This is the adventure story of two septuagenarian brothers Dennis and Michael.
Dennis is 73 and a retired trial attorney who spent a rewarding if stressful career in the courtrooms of Rhode Island guiding medical professionals through the horrors of medical malpractice lawsuits. He abandoned that scene 15 years ago for the quieter realm of violin making and string instrument sales and repairs in Pawtucket.
Michael is a bit younger at the tender age of 70. He too had a long and rich career as a physician in the United States Navy caring for sailors and their families. In his penultimate assignment, Michael oversaw the operation of a hospital facility in the war zone that was Kandahar Afghanistan. His life has quieted considerably as a retired Navy Captain now working as the country doctor tending to the denizens of the isolated districts of southwestern Rhode Island.
About two years ago, during the depths of pandemic living, Dennis got a bee in his bonnet to attempt the long-distance trek that is known as “Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk”. This is an unofficial 190-mile trail* that crosses the narrow center of England from St. Bees in Cumbria on the Irish Sea through the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors to emerge on the coast of the North Sea at Robin Hood’s Bay. He had shelved the idea as being impractical – too much money and too many days. But life dealt him an unexpected disappointment in the Spring of this year so he resurrected the idea as a way to console and distract himself. He went on line and booked it!
About a week later, having breakfast with his little brother Mike, Dennis described his plan – no doubt with more than a little excitement. As much to be polite as anything else, he told Mike he was welcome to come along. Much to Dennis’ surprise and delight, Mike called a few days later and said he had secured his wife’s blessing, that he could clear his schedule and that, yes, he would love to join me.
Thus the plan was hatched and soon finalized. From September 25 through October 13, Dennis and Michael will be hoofing their way across the remotest and most stunning countryside that England has to offer. This journal will be a day-to-day record of the adventure and you are welcome to join us here. We look forward to your comments and your advice as we go. Or just check in here and gawk at the efforts of two aging fools!
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau
[*news came just last week that the Wainwright trail is about to be officially designated as a National Trail in England. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/aug/12/alfred-wainwrights-coast-to-coast-walk-made-national-trail]