Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 33

Monday, 11/28/11:       10 miles  2,110 total

I went to the Chamber of Commerce to pick up my Kindle and meds, but because of Thanksgiving, the meds didn't get delivered until after 3 PM.  It worked out fine, as I was able to do an interview with the Hobbs News-Sun, while I waited.  I walked, and thumbed, my way east, out of town, where I was picked up be an old hippie who took me to the state line.  I tried to get a ride until after dark, then ended up crashing under the canopy of an abandoned gas station.  The wind made it kind of rough all night.  I am out of Hobbs and in Texas!!!!!  I wonder what Texas has in store for me.  Everyone tells me there's a storm a comin’...

This picture was actually taken Tuesday morning, but you will have to take my word for it that it says "Welcome to Texas."  It was too early in the morning to see the sign very well.  The sunrise is cooler than the sign anyway.

Day 32

Sunday, 11/27/11:    Zero miles

I went to a very upbeat church this morning, called Choose Life Church.  This is a very exciting church that tells it like it is, and they have a ton of programs for all ages.  I enjoyed the worship and the sermon.  Hopefully, I get to leave Hobbs tomorrow.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 31

Saturday 11/26/11:   zero miles
I have a four day layover in Hobbs, NM.  Monday, at Hobbs Chamber of Commerce, I am picking up medications my son sent me and a replacement Kindle, as I broke mine.  Then, after a newspaper interview, I'm headed for Seminole, TX.  The winds are really blowing hard here today.  What makes it difficult is the dust factor, as visibility is less than a 1/2 mile, and it is hard to breathe when you walk against it.  I don't know if the picture shows how dusty it is.  That makes for tough conditions for people who have to work outdoors in this very barren country.  The best thing about today is that I was able to send $100 each to Make Way Partners, Harvesters, and Cookston Hills Children's Home.  What these groups do to help kids in need is amazing, and their dedication and sacrifice blows me away.  This was made possible by donations from people like Tarrin, Ryan, Pidd, Lura, Pat, Tom, Shirley, Jim, a Navajo lady, and some Native American kids.  We have not yet had enough book sales to send any from that fund.  I pray that you are all doing well.  Thanks for reading this.  Dave

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 28

Wednesday, 11/23/11:  382 miles  2,640 total
I wrote, and sent off, the first article to my local newspaper, and a few others that might pick it up.  I got the thumb out, as it is against the law to walk on freeways.  After about two hours, a car pulled up about 75 feet away and two young girls, Danielle and Jessica, brought me a restaurant prepared Thanksgiving dinner.  How cool is that?  I gave them a card, and hope they keep contact with me down the road.  45 minutes later, Josh pulls up in a very small car.  He tells me he is headed for Dallas, so we cram all my gear in and head out.  He 25 and works on a off-shore rig in the Gulf.  Josh lives in Texas, but was from Louisiana, and has the accent to prove it.  He tells me he has been on vacation in California and is running short on cash, so I give him a few bucks and he takes me all the way to Hobbs, NM.  His brakes on this old car are so bad he has to use his emergency brake several times to get us stopped.  What a ride!  We went through a mountain range and got to see snow, deer, and Josh's first elk.  He is a nice guy and we had a good ride.  This is a picture of him at about 9,000 feet.

Days 26 & 27

Monday & Tuesday,  11/21 & 11/22:  47 miles   2,258  total
I helped Rebekah (big horn sheep researcher) put the slide in on a govt. travel trailer.  They wanted her to get it ready for moving, but she didn't have any tools, so we did it with a little crescent wrench I carry in my pack.  I ended up getting a ride from Ben, a guy I met the day before.  I gave him a few bucks and he took me to Lordsburg, NM.  I tried for a ride out of Lordsburg, for several hours and gave up, and found this very economical motel.  The front window was held together with duck tape and the train tracks were only 50 yards away but it was like a palace compared to my tent.  I got a lot of writing done.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 25

Sunday  11/20/11:  zero miles
Today is my son Joseph's 21st BD.  Happy day son.  I went to a little Baptist church this morning, where the Pastor gave a good message on prayer.  He is my age and has the weathered face of a cowboy.  He pastors two different churches, so preaches at 11am in one and 2pm at the other.  I was lucky in that they were having a potluck and invited me to join them.  I got to eat some very good food.  I got some more writing done and will head out tomorrow.  This pic. is of a little wood burning stove and the grain that I am cooking.  Works real well and only weights 6.5 oz.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 24

Saturday  11/19/11:  zero miles
I went to a crafts fair today and met more interesting people. Beatriz gave me $7.00 worth of homemade protein bars for $3.00.  Di Ann, owner of RV park, was able to get internet service fixed, so I can get some things done.  I met a interesting couple by the name of Lynne and Shadow, who are hard core bikers, that just moved out here from Florida to retire.  Crazy, but nice people.  They bought me dinner.  This is a pic. of  the sunset from street in Rodeo.

