Welcome to Crossroads: Part 1/3
When I applied for Crossroads back in February I had a hard time finding information about the day to day life of Crossroads. This makes sense to me now, as I’m sure it’s different every year for each team. Anyway, we as a team have decided to give y’all the rundown of what our daily life looks like here in Northern America.
Part 1: Morning Shift
The title may have given it away but just in case you were wondering our team of twelve young adults is split into two shifts each day. You got it, a morning and an afternoon shift.
We begin walking each day as soon as there is full visibility, roughly a half hour after sunrise. Wake up time is depends on which time zone we are in. Some days we have had to wake up at 4:15/4:30am (Washington) or more recently 5:45/6:00am (Pennsylvania). As soon as that alarm goes off we get up so as to not wake up the afternoon crew. We quietly get dressed, roll up our sleeping bags, make the beds and grab a quick bite to eat. Then roll out…
On a good day we are only a couple miles out of where we need to start walking for the day. On a not so good day, we need to drive sometimes up to an hour. This has its benefits though because if you aren’t copilot then you can sleep. 😉 Which most of us can do just about anywhere, including the side of the highway. (See: Bear attacks on the Northern Walk)
Once we reach our destination the first two people hop out and start walking. The support van drives ahead two miles while checking the road to make sure there is a safe amount of shoulder. The van also checks for construction or anything that would not be safe to walk in. If it’s safe, see you in two miles; if not, the van picks you up and drives to where it is safe.
We walk in two to three mile increments. Eric always makes sure a guy and a girl are walking together. During each shift we try to pray 5 decades of the rosary or a chaplet of Divine Mercy for the end to abortion, for healing for all those affected by abortion, and for all the intentions that people have given us over the weeks. We quickly learned that we can pray a rosary in the time it takes to walk a mile granted that you aren’t walking uphill. For myself, it usually takes longer as praying makes breathing feel impossible.
We are very blessed that we get to attend daily mass; you just can’t beat starting off with Jesus! I don’t think it would be possible for us to continue our mission without the Eucharist every day. I think Mary Beth put it best saying, “We need our daily Jesus fix.”
Our seasoned and decorated walk leader Eric and his faithful sidekick Jelani do an awesome job of finding where and when the local masses are and deciding which one to go to (that is, on the days when we have options…) Usually Mass is between 7am and 9am which means we have to stop walking so that we can make it on time.
After mass we all pile into the RV to say Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. Once we finish, morning shift again rolls out and continues to walk. We end sometime between 1:00 and 3:00pm. The time depends on how long of a break it was for mass and the drive to and from.
The RV will usually meet morning shift on the road and we try and switch teams as fast as possible. Granola bars, fruit and water are the essentials we have with us in the support van and we usually make ourselves sandwiches to take with or we eat once we get back.
As soon as everyone is seated we set out for our destination for the night. Normally, everyone in the RV is asleep shorty after we start driving. The driver and copilot keep each other awake either with music or conversation.
The two most important things to check for before committing to a campsite are the showers and laundry facilities. Laundry can build up for a few days without it being too big of a problem. On the other hand, you definitely don’t want to run into us after we haven’t showered in a couple days. You should take my word for it!
We are the lucky shift that gets to do the grocery run before heading to where we are staying. Therefore, we don’t have to leave in the RV once we’re there. Showers are usually the first thing that happens after we sign in. Then naps, exploring, and setting up the tent start until we need to start dinner so that it’s ready when afternoon shift gets home.
If you want to know what happens on afternoon shift, stay tuned for Part 2…
Northern Walk ’15