I thought you had my back

So, in the time I’ve been in the woods, you all have been very cautious. I have been duly warned about everything from frostbite, to wolves, to bears, to axe handling, to leg breaking and zombie management. I have only to whisper that I am headed into the woods and sixty-five of you counsel me on every possible bad thing that could happen to me, and advise me of the caution I should use, should I wish to survive. I appreciate it too. When you’re all alone in the woods you just can’t hear enough about the impending doom lurking around every corner. I’ve taken it all with a grain of salt, learned a great many things, and proceeded with caution. Which brings me to my point.

Where the hell were you people yesterday? I announced with all possible clarity my intention to walk into town for a full FOURTEEN KILOMETRES and not one of you, not a single person, left a comment saying “Holy Mary Mother Of God What Are You Thinking?” Nobody. Not a single person typed a comment that contained the words “For the love of wool, don’t do it.” Nada. It makes a girl wonder who’s side you’re on, you know that?

I left the house in the woods at a about three. I walked and walked in the direction of the store. It’s a dirt road (or more properly this time of year, a dirt and ice road) and I walked briskly along the twisty, hilly one lane road that leads into town. (Actually, they don’t have the audacity to call it a town. It’s a “Village”) I walked and walked. The sun was shining, it was only -3, I was warm and cheerful. I greeted chipmunks, I frowned at a squirrel, and then I walked some more. After a while, a long while, it occurred to me that I had been walking a long time. A really long time. Although I’m in pretty good shape and I walk far all the time, I was starting to feel it. I figured though, that I had to be almost there. One couldn’t walk this far and not be almost there. I kept walking.

At the point when I first began to lose faith, I spotted two girls, about 12 years old, crossing the road from one farm to another. They were the first humans I’d seen in five days, and I called out to them. “Hello!” I said, and the girls stared at me. A stranger? This is small town Ontario. There are no strangers, or at least if there are, they are in their cars driving through. A stranger walking up a deserted road in the middle of nowhere. Now that was something. They looked at me and then cautiously said hello back. Then one of them squared her shoulders and said “Where’d you come from?”

“Just up the road” I waved my hand vaguely behind me. “I’m walking to the store. Am I going the right way?”

The girls suspended their disbelief (the walking thing was clearly a shock to them) and assured me that not only was I going the right way, I was close. “Real close”.

I kept walking. I walked and walked and walked. By now, saying that I was “feeling it” was a joke. Things were starting to hurt, but honestly, I’d walked so damn far that it just had to be around the corner. If I turned around and walked back now, I still had to go all the way back, and there was no way I was giving up when I was so close. I walked on. I was not close, it wasn’t around the next corner, but every corner I went around only made it more likely that it would be around the one after that. I walked. I came upon a man out shovelling the drive of an Inn.

“Hello” I said, as cheerfully as the throbbing whole bottom half of my body would let me.

“Howdy.” He replied, sizing me up. “Where’d you come from?”

“Up the road” I waved even more vaguely than before, mostly due to fatigue. “I’m walking to the store.”

He looked at me for a second, and then with a good natured half chuckle, he said “Well. Are you now.”

“Yes. Am I close?”

“No.” He said, and my heart sank to my feet.

“Fifteen more minutes”. My hear leapt! Fifteen minutes! Hell, when you’d been walking as far as I had, what was fifteen more minutes. Sure I was tired. Sure I was hurting, but fifteen more minutes was doable, and it was stupid to go through all this and stop fifteen minutes short of my goal. I strode off. Fifteen minutes. I could do anything for fifteen minutes, and I could have too…. if he hadn’t have been a filthy liar. I don’t know how long it was (it just has to be around this corner) when I finally found the store, but it was a lot longer than fifteen minutes – or maybe it wasn’t. Maybe time had just crawled by for however long it was that I walked the road.

I staggered into the store and a kind and friendly looking guy looked up at me. I closed the door behind me and I said “Holy Hell. This was way further than I thought.”

“Yeah” he said. “I saw you walking. All I could think was ‘Where’d she come from?'”

“I came”, I said “from Smith Road, up by Jones Line”. (Those are made up streets. Don’t come looking.)

He stared. “Smith and Jones? All the way from Smith and Jones? That’s… like seven kilometres.” He shook his head trying to imagine it. In this kind of town nobody walks anywhere. Everything is so far apart and so rural, that if you see someone walking you know their either crazy or in trouble. He looked at me like I might be both.

“You can’t walk from Smith and Jones” he said, very seriously.

Au Contraire!” I wheezed. “Au contraire…. You certainly can. I don’t recommend it” and here I raised a shaking hand for emphasis “but it can be done.”

“Geez” he said. Still reeling. “That’s something. It sure is.” then he paused, and asked me “What did you come for?” and looked around the store, as if trying to figure out what the hell he sold that I could need this badly. Suddenly I felt stupid. Totally stupid. I felt like the only thing i could say I needed after this sort of lunatic move was “Insulin” or “an ambulance for my dying father” or “food, I’ve been out for days and finally had to walk or die.” Instead, all I had was the truth, and it suddenly seemed rather weak.

“Toilet paper and beer” I said.

“Fair enough” Ron said, because it turned out his name was Ron. We chatted for a bit about what I had been thinking and where I was staying and why. I got the beer and the toilet paper and I loaded it into my backpack, and I slung it onto my back and pulled on my mittens. Then I sighed.

“What are you going to do now” asked Ron, though I think we both knew the answer.

“Can I call a cab?” I asked.

“No cabs out here” said Ron, and I think he felt pretty bad about that.

“That’s what I thought. ” I managed a weak smile. “I guess I’m walking back.” I tried to look brave.

“Well.” smiled Ron, still looking stunned in a nice way, “Ain’t you the craziest thing I’ve seen all day.”

“Thanks” I said, and I smiled as genuinely as possible. I took my leave. I was walking back up the road again. Walking, walking. Thankfully the excruciating pain in my arse had settled down now that the numbness from my thighs had spread. I realized that I had made a mistake, being happy to get to the store. I’d been a fool. The store wasn’t my goal. The store was HALFWAY. If I wasn’t in public I would have cried. I considered how if a car passed me (which was INSANE, I’d walked seven kilometres without a single car passing me) I would try to hitchhike. Yessirree. The slim possibility that the person who picked me up would try to kill me was a fair trade against the certainty of the misery that lay ahead. One step at a time, I plodded along. Walking, walking.

After about 20 minutes, when I had realized there was no way I was getting back before dark and a whole fresh hell was opening up in front of me, a car came up behind me on that little dirt road and slowed to crawl alongside. The window came down, and a pretty girl of about 21 or 22 years old called out.

“Excuse me? Excuse me…” I turned to face her and tried a the best smile I could muster.

“Are you Stephanie?” she asked. “were you just at the store?” I stared. I could barely open my mouth. I couldn’t remember how to talk. I nodded.

“Get in” she said. “My dad says I have to give you a ride.”


Thanks Ron.

733 thoughts on “I thought you had my back

  1. That’s the best story ever…and you know, I actually did mean to leave you a post yesterday but then I figured by the time I was reading the blog, you’d already left…and that by the time you got back to read my comment begging you not to go, you’d be like, “It’s a little late now.” Suffice it to say, you are once again an amazing woman…however, I do think you ought to seriously think about using Ron’s new moniker for you as the title of the next book: “Ain’t You the Craziest Thing I’ve Seen All Day!” (I have to admit though as I was reading about the car pulling up and asking if you were Stephanie, my first thought was: Oh! How Lovely, one of us went out to find her! Finally! Stephanie, we love you!!!

  2. See, if you had stated it in miles, I would have been a little more worried. But kilometers are shorter than miles, so you figure “14K? Eh. KM are much shorter than miles! Easy peasy!”
    Sorry. πŸ™‚

  3. Best picture I have seen all day. Now, if I had known you were going to start on said walk at 3pm, I would have cautioned you, but anyone that camp/cycles the way you do already knows about strength and perseverance.

  4. Yeah, I guess we should have said what we were all thinking ‘For the love of wool, dude, DON’T DO IT!!”
    But we didn’t. Sorry. Hope the Guinness was worth it.

  5. We didn’t say anything because we know our Yarn Harlot can do anything she sets her mind to. Even crazy stuff.
    Especially crazy stuff.

  6. I’m sure you’re going to revere that TP and beer like it is the holiest and most worthy TP and beer you have ever purchased.
    Thank goodness for kind people. It’s nice to know they’re still out there.
    And on the bright side of things: EXTREME LEG MUSCLE BUILDING!

  7. Well dear Harlot, I guess we were thinking that you are in such superb shape that walking that far would not be a huge problem. You walk and ride your bike at home after all. Perhaps our judgement of distance and time has been severely affected by this long winter – we are looking for any excuse to get out!
    Perhaps we were thinking you would start out a little earlier in the day to give yourself time to enjoy the walk. Perhaps we were thinking you would take a bit of a rest while you were at the store. Perhaps we weren’t thinking you would underestimate the time it would take.
    So glad you made it to the store and back safely, Ron (and his daughter) are good stuff. Perhaps some hand knitted goodies would be in order???
    The Guiness looks wonderful – I would have had one myself yesterday except for the migraine I was fighting off. Perhaps I’ll have one today instead and really enjoy it. Slainte!

  8. Well, when you need TP and beer, you need TP and beer. I think after reading about your journey to the cabin the other day, we were all so impressed, that a 14 km jaunt to the village sounded completely doable.
    Thank goodness for Ron. And I’ll bet that Guinness was REALLY good. πŸ™‚

  9. Well, when I saw that you *headed out* at 3 p.m. I thought you were nuts. I had thought that you wouldn’t take on an 8.5 mile hike if you couldn’t handle it, although personally my limit (back pre-car) was if I couldn’t walk to it within an hour, I didn’t need to go.
    I’ll just add that Ron is Good People. That’s a ton of karma he just racked up.

  10. Mercy, woman! I’m wheezing just reading about it. Enjoy the cold beer and take a nice long soaker in the bath tub – you deserve it!
    YAY for Ron!

  11. Well, I *thought* 14km sounded like a long way, but I’m only an American – what do I know about kilometers?
    Also, I must have read yesterday’s post wrong, because I thought you had gone & were back already and, if so, you had obviously survived your trek.
    I hope you have some wine left to help subdue your aching, quaking legs today!

  12. I agree with Allison, Ron needs socks!! And maybe his daughter needs a pair as well, or at least a scarf.

  13. I thought about it, but you know, it seems rude to say “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FLIPPIN’ MIND?!” So, I thought about a nicer way to say it. Then I realized, I walk 10k some Saturdays, and then thought, “Well then, maybe she’s not so kooky. I am definitely on the right side of the weight bell curve, and she talks about biking, so she must be in better shape than me” After that little internal dialogue I figured you would be ok. πŸ˜‰ My bad.

  14. Oh, nice man. NIIIIICE MAN.
    In my personal defence, I did think the walk-to-the-store plan was insane, but I said nothing because I considered it way LESS insane than the walks you and Joe took in the deep snow up and down the really long, unplowed drive burdened with big loads. Also, I have a friend who, no joke, walked home from McMaster University (she lived in the northeastern section of Toronto)…TWICE. For FUN. (Although the first time she only made it as far as Mississauga before giving up and taking a bus.) So by comparison, the store walk seemed pretty normal.

  15. I thought, “wow 14 km is a long hike…does she realize how long that will take…she’s out of her freakin’ mind…sniffing too much wool in that cabin.” But, this is not the first time I’ve thought, “this woman’s nuts.” Now you’ve just simply confirmed it…in writing, on the internet. ‘Nuff said? Love ya!

  16. It was the kilometers thing – I wasn’t sure know how to convert that, so didn’t know how far it was. Kinda far, it turns out! I sure as heck hope you bought more than one beer (even though I don’t drink beer – I probably would in those circumstances)! And I really hope it was a good beer!

  17. I thought it sounded crazy but I was convinced you walked a lot and you needed beer. oh and I forgot about the return deal. 28 km total is insane.

  18. Good god, girl! I didn’t say anything cause I thought you knew what you were doing!!!
    P. S. — Make that man some socks.

  19. “Where the hell were you people yesterday? I announced with all possible clarity my intention to walk into town for a full FOURTEEN KILOMETRES…”
    Well hell, you’re a hardy Canuck, and I figured you knew what you were doing. Besides, it was urgent. TP and beer, and good beer at that!
    What kindness from strangers – here’s to Ron and his lovely daughter!

  20. When I read 14 Ks yesterday, I thought: 28 Ks, hmmmm, she must know what she is doing. The stars were aligned just for you. Thanks be for people like Ron!

  21. Well, why in the devil didn’t you tell us it was 7km away? Aren’t you Canadians just supposed to have the voyageur gene or something and just know these things?
    At least you weren’t doing it with 50kg of beaver pelts and a canoe on your back.

  22. Ron is redeemed. . .. before I finished reading I thought “I can’t believe he didn’t offer her a ride!”

  23. Yah know when you sd that you where going to walk 14 kl in that God forsaken side of ont. ( I live in Mich – but have family in Jarvis ont. and if you know where that is you get a cookie) i did think you where out of your ever loving mind. But thought that since you walk a lot that u knew better than me. But since u went back to that cabin in the middle of nowhere that your are surly out of your mind- more power to you.- someone told me it was -3 outside- i would not have left the fireside. love ya anyway kristin

  24. Wellllll… 14 kilometers didn’t sound like something I would want to do on a fine afternoon, but by the time I read it you were probably already at the store. Glad Ron has a daughter old enough to drive.

  25. I guess my extremely Wisconsin/American brain was thinking something along the lines of … “Hmm. 14 kilometers. So.. a mile is something like 1.5 km, and one of our miles is 5200 feet or something, so that’s like maybe 4 city blocks, right? Yah, that’s do-able. Go Harlot. Getcher beer and TP, Godspeed.” Sorry. Have a sip of beer and getcher knittin’ on.

  26. I also didn’t say anything, but I thought that you were crazy. I would walk that far for a beer in the summer, but never in Canada in the winter.
    Thank goodness for your rescuer.
    I bet that beer tasted really really good.

  27. Well shoot, I guess I would have done about the same thing, but I would probably have died of hypothermia somewhere around the 5K mark. After all, beer and toilet paper are worth it, right? Nice to know there is a safe place in the world for women to wander around without a clue. Obviously it’s too damn cold for violent perverts there. Stay safe Steph. And warm.

  28. It sounded like a long way but you made it sound like you did it all the time. You even used the word “trot”. So who am I to question your abilities? Hope you’ve recovered.

  29. That man is a saint and very obviously built up some serious karma points for sending his daughter to rescue you!

  30. Yes, love to Ron.
    But seriously, how far is 14 kilometers in miles? I mean, 14 miles is a long way, but kilometers are shorter than miles, aren’t they? So those of us in the States have a teeny-tiny excuse, don’t we?
    Though, even if kilometers are only half as long as a mile (and I think they’re a bit longer than that), 7 miles would be a long ways. Heartfelt apologies!
    Give Ron a kiss for us!

  31. I suspect that ‘toilet paper and beer’ is considered a valid excuse for almost any excursion in that area. (In New Hampshire in the 1970s, “essential personnel who work during blizzards” included liquor store clerks.) Yes, definitely make Ron some socks, and maybe some for his daughter, too.
    And investigate home brewing, sourdough, and traditional ethnic pre-toilet-paper-invention methods. Web-search now, or library at home in case you do anything this mad again.

  32. I’m almost in tears over here. Something about “My Dad says I have to give you a ride” (and knowing that she did it) has got me all verklempt.
    Hurray for Ron!

  33. Wowza! The Chief Irish Leprschaun was with you – musta been the beer and St. Paddy’s Day at work! Hope the car had heat! As always – I was holding my sides trying not to laugh out loud at work. Here’s to what’s just around the corner!

  34. I would have warned you about the walk, but I was too embarassed to admit that 14 km would have killed ME. I skied the Kortolopet (26k) one time and couldn’t walk for a week after.
    Do you think you would have bought more beer if you knew you were going to get a ride in the end?

  35. Well, you know…I did kind of think you were a bit daft to go walking to the store, but you needed toilet paper and a Guiness. And you’re adventurous. I didn’t even try to stop you, knowing that it would probably be futile to get between you and a Guiness. I’m very glad that Ron’s daughter gave you a ride, especially since you weren’t going to get back before dark. My heart kind of sank when you said you started out at 3 p.m.; that’s a bit late to be starting out on an adventure.

  36. Oh my. When you said you were going for a walk I assumed you knew what you were getting yourself into.
    I knew that it would take you at least 3 hours to get there and back, and that is at a very brisk walk the whole time. We, as humane beings, should be able to walk about 5 kms an hour. I think this is a bit ridiculous, becuase at a fast pace (and that is really hoofing it) I can only do about 1 km in 15 minutes. At that rate it probably would have taken me 4 hours there and back.
    I assumed wrong aparently. Should have said something. I supose that was that nigling feeling I felt when I posted my comment yesterday, telling me there was more I should have mentioned.
    So sorry Steph. I hope you feel a sense of invincibility now. Like now that you have walked 7 km to the store, you can handle anything. Remember your earlier post about life being challenging not just mentally, but physically as well. Sorry you had to experience the physicall aspects of lifes challenges… again.

  37. Ya’ know. I thought about posting how that seemed like an awfully long walk to me, but I needed to do the KM to mile conversion and alas my job interrupted me.
    Having walked that far in perfectly lovely weather during the long days of summer, I just can’t imagine how it feels in 26 F in March.

  38. As I was curled up in my warm house knitting listening to Little House on the Prarie’s Plum Bank on CD, they were saying how Pa walked 300 miles to find work.
    And in another story on his walk home from town, he got caught in a blizzard and had to camp out without any provisions (no beer or tp or tent) for 3 days.
    Maybe the girls meant 15 minutes by car …

  39. Sweetie, I think we all figured that if you’re crazy enough to be out in the woods like that, you’re crazy enough to make it to the store. It’s not that we didn’t have your back, we just have extreme faith in you. πŸ™‚

  40. Holy Thigh Master! I just looked it up and that’s nearly 9 miles!
    I haven’t thought about how many km are in a mile since high school. I suspect most of us in the States are the same way. Having no idea how long 14 km is, we were ill equipped to give warning.
    But what’s the Canadians’ excuse?

  41. Don’t blame the Blog!
    Thought you were tired of knitting and writing and would take the day to hike.
    It was for beer on St Pat’s day after all!

  42. Well, I just figured that if you had the determination to write about going 14k to the store for tp and beer, no blog comment would stop you! Glad to hear you both got the supplies and a ride home, though. Hooray for Ron!

  43. I plead guilty. I came so close to saying something yesterday, but I figured that by the time I saw that post, you’d already left. I am SO glad Ron sent her! Good for both of them!

  44. The problem is that we know you walk and ride a bike everywhere so what’s to worry about. However, I personally did think you would start out a bit earlier than mid-afternoon. Next time we will all be more attentive to your proposed adventures.

  45. You have us all firmly trained in the belief that you can do anything.
    Oh, look. You just did it again. πŸ™‚
    I have walked so far my ass was sore only once in my life, when I was a teenager. And that was heading home, no return journey. I don’t know why you weren’t on your knees begging Ron for a ride or a bunk to sleep in.

  46. I got as far as the “I greeted chipmunks, I frowned at a squirrel” part and cracked up!
    14k is a long way. Marathoners run 10k’s in training. Glad you survived! You’re a hardier woman than I. I’d have been a puddle at the side of the road long before I found the store.
    As for Ron, he’s Canadian. ‘Nuf said.

  47. Steph, you’d walk farther than that if you were running out of yarn, right? Right. So stop complaining and drink that beer.

  48. Okay, I would have said, 14 kilometers, are you crazy, but really, I thought you were exaggerating. I, like most of the rest of the Americans reading here, thought, “What is that in miles? About 21?” Yeah, she’s definitely kidding!
    Also, you don’t necessarily need toilet paper if you have a bathrag handy.
    I bet you’ve never been so happy that someone else on earth had children who were driving age.

  49. Hee, hee! That’s what you get for having a bunch of American readers. I did a seven-mile hike last summer, and it was a workout for me. But kilometers always confuse me… hmmm… “three-ish miles both ways? Long walk, but she walks alot. Maybe she just has a really bad case of cabin fever.”
    Next time I’ll warn you. (Maybe).

  50. Look, you canoe out to your campsite. You bike everywhere as a holiday. So I figured you were like my crazy husband, who cons my into insane adventures routinely. (No comments on why I still haven’t learned me lesson, please). Thus, not being an expert on such chilly climates, I assumed you knew what you were talking about. So if you said you were doing 14K in the freezing cold I went – well, ok, maybe that isn’t as bad as it sounds…
    But hey, you got to meet Ron – and he sounds like a pretty decent fella. πŸ™‚

  51. If you think real hard, I’ll bet you can remember Joe (or someone, possibly your mother’s OB?) telling you that the surest way to get you to do/try something is to suggest, however lightly, that it might not be something you really want/are able to do. I’m not about to try and buck THAT kind of mojo!
    Yes, Ron needs socks. So does daughter.
    And I’m really, REALLY glad you made it. I would miss you something FIERCE!

  52. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! That was totally hysterical and I’m so sorry that you got out there and walked that whole way. At least with the ride back the store actually ended up being The Goal.
    And everyone must have beer on St. Patrick’s Day. I think that’s a rule that is written in stone somewhere. In fact, I’m sure it is. I know that I’ve seen it somewhere.
    Glad you are back in the cabin safe and sound, and all alone.

  53. sorry ~ :{
    I thought 14 km was a bit , shall we say, ambitious (for lack of a less polite term – ie; loonie), but thought, well she’s from Toronto, they walk a lot up there, I’m from Rural NS … we drive when its cold. I figured you musta walked that far before, and that I was lazy. Alos – regardless of how far you have to walk for toilet paper, when you need it- there is no alternative!
    Had I wrote to advise you about a 14 km walk in the winter in rural Ontario, I probably would have mentioned to take your axe in case of zombies or ase murders (or rabid deer — or that large kitty like paw print in a recent post) .. but I kept my mouth shut, and now I feel bad.
    Glad the pretty young woman rescued you!

  54. I did a 7 km hike around Uluru during my visit to Australia. Not bad going since it was late winter/early spring, mostly flat ground and somewhat cool temperatures, but it was still at least an hour and a half.
    Good luck for the rest of your stay. πŸ™‚

  55. How sweet! Though when Ron said “ain’t you the craziest thing I’ve seen all day” I laughed.

  56. You are right about rural people not walking. Where I live, we have less than 50,000 people in the whole county, nobody walks more than what would be a block or two in the city. My friend from NYC says they walk miles there. We also get mad when we have to pay for parking or can’t find a parking spot right by the door. It’s a funny thing.