Day 23

Friday 11/18/11:  zero miles
If the internet was better, I could justify hanging around here.  I have been writing in book 2 so, it is not all bad.  I need to be in Hobbs, NM next week.  This picture is an area that Rebekah is doing reserach in, about 15 miles from Rodeo.  (I met with a local guy to try and get a handle on getting pictures from my phone to here.  It took him a long time to get it done.  You'll know if I learned how if there is a pic. on next blog)

Day 22

Thursday 11/17/11, Day 22:  zero miles          
Rodeo is a very small “cow town” on the western border of New Mexico.  It is the type of town, that if you were traveling, you would pass through without noticing it at all.  One store/cafe, one tavern, and one gas station that is only open on weekends, a small Catholic Church and an even smaller Baptist Church.  For some reason I have been very attracted to this little town and will spend a few days here.  Today, I met a nice young lady who is staying in a cabin at the place I have my tent set up.  She is working in a program with big horn sheep that is amazing.  Rebekah is her name and she ended up taking me out to one of the areas she is studying and told me all about the project.  Fascinating, but you will have to get book 2 to read the whole story.  Di Ann, the owner of the place I am staying, is also a nice character.  She wants to sell her place and bicycle across the United States.  If you’re interested in owning a business in a place where life is a little slower and people know your name, Google Mt. Valley RV and Cabin in Rodeo, NM.  I’m having real trouble with the Internet here, but getting a lot of writing done. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 21

Wednesday 11/16/11, Day 21:  50 miles  2,211 total
It was pretty cold during the night, but the skies were nothing short of amazing.  It was a great star watching night.  My water bottle froze and everything had frost on it.  After the sun came up enough for me to dry everything out, I started walking with my thumb out at the same time.  I was headed for Las Cruces, NM, or anything in between.  After several miles of walking, I finally got a ride about 1:30 PM.  This ride will probably go down as one of the worst.  I needed the ride and am grateful for it, but this man was completely nuts.  He hated everything and everyone.  He went on a tirade for 40 minutes about everything from Vietnam to Pres. Obama to border patrol to everything else he could think of.  He was big into talking about killing people, so I just let him vent.  He drove me into Rodeo, NM.  He offered for me to come out to his place in the boonies; I told him thanks but Rodeo was just right for me.  He hated everyone in Rodeo too.  I had lunch/dinner at a little cafe that was the other half of an even smaller grocery store.  I walked down the road to a RV/Cabin place and the lady who owned it gave a me a spot to put up my tent for $5.00.  After the first night, when she found out what I was doing, she told me if I wanted to stay, the next night was free.  More about Rodeo tomorrow...

Day 20

Tuesday 11/15/11 Day 20:  51 miles   2,161 total
(I am in Rodeo, NM.  I just got service back, so I will catch up on blogging.)

Jim gave me a ride all the way to Bisbee, AZ.  It's a very interesting old mining town. Pic. is of an open pit that was closed in the 70's. However, the mining is pretty much gone, and has been replaced with tourism and a lot of old hippies.  I saw a lot of characters running around.  The reason I came to Bisbee, was because a local guy who has a talk radio program wanted to do an interview.  He ended up calling me, and said he has been real sick and that they were not going to be able to do it for a few days.  Since I needed to be in Douglas he said he wanted me to start sending him pictures and he would do a phone interview now and then.  Nice guy, hope we can do something in the future.  I caught a couple rides into Douglas and did a newspaper interview with the Douglas Dispatch.  It will be on their web page on Wed. of next week.  I walked a few miles out of town and found some bushes and cactus and set up camp without the tent for the night.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Days 16, 17, 18, 19

