Thursday, July 30, 2009

The drive, the setback, the path, the rain. Or where fools rush in.

Yesterday after recreating the last post of our walk to Kansas (which had been lost to the either) net I was ready to go on to the next part of the journey, to walk to the summit of Pike's peak. To do this we had to get there. More miles than we had walked in two months, and we drove it in a day! We drove into the night and as Nice (the dog) slept in the drivers seat of the van I bundled up tightly next to the half deflated World I had crammed in the back. It was a cool sleep and the time change helped little when I arose to a fog filled morning there at the scenic pull off over looking NORAD and the drone of express traffic.
I changed into some heavier pants and walked Nice along the barbed wire fence with the military warning signs before we drove the last mile to Colorado Springs. The springs had hail storms which damaged cars the day before and the ground was soaked from all the rain as we stopped at The Garden of the Gods Park. There I worked the World out of the van and took some Face book pictures with the pretty scenery before going to the entrance of Pikes peak with the inflated World then strapped to the rear of the van. It was there at the gate my plans to walk the road to the summit were dashed by the ranger who told me I could not walk the road because I would impede traffic. I could rent the road for a small fee of forty thousand dollars. I am a few pennies short...
My only option is now to roll up the walking trail on the other side of the mountain which has a shop and lodging at its half way point should I need it. There is the long route which can be walked in nine hours or the "incline", a steeper way that shaves some distance but is too steep and has giant steps at one point. I arrived there at noon which would be two o'clock my time. (My phone has never changed time zones so I am still living EST) and when I hastily made ready and was about to begin the climb thunder and rain came from the mountain which I still could not see for the fog. I strapped the World to the van and waited watching hikers with little more than water bags coming and returning soaked from rain above the fog line on the mountain. I asked a young man if he thought I could make the climb if I left then or should wait till morning. He said "yes". Then I added I was going to take the World along, his answer hedged. I said to myself "heads I will go today, tails I will wait till Friday morning." I reached in my pocket for a penny which slipped past my newly lost finger tip and fell to the ground, tails.
(For an explanation of the finger tip scroll down and find my postings for May 13th) I there decided to start fresh,washed,and rested in the morning. I drove down to a motel and got a room. The third time this trip I have done so. As I walked from the office of the Motel with key in hand a short ray of sunshine broke the grey cloud cover. As I have been writing this the thunder and rain have come and gone again. And I can see an outline of the mountain here and there. Still a fresh start seems wise. Fully charged batteries on the phone and another day of rest will help also. The drive here to Colorado was almost more taxing than walking against the wind all day.
I will start in the morning up the narrow path to the summit with the World and the dog on a string. From watching the hikers I may be the only dog owner with my dog on leash even though the rules state otherwise.
Have a nice day and get some exercise.
P.s.I may not post till I am back down the mountain.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The lost post...

