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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Something's buggin me.

Yesterday was a fun filled and exciting day... let me tell you all about it. Actually, let me eat a little humble pie and detail my misery. Feel free to laugh.

As you ,ayknow from my recent postings on FB and Twitter... Ive picked up a stomach bug over the past few days. I have basically urinated from my behind for two days now. I decided yesterday that even though I felt bad and was probably a tad bit dehydrated I would walk. I made it 18 miles and crossed into New Mexico around 5PM. During this 18 mile walk yesterday I experienced an issue. I had an accident. In my pants. Yes, I crapped myself.  Worse thing about it.... besides having poo in my pants..... I had to walk a good half mile to the next gas station. I got to a Circle K where I went straight to the handicapped stall since I would need room to move. I ended up cutting away my undies and trashing them. I cleaned up and headed out again. Adding to this event was that the wind was blowing in my face fairly strong. Now that I had no under pants on and the wind was blowing directly at me... OH! and my shorts were super thin.......I was showing off all of my "features" to passing motorists. The upside to all this? I was pleasantly cool for the remainder of my walk.

Ok, enough of that.... Here is the game plan at this point. We are going to keep walking for Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The original donations page at is still up and still taking donations. Soldiers Angels has been a big help since the FB page sabatage and Chris and I are thankful to have their support. Ms Patti who is the founder has been great in helping with connections.  We will walk to help support them as well.
We will continue as originally planned and stay the course. At this point I wont worry about my personal finances. I think it was selfish of me to even allow that to be a consideration by me and so I apologize to anyone I let down because of it.
So, on thru New Mexico then to Tucson and Phoenix in Arizona and then CALI!

At this point I am feeling a little better and I think by tomorrow Ill be good to go.
Im going to go eat a little something now and get some Gatorade in me....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

13 exits till we are outta texas!

Well, I haven't felt good since yesterday evening. Im not sure if I ate something bad or not but Ive found myself visiting the bathroom very frequently the last two days.  Today I tried to walk and didn't get far. I grabbed a hotel room and here I am....hope this bug goes away by tomorrow. I need to make some progress. On a lighter note, Chris made it here yesterday.
I had been staying with a senior NCO on Ft Bliss the past few days and Chris met up with me at the gate and I guided him to MSG Domko's House on post. Chris and I stayed there last night and got some good sleep. I could tell he was exhausted as he was nodding off on the couch while watching TV.
We drove around post for a while this morning loading up on a few supplies and by lunch I was on the trail again. Like I said, I didn't feel good so I didn't make it far but its progress, kinda.
So, tomorrow is another day and we will give it a go again. Hoping for much better progress tomorrow.
Wishing everyone a good night... Im off to bed.

PS, A lady by the name of Glennette Jackson set up a Scentsy fundraiser. 25% of all sales will go to the TREK and our charities. If you haven't seen it yet, go by and see if there is something you like. You can donate and get a great product all at the same time. The link is on my personal FB page and the T4H page.

So, goodnight.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hangin tough in EP.

Chris should be out here this weekend by Sunday at the latest. Bleakly RV in Ga donated an RV air conditioning unit and also installed it in the roof of the humvee for free! Through my aunt and mom we were also able to locate and secure the generator that we need to power said AC as well as provide the power to electrical outlets so we can charge our phones and laptops.
Soldiers Angels has been a big help to me while in EP. I have received many calls from them offering their support and assistance and even had one young lady drop me off some groceries.
A Master Sgt here at Ft Bliss is going to put me up in his house until Chris gets here which will be great. IT will help to save money and we can put that to fuel and other needs.
Ill give you an update once Chris gets here and let you know the game plan.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Waiting in El Paso.

These past few days or even week have felt like a hurricane of events tossing me around in life. Thanks to family and friends Chris and I are persevering and will continue this Trek For Hope somehow. I think its more of a principal thing now. I cant let it die, not like this. 

So, here is the story of me, Troy Yocum, Wish Upon A Hero and Hike For Our Heroe's.................

I originally was walking to raise funds and awareness for the Special operations Warrior Foundation. I set out on my Trek with the plan of using road donations from the American people to support my needs on the trail such as food, water, hotels etc. As I moved further west I saw the donations and interest in the Trek die out. I was dipping into my own personal bank account to continue the trek and eventually I came to the decision that I wasnt going to be able to keep that up. I had that money set aside for extreme emergencies but really for me to start over once I returned to Tampa. So, I contacted SOWF and said once I reached El Paso I was going to stop the Trek and grab a bus ride back to florida. They understood the situation and were thankful for all I had done for them. There was no bad blood between us and there is none still.
I posted on my Trek For Hope FB page that I was going to call it in El Paso. That page was hijacked by Troy and shut down.... we will get to that.

So Troy Yocum contacts me with a proposal. I had told him via text that I would be stopping. So, he offers to have me join his charity and says he can get me an ops budget and a support team and we will be up and running almost immediately. I thought about it and said yes to it. It would allow me to continue what I started but more importantly it would allow me to continue to help my fellow troops and their families. Plus, I didnt want the Trek to end....Im kinda hard headed like that.
So Troy told me to wait in El Paso till Chris Williams arrived with the escort vehicle. Chris is my escort driver and has been prepping and outfitting an actual M998 medevac Humvee to follow me the rest of the Trek. Chris has spent thousands on this operation. Well, Troy had 500 dollars sent to me when i was a few days out from EP  for supplies and rooms while in EP. Troy told me that there were no rooms available in EP and he couldn't get me a free room..... he had promised me this on the phone during his come aboard speech.  So, I ended up finding a room just fine and spent some of the 500 that night on the room and food etc.
While all this is going on, I am suppossed to have a team set up. Troy tells me he has a team leader for me and he is going to get me going. I never realized that support team. I heard alot of promises from Troy but outside of the 500 dollars I never saw anything.
Well, I and Chris gave Troy admin status on our pages so he could help post and promote.
Just 2 days ago now, I had a text conversation with troy about the issues of paying for rooms and running out of money if I did(55-70 a night and it goes fast coupled with food) and also how he was erasing postings of people that were working hard to help raise funds for a generator for the escort vehicle. Well, it seems Troy didn't like that I was calling him out on these issues and he got pissed off and threw a temper tantrum and shut down my page and Chris's page. I did tell him that it seemed like we were on different pages, books even and it may be best to go our separate ways. He took that all wrong and called me a quitter and said I was looking to quit. I did say that "quitting has always been an option and I didnt need him for that." True enough, I could have quit after the first one is forcing me to do this. Troy had also linked my to a donations page in order to raise funds. He is still using that name to solicit donations and these donations are going to HIS pockets. Come to find out he is working for a FOR-PROFIT organization. So, he raises funds to put in his pocket as well. I saw that when I met him in Jackson MS to meet the governor. He bought an Apple iPad2 with what I believe to be donations money. He is sponsored by Green Beans coffee and he asked Mareike how much money they had left from the GB funds and thats what he used to buy his new toy. This was iPad number 2 for them I believe. So, it seems from my experience that Troy is not so aboveboard. I have had so many ppl contact me via email, text and calls to tell me how they had a bad experience with him and how they are still supporting me and chris... please dont quit...dont let him get to you etc. Thats awesome! Im so glad to know so many people are behind me. Thank you so much!

I know I am slandering Troy to a point...this isnt all I could say I guess.....Im to the point that I feel it needs to be said. There are those of us that are truly in this to help others and then it would seem there are those who are after glory and riches. Know who your friends are is all I can say. There are snakes out there.

So, the Trek will continue. Chris and I will pull together and start over. With freinds and family like ours and God above, we cant fail.
There is a new FB page for me thanks to my vet freind in Dallas Ga, Jim. search under MattsTrekForHope on FB. Hope to see you all there soon so we can continue mission.
Love to all!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Finally in Van Horn TX!!!

The past couple days were rough on me both physically and mentally. I'll get to all that in just a second. Let me start back at Odessa since I believe I left you there.
From Odessa I went to Monahans. Not much happened on that leg that I remember. Once I got to Monahans I grabbed a room for the night. Now, talk about destiny/divine intervention, a woman contacts me and says she and her husband live just north of there in New Mexico and he just found me and the page just hours before. Her name was Kim and Kim sausage wanted to come down and buy me dinner and resupply me as needed.
Well, Kim and husband Rance showed up with the kiddies and we went to a steakhouse and irate well. It was a great night and after a good sleep I got up ad hit it again.
The wind had/has been horrible all the way from at least midland area. It only seems to be getting worse as i get farther west.
In Pyote Texas or Just outside of it, I was alerted to an old bomber base that was still around but in shambles. I found it off the road and started to explore. If you are on FB then ou saw the 3 videos I made from the place. It was an interesting experience.
Next was Pecos Texas.
I did get a room in pecos by the walmart so I could resupply for the next stretch to van horn. According to legend, pecos was where the first rodeo took place and reeves county is one of the larger if not the largest county in Texas.
After pecos I moved out to my completely alone desert phase. No towns for 4 days. Let me say that this was the longest stretch that I haven't had anyone to talk to or a place to resupply. You may think you are lonely because you don't have a boyfriend or a wife or whatever... Or thy you don't have friends but let me tel you that you don't know lonely till you go thru that. I have never felt so alone and it drove me nuts in my head. You can only do the iPod or talk to yourself or sing loudly for so long before you get completely bored and frustrated.
One good thing that happened was a resupply from a deputy from the reeves county sheriffs dept. I was stopped by two deputies in pecos that were checking me out and one was a K9 deputy. Well, just before sundown and just before the I-10 merge I took stock of my water and realized I might be low or empty before I hit my van horn mark. I put the word out on FB for a resupply from anyone in the area. Kim from New Mexico again helps out by contacting the reeves court sheriffs dept and having someone come out with water. It happened to be te same K9 deputy that stopped me in pecos! He was a good guy and has lots of family in the service as well. Our law enforcement are just as important and should be thanked equally as our military. They certainly do a hard job and sometimes go with no thanks. Randomly thank an officer one day. Bet you will make their day.
So after the water run and the merge onto I-10, I made it to Van Horn. I was contacted by Donna in Utah just as I was about tree miles out of van horn. She said she and her husband steve follow me on FB and she wanted to get me a room for the night and a good meal. After working it out thru paypal and then checking in, I laid on the bed for an hour in just my draws with the AC on blast. Man that felt great.
There us a historic hotel here called the El Capitan. It has a bar/restaurant in it and that's where I had dinner last night. I met Lisa Marie and Trish who were working that night and had an excellent meal that was cooked by Chef Jay. The girls were great but I may have talked their ear off! They were sweethearts and I enjoyed my time there with them.
So I stayed an extra night. I woke up this morning and felt the past few days of te road. Anyways, tomorrow is the El Paso stretch. 120 miles from here to there. That's 30 more than I just did. I hear there is a store in Sierra Blanca which is 32 miles out. That will help.
I will be very close to thee border as well so say a prayer.
Have a gret night and I will check in with you later.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Odessa Tx