  57. Wait a minute. Squinting real hard. Must be a Canadian thing, but but but… Does that toilet paper really say Cashmere on it?!!! Only for our Yarnharlot, and my stars, what other type could you buy, then.

  58. In my defense, I was born on the wrong side of the border and still struggle with the metric system. It sounds, though, that you’d fallen victim to what we called, growing up, a “country mile” which could in actuality span anywhere from 1.5 miles to 3 miles. 7 km indeed. I’m just glad you ran into such a decent man and made it back to knit another day.

  59. Hell, I take a day off from reading your blog and you head off into trouble! Damnation, woman!! I hereby promise not to miss any more days of reading your blog. Try and stay out of trouble this afternoon, okay? Oh…. and I am still waiting for my sock knit from the amazing Tsock Tsarina – next time you are hankering for a walk – can you head off her way to help her get caught up??? πŸ˜‰ See you in Ann Arbor… are you taking the train this time?

  60. I am embarrassed to admit that more than once I tried to mentally calculate 14K into something an American might recognize, and failed. Even so, it kept nagging at me that 14K was way too far to walk for necessities. And I was all set to leave you a warning comment, but then I thought perhaps I was being too opinionated. (I’m trying to work on that…)
    Now that we’ve heard the rest of the story, I have much more admiration, no, awe, for my neighbors to the North. If Ron gets socks, I say you deserve a trip to the LYS (once you get back to civilization where they HAVE LYS’s…)

  61. Well. A couple of things in my defense. A) you walk everywhere, you bike, you’re in much better shape and get much more exercise than I ever have. You’ve hauled in all those supplies over snow, gone back to get them, and gone out in horrible weather just for a walk in the snow. So taking a long walk to town just didn’t seem like a big deal. B) You’re metric – I’m not. Never occurred to me you were talking more than 8 miles into town (and with your revised total of 17 km it’s now over 10 miles!) – and I would have quickly remembered that it was only halfway to *get* to town. Had you said, gee – I think I’ll jog into town, it’s only 8 miles away, I would definitely decided that being alone and isolated for so long you had clearly lost your mind!
    Stop in town on your way home and tell Ron thanks from the blog – we appreciate that he sent his daughter to give you a ride back home!

  62. Well, 14 km sounds like a lot to me, but I live in miles, in a warm climate, and you go on cycling vacations across what seems like entire continents, so…I figured you knew what you were doing.

  63. I didn’t warn you because I’m an American and we don’t know how long a Kilometer is.
    Glad Ron sent his son…that was super sweet.

  64. It reminds me of last April Fool’s Day, when another complete stranger gave you a desperately-needed ride.

  65. See, the problem is that we all knew you were the walking/biking queen of Toronto, so what was a few kilometres to the store? Besides, beer and toilet paper being two of the necessities of life, would there have been anything we could have said that would have stopped you?
    I keep telling my kids I used to get up early enough to walk 3 miles to school and still be on time (this was in Cleveland). I am trying to shame them into getting up in time to get ready and walk about a quarter of a mile to school and still be on time. So far it isn’t working.

  66. We couldn’t tell you what to do β€” you’re Canadian. You made it after all, didn’t you?
    Got the right beer, too, I see. πŸ™‚

  67. Too bad we in the states never learned to convert. I thought 14 km seemes far, but knew it was less than 14 miles and figured you knew what you were doing. I was a little worried today when I logged on early and there was nothing from you. Am relieved to find something here now. Glad you made it back safely. I bet Ron will get a lot of mileage (kmageze?) from that story.

  68. I remember reading the 14km and thinking that a woman who does all that biking can handle that distance just fine (and it’s for Guiness). You did just drag all your stuff into the woods and shovel and all that. I know you’re tough.
    But I didn’t consider the time you might have left (ie not at first light). I apologize for not being on that ball. I also have to wonder if you would have listened (you’re kinda like that) πŸ˜‰
    There is something about small town people that does warm the heart. Ron’s a good guy.
    And to AlisonH, yup, that says Cashmere. Silly marketers.

  69. Furlongs. You should have put it in furlongs. The number 34.7967 would have definitely alerted all of us mileage users that you were attempting the scarily impossible.
    I’m glad our chipmunk operatives kept you safe from the Squirrel Fleece Liberation Front’s assigned tail, though.
    Don’t you feel better about that, at least? :-/ πŸ˜‰

  70. Man! Now I feel bad because I thought Holy Crap! How far is KM actually? 7 Miles sounds WAY too long, but you do yoga and are in great shape so I thought you’d jog up there in 30 minutes buy your beer and TP and jog back, no sweat! I wouldn’t have lasted 1 KM!!!! So enjoy your beer and use your TP wisely!!!!! Anyone named Ron is a great guy (my honey’s named Ron)! Rest your bum for a while now.
    Nat Alea

  71. Methinks Ron will become an integral part of Yarn Harlot lore, and maybe even a new vocabulary word. When someone does something spectacularly nice, we can say, “He pulled a ‘ron.'” or “He ronned me.”

  72. Ah-well, if I had known you were going out at 3pm, and if I had any idea how far a km (or 14 km) was, I might have said something. (“Like how about you air dry tonight, and wait ’til the morning for the hike”)

  73. Any one crazy enough to stay in the woods alone, in the winter, not once but twice must love the adventure. You are a crazy girl. See you in Indiana in April- that is if you make it out alive!!!

  74. Ya’ know I did that about 6 years ago (without the snow, the opposite it was like 102degrees) and after I cooled down and got my wits about me, I just asked the guy at the store to drive me back home. I’m stubborn but I’m not stupid.

  75. Sure man, 14 km wouldn’t perturb me if it was mostly along the roads and I LEFT BEFORE 3 PM. Risk of dark is a whole different ball game. Glad Ron and Ron’s daughter are good people.

  76. I’m from Sask, Canada. I did a quick km/mile conversion in my head after reading your blog and exclaimed to myself that “you are a better man than I am, Gunga Din”! (translates to “holy, you’re brave”)

  77. So, you showed us pictures of wolf tracks and then said, with great confidence, that you were walking by yourself through the woods to grandma’s house, um, I mean the store. And, it occured to me to say, “No Stephanie, don’t do it!” But what kind of story would Red Riding Hood have if she had been careful? So, there you are. Good story, Stephanie.

  78. It’s not that we don’t love you and care about your safety, but being Irish and it was St. Patty’s day….everyone needs a beer!

  79. The problem is not just the 14k. It’s 14k in proper snow boots. My Sorels weigh a couple of pounds each! These are not typical walking conditions. If you ever get back up to this idyllic cabin in the summer, you could walk that and enjoy it. The locals will still think you are crazy though.
    I am glad for you that a good samaritan rescued you. Rural people are still used to taking care of one another.

  80. The thought “7 km? that’s… um… about 4 miles, which is to say 8 miles round trip… wow, she must **really** like walking” did cross my mind, as did (belatedly) the thought “gosh, I hope they’ve plowed that last .8 km by now.” (Please tell me at least they had plowed that last .8 km.) And “gosh, the last time I walked 4 miles was…” well, actually it was only a couple of years ago, but it seemed like a **really** long way, and it was summer at the time. But I figured you knew what you were doing.
    Silly me.
    Thanks, Ron.

  81. I think the key here is that we thought you knew what you were doing. I’m in St. Louis, Missouri. It’s 57F and raining. It honestly never occurred to me that you would venture out at 3:00 in the afternoon to walk 14 km in -3C. Really, it didn’t. But, I also wasn’t a bit surprised by the kindness of the locals. What lovely people (and lifesaving, too).

  82. I didn’t think 14 km. sounded so bad, though I admit I didn’t actually translate it miles — but if you had mentioned you were planning to leave at 3 P.M. and that it was -3, I might have asked whether you were out of your flipping mind.

  83. Thank God for Ron and his daughter.
    But I do not know why you did not turn around when your husband drove you up over the weekend and you saw the road covered in snow and it had not been plowed. At that point I would have gotten back in the car and gone back home.

  84. Wait a minute – 14 k is less than 9 miles. Most people can walk three miles an hour on level ground, which most of Ontario is, so are you telling us you can’t walk for three hours straight? Come on, girl, I’ve seen you at Rhinebeck, any knitter worth her salt can walk for three hours if there’s beer/toilet paper/yarn/a good blog story needed.
    Or did you mean it’s 14 k TO the store? And thus 14 k back, for a total of 28 k in one day. Now you have my sympathy!

  85. I am so very sorry that I was one of those people who did nothing to discourage you yesterday from that ridiculous hike. But, we must give thanks to Ron for sending the Angel of Mercy who rescued you! Typical, I think, of small town (or village)people who are in most cases much more considerate of others than their urban couterparts. Anyway, in the spirit of all’s well that ends well, I’m very glad you got back okay with your urgent purchases. Now, stay put!!!

  86. WOW, now I feel like an idiot. I DID think you were crazy, but at that moment in time couldn’t do the math between kilometers and miles. Yep, 8.699196688 miles sucks eggs.
    But it makes a great story!

  87. I wasn’t going to say anything. Then again, I was thinking that 14K is a really long way, but you also do things like bike across Canada, which in my opinion is also insane. But sorry for not stopping you, but toilet paper is REALLY important.
    At least you got a ride in the end, eh? Have you considered an ipod though? It helps me when I walk a long way to have music and to sing it at the top of my lungs as I walk. It’s something to do.

  88. Well, to be honest, I did think that you might be slightly wacked when I first read that you were walking so far into town…in the snow and cold…in the middle of nearly nowhere. But then I thought “she must know what she’s in for, and she seems to be quite a walker, so I’m sure it will all be fine”. Hmph. I totally know better than to ignore that little voice in my head. You ARE wacked!
    I’ll bet that was a mighty good beer, though!

  89. I think I was thinking what a lot of people did in that I didn’t know how far 14km was. Being American, I have very little use for km–I used to know it, but not anymore. But damn, it’s pert-near 9 miles! In snow and ice! You’re like a goddess come down to wander among mere mortals for even attempting that.

  90. Oh you had me laughing so hard!! I haven’t laughed like that in quite some time.. and honestly, I’m not laughing at you, but your adventure sounds like some fool hardy thing I would do (and have done similar) in a heartbeat.. so if you are crazy, I’m right there with you!
    I bet that you slept like you never have before though… not even zombie filled woods would have disturbed you after that adventure πŸ˜‰

  91. Dude, it’s your living room – I thought you were nuts but I didn’t want to say it. I just figured you were some sort of Olympic walker and that people will do strange things for beer.
    Please, tell me you also bought a chocolate bar?

  92. the problem may have been writing about going for beer on a day when many of us were consuming beer. anything sounds possible.

  93. Well two things; first Ive always thought you were in great shape and since I am just out of the Army a hump like that isnt such a terrible thing. and you ARe several years younger then I. Second, I dont do metric LOL
    I think that we need to knit Ron something and send it to him. Get his address for me. I’ll send him a nice hat and scarf.

  94. I guess I was thinking about 14km the way that you thought about knitting a sweater in 17 days being the same as 11 days. 14 seems pretty close to 10 and 10k is close to 5 miles so a 10 mile hike didn’t seem too big a deal:-)
    “It’s good to do this to remember that life can be difficult, but possible”, said the yoga teacher:-)

  95. Y’know? I thought a fourteen kilometer walk Canadian winter temps was a pretty batty thing to attempt. But then I remembered that gazillion mile bike ride/canoey thing you did last summer, divided that by how much I (ignorant American that I am) don’t know about kilometer-to-mile ratio, and multiplied that by how much I don’t know (spoiled Californian that I am) about even existing in tempatures in the negatives, which again involved messing wrangling with metrics…And promptly got a screaming headache and had to lie down immediatley! Sorry!
    keep on purlin’
    But do it indoors, m’kay?

  96. As yet another ignorant American, I must confess that I had no idea how far 7K was – I mean, people do 5K walks and it’s not that big of a deal, right? After reading this (but not the comments), I felt compelled to go convert – 8.69 miles? Are you freakin’ insane? Then there’s the whole fahrenheit/celsius thing – when you said you were just plugging along at -3 I nearly dropped my teeth. 26 is a bit more palatable, especially when working up a sweat, but it’s by no means my favorite temperature!
    Ain’t you the craziest thing? (I do agree that that would make a great title for your next book!)

  97. You should make sure Ron gets to read all these great comments about him and his daughter!

  98. for 14k, that toilet paper better be real cashmere. And add my name to the Make Ron Socks cheering section. I like that you tell us about these incredibly nice people you meet – like the guy who gave you a ride to Ann Arbor Michigan – it renews my faith in humanity. And that could use some renewing, indeed. I’d offer to make Ron socks myself, but my father-in-law is still waiting for his second sock from christmas…

  99. We used to go up to our Grandparents cottage near Minden in the winter to shovel the snow off the roof. Then we’d jump off the roof into the snow pile! Maybe you can try that tomorrow… Sure was fun!

  100. I’m sorry. I thought when I read it, “Holy hell! That’s a long way” but I assumed you were fitter than I am. I guess not….

  101. OK, I have to admit barely knowing the kilometre to mile ratio I did wonder how in holy Hannah you were going to manage to walk what seemed to be a formidable distance in the cold. But then I thought that was because I am a lazy arse and I find that walking my two goldens around ‘the big block’ here in the village to be quite an accomplishment. Worthy of note in the Guiness Book..which by the way has nothing to do with Guiness Ale. So I kept my mouth shut and prayed…that God an angel answered. Now for God’s sakes stay still by the fire and write.

  102. OK, I have to admit barely knowing the kilometre to mile ratio I did wonder how in holy Hannah you were going to manage to walk what seemed to be a formidable distance in the cold. But then I thought that was because I am a lazy arse and I find that walking my two goldens around ‘the big block’ here in the village to be quite an accomplishment. Worthy of note in the Guiness Book..which by the way has nothing to do with Guiness Ale. So I kept my mouth shut and prayed…that God an angel answered. Now for God’s sakes stay still by the fire and write.

  103. OK, I have to admit barely knowing the kilometre to mile ratio I did wonder how in holy Hannah you were going to manage to walk what seemed to be a formidable distance in the cold. But then I thought that was because I am a lazy arse and I find that walking my two goldens around ‘the big block’ here in the village to be quite an accomplishment. Worthy of note in the Guiness Book..which by the way has nothing to do with Guiness Ale. So I kept my mouth shut and prayed…that God an angel answered. Now for God’s sakes stay still by the fire and write.

  104. I know how far 14k is (though I suppose it’s way further in snow gear) and I wasn’t going to talk you out of it because it seemed reasonable enough to me. I would have talked you out of it if it was just the beer or even yarn and beer but tp is an absolute necessity.

  105. OK, I have to admit barely knowing the kilometre to mile ratio I did wonder how in holy Hannah you were going to manage to walk what seemed to be a formidable distance in the cold. But then I thought that was because I am a lazy arse and I find that walking my two goldens around ‘the big block’ here in the village to be quite an accomplishment. Worthy of note in the Guiness Book..which by the way has nothing to do with Guiness Ale. So I kept my mouth shut and prayed…that God an angel answered. Now for God’s sakes stay still by the fire and write.

  106. Too sweet! What a nice guy. Although, he probably should have gotten his kid to offer you that ride like… 20 minutes earlier. ^_^

  107. 8.69 miles; round trip. Didn’t sound bad until today when you said, “I left the house at three”. That’s when all my alarms went off. Three? PM. I thought you were going to make a day of it and leave in the morning.

  108. You want to know why I didn’t rail against that length of a walk!? I can’t easily translate kilometers to miles (I’m U.S.)! Sooooo sorry!

  109. OK, I have to admit barely knowing the kilometre to mile ratio I did wonder how in holy Hannah you were going to manage to walk what seemed to be a formidable distance in the cold. But then I thought that was because I am a lazy arse and I find that walking my two goldens around ‘the big block’ here in the village to be quite an accomplishment. Worthy of note in the Guiness Book..which by the way has nothing to do with Guiness Ale. So I kept my mouth shut and prayed…that God an angel answered. Now for God’s sakes stay still by the fire and write.

  110. Probably nobody said anything because we are all so weirded out about the thread on Ravelry titled “Yarn Harlot and men” – it’s up to almost 200 posts now…I think we are more worried about what effect of what everyone is saying about you is having on you than the possibility of you dying of exposure…..so…how are you taking it? Could you please let us know how you are feeling about it…I hope you aren’t too upset…

  111. You know, I used to come here for the knitting, and the laughs, MSF. Squirrels. Hank. Now I’m checking back every day to SEE IF YOU’RE STILL ALIVE. Dude.

  112. Well, I felt it would be discourteous to say that you weren’t in good enough shape to stagger through the snow for 14 km, or to say that a mission of this magnitude just for beer and TP might be a bit extreme, but I was thinking that this little expedition would be a whole new level of nutsoid craziness for me! But of course you’re younger than I am, eat a much better diet, walk all over Toronto, and really like beer, so for you, dear Harlot, with your exceptional skills, it was probably fine. Insane, perhaps, but fine. Good to know there are people like Ron out there in the frozen wastes. Stay in and stay warm for a day or so, okay?

  113. Aw, hell. I feel bad. I got mixed up with the KM vs. miles, too (and thought you had given the “both ways” total–not just the “one way”). It’s 10 miles from my office to my home–I had to walk that once, and I’d rather not do it again. And it wasn’t the middle of winter!

  114. I plead american ignorance. I remember doing a 5km walk in Junior high and figured if it wasn’t so bad as a 12 year old here in sunny california that you knew what you were doing and it couldn’t be that far… I mean there’s, like, 5km in a mile, right? πŸ™‚ (yeah, I’m a math teacher, I shouldn’t have these delusions…)

  115. Well, yeah, I did think about you walking TO the store, and hoped you had a backup plan, but then it started to rain here in St. Louis and I had to go to work and drive with all the crazy people, and then I forgot to come back and give you a head’s up that, sister, you gotta walk BACK if you are gonna do that, so leave early and get back before o’dark thirty, k?
    Glad Ron was a nice guy and his daughter was available.
    And, no, you’re not alone in doing dumb stuff like this here, too neither, really. No, I won’t discuss it now. It is the past.

  116. I did think it sounded a bit CRAZY yesterday….but I also thought you were just the woman (crazy enough) to “get the job done.” Now that you are safe I am LMAO. HeHeHeHe…..

  117. Consider all the walking Saint Patrick did around Ireland! At least there was a beer at the end of your journey.
    Truly though, we’re glad you got back safely. Socks for Ron & Daughter.

  118. Hmmm. It struck me as, well, nuts, quite frankly, but I just figured I’m a soft English city girl and wouldn’t know about proper outdoors things.

  119. It’s a long way. I was hopping you left in good time. (Rural people are nice people, thanks Ron for looking out for our Harlot)
    Its kind of like trying to knit a sweater in 11 days, we deny the obvious.

  120. I know what I was thinking: Don’t bet between a girl and her beer on St. Patty’s Day! I think Ron deserves a pair of socks, or a hat or something!

  121. I got so hung up on the fact that the snow around the cabin was enough dissipated that walking anywhere was a reasonable thing to do that it didn’t occur to me that the 14km might not be so reasonable.

  122. I thought you were crazy…but, being that you’re crazy, it made a certain sort of sense.
    I also was one of the guilty readers who thought “14K? That’s not 14 MILES. It’ll be FINE.”

  123. if i told you i was walking
    to my local super center
    at some ungodly hour
    would you stay up all
    night call rachel and rams
    to find me if i did not
    comment on the blog to say
    i am safe really goodness
    you are in what we call red neck
    country ask where jacksonville
    send you right around the corner
    to salt lake city utah

  124. I’m with the others who thought you could do it. If you can rip back and reknit a sweater and be perfectly happy even though it looks just the same (but isn’t really), you can definitely walk to the store and back if you set your mind to it! πŸ™‚

  125. Let’s just say I wondered what on earth you were doing but you seemed so sure of yourself…and I figured if anyone could pull it off it would be you!

  126. Man, if you’d known that you were going to get a ride you could have bought a case of beer…ah well, hindsight and all that.

  127. And I quote . . Round trip, it’s about 14k, but 12 of them are along the town road, so it’s not so bad.”
    Really, you would have listened if we had said you were whacked for even thinking about it!

  128. I looked up how long a km was (I can never keep it straight, except that it’s fewer miles…I know that 39 inches = 1 meter….)…and the lookup place (I just typed 14 km = miles into google) told me how long it would take to walk it….and I think it said 3 hours, or less….and I know you are in good shape, and could get a good rest in the middle. I just figured you were going EARLY in the day!!!! What were you thinking, going in the latish afternoon???????
    I KNOW you are nuts over your knitting abilities…even your writing speed, but you are usually sane, from what you post, about your physical abilities and care!
    Oh, Stephanie, we must really worry about you now!

  129. Don’t you just love rural folks?! Happy belated St. Paddy’s Day, I bet you’ll remeber this one!

  130. I’ve been honestly worried for days about you in those woods all alone. I’ll check the blog for an update and wonder if a BEAR ate you if you don’t post for a day.
    Still, this blog entry takes the prize for making me laugh until I cried at my very own desk in a law office. Visualizing the look on your face when you said, “Beer and toilet paper” totally did it.
    I wonder how far you would walk if you ran out of yarn? Did you know that bear fur can be spun and knitted? For real. Check out the latest issue of January/February issue of Piecework.

  131. What seemed to be a goal was actually a mere halfway…. it sounds very familiar to me.. Yeah, THAT happens to me when I knit a pair of socks!
    Thank goodness, you’re back.
    Born and grew up in “kilometer country”, I was taught that an average walking speed is 4km/hr. A good-sized man would walk way faster, but, 4km/hr is usually a pretty good estimate for me (4ft 11in=150cm woman) when I walk in town.

  132. I also figured you could do it, but that’s largely due to a stupid miscalculation on my part. See, I run. And a 14 km run would be running for about 1.5 hours. That doesn’t see so bad. Except you weren’t running and it’s beyond freezing out!!! Sorry for falling down on the job. Darned liberal arts degreee.

