It seems as if it's been raining for about two weeks straight. Don't know what that means for next month. Probably nothing. It does seem as if it's going to be cooler than normal, which is fine.
I've picked the date for the beginning of the walk--September 8, the day after Labor Day. I'm going to do 10 miles a day for the first few days, and see how that feels. The first week will be four days, Tuesday through Friday, if it doesn't rain too much. Saturday the 12th is the Michigan-Notre Dame game in Ann Arbor, for which my friend Art is flying out from Connecticut. The next week will probably be four days, as well. After that I hope to be walking five or six days a week, and steadily working up to 20 miles a day. That's the only way this thing is going to be accomplished before the weather gets really hot down in the desert southwest.
The weather is the main reason I've decided to leave here in the fall and head almost straight south. I've looked up the average daytime temperatures in the cities where I'm headed during the months I anticipate being in them. The idea is to do most of the walking in temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees.
One of the seasonal things to contend with is the diminishing amount of daylight as fall wears on. Although the fluctuations in the time between sunrise and sunset aren't as great as you go south, by November and December I'll be down to about 10 hours of light per day. This is going to create a bit of a time crunch if I'm going to finish walking by sunset (which seems like a good idea). What I've found over the years is that I can walk comfortably at a pretty predictable average of three miles per hour. I'm 5'7", and that's just a function of the length of my legs. Assuming I'll stop to eat and to dawdle here and there, and maybe visit sites along the way, I'll have to give myself 8 hours a day for walking. Then there's the bicycle trip at the beginning of the day, which will take as much as two hours. That pretty much uses up the 10 hours of daylight.
Winter's approach will also mean I'll have to get up and get started early. I've checked sunrise and sunset times in places like Memphis, Jackson, and New Orleans during November and December, and I'll basically have from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. central time within which to operate. This is going to be a major imposition on my circadian rhythm, since I don't like to get up early (by early I mean before noon). But, sacrifices have to be made. Those of you who are normally up and jogging before sunrise and then watching those disgustingly cheery morning TV shows are no doubt having difficulty understanding what the big deal is. Well, just so you know, I have as much trouble understanding you as you do me. Unless you're an insomniac (which I am not) you probably don't stay up until 2 or 3 a.m. like I do. Wimps.
Something I'm trying to do on the blog is to have a map each day with a highlighted line showing the progress of the journey. I'm still trying to figure that out. I tried importing a Mapquest map with a highlighted line on it, but what I got on the blog was words, and the instruction to click to open it up. What I'd like to have is the graphic of the map right in with each day's words. Since I'm not too adept at this electronic stuff, if anyone out there in the blogosphere has any ideas, I'd welcome them.