Diana here at the Holiday Inn at Hwy 191 in Odessa hooked me up with a room comp. She said it was inspiring what I was doing.... Some days I don't feel so inspired. Mari and Jerrika also work at the hotel and were equally interested. They are 3 sweet young ladies.
Yesterday was a rough one for the first half. I had slept in a cotton field te night before and a heavy lightening storm came thru followed by hard winds and rain. My poor tent woulda flown away if I hadn't been in it. So because of that storm I only got a few hours sleep so I was tired. I have also been fighting heavy head winds which make progress slow and cause me to work twice as hard with each step. Well, thank the Lord for every connection I have met cuz yesterday those connections came thru. I won't try to detail it out but the basic is this...... I spoke to a Gold Star mom yesterday. Gold Star Moms are named such once they have lost a child to war. Not a title anyone chooses that's for sure but certainly it holds a bit of honor amongst the military community. So her name was Lita and she had a friend who was driving west to a bike rally an said I should go. So, I get in touch with Melissa who is also a GS mom and she scoops me up in her Big Red Dodge Ram called "Beast" which is. Rolling tribute to her son RJ who was KIA in Iraq, 2006. So we go to this function which turns out to be the "Run To The Wall" ride which brings awareness to our vets and works to keep the soldiers honored as opposed to how the Vietnam vets were so horribly treated. Well, the ride was headig east and I was going west and Melissa was going to meet up withthem so it all worked out. I met soooooooo many amazing vets at the rally. I can't begin to explain the stories I heard and the history I came in contact with. What a true honor to e able to be in their prescence. There were over 140 bikes there and maybe twice as many people. I met too many parents that have lost a child. That was kinda tough to hear. After the rally and good food, we all rode over to the memorial wall and had a candle light vigil in remembrance of all te POW/MIA's out there. Again, it was so touching to hear tees vets get up an speak about how it was then and whatvthey went thru. I felt so insignificant when I compared my deployment with theirs. These vets are the true heroes.
I stayed with a local vet in midland last night. "Kojak" and his wife LeAnne put me up for the night. Great folks they are and great hosts.
This morning Darrell(Kojak) and I went over to the memorial again for the laying of the wreath ceremony an then I was allowed a short intro of what I was doing. Several spec ops guys came up and hugged me and I was really speechless. I felt dumb for a minute. I was so awestruck when I was talking that i forgot my usual well rehearsed rhetoric for a fumbling of words that I'm not sure was elegant. They seemed to get it though.
After this we all went to I-20 and waited for them to come by. Wild Bill iwas out there saluting them as they drove by. If you watch the YouTube videos I made you can see alot of the bikes and you will see us down on the road. After all that I headed west from midland to Odessa an found the holiday inn that is comping my room. When I hit the Odessa outskirts a marine Purple Heart recipient stopped me and told me his short story. We said a few words and he gave me a few dollars. I also have had several people stop mentoday and say sinkage nice things. After this past 5-6 days that have just pretty much been horrible... This has been a nice change.
I may stay another night here at te hotel just to get some relax time in. I'm about to hit the wide open spaces I her. After Odessa it's pretty much nada. Should be fun.
Everyone have a great weekend and don't forget to do your pushups!
Thank a vet!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Another day done. I'm west of Trent TX.

Today was mostly uneventful. I left the hotel room on Dyess AFB and proceeded to make my way off post. I met 6-7 different people as I was attempting to leave and ibwas able to give them all a card and explain what it is I'm doing and why.
GPS was leading me out a certain gate on base and it would have been the best one to leave out of since it was on the west side of base but as I approached it I quickly realized it was locked up tight and not open for passage. I ended up having to walk back across to the east side of base to the main gate and finally made my way outside. As I was leaving a photog from the Abilene Reporter found me. We had been in communications since the previous evening so we linked up outwitting gate and he grabbed a few pics and left.
I made my way down the frontage road next to I-20 for most of the day without much to do but walk.
Several times today I had several veterans and people stop to offer me lunch money, food and water which was certainly uplifting.
Now, I'm in my tent and thinking about tomorrow. I'll make my way into sweetwater tomorrow and possibly past for another tent night. There are several hotels there but I just don't wanna spend the money.... Is that wrong attitude to take? Well, well see tomorrow when I pass one!
So, that's all for tonight. Goodnight and don't forget your pushups!!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th!!! At Dyess AFB.

So it's Friday the 13th. The past few days have been fun and I've met great people and seen many great things. At least to me. Today I left the Carters an moved on through Abilene. Garland and Beverly Carters son I friends with Cole and and a few of the others I've met along the way here in Texas. They put me up last night in their beautiful home and made me feel very welcome. I was able to eat at this great BBQ place near tier house and it was delicious. I also went with Garland out to their country acreage where they have several cows. One had given birth and was paralyzed in the back legs from trauma at birth.
So this morning garland dropped me off where they found me and I walked into downtown Abilene to find the post office. I found it an picked up my latest package from Magnum Boots USA. More boots, a cool watch and a nice button up shirt for the hot times. If you haven't done so, shoot over to their website and check them out. They are big supporters of our troops and of course me :)
After the PO I happened upon the 12th Armored Division museum and met Bill the curator. Bill gave me fascinating info on the history of the 12th and pointed out many great areas of the museum to me.
After that I made my way outside of town to an Arby's and ate. I met a WW2 army vet by the name of Elbert Simmons who was a Staff Sgt. I took a pic and hook his had an told him thanks for his service. We spoke for a While and I spoke with the lady he was with and then they left.
After, I made my wayto Dyess AFB and walked around the Base Exchange here and picked up a few items. I also hit the gym for a bit and realized just how weak and slow I am now. Almost 4 months without workin out will do it to you.
A few dys ago before I arrived in Abilene I was about an hour or donated from a town named Baird. The rain hit me. It was hard and cold and coming down sideways. It hammered me for the longest and ibwas struggling with me and the buggy. The wind was so strong that at one point I was leaning against the side of the cart to keep it upright while also sideways walking down the road. To make matters worse, I ran out of frontage road an had to traverse a section along I-20 that was steep and rocky and then changed into mud. If I wasn't so wet and the rain coming down so hard I would have taken a video of my pathetic self at the moment.
Well, here I am. In a hotel room in the Air Force Inn. I'm headed out in the morn and I'll keep going west. Have a great night.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


1200 followers on FB not 2000. I'm a little ahead of the game. Sorry.

Just west of Putnam Tx.

The past several days have been fun to say the least. After I left Brock I saw lane Davis from Dallas again. He drove up with his friend Cole so that we could be introduced. Cole is a ranch manager for Craig James. Craig is an ESPN commentator and owns Magic Valley Ranch in Santo. This ranch is 3300 acres of awesomeness. It's also for sale if you have a mere 35million to spend. I ended up staying at te ranch with Cole and his wife Holly who is pregnant with their first child. This past Saturday cole and I spent the first half of the morning getting self repairing tubes for my buggy and going to local gun shops to ooh and ahh over some of the firearms. We also wet to Natty Flats for lunch which has the Guiness Books largest rocking chair in the world. That afternoon we went down to the river and shot off a few rounds in some pistols and then rode around the ranch on the 4 wheelers. We happen to literally run across a rattle snake so after about 300 rounds later I cut off it's head and rattle. We were heroes. Coles wife holly has a wonderful personality and might I say an excelled chef. Since they have been married cole claims to have put on some weight and after staying there and eating her cooking I can see why.
One night at te ranch lane, cole and myself went out for a ride around the ranch after dinner. We took lanes 4x4 thane which he just bought ad started out. At one point after dark lane found a mud hole and proceeded to sink us in it. After some rocking off the vehicle from drive to reverse we got out. Once we got back to the house we all realized that the front valance with the foglights was hanging a tad bit lowerthan when we left. Lane was able to fix it that next morning before ge left.
One night issac came out with his son and his sons friend. If you remember, issac is the guy that picked me up between weatherford and ft worth in the church bus. Anyways, we all wet fishing on one of the ponds at the ranch and caught enough fish to feed everybody that night.
I'm gonna have to take a personal trip backup the ranch when I'm done wither trek. I'm sure my son would love it out tree.
The past few days have just been me walking. Nothing much going on really. I'm on the frontage road next to the I-20. Cole and I fixed up a three by five foot flag for my buggy so I'm getting a lot of waves and horn honks. I wore shorts forthe first time today. It was nice let me tell ya. The wind was strong all day an hardly let up. It rained a few drops here and there but nothing toserious.
I should be in Abilene in two days peso. Magnum Boots sent out more gear and mom mailed them to Abilene and hopefully they will be there when I get there. I love presents :)
Oh yeah... I met Danny while I was on the ranch. Danny played the young Lane Frost in the movie 8 seconds.
Well, that's about all for now. More walking tomorrow and then Abilene.
There are now over 2000 followers on FB and I thank everyone of them and you that reads this blog for your continued support. You all mean alot to me and I just wanna say thank you.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Back in the tent... Brock Tx.