Friday through Monday 11/11 to 11/14 2011:  0 miles, total 2,110
I have had the luxury of a warm bed, great food and company, and even got to see Oregon beat Stanford.  I went over the 6,000 word mark on book 2 and 2,000 page views on the blog.  I got rid of the little red bike trailer on Thursday, along with some gear, in order to "go lighter" and be more mobile.  I saw a women's golf cart in a thrift store and bought it for $5.00.  Jim and I tore it apart and put it back together, and now I am back in the cart business.  I can carry more cooking and "be more comfortable" stuff.  So, now, instead of going down the road looking like I lost my bike as I pulled a bike trailer, I look like a bag man pulling all of his worldly possessions, which is sort of true. Shirley and Jim Belamy have been so gracious to help me out for four days. The pic. is of there beautiful home. They fed me outstanding meals and drove me all over the place.  They are very nice people and this time with them was very beneficial to me.  Thanks, Shirley and Jim.  Bisbee and Douglas tomorrow.... hopefully.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Tentative Route

I thought if I gave anyone interested a route to work with, they might be more inclined to contact people they know on, or near, this route to help us somehow.  This route is leaving Sierra Vista 11/14 or 11/15 and taking anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks to complete it. If you are interested and have a map you can see my tentative route.  Please let me know if you have any suggestions.  Arizona = Sierra Vista to Bisbee to Douglas to Las Cruces, New Mexico to Alamogordo to Artesia to Hobbs.  From Hobbs we go into Texas. Seminole to Lamesa to Snyder to Roby to Anson to Albany to Coleman to Early to Goldthwaite to Evant to McGregor to Waco to Mart to Groesbeck to Buffalo to Centerville to Crocket to Lufkin to Milam to Many, Louisiana.  Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Day 15

Thursday 11/10:
Last night I stayed in Patrick and Mary's travel trailer.  Before they went into their home, I asked them if they wanted my bike trailer.  I spent the next two hours down-sizing.  This morning I caught a ride with Mary and Rosie as they were going to take Joshua to school in Casa Grande.  That little thing that has been following me for over 2,000 miles got left behind.  It saved my knees and I was able to bring along more comforts, but the bottom line was, it cost me too many rides and restricted where I could go.  It looked a little lonely as we pulled away.  Mary dropped me off at a gas station right beside hwy 10.  However, 10 minutes before we got there, Tarrin called.  He is the guy who gave me a ride from "freezeville" to Camp Verde on Tuesday.  His co-worker was headed for Sierra Vista from Camp Verde, and if I got into a jam, she would give me a ride.  After Mary dropped me off I dragged my still way-too-much stuff over to a nice little table in a protective cove.  I went in and got some food and coffee.  Sitting there, at that table, I decided to take Tarrin's friend up on her offer.  She was a long ways up the road, but this would give me a chance to actually start book 2.  After several hours of writing, and a few phone calls, I got to meet Teri.  I have had a lot of great rides, and some not so great, but it is going to take some doing to top this ride with this wonderful, compassionate lady.  Before Teri stopped to pick me up, I had decided to use her as a guinea pig for what I had written in book 2.  If she asked what prompted me to do such a wacko thing, as I am doing, I would ask her to listen to what I had written that morning, and then she could tell me what she thought, etc.  Being totally gracious, Teri said she would like that.  What is she going to say?  "No I don't want to hear any of you ramblings."  What I didn't plan on was how, what I had written that very day, would effect me.  I am telling you, for some reason what I wrote concerning the reason for this journey, literally tore me up.  I had a real tough time before I was able to buck up and finish.  Poor Teri, one minute she is cruising down the road, rocking out to something, and the next she has this guy choking up about his own writings.  I am so lucky she didn't pull over to the side of the road and eject this sappo. I am so glad she didn't!  Not only did she get me to Sierra Vista, she did a lot of other things for me, too.  Without a doubt I am a better person for having spent a short time with Teri.  She said she would keep in touch and I truly hope she does.  Shirley picked me up at the Herbert post office where Teri dropped me off.  Shirley is a good friend of Pidd, who I had met her earlier this year up in Oregon.  Any friend of Pidd is a friend of mine.  Pidd has and continues to help me along the way.  Shirley took me to her home, where I got to meet her husband, Jim.  They have a beautiful place out in the country, and I have my own bedroom and my own bathroom.  I feel like a king or prince, or something.  They took me to the Golden Corral for dinner and I ended up sleeping very good last night.  It is not easy hosting a stranger in your home, but these two sure have made me feel comfortable.  I will stay here a few days, writing in book 2, and try to get a game plan for New Mexico and Texas.  169 miles today, 2,110 total.  Remember to be kind to each other.