  133. I knew you could do it, but at the same time I thought it was a bit loopy. Glad you got back safely and that Ron was good enough to send his kid after you πŸ™‚

  134. In the summer we sail to nearby islands, some of which have General Stores. If we’re out of critical provisions (like tp, wine or such), we anchor, row ashore and hike to the store. Sometimes it’s a lot (LOT) longer than we’ve planned. But usually, the if an island has a store, there are cars too, so occasionally someone picks us up. Glad you found a sympathetic soul! I think Ron deserves some socks too!
    Happy St. Pat’s day! (and next time, leave in the morning!)

  135. Ron is a saint.
    You don’t have to do yoga for a MONTH when you get back to civilization. I absolve you of all endurance or exercise related activity.

  136. huh, that just made my day….because down here in DC I am having the type of day where you spend all your time wondering how your boss functions at all and if he is able to wipe his own ass without someone telling him how….it’s nice to know that the kindness of strangers still exists.

  137. Bless your heart–you are a brave soul. When i read your blog yesterday I thought to myself, “what time is she leaving? what time does it get dark there?”
    I even woke up last night wondering if you were back. I’m glad you made it and could enjoy your beer.

  138. Well, I usually don’t comment on your blog cause I don’t want to add the burden on you of reading one more comment, you know? Even though I read you every day and have for years. But I thought for sure you’d be leaving for the store WAY before 3 in the afternoon!! Glad you made it back safely and I know the beer was worth it!

  139. So, we didn’t say anything because we wanted to see what would happen.
    See, we KNOW you’re going to be okay (dude, you’ve locked yourself out of your hotel room, naked, and TOLD THE WORLD about it, wrote about, and went on tour about it…), so we knew you’d be okay with the walking for beer and that we’d get a good story. And you got beer, so all’s well that end’s well, eh?
    Basically, we trust you.

  140. Honestly, I contemplated commenting, I really did. But you followed it up and sounded so sincere – it seemed like something you did all the time. So I just sort of shrugged and forgot about my reservations.
    But you can’t blame me! I’m an American. I have no concept of kilometers! ;]

  141. I’m in the states and don’t know how to convert kilometers to miles. So ignorance is to blame here. sorry we let you down.

  142. Are you out of your freakin’ mind?! (Well, I guess the answer to that is fairly obvious…) If we warn you against doing all this “stuff”, you wouldn’t have fodder for your next book! Seriously, have you thought about it? The thing is practically writing itself! A book about the trials and tribulations (not to mention hikes for beer and t.p.-priceless!) of writing a book. Of course, you’d have to sell it as fiction, because no one would believe it!

  143. It isn’t the 14 km that got me (and I had no problem with the conversion). It was the fact that YOU STARTED AT 3 PM! Bad Stephanie!

  144. Well. I did wonder about your sanity when you said you were walking 14 k. In the snow. But I’m American, and how far is a kilometer, anyway? And you’re probably, well, definitely in better shape than I am, and surely know your own limits. Surely.

  145. Oy! You should have taken that sleddy biscuit thing! And bought more beer. πŸ™‚ I’m sure glad you didn’t have to do the last 5k in the dark, though. When I say dark, I mean dark. Well, by now, you know exactly what I mean, doncha?

  146. Oh, phew. If I’d read that post in time, I do think I would have said, Uh, honey? Consider, maybe, *not*.
    Sweater looks lovely, btw. Can’t believe WEBS has Nature Wool left, considering the Harlot Effect.

  147. Only 4 rolls?????? All that walking for only 4 rolls? Geeeeee…. after taht beer you may run out… then you will have to go again… Wonder woman!

  148. I admit to being a jerk for not saying anything.
    However, when you started the article talking about the advice people had given you, I was expecting you to say, “But none of you had the decency to warn me about the rampant flying tigers with laser guns!!!” or something else completely out of left field.
    I’m sorry you walked 14k. I won’t let it happen again.

  149. Well…..I figured since you were so careful to figure out exactly how long you could stay out in cold temperatures, that you would have calculated exactly how long it would take, and when you’d have to leave.
    But yes – you are a little nuts to walk that far — in the winter — for tp and beer (OK, maybe not eh veer).

  150. Honey, you could have knitted up a bunch of toilet paper and fermented a bucket of sap and saved youself a trip! And don’t be leaving the house at that hour again, young lady. And on a winter day. Yer ma and I were worried out of our minds! What were you thinking?! (There. Feel better?) Glad you were safe and found kindness. Nice people, Canadians.

  151. I thought you weren’t going to make it into the cabin in the first place. When you did that, I just figured you were invincible. Turns out you made it any way. It may not have been pretty but it worked. Isn’t that kind of a motto of yours?

  152. Ah, but I just didn’t think it was crazy. If I can run 13 miles in under 3 hours, I just figured that walking the 14 km would be a piece of cake. I mean, you do everything!

  153. So – that’s like 8.5 miles, right? I did the exact same thing one day – but it was in the summer and I left at 3 PM. So I wasn’t walking home in the dark. But I did decide to walk to the post office one day. I had a really shitty work day, and my husband was out of town, and needed to mail something. I threw on my backpack and just started walking. I even met a few neighborhood friends on my way out – and they were like – ‘you are going to WALK to the post office’?! I was so fired up from work – I just kept walking.
    Note that I live at the highest point in town. So the first 4 miles TO the post office were ok. I posted my mail, and started to walk home. 4 miles uphill starts to seriously suck at about mile 2. And I couldn’t even call my husband to save me – and my pride wouldn’t let me hitchhike.
    All my friends on my street are still laughing about it – nice, huh?

  154. Goodness, I’m all teary eyed for some reason.
    But you talked about the store and the walk so casually. And didn’t you go to the store last time you were at the cabin?

  155. Well it did cross my mind that 14K WAS a very long walk, one I would attempt only a warm sunny day, and getting an early start, but you were out of TP and Beer, so really, what were your options?????

  156. this is so what “anne of green gables” would do if she were alive in our modern world!!
    Totally worth it I say….

  157. Well, there are nice people in this world, aren’t there?
    Hope you had your knitting needles with you for defense! Which I guess you didn’t need after all.
    But what the hell were you doing walking 14 kms?

  158. My first reaction to the 14 km was “Holy Shit, is she crazy? That’s a long way. In the cold.” But then I thought, “She knows how long 14 km is.” And I thought “She walks all over Toronto, she must know what she’s doing.” And I didn’t want to be negative. But I worried about you several times yesterday. Glad you made it back.

  159. Awww πŸ™‚ How sweet of them. I would never warn you of the perils of the woods, because I am a nature girl. When you told of your walk, I was trying to translate kilometers into miles. It didn’t seem so bad, I can walk that… except I forgot about the snow and just extra effort it takes with coats and boots. Beer and toilet paper is worth it.

  160. Well, I wondered about the long walk, but by the time I read it, you were already out there. Besides, you know what you are capable of, and I don’t. πŸ™‚ Am glad you were safe, and glad Ron had a daughter to give you a ride. Hope you aren’t too sore today.

  161. Stephany, a bit of motherly advice from a old woman who has spent much of her life living at 9,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies – 20 miles from a grocery. Forget the bears, there not all that interested in people, but watch your back for the big cats. If you want to go for a long walk don’t go alone. A twisted foot and you got a BIG problem! I have learned to live like this; winter is for knitting and drinking, summer is for knitting and walking. Rural living can be full of diversity once you get the hang of it!

  162. I’m a long-time lurker, but I just had to comment on this one. 14 km is a nice enough day-hike…in good weather. But not something you start out on at 3 PM! (Even if it is daylight saving time now!) As soon as I read that I thought — uh-oh, this is not going to be a pretty picture. Thanks to Ron and his daughter, or you would have been too tired and freaked after hours walking in the dark to enjoy your guiness!

  163. AWWW! and thats the nice thing about people in a small place πŸ™‚
    wow what a walk, I can sympathise, I decided to go for a walk on monday…I left at 8:30 and got home at 11…..LOTS of hills and mud and I look like an old lady today….clearly I need to do more of it πŸ˜‰

  164. Ah, that moment when you said “toilet paper and beer” is priceless! I laughed out loud at how that must have looked and sounded…but yet, I think, it was perfectly reasonable and perfectly appropriate for St. Patty’s Day (of course, I am of Irish descent). I actually think it is quite honourable that you walked many kilometres for TP and beer.

  165. Stephanie, I thought you were nuts, but only in passing…because you do all that walking and ice skating and heck, you’re staying in the woods…so what’s nuts in that context? Plus, you know, I’m in CT. And I no longer remember how to convert km into miles. I just know that a kilo is 2.2 lbs…but I figured you couldn’t possibly be planning to walk 28 MILES to get a beer (just one? Really?) and some toilet paper. That strains my definition of ‘nuts’ and puts you squarely in squirrelville…and I know you aren’t THAT bad off. So I figured I had to be wrong, and with your customary 482,000 comments I thought…someone else will yell at her. I’m SORRY, I’m so SORRY! I’ll never be this lackadaisical again.

  166. The only reason I never said anything was I have done it.
    14 km.
    Raymond, Ontario.
    Hwy 141.
    For peaches, pepsi and ice cream.
    Granted I was with a friend…
    and 16…
    and it was summer.
    Brave Canadian Women!

  167. See, I’m one of them Amurricans, so I thought, 14K, that can’t be very far, and besides, Stephanie is a STUD, and also, I’m sure glad I’m not doing that.

  168. Now if I’d known you weren’t leaving until late afternoon…. I might have said something. Because I’ve hiked that much in a day and I was tired when I got home, but it was doable. But we headed out at noon, in the summer. I’m so glad to hear you’re okay! Also glad Ron and his daughter are so nice.

  169. Wow, Canadian people are so nice…I’m glad that Ron and his daughter took care of you and that you weren’t dismembered by axe murderers out preying on hitchhikers.
    I’m sorry “the blog” let you down…now that I convert it, that is a REALLY long way.
    Enjoy the beer!

  170. Okay, I was GONNA type that you were surely a strong brute of a woman, walking 14 kilometers. In the cold.
    But you’ve written so much about all this walking and biking and walking you do…so I figured you had a good grip on the situation. AdventureGirl Stephanie. Stephanie the Strong. That’s how I see ya.
    (Of course, I didn’t know you’d wait till 3pm to start out. Even us folks way down south know that dark comes early up there in the far north bits. That little fact probably would have tipped the balance.)
    Next time, I promise to gesticulate madly in your direction. I promise.

  171. So sorry about no warning! Was totally deliquent in my blog reading. Though the thought when I read the 14km today was “wow – that’s nuts!”
    Hope it was one of the best darn beers you ever drank!

  172. Well, when I read that what you were planning to do, I thought it sounded crazy and almost mentioned it. But then I thought that maybe you knew exactly what you were doing, maybe you walked 14k regularly, maybe all I would achieve is offending an awesome knitter who laughs in the face of a measly 14k walk. So I let it go.
    I’m glad you got home safe. And I have to say, all that internal conversation about how you couldn’t turn back because you were sure the store was so close and then all that effort would have been wasted. Exactly what I would have thought too.

  173. Last night at choir practice I turned to Dibble and said, “Can you believe Steph’s walked 14 km today? She’s crazy, but i am going to go home and drink a beer in her honor”. And, dear girl, my glass looked identical to yours, but I am sure yours tasted a helluva lot better! Brava.

  174. Back when I loved my husband and he had forty-two girls’ names in his cell phone who all wanted him to love them (he was anti-girl, he had good reasons), I took a walk to his house from my campus housing (it was four miles). I don’t know why I did it, exactly, seeing as we weren’t dating or anything, just “friends.”
    I remember the way out there being wonderful, because I was going to see him, but when I finally got there, I saw that my worst rival’s car was in his driveway. I walked all the way back (it was winter then too) without even knocking on the door.
    I’m not sure what 14K is compared to 8 miles, but either way. . .I feel your pain!

  175. OMG…I started crying when I read the part about the car pulling up beside you. Bye make-up. Thank you Ron. I got a ride in the middle-of-nowhere once when we’d been rained out of camping (BIG BIG rain)…with starting hypothermia and an odd sense of the earth spinning along and us being absolutely off the grid. You’ve got grit. Stay warm. Enjoy the TP and Beer.

  176. Next time you go out into the woods, take a dog with you. (A REAL dog…not a cellphone accessory) You can borrow mine! She would LOVE the snow and the woods. Honestly, I think we’re the only ones in Toronto who are going to miss the snow when it goes! Walking goes by fast with a dog for some reason. Plus she likes to terrorize the squirrels.

  177. Look, you didn’t say you were going to start at 3 pm, and you didn’t say the temperature was below zero…and, truth be told, would you have listened anyway???? Glad you were rescued!

  178. Maybe we didn’t warn you because we (from U.S.A.) don’t realize how far 14 kilometers really is. But I had faith in you. You are so brave.

  179. We’re all so used to you doing things like this that it sailed right over our heads. Try to talk the Yarn Harlot out of something–that’s a fool’s errand.

  180. Okay, so this is the thing. . . .
    You seem so fit, what with all the Yoga and biking and such. I just, foolishly, thought this whole idea would be a lark, a walk in the woods, if you’ll pardon the expression.
    That, and the fact that I thought 14K round trip was like 4 miles.
    Boy, I’m sure glad you were rescued. Hopefully your shins don’t hurt.

  181. If I didn’t believe that you are an honest person, I would think that you are making up half of the things that happen to you.
    Maybe the title of your next book should be “Guess what Happened on the way to the Yarn Store”.
    I love hearing your tales, but poor you!

  182. Hi Steph. OK, I feel guilty now. I used to spend a lot of time up in Northern Ontario when I was a girl, and when I saw your post – walking 14 km in where I think you might be, in all that snow, over non-paved roads – well, I would have set out in the early morning!
    But then I figured – you’re an Ontario Gal! You’ve hiked, you’ve canoed, you know what you’re doing – who am I to teach you how to suck eggs, so to speak?
    Well – live and learn. And I bet that beer tasted GREAT!

  183. My God. That story made me laugh so hard. But that might be because I’ve committed equally half-assed (or is that half-arsed) actions. One of mine involves a trek in the northern Maine woods, a train trestle, a traversed river (traversed only because it looks like a stream from way up on the trestle), sneaker-stealing rapids and a nest of black flies during, what else, black fly season. Did you know they nest at the banks of the river? Ask me how I know.
    I’m sure you’ve learned your lesson. I know I did.

  184. That reminds me of the time I had the idea of riding my bicycle from McMinnville, Oregon to Monmouth, Oregon to visit a friend at Western Oregon State College (as it was known then) over a long three-day weekend.
    Had I done even minimal research, I would have dismissed it out of hand because it’s a 26-mile ride; I had only ridden my bike around town previously.
    But after a long, strenuous bicycle ride (who knew the roads were so hilly?), I made it to Monmouth… only to find that everyone had left for the long three-day weekend, including my friend.
    That long, arduous bike ride was even less fun the second time that day.

  185. Holy Mary, Mother of God, I am SO sorry I didn’t think to actually say anything, but I sure did think, even with my math-impaired mind, that 14K was a REALLY long way to trudge through the snow. Especially after that trip in to the cabin on the sled, which reminds me of when I was a teenager we went to the mountains to my parents’cabin and had a slog through the snow like that, and when we got their, my dad says “Gee, Monica, I left my cigars out in the car, whyn’t you run out and get them for me.”
    I’m so glad that Ron sent his daughter. When you see him next, tell him that People in Southern California think he’s the bees’ knees.

  186. Well, I’m behind on reading so I couldn’t have prevented it, but I wouldn’t have said anything, anyway. If we had stopped you today’s blog entry wouldn’t be nearly as interesting! πŸ˜›

  187. I worried about you when you left your things in the snow and were going to retrieve them the next day. When we didn’t hear from you I really worried. You blogged and my worry subsided. I think it’s time to worry again. Have you lost your ever lovin mind. LOL.. Glad you are back at the cabin safe and sound (well maybe not sound). Now stay there!!!!!

  188. Wow! Look at all these responses! … I guess we all assumed. But you know what they say about that word.
    Glad you’re ok.

  189. I’ve just dried my eyes enough to type — that was the funniest story — thanks for the wonderful belly laugh.
    I’ve thought you were super woman for a long time now, so it really came as no surprise that you should ‘jog’ a few kilometers — oops! Glad you’re in one piece, can’t wait for the book to come out.

  190. Oh boy.. I should have said something because I was certainly thinking it. I’m glad you made it okay and how nice the man and his daughter were! Maybe he and his daughter need new hats. πŸ˜‰

  191. Nobody said anything because most of us were trying to remember that a KM = how many 8ths of a mile, and to do the math without having to resort to a calculator. Ron’s mama raised him right.

  192. Being English KM mean nothing to me, if you had said in miles I would have known how far you were going. But at least you were rescued.

  193. Well, uh, I was thinking it was a little crazy, but I figured you knew what walking 14KM in the cold would be like, being from Toronto and all, and so I didn’t say anything. Besides, so many other people point these things out…. πŸ™‚

  194. I wish I knew where Ron was so I could send a postcard saying “Thanks for saving our Harlot!” How funny would it be if he was innundated with postcards from all over? I bet the mail folks there in that small Ontario town would be very o_o about a deluge of postcards. πŸ˜€

  195. If you haven’t yet read it, you should read “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson. It might make you smile.
    I’m a backpacker, so I didn’t really think to warn you about the walk – it’s totally something I would do! Except that I would probably wear snowshoes because they’re just so much fun. Sorry we failed you! And glad you survived. Send your rescuers some warm hats or something. πŸ™‚

  196. At first I felt badly that we didn’t try to reason you out of anything so foolhardy, but even if the timing had worked out, would you have listened when we told you that beer and toilet paper aren’t work freezing for–alone and in the dark?

  197. Um… Steph? Like you would have paid *ANY* attention if anyone had questioned your intention?
    OK, so I admit I did sort of wonder about it a little, but I figured, hey, this woman does all that camping and hiking and biking, and she lives in that climate, and she probably knows what she’s talking about. More power to her. Who am I, with my limited wind and stamina, to ask impertinent questions?
    Besides, if you hadn’t done it, would you have found another Righteous Muggle?

  198. Hey now Missy! No giving us trouble for not warning you! It was, in fact, the highest of compliments that we wouldn’t even blink. ‘Stephanie – she yogas, she takes long bike trips with teenagers every summer, she writes books, OF COURSE she can walk 14k in the middle of winter in Northern Ontario’

  199. See… I also thought you were so buff that a walk like that was nothing to you. Plus I wasn’t sure how the kilometres translated (I knew it was far… but remember, you’re buff). And I also didn’t think you’d start out that late in the day… I figured you’d start in the morning, break for a packed lunch, and rest for 15 minutes here and there. And I didn’t remember how cold it was. And the dog ate my homework. And… uh…
    So. Don’t do it again.
    Unless you run out of TP, beer *and* insulin, of course.

  200. TP and Beer are pretty important.
    I’ve heard from the outdoorsy type that one can use a handful of snow as TP. It was a man who said that and I refuse. I’d have gone the 14km myself.
    Sounds like you need a pair of cross country skis or something (something being a car).

  201. Gotta love small town Ontario. That was sooo sweet! 14k doesn’t sound far until ya hoof it. Glad you made it back to your cabin safe and sound. Enjoy the beer!

  202. I guess city-concrete paced roads-walking is very different from deep in the woods-cold-isolated small town- walking. I’m glad you’re safe and that Ron sent his daughter to give you a ride. Did you ever pick up the rest of you things that you left behind on the intial trek to the house?

  203. It just goes to show that there’s always someone having someone’s back! The world is good all over.
    For TP and Guiness – best story!
    Good thing you are a hearty soul!

  204. That’s so sweet. And yeah, 14k is far. EFFING FAR. Of course, I had to convert that into miles for my poor American brain, but still…
    If it makes you feel any better (or worse?), a couple of my classmates walked to Pisa and back from Florence while we were studying abroad. There were plenty of trains; they just felt like it.

  205. For the love of all things woolen, WHY didn’t you ask Ron for a ride home while you were in the store??!!

  206. we learned long ago– we could tell it was crazy— but you’d have done it anyway. Kind of like your tour schedule.. and a few patterns you’ve knit… and well- so many other things…
    Besides… I’m American— Kilometers have no meaning to me… I wish I could have seen you tell the dude you needed Tp and beer “fair enough” is NOT what ypu’d have heard around hear with that kind of confession…
    PS- kudos to Ron for sending the rescue wagon… you have quite a habit of accepting rides from strangers…..no point warning you about that, either…
    Stay warm. Oh– and STAY IN. There you’ve been warned.

  207. I will admit that I kind of wondered when you mentioned how far you intended to walk, but, well, I thought that since you walk around the city all the time, you must know what you’re doing…At least there were toilet paper and beer and nice sympathetic small town folks with rides at the end of it all! And there really is no substitute for toilet paper.

  208. I might have said something, but when I read the post I thought you meant that you had ALREADY walked into town. There’s not much you can do to save a crazy person after the fact. hehe
    And I bazillionth the “yay for Ron and his daughter” sentiment.

  209. You know – I did think you were being a bit amnitious – but then remembered that you – unlike me – walk a lot! And you probably know what your legs can and can’t do. And then you sidetracked me with the exciting news you are coming to CARMEL!!!! And then – quite frankly – I forgot all about your planned hike.
    Glad you made it back safely to the cabin.
    Stay warm!

  210. Now I am gonna write something. You see, after those stunning leaf socks I wouldn’t dare say “please don’t do that”. Just chopping wood is too scary for me. I am having trouble with corrugated ribbing over here never mind walking through the woods with huge animal paw prints…yikes. I am sooo glad you are safe and I hope you have medicine for your sore everything.

  211. I thought you were crazy, but then, I think anyone who enjoys a hike is crazy, so I chalked up my image of your crazy to my skewed perspective. Sorry. Glad you got a ride.

  212. Aww, people are NICE!
    And, honestly, I thought about leaving you a “What? Are you crazy?” comment yesterday, but couldn’t think of a way to say it that wouldn’t sound insulting. Besides, as you say, you walk a lot, how do I know what your limits are? Not to mention that I think in miles, not KM, so I had no idea how far you were actually talking, anyway….

  213. Um… I just figured that, since your family bikes across half of Canada every summer, you must be a far more fit woman than I. Does that work?!? πŸ˜‰ Bless Ron. And aren’t you glad you didn’t forget the toilet paper?

  214. This is so a scene out of a movie like Baby Boom. I may have to write a movie around it. In fact I’m recalling every movie idea I have ever had to figure out how I can write this in.
    I didn’t say you were crazy because I didn’t think so. I would totally think it was doable to walk that far and back. But I am almost certifiable with the distances I consider walkable so I’m not really the proper judge of these things.