Ok, the next day I made it into Ft Worth. For the most part te trip into town was uneventful. Just alot of walking... Go figure. I got into town kinda late in the evening although the sun was still up decently. I walked around down town FW for a while. I enjoyed seeing a few sights and taking in the experience. I found a great sushi place called Pirahna and stopped in for a bite to eat. The young girl at the front counter and I fought with a few of the extra chairs near by in order to caddy corner my cart inthe lobby. So we eventually packed it in and I made my way to the barstool seatin area by the chefs. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the dining room.. It was fun and colorful but tastefully so. The waitstaff were all pleasant and attentive. The sushi rivals any of the nicer places I've been to in Tampa. While I was eating a gentleman that had been eating behind me with his wife came up and handed me some money and said dinner was on him. Took me by surprise because it seemed to come out of the blue. As I was finishing my meal another man came by as he headed to the exit and threw some money on the counter near me and said "thank you for your service" and walked out. well, I paid my bill and headed back out into the streets of FW. I Called Ann. Ann ha been following me on FB for some time now and had offered me a place once I got into FW. Since I was in FW and done exploring for the night I called her for a ride. She and her husband Joe came and picked me up and then took me to their place for the evening. They have 2 Australian Shepherd dogs that love to play fetch. I went outside with the two dogs and threw a tennis ball for them for what seemed like an hour. Those two dogs just kept running after it. So, Joe and ann had a great place and I slept well. In the morning Ann took me back to the place she found me from and she and the two dogs both walked with me for a ways. I didn't walk to fast... For the first couple hours I stopped by the local park and took a few pics of a civil service memorial in Ft Worth an then over to the stenosis... I'm living it up at this point since I won't be able to soon.... And the GNC. After a while ann and company parted ways with me and I headed on west.
Later in the evening.... This is Saturday at this point... I get a text from issac. Issac is a connection from Lane Davis in Dallas. Issac is a young couples pastor at Willow Park Baptist in Weatherford. I call issac and he says he will put me up for the night somewhere but he isn't leaving the church for another hour and a half and oh by the way, he is taking the young couples group out to dinner, do I mind? Of course I don't mind! I'm up for anything at this point. So I walk for a while longer and make it just inside of Parker County when issac calls and says he is on the way and to look out for him. If you see a bus that's me...a bus isay? A bus he says. So I'm looking for a church bus. It's white. Well, according to the passengers ofthis bus that I ended up meeting once I get aboard...issac passed me. He called an we both determiners this as well. So he passed me ad had to turn around. Seems issac is a brave driver and doesn't mind putting his passengers lives in danger. As th passengers tell it.. Issac drives into an emergency vehicle only turnaround and hits the gas and throws dust and rocks everywhere in the air. In a church bus. Yes the church name is on the side. Lucky for them the windows are dark. So into the traffic hevshoots and apparently cuts off a truck full of mexicans. Seems they went to happy about that and tries to come around issac only to be denied as issac suddenly switches into their lane unannounced. Now Willow Park Baptist Church will be known amongst the Hispanic locals. So he makes it to me and picks me up an we head into FW to ear at Macaroni Grill. No further incidents at this time. We eat and enjoy each others company and I meet a few new friends at the dinner table. Afterwards we all go outside. I seemed to have missed out on a vital piece of information about the night. Seems there was to be a scavenger hunt after dinner. I think issac may have convenienty forgot to tell me in one of our previous conversations but at this point it doesn't matter cuz I'm with them now. So we load up and head to downtown FW... Where I was just earlier that day and set out. It's like 8 pm or so and the nightlife is out on the streets. We are in teams and we have to find these 15 or so items ranging from a broad spectrum. So, here we go... Walking the streets of FW looking for our stuff. It turns out to be a fun time and eventually we all rally at the bus. Issac sets me up at a nice hotel for the night and a wonderful couple take me over there to get in bed. The next morning issac shows up. No bus. I agreed to go to church with him so he came to scoop me up. I rode to church with out much incident although it was raining heavily on te way. The forecast was for rain for the next couple days. Well, I go to church and end up saying a little somethig at one of the Sunday school classes. Later, I'm talking with issac about plans for later... Walk or not walk... And I'm introduced to steve and Lynette. These two have a wonderful outreach called A Place For Grace. They take in babies and kids and raise them so that child services doesn't have to get involved. Basically becoming guardians so the parents can work to regain their children and the children can have stability. Right now they have 9 kids at various ages in their 4000 sqft home. it sounds big but with nine kids it sure dies get small quick.
These kids are amazing. All have different backgrounds but they're all so much fun and so loving. They are really good kids. I ended up staying at their place till this morning to wait out the storm. Good thing because we went back to church that night and it was a hailstorm. They were probably about pea to marble sized and I'm glad me and my tent didn't have to suffer through that one. So, while I'm at their place Lynette works out so that I can speak at the Weatherford Christian School. I meet the Headmaster of the school at his office so he can kinda verify me and we agree that I would speak for about 15 minutes at both thier schools. One is for 1-6 grades and the other newer bldg is for 7-12th. Alot of the kids had or have parents or relatives inthe military and they were all very much into what I had to say to them. Honestly I wasn't quite sure what to say. I tried to get broadened this life isn't or shouldn't be about selfish desires. I had several kids come up afterwards and offer up their lunch money. If that's not touching I don't know what is.
After the schools I hung around the house. This would be about Tuesday at this point.
Today is Wednesday or should I say tonight is. I walked out to Brock today. Steve dropped me off back where issac found me which was about 10 miles east of weatherford. I had to walk back to and thru weatherford. So here I am in my tent. I missed my tet a little. Mom sent me back my trusty big tent so I can have room to move and stay dry. Well that should do it for now. Long spaces of road ahead and it's gonna keep getting hotter. I wish you all a good night.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Overlooking the city of Dallas...

After Breakfast with Sgt Harris and Pastor Teo, I headed west towards Grand Saline. I had been having tire problems with my previous cart and such was the case on this day. Seems the back left tire had a hole in it and the product I was using to seal the hole just couldnt keep up with the demands. Eventually it went flat and I just kept pushing it. I made it outside Grand Saline and I pitched my tent for the night. It was mostly uneventful and I passed thru Grand Saline mostly unnoticed.

I walked into Wills Point the day of the 24th. Easter Sunday. earlier in the day I received a call from a Pastor that was notified by Pastor Teo that I would need a place upon arriving in WP. I arrived in WP and hit the subway and called the Pastor while I was there. His name was David Bridges. We met in the Subway and we sat for a minute and talked about many different things. Come to find out Pastor Bridges used to own one of the largest janitorial services in the state I beleive he said.... He said he felt that God wanted him to take over as pastor of a local church so he sold his business and became the full time pastor. Pretty remarkable if you ask me. Give up a million dollar a year business to pastor a local church?! Now thats faith! So, Pastor brides notices that I have a flat and takes me into Terrell, the next town, to find a tube and patches which we found. We drove back to the church and fixed up the buggy for the next day. Next to the church was a house owned by the church where a young family lived. I was able to take a shower at their place and freshen up. They had a young boy about 15 that talked with me for a bit about the military. He wants to be a marine one day and so we spoke about his future paths that he could take. Hopefully I have given him sound advice.
I slept on the floor of the fellowship hall in the church that night but I cant complain. I had AC and 4 walls with a roof along with electricity, coffee and a roof! A storm came through that night so I was especially grateful for the covering. The next morning I saw Pastor Bridges as he was coming in and I said my goodbyes and then I was on my way.
Next stop was Terrell Texas. The trip was uneventful except for the flat tire....again. It went flat again during the trip to Terrel and I ended up pushing it till the tire fell off...literally.
During the walk I did get about 45 mins of rain that caught me. I was about 6 miles out at the time at a gas station. I didnt want to sit and wait and have the storm kill my arrival time to Terrell so I put on my poncho and struck out.
I made it to Terrell and headed over to the west side of town towards the Walmart. Paul Peck and family live in the area and I was going to meet up with him and stay at his place for the night. He found me just outside the walmart and scooped me up. I had decided that I would just go ahead and buy a new buggy after having to push my old one with a flat tire and twice broken duct taped handle. Paul and I did some research and drove to several places to find a BOB stroller like a wanted and we finally found one. I bought it and we headed back to Pauls place to put it together and get dinner started.
Carla, from Tyler(has been helping me out in texas) and her friend Bobby showed up and brought me a few items to help me out. Gotta love those two.
Well, I finished putting the cart together and we all sat down to dinner.
I slept great that night and got up and had breakfast with the fam.
Paul took me back to where he found me at near the Walmart and we met up with a reporter from the Dallas Morning News. The reporter filmed me for a minute and then took several minutes of video of me walking along the roadside. The reporter ended up giving me his safety vest because he was worried about my safety walking along the road. Its probably good that he did because I have  actually founf need for it in the past few days.
I walked into Dallas and had a fine time trying to stay on a decent sidewalk or find a road where the cars were doing less than 90 mph. Not to easy. So many times I found myself on the road itself...... with my safety vest on.....hoping no one flew by and hit me. Im still here so I guess I made it ok!
I made it to around the east side of the 635 loop and called a friend that foolows the Trek named Louise. She actually saw me earlier in the day as she was driving back from an out of town trip. She had stopped and introduced herself and said she would wait on my call. So once I made it inside the loop I gave her a call and she came and found me. I had a little trouble directing her to my exact whereabouts since I was unfamiliar with my surroundings but she finally made it. While I was waiting on her a Mesquite Police Officer stopped by to see me. Seems I got called on AGAIN for having a baby in the stroller and pushing the baby down the road. It makes me so happy to know that citizens are so aware :)
The officer was perplexed as to how someone misjudged that one. I told him what I was doing and he was amazed. He wished me well and headed back to his car just about the time that Louise drove up.
I tossed my gear inside her ride and we headed off before any else calls out of concern for my backpack child. Louise took me to her house where I was able to clean up and wash my clothes. We ordered chinese food for the night and after dinner and a few TV shows, I hit the sack. I slept in late. I know that soon I will be in a part of the USA where I wont have these amennities so Im taking advantage of them while I can. After I got up and had breakfast Louise dropped me off about where she found me. We hugged and I was off.
Paul Hakes. Paul is a friend of Nico's. Nico is a friend/follower from the Austin area. Paul found me thanks to Nico and Paul and I hooked up via text message. I met up with Paul around lunch time in the Deep Ellum section of Dallas. We ate at the Twisted Root which is a great burger joint. I highly recommend their food. I noticed that a big production was going on across the street and I asked a tech guy what the deal was. According to him they were shooting the remake of the old TV show Dallas. I wasnt able to see much since the actors were inside a local establishment filming but I did happen to walk by just as they were all piling out onto the sidewalk. I think they were shooting a barfight scene cuz one dude came out nasty.
So after lunch I walked farther into Dallas and made it to the Red Museum. I called Paul back and he came abnd grabbed me up. He found me a great hotel in the area and put me up for the night. After I checked in we went to a local bike shop and he set me up with a few tubes and some thick green stuff that you put inside your tire to prevent punctures. From there we went to Rick Fairless's bike shop. This guy is a famous bike builder and has built numerous bikes over the years that have won the cover of many magazines. He came out and took a pic and wished me well. Quite a cool moment.
After that, dinner at Golden Corral and then back to the room for a good nights sleep.
This morning.... the 28th..... I left the hotel and worked my way across Dallas. IT was a bit of a time because some of the places I went thru didnt have any sidewalks but did have lots of bridges. No sidewalks. Lots of bridges. Get my drift. Yeah..... I had my safety vest on. I finally made my way thru to more pedestrian friendly places. I walked thru Grand Prarie and into Arlington today and made it to just in front of the Cowboy's Stadium. Jerry's World is the term around here for it.
At one point today I had to walk a section where there was heavy construction. Two lanes of traffic only. Concrete barriers on both sides. I walked right down the middle of the road. My little buggy was bouncing over the reflectors and traffic was less than thrilled to see me I can assure you. It wasnt a terribly long bridge and Im sure the motorist were thankful for that cuz I held my line. Yes, I had my safety vest on. It was a fun time.
Lane Davis is a friend of Donald Page and Henry McCoy from Ruston La. If you remember or saw the pics and story they did and then also the video by Jonathon Ford you will remember them. So Lane picked me up at the Stadium and Im staying at his place tonight. Go check out the pics of the Dallas skyline I posted on FB earlier. Its from his 7th floor balcony and its beautiful.
Ok, the plan for tomorow is to pick up where I left off of course......I should make it into Ft Worth without any problems and from there who knows. Hope you all have a wonderful night wherever you are and remember all those who have suffered because of the storms.