Day 14

Wednesday 11/9:
I got up to a very nice morning, and I was warm, thanks to Tarrin and Turner last night.  I got out to the freeway and got a ride, after about 45 minutes, from David.  He's a very nice man who is living back in the USA after teaching in Germany for 10 years.  David was headed for a doctor's appointment in Phoenix.  We had a nice conversation all the way in.  He was going to try to get me through Phoenix a ways, and on to interstate 10, but before we knew it we were stopped on the freeway.  There had been an accident, so they were diverting traffic north on 60 and then on through streets.  The problem was, all the exits off of 60 were jammed, and David was running out of time for his appointment.  He ended up dropping off me 8 miles from hwy 10.  Ugh... stuck in a city again.  I started making my way toward 10, but ended up getting some wrong info from a city worker.  By three o'clock I still had a long way to go, I am tired, the knees hurt, and I have a flat tire on my cart.  Whine, whine, whine.... I decided to go into an Army recruiting office to see if they would help an old vet out.  There was only one guy there and he was swamped, so I borrowed a phone book and tried to find a church to help get me down to 10.  At 3:30 PM, I talked to gal at a church a few miles away and she was busy, but said she would work on getting me a ride, and call me right back, one way or the other.  I waited until about 5:15 PM and gave up and started dragging that red thing behind me toward 10.  The sidewalks were in very good condition, I was making some decent time, and I figured I would be there before midnight if I kept after it.  Around 7 PM, I called my friend and pastor to pray for me as it was obviously going to be a long night.  Fifteen minutes later, I came to St. Mathews Methodist Church.  I saw some people in back and decided to be bolder than normal, and ask for some help.  It was great.  They were having a practice/meeting.  It was a group of people practicing their sign language for concerts they do during Christmas.  I got the pleasure of watching them practice and really enjoyed it.  Patrick and Mary ended giving me a ride to a motel on 10, but before I could even go in the door they called to me back, and I ended up staying at their place, in their travel trailer.  I got to meet their son Josuha, and Mary's sister Rosie.  All very nice people.  They drive for over an hour just to practice with this ministry.  That's pretty dedicated.  123 miles today 1,941 total

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Another plea...

Several of you have sent kind comments on the book.  It really makes my day when someone tells me they enjoyed it.  It would be great if you would write your comments on the book in an email to walking4kids@gmail.com and I will forward them to Marilou and she can put them in the web page.  If you would do this, I would sure appreciate it.  Thanks, Dave

Plea for assistance

For the last 13 days, I have been sending out blogs to let you know where I am at and how I got there.  I hope the blogs are interesting; however, they have just been about me and my travels.  The time has come for me get past the ups and downs of getting from one place to another.  I need to focus on what our real goal is and that is to help some very needy kids.  God has used this journey for many different, and positive, events in my life and the lives of the people I meet, and He will continue to do that.  With that said, I need help.  In the last few days I have contacted many newspapers, TV stations,  churches, and Christian schools.  Not one of them has called me back.  People are extremely busy, but for this program to work successfully it is going to take patience and persistence.  This is my thought and to explain it I am going to give the following example:  I am going to be going east from Arizona to Florida for the next four months.  Let's say Henry from anywhere, America is following this project, and he believes in what we are doing.  Henry has a friend in a small East Texas town of 5,000 people.  So, Henry contacts his friend, and his friend also feels that this project is worthwhile, and agrees to help with it.  The friend coordinates speaking engagements with different groups in his community.  It could be his church, a public or private school, a civic group, nursing home, library, etc. Henry might spend one or two hours on this, and his friend might spend as much 10 hours on it.  I come into town on a Wednesday, and leave on a Monday morning and we sell 100 books, which generates $600. That $ can feed, clothe, and educate two kids for a whole year. The question we have to ask ourselves, is it worth it for Henry to spend a hour or two and his friend to spend 10 hours to change two little kids lives forever?  This is not even mentioning all the other positive things that happen out of this process.  What if Henry's friend lived close to a large city, and not only did he line up speaking engagements, he also got the media involved.  The friend can do this because he has several weeks lead time to put it all together. I think you can see the potential power of many people spending very little time to make something very successful for the simple goal of helping some very needy kids.  What I am asking you to do, is to be a Henry.  If you would like to explore this thought further, please email me at walking4kids@gmail.com.  Thank you for considering being a part if this.  Dave