Nice (the dog) and me spent Tuesday resting with friends, wrote a heartfelt post about Monday. Between exhausted sleep where I had vivid dreams filled with adventure and people I have met along the road. Then I lost the post because this Blackberry gets clogged up and seized up when I pressed the "publish post" button. Now I will do it again...
Monday we were at our starting point and were visited by two women and their little dog named Dixie who had fun with Nice as we talked and took pictures. As they drove off they were singing a Worldguy song they made up as they went. I was quite flattered. We began from the parking lot of the Zion church just East of the Martin Luther King Jr. Park where I stopped to take some pictures at the pavilion. Hundreds of geese had been staying there and were gathering in gaggles for flight. Every few minutes a group would leave overhead. I wondered who was the goose air traffic controller because it was a very orderly pattern. I took a great picture as the flew above our little World but my file system was full. Lost to my memories.
We then rolled on through a historic district before coming to some large sculptures on the grounds of the museum where I, like a good tourist, posed pictures and sent them to face book. I saw later a sign pointing towards H&R Block Art space and thinking it too may be an outside space went in search of it. Finally I asked a man who was leaving a corner store where ut was. He said he had lived in the neighborhood for years and knew it was close but had not seen it. He held the World against the wind as I inquired inside the store who pointed across the street to a "block" structure hidden in plain sight from the man outside for years. He and I walked on laughing about the grandiose Art space.
As we went further. The heat of the day super heated the inner city like a croc-pot. We had to stop several times and I put on the paw protectors for Nice who was not liking the endless pavement. (nor was I)
We rolled on closer to downtown and walked to the WW1 war memorial across from Union Station. The big cities are fun to walk through because people are too busy to notice a man, a dog, and a six foot inflatable World rolling by. All day we talked to very few people. Only those who had heard of us in the media seemed interested. I am aware of this and had no expectations of the warm welcome of smaller communities like Sedalia Missouri, or Wayne County Illinois. I was content taking a few picture at the fountain in front of Union Station being invisible to most as they passed, involved in the hustle and bustle of their day.
As I was about to move along from the fountain and on toward Kansas a man came up with a bag of water , an apple, a banana, and a treat for Nice(the dog). He was many years younger than I and he thanked me for what I was doing. He also gave me a donation as he again thanked me for helping raise awareness for diabetes. As I shook his hand he told me his Mother had. had diabetes. Now I can't say whether it was the heat, my exhaustion from walking without a full days rest since St.Louis or (as my host jokingly said) "a Jesus moment" but when we clasped hands and looked at one another I was overwhelmed with emotion. I could see in him the same pain of loss I have known since loosing our Mother as a young man. We shook each others hand and without another word, just a strained smile, we turned away. I was a train wreck outside Union Station. Picking up the pieces I walked on.
Later I came to the world headquarters of H&R Block for. Whom my sister "up North" has worked for decades. She had e-mailed her associates that I. Had walked a great distance for diabetes and would be stopping by. I did , and I talked to many as they left hurriedly from work asking if they had gotten the e-mail. Some had actually read it and some shared stories of loved ones who were living and managing their diabetes. I was encouraged. I hope somehow to encourage a large organization to contribute to research and help find help for this epidemic disease. I am committed to my little walks for diabetes and know the generous help I get from good people along the path is a small contribution compared to what corporations can give. I will learn someday to climb that mountain, cross that bridge, walk that road.
For now I will walk along the roads of our good land and do what I can to encourage exercise and a healthy lifestyle to prevent and manage diabetes.
We then walked along to the last bridge we needed to cross into Kansas (my goal for this part of our journey) The bridge was under construction and one side was free for us to walk when my son called as I was on the middle of the span. We talked and said our "I love you's" . Then a man came up and sat with us for a time, we talked of the walk and of other things... When he left I was searching for something in my bag and when I looked up the bridge he was gone. I am sure he must have ran because it seemed just a few moments from when I looked in the bag to when I looked for him on the bridge. Again, the heat.
Then my support team for the day came and we walked to Kansas where a good man watched over the World and Nice(the dog) while another took me to get the van.I began this little walk having faith things would work out well. Times like those, help from good souls along the way, are a daily example of this.
We are going to drive soon to Colorado and in honor of my Uncle and everyone else who work to keep diabetes under control I will roll up Pike's Peak, the highest "14" in the contiguous U.S.A , to complete this little contribution to the cause of Diabetes
I will keep posting and will again remember to. Reboot this Blackberry before each post so I don't loose another post.
Walking with love , erik

KC to KCK , the bridge and the mountain left to climb

Today we rested at the home of our hosts who have offered to have us stay for a few days to recuperate before the next leg of our journey. I want to thank them now before I go on with my little posting.

I spent the day sleeping and writing a post that at the days-end I finally completed. I asked my hostess to read it before I posted which she did and cried. It made me cry, and I wrote it. Then I lost it when my p.o.s. Blackberry locked-up, showing an error that was unreconciled. I have been beside myself for three hours hoping it would come to it's senses. It did not, so I am left to tone it down and write again about my last day in Kansas City, Missouri, my walk into Kansas, and the people I met during the day. Again. Before I do I am going to post this and take a nap.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Friends and a coffee cup

All along this little walk we have met good people of all ages and color. Seniors, soldiers, children, and couples. This morning I reached in the cabinet for a random coffee cup, the writing on it said "In life's cookie, friends are the chocolate chips." I have been honoured to meet many as we pass through, and add that, in addition to chocolate chips, my cookies have had nuts and raisins too!

I have savoured the flavours.