Friday, April 22, 2011

6 miles to Mineola Tx.

When I arrived in Hallville Tx the skies were dark and there was a severe thunderstorm warning for the area with reports of golfball sized hail scattered throughout the storm. I was naturally concerned about the weather so I took shelter at the dairy queen in Hallville and watched the sky for a few hours. The store closed at 10 pm so I knew I would have to leave eventually and so I questioned an employee about possible campsites. I was told the city park had a gazebo and that was the best for the town. I went to go check it out. As I approached the park I saw the city Baptist Church and also saw the Fire Dept. The church had a large covered access on the side of the main bldg that I thought would be good. I stopped by the FD and asked if it would e a problem to hang out at the church till after the storm.... A call was made to the on duty Police Officer and he gave me permission.
After an hour or so of sitting under the shelter, one of the FD personnel came over and offered to let me shower in the living quarters and I accepted. I cleaned up and started answering emails and returning phone calls when another FD member came in and said they had a place for me.
I go outside and meet Bob who is also a firefighter with the department. I also met his wife and I can't seem to remember her name. Bobs wife is on staff at a local Methodist church in Hallville and they work with underprivileged families to give them a new start in life. What a wonderful way to help our fellow Americans I think. So they have cubicle style housing behind the church with bathrooms and AC and I had a good nights sleep that night... Except for the little mouse that insisted on running around and dragging paper everywhere he went. He almost died several times that night and I don't think he even realized it.
So the next morning Bob brings me a mcdonalds breakfast and I scarf it down and head out.
Just outside of Longview... Around Page Rd I get a call from Bob Hallmark who is a reporter from ABC news in Longview. He heard about me from Carla who follows the Trek and has been a bid help in the Longview area. Bob happens to be a former Navy guy an has a heart for veterans and military especially those military families that have lost someone. Bob grabs a great story and it ends upcplaying at 6 and 10 that night. I found. quality Inn and grabbed a room in Longview. It was around 1230 so I was going to get a decent nights sleep and half a day to rest. I also wanted to hang around the city because anytime the Trek gets news coverage it really helps donations and support.
That night Carla drove up from Tyler to take me out for a burger that was great except that I just didn't feel so good for some reason. Maybe I was a bit dehydrated but I wasn't 100%. So I get back to my room and u crash. Morning comes.
I wake up and go. Donations are great and people are coming out to support in their own ways. For instance... Cody is a Longview Policeman an sent me a text during my sleep that he wanted to help out by buying me Breakfast so we linked up and he did. City and I hit it off when we met and he was a proud but humble civil servant and it was great to meet him.
A young lady from the local VFW post stopped me in Clarksville and told me she was part of the Ladies Auxillary and her dad was the VFW Officer. Seems their VFW is in danger of closing it's doors but they desperately wanted to help so they gave what little they could. If that's not a picture of great Americans I don't know what is. That's simply Amerucans helping Amerucans. I think I like that.... Americans Helping Americans... New slogan for Trek For Hope??? What do you think?
So it seems that Carla... God bless her... Drove from Longveiw to Big Sandy after our burger dinner scoping out the road and places to stay. She got to Big Sandy and asked the Police if I could camp at the park but they said no, though they thought they knew someone thT could help and they would call her back. So, yesterday I get a phone call from mike. Mike is former airforce and a great guy. He calls and says he is headed my way to meet me and that when I get to big sandy I'll have a place. I get one town short of big sandy and I meet mike. He tells me the details and then I'm off to meet a reporter at the pizza hut. As I'm pushing my cart to pizza hut my handle breaks, again. So I call mike. Mike flys in like the airforce combat engineer that he was and rigs my stroller up an it's still going strong. I eat with Jimmy the reporter and I head out to big sandy. When I get there I am met by mikes girlfriend Shawn and the Mayor of Big Sandy Mayor Weese. Just pruorto this a man named Stephen stopped me just outside Big Sandy. His dad was a helicopter mechanic in Vietnam. He walked. Couple miles with me into town as did mike. We all arrived at the churchs extra bldg which has couches and bathrooms and a generally nice setup overall.
I was greeted by a local reporter who was not supposed to be working but came out anyways to grab a story. And a little later mikes GF Shawn brings over a home cooked meal and the three of us.. Me mike and Shawn sit down tobeat. After dinner mike and I tell war stories and then we all said our goodbyes and I went to bed.
I wake up at like 0515 this morning and answer the door at 0545 to dewayne. He is a church member and a great guy. We met the previous night and he took my clothes and washed them folded them and brought them back to me this morning and took me to breakfast. Fantastic gentleman. After breakfast he dropped me back off at the place I stayed and he headed off to work. I set out a bit later and headed to Mineola. The past few days I have been in contact with Benjamin Timoner. He is walking across country west to east for Pancreatic Cancer. We met up between Hawkins and Mineola today and exchanged stories and passed guidance for each our respective directions ahead. After a good hour of talking we parted ways... He headed east an I continued west. Check his journey at
Before leaving Big Sandy mike gave me a phone number to another Pastor in Mineola. A Pastor Ken Teo. I called Ken after meeting mike and told him ETA an ge said he would make sure u had a place no matter what. I arrived outside Mineola and setup camp because I had told Ken I would show up tomorrow around lunch. Well Ken had a former Army Sgt, mr Harris call me and he was going to work with me about tomorrow and the housing situation. Come to find out I was camped right across the street from where theywere gonna house me at so mr Harris comes and scoops me up and well.... Here I am, in the church fellowship hall. So, that's my story over the past few days. Mr Harris will be here in the am to treat me to breakfast and them I'll be headed to Grand Saline. I hope you all are well. Have a great night!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm in TEXAS!!!

So last blog I wrote I was in Louisiana almost to Shreveport and I was camping. Let me tell you what happened after I went to sleep at said camp.... It's about 2:30 in the morning and I wake up to the tent rustling from wind whipping by. As I come fully to I feel a few rain drops come thru the mesh on the tent so I scramble to set the rain fly fully in place and to cover my belongings in the stroller with my rain coat. I crawl back inside just in time. The rain begins to come down hard and heavy. After about a solid minute of rain I feel my feet getting wet and then dripping of water on my shirt around my chest. I do a quick visual with the flashlight to see if I didn't properly set the fly and it appeared to be fine. I realizes about then that the seams on the fly and the whole tent were leaking! I pretty much came to the conclusion that I was gonna get wet so just suck it up. I laid in my tent with a half inch or so of pooling water on the floor and a constant dripping from the roof on my back. This lasted about an hour. I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that at this point, short of the whipping wind blowing away my faulty tent.... This was about as bad as it could get. I was wet. It wasn't terribly cold although I did shiver just a bit. I put all my electronics on a mound of clothes that I was using for a pillow and I slept in my waterbed. But, I survived.
That morning I packed up my tent and wrung out what belongings I could and set out. I hooked up with Peter who has been following me on FB and he offered me a place to stay for the night. Around 530 that evening he met me and I passed off my stroller and gear to him and he went down about where I was stopping for the night and waited on me. It was only about 4 miles to my end point so I jogged it out and met up with him at a fas station at which point he drive me to his place. His wife Victiria greeted me and showed me where ibwas staying and then they both made the best spaghetti dinner I had had in a while. Maybe I was just hungry. Maybe it was good. So after a bit of conversation I went to bed. The next morning they fixed me a huge breakfast and Peter dropped me off about where he food me and I se off. I have to say that petty and Vicky made a great couple. They were the sweetest people and they seemed to work very well inside of their relationship.
So... Shreveport. Not a whole lot to say.... Dead... Abandoned buildings and the city just looked run down. Nobody around really.
So let's get to Texas. I crossed the line without much incident. And headed to waskom Tx. In waskom I stopped at a DQ and had dinner. The hardware store owner from Arcadia Louisiana called and had some supplies for me do we linked up there at the DQ in waskom and after that I moved down the road about a mule and set up camp. I woke up the next morning which would be the 18th and noticed it was really dark and the wind was blowing. It seemed like it would rain at any moment for quite a while so I stayed in the tet hoping for the best. About 3 pm I decided it was gonna hold off and I hit the road for Marshall. I'm mow in Marshall Texas and I showed up pretty late last night. I grabbed a cheap motel room and slept well. I'm heading to hallville now an maybe Longview tonight.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Just east of Minden La.