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 13

Tuesday 11/8:  I worry about boring you with posts that are too long, so I am going to try and make this brief.  My thumb was out for close to 7 hours, with no takers.  I was packing it in, to go to the bus depot, when Rene picked me up and took me to Kachina.  I got there right at dark and I thumbed for almost 2 hours with no luck.  I went to a gas station to thaw out, as it had dropped below freezing.  I had a sandwich and told the clerks what I was doing, and asked if they knew of anyone heading south, to let them know about my need for a ride.  While I was standing outside, looking pretty miserable without acting, a little Native American girl brought me a hot chocolate and said,  "I hope this will help keep you warm."  A minute later her brother insisted I take $2.00.  I figured their dad or the clerk said something.  Neither had, they just did it because they saw me standing in the cold.  It almost made me cry, because before this happened I was feeling pretty sorry for myself.  I was very cold and was loosing my voice and it looked like I would be hiding behind a fence for the night in 8" of snow.  Those two little kids made my day.  About 20 minutes later a man and his son said they could get me to Camp Verde if I wanted a ride.  I felt like God just threw me a life preserver in a very rough sea.  Tarrin, and his son, not only gave me a ride to Camp Verde, they insisted on getting me a room.  How cool is that?  I don't know if those two little kids, the clerk at the station, Tarrin and his son, and the clerk at this motel, will ever realize how much their kindness meant to me when I really needed it the most.  I pray that God will bless them in very special ways.  Just a little side note:  The wild bunch from my church called me right after I got into this room and it just so happens that I got my ride at the same time they were praying for me.  They didn't know my need, but God did.  Finally out of Flagstaff; hopefully Sierra Vista tomorrow.  Thank you everyone!  58 miles today with a total 1,848.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 12

Monday 11/7:  I started this day with great expectations.  It was snowing pretty hard, so I decided to contact a bunch of media sources in Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Tucson.  I will know more tomorrow.  I put in about 7 hours with the thumb out and came up with a big zero.  I'm going to hit it again in the morning, and if I don't get a ride I am catching a bus to Phoenix.  The last thing I wanted to do was be dropped off in the downtown area of a big city right before dark with a little red wagon following me around.  I left messages at some churches to see if  I can get someone to get me out of town when I get there.  Hopefully I will have some interviews.  I don't have real high expectations with that though, as they like a lot more lead time. One day at a time.  I am looking forward to what tomorrow brings!

Day 11

Sunday 11/6:   Instead of a granola bar, I went to IHOP and had a nice breakfast.  I wanted to get on the road and headed south, because Flagstaff is right at 7,000' in elevation, so it stays pretty cold here.  I kept my thumb out at three different locations for several hours.  When the wind came up and wind chill dropped to around zero and my hands were hurting, I gave up and got another motel room.  This was not part of the plan, but that's OK,  I will get out of here someday.  Keep the chin up, right?  This is nothing compared to what the kids we are trying help are going through.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 10

Saturday 11/5:  The wind was still blowing, and with it a pretty good rain, when I decided to break camp.  I tried to get a ride for over two hours when a Navajo family stopped; a pretty amazing family.  A man, his wife, her two sisters, and their mother were on their way to a wedding in Monument Valley.  They talked me into going through Tuba City, and then to Flagstaff, and from there to Phoenix, Tuscon, and Sierra Vista.  They were adamant about the fact that I would have a terrible time catching a ride by going south on 191.  I took their advice. They also made me take some money, and one of the sisters gave me a beautiful necklace for my daughter. The wind was blowing like crazy at Monument Valley and after about an hour two young guys, in a way too small of car, gave me a ride to Kayenta.  This was one white knuckle ride!  The speed limit is not a real issue with these guys.  My next ride was in the back of a pickup heading toward Tuba City.  It was only about 30 minutes, but I was pretty sure I was going to freeze to death.  I got two more short rides front elderly gentlemen before my last ride into Tuba City.  This ride was from five young people in a small king cab pickup. They literally squeezed me in.  They were nice kids, but I think they wanted me to party with them.  I had only been out of their pickup a couple minutes, when Barbara offered me a ride all the way to Flagstaff.  Barbara works with people who are dealing with STDs.  She's a very nice lady, whom I am sure does a lot of nice things for a lot of people.  Every ride I got this day was from Navajos.  All of them were nice to me and treated with kindness and respect.  I got into Flagstaff with less than an hour of daylight left.  They had about 6 inches of snow on the ground and it was supposed to get down to around 14 degrees.  I decided to violate my "no motels" rule.  I justified it because I was going to pay for it out of my savings and I was dead dog tired.  That cheap motel room was wonderful with it's hot shower and warmth.  All that warmth.  Hopefully, Sierra Vista tomorrow.   223 miles  1,790 total