Thanks to all whose random acts of kindness have sheltered us. This very help makes the World a better place.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

resetting the GPS and our first steps into KC

My last posting I said I was going to get off SR-50 and take another route to KC. But, my new found friends came to assist me and I rebooted the GPS, dumped the course change, got back on 50, and soon found myself at the sign, "Kansas City city limits". I took a picture and was about to cross into my goal (though it is just a spur of the large metro area and in no way am I really "in" KC's heart), when several cars pulled up and I was ten minutes before taking the first steps into the city limits. Two and a half miles later, and now the next morning, I am in Raytown and have many miles before I get down town. I probably may not get there by evening. I spent the morning at the van cleaning out some debris from the long trip that I have accumulated and we are about to walk in the sunny day closer to the goal.

I, of course, have mixed feelings about my achievement. It is always good to do what you plan. It is the journey and not the destination as the saying goes. When working on something important I will not be finished and simply go back to my simple life at home in Kentucky. I have many Mountains to climb to help in this cause of diabetes awareness.

I would like your help.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Inspiration and our GPS

Yesterday as the day was coming to dusk, as I was talking with a couple by the side of the road who had brought Nice (the dog) a bowl of ice water, a SUV pulled up with an inspired line on each side: "make the change you want to see in your World" was the essence. I posted the pictures of the inspiring words on my FaceBook album from "july 23/09 I lost a day somewhere" where you can see for yourself the exact wording. I had phone numbers of three beautiful ladies who had offered help and support for the evening but took the help of the nice couple who were there at the moment. We have been blessed with so much support and encouragement, I thank you all!

We are getting through Lee's summit and SR50 is getting congested and the shoulder is running out so I will be staying parallel as far as I can and rely on the GPS (good people system) for my route to KC, MO and KC, KS.

I have only been walking one mile this morning, and have met many good people who have relatives lost to diabetes. So, I again urge you to get out and walk for their sake (your loved ones.) Have a great day.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Under the shade of the World

It's hot and late in the day so Nice (the dog) is sleeping comfortably under the shade the World provides while I sit on a rock ledge at the top of the on-ramp from Lone Summit (sr7) under the shade of my dead fathers weathered hat. I have worn this hat both on this walk and while I walked to Pittsburgh, PA from Louisville KY in 2007. All that distance and I just found a long gray hair of dad. I know it must be his as I shave my head and have since before his death. Thanks for coming along Dad!

When it gets above 85 degrees we must shade during the heat of the day (dog rules apply). Today I have begun wrapping his paws. Now that he is grown and can feel the difference he is keeping them on. When he was a puppy he would have nothing to do with paw protection.

It is very windy. VERY windy. And progress has been slow today. I hope we can make it the six or seven miles to the next town. We shall see. As for now many people have stopped her by the road to ask or thank or interview since we began this mid day break. The wind is only getting stronger now.

A woman and her husband just left us. She was told by her doctor she needed to walk to help her manage her diabetes. Her husband had been asking her to walk also. After talking to me she committed to her husband and me she would. She said she reads this page each night. So... Keep your word! I think your husband would love growing old with such a sweet woman as yourself.

Okay, I have nothing else to say for now.

Walking for you, Erik.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Epidemic or Law of Attraction

I have been walking for over five hundred miles with my dog (Nice-the dog) and everyday I meet diabetics and others who either have or have lost friends and family with the disease, young and old, big and small. I would hope this is because of the law of attraction, but I know it is not so.

This disease is one of our silent epidemics and we need to do what can to get control. I am walking in memory of my mother who died from complications brought on by diabetes at 55. She was a state representative who did much for her district and state helping others, yet she was too busy for herself and paid the price. Hher brother, who is 82 now, has had diabetes since his forties, and is still around to know his grandchildren. I tell this story everyday, and it does not get old. For if I can influence someone to take charge and be around for the family who loves them, these months I spend on this journey will be well spent.

I am sitting by the road while Nice (the dog) sleeps under the shade of my little six-foot world. I have pushed into the wind all day and my progress has been slow. They people I meet against the wind make up for the labour. Had I had calm air, I would not have met the soccer team and the mother wearing an insulin pump. It must be the law of attraction. Surely this disease can't effect all walks of life so deeply.

Rest is important!

I saw a newscast that told of healthy teens who were deprived of sleep for weeks that exhibited signs of early stage diabetes. After making my obligatory appearance at the bar where I have had to rest for the night as there is no parking lot within miles, still I have been nowhere where someone is without a story of a loved one who suffered from diabetes.
I must sleep...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A baker's dozen, or you can lead a dog to water but you can't make him walk...