It's a camp out night again. Crickets are chirping and the air is pleasant.
A day before arriving in Ruston a man named Henry McCoy contacted me vis FB and said another follower alerted him that I was going to be in his area and to keep a look out for me. Henry owns an art supply shop and also works as a photographer. Henry offered his time in order to take professional shots of me for promotion of the cause. As I approached downtown Ruston I called him and he gave me directions to his store. I arrived at the store and met Henry and quickly found him to be pleasant and a joy to speak with. After some time Jonathon, a friend of henry's and fellow photog/blogger shows up. Jonathon wanted to grab a video of me for his blog page to help forward awareness.
We all loaded up in the cars and headed out to an old section of highway next to I-20 where Henry proceeded to work out of what I believe to be a skill like none other. Go to to check out his portfolio which is impressive to say the least.
So after Henry worked his talent, Jonathon set up his equipment and we did an interview about the Trek. After all this jonathon offered to put me up for the evening and I accepted the invitation. I cleaned up at Jonathons place and then he took me to a restaurant for some ofthe most amazing Louisiana food. I don't remember what I had I just know my mouth is watering thinking of it. After dinner it was off to bed.
The next morning I woke up and Jonathons roommate Donald who is also a photog but primarily for sports took me out to photo me a few times. After that, Henry came and scooped me up and we stopped by Starbucks to meet a local youth pastor that by way of one of the guys promised me coffee. We had an enjoyable conversation about the Trek an his fighter he adopted from the Ukraine. After this Henry dripped me off on my route and I headed west.
I walked into Simsboro where I found a cafe named JR's and I headed inside for lunch. It was 1 o clock which is closing for them but the owner seated me anyways. I had the lunch special which was delicious but I was so hot fromthe sun beating on me that I didn't eat that much. The waitress took my plate and told me the owner said no charge for the meal. I wet up to him and shook his hand and found out several former employees and relatives are in the military. We thanked each other and I headed out. A little down the road I met a former beuracrat from the Dayton Ohio area that had retired and has been riding his bike across the US about 17 times now and has covered over 70,000 miles. That's just stellar.
I made it to Arcadia and a man stopped me outside his hardware store. He told me that he saw me on tv back in February down in Florida when he was on vacation. He brought me in his place and let me sleep there for the night. I was able to walk down the street and enjoy seafood spaghetti at Luigis. That was excellent food.
So this morning I woke up early around 0530 and hit the road by 0630. I needed to make it to the Gibslan PO to pick up my New Balance shoes that were there. I hoped. I arrived and spoke to an employee that said he was just about to send the package back to the sender! I had forgotten to call ahead and give them a heads up. It was a disaster averted by waking up early and getting there in time.
Magnum boots sent me a fabulous pair of their sidewinder boots also. I picked them up in Ryston an have been pleased with them.
I stopped by the Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum in Gibsland today and met the owner "Boots" Hinton who is the son of the famous lawman Ted Hinton. Ted is one of the 6 men that ambushed and killed Bonnie and Clyde. It was an honor to meet a person with such history behind. It was interesting to me that he called his dad by his first name. He referred to him as Ted throughout the entire conversation. I learned so much about this piece of history.
After te museum I made my way down the road for a while and took a break. A white toyota SUV rolled up on the edge of the road in front of me and a man stepped out and walked towards me with a piece of paper. He gave me the paper and said a man fromthe area had been in an accident along I-20 exactly 2 weeks ago today and walked away fromthe scene and has yet to be found. Mark was possibly drinking but that's not for sure and is on prescription meds of unknown sort but without them he becomes delirious an unable to function normally. Hopefully they find him soon as two weeks out here with no supplies could be life ending. I prat for his safe return.
So I'm in my camp for the night with a belly full of been weenies. Looking forward totommorrow and all the great things ahead. I'll hit Shreveport soon and then Texas.
Goodnight everyone.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Headed to Ruston La

I am laying in my tent looking up at the sky thru the canopy of tree branches as I write this. It's a pleasant night with the occasional gentle breeze. The sounds of motorists rushing along I-20 can be heard in the distance and the occasional interruption of insects bouncing off the mesh screen of my tent is a gentle reminder of how close to nature I am.
I met roger and kacey as I mad my way across Louisiana. It's an interesting story. Adam McConnell is an 82nd Airborne vet. He linked up with me on FB and as I got closer to Monroe he kept tabs on me. He has been a huge help to me while I have been in the area and part of that was alerting a reporter at KNOE TV 8 in Monroe about the Trek. So Meg Smith of KNoE called and said she wanted to come out to where I was and film me and ask questions. I agreed. It would be around 30-45 mins before she could get out to where I was at so I kept walking. As I was walking I noticed a big Dodge dually truck edge out of a drive and prepare to turn onto the highway. I spied an Army tag on the front bumper. He pulled up beside me and asked what I was doing. I said that I was walking cross country for a military charity. Without a seconds pause he pulled over and jumped out. It's roger. He was in army summer PT uniform and quickly came to shake my hand. He said he thought it was a great thing. I gave him a card and we parted ways after a few more words and I kept walking. A bit later Meg shows up and starts from filming from a distance and about the same time roger pulls up in a church parking lot off to the side and just before where Meg is filming. I divert my course to go shake his hand. Roger tells me he lived right about where we first met and he went home to check me out after meeting me. He looked up all the websites. He offered lunch and a place to stay and he also said he would hang around till after the interview. I spoke with Meg a while about the Trek and the Foundation and then she filmed me going downthe road. Afterwards roger brought me to his house for a great lunch fixed by his wife kacey. Apparently, according to her, there is a big difference between cooking and baking. She informed me that she would cook me anything I like but don't ask her to bake. I'm still confused about that and I'll be glad to hear Antibes answer as to how that is.
So roger and kacey fed me lunch and then dropped me back off to continue walking for the day. I had a certain goal I wanted to hit. t about 5pm I called it quits and hit roger up on the cell for an extract. Once back at their place I cleaned up and later had dinner. I went to bed fairly early expected the next day to be like any other. I woke up to find a voicemail from chris williams my support guy and driver for Desert Warrior. It sounded a bit funny. I went out to the kit hen to say hello and come tO find out chris and wife Janvier drove from ga to bring me an off road stroller so that I didn't have to hump my pack anymore. That was awesome. It was awesome to see them and awesome to see that gift knowing it would save my back a d my feet. So after a few goodbyes we loaded up the truck and roger dropped me back off where he found me and I struck out.
Later that day Adam finds me and starts looking after me. This would be Saturday at this point. Adam finds me outside of Monroe and scoops me up for lunch and a tour of the city. later he drops me off so I can walk into the east edge of Monroe. When I get to the edge I call him and he picks me up and puts me up forthe night. I end up staying thru Sunday in order to recoup my energy from a few hard hot days prior to the stroller arriving. This morning Adam carries me back to where he finds me at and I head out. Across Monroe I go. A few curious people stop and check on me but nothing out of the ordinary happens until I cross this one intersection and right in the middle the hane on the stroller breaks clean off! Talk about a big dissappointme t. I pulled over in a parking lot and assessed the situation. Not good. Two plastic pieces that were cheaply made had snapped but it happened in a way that allowed me to use my medical tape and secure it back on temporarily. I pulled up welding shops on GPS and found one 2.5 miles away. I limped over and spoke to a sweet lady in the office who set me up with Caleb. Caleb took right to the project lie the pro that he is. Be had my handle bar back in place in no time and then he jumped on braces for the frame so it would be even further secure. Caleb works for Mann Fleming Machine Shop in West Monroe. If you need metal work done... See them for it. So after Caleb fixes me up I go back inside the office and meet the owner who ends up giving me the work for free.
So I head back down my route and I find myself here in the woods tonight. Adam brought me dinner and I enjoyed it. Now it's time for bed. Goodnight everyone.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Delhi Louisiana!

It's a warm night tonight with an occasional breeze that finds it's way through the mesh on my tent. It's a welcome sensation as I am laying in my own sweat. Today seemed to drag on as the miles slowly faded past. I think it had something to do with the Tylenol PM I took last night but then again maybe it was the flat open road for miles with farmland on each side. Either way it was a day I didnt enjoy. I stayed in a hotel last. The power company is in the area working on issues from the recent tornadoes and had booked all the rooms for the next couple days at the only two hotels in the town of Tallulah where I was at. All the rooms except for the Suites. At 100 a night I was not inclined to stay butthe lady called the manager and we worked out a decent deal although I still felt it was too high. The suite is a room with two king beds instead of one. Hmmm. So I slept well at least and enjoyed a climate that was controlled unlike tonights blanket of heat.
Yesterday I walked to tallulah from Delta Louisiana. Two days ago a Vietnam vet named AJ saw me on the road and put me up in his place for the night. I was able to hang out with some of the local vets in the area and catch a few stories from days gone by. AJ has a Ford F250 with American flags that fly from his front bumper and from a roll bar behind the roof. AJ is 100% American and proud of it. He was a great host and fixed deer sausage for breakfast and it was good! Let me tell ya about me crossing over the Mississippi river. It seems that in order to cross over you need a permit from the county and insurance just in case. There are two bridges actually... The newest bridge is actually I-20 and the old bridge is part of the old national hwy. I posted a few pics of it on FB as I was crossing and also when the train passed me. So, thanks to connections I wont go into I was able to receive a "tour" of the bridge by Tim who is the second man in charge. Tim told me all about the bridge and it's history as we walked to the other end. He happened to e a great tour guide and when we hit te other side we made a video to welcome everyone to Louisiana and then he headed back to work. So, I think I was treated extra special. So the bridge was crossed ad I was in La and just past the bridge is Delta where I met AJ. So that's about it for now..... Oh yeah... Retired Lt Col Bob Strange found me as I was going into Vicksburg and took my bag for me so I was light as a feather! I ran alot of the miles that day and was able to hit the hotel bob had for me by noon. It was awesome and then I went to the Elks Club that night and met many a great people.
So that's about all for now. Have a great night!!!