Day 9

Little red at Church Rock near Monticello, Utah
Friday, 11/4:  I left the Lazy Lizard Hostel and walked until the road got too narrow for my little trailer to be safe.  After about one hour, I got a ride from Dave and Ryan; what a ride this turned out to be.  Both of these men have gone down a pretty rocky road.  They were headed for Monticello, Utah, and before we got half way there, we had established a real good bond.  They are both born again Christians and very zealous.  I won't write everything that happened in the time I was with these guys, but will highlight a little.  Ryan is leaving in the fall of 2012, with his five huskies and a specially built wagon, to walk all the way to Alaska. I hope I am writing more about that in the future.  Ryan also bought me lunch, gave me a blanket, and insisted I take some money.  Dave, besides giving me the ride, introduced me to local newspaper owner, and drove me all the way to Bluff, Utah.  This ended up being over 100 miles out of his way.  They are two special men, and I hope to be able to keep in contact with them in the future.  The owner of a little store in Bluff, UT let me set up my tent behind his place.  It was quiet and protected by trees.  One of the reasons Dave drove me all the way to Bluff, was because it is warmer.  It was real nice to not be cold!  However, about midnight, the wind started and with it came the rain.  It blew real hard for three or four hours, and my little tent survived it's first real test.  I was very pleased with the fact that I had no leaks, even with the high winds.  If it weren't for my pudgy bod and 100 pounds of gear holding it down, that good ol' tent would have joined Dorothy and Toto in Kansas.  Continue south tomorrow. (Sat.)   100 miles  1,567 total

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 8

Thursday, 11/3/2011:  I decided to stay in Moab for the day.  I stayed at a hostel called the Lazy Lizard.  It's a cheap place, where a lot of outdoor nuts stay so they can play in this amazing country. I needed a shower, to wash clothes, and to charge batteries, including mine.  The only problem is, that it is so darn cold here at night.  I either need some warmer gear or to head south.  I will be heading south, toward Arizona, tomorrow (Friday).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 7

Wednesday, 11-2-2011:  It was cold, so I was a little slow getting on the road, and I'm still having trouble with my tires.  I got a short ride from two rock climbers from the bay area.  They took me to Crane Flat, CA, which put me in a good place to get to other side of the mountains.  After about an hour, Scott gave me a ride.  It is a over fifty miles to get to hwy 395 which would take me into Bishop.  He is a very interesting guy and we hit it off right away.  I was very interested in what he does for a living and he was interested in my journey.  He works the summers for Yosemite as a search and rescue guy.  He said that they had 22 fatalities this year alone, so you can imagine the amount of rescue work they do.  Scott was headed for Ellensberg, Wash. to work on inspecting wind towers.  OSHA requires a certified rope rescue person on site when they inspect them and he's their guy.  He wanted to go see a friend in Moab, Utah, but was apprehensive about driving there and then up to WA, without some help.  After weighing the pros and cons, I decided to go with him to Moab.  We shared the driving, and 700+ miles later we were in Moab.  I like that part of Utah and it gives me the opportunity to see the rest of eastern Utah and eastern Arizona, which I had never seen before.  Hwy 191 runs from Moab all the way down into southern AZ, which is one of my destination points; that's how I ended up in Moab.  We were a couple guys, just helping each other out and it turned out real well.  Today completes my first week on the road.  I am learning a lot, meeting some real fascinating people, and always looking forward to the next day.  I really want to thank all of you who have been following me, and for the messages of encouragement.  I think I might stay at a hostel near Moab tomorrow.  I need a shower and all of my clothes are dirty.  I, also, need to charge some batteries, including mine!  769 miles  1,467 total

