We got a late start on what was our last day of walking. When our alarm went off at 2:30am we could hear rain and thunder so we went back to bed for an hour. By 3:30, the rain had stopped and we were up and on our way by 4:15 am.
The rain came and went as we walked but that meant that the temperatures were blissfully cool and at least there wasn’t any lightening. The morning before we actually had to take shelter in someone’s doorway because the lightening strikes were getting perilously close. Knowing that the ferry terminal was only 12 miles away, I was tearing it up. I don’t think that I walked that fast once on the entire trip.
Contrary to what we had expected, most of the walk on our last day was in the countryside. At some point we missed a turn onto an access road and instead of backtracking, we decided to walk through the weeds and banana trees to meet up with it. We soon discovered that an irrigation ditch full of murky water separated us from the road we were supposed to be on. I didn’t care one bit and marched right into the knee deep water. Doug followed and we both agreed that it wasn’t all that bad.
The last 2 and a half miles my pace slowed down considerably and overall it took us 5 and a half hour to walk what turned out to be 12.5 miles. But we did it! We missed the 9:00 am ferry but we were there in plenty of time to make the 11:00 ferry. I immediately took off my wet socks and used my hankerchief and copious amounts of Purel hand sanatizer to clean my blisters. Then I had a beer.

How do I even begin to describe what an amazing journey this has been? First, I need to thank Doug for sharing it with me. I don’t know any other man whom, when asked, “Want to walk across south western China with me?” would in a heartbeat say “Sure” and commit 100%. Doug, I love you so very much. Thank you for sharing this adventure with me. Thanks are also owed to my cousin Clare Martinet, who suggested that someone from our family finish Hippolyte’s walk. Thank you Clare. This experience has been life altering and has given me so many  memories that I will hold dear for always. I also owe thanks to my cousins Artie,  Thomas and Brian who conducted and compiled  all of the research that so inspired me and helped connect me to generations of Martinet family that I never knew and never knew I missed.

Doug and I  have been so blessed throughout this walk, both this summer and last. The outpouring of support, encouragement and interest we received here in China was phenomenal. Everything from the multitude  of thumbs up gestures we got, bottles of cool water, bags of fresh fruit, free meals, offers of cash donations, medical help and a thousand smiles- they all helped us walk over 1,100 miles through the heat and the rain across a country of unparalleled beauty and generosity.

While on this walk, I was really hoping to have some sort of supernatural- spiritual experience where I would meet Hippolyte, this amazing great-great uncle of mine who for two years essentially put his life into the hands of  strangers because he had faith in our collective humanity.  That encounter with him was never realized. Hippolyte never emerged from the ether to meet his great great niece but perhaps that was never the point. Maybe the point  was to have  a reason to walk and the reward was that I got to witness something I had never expected to see. I never anticipated that there would be so much interest and enthusiasm for what we were doing. I could never have imagined  that we would get so much support, encouragement and help from complete strangers. In the first weeks, I was moved to tears multiple times. People would read our cards and then look at us in astonishment and disbelief before huge grins would spread across their faces. Those expressions eased the aches in my feet and the sting in my blisters and gave me the energy to keep walking.

Once again I have found myself in a foreign country seeing  news from back home.  Yes, there are a handful of people in this world who do such disappointing things that it causes me pain. However, the vast majority of people are good and they care and they are people I am proud of. It can be difficult to remember and so easy to forget. We are good. Be good.

I’d like to offer my thanks and deepest gratitude to everyone who helped make this journey successful, including those of you who followed us our blog.

With love,
Micae and Doug

About Micae Martinet

19 Responses to “DONE!”

  1. Rob

    Hey guys,

    Congrats on one heck of a walk, I am amazed how far you have come to re-live his footsteps!

    Look forward to seeing you when you get back, maybe late Aug before I head to Japan!



    • Micae Martinet

      Thanks Rob, we hope to see you too and I look forward to taking a much shorter and leisurely walk with you when we return.

  2. Jeannie

    I love you both and so enjoy your journey. Way to go. And in that spirit of do it. I’m skydiving tomorrow. Many blessings and see you both soon .

    • Micae Martinet

      Skydiving!Wow!! You are braver than I am. Blessings to you too for a safe landing.

  3. Patsy

    Wow ! Congratulations on a job well done. Just think when you are old and really grey , the unbelievable stories you can tell the grandkids. Heck, I’m sending my grandkids to your house for a history lesson and inspiration ! Look forward to seeing you both !

    • Micae Martinet

      Patsy, I look forward to meeting them. Thanks for following us here at the website. PS: My hair is looking pretty good thanks to the products you got for me. By this time last year I looked like a troll doll!

  4. Krista

    Congratulations Micae and Doug! I’m so proud of you!
    I am so happy to read that the majority of the people you meet are good. There is so much that isn’t shown on the news and I think this trip of yours should be publicized and shared more!
    The kindness of strangers is the saving grace of our race.

    • Micae Martinet

      You are so right Krista, it seemed that last year we were also walking during some difficult and disturbing times. All of the kind thugs people do never make the news. Maybe I’ll start my own YouTube channel where people can give their own video testimonials of good actions they have witnessed.

  5. dave huntley

    thanks for all the journal entries and FB posts. it was really great following along on both summers trials , tribulations, and successes……. job well done.
    love you both and the adventure that chose you.

    • Micae Martinet

      Thanks Dave, it was a lot of fun, difficult at times but oh, so worth it!

  6. Thomas A. Martinet

    I do think that Congratulations are in order to the two of you! You have completed a journey started almost a century ago. I is high time that is was completed. Rest your feet. They deserve it!
    We will see you when you get back. But the journey is not complete…don’t forget the book and screen play. Actually, you have just begun a new journey into the past!
    Again, thank you Doug & Micae! You both are my current heroes!
    Art Martinet

    • Micae Martinet

      Thanks Artie! The book is in progress. I hope it’s something that you will be proud of.

  7. Marie

    Unbelievable adventures! Congratulations on completing such an arduous journey. I have vicariously traveled along with you as I read your posts over and over because I didn’t want to miss any details.
    These posts should go into your book as first hand daily accounts. You are a very engaging writer.
    Kudos to Doug! What a trooper!
    Love you both and look forward to our next visit. Steve and I have some reading to do!

    • Micae Martinet

      Thank you so much Marie. I feel so grateful that I connected with you through growingsoles. Can’t wait to see you when we get back.

  8. Mark

    Micae and Doug,
    Congratulations on your super achievement; very proud of you both.
    Happy birthday to you Micae and Doug soon.
    Hope to see you in Seattle this you.
    Mark and the girls

  9. Laurie

    On July 14, 2017 my friend and I hiked to Caribou Cabin in Wrangell St Elias NP AK. We saw your note in the guest book and checked you out when we had service again. We, on a road trip through AK, Yukon, & BC from seattle! Small world, amazing journeys. Congrats on completing your journey!

    • Micae Martinet

      Hi Laurie, sorry for the late response. Wasn’t Caribou Cabin a beautiful hike? I’m so happy you found my note and that it led you to my website. I will be updating the site soon… in the next two weeks or so…..stay tuned and keep hiking.


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