  215. Well, think of this way – I thought walking 14 kilometers was crazy…but then went on to assume that you were much more fit than I and probably knew what you were talking about.
    All is well that ends well.

  216. Well, in OUR defense, would you have listened to us if we had told you not to go?? Really? What with the cabin fever, the increasing need for toilet paper and the fact that you walk a lot anyway? I mean, come now, dear Harlot, why, after telling us tales of hauling supplies to the cabin in the first place, of failing wires and stashing stuff along the way, why should we not think you capable of this??
    (If it had been me, I would have bought 2 6-packs…one for the road home, and one for back up)

  217. I couldn’t convert the kilometers into miles so I had no concept of how far it was. If it was anywhere near 14 miles – you were crazy!

  218. Well now, don’t blame us – you can knit insanely complex socks with grapes, have 3 (THREE!) teenaged daughters, excavate cabins from snowdrifts with a trowel, rip out gawd knows how much knitting to fix a little something that no-one can see, go on a book tour through 15 states in 4 days – we entirely EXPECT you to walk 14 clicks to get beer. And also write wittily about the experience!
    Thanks be to Ron.

  219. Why the heck you didn’t slam a beer, before you left the store, confuses me. Put yourself through excruciating agony and a little embarrassment to reach said beer and then turn around and do it again before consuming said beer?? Oh wait, beer bladder, oh wait, we have toilet paper. Hmmmm
    Oh yeah, I’m from Wisconsin, can’t go more than two miles without hitting a bar, which as both beer and toilet paper. (sucks though when you have to restock one little square at a time!)

  220. When I see any distance greater than 3 (be it miles or kilometers)I instantly think, “Better drive.” If my computer’s hard drive had not crashed taking my internet, pictures, and 5 years of documents with it I could have warned you sooner. Ron was truly a God send!

  221. I’m an American, who’s dyslexic. So you could’ve said you were walking 1000 kilometers. I wouldn’t have know the difference. Also you said BEER. A woman’s gotta have beer. Glad you got a ride back though!

  222. Well Steph – Since I’m a mile sort of gal, I did do a quick calc. when you were quoting km. and I thought – whoa that’s a long ways in the unknown and icy north. But I let you go without comment – but I thought it. Now today’s narrative is priceless. You always make me feel like I am experiencing it right there with you. Such a talent, and what would you write about if you didn’t initiate these brainy things anyway.

  223. Of course we didn’t counsel you against it – you were going to buy beer. And toilet paper. 7 km is nothing. πŸ˜‰ Er, nor is 14…

  224. There are those who are extreme walkers and considering I don’t know you personally as of yet, I chose not to say anything. Another small part of me just thought that the distance was an exaggeration.
    But you’re still alive! Good job!

  225. Coming out of lurkerdom to say, Stephanie, I am truly sorry that I did not tell you it is NUTS to walk 7 km to a store in the dead of winter (especially if you don’t leave until 3pm – that kind of an adventure is an ALL DAY type of adventure). It is, but I guess you know that. I solemnly swear to never keep my thoughts of your craziness to myself any longer! On the brighter side it was GREAT exercise and your behind will thank you!

  226. You aren’t aware of this, of course, but that story is a metaphor for my life right now. Everything is falling into place… almost… just a little longer… really, just a couple more days and it’ll all be worked out… just hang on… a few more steps…
    That you persevered beyond the pain gives me hope, and hearing that assistance arrived smack dab in the middle of realizing the horror of “a whole fresh hell” opening up in front of you reminds me that good things (and people) can and DO happen… usually right in the nick o’time.
    If you could make that journey and survive, so can I.

  227. I will admit when I read your post yesterday I might have muttered…”she’s -uckin’-uts”… but then I figured you knew what you were doing… but to learn you didn’t leave until 3pm? mercy.
    The kindness of strangers should never be underestimated, eh? I’m glad Ron had a daughter to send out for you. Next time? I’ll tell you when I think you may be headed for the deep end. Bottom line though… I tend to respect your decisions. xox

  228. Honestly, STeph, all I could think about was “Gee…I wish I was in such good shape that 14 km in the snow didn’t seem like a trip to the moon in pushcart!”
    Go Ron–and go nice daughter!!! (I’d say nice people are a treasure, but then all the dumbasses I work with would invade Canada, looking for gold.)

  229. ps— nice knitterly choice of TP— “Cashmere”…. and now we’ve seen it all– including your choice of TP;)
    There’s a rumor for the mill– the harlot wipes with cashmere……the harlot wipes with cashmere….

  230. God Bless Ron. I once did something kind of like that. Only I was on a run… and I thought the next cross street would be just ahead… only it wasn’t. I thought I was going to die. Some total strangers picked me up and dropped me back off at my boyfriends parents house. It was rather humiliating. They loved joking about the day I ‘ran all the way to the blue mountains’… they’re probably still talking about it. I’m just not there to hear it!
    I guess this trip has got you in much better shape than your city travels. Pulling wine on a sled… trekking miles and miles for TP and beer…

  231. but would you have listened to us? I think a twenty minute walk is too long, but that’s cause I get bored and think of all the other things I could do.
    Now, in nice weather, would you have knit as you walked?

  232. OK, so honestly, I did see that you said 7km and even though I live in the US,I know that kms are way longer than miles, so I have to admit that I thought it was a bit far. But of course after reading your entries for a while you seem to walk everywhere, so I guess I figured that while I would never do it, you were way more into walking than most people, so hey, why not? Of course I wouldn’t be in a cabin in the woods in the snow in the first place in a million years, so what do I know? I just hope you’re not in too much pain today! Thank goodness for Ron’s daughter.

  233. Yeah, I wondered about those kilometers and all that snow- but I must admit, the thing that worried me was whether Canada has the American equivalent of “dry” counties? Now that would have been just horrendous!

  234. that is f’ing hilarious. but clearly a delerium from being alone had set in. don’t do that again, i look forward to reading your hilarious posts

  235. Forgive us. You said the magic words: Guinness. Through Guinness many things are possible. And you also needed toilet paper. Who could argue with those two things? And seriously, you do so many amazing things that I just knew you could do it.

  236. Egads, woman, try not to kill yourself up there! I wasn’t too worried up until now, but grief! Y’know, I could’ve sworn there were a couple comments yesterday where some mention of “crazy” was made…but no. (Yeah, I went back and checked. What?) So to carry on a tradition of my family, now that you’ve asked us to warn you about possibly insane decisions like this in future: Stephanie? Remember not to walk 14km to the store and back for tp and beer!
    There. You’ve had your early warning system warning. Hang on to it for future need. ::runs::
    Ron certainly deserves socks. Plus lots and lots of customers. Maybe he can put in a yarn section and we can all buy a skein to reward him properly? (Hey, waitaminute. I could swear I mentioned something about liniment the last time you were at the cabin. Didn’t I say you should have some liniment handy? See, I had a foreboding, that should’ve been a warning!)

  237. Oh no… you don’t get to blame us for your crazy arse hairbrained idea. By the time I read your blog, Ron had gotten you safely home and you were probably in bed. Besides… I didn’t realize you left at the half-wacked time of 3pm. Who does that???
    (glad you are ok, although I”m betting today you are sore as hell)

  238. who would have thought you’d be crazy enough to actually try it??? LOL The wolves were probably laughing in the woods.

  239. Oh My God! I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in a long time. You’ve got me wheezing now. Your sense of story telling is amazing. Thank goodness for Ron and his daughter. Being from the good ol’ USA, I had no idea how long 14 km was either. “Toilet paper and beer.” Priceless.

  240. Well, it did seem impossible to me, but I figured you just must be in a LOT better shape than me.
    (well, you are, or you’d never even have made it to the store)
    Thank goodness for Ron!!

  241. Oh my. Time for someone to start a running program. πŸ™‚
    (Glad you had a nice walk!)

  242. Given the choice of warning you about wolves and a walk, I think I’d still worry about the wolves. However, was it that you were SO busy that you couldn’t leave the house before 3 pm? Now we can really worry about you until you go home.

  243. Aw, Stephanie… To be fair, I said I wouldn’t have done it. Ever. And that was when you moved your stuff up to the cabin in the first place. Not walking to the store is a given. I. Would. Not. Have. Done. It.

  244. We should have said something. We simply thought you knew. I personally was thinking, are there still paper napkins and wine? Cause that would have been better than walking that far. By the time you are finished with the book you will be ready for a marathon.

  245. Your blog is the best! And about not saying anything? Hey, you said you needed toilet paper.

  246. you must have seriously good karma. how do you manage to find these fine people that always help you out? having met you, you don’t really give off the damsel-in-distress vibe; you are rather tiny but you do come across as quite capable. it’s gotta be all that sock knitting karma.

  247. Now I’m so sorry that I didn’t say anything! I read that yesterday and took pause. I converted the km into miles in my head, and then I just thought, well, I would maybe, maybe be able to do that in nice weather, but Steph is a complete bad ass, I’m sure she knows what she can handle. Thank goodness for Ron and his daughter! And I must admit that I’m quite shocked that NO ONE warned you against that jaunt.

  248. Darlin’…doesn’t your hubby totally FREAK when you do stuff like this?
    When I saw all the snow on your four hour trip there I thought: take the gas money, stay in a hotel across town and put a do not disturb sign on the door.
    God bless your trusting soul!

  249. I figured you knew what you were doing! You walk a lot, you know what a kilometre is… I promise never to make that mistake again. Thank goodness for Ron, and I’ll bet that was the best damn beer you ever had.

  250. Glad you got the ride.
    Why no warnings.
    Well…. you said you were going for beer….

  251. Freaking hilarious.
    Back in the dawn of time my boyfriend and I were just inside the Czech border – we spread out a map of Central Europe, saw that it was about 12 km to Vienna and said to each other “We can totally walk that.”
    Which is how I ended up walking down a freeway on a 41 degree day in August with my thumb sticking out and “Vien Bitte” written on my backpack in lipstick.

  252. I figured you Canadians were just way more macho
    than us wimpy folks in the U.S.

  253. I read as far as “Guiness” and it all made perfect sense.
    But I would have left a little earlier.

  254. Well, my first thought was that you were nuts. But my second thought was that you are in way better shape than I and had survived packing that stuff up the driveway (over and over again, through the snow), and probably knew what you were doing. Like someone else above, I’ve come to think of you as pretty badass and capable, you know? I was *so* relieved to hear you got a ride back.

  255. These are the experiences that bring you smiles and warm feelings in the future!
    I think a 7 km walk to the store along country roads sounds like a wonderful idea … made even better by a bit of suspense and friendly people. (In other words, I’m probably not the person who will try talking you out of these things … sorry!)
    And aren’t you already a little happy you did it?

  256. Well, Stephanie, you ARE the one who does athletically wild things like bike ride across Canada for vacation. I read about your planned walk and thought you’d never get me to do something like that, but then I figured you knew what you were doing – you seemed so relatively reasonable and cautious the last time you were out there in the woods.
    I’m so glad you got a ride home, though, and glad that the nice man sent his daughter to get you instead of some big hairy scary man in a windowless van. That beer looks like it was pretty good, though, and at least you’re not going to run short on toilet paper.
    Try not to go too stir crazy the rest of the week. We don’t want to hear about Joe finding you days from now with a computer loaded with line after line of “All work and no play makes Stephanie a dull girl.”

  257. i’m laughing/crying in my “mother’s helper” (spelled w.i.n.e.) i know why you did it. but imagine how scared ron’s daughter was to pick you up!

  258. Totally missed your comment about walking to the store, like everyone else. Gotta love northern Ontario. And Ron….

  259. I’d actually thought “Holy Mary Mother of God, I’d never walk that far!”. Bad knees, you know. I was going to leave you a note, but then I figured that Canadians are kinda like Swedes, they walk EVERY-FREAKING-WHERE. Sorry that I was wrong.
    Oh, and BTW, I love Ron (and his daughter)!

  260. I join the ronsocks petitoners! An Irish Blessing for Ron since this rescue took place on St Patrick’s Day:
    May the road rise to meet you
    May the wind be always at your back
    May the rain fall softly on your fields
    And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.
    God (and the harlot groupies) bless Ron.

  261. “..I frowned at a squirrel.” Good. Whew! You handled that well. There may have been more of them hiding behind the bushes waiting for an unsuspecting fiber artist to walk by. They could have been tipped off on your whereabouts by that fleece-stealing squirrel.

  262. Well damn, there are saints on earth still! Go Ron! I didn’t say anything because I knew you are a woman of great strength and I thought “If she says she can walk 14 KM, she can walk 14 KM!” I thought there’d be no way I’d survive a 8.7 mile walk in the cold, but, hey, Harlot can do anything!

  263. OK, OK, maybe one of us should have warned you about walking to the store. However, in our defense, I think that the cosmos had lined up and wanted you to meet Ron and be graced by his thoughtfulness. Seriously, would the story have ended the same way had you found another means of getting to the store? Or, if you had not gone to the store at all, would you have even MET Ron or his lovely and dutiful daughter? Wouldn’t your life be just a little less ‘full’ if you hadn’t had the chance meeting with them? If you hadn’t been “the craziest thing” Ron had seen “all day”, would his day have been as full?
    Yeah, it’s a cosmos, kismet, karma thing. You HAD to go on that walk. Besides, maybe if you had stayed you would have broken your ankle trying to follow the deer tracks and been frozen to death while awaiting help OR a bear would have come in seeing a nice juicy meal in you OR maybe the local lunatic would have found your axe and your cottage and then you would be no more, so, Yeah, it was just meant to be!
    (glad you got the ride back and sorry we weren’t there for ya!)

  264. Inspiring story about the persistence of hope and the kindness of strangers and all that. All I really wanna know is, why’d you greet the chipmunks yet frown at the squirrel? Do you not think that chipmunks just might like a little premium fiber every now and then, too?

  265. I think you’re cra-azy to knit all you do, write all you do, post all you do, so walking that distance seemed doable for you! But NOT starting at 3 pm in that cold, and I’d have cried and asked Ron for a ride home. Wimpy? Yes! Safe and alive? Yes!

  266. Ok, I seriously thought you were exaggerating or kidding! Sorry-I think all of us feel really guilty now…. and we are so glad you did’t die along side of the road before the tour and the next book. ;>)

  267. Don’t you love Northern Ontario?
    One time when we were younger (and not very smart) a friend and I were dropped off at horseback riding lessons by my stepmom. She was going to visit a friend who lived nearby. When someone asked her where it was she said “Oh, just two blocks North and then two stop signs.” Well after our lesson, she hadn’t come to pick us up yet and we decided to walk. Well, two blocks North and two stop signs was actually about 11.5 km. We were exhausted when we got there and needless to say she was furious that we hadn’t waited for her (but secretly a little impressed that we’d made it!).

  268. 7km there and 7km back wasn’t that far when I was a teen, but it has been a while since I’ve walked it and rural walking is way different than city walking.
    If I’d have thought of the actual distance I’d have mentioned it, but walking that far for beer and TP just didn’t seem like that big a deal.

  269. I really think that both Ron and his daughter need new socks.
    Glad you survived.

  270. What a great story…. Ron’s good guy! As for you Missy… stay off the road! It’s C.O.L.D. out there you need those fingers to knitt and type with!

  271. I figured it was a bit of a hike, but you’re in good shape, and you’ve proven time and time again that you’re able to do anything. So I just don’t worry about you. It’s like you have superpowers or something. (Where can I get some? I promise not to use them for evil.)

  272. I’m so glad that you got a ride back – while I was reading this I thought, “Well, that man should have offered her a ride!” Good to know that small town (or village) courtesy is still alive and well.

  273. LOL I can sure relate to that walk! I walked from Buffalo, Missouri to Lebanon, Missouri about 8 1/2 years ago…allllll 27 miles of it. Took quite a few hours but I did it…(I was mad about something…when I’m mad I clean or walk…I think I should have done some cleaning LOL). ~Tricia

  274. Damn–the insulin remark? My morning tea straight out of my nose. Can’t blame me. I was wise enough to be born in California (non-snowing part) and to friggin’ stay here. After reading about your insane trek with all your stuff and without Joe’s help–umh, yeah I would so have been like, ‘this isn’t happening’. And the walk? Yeah, I’d be dead. Just lie down in the road and take me now.
    So what does not kill us makes us stronger, I guess.
    You rock Stephanie!

  275. Remember how you didn’t want anyone to tell you that they thought the Vintage sock was ugly? Some of us who didn’t comment that time (assuming we didn’t care for the sock), didn’t comment this time. Instead we were impressed by scope of project that you’d chosen and humbled in the knowledge that we would not have tackled it.
    That said, if you’d mentioned that you were planning on heading out at 3 p.m., I might have suggested that you check your math or asked you to reconsider walking in the dark on the way back (though you were on the road when I read your blog so my 2 bits worth might have seemed cruel at that point).
    Hurray for Ron!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mild village grocer by day, hero to misguided adventurers by night. Glad you’re back safe and sound.

  276. Considering what else we have read on this blog over the last several years, a 14 km walk through the snow without snowshoes (after prior experience with snow)starting at 3 pm in the afternoon with the temperature at -3 is pretty normal and tame!
    Now, if you had started out in a blizzard and without knitting, we might have thought it strange…or decided to walk back to Toronto…maybe…

  277. Okay, I know exactly how long a kilometer is, and how long it takes to walk it (about 12-13 minutes at a easy pace), so I figured, no sweat. It’ll take her 1 1/2 to get there, same to get back. Leaving at 3 is cutting it a bit, but it’s doable.
    Obviously, that didn’t work.
    So I tried something else. For you Torontonians, 7K is from Yonge & Bloor to the western edge of High Park. Definitely not a short walk.

  278. You wrote, “Where the hell were you people yesterday? I announced with all possible clarity my intention to walk into town for a full FOURTEEN KILOMETRES and not one of you, not a single person, left a comment saying “Holy Mary Mother Of God What Are You Thinking?” Nobody. Not a single person typed a comment that contained the words ‘For the love of wool, don’t do it.’ Nada. It makes a girl wonder who’s side you’re on, you know that?”
    Well, I personally thought you were barking mad to do something like that, but you’re You. You’re the chick who’s out there in the snowy wilderness in the first place… the one who went up to the snowy wilderness in what looked like a blizzard and *hiked* through the snow with your makeshift sled and totally cute green hat (was that one of your unoriginal hats, by the way?)… the chick that knitted the Vintage socks (and did a beautiful job with them, I might add).
    You’re the woman who shows up at book signings with a fever and good cheer, who survived at least one terrible Jersey cab driver who didn’t know where he was or where he was taking you.
    Frankly, I don’t think anything can get the best of you. If our Harlot says she’s walking 14 kilometers for beer & toilet paper, then by gosh she’s gonna walk 14 kilometers for beer & toilet paper.
    I am glad to read that you got a ride back, though. All that effort must have seriously cut into your book/knitting/wine time. And while you might have amused us with some tale about you fending off wildebeests once the sun went down, I’m really glad you weren’t in that situation.

  279. I live in “Small Town” Ontario …….. you cannot beat the hospitality and kindness of the people! It is wonderfully refreshing! It is a blessing to be rescued in a time of great need! Enjoy your time there!

  280. I thought all those warnings, but….anyone who would willingly get out of car and walk in deep snow to stay in a cabin alone in the middle of the deep woods (without even a TV!) would just laugh at my protests! You should have at least gotten some chocolate too!
    I’m so glad you got a ride!

  281. I didn’t say anything because you had what I consider a very valid excuse for walking that far: Guinness & TP. πŸ˜€

  282. uhm…I don’t know what to say – it just all seemed so normal to me…..there are days that I’d walk many miles for a beer and the assurance that I can wipe.

  283. In my defense, I’m an American. I have absolutely no idea how long a Kilometer is. I just assumed it was not a big deal.
    Oh contrare! I looked it up after this post. I’m glad you got a ride home.

  284. I was getting ready to unleash a whole lot of nastiness if that Ron hadn’t done something to get you home before the wolves or the bears or whatever got ahold of you. Fortunately for him (and possibly everyone else in that town), he came through for you.
    In defense of, well, all of us, I guess–you kinda do crazy stuff all the time, and we kinda think it wouldn’t be all that polite to point it out to you every time. Just because the thought of a 14 kilometer walk in freezing temps seems nuts to me (because I live in California where we have neither freezing temperatures nor walking), that doesn’t mean it seems nuts to you. I mean before. Now I guess it sort of does.
    Thank all gods that be for the kindness of strangers.

  285. I believe the guy at the inn meant 15 minutes BY CAR! Seeing as no one walks out there in the country…
    The problem is that by now, you’ve convinced us all that you can do anything. I thought that sounded far, bu8t what do I know – I haven’t walked in 30 years. Well done. All that ice out there is a good thing – you can dunk your aching arse in it. The woodland approach to icepacks, y’know.

  286. I guess I didn’t warn you because I thought you were kidding. I really did. I hope you bought some Advil to go with that beer.
    If it makes you feel any better, I may have done something similar once or twice in my life. Of course, living it down is truly the hard part once your family finds out.

  287. Well, I kind of thought you would walk there in the morning, have lunch, do your shopping and walk back in the afternoon. It’s about 4 1/2 miles each way and that’s perfectly do-able, if you’re a normally fit person. Which I know you are. You walk, you cycle, you’re not infirm in any way. It’s an okay day.
    Setting out at 3pm is bonkers though, especially on snowy roads at -3`c. Just as well your Ron was smarter than the average bear, eh?
    Next time, just knit some toilet paper.

  288. Sorry, Stephanie. I just thought I needed to take up regular yoga practice so that I could think that a 14K hike would sound like a good idea.

  289. I’m thinking a scarf for Ron and fingerless mitts for his daughter- the ones that probably kept you from being on the 10 o’clock news! Can you see it “Yarn Harlot found frozen stiff clothed in hand knit sweater – and beer and toilet paper in her backpack!! Sweet Jesus!! Fodder for another book!

  290. But now in all seriousness, was that not the best damn beer you have ever in your life had? I mean, you could just potty and drink beer and know that by your own perseverance you made all that happen all by yourself. I only hope that you got enough of both. I’d hate to hear that you are there in the cabin refusing to walk to town anymore and are being forced by circumstance to count toilet paper squares and without beer!

  291. Um, I’d walk 14 kilometers to get Guinness.
    In winter. In a snow storm. On one leg if necessary.
    But then I love Guinness. And I’m Irish, so madness is assured anyway.

