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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.