One dollar.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Vicksburg Ms tomorrow and then Louisiana!

A lot of great things have been happening over the past few days so let me fill you in. I'm sure you are ready to hear it all. Last week I stayed in Clinton Miss which is west of Jackson by a few miles. My sister Erin earned here 4year and her masters at different colleges in Jackson and Clinton so she has several connections here and I was able to stay with some of them. Tim and Ashley were those friends. They are husband and wife. They were gracious hosts and made sure I was taken care of while I was in their care. I arrived there early in the week and was hanging around in hopes that a certain something would pan out. There is another xcountry walker named Troy Yocum and he walks across America raising money to grant wishes for military families. He has been walking for a year now and has a bit longer to go. Check him out at So Troy and I have been in contact since the earliest part of the Trek and we always said we should try to meet up but we kinda thought it wouldn't happen since our routes were so different. Troy calls me last week and says that he has a tentative schedule of fri to meet with Mississippi governor Haley Barbour and wanted to know if I wanted to come along. Of course I jumped at the invitation and we left it at that until Troy heard confirmation of that meeting. Since it was going to be a few days until the meeting I decided to get out in Clinton and see what I could drum up. Mississippi College is in Clinton so I walked around the college and went to a few places I thought could help spread the word like the army ROTC class and to 93.5 which is the Christian radio station on campus and the only radio station that I know of. I set up an interview with the morning show for thurs... It was tues when I did this so that meant a fees days to lounge around. Let me tell you, when you are used to walking everyday and then you have a number of days in a row where you do almost nothing... You feel like you are wasting away. So I hung out till Thursday morning at which time I showed up at the station. Tracy and Chad in the morning is the name of the show and we all had a great time. We talked about the Trek and the Foundation as well as lots of random things. I was on the air for about an hour and a half. After the show I met several employees of the station and a DJ by the name of Camea. She was a brightly clothed young lady with bright silver high heels that must have lifted her 8 inches of the floor. She was a sweet girl. So after the radio I hit the local coffee shop down the road called Cups. As I walked in I saw a young man that had given me a ride across campus on we'd and he was with a friend of his named Ryan. I spoke with them foe a minute and then grabbed a coffee. I spent some time with Ryan that afternoon and we went to the college cafeteria to eat lunch. Come to find out that Ryan has a bible study program where he mentors young men around campus. He also knows the Phillips family that I stayed with in Starkville. Amazing huh? So fri morning comes and Troy and I are to meet the governor at 1100. Troy and I had been talking over thurs and fri about the logistics of meeting up so I had Ashley drop me off at a days inn near the Capitol bldg. Fri morn I woke up and called Troy and we decided to meet outside the Capitol bldg around 1000. As I was leaving the hotel and walking that way I saw a hummer with stickers for Wish Upon A Hero which is the charity Troy walks for and I realized that he had stopped at a gas station right next to my hotel. I didn't see him outside by the gas pump so I headed towards the station door and he met me at the door since he saw me walking by. We shook hands and gave each other a hug. It was a great moment for us both I think. I walked to his hummer and met his wife Mareike and their two dogs Harley and Emmy. We jumped in and headed to the governors office. We arrived at the office and were quickly ushered upstairs to the waiting area. We met several people in the area that were milling around or working inthe office of the governor. After about 20 minutes the governor came out and poke with us. Troy and I took several pictures with him and Troy grabbed his signature in support of his effort to acquire a day nationally for deployed troops. So we left the governor to his legislative business and we went to lunch. But just before lunch we spent some time with a reporter fromthe Clinton Courier answering questions about our respective walks. Then lunch. Guess where. Chic Fil A. Yep another CFA meal... I'm thinking I should ask them for a sponsorship. Some of you have said that already as well. So lunch an then tries support group worked out a free two bedroom suite at a gorgeous hotel. I slept great that night. Oh yeah, Troy and I went to the movies and watched that movie about the drug that makes you mentally awesome. I can't think of the name but I enjoyed it. So the next day we all woke up and hit applebees for lunch. After lunch Troy drove me to Clinton and dropped me off so that we could finish our missions for military families.
I started walking west back to and thru Clinton. As I was walking a few people stopped me and said hello. They had seen me when I was on tv way back in Atlanta. I made it thru Clinton and to a small town west of there. I spent the night in my new tent that Bass Pro Shops in Pearl donated. All of it worked out well and it is gonna make my backpack lighter for the walk. Until I can getto a pos office tomorrow to mail home some extra gear I'm carrying my old and new gear. It's about ten pounds extra weight and you can certainly feel it.
I woke up this Koenig and walked towards Edwards Ms. It was a long hard day. It just seemed like it was taking forever to get here. I think it was a combination of the weighty pack and a hotter day than the past few I've walked in. I was sucking down the water. I finally made it though near 5 pm and found a gas station to grab a Gatorade from and then a motel to grab some zzzzz's in.
One of my army buddies that I was deployed with lives around Vicksburg and his mother in law worked it so she could bring me dinner and then she worked It out with the Elks Club so I could have a hotel tomorrow night as well. Thanks to AdM my friend and his MIL Melanie.
So tomorrow should be a good day and hopefully I make it the 15 or so miles in good time so I can stop early. It's getting warmer by midday and it's starting to take it's toll. I'm thinking it's time to start changing my walk schedule so that I walk earlier and finish by 2 pm sothat I can maintain my pace. As it gets hotter and more barren this tactic will become more crucial I think.
So that's where I am at now... More big things ahead.

I'll catch you guys later.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mississippi's Finest...

Since I have arrived in Miss the good people of the state have yet to stop caring for me. In so many ways the people of the cities that I have walked thru have gone to great lengths to find me and support the cause. I met a man that has a wonderful talent in carving wood into beautiful objects with his chainsaw. He lives in Sturgis Ms and is currently carving an Indian chiefs head for an Indian chief in South Dakota. You should have seen the beautiful creations he made from a chainsaw. I also had some of the best fried catfish in Sturgis as well. A lil diner on main street. There were two ladies inside that were eating as well and they invites me to sit with them and I did. It was pleasant company and I was happily surprised to find that a man I had spoken with inside the diner paid for my meal as he was leaving. There gave been so many instances like that that I truly can't remember them all. That's a good problem to have. Yesterday I spoke to a radio station in Iowa and recorded an interview that will play on air this Tuesday. It was for the United We Roll section. I thought the interview wet well and I was excited to be able to reach more of the Amerucan people in the heartland. Let me just saw that there are some interesting sounds in the miss night. I hear all kinds of interesting sounds outside my tent at night. Makes you wonder what's creeping around at night.....
Like I said, many people stopped to check on me yesterday and several times people bought me food and water. I met a Mississippi National Guardsman that just came back from Iraq. He hooked me up with about a Gallon of powerade and a bunch of bananas. I spent the night in the pine forest last night. I'll saythat there isn't much place where the ground is dry in miss. Had to walk for a bit to find something suitable.
Let me tell ya about these Miss'sip folks I met today. It was mid morning and I plopped down for a break outside this house in the middle of nowhere. I see a few people walk outside a minute later and one yells out to me.. Hey! Are you turkey hunting?!... I wasn't turkey hunting. I walked a lil closer and he yells again.. Are you walking to Cali? I smiled and said yes I was that guy. Thank God for the media prescence here in Miss. Well I walked on over and met a few people and I was offered a few bologna sandwiches which I took happily since I was hungry and lunch was closing in. After a while of talking about some good ol boy stuff they offered to take me into town and buy me lunch. Like I said, I was hungry and it was Mexican food, I can't tuen down salsa and guacamole. So I hoped in. Anyways, I ended up eating with this group of 5 guys and 2 girls from the area and let me tell you they will keep te good times rolling. There wasn't a dull moment with this bunch and I certainly laughed
Ore today than I have in a while. Thanks alot y'all. I enjoyed the lunch and the company.
After looking at the map it seems im in for a long haul over the next few days. It's 22 plus miles to anywhere it seems. Gonna have to pack heavy and walk hard. And then it's another 25 plus miles after that so I'm gonna have to suck it up. Anyways, I'll make it. It's getting late and I have a long day tomorrow. Goodnight

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Enroute to Jackson...

