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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.