Day 6

Tuesday, 11-1-2011:  I had my thumb out early this morning, as I had two flat tires on my trailer.  I stood beside the road  for over six hours and I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get a ride.  Finally, Randy picked me up and told me the reason I couldn't get a ride.  About a mile before my intersection was a sign posted by the state telling drivers not to pickup hitchhikers because of a prison near by.  That was funny to me.  It is hard enough to get a ride.  Randy took me to a auto parts store to get patch kit.  He then took me to his house where he had a compressor to fix the tires.  He gave me water, a marine knife, and a ax handle.  He said he wanted me to have these weapons because I was going to be camping in bear country, and the bears were pretty aggressive this time of year.  After that, Randy took me into town and bought me a wonderful Mexican dinner.  After dinner, he drove me 20+ miles into the Sierras.  He is one nice guy and really went out of his way to help me.  I set up camp for the first time in the daylight and it was great!  I saw no bears, however, I learned not to set my tent up in dry leaves as little critters make a racket messing around half the night.  I had a few deer check me out also.  It was a very clear, and cold night.  Six days in and it is going well.  44 miles  698 total

Day 5

Monday, 10/31/2011:  Peggy gave me a ride to a good intersection.  I did not have to wait too long before a man named Christopher stopped.  His rig was too small for my contraption, but he was determined to make it fit and we did.  He gave me a ride to Nice, CA, and he was indeed nice himself.  He is battling cancer and has a very interesting story that will probably make it to my next book.  He gave me two persimmons, which I had never eaten before, a pomegranate, and some walnuts.  Walnuts are real big in this area.  Peggy, also, gave some food for the road.  Anyway, Christopher was a good guy going thru some tough times.  I had a tough time getting a ride in the Nice area, and I walked a long way and was getting pretty beat.  This was probably the day when I really grabbed ahold of the fact that if I am patient, I will get a good ride.  The road that lay before was the part of Cal. that I least wanted to go through.  It has a tremendous amount of people, traffic, and congestion.  But God sent me a angel in the form of a 71 year old grandmother.  Gaile drove by me and ended turning around, because she said she could not leave me sitting on the side of that lonely old road.  Gaile took me all the way through the Sacramento - Stockton area.  The area I most dreaded was a piece of cake because of my little angel.  We had a good time and she got me all the way to the foothills of the Sierras.  It was kind of funny, in that, we had a such smooth sailing, but when she was dropping me off at the intersection I needed to take the next day, her back door on her Ford Escape would not open.  We ended up taking all of her stuff out and taking my cart apart in the back of her rig in order to get it out.  It was humorous to see two old people in the middle of nowhere trying to unload a cart. Thanks Gaile!   243 miles 654 total

Day 4

I'm writing this on Thursday, 11/03/2001:  Time to catch up.  I am in Moab, Utah, considerably off the scheduled path.  To find out how I ended up here, you will have to read the days in order.  No skipping ahead!

Back to Day 4, Sunday 10/30/2011:  I packed my gear and was on the road fairly early this beautiful Sunday morning.  I had a very large, intimidating hill in my path and put the ol' thumb out fairly early.  I only had to wait about a half hour before a man, by the name of Malachi, picked me up and took me all the way to Laytonville, CA, which is only about 45 miles from my destination.  Malachi would have a very good chance of winning the most talkative man in the world contest.  He had a very strong opinion on everything and only stopped talking to take a breath or light a cigerette.  He's a very nice man and I really appreciated the ride, however, I was only moments away from losing my mind by the time we got to Laytonville.  I had a bite in this nice little town that is surrounded by pot growers.  After about an hour, I got a ride with two guys hauling some lumber for their barn building project on their small cattle ranch in the bay area.  They dropped me off at the Redwood Valley exit and I called Peggy and she came and picked me up.  Peggy is this charming women with a wagon load of degrees and kindness.  Peggy is the my first experience with "couchsurfing," and it proved to be very pleseant.  She had some of her friends over for a dinner party and they all were very nice to me and we had a fun evening.  Thanks to her, I got to enjoy a very nice shower, dinner, conversation, and a comfortable bed.  Thanks Peggy.  234 miles  411 total