La “Balade” Des Gens Heureux – A Series Of Walks In French

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Possible Saturdays: 1/22; 2/5; 2/26; 3/12; 3/26
Location: Walks held in various places as indicated below
Your cheerleader/coach/guide/dictionary: Valérie Guillet (and her Saint-Bernard, Bouclette, when appropriate.)
Price: Free but registration is required
Who can participate: anyone up to it who can walk AND carry on a conversation in French without getting winded or dizzy.

Please note that exercise of any sort is not without its risks and the social walks/hikes we propose, or any other exercise, may result in injury. As with any exercise program, if at any point during or after the exercise you begin to feel faint, dizzy or have physical discomfort, you should immediately seek medical attention. If you engage in these social walks/hikes, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating, and assume all risk of injury to yourself.

Mixing fitness, good company, and French… what better way to spend a few hours on Saturday?

How can we spend more time together, away from our screens while this annoying pandemic continues to rage?
If you enjoy and are physically capable of walking and would love to practice your French at the same time in a convivial atmosphere, come and join us for walks, hikes, snowshoe treks interspersed throughout the cold winter, perhaps spring, months.

You don’t have to commit ahead of time, in the same way that we don’t have to confirm an activity until we have an idea of what the weather conditions will be, but we are asking you to indicate your SERIOUS intention to participate by signing up below (It is free).

Once we have a list, we will get in touch during the week leading to an activity with details of said activity and ask you to confirm that you intend to participate.

You do not need to be in Olympic shape to participate. The level of difficulty will be indicated as will the minimum number of miles you might be expected to do. Everyone should feel 100% comfortable that they will not be judged in any way for wanting to turn back at any point in time.

Here are a few possible walks to give you an idea of the fitness you need to have. They may or may not be held in the order in which they are presented.

Walk A

Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, Falmouth – up to 3 miles of trails that can be “repeated”.
Difficulty: easy
Meeting time: be ready to start at 1:00 p.m.
Meeting place
: First parking lot by the solar panels and public garden.
Directions: From Portland take Route 1 to Falmouth. You will see signs on your left for Maine Audubon and Gilsland Farm Road shortly before the “Welcome to Falmouth” sign.

Walk B
Charles E. Jordan Road, Cape Elizabeth – Up to 4 miles (the road itself) or longer if you want to include Crescent Beach via Route 77.
Difficulty: easy
Meeting time: be ready to start at 1:00 p.m.
Meeting place
: Parking lot on Charles E. Jordan Road at the Intersection of Fowler Road, Route 77, and Charles E. Jordan Road.
Directions: From Portland, take the direction of Cape Elizabeth on Route 77. Once you’ve passed the town center of Cape Elizabeth take a right turn on Fowler Road after Cape Elizabeth High School. At the end of Fowler, cross over Route 77 to reach Charles E. Jordan. The parking is on your right.

Walk C
Twin Brooks Recreation Facility in Cumberland – As short or long a walk as you’d like. A 6-mile trail system to explore.
Difficulty: easy – with rolling hills. You will never be very far from your car.
Meeting time: be ready to start at 1:00 p.m.
Meeting place: Parking lot in front of the concession stand (closed at this time of year).
Directions: Tuttle Road Entrance – From I-295, take Exit 15 for Yarmouth-Cumberland, and turn left onto US-1 S. After just over a mile, turn left onto a short connector towards Tuttle Road, then immediately turn right onto Tuttle Road toward Cumberland Center. Proceed 1.6 miles on Tuttle Road to the Twin Brook entrance on the right.
Alternatively, follow Route 1 to Falmouth, then Route 88 until Tuttle Road. Take a left on Tuttle and drive for about 2 miles and you will see Twin Brooks on your right.

Walk D
Eastern Trail in Scarborough – As short or long a walk as you’d like (if you have all day!) – 15 minutes to 3 hours (or more) with a good average goal of 4 miles.
Difficulty: easy – flat, out and back. You will be able to turn back at any point. One of the most scenic points on the trail is when you go through Scarborough marsh before the trail crosses Pine Point Road. That is the end of the 2nd mile. Turning back at that point makes for a gentle 4 miles.
Meeting time: be ready to start at 1:00 p.m.
Meeting place: Parking lot at the trail head in Scarborough.
Directions: From Portland on Route 1, turn left onto Black Point Road in Scarborough and less than a 1/4 of a mile down the road, turn Right on Eastern Road. Go to the end and park your car either on the right (about 10 spots) or in the lot on your left.

Walk E
Kennebunk’s Bridle Path (part of Kennebunk Land Trust) to Kennebunk Beach – 4 (or fewer) miles to 10 miles – 1 to 3 hours
Difficulty: easy – flat, out and back and very scenic. You will be able to turn back at any point. The first section — about 3 miles — are on soft ground, next to Mousam River, and the last 2 miles of the first half take you to Kennebunk Beach following the edge of the water on sidewalks.
Meeting time: be ready to start at 1:00 pm
Meeting place: Parking lot of Sea Road School in Kennebunk
Directions: From Portland take 95 south towards Kennebunk. Take Kennebunk exit. Turn left on Fletcher Street at the end of which bear left on Roue 1 and take an immediate Right turn on Summer Street. After you pass the railroad tracks, turn Right on Sea Road, and look for signs on the right for Sea Road School. Take that right and you will easily find the parking area.

What to bring: We will discuss in more details what to bring as we know what weather forecast and trail conditions to expect.

Alors, qu’en pensez-vous? Vous êtes partant ? Si vous avez l’intention de me suivre dans mes Alpes natales lorsque la pandémie aura fini de nous enquiquiner, il serait bon de commencer votre entraînement !

Un kilomètre à pied, ça use, ça use,
Un kilomètre à pied, ça use les souliers.

Deux kilomètres à pied, ça use, ça use,
Deux kilomètres à pied, ça use les souliers.

Etc.

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