We have had a good day in the sun. Nice (the dog) has stuck with it like a champion but after a little over twelve miles, he is ready for sleep.

One hour later...

Our lovely host from yesterday has come with the van just in time for darkness and we have the world strapped to the back. Just now we were invited for a cocktail across the road from where Nice (the dog) had lain down. Like the title of this post says- you can lead a dog to water but you can't make him walk. I did try, but I will not force him when he is so faithful a companion. This journey has worked as it should and I am sure this is no exception.

Thanks to all the people who have helped me the past few days.

The long road continues thru Warrensburg and dining with Giants

As I walked along 50 yesterday I cam upon construction of a by pass which I walked thru. I rolled thru the deep trench and felt like a kid in a mud hole! Glorious! When I rolled up the other side and asked the track how operator to put the world in the bucket for a face book album picture made the mud was worth it. I then made my way to town and found a recreational vehicle store where they let me wash off the world (if it were that easy in life)and my shoes. The owner had lost his mom to diabetes and had rode the ADA ride for life so he was glad to help.
I walked on and found myself walking up the ramp to sr13, at the top of the ramp I met my support for the night who helped get the van and offered a place for the night. They were gracious and. Fed me a large meal. Being giants themselves (over 6' 5") they ate accordingly, I felt right at home and from Nice ( the dogs) cooing he was happy too..
Today is sunny and I am having lunch. Supplied by some playful hosts and will hopefully make some good progress towards Kansas with the sun and breeze in my face. Walk for health!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Out of Sedalia and our "SECRET" rainy flight to Nob Noster

Monday was a relaxed day where Nice (the dog) was able to get some rest & I had a good lunch at my favorite type of restaurant before our late start. The people along the road were as good as anyone along our journey, and we covered a great distance before the rain. Despite our late start and the plentiful stops for talking, picture taking, and doggy admiration, I was pleased with our progress.

During the day I had many experiences of joy and some of sadness (Both go hand in hand in life.) At four forty-five in the morning when I went to the van outside the care facility where the director had let us stay in the guest room. I gathered up some clothes to wash and, coming back in, a woman had her door open. She happily asked what the World was doing right outside the window. Later, as I passed the ladies having breakfast she was glad to let them all know of our adventure (breaking up the monotony of everyday life.) She beamed with a now tooth-filled smile.

I had come through after a seven o'clock appointment at the local radio station where I was able to spread my message of health through fitness and urge people to be well for their grand childrens' sake. The DJ had left his card with a clerk at the filling station Sunday when I had left the world in their care while I got a ride to shuffle the van ahead. (Good people are everywhere.)

After the laundry, a second shower, a shave, and a bonus nap, I readied for the day. Nice got some love from the director who I thanked just in time for the ladies to take us to the Chinese restaurant for lunch. We had great conversation and I received two fortune cookies! This first said I would receive a large inheritance. I believe I already have in my parents care for my fellow man. The second was without a slip of paper which I always take as a good omen for the day.

When we finally began our days walk we instantly met a family who had looked for us hoping to get a picture. They had looked up the web site and wanted a memory for their family album.

The afternoon was filled with well wishers both happy and sad with relatives who suffered from diabetes. (Their eyes tell so much.) Others included a smiling doctor who left his card clipped to a donation who grasped my hand firmly in thanks but said little. Many who have diabetes and others who came and had soulful conversation.

I received a call from my son to tell me he was leaving today to ultimately live with his best friend in Washington State. A plan he has held for years, I cannot discourage him given my bent for adventure. I am sad nonetheless, my son leaving the nest. Moments later as I walked over a bridge a blue heron took flight down the stream and I was comforted by the symbolism. The bridge, stream, and migratory blue heron. I had never seen one so close: a beautiful creature.

A quote:
"You are the bows from which your children are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, an He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let you bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; for even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves the bow that is stable."
Kahlil Gibran.