I apologize for my absence these past few days. I have had several great experiences which I will share with you. A few days ago I crossed into Ms and it's been good to me since I arrived. I hadn't been over the state line more than 30 mins when a cameraman with a local news channel pulled up and questioned me as to whether i was the guy walking across the US an I said yes. I let him drive me to a gas station within eyesight so I could grab a much needed cold drink. After my Gatorade he took video of me walking down the road and he was off to work his craft with the video for the news that evening. I was having some blister trouble at this point and it was slowing me down considerably so I found some woods outside Colombus and set up tent forthe night. I wasn't a happy camper as my feet hurt and I really wanted to be on the west side of colombus by nightfall. I was grumbling and complaining but it was all for a purpose as you will read. So I went to sleep.
I wake up somewhat late and just after I wakeup I get a phonecall from a lady who is an Army vet. Seems she saw me from the news that evening before and wanted to buy my breakfast. I told her my location and she showed up but not exactly byherself. She had called a reporter from the Commercial Dispatch and had her show as well and we all went to BF to eat and hear the Trek story and it's cause. After BF the lady that took me to eat offered to see if her husband could give me a tour of the helicopter plant he worked at. He said he would and so she drove me over there. He was a smart guy and well versed in his company. He gave me a guided tour of the plant and he took several pictures of me as well in the build area. Alot of the inner workings of the area are secret so details can't be discussed as to what is being built exactly but it's a chopper that the military will use for various purposes such as medevac. After the tour he graciously took me to lunch an then to several stores so that I could get the supplies I needed. After all that he drove a short distance to my friend Jonathons house. Jonathon and I went to combat medic school together in the army and we have kept in touch here an there over the years. He is in the ROTC program at MSU as well as playing Safety for the MSU Bulldogs football team. I stayed with his family at their awesome country abode. They were all so very gracious and compassionate toward myself that I didn't know how to act halberd time. There are 13 kids in the Phillips household and currently 10 of them still live at home. It's amazing to see such a big family work so well together to accomplish the days task.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to relax my feet and let the blisters heal up some. I also went to MSU with Jonathons father Randy and we spent some time going to alot of the different departments passing out cards and spreading the Trek. I was also able to land an on air spot with 91.1 which is the campus radio station. They were great atthe station and the station manager happens to be the uncle of a young lady that is a reporter from te Starkville Daily News. She met with Jonathon and I at Cappy's which is a local restaurant for lunch. She had two young ladies from the high school with her for career day. We had a great meeting and the finished product which I saw today was very well done. Huge thanks to all the media in the area for picking this up and running with it. With all the negativity that could be reported it's great to see something positive take precedence.
So last night I was able to take a few minutes and speak at the campus crusade meeting at MSU. I was able to tell a fairly large number of students about the Trek and we all know that college are broke so while there went huge donations per se there was a lot of cards passed out and I believe a great outcome will happen. Thanks to the two students who dug deep. You in the bathroom and you by the stairs. Thank you.
Today I woke up and headed into MSU with Jonathon. I was contacted by a 20th Special Forces Group soldier last night an he wanted to walk with me for a while today. We met on campus and low and behold, Wcbi the tv station showed up to cover the story again. This the same station that found me 30 minutes into my arrival in Mississppi. They interviewed both of us for a bit and then followed us all the way thru town pretty much. Itvwas great to once again seethe news media show up in support.
My new walking buddy which we will call "B" walked around 14 mules for the cause today. We had a great talk about anything and everything. It's always great to have fellow warriors walk with me. Thanks "B".
I made it to around Sturgis tonight and I'm headed to Jackson. From there I will head to Vicksburg and then move into Louisiana from there. I'm looking forward to more great experiences out here on the road. Jonathon brought me Zaxbys tonight out here in the woods and a few other goodies. I can't thank him enough for helping me out and for his friendship.
Well that's gonna do it for to iffy. Goodnight...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Closing in on Miss'sip!

Today has been a long day. Even though I started late at around 9am it just seemed to be a long haul. I have noticed that as the sun bears down hotter upon me it becomes harder to push myself up the hills. I am also consuming much more water than when it was cold but that's to be expected. On the west side of Bama stores are a tad farther apart do that means I must carry more supplies just in case although that equals a heavier bag. I'm actually sweating in my tent right now and the sun is almost down.
Anyways, I met a Special Forces soldier today. He saw me on the news and when he spotted me roadside he stopped to say thanks and make sure I had enough supplies. He was overly grateful to me for what I was doing and I guess ibwas a bit taken aback that an operative would be that grateful to me for walking across country for their foundation. I could understand a level of high respect and gratitude but then I noticed his daughter in the car and I realized he was grateful because I was walking for her. He knew te foundation and what it stands for so he knew also that if anything happened to him that SOWF would step up to the plate for her awns that's why he was so thankful. It made sense from the Father point of view. I know I would feel the same way if the roles were reversed. "C", you are most welcome and I consider it an honor to walk on behalf of the Spec Ops community.

Yesterday I was in tuscaloosa and went sight seeing around the university of Alabama. I took several pics of the stadium and the school so check out FB to see them. I met a guy at Firehouse Subs that writes for a school paper and he said he wanted to do a story on the Trek an would be giving me a call. I hope he does.
I also stopped off at a Marine Corp officer recruiting station and passed out some cards. They all seemed impressed by what I was doing. They were a bunch of great guys.... At least for Marines! JK!
That's about it for these past few days. I need more local media attention. That's what seems to help in the cities the most. HLN has been doing an awesome job of promoting the Trek and the cause. Make sure you send a email or call them to say thank you. They have been featuring the Trek on the morning shoe with Robin Meade and on the Cross Country segment.
Well, it's Tent night as I said. I'm off to dreamland in a few. Take care and goodnight.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Camping. Dogs are annoying.

Yes. Dogs that bark incessantly are annoying. It's happening right now. I'm in the woods and two dogs are going back and forth in the distance. Anyways, not much to tell about today except for meeting several great people. That's something right?! Several people looked out for me today with a little pocket change and it was appreciated. I'm close to Tuscaloosa, home of the Roll Tide, so I'm gonna stop and take pics of the university when I make it in town.

I set up a paypal acct tonight. Several ppl have expressed interest in using that route to donate to the cause so if that's you then please feel free to donate as you see fit. The email I used is I'm told that's what you'll need to have in order to donate. So there you have it.... More miles down... U of A is next and then on to MSU in Mississippi.
And that's it for tonight...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Living the high life in the Hampton!

I left my motel room this morning and hit up the continental breakfast for some coffee and pastries. Breakfast of champions! As I was leaving one of the employees recognized me from tv and came out for pics. We grabbed a few photos and I was off. I had to walk 1.4 miles in the wrong direction to a Post Office that I was expecting a package from SOWF to arrive at. It didn't arrive. So, I worked out a plan with the PO to get it to me should it arrive in the morning. Hopefully it does so I can have those items to pass out at some point. So I'm in a hotel waiting.
I met many people today. Alot of people stopped me because they recognized me from the tv. The media support has certainly helped out and I'm grateful for it. An airforce vet bought me lunch today and I ate with him and his neighbors. It was great having company for lunch and we had intelligent conversation which if you have never trekked the US alone you wouldn't really appreciate that small detail of life as much as I did today. You can only be so smart when you talk to yourself and after a while you feel a bit loony. Maybe it's just me.
Two wonderful ladies at the Army Navy surplus store helped me with a few items today and with some extra lunch money as well.
I spoke with the wife of Bessemer's former Mayor also. She had a nice car :)
Tmobile employees helped out today also. They saw me walking by and called the BBQ place I was eating at and had me come back sorbet could say thanks and give a donation. If you live near Bessemer Alabama go eat at Bob Sykes BBq. Great food and great portions. I couldn't finish it all.
So that's about it. Also thanks to the young lady from Aarons rent a center.
Yeah, that's about it. One more thing... If you have my number then it won't be turned back on till tomorrow. It's being ported from ATT to verizon so it may be lunch tomorrow before it works. Just an FYI. Ok ppl, I'm done for the night. Goodnight.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Southwest of Birmingham.

I slept by a creek last night and it was a peaceful sleep. Flowing water 10 feet from your tent has a way of putting most people to sleep I'm sure. So I woke up and packed my gear and headed off to Irondale. I slept just outside the city limits so I walked towards the downtown area and as I was walking a man on a motorcycle stopped to talk with me. His name was Lou and he was a Patriot Guard rider. I gave him my card and we took a couple of pics and he went about his way. He emailed me later and said he passed my info to a high level PGR member so that they could watch out for me intheir areas an provide support as they are able.
I made it into Irondale and at the suggestion of a FB follower I found the Irondale Cafe which is where they supposedly shot the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. Right before I went in to eat a man named Bubba found me and stopped to shake hands. He had seen me on tv and wanted to say thanks. He did and we parted ways. While I was inline getting my food he appeared again an wanted to eat with me so I said I would enjoy the company. Also, several senior citizens of the female persuasion were in the bathroom line and they read the sign on my bag. Well they were instantly impressed and it became picture time. So a few pics later and I was eating. The food was excellent and I only wish I could have eaten more.
Several members from United Airlines Retirees were eating there also and they had seen me on tv as well. They came over to greet me and say thanks.
So after eating I stopped by Bubbas shop just down theride to load up on some water. After that I headed to Birmingham. Once I got to Birmingham Michael Miller from Alabamas News 13 found me and performed a great interview with me roadside. It should be on tonight sometime an I was told they may be able to link the story on FB.
So now I'm in a hotel for tonight and I'm finally dry. It rained on me for my last 4 miles. I need to go wash some clothes here in a sec. Let me say that I had a horrible time navigating birminghams roads. GPS and reality were a bit different at times. Anywys, I made it. So I hope you all have a great night and I'll try to get you guys an update for tomorrow. Goodnight

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Camping by a creek.

