After Walking 1000 km I Gave in to the Bluebird

by bart on July 25, 2013

20130725-092745.jpgYesterday I walked from Fort Macleod to Claresholm (Alberta) and reached my 1000 km mark. I have been walking, camping and cooking outdoors for over five weeks now.

Ever since I entered into southwest Alberta there have been periods of rain and thunderstorms, or at least the threat of them. Here, that includes strong winds and often hail. Very difficult and often unsafe conditions for someone camping in a tent outdoors.

After walking 40km yesterday I heard on my radio that there was again a risk of severe thunderstorms for most of the night.

Covered in layers of sweat, sunscreen, bug spray, and patches of blood from the ever present mosquitos, I sat by the information center in Claresholm and felt tired. Not so much physically, but rather mentally and emotionally. I thought about how I would spend the night safely.

After thinking long and hard I decided that roughing it and overcoming difficult challenges is one thing, but risking my safety in a sever thunderstorm is another.

For the first time since I started walking I decided to spend the night in a motel. I stayed in the first motel that I went to – the Bluebird Motel on the north end of Claresholm on Hwy 2. I think I was meant to spend the night there.

The owner, Iqubal Nurmohamed, is a great guy. We talked about my walk, and he told me that he runs, and told me great stories about climbing Mt Kilimanjaro several times (he’s originally from Tanzania), and organizing long relay marathons in Waterton Park in Alberta.

He also gave me a great rate for the night, something I really appreciate. The motel room felt like a room in my home. I spent the evening soaking in the tub, and getting 5 weeks of dirt off me. It was a wonderful experience.

This morning I’m off to Nanton, another 40km or so, and of course more threats of rain and thunderstorms.

Including today I have only three days of walking left, and a week in Alberta before I go home. My journey is approaching the end, and I’m beginning to feel a sense of relief.

Below: My room at the Bluebird.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Carmen & Francis Priester July 27, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Congratulations Bart, so glad to hear you are almost completed your incredible journey for such an amazing cause. I bet that “tub Soak” felt pretty wonderful! We keep you in our thoughts and best wishes every day. We will celebrate along with you (though in a different city) when you complete this amazing feat. Stay safe and know we are cheering you on through your last few days to completion. With much affection and admiration.


bart July 30, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Thank you. I really appreciate it!


Ania July 27, 2013 at 2:50 am

1000 km – amazing journey. Congratulations Bart and hope to see you soon safe and sound back in Vancouver.


bart July 27, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Thanks Ania. Can’t wait to get back home!


Blue's Friend @ Moyie July 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Hello again, and Congratulations Bart !

You’ve come so very far since that fateful December when you awakened to this dream. I’m happy that you claimed the respite of a motel room for a night, we all need you to also be mindful of your own needs. You’re a terrific individual, and what you’ve taken on is so immense and wonderful.

I hope that the close proximity of your goal lightens your every step. You will so richly have earned your rest. I think it’s safe to say that a lot of us are walking with you, though only spiritually.

Stay safe and strong, my friend. We will continue to send you good energy and read about your adventures along the way.

Blue’s friend @ Moyie


bart July 26, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Thank you! I really appreciate the good energy, and will need it in the next few days as I enter the big city (Calgary).


Jana July 26, 2013 at 3:23 am

Well done Bart!


bart July 26, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Thank uou Jana!


Radek July 25, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Nie ma nic piękniejszego, po tylu dniach syfu, jak wanna i czysty pokój.
Bartek gratuluję tysiaka na liczniku i pozdrawiam z Polski.


bart July 26, 2013 at 5:48 pm

To ogromna racja. Dzieki Radek!


Mazen July 25, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Glad you decided to stay in a motel for a night. I think that was the right decision because self-care is VERY important in those cases. Isn’t it?

3 more days and a HUGE congratulations to you sent from the ever-noisy part of Davie St. 🙂

Keep it up!


bart July 26, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Thank you Mazen! It is indeed. I look forward to coming home soon.


Magdalena July 25, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Congratulations on reaching the 1000 km mark! Amazing!


bart July 26, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Thank you Magdalena!


Iqbal Nurmohamed July 25, 2013 at 5:30 pm

In the evening, at the Bluebird Motel, I was outside assessing the lightning and thunder to see what was to come, when along comes Bart Zych. After chatting with him, it brightened my day(oops, evening) to hear about his incredible feat and the cause that he is walking for. This world needs more inspirational people like Bart. Keep it up Bart!


bart July 26, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Thank you Iqbal! And you have contributed my to emotional and physical well-being.


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