Where was I? Oh yes, the day continued with many gifts of food and water as we walked the wide and ever longer stretches of highway 50. Then as the storm clouds rolled in I stubbornly pushed on. As I stopped at an intersection to a gravel road and the rain started to fall, our support team (and council) arrived with abundance in the form of a woman from across the road, three local teenage girls in a pickup truck, and two women I had eaten lunch with before I left Sedalia (appropriate host city of the Missouri state fair.) Nice (the dog), usually quiet, cooed at the prospect of getting out of the rain and being surrounded by so many women. (His favorite thing next to frozen steak sickles.) They all counciled that I should not walk into the dark and rain, but should go get the van while the girls stayed with the World then strap it to on back and go to eat at Pizza Hut with the girls up the road where I could find a safe haven. Women do know best. It is in their nature. Nice (the dog) happily jumped in and we retrieved the van. One of the women gave him a bag of treats and a very large bag of dog food she had over-stocked for her visiting daughter's dogs. We put the World safely on the rear of the van and the girls escorted us to dinner. After the interesting conversation with the three girls and the additional friend, a young man who worked at a pig farm, we said our good-byes and left alone. Only for a few minutes as I had neglected to mention to the manager of the restaurant I was parked in the back of the parking lot so she called the police about the suspicious van. The ball could not be seen as it was backed against some trees. After an explanation, the kind officers showed me where I could park for the night and with a recommendation to drive over a narrow bridge viaduct, we find ourselves here in Nob Noster this morning under cloudy skies that threaten rain till this afternoon.

I would have stubbornly spotted the van here last night, left Nice(the dog) to sleep and walked in the pouring rain out of dumb pride (the cause of many wars)and possibly been caught prone on the two lane bridge like a raccoon in the night frozen and squashed by a car. This time I listened to the women, besides, it was six to one. Along with Nice(the dog) and his obvious vote.

Now the decision to risk getting caught in a shower or wait a few hours till the threat of rain has passed. You might guess I will walk sooner than later. I admit to being stubborn.

Have a wonderful day. It was nice to take this time to post so fully yesterday's experiences.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sedalia Missouri a rest and a blue herron

On Sunday we walked to and most of the wat through Sedalia, again with the help of some very good people who not only helped to move the supply van forward but were able to get us a beatiful guest room at the assisted care facility behind the local Wallmart. Nice (the dog) got some much needed rest and the sweet ladies took me for lunch. I had a restless sleep but was able to wash my walking clothes...

I have spent the lasr hour talking to passers by. Sedalia has been Missouri's redemption. Not to say I have not made many friendships ... The "show me" state has been reserved is the best way I can find to say it. I need to walk rather than write for now.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

From Tipton to the night

We walked eighteen miles yesterday. I wrote last night but I think my blackberry was playing editor and the post was lost. This morning I am about six miles east of
Sedalia. I was talking to two young men in the dark last night about a mile from where we are now. One of the men's girlfriend was at a bar in Sedalia saying she was waiting for the guy with the world to roll past. I am not that fast! We had help to move the van late yesterday, and spotted it at about the only place along the road that was off the emergency lane which necessitated the long day.

I did enjoy the long walk and the blanket of stars when we arrived. I even saw a shooting star.

It is cool this morning. The weather has been very nice despite the wind during the day. Luckily, the last ten mile yesterday was without the tempering wind.

I met many good people, too many who were diabetic: a woman with a pump, another who became diabetic as a side effect from another disease, a man who had lost over two hundred pounds since his diagnosis five years ago, as well as too many others who have this epidemic scale disease. We all could benefit if cures were found for diabetes. Aside from healthy diet, walking, biking, and other exercise, help is needed for those who suffer from more extreme forms. So, please give to my FaceBook cause link or the others here on this site.

Sorry to be pushy about this world wide problem, but some more research and help is needed than simply walking and diet.

I will most likely reach Sedalia today. Enjoy this fine Sunday!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The world is in the trenches

The wind was so strong all through the day. Rolling up the trenches was the only way.
Picking up spiders, ticks and gross hoppers for the ride of their lives.

We made it to Tipton and have had help to get ready for tomorrow.

Met a man on the road today who lost his mother as I did. We shared our stories of our mothers who were too busy helping others to help themselves. We shared that sorrow. I extended a warm handshake. So glad he left before we both broke down.

Some days are filled with these sad tales and unspoken looks of heartbreak. Don't be the subject of our stories, and walk for our sake.