  292. Well, I certainly thought I was reading a typo when I saw 14K as the distance. Having walked in a fair share of volksmarches, I knew 14K was no quick run around the block for a beer. However, if I had known you were planning to leave at 3 PM, I would have said something, like “Are you crazy? Do you know how fast the sun goes down up in the mountains….this time of year?” I don’t think there is enough toilet paper or beer in Canada to make me want to walk in the dark in the mountains in sub-zero temps. Heck, I don’t think I’d even do it for a hank of really good yarn. I can see we’re going to have to keep a closer eye on your posts. We can’t have our knitting muse turned into an icicle.

  293. You are going to have thighs of steel when you get home. Never mind the book! You’re whipping yourself into great shape!
    14 km. That’s a day hike, my dear! When I read that you started out at 3 pm, first my jaw dropped, and then I thought, she’s going to hike home in the dark! I hope the stars are out…

  294. I wouldn’t have said anything. I feel that if you’re going to blog about a crazy idea like walking 14k for beer and toilet paper then I want to read about it. Nope. There’s was no way I was going to tell you otherwise.

  295. I don’t think you would have listened had we said “Don’t GO!” I figured you knew if you could do that… I know I could NOT have done that. I don’t think I could have gotten to the road, let a lone to the store. But I’m a slug compared to most.
    Glad Ron had a daughter to send to rescue you.

  296. And all you bought was toilet paper and beer? C’mon…at least have a little chocolate to keep you going. You are one tough cookie…I could not have done it (or if I had, I would not have had the strength to write about it today!) You are the best!

  297. Next time take me along. A professional geologist for thirty years now, I could’ve carried at least one extra case of beer!
    Thanks for the laughs.

  298. At least the little store had good beer. A beer worth walking for. If you’d gone through all that only to find the shelves stocked with Bud Light or something, then this would truly be a tragedy.
    So glad Ron sent the daughter. They are good folk.

  299. My biggest nightmare is running out of toilet paper. I would walk way more than 14km for it…

  300. Stephanie, I’m shocked. Absolutley shocked! Don’t you know better than to take rides from strangers? πŸ˜‰

  301. Eh? How many miles in a km again? (pretend shock) I had no idea!
    Frankly, I thought you might be nuts but probably had it covered. But rides from strangers? Dude.

  302. Dude, seriously–I totally thought someone else would warn you. I mean, many of us are Americans, and although being convinced continually throughout the 70’s that we would be switching to metric with the rest of the world “soon” it in fact never happened.
    So I had some vague idea that 14K sounded far, but no real appreciation for the horror–my apologies
    Tracy, in Seattle, promising to brush up on metrics. “Soon”

  303. Yes, we think you’re nuts too, but it’s a good nuts all the same. Glad you had a great rescue! πŸ™‚

  304. I know how long a km is, but when you said “14 kilometers” I thought you were exaggerating. As if you had said “500 kilometers.” I didn’t think for a minute it really *was* 14 kilometers. Yikes. I’m glad you got a ride.

  305. Notice how everybody now, AFTER THE FACT, says they thought you were crazy or out of your mind of nuts or something? Do you see that? No one ever tells ME in advance that I’m crazy, either. They just sit there and not knowingly AFTER I’ve made a fool of myself.
    Of course, you can look at it the way my husband does (you know, the one who thinks your toes are chubby). He’s a psychologist at the local mental health hospital. Yep, one of those state run ones here in the mountains of Appalachia. Well, when this sort of thing happens to me, he just smiles and says, “I’ve learned from long, hard experience there’s just no point in arguing with a crazy woman.”
    So, as one crazy woman to another: Keep on truckin’ and be sure to take care of those frost bitten toeses.

  306. This is my first comment on a blog. Ever. Usually I just read them for myself. I was so drawn in by the ‘You Can Do It’ entry I read it out loud to my boys (x4). We used to live in outback Western Australia, distance we understand snow we do not.
    They were fascinated. Ive been reading out loud to them all every night since. They think it’s like a book and I know what happens next… I cant wait to read this entry tonight. We are loving it… thanks. Julie

  307. In all fairness to those of us who consistently warn you of the myriad dangers that await you on your various adventures…. it seems from past experience that you are indomitable, up to anything the fates can throw at you and completely super-bionic in your achievements. So while I was thinking, hmmm, no FREAKIN’ way would I be making that little jaunt to the store, I remained silent with the belief that you are made of WAAAAAAAAAY stronger stuff than I! Cos you are. πŸ™‚
    Glad you made it back!

  308. Now, I know I’m not your mother and that I don’t really know you, but I was worried. All night I kept wondering what you would have said to your daughters had they said they were going to walk that far in similar circumstances. I’ve been worried as I read about your walks in the woods, about your being alone. I didn’t post anything because I thought you were smarter and braver than me. You probably are smarter and braver than me, but now I am going to say something. Please take care and don’t do anything you wouldn’t feel comfortable with your daughters doing! I admire you from afar, but I really was worried.

  309. You are such a wonder woman to all of us, that even when you speak of the unthinkable (walking that far!!! in the cold!!!! on a deserted dirt road!!!)we somehow have faith that you will do EXACTLY that. I cringed when I read of your intent as I dislike cold and walking on a dirt road. I’m so glad you made it back with the essentials you needed. I won’t hold back the next time (but give me a few weeks to catch my breath after reading this entry). We LOVE Ron and his sweet daughter.

  310. In my wildest dreams it never occured to me that you were really going to do it. You ROCK

  311. was it a flat road ? – just thank your “prairie dogs” it wasnt up hill! – i walk 7 klms each day – it takes me atleast 1 & half hours and its uphill!

  312. I would have said something, but I thought you had already done it!!! But I think it’s awesome that you went… I would have seen 14k and just laughed, gone looking for some leaves.

  313. Three cheers for Ron and his daughter! I vote for knitting them mittens, since we don’t know whether they’re the type to handwash socks. πŸ™‚

  314. I didn’t read yesterday until today and then I added it up and thought that a 9 mile round trip was a pretty healthy hike but not that bad and then the -3 celcius settled into my brain (it’s been in the 70s here although it snowed last week – that’s Texas for you). So, here you go: ARE YOU NUTS?!!
    Glad you hitched a providential ride!

  315. I thought about warning you… however, I live in the U.S. and we don’t learn the metric system (claiming ignorance-is it working??).

  316. Well, thank heaven for Ron & his daughter!!!
    And dude- if I hadn’t been crazy busy yesterday and only now catching up, I gurandamntee you I would have posted NO! DONOT WALK A GOBJILLION MILES (hey, I’m an american!) TO THE STORE!!!

  317. I didn’t think you were crazy, but I did think you’d head out in the morning.
    Damn that stout looks good.

  318. My dear Harlot,
    Being a wimpy Californian, I was quite inclined to give you a motherly lecture about “You’re going to do WHAT?!!!” But you never cease to amaze me with your good humor and ability to not only live in SNOW, but to conquer it. I figured that you’d gone to the cabin for a second go-round, so you must know how far it was to town…But after having to hike in to the cabin in the first place?
    Thank God for Ron & his daughter. I don’t know what I’d do without you and your blog. You add sparkle to my day. πŸ™‚

  319. Stephanie!!! You need to go home and get back to the reality of three teenagers. Too much time alone has caused you go back to thinking that you’re invincible. Before you decide to do anything else that daring ask yourself – Would I let my kids do this? Don’t do anything that will screw up your NY visit, I can’t wait to meet you – you crazy woman!

  320. Would you believe me if I said I kind of glazed over the walking miles and miles in dangerously low temperatures and went straight for the Carmel Indiana thing? I didn’t read carefully enough and thought you’d already done it. I was impressed, though, swear.

  321. And I thought I needed a drink today… At least you didn’t forget why you went! (Hope you bought more than one of each.) Cheers!

  322. Well, I wasn’t quite sure how far away a kilometer was lol and I did not think you would walk in the bitter cold and ice if it wasn’t necessary.TP and Beer are staples are they not?? lol. I also thought that it was a blooger pulling up to rescue you!! Glad you are safe and maybe the next time you go off to write in the woods it could be Summer??

  323. I have to admit, I did wonder. But y’know, I just wasn’t sure that it was my place to question your sanity in your own blog front room.
    I just knew that I would have shied away from a 7km round trip, never mind 14km.
    Mind you, if I’d known that you were thinking of setting off at 3pm, when you were in clear danger of walking back in the dark, in winter weather. Then I definitely would have said something.
    Seriously, lack of toilet paper might be motivating but, just what were you thinking?!
    I think I’d have tried to find an alternative solution to the absence of toilet paper.

  324. We were talking about you at work today. Would you, or wouldn’t you actually walk 14 km to the store? We searched on Google for sites to convert kilometers to miles and Celsius to Fahrenheit, and we concluded you were crazy. I said all Canadians learn ice safety and winter survival in school. Oh yeah!

  325. Deb, says this at 3:53 march 18.
    “I do think you ought to seriously think about using Ron’s new moniker for you as the title of the next book: “Ain’t You the Craziest Thing I’ve Seen All Day!””
    I’ll vote for that. Good one Deb.
    I’d have said something but I didn’t want to get between a woman and her beer, much less her toilet paper. 7 kms isn’t so far if you are desperate.

  326. Steph, you just made my day. I lost two of my pet dogs this week (not on the same day) and I sure needed a smile. Thank you ever so much! You are a breath of fresh air. (pun intended)

  327. For the love of all things woolly: you were out of toilet paper – I’d’ve walked 14k for tp!
    Hurrah for Ron and his progeny!!

  328. 1-I’m a Yank, and I don’t get kilometers. (Or …metres. Or whatever.)
    2-I decided you were certifiable when you let Joe leave you to hike back to the cabin through the snow. I’d have said, “Drive me to the nearest motel. I can get my quiet there and write, and not have to kill myself with this trek.” But you didn’t do that, so I figured you were so far over the edge that arguing over a little hike into town was pointless.
    Sorry I let you down. I’ll give you my personal philosophy on walking now, so you can consider yourself warned-in-advance if the issue arises again: Don’t ever walk farther than you can see.
    That philosophy would have spared you the hike-to-the-cabin as well as the hike-to-town.

  329. I’m glad he made sure you got home. He’ll be talking about the crazy lady who walked all the way from Smith and Jones for a while.

  330. What? 14K is like, a mile? Maybe 2?
    I’m kidding, of course! Glad you made it back home safely and that there are kind strangers up there in BF-Ontario!

  331. dude we didnt say anything because most of your readers dont understand the metric system. not only that but you werent going in the woods… you would be on a road… we also arent used to noone being around (we are urbanites)
    but we also know you are made of strong stuff and knew you needed toilet paper and printing out parts of your next book to use as tp (too scratchy) was not a good substitute for real tp
    hugs and all hope the beer was good

  332. Thank you Ron! And his lovely daughter. Reminds me of the time you were stranded at an airport and that nice young man helped you out…you do have a very good angel looking over your shoulder. She deserves a raise (or bigger wings?) Glad you made it back safely!

  333. I thought it. I swear. I thought, “How in the hell does she think she’ll do that? On a nice day, sure, but she’s been showing us snow drifts the size of Mt. Everest and water spouts and talking of wet, leaky, drippy boots and now she thinks she’ll do WHAT?”
    But then I thought of that Olympic sweater and figured if you could pull that off in two weeks then, well, power to the Harlot. Seems I should have spoken my mind.
    Pop over and take a peek at the cute baby to take your mind off the pains you no doubt have in those legs after your jaunt. πŸ™‚

  334. It never entered my mind that it was a long walk. Guinness was involved. I’d hog-tie my own mother and chuck her over Niagra Falls for a Guinness.
    Tog e bog e, Steph!

  335. The brew looks yummie – hope it tasted as good as it looks. Thanks Ron! You da’ best! What did this woman think, coming to Smith&Jones without her snowmobile, and WHAT would we do without her??
    Anyhoo, love this post – and all you blogisphere answerbackers – BUSTED!!
    Luv ya Steph!

  336. I am afraid that we in the U.S. measure by miles. After reading what 14 kilometers is in miles I feel for your bottom sides. I am so glad that Ron sent his daughter after you. I am sure that next time you say you are walking 14 kilometers somewhere we will be sure it is in the summer and not the winter and -3 !!!

  337. …oh, yeah. It was probably faster and much less painful (tho expensive) to knit some TP…what a waste tho… okok no punz.

  338. See, I thought you knew what you were doing when you said you were going to walk that. It wasn’t something I would ever in a million years do, but, hey, I thought you had it covered. Just goes to show I haven’t been reading your blog long enough to know you didn’t know what the heck you were doing!

  339. But you’re the Yarn Harlot and we trusted that you knew what you were doing…. Yeah, that’s it…. Sorry I didn’t say something yesterday, but I’m usually so far down the comments list that I wasn’t sure you’d get the response…. I’ll tell you next time. I promise!!!
    A HUGE thanks to Ron for sending you a rescue when you needed it most!!! That Guiness looks quite yummy and I bet it tasted great after your trek!!!

  340. Well then. You survived, right? We had faith in you.
    (To be honest, I didn’t read about it until after dinner.)
    And a big thank you to Ron. Small towns are like that.

  341. Despite being from the US, I knew that 14k was like 8 or 9 miles (always do that 100k=60miles thing) and I knew it would be crazy if I tried it, but I had faith in your ability to do it. You walk and ride your bike everywhere! And even though I’m happy Ron sent his daughter after you, I still think you could have done it!
    And I agree that you should make Ron (and his daughter) socks.

  342. Lets go of tongue.
    ARE YOU NUTS?! That’s it. I’m always saying what I think now. Walking to the “store” in the middle of no-where-Canada. Crazy woman. Well at least now you can poop and get tipsy. πŸ˜‰ Preferable not at the same time.

  343. Walking 14k in ice, snow, and -3 degree weather for beer and TP seems perfectly reasonable to me. Especially when the TP is apparently of the cashmere variety πŸ˜‰
    Of course, I would be found a week later dead on the side of the road wrapped in toilet paper with a frozen blood alcohol level well above the toxic range, but I’m not in very good shape…

  344. If this Yank had any clue how far 14 k was I certainly would have told you not to go, that you would waste too much knitting/writing time. Bless Ron!

  345. My actual thoughts were ‘Oh, about 4 1/2 miles each way, say an hour and a half walking plus some extra exertion for snow and ice and cold. But she walks in the city, bikes, and knows how to dress warmly. Plus she’ll have a break in the middle at the store where she can hang out for a bit to warm up.’
    I didn’t factor in the 3 PM leave time. Or, apparently enough extra for snow and ice and cold. I’ve walked that far in one day, but have no experience with that level of snow and ice and cold.
    Thank goodness for the practical kindness of small towns. I grew up in such a place.

  346. Wow.. I walked about that far once (from downtown hamilton to my home in the east end of hamilton) but city walking is a lot easier tahn country walking, especailly when there is snow… I hope that was a really good beer!

  347. Awwww, we love that young girl and Ron.
    I don’t know what to say about warning you off the walk. I walk 10 km a day five or six times a week – 5 up to St. Clair and Avenue Rd; 5 back. I didn’t think it would be that big a deal to walk 14 km. Once.

  348. Stephanie, I read your blog daily, and today, you had me on the floor, laughing out loud. I really felt for you, for walking and walking and walking.. all the while thinking should I continue? or turn back in defeat? Having trained and walked in the breast cancer 3 day — 500 miles of training, and 60 at the event… I could releat to all of the thoughts that run thru your head, the doubt, the “I can do it” I won’t turn back, and the thankfulness for the RIDE….just when you needed it most…. thanks for sharing your life with us all…

  349. That story was wonderful. Now if only you could say it was yarn you needed and put it in one of your knitting books. Then no one would call you crazy.
    By the way, your post was so good, I read the whole thing to my boyfriend, and he was completely entertained.

  350. Good man (and fine daughter, too)! I didn’t think anything of walking that far either, but we regularly walk the dog a couple of miles every day once it gets nice out (translation: after the snow melts and the mud dries up a bit).

  351. I am not prone to telling other people what to do, but I did consider the 14 km doable as you are in good physical shape from all your walking and biking. I didn’t do much math, but thought that a 10K which is what I have run before, is 6.2 miles, and you were going a “bit” further than that. Then I thought that a person (I have) walks 3 miles an hour at a brisk walk (in good weather and not in boots on snow) so I figured that you would get a nice early start, and have a nice walking day.
    So imagine my chagrin when I read in this post that you left at 3 p.m.!! I did have concern at that point, and read the story eagerly to find out the ending. It is nice to know that small towns are basically the same everywhere–most are safe and have someone willing to help out a stranger.
    Say a prayer of thanks, and next time, maybe I will not be a silent participant in your craziness–:).
    ps: You are a special person, indeed. (special in a good way).

  352. You never said you were leaving at 3 PM!!! If you had, I would have warned you. I am training (not hard enough) for walking 10.6 miles as part of the Big Sur Marathon weekend at the end of April, but the weather should be mild (read: no Snow) and the scenery gorgeous, but there is no way I would begin a walk like that so late in the day!! So glad you were rescued and got a ride back. I bet that beer was feeling mighty heavy!

  353. I figured you were in better shape than me. I also figured you’d leave early in the day. I live in Alaska, so I’m not scared of the cold, but dude, I’d really have used the sears catalog or a leaf and melted snow for liquid refreshment!

  354. aaaawwww! Ron! what a guy. Seriously… that made me cry – and if I had realized that you hadn’t already walked the 14K – because somehow I got that idea that it was past instead of future – I may have said SOMETHING about that being a long ways. Maybe you can bring your bike next time? =) Maybe I thought since you can bike for days, that your walking prowess is unmatched as well. sorry we didn’t have your back this time – we’ll be sure to be overly morbid next time

  355. Sorry, too busy trying to work out what the footprint in the snow was. Your parting shot resulted in us thinking ’14K? Nah, no problem. But what’s the footprint?’
    Um – who DID the footprint belong to??

  356. See, when you said it was only 14km or so, I thought, “what’s 8 miles? no big deal.” If it was really 17km, then that more like 20 miles round trip and that is a whole different story. Of course, I barely walk 20 miles in a week, and I walk to work, so I’m impressed that you would even consider it. I hope the beer was worth it!

  357. Hey, in Santa Cruz I walk an 8 mile roundtrip whenever my bike is getting fixed, and it’s pretty doable. If I had to guess, I’d say the difference is temperature, not athleticism.

  358. I wasn’t reading yesterday sorry. I love all the comments today that start off with, “I was thinking it.” or “I was gonna say something, but…” *snerk* Well, I’m glad that Ron’s daughter gave you a ride.

  359. Uh, Steph? Rurally speaking, most distances are as the crow flies. Sorry I failed to mention. And, the only things any of us would walk that far for are: toilet paper, beer, cigarettes.

  360. just a fine stretch of the legs!! and quite normal in my family…of course in SoCal we don’t often get that much snow, but my other half walked 6m each way in the mountains for a 12 pack of beer, without a carry sack…had pretzel shaped fingers by the time he got back to camp!

  361. OH! That’s a lovely story!! πŸ™‚ You just gave me one of those stories that gives me more faith in humanity. Hooray. I will be smiling for a while after this.
    And I think that pint of Guinness looks like it’s worth it. I hope you really enjoyed it.

  362. Thank you Holy Mary Mother of God for watching over our dear Stephanie!
    And thank you, Ron!

  363. i am duly sorry that i failed to warn you against the perils of walking 14k in the snow and ice and stuff. i was knitting a sock. i know, i know, no excuses…but i kinda figured that since you are from Canada that you would know this kind of thing already.
    glad that you made it back safe and sound. ron is a really good guy.

  364. Well, rest assured, if I’d read your post yesterday I’d have told you how bloody bonkers you were…only, well, I didn’t get a chance to do any blog perusing until tonight.
    I did a very similar thing in Baja, CA one November long ago. My Xhusband and I were anchored in a wee little cove outside/North of La Paz and had been charged with visiting the house of a friend, all the way across the other end and yet in no way a straight line method of getting there, just outside/Southish of La Paz. I’d say it was 9 Kilometers, one way. Had there been snow, yeah, no way. As it was, we were sunburnt and whipped when we finally made it back to the dingy…
    These are those whachacallit “life lessons” to be saved and yadda yadda. Go Ron!

  365. Us Southern Girls know….one should always rely on the kindness of strangers.
    Especially when they are the sweet 20something daughter of a convenience store clerk.

  366. Now see, I’m with your pre-walk self: 7K seems like a perfectly reasonable walk to town if the view is nice… I do however seem to have a lot of stories like your post-walk self. Hum…

  367. Well it seemed a little far to me but you needed toilet paper, and beer. Besides I figured you were in better shape than me since you’re always walking and biking everywhere. Now if I’d known you were going to start off at 3 in the afternoon, I would have told you to start a little earlier. Take goodness for Ron.

  368. Stephanie;
    When you said 14 km to the store yesterday, I thought you meant 14 km one way!
    That is why I didn’t make any comment. Anybody who is crazy enough to be talking blithely about a 14 km walk ONE WAY, is not going to think twice about the words of a blog commenter.
    Sorry. Next time I WILL question your sanity.

  369. LOL!!! I’ve been in an eerily similar situation before and to say it was hell, doesn’t even begin to describe it. But I can top you….I was supposed to meet someone at the end destination and I had the keys, so add panic to the equation and it gets a whole lot funnier…..in retrospect.
    Man, if Ron was single, I’d ask for his number. Even if he DOES live in rural Ontario.

  370. Hey, we DID have your back. Why do you think there were no squirrels harassing you on your journey? Why do you think the deer stayed out of the way? Why do you think only the adorable chipmunks were cheering you on? We were getting all the hard work done behind the scenes! Oh, and that no snow thing during the walk? Yeah, that was us, too.
    You’re welcome.

  371. I’ve seen you knit some crazy stuff crazy fast, so I just thought you were some sort of wonder woman.
    I’m glad that you are human like the rest of us. I’m also glad that you got a ride!

  372. I laughed so hard at that. I can see some poor girl being called up by her dad and having him explain the story about the crazy lady she should go rescue. Hope you’re having a wonderful time out in the woods!

  373. LOL, Stephanie, I laughed so hard I cried and then I tried to read it out loud to my husband and I laughed so hard reading it again.
    I just love your stories and your knitting. You should entitle some of your escapades in the woods as “don’t try this at home kids”.
    Thankfully you are home and warm and well. Folks in small villages do try to look after their own and they know when trouble lurks. Ron saw that, thank goodness.

  374. Well, first I had to Google a conversion to find out how far in miles. 8 MILES!!!!! Holy Crow! I can’t believe you left for an 8 mile walk in the wilderness at 3 in the afternoon! So Glad you made it back safely – you’ve gotta be more careful up there!

