Friday, July 29, 2011

Way Out Moab Way

    I've been in Moab UT for over a week and I can feel it clutching at me, like a lustful lover on a warm eve. She wants me to stay and I wouldn't mind, but I hear the road calling. The call to adventure sounds and I must obey, leaving Moab one way or another.

   I've yet to decide which way to head. A few locals whom I've befriended keep urging me South. Monument Valley is something to see, they say. Like rafting on the Colorado and seeing Canyonlands, it's not to be missed.

   I, on the other hand, am tempted to head North to Green River and then West again. Where, they tell me, there is absolutely nothing for miles and miles but desert, hot Sun, scorpions, snakes and a possible chance of being abducted by aliens along Extraterrestrial Highway.

   Trying to find a ride via CraigsList has yielded nothing. Some have said they would get me to Vegas and then getting to Cali would be easy peezy. Afterwards, when I thought the ride was assured and found some cash to throw at them for gas they flaked. Left me swinging in the wind. No worries though.

   Moab has been very good to me. I've found some work to put extra bills in my pocket and have met some really cool people. They let me stay in their yard for a good while, so I feel the need not to outstay my welcome and move on. I drank from Matrimony Springs, where that dino print is, so that means I'm destined to return but for now the question is, which way do I go?

   If you have any suggestions or can help, please, let me know.
   Good journey fellow travellers

Friday, July 15, 2011

Today is Yesterday's Tomorrow

   Tonight I use Josh Simpson's Dell laptop to write this. His dog, Mickey, lies beside me.

   I've pissed so many people off in the past week. Good people. Kind people. My friends. It was all unintentional, as most pissing offs usually are, and I can't help but feel horrible. The friendships I have mean alot to me and I hope I haven't irreparably shattered them due to the shit that went down in Denver.

   The debacles started when I realized my hat had been stolen along with my cash but that is rehashing old news.

   Coming to my rescue were friends who helped me get ahold of my father who in turn bought me a train ticket to Grand Junction where I am now. What transpired though was draining to say the least.

   I had to text almost everyone I knew and had met along the way so far for help. The pastor from Spiceland IN believed it was a scam and declined any assistance. My sister even told me it was my problem (which it was) and fell asleep at home without doing more than almost nothing. In her defense she'd worked very hard that day and was super tired, but in that moment I thought the dichotomy of her asking me to text her every am/pm because she worried, coupled with her nonchalance at shluffing me off, was strange.

   Finally I was able to (thru various texts back-and-forth to a friend) procure a ticket for the morning out of Denver. Slept on the sidewalk outside the train station that night. It gave me a new found empathy and compassion for those people who have to sleep outside every night.

   The morning arrived. As they always will no matter how dark the night is. I boarded the train and went thru The Rockies. Words will not do justice to the breathtaking beauty I witnessed passing thru that awesome range. I fell asleep at different times and what a joy it was to awake and see a new vista.

   The town of Grand Junction is fabulous. I can see how easy it would be to get trapped here. There's a quality to the the air, the pubs, the women that intoxicate the soul.

    Now as to the last few posts I must apologize gentle reader. It was my own fault I let something bother me so badly that I lashed out on here and dragged everyone into it. My intention was merely to clear the air and it ended up being a murderous attack to defend my choices. The correct thing to do would have been nothing. Just let the words fall like rain off a fir tree. I wish I could take my reaction back but all I can do is learn from it.

   This town has been good to me. I got into the local paper. The lady who interviewed me gave me a hat to replace my missing comrade. Glamdring continues to get all the compliments. Everywhere I go. "That's a nice walking stick. Can I hold it? "At first I was leery of letting people touch it but Glamdring loves the attention. It is so much more than "just a stick"

   So tonight I am doing alright. Made some money and new friends. And did I mention, I'm kind of a big deal now?

   Just kidding! Good journey fellow travellers

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Strangers become friends

   Yesterday I passed into Illinois and had an impromptu little celebration at the state line. Fifty feet up the road my welcoming committee arrived. Two happy go-lucky dogs, smiling and waging their tails, greeted me, Mercutio and Glamdring. I noticed a B&B and went to sit on the porch with my new friends. The view was extraordinary.

    Nobody was around at the B&B. I knocked multiple times, receiving no answer and told the dogs how displeased I was. They smiled and wagged their tails. Happy in the companionship I offered them for however brief my stay.

    I grew increasingly agitated as time passed and still no one showed. Cursed the gods. Slandered humanity. What kind of people leave their place of business unoccupied in the middle of the day? Granted, probably not alot of people stopping there. I said goodbye to my new friends and left.