Friday, July 17, 2009

First mile marker sign to KC and the humble wind blows

As we walked just past the school parking lot where we slept last night, we came upon the sign that showed 111 miles to Kansas City. Excited, I quickened my pace. The swift wind, as always, tempered my enthusiasm by blowing and gusting from the west at my face. I again set about the slow and deliberate pace against the humbling forces of nature. Reminding myself that the wind always allows me to get where I need to be at the appropriate time. Soon, a teen missionary and her mother came by who had seen us but had been unable to stop the day before. A heart warming meeting. Then as we came to a hilltop, a young man who works at KFC brought us a warm lunch which Nice and I have just enjoyed here under the slightly available shade. I am writing as my cheek is brushed by the low blowing branch of a cedar tree. Thank you wind!

Wind and the last mile of the day

My ride came and we spotted the van at the high school, went back to Motel California and found it easy to leave. The wind made it one of the hardest of the trip. California has a lot of sweet people (the ones who will talk) and the wind kept me talking to more. Some kids came when we got to the van and played tug with Nice (the dog).

I am falling asleep writing so I must end now.

Thanks to all

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Luxury lane, keeping a pace and the Motel California

Last night I was fortunate to get a ride back to the capitol which I had walked around yesterday morning to make up for the bridge bypass. I got my van and then went to the place I had stopped after thirteen miles, a dead-end called Luxury lane -- twenty yards from the new 50 hwy. This lane had been the access during construction and had not been ground up. It was a perfect spot for us overnight.

Today we walked into California, Missouri and I am charging my phone at the California Motel where I met some workers from Texas. They could give me a ride but they have been off all day and should not drive, understandably.

I am waiting for a young man who said he would drop me back at the van, so I hope this works out. I will update later...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pride, and the song I awoke hearing.

Two years ago we walked over four hundred miles from Louisville to Pittsburgh. During that trip I was possessed with walking every inch. Despite. My pride there were four times I had to get help. The first was a county sheriff in Gallatin Co. who was not going to let me walk through "his" county. It was a Saturday and it seemed to me I was interrupting his fishing time by getting calls about a guy with a big earth ball rolling thru. Second I was on a hilltop in Ohio and. The skies clouded up with a wind so strong I was holding on to the laces of the world and it was lifting a foot off the ground. I was hundreds of yards from any tree or structure and a young man drove up with a pick up and drove us out of harms way. We found out the next day a tornado had touched down at that hilltop. Another policeman outside Circleville Ohio got a friend to haul me across the bottoms to the visitors center where we and the policeman were interviewed and photographed by the paper . Good trade off I thought at the time. The last was a family who lived on top of "Kings Hill" which was a long winding stretch with tight guard rail and a shear rock wall on the opposite side. They told me of the many wrecks and deaths that happened often and I was glad for the help. It was an ugly hill with obvious guard rail damage all the way up.

I admit these facts because my pride had me resist all this help. Even with me being prone in forty mile winds with a tornado bearing down on us. Pride was not my friend at a time like that. I am spreading a message, not proving my manliness. I know you may laugh at this, coming from a 47 year old walking a dog and a six foot ball across the Mid-west promoting fitness and walking to prevent or control a devastating disease.

After walking on the road and the Katy trail for eleven mile yesterday and sleeping in the van for five hours I awoke this morning to a light shower of rain and a song repeating in my head. The line that rung in my ears was, "Accidents can happen, it's only hit and run." I don't recall it to be a song by Joe Jackson or Elvis Costello, but the two miles I had to walk on the approach and the bridge to get to Jefferson City and the state capitol with a posted speed limit of 70 mph or swallow my pride and strap the world to the rear of my van and arrive alive. We are now on Main street, the first exit which is also the lane directly in front of the capitol. I will walk around it to make up for some of the miles. I hope anyone out there who struggles with their pride can understand.

I am going to change my clothes and begin the day now that I have shared my story of pride.
I hope you can get a short walk in today. Walk for the ones you love so they can know you when you are old.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

From grey morning to blue skied dusk

I really didn't think I would make it this far today. I have walked from Tebbetts (did I spell it correctly?) to Jefferson City at 54 and in sight of the capital and the bridge into the city. I am at the trail head of the Katy and it just became dark. 94 and the Katy trail have been a test, and at times secluded these past few days. Good for making time and reflecting on things. I spoke to maybe ten people today. I was interviewed by a Jefferson City TV news 17 reporter and heard we were on at 6pm from a passing man in a car. Oh, and near the end of the day as I stopped briefly at a trail-side bench there was the group of bikers who stopped for an iPod interview which Nice (the dog) liked because he enjoys the hunt for frogs next to their feet.