  375. Well, I would have warned you. I swear on a stack of alpaca. But, it was St. Paddy’s day and I am married to an Irishman, so by the time I checked your web site it was too late. I am a resident of the U.S.A., but I know about kilometers because I cross country ski, well more or less. I would not undertake a 14k ski, let alone a walk, at the temps you were walking in. You are one lucky dude, Dude.
    Totally off topic, but I am crushed that you are speaking in St. Paul, Mn, a couple of miles from my home and I can’t get a ticket. I am wait listed for tickets that people turm back in, but I don’t think that will happen. The Yarnery is my LYS and they are putting this on and there are lots of people who can’t get there to spend $ which we all plan to do. Can’t some space be made for overflow? St. Thomas has video, I’m sure and it also has much larger spaces. Can Jamie, the wonder publicist, do something? There are lots of us here in the Twin Cities and many of us–sob–can’t get a ticket.

  376. I also considered your mileage (kilometrage) and imagined you must really be in the mood for a walk. Perhaps I should have said something. That said, bad roads, good people, good roads, etc.

  377. Well I was impressed when you said you were going to walk that far. Thank God for the kindness of strangers.

  378. I walked 9 miles (I think that’s about 14 km) not too long ago, knitting all the way.
    Of course, it wasn’t in a landscape full of snow in icy cold temperatures. But OTOH, I’m old and fat and out of shape, and have had knee surgery.
    But truth be told, I just walked it to see if I could still do it.

  379. Yeah I thought it was nuts. But after the sled-pulled-along-a-snow-covered-road-where-i’ll-
    in-the-wilderness-in-subarctic-temperatures decision of a couple days ago I just figured you Canadians must a particularly hearty people. πŸ™‚
    This wimpy American would have never even considered it. πŸ™‚

  380. There are actually some good things about the rural life… Unfortunately, they generally don’t include good yarn or convenient beer. Hell, girl, crazy or not, good for you getting there in the first place!

  381. Holy Mary Mother of God, for the love of wool and all things holy, get your arse back to civilization! (Now you’ve been warned.)

  382. This is going to be fodder for a story for your grandkids; my dad used to scare the be-whatever out of my young son (at the time) telling him stories of how he and his siblings had to walk 20 miles to school and back, in a blizzard, uphill both ways, back in the early days of the last century. Honest, I don’t think it snows quite that much in southern Kansas…
    I hope you had downhill at least part of the time, and yes, Ron and his daughter deserve offerings of wool!
    Glad you are back in your den, warm and cozy and well beered (and TP’d)!

  383. Like everyone else, I too thought this was a bad idea, but I was reading so late in the day, I figured it was too late. I thought, “Well, she DOES walk a lot. Maybe it is no big deal.” Still (and I had to do a conversion…. “14km …isn’t that like NINE miles??? I hope she reconsidered! I hope she started REALLY early!”), I’m glad it worked out okay in the end. I’ve been on similar ill-conceived outdoor tramps, though usually on snowshoes or skis, and I’ve found backcountry yurts in the dark with a headlamp and GPS unit. But it never felt like a good idea, more like a “got through that luckily” thing.

  384. I live outside the US so my bible for metric conversions is this website:
    it’s especially great for converting US recipes when you have to measure out butter for American recipes from the 200 or 250 European grams pkgs…
    I’m still reading the posts above. But all I can say is good thing I watched the movie “Into the Wild” last night BEFORE I read Stephanie’s post this am (and not the other way round!)otherwise I would have been VERY nervous for her. I had thought about the 14k trip and didn’t understand if if was one way/there and back. Hopefully she had an Ipod with her?

  385. See, now I’m still unclear – you mean it was 14km one way? Cripes! Ok, I’ve hiked 3 miles one way for TP, Doritos and soda – well, and cat food. But the cat was giving us lean and hungry looks and we were blizzarded in for 3 days before I gave that a try – and I started early in the am.
    I can only join those in confessing confusion by kms and distraction by coyote paws.

  386. I really wanted to tell you it seemed a bit too far. And you left at 3pm?? Yeah, had I known that I would have said something :P.
    Glad you got back safe though. Bet that Guiness tasted good!

  387. 14 km? I figured you know your own fitness level, -3 isn’t bad (speaking as a runner who lived on the prairies for 6 miserable years…)
    Leaving at 3PM? I don’t think you mentioned that in your plans, because I totally would have smacked you upside the head.

  388. Guess I thought 14 km seemed a lot easier to walk than bringing all those provisions up the driveway or dealing with the isolation of the cabin. I live in NYC where it is almost always better to walk than drive or take a cab–so 14 km (or 8.4 miles)is something that I would walk although not starting so late on a winter day. Glad you got a ride back. Seriously rather than do without tp and beer, I would have walked it–slowly but walked it. Probably would have taken me 1 1/2 hours each way.

  389. Hmm, I wonder what looked crazier. The walking for ever and ever or the crying and hugging when you caught a ride home?

  390. Dude, I didn’t even see your blog post until tonite. That is just crazy. I’m not really even sure how far 14K are. You know I’m American and all. I’m glad you got a ride back on your way home, yikes!

  391. Ahh, but you didn’t post a message with the words “I think I’ll leave around 3”. Then I’d have warned you. But the distance? Pshaw, you can do it.
    Am I the only one who read the rest of the post (after “I left at about three” thinking “I bet the store was closed when she got there.”

  392. Well when you NEED Toilet Paper….. just think if you didn’t take your walk this could easily have been a story of the morals of using the wrong kind of leafs as TP …or look at it this way you just walked NYC St Patty’s day parade route 8 times πŸ™‚

  393. Next time announce well in advance and I’ll ship my dog to you. He can use the exercise. Come to think of it, I can use the exercise too. Wouldn’t it be funny that you were recognized in the wood as Yarn Harlot and she’s just stopping to get your autograph? Would you ask her to drive you home if that were the case?

  394. I would have said something, except I was pretty sure that you were smarter than that!!! And besides, I’m so out of shape that putting down my knitting, getting out of my chair, and walking down the driveway would make my arse hurt. I never dreamed you’d do something so……(you fill in the blank).

  395. Okay so yesterday I wondered but figured you and your bike riding body were not so out of shape as I am.
    Glad all turned out well.
    Ron deserves a beer!

  396. Ugh. So much for trying to be funny. It occurred to me that my comment read like I thought the Vintage socks were ugly. I didn’t. It was meant to be “if you can’t say something supportive, don’t say anything reference). I did think the socks were a project I would never tackle (like the hike for beer and TP).

  397. Well I thought it was crazy but by now I’m used to reading about your doing all sorts of crazy things. I just chalked it up to another insane thing that Stephanie is doing. hehehehe
    Glad Ron sent his daughter after you.

  398. Holey cow! I lurk all the time, but rarely comment, but I just had to tell you how much this story made my day (and you had my husband laughing, too). When I first saw that the post had only one picture and a lot of text, I was distressed (more pictures!). But after reading, I agree: the one picture was all you needed.
    You are hilarious and amazing! (and I’m glad Ron sent you a ride)

  399. Last fall, I walked over 5 miles (8 km) to a fiber festival.
    I don’t have a car, and I missed the bus that would have taken me halfway to the fairgrounds. So, I walked. It rained on me a little bit, but I didn’t mind – I was wearing my first pair of handknit wool socks, and I was damn proud of how warm my feet were. It was a surprisingly enjoyable and peaceful walk.
    At the fiber festival I took an intro spinning class (which convinced me that I needed to buy a wheel as soon as possible), and I loaded up on wool and other goodies. And then I turned around and started walking back. I had only gone a mile or two when a woman who lived nearby stopped and offered me a ride back home.
    I had to share this, because it involved both knitting/spinning and a ridiculously long walk. I’m glad you got back before dark, and I hope the beer was great!

  400. You said you had a raging case of cabin fever, so I understood the need for a long walk. But I assumed you would be starting long before 3 pm.

  401. ooh you poor poor dear. I’m sorry. I don’t think I read yesterday. Ummm, you really made me chuckle today. I hope you made it all up. If not, maybe your muscles are a little stronger? All’s well that ends well eh?

  402. Well now I’ve golfed 18 holes in 21 F in Idaho on New Years’ Day, wearing of course a bulky hand knit wool sweater. So I know about this. But why did you wait until 3 pm?

  403. Sorry, Harlot. In defense of the Americans, myself included, we JUST DON’T KNOW how far a kilometer is. When I saw that you didn’t post on Sunday (as you usually do at the cabin) I did check all the online news outlets to see if there was anything about a frostbitten yarn harlot, and was extremely relieved to find nothing. Honest, I did. Soooooo glad you’re all right.

  404. As someone else said, when you’re comment #586, it seems pointless to say anything.
    But yes, I did think it. I thought you must just be in a hell of a lot better shape than me because I walk 4-5 km with the dogs every day and that’s enough for me. 6-7 makes me really want to go sit down and not do anything else for the rest of the day. 14? Well, 14 is just not going to happen, unless I get stuck out in the middle of the Canadian Outback and need beer and toilette paper…
    Please tell me you bought yourself a bar of chocolate as a treat.

  405. There are good people everywhere. We do not always notice them (in this case, it would be pretty hard not to notice). Sometimes we don’t see them, but whenever I look I see good folks everywhere. Maybe it is no accident that I notice kind “strangers” more when I am traveling.
    I figured a good CityGrrl like you would be used to walking a lot. And after all, you remind us wimps (I am definitely one) about how you are Canadian (read: tough). You tell about snow and happy outdoor escapades like canoe(?) trips without toilets, without walls. That stuff is incomprehensible to wimps like me, who may sleep in a tent but then complain about it long after the tent is put away.
    A walk to the store for toilet paper and beer sounded relatively sane from this vantage point. After all, you seemed to be well-informed about the distance. Snow and cold, though, and no shoveled sidewalks… whoops.
    Hey, live and learn. And thank goodness for good people like Ron.

  406. I think your knitting content yesterday was too distracting!
    Holy crap, in retrospect, what *were* you thinking? It takes me 45 minutes, maybe 1 hour, to walk 5km… plus snow… ah hour and a half to walk halfway? I’m just guessing, but poor Stephanie. πŸ™ Thank goodness for charity and the reward/consolation of Guinness!

  407. Yes, I know I warned you about the broken leg.
    But Jim and I once walked 10km for beer in Newfoundland (they were out at the store and we were young and stupid), and he has a heart condition – so really, I thought you’d be okay.
    And then there was the time that I crawled home about 1/2 km from the restaurant on New Year’s Eve, in the snow, in nylons – but that’s a whole other kind of crazy.

  408. Thank God Ron sent his daughter. I read your previous post and thought to myself that you must be in fantastic shape to even consider such a walk. Glad you got back ok.

  409. Now, tell us…just how far would you walk if you ran out of yarn one day?

  410. Holy crap, I’m crying for you. Don’t ask me why I’m crying either. Maybe it’s some universal cathartic thing where I’m crying for you because you didn’t or couldn’t because of the being-in-public thing. Ron is awesome. YOU are insane. 14K for beer and TP? Had I tuned in earlier, I would have been the one person to call you out on that. The universe looked out for you anyway, providing you with Ron and his chariot-driving-halo-wearing-harp-playing angel of a daughter. Stephanie, you are my two-sticks-bearing hero.

  411. You know, I totally feel your pain. Only mine is more in my feet. I ended up walking 14 blocks in new heels today because the bus system screwed me over. I then proceeded to sit and drink coffee, and then go shopping. And then buy pop (24 cans) which I then put in my backpack adding more weight to my already sore feet in their new heel shoes. Then, the bus I needed drove off right in front of me, leaving me with my heavy backpack, and sore, heeled feet. I did shed a few tears after that (it was half an hour before the next bus came around).
    Anyways, it’s good to know there are still nice, good people out there willing to lend a hand. But, I guess the good news is, if you did have to walk the whole way back, at least you had toilet paper and something to drink….

  412. I was certain Ron was going to give a lift – and eventually he did send the daughter. (He couldn’t just leave the store. Who knows when the next person from 7 km afar walks in…)
    You are a tough lady. I am glad your adventure had such a happy ending.

  413. I’ve been in that situation, although it wasn’t cold and dark. We had been hot air ballooning in
    St. Jean sur Richelieu in Quebec. There are rapids on the river and a walkway between the rapids and the canal. We took a walk with Mr. Fluffy. We walked and walked. We asked passersby how far it was to the next connection to land. They gestured (we didn’t understand the French response) casually, “just a little way”. And the path continued. For 7 miles, to the next down, Chambly. We called a cab. He said he wouldn’t take the dog. We said he would. He drove us back to our motel. Thank goodness for Ron’s daughter.
    Your story is hilarious. Thanks for a good laugh.

  414. LOL!!!!!!!!!!! I love it! That’s the beauty of small towns, people really do look out for each other. I live in a mountainous area where cell phone don’t work, and it can take emergency personal a while to get to you (it’s a great fire department, but it’s all volunteer so they have to go and get their equipment before they can get you.) People around here stop to help people if they break down, have an accident, or just look like they needed it. I’ve given people rides to garages, their homes, etc, and I’d only met them when I stopped to see if they needed help. I had a flat tire one time on one of the major roads in the area, and before I had time to get really panicky, I had 2 old farmers stop to ask if they could help me. (Yes I’ve changed a tire before but it had been at least 20 years since I had done it. I would have and could have done it but it wouldn’t have been pretty LOL!) Thats the great thing about small communities, people are willing to help. Granted small communities don’t always have a lot of excitement so they also usually know everything that’s happening in your life before you do, but it’s a fair trade.
    As for warning you about the walk, in your readers defense I must say that you walk all over, all the time. We really don’t have any idea of the distances you cover. You made it sound like a 14km walk was just a “good stretch of the legs” so to speak, so we believed you. I for one felt that if you were going to walk 14km that you must know what your doing. (plus if we ran out of toilet paper, my husband would walk down to the store to get it if it was the only way to restock his supply. He really has a thing about running out of toilet paper. I would only do something that crazy if I ran out of chocolate!) However, the first thought that passed through my mind when I read that you were leaving at 3 was that you were never going to make it back before dark! Unfortunately there was no way to warn you of that because you didn’t tell us that you were leaving at 3 until after your adventures. Plus, you forgot to consider that you were winter walking, not summer walking. Winter walking takes more energy than summer walking because not only are you toting yourself along the road, you are toting all your winter cold weather gear! Not to mention it’s harder because you have to be so careful of slipping and all. So, the moral of the story is that next time you want to go for an adventure, you tell us your itinerary, and we’ll pick it apart for you and show you were you might trip yourself up. It’s the least we can do LOL!

  415. I just assumed you knew how long it took, because you said it in such a breezy way… of course it turns out that you said it in such a breezy way because you didn’t know how long it would take! :-p
    Speaking of walking a long way, google the Oxfam Trailwalker – it’s a fundraising event held in a number of countries which involves walking 100km over a maximum of 48 hours and fundraising a minimum of $1000. I did it last year, and it was an amazing experience on many levels.

  416. Good grief, I get all absorbed in a sock race and come back to find another one of your wild adventures. I’m glad you got a ride back! I’m sure the American’s didn’t pipe up because they were too befuddled by the metric measurements. (Speaking as one of those aforementioned of course.)

  417. I would DEFINATELY knit Ron a pair of socks! ;o)! Wish I had my own caban right now, needed that time on my knitting!

  418. Exactly, what they said. But I was biting my tongue when you had no snowshoes in your car. I live in comparatively tame New Hampshire and half the _townies_ I know carry snowshoes along with the bag of sand. But think how much more ready you will be for it NEXT year, assuming you a) survive being eaten by ravenous-from-hibernation badgers and B) you ever leave the safety of the city again.
    You know if you did that walk several times a month, possibly hiring the girl for the return trip in advance…you’d be in a lot of pain.

  419. Sorry Steph – I assumed someone else was going to say something. Next time you announce you’re going to do something dumbass like that I’ll definitely speak up!
    At least the beer would have been cold, right?

  420. Well, to be honest, this is BEER we’re talking about here…
    I wouldn’t have tried to talk you out of it, but I would have walked with you!

  421. Here I was, envying you the quiet time in the woods. Just wishing I could be at our place, comfy and cozy and knitting up a storm…..or in a storm. Wood burning in the stove, soothing music playing in the background. Watching the wildlife. Crap! Whimp that I am, there is no way I’d ever even attempt going very far beyond the driveway all alone. “Thar’s bears in them there woods!” And wolves and fischers and all manner of scary things. Ahh, but a Guinness might be worth the walk. Naw, not even a Guiness.

  422. I really was going to mention how far a walk that seemed but then I remembered 2 things. 1)My conversion to metric sucks so maybe it wasn’t as far as I thought. 2)You cycle all over Canada for VACATION!
    Glad you got a ride in the end.

  423. Ahh, but you see you didn’t need us! You had Ron to look out for you!!.
    Sorry, I missed your decision to walk to the store. I loved hearing about it though!

  424. Yes, I thought it sounded a bit… ambitious? But then I thought, well, heck, everything here is in miles. And miles are bigger than kilometers, I think, and she walks everywhere, and she :does: need toilet paper and beer, so I trust the YH and her judgment and I’m sure everything will be fine! That Ron, he’s a good egg. Maybe he needs a hat, to warm that fine noggin of his.

  425. !4 kilometers – yeah it seemed like quite the adventure, but it WAS for toilet paper and beer after all.
    How could I send a cautionary note when I rountinely and voluntarily put a pack on my back and walk equivalent numbers of miles for much less “lofty” reasons than those.
    Besides, long, long ago I lived on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (just south of the Quetico) and all groceries were brought from town to the cabin via backpack, car (hitchiked a few times as I did not drive) and canoe (two lakes, one portage). I understand the need to go to town for supplies!
    Hope you had a Happy St. Patty’s Day. The beer looks just right. Blessings on Ron and his daughter. You will live on in village memory.

  426. I’ve already posted but forgot to add that once I got a mega speeding ticket. I was in the mountains at the grocery store 45 minutes away BY CAR from our house, and got caught speeding on the ONLY straight part of the whole curvy road. Why was I speeding? So I would get “home” in time to walk the (cough) 1+
    mile up the road from the parking lot before dark (as in by 4:30 pm max).
    She is brave!

  427. What a nice ending to that story! I think the lack of “Good God What Are You Thinking” is because we probably imagine a real road with asphalt with snow on the side of the road but utterly clear otherwise. It’s hard to imagine an icy road when you live where all the cherry trees are in bloom and it’s supposed to be 65 today. Hope you enjoyed your beer! πŸ™‚

  428. TOILET PAPER IS NOT OPTIONAL! Which is why no warning was given.
    That said, the trip should take you 3-5 hours total. I would have started earlier in the day.

  429. I humbly apologize for not pointing out the error of your plan. I can only blame the failure of our US schools to thoroughly enlighten us regarding the metric system. All we know is that a kilometer is some unit of measurement less than a mile. For all some of us know, it could be the equivalent of a city block. Seven city blocks there and seven back is very do-able. Now that I think about it, since a kilometer is roughly .6 of a mile, seven km would equal roughly 4.2 miles. Yes, someone should have stopped you before you set out on an 8.4 mile hike in subfreezing weather in the middle of nowhere.
    Thank God for Ron! (and his daughter, but mostly him)

  430. Hahaha. Go Ron! (and daughter)
    I have to admit, I did think you slightly insane for wanting to walk that far. But you are quite a bit more stubborn than me, plus I detest running out of toilet paper. So I can’t say I blamed you for needing/wanting to do it. Glad you didn’t have to walk the entire way back though.

  431. Two things: What was the conversation in the car like on the way back? Did the plow come yet or did you have to hike an extra km holding beer & tp. That would suck. Glad you’re back and safe.

  432. Wow, you’re right that we’re all crazy for not warning you against that adventure. But for reals, it made for a great story. Sorry about that.

  433. But you said it in such an off-hand, breezy way. Walking 14km into town….no big deal….something anyone could do. You do walk all over the place. And we all thought you had the sense to start before 3 in the afternoon! Holy Wool, Batgirl! Didn’t you know to start earlier??? That’s too far, what on earth were you thinking?
    Feel better now? Thighs and arse still mad at you?

  434. I was going to say, that I hoped that Jo left you with a mobile phone in the wilderness to make it back to the house with your sled but then I thought about the issue of coverage … so it was unlikely to make any difference? Keep safe – the last thing we want is knitter down FOR REAL!!!!!

  435. Truly Stephanie, I thought you were nuts but after seeing those pictures of you hauling stuff to the cabin on a sled, after seeing you left alone in the snow by someone who knows you well and didn’t feel at all concerned, I just figured you could do anything! Super Stephanie!!! And I too am glad Ron sent his daughter. I was getting mad at him :).

  436. That beer looks good. Sorry about missing the walking to the store reference. Personally, I got distracted by the Irish Soda Bread linkage. I didn’t finish reading, though I did look at the knitting picture. (Shame on me). Glad you made it “home” safely.

  437. Sometimes we learn things the hard way. Those lessons tend to “stick” with me better… I’m glad you got a ride!

  438. Well, I suppose this reinforces the theory of a herd mentality among your readers!
    Though I must say, if you would’ve warned us that you weren’t leaving until 3:00 in the bloody afternoon, then more of us might’ve spoken up ;-).
    This post, by the way, had me in such stitches (sorry, sorry) that I’m now emailing a link to all my nearest and dearest :-).
    Did you at least share a beer with Ron’s daughter?

  439. Going out in snow at all seems like a bad idea to me. But you seem very aware of the temperatures and how long you can tolerate them. So, I figured you knew what you were doing. I walk 8 to 10 miles at a time myself, 2-3 times a week. So, the 14K didn’t seem crazy. Now the snow part seemed crazy, but you live in the north on purpose, so it didn’t seem like a thing to mention.

  440. Well, we may not have had your back, but it sounds like Ron did! My perspective of what constitutes “walking distance” was a little warped a few years ago when I trained, through the winter, for a fundraising walk that was a marathon one day (26.2 miles, ~42 km) and a half-marathon (13.1 mi, ~21 km) the next. But what WERE you thinking, leaving at 3 in the afternoon?!? (walks off shaking head and muttering)

  441. *lol* I thought you meant 14km _round trip_ and, naturally, you’d start off 10am or so in order to hit maximum daylight and heat!
    Definately knit that man some socks!

  442. Those of us here in the States who never really learned the metric system (I thought I might when I got out of college since I was a math major but that was back in the ’70s and I never did and now there’s no hope!) aren’t really sure of the temperatures or distances you are talking about! Therefore, I never mentioned how crazy it seemed….

