Progress Update

I wanted to write a quick update about where I am right now and what my preparations look like so far. As many of you may know I am living and working on Mackinac Island in Michigan as a horse carriage driver for Grand Hotel. My family would bring me to the island a lot as a kid and I never thought that I would end up driving for the Grand, especially since I had never even touched a horse until just a year ago. The season here only lasts about 6 months so all the businesses here work double time to make enough money for the year which means I get to work 65 hours a week. I start my day at 5am, early enough to wake up, shower, and get to the barns to start feeding and grooming the horses and my day ends at about 6pm when the last boats get to the island.

IMAG0645

Taken from the top of the Grand Boulevard on the morning of Tuesday May 21, 2013. It was 50 degrees, windy and it rained all day.

Now a neat thing about the island is there are no cars allowed so all transportation is by horse carriages, bikes or walking which makes a perfect place to start training for my hike because I’m basically forced to walk miles everyday just to get to work and meals. *Insert walking 5 miles in the rain “back in my day” joke here*. When I went in for a physical evaluation for this hike the doctor said I needed to lose at least 15 pounds before the hike and since mid April I have already lost almost 7 pounds, yay! I am going to start taking regular jogs and bike rides through the many trails that the island has to offer once the weather starts looking a little better and not look like the picture to the right. I have some really neat ideas in mind for videos on the bike trails around the island so be on the look out for those once I get a GoPro. For right now I actually have to walk up about a mile and a half up a 200 ft. hill to get back to my room and so far it has only kicked my butt a little, I call it my “pre-training” training.

On another note the fundraising is going well, so far there is $1,015 raised of my $2,759 goal with 6 days to go. Thank you so much to those of you who have donated so far, it means an incredible amount to me. I am doing as much as I can to hopefully reach the goal but I don’t think it will happen in the next 6 days. I am extending my fundraiser through the blog and we will hopefully be able to reach they goal through the little orange ‘Donate’ buttons within the next month. I am currently writing over 60 letters to friends and family to find sponsors of each mile of my hike and those will be sent out soon. I mentioned before that I was hesitant about fundraising but after sending so many messages to my friends and catching up on their lives it has been really incredible just realizing that friends and family are here to love you and sometimes they just need the invitation for an opportunity to help you out.

GrandCarriage

On the carriage with my boys Rolls and Royce.

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