Well, I woke up in the motel the next morning and packed up for the day. It was a nice room actually and very homey feeling. I was kinda sad to leave it but I had to move on. I met the manager downstairs and he poured me a huge cup of coffee to go and we talked for a bit and I was off. I headed west towards Riverside and when I got there found that te creeks around the area had flooded the surrounding area. At one spot on 78 the road was covered by several inches of water but the Alabama DOT guys were kind enough to drive me through it to the otherside. I posted plenty of pics on FB for everyone to see.
I made it to Pell City. Two ladies stopped me and asked if I was the guy on tv and I said yes so we took pics for FB an I headed downthe road. Not to much to say about P City.
I walked into Eden and found Fox's Pizza. I ended up getting there around 2 or so and hanging out. It was a great time. I was feed several times for free and everyone of the people that worked there offered some contribution to the cause. I also met several great people that were eating inside as well and I was able to share the Trek with them. During my stay at FP John found me there. A relative of his follows the trek and I was connected to John so I would have a place to stay. John and his wife and three kids were great and I really appreciate their generosity. John manages the Leeds Chic Fil A and he promised me a dinner once I got there that night. He also said he may have me a place to stay that night as well. So the next day struck out headed to Leeds. At this point I am talkin about yesterday the 12th. So I head on to Leeds and have a pretty good day. At one point the road merges into I 20 and in order for me to follow a road other than the interstate I would end up going many miles out of my way so I hit the woods next to 20 for a few miles. It was slow going since it was soggy ground and a steep incline but I made it and saved mileage and time. as I was halfway to my destination an gentleman found me and offered me a lunch. I was hungry so I said sure. He took me to the Golden Rule BBQ and fed me well. Gotta love the south and it's BBQ. He was a kind man and very supportive. I headed out again and made it to my marker. I arrived at Chic FA in the evening after dark and scarfed down my free dinner. Thanks John! I stopped to grab pics with all the employees thT I could and while I was in there I made a new friend. Ms Scarlett. She was about 5 years old and just the cutest thing ever. She made many questions for me and we talked for a while about all kinds of things. She was well spoken for a young girl.
So this brings me to Kevin. I was told that John secured me a place to stay with his co worker Kevin and that he was on the way to get me. I had no idea what I was in for. So Kevin bursts thru the door with a larger than life personality and walks right up to me and introduces himself and I just so happened to have a bite of food in my mouth so I resorted to sign language nods and blinks for instant communication. Anyways, we meet an I can tell he is afflicted. ADD is his friend and they hang out together. Alot. So Kevin and I loaf up in the car and head to his house. He has a beautiful home and his kids are at the door of said home waiting to pounce. I make it inside an I meet his wife Lauren and all the three boys. They turn out to be lively kids an instantly friendly. So we talk a little bit about various things and I jump in te shower to get clean. Kevins neighbor comes over with a blow up air matress for me. We will refer to him as codename "Anderton". Anderton begins to blow up this air mattress with his wides hairdryer and the rubber section of a breast pump that happens to make contact with the nipple area. Yeah, I know. So he proceeds to blow this thing up while we all sit on the couch and shame him. If he hadn't been a great sport with a great sense of humor it may well have been cruel. So Anderton finally finishes and says goodnight. The rest of us end up hitting the hay soon thereafter.
I get up kinda early and go with Kevin to grab Hardees and then off to his church. It was missions week there and he wanted meto go since he felt like I am a missionary of sorts and it would be good PR. I went and it was a great time. I met many people and the church itself gave a donation to the Foundation and I passed out several cards and shook many hands. Springville Church was a very friendly and generous church and thanks to them for allowing me to be a part off their service. While church was going on Rob Marshall drove by to see me. Rob and a crew called USAF7 are raising funds for SOWF as well by climbing the 7 tallest mountains in the world. It was great to meet him. It's inspiring and motivating to meet other people on the same Kim of mission. Robs pic is on FB.
After church KeV and the fam along with a family friend Erica went to a BBQ joint and pigged out. It was sooo good but once he dropped me off roseate walking again today I quickly realized that I did not wanna move. I holed up in the woods for about an hour to digest and then I struck out. I'm now between Leesa and Irondale for the night. I'll break camp early and make it to Bham tomorrow sometime in the afternoon. Look for more pics an updates on FB. I'm out. Goodnight.

It's coming...

Hold on folks! I'll have a new post up tonight.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lincoln Alabama

Thanks to a Recon Marine and two new friends, I'm in a motel room for the night. According to him, he passed me twice today and on the third pass he finally stopped. He said he saw me on tv and wasn't sure at first that I was the guy on tv but he finally stopped and checked to see if it was me and of course it was. He and his friend called a third person and between all of them they worked out the logistics of where to get a room, buying the room and transportation to the room along with lunch money for tomorrow. You have to really appreciate the lengths our military will go to protect their own. Certainly there is an unspoken bond between those of us that have served. These days we certainly enjoy the privileges that come with the exceptionalism of America. I do see that we often times forget the burden that is ours because of this honor. We are a nation that stands heads and shoulders above the rest and we should never apologize nor feel ashamed of our position in the world. We must remember that our military has shouldered the burden to keep what our founding fathers created many years ago so let us not forget our brave men and women that bear our beautiful Flag on their glorious uniforms.
Early this morning I met a great family in Chic Fil A as I was eating breakfast. They were very interested in the cause and I was able to explain the Trek and the Foundation. Shortly after meeting them a man came over to say his thanks as he overhead my obviously loud voice.
Several times today people stopped me to offer me food and it always seemed to be at that perfect moment. I am in Alabama and still I suffer not. I met two great people that worked at the Anniston Army Depot and they took pics with me and provided some encouraging words.
Let me also say that today was a miserable day. I did not enjoy the weather at all and it taught me to enjoy every moment inside a warm dry building. All day today the wind whipped my face and pushed my body around. I was told that tree were wind gusts up to 30 mph today and I believe that. At times it was hard to even take a step forward. I dis not want to be out today and honestly all day I felt under the weather. U just felt sluggish and heavy. Not really in the game so to speak. Well, by the grace of God I made it to the end of today so let's look towards tomorrow and expect great things. I'm off to bed. Goodnight.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Layin low in Alabama.

So its 8pm here in Oxford Alabama and the rain has stopped. My plan is to head out early tomorrow morning. I didn't really do much today since the weather didn't permit me to get out and about but I did meet a few people at Firehouse Subs. I went to walmart and walked around for a while and came back to the room and watched a few movies. That's the exciting parts of today.
I made it to the motel last night around 8 and the rain was just beginning. I sat at the Starbucks inside of a Target store for a while watching the weather yesterday afternoon. I ultimately decided I would walk aways and tempt my fate.
There isn't a whole lot to say for the past two days. Just that I met a few enjoyable people and I have enjoyed the rest day today. Looking forward to tomorrow and eventually Birmingham. Hopefully I will have an exciting update for you next time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Talladega Night.....

Well, a bad thing happened. Mostly by accident and from me not paying attention. I crossed thru Waco Ga last night and was a few miles on the west side headed to Tallapoosa when a young lady stopped me and asked me if I was Troy. I said no I'm the other guy. Troy Yocum walks across America so for military families though we are not affiliated and our charities are not working together, at least not on our respective walks. Anyways, sobi told her about me and the cause and she offered a couch for the night. I accepted without hesitation since it was cold and getting colder but I didn't ask where it was. Turns out is was right next to the Albama line. So yeah, I skipped a few miles on accident. She wasn't gonna take me back since she works in Alabama. I'll do better next time. I was actually motto far from the Tank. If any of you know where the park with the army tank out front is then I was around the corner from that. It turns out that she and her husband have a horse ranch on around 80 acres and they run a camp that uses the horses to help physically, behaviorally and mentally challenged kids. Not only that but they also are in the process of adopting several teenage children. This is an awesome family and I am honored to have stayed in their home. If you want to find out more about them check out... Rachel's Wish Foudation 770-574-8104 Buddy or Sandra.
For the most part of yesterday, Chris walked with me. You all probably saw the pics on FB and if not then drop by and check them out. It was enjoyable to have him there an we definitely had a few cool adventures along the way. No, I won't tell you. Janvier, Chris's awesome wife, played scout Nd drove all the way to Alabama for me to tell me what was ahead. We all had a late lunch at Cracker Varrel where we met a kid in army uniform, and a future ranger officer. It was. Productive and fun day yesterday.
Today has been a great day. Not really anything productive as far as PR for the cause. Ut I w noted the walk. I was up at 5 am an walking by 6. I made 20.5 miles today by 5 pm so I am happy. I'm now in the woods of Talladega National Forest and I'm going to get to sleep early and work towards a greatest tomorrow as well.
Have a great night everyone
Also, I like how I gained an extra hour this

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Waitin out the rain...

Today has been a fun day. If you haven't seen the videos from earlier today then you should go to YouTube and look for the Golf Ball videos under my username, TrekForHope2011. You are gonna love it! I won't say anymore about it but that.
I'm staying with a husband and wife and they are both prior service veterans. Desert Storm era to be more precise. Chris an Janvier are their names. They are wonderful people with generous and kind hearts. We have been playing with the various toys out here on the property. They have a couple old military vehicles that we can ride around in an we did that for a bit today. Check FB for pics. Chris and Janvier had a couple in for a visit and they were staying in the guest house next to the main house. I was able to spend some time with them today. Joseph and Cindy were their names and I was able to meet Cindys dad. Her dad is a veteran and Navy corpsman during the Okinawa invasion. He was a great guy and I enjoyed listening to his stories. Its truly an honor to be allowed to meet these heroes from a time before mine.
Tonight Chris and Janvier threw a birthday party for a family friend and I gorged myself on cake and ice cream. It's just calories for the road right? So after the party we then ate dinner and now I am stuffed and sleepy.
When Chris and Janvier picked me up yesterday they certainly surprised me. I am an army medic and they picked me up in a FLA. Any army folks out there? So it's basically a humvee with a cargo box on back set up for ambulance services. It's a ground medevac platform. That was really cool. Medevac coming to rescue the medic on the road!
The past two days have been an awesome experience. Today Chris took me to an eatery in downtown Villa Rica called the Tin Roof Cafe. Awesome place to eat and let me say thanks to them for the free lunch. Since I had on my sterile uniform they gave me my food for free. How great is that?! I am constantly reminded of peoples gratitude along this journey. While I was eating a lady came up and thanked me for my service and walked on. A few moments later. Young couple asked me if I was the walking soldier and I said yes. They ended up thanking me and offering a contribution of their own to the cause and my well being. I don't think there are enough kind things to say about all the amazing people I have met thus far. I can only imagine as to what lays before me.
I plan on heading out in the morning so long as the weather is ok. I think it will be. Onward to Bama! I should make Tallapoosa tomorrow night and camp out and then cross into Bama the next day.
I'm headed to bed. Goodnight all....