by Jim Munroe and Jim Bucar – Fall 2011 ETA Newsletter
The diversity of trail users — their backgrounds and purposes— defy easy listing or categories. In just recent months, we have encountered birders from the West coast of the U.S. searching for a rare egret sighted on the Marsh, a photographer from Soissons, France, executives from Michigan on a tandem bike, previewing the area before deciding to move here, a young father jogging while spending quality time with his infant daughter — but the Trail has also proven to be a unique resource for people with specific life goals. Here are just two examples.
We encountered Barry on the Kennebunk section of the trail heading for the recently opened Turnpike Bridge. He
spontaneously shared his excitement about the trail and the role it had played with his personal transformation. It began 11 months ago, November 2010, when the KAB section of the trail had opened. He had been too much the couch potato, overweight, pre-diabetic, laboring with high blood pressure. Since then he has shed — by his most recent calculation — 100 pounds, reduced the need for blood pressure medication, and used a healthier diet and a regimen of exercise to control his blood sugar. One guess where he gets most of his exercise — the Eastern Trail and the roads it leads him to. He is certain that the allure of the outdoors helps keep him enthusiastic about staying fit. His only question: now that the Maine Turnpike is no longer a barrier, when do we start developing the trail south toward Portsmouth?
This July, Jim Munroe met Cassandra Curley, a 49 year-old ball of energy who has dedicated herself to a breathtaking endeavor: to promote Peace & Unity by walking 50 miles in each of the 50 states in 50 weeks. When she finishes, she will be 50 years old, with 2500 miles on her pedometer. She walks on greenways whenever possible. She began her trek in February, in part to promote her book, From Fear to Eternity, a Path to Peace, designed to help people achieve peace through love, a sense of purpose, and connection to one another. When she arrived in Maine, she found the Eastern Trail in Scarborough congenial to her purposes and goals, and shared her mission and excitement with Jim. You can follow her progress, and read about her desire to use part of her book profits to help children transition out foster care, on her web site: www.cassandracurley.com.