Some Thanks: There was the man who gave us a coke and a snack when we were being filmed for the news and the man at "the little house on the prairie" where we stopped for a glass of water and a "nice" nap. And especially, thanks to the woman and her daughter who I met as we were rolling out of Tebbetts that later drove my van here to the trail head (My GPS for the day! Good people support!)

All in all, I had a very good day considering the doubtful mood and the rain and exhaustion of this early morning, plus the washing-down of the fresh paint on the world that was still running when I left Tebbetts. I did have to renew my resolve with a self pep talk where I just needed to have faith the day would work out well and as it should. The Katy trail did give me time to let the demons of self doubt creep in along with the good reflections. I read somewhere to appreciate the good in the world whenever you pass a body of water. It has been raining a lot and there are many murky puddles. Yet I find inspiration everyday, like the woman who helped with the van (a healthy diabetic) before I had rolled fifty feet, stopping my doubts of the day. (Thank you!)

I guess the patrol car that just rolled through without stopping to tell me to move along from this parking lot is a good sign. I will nap a bit now and perhaps run the big bridge in the wee hours, or be safe and strap the world to the van. Decisions, decisions...

The world is running

I put some pint on the world this morning and then fell asleep in this trail side bording house and when I woke up the world was being rained on and the paint is running across the continents.sigh...


a long night

After a long night I have the world and the van at Tebbits. There is a hiker and biker honor-pay facility here. I am going to rest and touch up the world today. The neighborhood girl dogs are hanging on the porch with Nice(the dog) and the world is in need of the paint we ordered while in STL and got when I picked up the van last week.The sky is cloudy and would be perfect for walking but some necessary things must be done today.
I am not feeling enthusiastic today, I guess I can't be perky all the time.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I coulda' had a V-8!

Yesterday I left my gracious hosts at "the Inn" only to walk two blocks and an offer of a buffet style breakfast, in keeping with my experiment of not turning down food ( that would just be rude ) we stopped just before the 3rd bridge across the Missouri river. In talking with the proprietor he offered to help shuttle my van to the next stop of Rhineland. After the transfer and the goodbyes we headed across the bridge, then mid-way across the proprietor returned offering my. Backpack to me that I had left at the door to his office. I had forgotten all about the fifty pound burden as we walked away. He then offered to take it to my van so I could walk light. This had not ,until now,occurred to me. Use the van to streamline my load even more! I coulda' had a v-8!
I am now at Steedman at the end of the next day. I am tired and should review more of the past day but I must rest now from walking twenty four miles distance from the bridge

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Seeing the small things

As we walk along the roads at the 'break neck' speed of one mile per hour, I see so many beautiful things. A patch of wildflowers that have not been mowed down by the highway bush-hog; the well planned yard flora by a country home; a ditch that winds out of a patch of woods and runs under the road into a drain line, overgrown with trees and native weeds and hopping with tiny frogs, flying crickets and other bugs.

As difficult as this walk is at times, I am so glad to have the opportunity to take in so many pretty things that even a relaxed drive could not reveal.

This morning is overcast and on the horizon there is a line of clear skies growing. I spent the night in comfort at The Wohlt Inn, a B&B in Herman Missouri. Yesterday, as we got to this picturesque town with wineries and shops, two women invited us to stay. I had a wonderful evening enjoying a movie and good conversation. After breakfast we will be on our way again to our next river crossing.

I hope you take a moment for yourselves today and look for a little beauty.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

sweet people

I must thank the news man for the arrangments he made and the doctors on the hill for the shade I used next to the first Armadillo road kill I have seen, and the two sweet women and their more than generous 'last room at the inn' where Nice and me are tonight, saved from the thunder showers and lightning, and so many people who are there for us on our little walk.

Top of the hill...

To those who are following along from the comforts of home, "HI!!!"

This big hill I was warned about was a good reminder of some of the rolling hills in Indiana and Ohio, and was nothing compared to the panhandle of West Virginia or the hill into Stubenville, Ohio. Not to say it was easy, it was not. The traffic of Saturday made it even more fun, having to get off and then on again, over and over, and over again. The thirty foot sharp bank was a good test of my concentration.