    No sooner did I get ten steps down the road when a car pulled over and offered me a ride. I had a moment of fear as I shut their tailgate with Mercutio inside. If they take off I'm gonna be screwed. They didn't though. They took me to Paris. No, not that one. Paris, IL.

    Matt and Mary Kate were their names. Matt kept buying me beers at this bar we stopped at. Cheers. Yeah, I know. I offered multiple times to buy but he refused saying if I would let him buy it would mean an awful lot. They saw an old friend they haven't seen in years and we all went back to Ben's house. What an amazing dude. He got a DUI at a young age and went into counterfeiting to pay the fine and then went to Federal Court because of it, all the while becoming an accomplished musician. I didn't do the story justice but I will, not yet though. You'll have to wait for the book.

    Spent a great night partying with great people. Matt and Mary Kate offered me a couch to sleep on which I accepted. Gratefully. And that's not all. They took me back into Indiana , which I was a little hesitant about. Don't wanna backtrack. I said so. It was then Matt broached the subject of a bus ticket to Denver, CO.

    I was floored. "I don't know, man. You've done so much for me already." -  "Dude, please. My major concern is your safety and I would love to get this ticket for you. In some ways your adventure has become mine too and I kinda am living vicariously thru you. Think about it." -  "I don't know man. That's alot of money." - "It's only paper man. And I get to help you along on your journey. It would be my pleasure."  I accepted.

    Long did I ponder whether or not I was cheating the quest by taking this opportunity. I laid awake tossing the idea back-and-forth in my mind. Little late though to be questioning, I thought, the ticket is already purchased. Might as well go with it. Accept the magick. That's when the smile came.

   Because that's what it is, you know. Magick. When I woke yesterday I had no idea where the day would take me. I did know that the Great Spirit drags me thru the depths of misery to a place so high most never see it. It happens over and again. When I was on that porch I was very blue. Very low and defeated and I moved out into the Sun drenched blacktop to continue on. That's when I got raised up. I feel like I 'm being slingshotted across the country. Made it to IL only to go back to IN and then ----> THWINNG!! all the way to Denver.

    I type this on Matt and Mary Kate's Mac before I leave. I am so grateful for all they have done and the great folks I've met. Ben, Carter, and the bartendress at Cheers. Tomorrow I will be in Denver, CO. Who knows how I'll move on from there?

Good journey fellow travellers

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Magic 3

   Today I posted a challenge on Twitter. I wanted to reach 30 followers by the end of the day. Well in less than 5 minutes "The Magic 3" appeared.
   They are DB @immerume2 Adrian K @lunatitch & Robb @zenorobb. They rose. I promised a special mention and here it is.
    Many thanks to "The Magic 3" and if you are a tweeter make sure to follow them. They are amazing.
Good journey fellow travellers

HAPPY 4th of JULY! ! !

Friday, July 1, 2011


   I feel the need to clear some things up.

   Yes I did say I'd be walking across America and in the beginning I believed I would, though I took a train to start the journey so thusly I can't truly say I've walked the entire way anyhow. Also, there are DAYS upon DAYS filled with only me, walking and hot blacktop and buzzards and trucks barely missing me as they zoom by and some cars veering over as if they want to hit me and people shouting obscenities and curses at me as they pass and almost running out of water and blisters and a stress fracture in my foot and a hyperextended knee, so I've done (and will continue to do) plenty of walking. If someone pulls up at the end of a long, rough day of beatin' feet I of course am going to take the ride. It'd be rude not to.

   Walking has led me to a greater appreciation for rides, hot meals, beds, and showers. When I was standing in the pouring rain for hours the other day, absolutely drenched and soaked to my soul, I watched car after car zip right by. Do not think that every person in the world is stopping to offer me a ride. Would you stop for a guy in the pouring rain with a pack and stick? I am grateful beyond these mere words can express to all the folks who have helped me.

   The goal was to see America and it's people and I am doing just that. I admire the ones who are offered rides and decline them. It takes a strength of character perhaps I lack. But I've found the greatest people doing this trip (as I live my life) my own way. I shall continue to travel as I see fit and do what works for me. You should get out and see this country you live in, anyway you want. Walk (those doing solely that have my utmost respect) drive, take a train, whatever. Only do it. That's all I can say to you. You'll never forget the experience.

   Good journey fellow travellers

Thursday, June 23, 2011


 So it's been awhile since I've blogged. Here goes.

 In the past week some amazing things have happened, seemingly by chance, but I'm beginning to see that there is a rhyme and reason to everything.

