was at that time, I got to Cave Springs, went inside a crummy little Laundromat, sat down and ate a candy bar, and then went out and started walking back to campus. I didn’t walk the whole way back. I had shin splints from overexerting myself and I was sort of limping a bit. I accepted a ride from a guy in a pickup, I think, and he took me as far as the Sleepy Hollow Store. I limped back to campus just in time to miss the last meal of the day. One day I will figure out a point to this story and then I will write more about it.