  443. OK, what were you thinking?! I get that you were out of toilet paper and that’s no small thing, but 14K in the cold? I’d have wiped by butt with poison ivy before hiking even 3K in the cold, which ain’t far!
    Clearly Ron is an angel, and his daughter is too. You were SO LUCKY!

  444. Okay, well when i read the whole “the store is only 14 km away” i thought “what a nice day trip that will be for her”. Walking in the woods at winter time is one of my favorite things to do. SO I was all for it. I did not doubt that you could DO it, I just assumed that you were gonna take ALL DAY to do it! When i read that you left at 3pm (!) I was like “let me sit back and grab a hot cup of tea to enjoy THIS story…”. Bet you won’t ever make THAT kind of mistake again” πŸ™‚ walking 14k for wool and knitterly delights, YES … walking 14k for beer and toilet paper IN UNDER 3 HOURS? No f’ing way! In my minds eye, I can see him in his store watching you trudge (limp) back up the road. I think it would be a HOOT for a big group of us to make socks for this nice man and his daughter!

  445. I live in Georgia. I don’t pretend to comprehend Canadian ways. As far as I know, you people do this sort of thing every day!

  446. You left at 3 in the afternoon?! You didn’t say you were going to do that! I figured you’d be headed out first thing in the morning, or noon at the latest, but THREE in the afternoon? THAT I would have known impossible. You seem to be in good shape, (yoga, comfortable walking distances and all), but half-marathon running requires too much time to leave any for knitting, so I wouldn’t have expected you to make it back by dark, had I known how late your start would be. . . .

  447. OMG Steph, I’m so sorry. I should have said something, but out of toilet paper? Of course you had to do it. You must be in great shape to walk so far.

  448. Sorry Steph – I’m metrically AND mathematically challenged, so I didn’t realize quite how far 14 km really is. πŸ™
    Glad to see you back safe & warm (and with BEER!)!

  449. So you know how everyone has a relative that says ” When I was your age I walked, uphill, both ways!!!” Well, now your family has one! You have bragging (complaining) rights for decades!!!

  450. I hope you can move today? (That had better be darn good beer, huh? and I bet it was!)
    Bless Ron. Bless Ron’s Daughter!

  451. How can I thank you enough for that cautionary story? I’m in Seattle for work (a scientific conference) and decided yesterday to take a break. I couldn’t come all the way to Seattle without visiting Tricoter and squeezing yarn. It turns out the store is only 2.5 mi from my hotel (that’s about 7 km right?). I considered walking. It was much warmer than -3 deg C. The walk was on nice city streets, all paved, no ice. But I was wearing a suit, good looking (ie uncomfortable shoes) and the street was headed straight up hill. I called a cab. Yeah civilization.
    Ah and Tricoter was lovely. I have a new sweater’s worth of yarn!

  452. Dearest Harlot,
    If we spoke up every time we thought your plans were crazy……….

  453. In my own defense, I didn’t say anything because it’s less than 4.5 miles–c’mon, now! That’s less than a 2 hour walk one way! Last time I had to pick up my car from the car repair folks, I walked there–8.2 miles (13.2 kilometers). It’s not that far. You city-folk get soft, that’s what it is! Why, I remember walking to school, in the snow, uphill both ways…. πŸ˜‰

  454. WELL, well, well. Who has their priorities straight…toilet paper and beer. Tell us…would you have walked if you had KNOWN “fer shure” how far away it was? And, what about the boatload of gear you tried to haul, schlep, drag and otherwise outfit the cabin with? you most certainly did not abandon the beer and T-P did you?
    Ron is awesome

  455. I am not the one who ever said you where crazy (at least not this time). But I read thrice the sentence about the distance between you and the shop, and tought you had made a typing mistake.
    Apparently not.
    Well, I am happy Ron and his gentle daughter where here to save you. You know what? When she ask Are you Stephanie? I thought it was one of your readers!!!

  456. Is “we’ll have your back next time” too weak a promise? I had actually thought that your plan made perfect sense. Enjoy the cabin time and good luck on the book. Thanks for the laughs.

  457. Um….I don’t know how you buy Guinness in Canada, but in Michigan it comes in a 6-pack…I am WAY impressed that you began the long hike back to the cabin with a 4-pack (toilet paper) AND a 6-pack on your back…

  458. I hope you got some ibuprofen too. The next day is always worse when you overexercise like that.

  459. Is it enough that I thought “Wow. 14k is a long walk. But if she really wants to do it, that’s great.”? But I really wasn’t sure exactly how far 14 km is.
    Thanks to online metric conversions, I just checked 14 km is 8.7 miles. 9 miles?!?!? If I’d done the calculation earlier, I would have posted this: Are you out of your mind?!? At any rate, think of all the calories you burned and take it easy today.

  460. No.1: You used kilometers. I don’t know a kilometer from a muskrat. If you don’t do the conversion for me I have no idea to call you crazy. (The school system toyed with teaching us metric, it failed, I think I was the number one reason they abandoned the plan). No.2: It was for a beer and toilet paper after all, those ARE more important than insulin or ambulances. No.3: It’s nice to know you made one more friend who wants you to survive in the woods. Cheers.

  461. Completely undone … that’s what I am, sitting here at my desk, laughing hysterically. I’m wiping my eyes with a kleenex, shutting the office door, finally just laid down on the floor and howled. Too too too TOO funny.
    I’ve lived in rural Canada (BC, circa 1990) and where I was, it was 5 miles to the nearest PAVED road. I only too clearly know EXACTLY what this was like. Too funny. DON’T do it again, need I add…?
    I gotta go take my asthma medicine now – I laughed THAT hard….

  462. I didn’t say anything because I thought you could walk that distance. I didn’t know you were going to wait until 3 pm, however. I would have advised leaving earlier. But you’re not out of your mind to think you could hike 14-K.

  463. I live in Maine, while you were walking, I was still trying to convert 14km to miles! What a nice man, though.

  464. I don’t comment before reading the other comments. You know I never comment without reading the other comments. But I was without internet yesterday and have a class to get to and stole a peek here and am sniggering in a library basement. Lovey lamb, sweet girl. In case no one’s mentioned it, we didn’t tell you not to do it for two reasons. 1) Who could believe you actually would? and 2) If we’d told you not to it would have forced you to do it, you know it would, and who could be so cruel?
    O dear. O my. Snort.

  465. The kindness of Ron and his daughter brought tears to my eyes. And by the way, you are one crazy funny lady.

  466. Hmm. I read it, and I thought – “OK. Maybe she’s crazy. But she wants a Guinness on St. Patrick’s day, and that is completely understandable and rational. I might walk pretty far for a Guinness, too.” So I let it go ….
    sorry, Stephanie. But I am really, really glad you got your Guinness. Slainte!

  467. Well see, you said 14 kilometers. The Americans amongst your audience said to themselves, “kilometers are shorter than miles and she seems sure she can do it….”
    I doubt many of us made the conversion to 8.7 miles and went “Is she INSANE?!”

  468. What a great story. My favorite part is when he flinched not at all about the toilet paper and beer. Clearly a man with priorities. I love it when people are so nice it surprises you.

  469. Hell you were going for beer! I’d ask why you were still on the computer and not out the door? I’d walk 14k for that.
    Still, that was very nice that Ron’s daughter gave you a lift back.

  470. LOLOLOLOLOL!!! Fabulous! I though you were insane but who was I to judge?? I had to walk 11 miles home in the dark when the East Coast had it’s blackout several years ago. I had faith that you weren’t crazy as I thought you might be but I was WRONG! Gotta love small towns–I had something similar happen to me, with a savior too–but that’s for another time…

  471. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to sound like a baby but I sure thought you were crazy.
    I think when you write the acknowledgements in this new book, you owe a couple to Ron and his daughter.

  472. I have to add–I seriously did not expect you to leave so late in the day. Wow. Can’t wait to see you in Annapolis!!

  473. How’s the hoofers feeling today?
    I’ve been told the Canadians are a hearty lot, YEE-haw,& you proved it! Just the same I’d tuck in some extra TP & a Guiness or 2 the next time you venture off into the woods.
    God bless Ron. I agree with previous posters, he’s about as sock worthy as they come.

  474. I cried from laughter when I was ready to cry from stress!! Thanks Steph for the laugh at your expense. I made my muggle sisters read the post. I think they’ll be visiting the blog again!

  475. I’m so sorry I was one of those who thought but did not say – wow that’s a really long way. It was out of shame that I would never walk that far and dumb acceptance that someone else would. And the fact that the whole mile v/ km thing is beyond be, and 14km might be only a few miles…?

  476. 3pm is rather late in the day to take that kind of walk, but who am I to tell you “DON’T do it!” I don’t think that you would have listened anyway … no honestly, would you have?

  477. Stephanie, you are with out a doubt the craziest lady I have ever heard of. When you said you were going to walk a round trip of 14K, I thought better you than I, but I also thought, geeze that vegge life style and bike riding she does at home, must have her in some pretty good shape… Cause that is not a trip I would try on a clear warm day, let alone a day that was cold and icy… But she must know her abilities better than I …
    Okay, better late than never. hey Harlot, don’t you think thats a far hike for beer and TP?
    I wouldn’t do it????
    okay I said it.

  478. You are going to get me fired! You paint such brilliant pictures with your words, and though I felt bad for you, I was LMAO!

  479. Think of it as stunned silence. But, you ride a bike everywhere, which I think is kind of insane, so I thought you could do it. Next time, I’ll step up.

  480. I read it to my DH. First thing he said was “She left at 3? 14 km…it would be dark before she got back!” God bless Ron! I sure wouldn’t have wanted you walking in the dark. And I agree with the others, he seems a likely candidate for a pair of socks πŸ™‚

  481. Actually, I didn’t think you were crazy, but I’m training to run the Boston Marathon this year, so . . . consider the source. I was thinking 14K? That’s not so long! Of course I also thought you’d stop in the middle, sit down, maybe drink a beer, rest a bit, then head back.

  482. You probably know by now that the pain is worse the next day.
    Maybe you can look up Ron’s phone number (does he have a phone?) in case you need something else.

  483. Socks or a copy of your new book just to confirm that you are indeed the craziest thing he’d seen all day. πŸ™‚
    Just more proof that it’s those small acts of kindness that always seem to mean the most.

  484. Well, speaking personally, I’m pretty convinced you’re just superwoman.
    (And this story doesn’t really do anything to cause me to reconsider, come to think of it.)

  485. You are a great storyteller. I’ve enjoyed your tales from the woods tremendously. Keep going there! Yes, knit Ron Some socks, serious socks. Socks that will remind him of the crazy woman in need of toilet paper and beer, so he can chuckle every time he puts them on!
    Thanks to you, I will now proceed with my day of sitting in front of my computer in my warm office while spring blooms outside, and in some weird way, wish I was in a cabin in some god forsaken woods surrounded by snow and wild animals.

  486. In my defense, my elementary math teacher did not sufficiently emphasize the metric system, so I had no idea how far that was until I looked it up. Sorry.
    The good news is, if you’re ever stuck with a bunch of frat boys trying to best each other with tales of liquor, I’m sure none of them will have ever even attempted to walk nine miles for beer. They may even make you their leader.

  487. Sorry. The thing is, that you stated your intention so calmly that I thought you were just burly and not crazy.I mean, yeah, 14K seemed crazy to me… I did the conversion and thought that would probably finish me off. But then you seemed so sanguine about it, and I didn’t want to be a naysayer. Plus, frankly the number of comments you get on this blog intimidates the hell out of me, and sometimes I think I’m doing you a favour just shutting up.
    But really, I’m sorry. It is all our responsibility to ask with love and respect WTF now and again.

  488. 14 km one way?! I think I misunderstood yesterday’s entry and thought you were going 14 km total. Which impressed me, but I did a quick and dirty conversion and thought…hmmmm…I can totally do 6 miles of hilly hiking in a day with only being sore for a few days – that’s what? 12 km (ish?)… So 14 km for someone who ice skates entire canals and is Canadian(!) must be totally doable. Hooray for Stephanie! I’ll bet she knits a sock on the way!
    ‘Course, I missed the fact that it was actually 28 km (is that right?! That can’t possibly be right. Was Ron telling the truth when he said the store was 7 km from your cabin? That makes more sense. Is the Blog miscalculating? ‘Cause 14 km is crazy enough. 28 really does boggle the mind.), and also totally failed to account for having to walk on icy bumpy road sides. Icy, un-shoveled sidewalks are enough to make my little 2 mile jaunt in to work challenging for me!
    So glad that Ron and daughter are wonderful people! I imagine that it would have taken some seriously hard-hearted humans to see you in your post-hike condition, clutching your little package of tp, with tears in your exhausted eyes, heading back out into the quickly darkening evening to not have sent help, though. All of Knitdom is grateful for Ron’s rescue of our favorite ambassador (from herself πŸ™‚ ). Perhaps the Blog ought to knit him socks… it’s us, afterall, who are the real beneficiaries of your adventures.

  489. I fully admit that it didn’t even cross my mind to think it was unusual to walk 14K. Long distance, yeah, but not unusual. Maybe we all need a redefinition of “usual.” πŸ˜‰
    That is awesome that Ron sent his daughter with the car! People are really great sometimes.

  490. “Craziest thing *all day*? So what was his yesterday like?
    And she had to *ask* “Are you Stephanie?”?? Love it! And Ron certainly deserves a pair of socks.

  491. I hate to laugh at the expense of others…
    but you are so damn funny.
    Glad you are back safe and warm…enjoy the beer.

  492. Um. I didn’t say anything because I am in the UK and can’t think in metric for distance. Also you’d already gone by the time I read the article. Also you had just proved you were woman of steel by carrying stuff to the cabin and you are like… Canadian. But if you had *said* you were leaving at 3pm I would have YELLED “Woman what are you thinking!?” Glad you’re back safe. Ron’s a sweetie.

  493. What I want to know is; after you realized it was going to get dark before you reached the house, but before Ron’s daughter picked you up – had you figured out a plan B?

  494. Well, your hike didn’t make sense to me…but I figured you are of sturdier stock and younger than me…though I probably would have tried it 10 years ago. Here’s an example of how things can always be worse….Last week I was walking to my car parked at the road end of my 1/2 mile long driveway. Those from the north know this winter has been an icy one. My loooong driveway had semi melted and re-froze into a skating rink, hence the car parked at one end and me at the other. I had my car in my sights and the next thing I know I’ve taken a dive and landed on my left wrist. I was in denial for a day, but when I screamed in pain with each knit stitch thought I’d better check it out. Sure enough the dumb thing is broken. So here I am casted from knuckles to elbow for 4-6 weeks. I am very left handed and going through knitting withdrawal. Not only can I not knit, feeding myself and brushing my teeth are a challenge (as well as some other things I won’t mention). Just goes to show you….Be careful out there!!!! I’m open to suggestions on how to keep the knitting withdrawal under control. Drinking helps, but doesn’t have the same satisfaction. Being from the wooded “Up North”, I’m glad you learned to appreciate it. It is wonderful and worth the 1/2 mile hikes to the car, as long as you stay on your feet.

  495. Well, I guess, “Aren’t you the sexiest thing was out after that hike”! At least you were the daily crazy instead!

  496. I suspect that if you got Ron’s and his daughter’s sizes (for hats, socks), The Blog will knit and send enough hats and socks for them to keep the whole villiage warm for years. After all, they saved our Harlot!

  497. It dawned upon me today, having hit the replay button an untold number of times for the trailer of Nim’s Island just so Will can laugh at Jodie Foster’s bashing herself in the head with a coconut tree, that your life as a writer has brought you to adventures you probably never imagined were possible for a knitting doula from Toronto. This being not the least of them. I hope you have your towel with you. xo

  498. Hi,
    In my defense I figured you would know how far the 14k would be πŸ™‚ And no I did not think it was insane, it’s just a 2hr hike each way … Well, maybe I am the insane one, I think nothing about going on a 10 mile hike, I get a lot of knitting done while walking…
    But I am glad somebody came and saved you, and you did indeed get your beer!

  499. I have to comment because that poor, pitiful story made me laugh out loud a little at work, in public. I’m so glad you made it safely.

  500. They kept quiet because they didn’t want to insult your intelligence? They figured that you either knew what you were doing or knew it was too crazy to do it.
    Or maybe they wanted the laugh?
    (Me, I kept quiet because I missed that post.)
    I’m just glad you were rescued.

  501. Only you can make that funny. I was *thinking* it, but I was also thinking “this lady does YOGA, and I can am wheezing and whining after a mere 2 mile trek to and from school in balmy 65 degree weather so SHUT UP”.
    I’m glad you got a ride. Way to go, Ron (and daughter). πŸ™‚

  502. aw man.. I’m sorry. Yesterday when you said you were going to walk 14 kilometers I promptly went and converted that to miles and when I saw that it was about 8.7 miles I was kinda shocked. But I figured you must really like walking and liked the exercise. I knew I should have said something. So sorry. Thank goodness for the kindness of small town folk!

  503. Yay Ron! And Ron’s daughter! Do you have the name/address of the store? We should all send him handknit hats and mittens and scarves.
    P.S., hope you got the whole 6-pak.

  504. Ouch I’m sure you’re sore today! I’m sorry I thought it was fairly long as well but I just thought that since you walk and ride your bike everywhere you realized how long it would be!
    For me it woulda been a nightmare..of course I have a toddler and crappy knees but I’m sorry none of us said anything!

  505. (head bowed in shame, wringing hands together) forgive us Stephanie. We have failed you. But, hey, I don’t know a kilometer from a kichner stitch (which, by the way, I keep meaning to look up). I will frog 14 rows in pentenance. Now, open the bottle of beer and knit a pair of socks for Ron and his daughter. And when there is a minus in front the degree number, please stay inside! Are you friggin crazy?!?!?! On another note,what did your husband say when you told him about this?

  506. And you didn’t think to have a camera and sock with you to take a picture of the girl? Surely you could have thought to take a picture of the sock in the woods.
    And the sock could be used to identify you when they found you clutching the toilet paper and your mouth too frozen to speak.

  507. Ah fuck, Steph, I’m sorry. I fell prey to what sociologists call “diffusion of responsibility.” I thought, “Surely with all those hundreds of comments every day, several someone elses will tell her what a bad idea it would be to go hike for 14k, and even if I did post a comment, what are the chances she would get to it?” I will admit I also thought, “That’s effing crazy, but she did cycle some ungodly amount of miles over near Niagra… maybe she’s into this wilderness crap?”
    Never again. I shall shriek like a harpy. Glad you’re ok.

  508. I didn’t read you yesterday, but I certainly would have told you NOT TO DO IT WOMAN!! 7 K!!! that is a LOOOOOONG ass ways!! wow! your amazing and thank the good lord above for that lil girly coming along and giving you a ride home!!! wow.
    and I’m LOLing at you now…heh

  509. Well, If I knew what a kilometer was, I might have been concerned. Of course, if kilometers and miles are close in distance, then yeah, you are kinda crazy πŸ™‚

  510. Wow – are these the most comments you’ve ever received? Over 600!!!! Rock on Steph!!!!

  511. Hand knit socks, definitely-wonder what size Ron’s feet are? Did you get a glimpse?

  512. my dh said: that stephanie; she’s a funny girl.
    all kinds of understatements these days…. thank God for ron. i’d knit him socks myself.

  513. Maybe instead of telling Stephanie to make socks (since most of her knitted items are already spoken for), we could all make some for Ron & co. ourselves?

  514. Well, in my running days, I often ran 10K races so 14K at a walk seemed doable. The 3 PM start time did seem a little late. And the -3 seemed a tad cold–although the huffing and puffing warms you up pretty quickly.
    Ron is a saint. There should be socks in his future. We Americans just know that Canadians are nice people. (Ethnic stereotype???)

  515. Oh Harlot,
    Would you start a sweater with only one ball of yarn? No. You have shown yourself NOT to be the crazy type of knitter who begins a sweater with only knowing what to cast on for the ribbing, trusting the rest will just magically pop in to your head by the time you finish the ribbing! (gulp? BTDT, nevermind)
    So, how do you hole up in the wilderness without enough toilet paper for Christ sakes!
    Maybe you thought you could forgo peeing?
    NOT Harloty. Just smart assed.
    Love you anyway!

  516. Steph, I really thought you were capable of a 14k walk. I thought you were crazy to do this in the winter, but you’re in better shape than I am. And if I’d known you intended to set out at 3pm I would have said something, definitely.
    Every day the Forbes magazine site has a Thought for the Day. Today’s quote is for you.
    “Every mile is two in winter.” -George Herbert

  517. I don’t know how you find the time to write a book(s), write a blog like this one, read 7,000 comments and still keep your sense of humor, but we’re all grateful to you. Did you say you have a relationship too???

  518. Okay, Here goes…I thought ‘What! you must be crazy’ But didn’t bother to look up kilometers per mile..and though ‘She must know what she’s doing.’ After all you packed all that stuff in with that lovely sled then tunnelled thru to the door… A tough lady…SO here it is – You must be CRAZY! What are you thinking, Dark, Cold, Alone???? Good beer, eh?
    Love Ya, Donna in warm No. Calif.

  519. Sorry. I have to join the bunch who did wonder but didn’t say anything. I even looked back at the former blog to see how far 14k compared with miles. I thought then and there you might be overdoing it but figured you knew what you were doing! :>)

  520. almost 700 people have said
    i am sorry you ran out of paper
    and beer is there someone around
    here who could bless us forgive us
    for she knows not what she does

  521. I figured since you didn’t listen the first time you wouldn’t listen the second time, besides the fact that I’m not your mom and don’t really have the right to tell you what to do.
    I’m glad you got home safely.

  522. You know? I WAS thinking of you the other night. I was thinking, “She isn’t really going to walk all that way. It’s like 9 miles. Surely there is something she can use for TP…and there should be some wine left in a drift somewhere. Right??”
    Wrong. Apparently.
    Glad you made it.

  523. You know, I did say to my husband yesterday ‘how far is 14 kilometers’, and he said ‘ooh, about, 8 miles’. And I thought, ‘well she’s fit and she knows what she’s doing but it’s not warm out there’. Next time I’ll voice my disquiet πŸ™‚

  524. When you asked: “Am I going the right way?”
    I held my breath, wondering if the two girls were going to use this golden opportunity to have a little fun with a stranger, and inform you that you were NOT going the right way. Thankfully, my faith in humanity was restored! And you are my hero; I am proud to be a Canadian! (eh!)