 Let me start by saying how much the WV mountains sapped all my energy. Climbing up and down winding roads, hairpin turns, while 18 wheelers and coal trucks zoom by you giving no quarter is a harrowing experience. Most truckers are kind enough to at least attempt to give you some room, and I am happy to try to get off the road as much as possible. I can picture what they're saying. "Look at this idiot walking up the mountain!" Others try to hit you. Or so it appeared to me. Like they were aiming for me. No worries. I made it!

 So many times I'd hear, "Oh this is the last mountain." only to see another looming up in the distance. One place I stopped at, simply because I could not go up another mountain after doing three that day, was owned by some great people. The Stoners. No not making a joke. Charlie bought some pizza, gave me some coffee and even let me take a shower. I am so grateful for this. Made my first fire that night. Was grand!
 After Charlie dropped me off in Aurora that morning I got some zzz's on the stoop of a community center. No one bothered me. Headed up the road and knocked on a door asking to pop up my tent for the night and the lady obliged. She even brought me some hot soup, an apple, and some peanut butter and fluff. Awesome! Stayed in her garage that night because my little tent couldn't handle the downpour.

 In the next few days I stayed at a biker bar ($10 bucks for the night and a shower and some beers and good people. Not all in the shower with me.) and under a pavillion on top of Mt. Laurel at another church and finally in a very cushy hotel room comped for the night by yet another church. Also of course outside in the tent most nights.

 Got a ride from outside Clarksburg all the way to Parkersburg by a guy I was sure was a serial killer. Grasped the pepper spray in my pocket the whole way. Made light conversation. Repeated over and over to myself, don't worry it'll be okay.

 In Parkersburg I went to a Salvation Army about a room but there were so many others on line ahead of me and a little girl, obviously with no parental guidance, kept pestering me to show her how the sleeping bag worked. I looked around in vain for a parent to take her away but to no avail. The final straw came when she asked me why I had a stick. I told her Glamdring was a friend and she shook her dirty little head and said "No, it's just a stick." Okay, I thought, time to go before these people start rolling me and going thru my stuff. I'd already got some unfriendly glances. So I hopped a transit bus and went to a seedy motel. No vacancy. Perfect. A mile up the road the other way I found another seedy motel. Seems to be alot of them here, I thought. Bunked down for the last night in WV in a room with no lock and holes in the door. Slept alright.

 The next morning I crossed the Ohio River and ended up at another church. (Seeing a pattern here?) They gave me a hot meal and allowed me to sleep in a shed. Hey, it's a roof. Today I thought the weather might be bad and entreated them for another night. They obliged, even letting me take a shower and giving me some more food and letting me use a computer where I typed this. I offered to help doing whatever in trade and just got done unloading a food pantry truck. As anyone who knows me knows I occasionally unload trucks for Arenskjold Antiques in Hudson, NY. Compared with the things coming off those trucks this one was cake. The job, not the food.

Good journey fellow travellers

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hurtin' and tired but happy

 I left The Upperville Horse Show Sunday morning and headed West on Route 50. Alot of history in that part of the country. Civil War battles and such. Will post pics soon. Hurt my knee somehow and it was killer for a few miles. Still a little throbby Almost ran out of water and knocked at three houses before someone answered and gave me a few bottles to refill with. I thanked them profusely and ended up at Shenendoah River where I soaked my feet for awhile NICE! after walking for miles on the blistering blacktop. Inquired about a place to spend the night, no dice really so continued on. Hit 723 as great thunderheads appeared on the horizon but was wary of asking for a place to camp as there were NO TRESPASSING signs all over. Right as I gave up hope a white Toyota Four Runner pulled over and a guy came down the road towards me. Christopher Youngs. He took me back to his family's place and set me up in the garage right as the cloud burst and dumped gallons down. The Youngs' are a great family (had a wonderful time talking with Chris and his dad (who is very knowledgeable of survival techniques) and I am so grateful for the fantastic supper and place to crash and some water to wash up with and everything else. Chris gave me a ride this morning to Winchester, bought me breakfast (thank you thank you!) and bid me adieu. I continued on.

Another creek appeared on my left after some miles with a guy planting in a garden. I crossed a little bridge and asked if I could soak my feet. Becoming quite addicted to this, the cool water is so welcome after a long walk. Started chatting with the guy, Ronnie Mauck, and he brought me some sodas and more water. As I was about to leave he bade me hang for awhile and chat and then gave me a ride over the border into West Virginia where he bought me lunch. Got back in the truck and drove for miles into WV (thank you so much!) having a wonderful conversation the whole way. Ended up at Abrams Creek Retreat on Mt. Storm where I typed this out. More to come I promise but this traveler is tired for now.

Good journey