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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.

1 comment:

  1. WOW - what an amazing few days! Pray that the new schedule reduces the toll on you!