  525. Man, I’ve heard of walking a mile for a Camel, :)but that’s a whole ‘nother ballgame.
    Glad you’re ok and encountered kind people to help you out!

  526. Dude. DUDE. I just read your posts, today’s and YESTERDAY’s. Of course, I read yesterday’s first. My first thought?
    What in the F*&#ing hell is the thinking?
    DUDE. You did it. Talk about getting your (very rural) Irish on.
    So glad somebody gave you a ride home. Now, not that I have to tell you, but NEVER. DO. THAT. AGAIN.

  527. Well I’m a backpacker, 14km in a day is nothing. I’ve done Mt. Washington, NH in a day easy, it’s ~28km round trip, 1.5km peak.
    HOWEVER, we started at 8am.

  528. Well, I think it was a noble and brave effort on your part. And I bet that beer tasted pretty good when you got back too huh?
    And to think that time yesterday I was working with a friend to figure how how I was going to fit the 6th bag (XXL bag) of raw fleec in my ford escort! LOL.
    I like my adventure better.

  529. I probably would have said something if I had the slightest idea how long a kilometer is. But think of it this way; it was exercise. And after that much exercise, you should be able to eat whatever the hell you want with no guilt for at least three days.

  530. I’m so sorry. When I read yesterday’s post I thought for some reason that you had already done the 14k walk. I was thinking you were pretty amazing to walk that far on winter roads just for a bit of tp and a beer. I even commented to my son and husband about the lengths to which you will go for a beer.
    And to think you walked all that way and didn’t even get a “real” beer, but a damn STOUT. Ugh. See, the reason I was talking to the husband and son about your St. Patricks’ Day beer was that my son had brought home some Guiness for us to try on St Patty’s day. We knew we were in trouble when it poured out into the glass looking black. It was horrible! Couldn’t even choke the whole thing down. So glad I didn’t walk 14k for it.

  531. my excuse?
    I’m from the US and I use miles. Sadly my KM/mile conversions are not automatic. so I had no idea how far you were going.
    however, I’m glad you were rescued.

  532. Okay people,
    Because they saved the Harlot we ALL need to make Ron and his daughter socks.
    Wouldn’t that be funny? Ron inundated with socks on behalf of the Harlot….
    Wonderful you made it back Steph, none of us wants to make a knitted casket cover.

  533. if someone or sixty-five someones had posted comments begging you not to go, would you have acted any differently?
    please post the address of ron’s store so that we can all send him and his daughter thanks-for-rescuing-stephanie cards and gifts.

  534. damn! yes, you should have converted to miles for us. 14k sounds doable. 8.5 miles, for me, not so much. figuring a 20 minute mile in normal temps, that would have taken me nearly 3 hours to walk.
    glad to hear you got a ride back!

  535. I didn’t get a chance to read until today or I sure would have at least hinted at your momentary lapse of wisdom! Good gracious, girl!! I can’t even imagine how great it felt to just get in the car let alone get back to the cabin.
    Thank heavens for people like Ron who have the foresight to save us from ourselves. Here’s to Ron (raising glass in toast)!!!

  536. Sorry to let you down fair mistress of humor. Honestly, I don’t know the conversion of kilometers to miles so I kind of figured it was like…you know…a hop skip and a jump. I mean NO body is crazy enough to walk 8.7 miles round trip in snow that had to be up to the beejesus knows where and decently cold enough.
    Maybe there is a reason no one walks anywhere around there.
    No worries, I’m sure someone has learned a lesson on this and someone will jump to the gun next time. But you gotta admit…once you’ve earned a Guinness that is the best darn beer you’ve ever had.

  537. Naw, 8.7 miles is not so far. Just a 3rd of a marathon. I’d suggest jogging the next time. It saves time, though let the beer settle for a while after you come back. πŸ™‚

  538. Okay, having grown up in rural Nova Scotia, I figured you knew that the odds of you making it back in one piece are pretty good: most of the time the novelty of being the one who picked up the ‘crazy visitor from away’ far outweighs the benefits of letting you die of hypothermia on the way back. Long live nutty city people (of which I am now one) and the rural rescuers of the aforementioned.

  539. ahaha. all that for beer and toilet paper?? how about just toilet paper??? beer is kinda bad.

  540. Things you learn from all of these responses:
    1. Knitters are a very apologetic bunch, and are willing to take responsibility for their actions.
    2. We all have great faith in you!
    3. People from the US aren’t good at the metric system (including me, I had no idea.)

  541. You know, Steph, we all believe you are capable of anything you set your mind to. Who are we to second guess your goals?? And, toilet paper is IMPORTANT. My parents always talk about when they were first married and they had only 25 cents for the next three days of the month. They decided to buy some ice cream. This was in 1948. Then, they realized they needed toilet paper. Guess what they purchased?? Toilet paper.

  542. One hot September day in 1992 my father and I walked from Ostende, Belgium to the town of Nieuwpoort, Belgium. The first sign said “6 km”. Many footfalls later, the next sign said 10 km. We knew we were walking the right direction – the North Sea was on our left. We realized too late that the first sign was missing the initial “1” in the numeral “16”. Had we known, we never would have started the trudge.

  543. And what did you learn from this? The universe just has to be slammin’ some mighty important lesson at you.

  544. I thought you were crazy, but Canadians are kind of touchy about suggestions that they may not be hardy enough to do something crazy, outside, and cold.
    Plus, when you start talking in Not Miles, you lose me. 14 kilometres? For all I know that’s, like, 12 feet. Plus, I would pronounce that word “kill-o-met-trees.” That makes me think of a diminutive kilometer. So it would be even shorter version of my bastardized American opinion of metric distances.
    What ev though. Glad you’re not dead!

  545. No comment was left as I believed more sense was in your head than to walk 14 km in the middle of winter. Since I was seriously in error, I hope that all the frozen bits have thawed and that you do appreciate Ron and his daughter.
    Look forward to seeing you in Atlanta.

  546. Funny story:) You are nuts. My 6 yr old daughter, Emma, saw the picture of toilet paper and beer and said,
    “Can you make toilet paper with yarn?”
    I laughed and said,
    “If you can, I’m sure Stephanie has tried it.”

  547. I ran a 10K once. 14K being farther than 10K, I did think you had rather magnificent fortitude to be planning such a trek, but you sounded like you were in complete control of the situation, plus there was beer involved (though not yet consumed) on St. Patrick’s Day. ‘Nuff said. Next time I won’t wait for Rams or Rachel H. to make the Holy Mary Mother of God comment.
    Can you knit while walking 14K or shouldn’t I have asked?

  548. Seriously? I thought you were kidding, or else I would have tried to talk you out of it.
    I’m sure you gave them a “crazy city folk” story to pass around town for a few days. ;oP

  549. I thought about cautioning you against the walk but it was way too late. Just think of it as marching the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade about 3 times.
    BTW–I totally channeled you and had 3 different socks to work on in my bag at the parade on Monday (just in case!). Pop was a cop in Midtown North for a gazillion years and I have spent every St. Pat’s of my life on the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral cheering for the bands and the marchers. It was wonderful how many people chatted with me over my knitting this year.

  550. Whoa, everyone, take it easy.
    What exactly do you think would happen if 600 people urged caution or reflection every time our dear Harlot said, “Wouldn’t it be great if…” or “You know what I should do?” or “Here’s an idea!” and she listened?
    No Knitting Olympics. No Knitters Without Borders. No gansey. No squirrel-spit-covered fleece in piles in the alley. No entertaining meltdowns.
    Think about it.

  551. i’m just wondering…. do you have phone access out there? will the store guy be checking up on you regularly now that he knows you’re out there and apt to do um, perhaps let’s call it… foolish things?? just wondering…..

  552. Yeah, maybe it was crazy to hike so far in such cold weather, but I’d bet my house you wore the nicest socks of any crazy hiker in Canada!

  553. would have objected at your plans but half of us Americans don’t know how far “approximately 14 km” is. now we know… it’s about 17km.

  554. Yes! I knew Ron would not let you walk all the way back by yourself! And he even sent his daughter so you wouldn’t be afraid to get in the car.
    Great story.
    And just think of all the calories you burned, so now you can drink ALL the beer!

  555. Stephanie: Ya I did kind of wonder about 14 Km but I figured you were a very adventurous girl who was desperate for a pint on St Pat’s day so you would go to any length!!! You got the bragging rights!!! Way to go!

  556. Better to do this on a March day than a hot one in July. I had to post because you were at 666 comments and we couldn’t leave it at that.

  557. ok, maybe it’s just me … But I think you should check in on the blog each day while you’re roughing it in the Great White North, just so we know you’re ok.
    You’re really don’t have to say so much, just something like “I’m alive.”
    Seriously, when you go for 24 hours or more without posting after stories about 14 kilometers hikes in the tundra, snow drifts covering your doors and stepping into frozen ponds, my wife is thinking about organizing a rescue party.
    I suspect if we don’t hear from you by morning that I’m on a plane to Canada.
    Hope you got enough beer for company.

  558. my personal excuse is as follows:
    i fret about having to walk all of the way down my short driveway to check the mail when it’s a frigid 60*F here in Texas. i ALWAYS want to say “you walked to WHERE? you’re riding a bike to WHERE?” so i have learned to keep my comments to myself on the whole self-propelled travel. also, my usa-centric thought process goes thusly: everywhere that uses celsius is cold, therefore even 100 c is probably cold, therefore kilometers are probably equally unreliable, therefore. . . she’s walking to WHERE? oh well. . .

  559. I have read this blog for quite a while now. Today’s was one of the funniest. Thanks for sharing the pain.

  560. I can’t believe I am comment # 674, that just isn’t right.
    But I laughed right out loud at this telling and need to thank you for it.
    So thanks.

  561. You’ve now shown us all that you are not only a hilarious knitting commentator (and that’s got to be a challenge sometimes; it’s not exactly fast paced), you are a master of scene and dialogue as well. I’m so glad you got home safe.

  562. I think I’m in love with Ron. Does he have a brother?
    Plus, I bet that was the best tasting beer ever! Here’s to your health.

  563. Can you ever tell a story – I felt like I was there! Sure I thought you were crazy, but I live in PA, where 8 inches of snow shuts down the schools, so what do I know!!! Ron definitely deerves a pair of socks, and maybe even his daughter. I’m glad you’re safe and sound. (I think you are – you haven’t blogged since!)

  564. So it’s like this, I definitely thought, wow, that’s kind of crazy sounding, but…..It’s Stephanie and she doesn’t seem to think it’s ambitious, so she must know it’s reasonable, even though for me it would totally not be, so I trust her to make this decision….
    If I said to my husband, I’m going to walk into that burning building, he’s say ‘well if you think it’s a good idea…’ It was like that for me, didn’t consider telling you not to, next time I will.

  565. sorry i missed responding yesterday, i would have warned against the trek. but, boy do i have national pride in ron and his daughter for driving you home. I REALLY MISS LIVING IN CANADA SOMETIMES.

  566. oh boy, I just checked on google earth… and wow, 14K is approximately from the CN tower all the way north to Sheppard! from the Lake north (or as north as the roads point) to past the 401!)
    But the number sounds so small! Maybe we should switch to miles for a sense of perspective?

  567. Presbytera, do you really think we have that much power? Would Herself read all the “no” comments and take us seriously? Or would she read the comments, consider them fully, and then do as she pleased? I don’t want to miss out on the things you mentioned, but I could do without the heart-stopping worry of this back-country adventuring.
    And I sure hope she posts this morning, because I’m getting a little concerned.

  568. Oy. When I got to the end I wanted to cry for you. Something about your desperate situation and the kindness of strangers… When my parents came to visit, my dad, craving a jelly donut, walked to Dunkin Donuts. He struggled getting there (and I’m sure the donut tasted quite good), but the prospect of the return made him feel quite hopeless. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t have our phone numbers on him, so he had to walk it. Compared to your trek, it was “only” 3 miles each way, but boy did he look scraggly and exhausted when he got home…

  569. Dang — had I been able to read your previous post on time, you betcha I would have said something! I made the quick translation from km to miles, thought, “Oh, she’s been walking regularly; she must have thought this through already,” and read through your previous post about getting everything up to the cabin and wondered if you might find at least more TP at one of your offload points.
    Alas, that doesn’t seem to be the case!
    But I love someone’s suggestion about making Ron socks. Or something.

  570. what else can i add? we all revere you as our walking, biking, knitting goddess. of course we thought you could do this. but, you know, you might have mentioned that you weren’t planning to leave the damn house till almost dusk!!! yes, Ron does indeed deserve socks.

  571. I totally agree with all the previous comments about sock-making. Both Ron and his daughter totally deserve several pairs. True angels in disguise.
    Oh, and for those of you who are wondering? 14km approximates to slightly over 8.5 miles.

  572. I didn’t say anything because I thought you KNEW what you were getting into. I’ve walked 14 km in a day (further, actually–about 25 km) and it’s a looong walk, all right.
    If I had realized, I would have advised you to call the store and ask if they deliver.

  573. You *do* make me laugh Stephanie! Just think how firm your thighs and butt cheeks will be now though after all that walking. :>)

  574. *Shrug* You’re the Harlot. If you say you’re going to walk 14 kilometers, (however far that is-who knows?) we just nod and think “OK then”.

  575. Well, I’ll share with you a little trick I learned from my husband–before he was my husband. He took me backpacking in the woods (with several crazy men I was quite frightened of). You Need to have stashes of beer. Before we took off on our 24-mile, 2 overnight hike, we made deposits of beer at trail crossings. Just nestled it under a bridge or behind a rock, and it was there when we wanted it. I don’t know how that would help you this trip, but next time have hubby leave you a stash somewhere closer than 14 km! It’d be like tucking that extra yarn into your daughter’s bag. You don’t think you’ll want it, but when you do it’s great to have it. As for the tp, that’s another story altogether. I guess that would have driven me to the store too unless there were alternative paper products around!

  576. A million apologies… My metric system is weak, and I tend to think of you as the strong, self-sufficient type that knows exactly what your personal endurance is. I certainly wasn’t going to be the one to point out that you had to walk both directions (uphill in the snow), I thought you knew that. I do hope you enjoyed your beer, plus, now you have a rep around town as the craziest thing they’ve seen in awhile.

  577. Duh…how long is a kilometre as compared to a mile? And don’t you wonder what people did before toilet paper was invented?

  578. I had to think about this. Posted at 11:40 am you are to walk 17 km about 8 1/2 miles to the corner store. I can walk 4 miles an hour on a good day, that makes it about an hour there and an hour back, but add a ‘bit’ of time for snow and snowsuit, so about 1 1/2 hours. I would expect myself to have left after a light lunch, maybe 12:30 and be back at 3:30, giving time for chatting or a sit down at the store. That is possible.
    I wouldn’t have though. I am a prime procrastinator. And it isn’t 4 miles there and 4 miles back, it is 4 1/4 miles there and 4 1/4 miles back, which adds more time to the walk and to the additions, so 2 hours there and more back. So in hindsight, and taking due consideration, I would have pulled exactly the same stunt. Sorry.

  579. I’m appalled at how many people can’t convert kilometers to miles. But if you’d given us the distance in YARDS, we would’ve gotten it right away! Glad you’re safe.

  580. Actually, I thought to myself, “I did a 5K about a year ago” and sort of half-ass multiplied and figured it wouldn’t be that bad, especially walking. You should never count on me to help you out with math. It will only lead to sorrow and heartbreak. And sore legs. πŸ˜‰ BTW, I think walking that far for a Guinness is perfectly reasonable. Ask their marketing team!
    Ain’t that the way with small-town folks though? Love it!

  581. If I had actually read your entry stating your intent to walk that far I probably would have said something. As it is, I didn’t read it until today. Sorry!

  582. yeesh! I actually was stupid enough to try something similar…but it was 8 miles and in the Florida heat. My husband was there on business and gone all day. I had no car but was on a mission to get to the LYS. So off I went and when I finally arrived instead of relief I wanted to cry…the LYS NO. LONGER. EXISTED. Mental note: You should always call the LYS to make sure it is still there before embarking on that kind of journey.
    Boohoo…at least I could (and DID) take a cab home though!

  583. That last photo is a survival kit if ever I saw one.
    I didn’t say anything about the distance because, well…I walk that to work the fat off my butt.
    But due to the frequent indulgence in the item on the right in your photograph, it doesn’t work very well. Ahem.

  584. Some of us (“us” also known as U.S.) are still trying to wrap our minds around kilometers and miles. Both sound achievable at the beginning–less so at the end.

  585. I did think, holy Mary, Mother of God, no one walks 14K in the U.S. We do 5K to help fight breast cancer, and we train for that for weeks. The really fit amonst us sometimes do 10K, but not very many of us. Sorry I DIDN’T SPEAK OUT! Honestly, I did think, oh, that’s right, she walks everywhere all the time. She knows what she’s doing.

  586. I haven’t read yoru blog for a few days so missed that you were planning what seems to me to be a death wish march. But when I saw that pint of Guinness I thought – what’s so crazy about a nice walk for a good pint?

  587. Ohmigod, I’m laughing so hard, I’m crying!
    Stephanie, you are a freaking awesome writer. I can’t wait to meet you when you come to NYC next month.

  588. OK – having had THAT marathon, you might even get to this comment, as it’s MY personal record: I am comment #703! My husband walks about 9 miles a day, in bad snow weather too — but DARLIN’! It’s through town, where he can 1) pop into a McDonald’s to warm up if necessary; 2) use someone ELSE’s toilet paper there if he needs to; 3) can also duck in for a nosh if it appeals; 4) call home for a ride if necessary! You have just become the Personal Idol of 703 people, 702 of whom probably held you in that regard anyway the the other who is a firm convert now. Oh – and *I* am not so much of a walker; I’m driving to come see you next month…but you know, just sayin’ — if I had to, I **WOULD** walk to see you, even if it IS about 12 miles from home. See you then!

  589. Late but here it is….DON’T DO THAT EVER AGAIN!!!!! How’s that? πŸ™‚
    Glad Ron was a gentleman once he got over his shock and glad you’re ok!

  590. I am sooo sorry! I don’t read your blog daily or I PROMISE I WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU NOT TO DO THAT! I have made that mistake before. Things like that always sound great in theory and you ALWAYS REGRET IT LATER. AND you put yourself in the position of not having any alternatives. oooooh what a recipe for disaster.
    distance doesn’t sound far until you have ACTUALLY walked it. We live in a ‘driving’ society – and it isn’t that far at 40 or 50 MPH (sorry I am a Texan). But at walking speed (which I don’t know what it is -but I am guessing must be 2 or 3 MPH unless you walk really fast) it is a LOT FARTHER. A place that only takes you 2 or 3 minutes to drive to will take you 20 or 30 minutes to walk to. Not a big deal until you realize that goes up exponentially. 4 or 6 minutes is 40 or 60 minutes. 10 minute drive becomes a hour and forty minute walk!! AND you have to walk back.
    oh my no.
    Don’t worry – I didn’t do this math the first time I made the ‘mistake’ walk. It was only after I had done that. NOW any place that is farther than a couple of miles (and I do mean only a couple, not 4 or 5), I think twice before walking. I make sure I have some sort of alternate plan – JUST IN CASE.
    But, all that aside – I am sure the beer was worth it.

  591. I thought you had gone a bit bonkers as well… but quite honestly, when I first started reading your blog, you were taking on redoing the floor in your bedroom. Mostly by yourself. I thought you were crazy then but you pulled it off! Thus the silence from me was confidence!

  592. I would have never walked! That’s just crazy. Of course, I didn’t say it when it could have helped…
    Reminds me of when I was about 10 and, in the MIDDLE OF A BLIZZARD, my father decided we needed to go out and get him pants. Seriously. Since we didn’t have a car, and the buses weren’t running (they don’t run in a blizzard), we walked the 3k to the store. Which felt more like 20k because the snow was over our knees. Anyways, after an insane amount of time walking, the store was closed. Because of a freaking blizzard. So we turned around and walked back home…

  593. I’m sure that after more than 700 comments (holy crap!) this sentiment has been voiced, but, still, the beer? I bet it was worth it.

  594. Well, shoot. That *was* what I thought when I first read it this morning. What the freaking hell is she thinking, 14 km / 8 miles round trip in the freezing cold for a beer? I’m glad you made it back safely, and Ron and his daughter came to your rescue. Walking after the sun has gone down would not have been pleasant.

  595. That was so nice a gesture I started to cry. I did the same thing one summer in a canoe. Okay, maybe the fact that it was summer and canoe makes it sound like it couldn’t be quite as bad. Picture paddling the length of a very, very long lake on the hottest Ontario summer day you can imagine. It’s great in the morning on the way to the store (the halfway point) when the (faint) wind is behind you. That part only took a couple of hours. But the way back when you are kind of going into the wind, and the waves have come up and your arms feel like they’re going to fall off — that’s when you want Ron’s daughter to come by in the car. But that doesn’t happen on a lake.

  596. Would you have listened? After all, toilet paper is rather important stuff. I’m not a beer drinker, so I can’t really say how important that one is. Nice of the guy to send his daughter after you. How many days did it take for your lower half to stop hurting?

  597. Well apparently I was, as my mother always said, a day late and a dollar short…still I DID mention it. Sorry, but I was out of town yesterday, and having to catch up today.
    The nicest payback for Ron would be to dedicate the book to him — “To Ron at the ——Store for making sure I got back to the cabin to finish this book..good on ya dude”…well that and a couple of nice pairs of mittens!

  598. You forgot to factor in the part that walking in the snow is EXAUSTING. 14k normally is a long walk, but in the snow? Yeah.
    I once had to walk to school in the snow- 2.6k. I was 40 minutes late for school, and so tired that I fell asleep in Art class.

  599. Second to make socks for Ron, you can even make a exclusive design for him. I am so happy that you survived…

  600. Good God, McPhee, you are the luckiest woman I know. And a good thing too, because you need every bit of it. Bless Ron and his daughter.

  601. Good Grief!!! You are one fit babe. Good job Mr Arthur Itis did not come for a visit cos you would have copped it. I think you should dedicate your new book to mr Ron and his girl, they were a Godsend. I’m so glad you lived to tell tale. You can bet your last pound I’m gonna get your luverly book at S&B in London on 6 Sept. Can’t wait to see you with my socks and jumper I am knitting all year.

  602. I don’t follow your blog regularly. Sorry bout that. But that has got to be the funniest thing I have read in weeks. Hope you rest up well.

  603. I just wanted to say that I’m very sorry I haven’t been online as much recently, and didn’t read your post in time–because I would have warned you!
    So glad Ron sent his daughter for you!