hurricanes browsing by tag


Travel guide, packing tips, and Friday arrival

Written by on Sep 8, 2010

Every walker and crew member should have received in the mail this year's Travel & Information Guide. This document contains directions, schedules, packing lists, and safety tips for the MS Challenge Walk weekend. You can also find it online and in color for easy reference.

One of our bloggers has her own recommended packing list which includes all-weather gear. We're hoping that Hurricane Earl ruining our Labor Day weekend will mean beautiful weather the following — rain two weekends in a row just wouldn't be fair! But the MS Challenge Walk was held in a hurricane in 2008, and we got some rain in 2009 as well. So remember when packing to prepare for rain, just in case!

Once you're packed and ready to hit the Cape, what's next? Our schedule this year is a bit different from usual. You'll be driving to Kalmus Park Beach in Barnstable Town as always. From there, buses are running every hour on the hour 3–8 PM on Friday to take you to the Cape Cod Sea Camps in Brewster, where you're invited to join us for the Friday night pre-walk party. (This is in place of our annual social at the Cape Codder hotel.) On Saturday, you'll walk out and back to the camps, and on Sunday, you'll walk to the Wixon Middle School in South Dennis, where you'll enjoy a barbecue before being shuttled back to Hyannis for the finish line parade. After the closing ceremonies, you'll take one last bus a mile back to your car at Kalmus.

If you need to drive directly to the Cape Cod Sea Camps, limited parking is available, but you will then need to take a longer shuttle ride back to the Camps to collect your car on Sunday, which also results in a longer ride home afterward.

Any last-minute questions or concerns? Let us know, and we'll get you the info you need to make this weekend a success!

Ken joined the MS Challenge Walk in 2005, more than a decade after his mother was diagnosed. After walking for three years and 150 miles, he switched to the support crew and now rides his bicycle along the trail, providing whatever encouragement (and snacks!) he can to the 600 walkers. He is also an alumnus of the event's steering committee and is this site's webmaster.

Prepare for rain

Written by on Jul 20, 2009

Such a rainy June bought me back to last year's walk. I took for granted that, for four years previous, the weather was absolutely gorgeous; I should have know that it would not last forever. On the second day of the walk in 2008, we were hit hard by the remnants of Hurricane Hannah. I could not believe how hard the rain was coming down! It was mentally the most grueling day of walking that I have ever experienced, and there was no real way to prepare myself for that.

What I was able to do, however, was make sure that I did have a nice dry pair of sneakers to wear the next day. I did not go out and spend $70 on new pair of sneakers; they were an older pair that I had used for the previous year's walk. They were a little bit worn but, man alive, was I psyched that I had those the next morning.

I recommend everybody have an extra pair of sneakers that are broken in. You never know what the New England weather will bring us, and it would be such a bummer to start your day by putting on a pair of soaking wet sneakers. While you're at it, pack a really light rain poncho — not a full slicker, because it is too hot, and you'll get sweaty. But something to keep you dry is a must-have.

I hope I didn't just jinx all the walkers by writing this! What are the chances that we'll be hit with a hurricane two years in a row?!

Caroline is getting ready to walk her fifth MS Challenge Walk. This is also the anniversary of when she was herself diagnosed with MS. Her walking team is Kranny's Cruisin' Divas. Caroline spoke at last year's last year's August Celebration and is a member of the walk's steering committee.

Whatever the weather

Written by on May 5, 2009

The sky is gray, it's raining, and all is well in my world. I am in what I consider to be the perfect rain moment. My commute is over, I am warm and dry, and water is heating up for tea. At this point you may be wondering what relevance this has, if any, to the MS Challenge Walk in September. I'm glad you asked!

This September will the eighth time that I have participated in the MS Challenge Walk. Just as September evokes thoughts of the start of school for many people, the mention of September causes my mind to drift toward the Challenge Walk. I think of how fortunate I have been to have met so many wonderful walkers, crew, volunteers and National MS Society staff during these years of participating in this walk. Then I think of the weather. Yes, as important as the people are, my mind always comes back to the weather.

Do I normally fixate on the weather? No. Did I track the weather ever so carefully leading up to my wedding day? Not a chance. But for a 50-mile walk, well, that's another story. I have visited more weather predicting Web sites than you can possibly imagine in the days leading up to the Challenge Walk each year. Would the dreaded "rain" be predicted for the walk dates? Rain, which raises the specter of larger than life blisters and images of soggy walkers, crew and moods? There was very little rain to speak of during years one through six. Each year I obsessed about the weather, and each year we dodged the bullet.  It couldn't last.

Year seven found me perusing the weather web sites yet again. Was there rain in the forecast? You could say that…if you consider hurricane remnants to be in the rain category. I was feeling pretty down. I looked forward to the walk, but we would be a wet, grumpy, blister ridden group. How would people maintain good spirits while walking in the rain? How could the crew, volunteers and staff possibly cheer the walkers on in their usual energetic way during such nasty weather? Chalk year seven up to a wonderful learning opportunity for me.

Click to continue »

Susan lives in the greater Boston area and has been involved with the National MS Society since she was diagnosed with MS in 1995. She has participated in the MS Challenge walk for the past seven years and currently serves on the event's steering committee.