A couple of the local news orgs have given us some press and several people have searched us down to give us encouragement today (it's a muggy one) as we walked from shade to shade. Now we are resting atop this little hill before walking into town. Funny how used to the smell of roadkill I have become. There is a smelly one just a few yards away. Not strong enough to chase us out of this shade.

Have a good day and please go for a walk.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Rolling the trenches

The backroads of MO are much like the roads of PA. Big fun and slow going. I would say more but nap time for Nice (the dog) is about over and the flies seem to like the taste of deet. And ticks are immune to everything but fire!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Shade hoppin' day

It's a hot and muggy day and we are now in a fine shady spot next to the road. Nice( the dog) is sleeping and I am doing my best to rest. Every time I lay back another car pulls up for a picture, a policeman checks on my progress and a newspaper photographer comes for the story. And then there is the ticks , spiders , and other bugs who come for the feast.
I am about two miles from New Haven but the hottest time of day is upon us and this spot feels almost cool..I may gat up soon and trudge to town even in the heat. The bugs are thick and the traffic seems lighter. Then again I may just wait awhile.

I feel like a river

In a way, since I have crossed into Missouri, I have been like a creek or a river. They flow with the landscape, meandering this way and that, turning corners sometimes, almost heading back in the direction they came. This is how I have spent the last two weeks, making progress meeting just the right people at the right time and stopping to appreciate the scenery, like a rivers eddy that swirls in place as it heads downstream.

After these days of seeking the path to Kansas City, I hope the advise I've been offered found me on the most direct and relatively safe road to my destination. Yesterday as I was finally headed from Washington, we were called into the last business before we left town for a drink. A salesman who I had spoken to the night before came in for a call, and we talked of my plans. He redirected me one more time, suggesting a route no one had before. I only had to eddy back a quarter-mile, and I think his advise will be the best for our purpose. No roads are safe for a big ball, yet this one is headed west and looks to be a wise decision when looking at the map and listening to a man who drives these roads everyday.

Take care, and take in a walk today. I'm sure it will not be so hard on you.

Have a good day, Erik.

3:30 am

All I have to say is I am in our tent and the dog has gas.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sometimes you just have to grab hold of the rope!

A lot has happened since yesterday when I sat in Defiance. We were invited to a gracious couples modest home in a small subdivision overlooking the Klondike at a boat dock named Augusta Shores. We had to walk a way up a gravel road to get to their home, passing by a waste treatment facility, but it was a very nice place nonetheless. Our host took me this morning through the towns I would walk today in his little chevy so I would be familiar with the route he helped me plan. I would not have made it over the bridge by nightfall without he and his wife's help (Thank you both!)

I left their home late and walked the Katy trail to Augusta where I had lunch and talked to my brother about this website for awhile. (I am a caveman on a computer and my brother is the best! For your web needs contact him at Then, I walked on through the day to the Bottoms of Augusta and made it to the bridge across the Missouri just in time for sunset. As I walked to the bridge, I remembered the story of the man who was caught in a flood who asked God to save him, but denied help from a boat, a helicopter, and did not grab hold of a log floating by just before he was drowned in the flood. When at the "Pearly Gates" he asked St. Peter why God had forsaken him . St Peter replied, "He did not, you were just too stupid to see his help. He sent you a boat, a rope from a helicopter, and a log!" When half way across the bridge, a small flatbed truck pulled alongside me and I got a ride the rest of the way across... just in time to greet the police who were on their way to apprehend me. We laughed it off and all was well.

I must go for now. Thank you St. Peter for the bridge pass.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Memorial Way, to Weldons Pond, and now I'm in Defiance!

Everyday brings new and good conversation, the past day is no exception... from the man who followed us for miles taking pictures, to the scientist, a young man who's mother was just diagnosed with diabetes and was waiting for his own blood work to come in, or the good family who had me for dinner and a peaceful evening at the contemplative Walden's Pond (weldon?), or the many bikers along the Katy Trail where I now sit writing after a fine lunch in Defiance, MO. I am ever encouraged onward on our little walk across the heartland.
I am just checking-in before I go on down the trail, and again hope you can find time for a bit of walking to keep the blood flowing.

Thanks again to the GPS that helps me stay on track. (That is Good people System)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

helping hands, and the reason I am here...

I again want to thank the good people who have helped me along the way. Especially those who were there when we were too tired to go on. Their helping and understanding hands kept us well and words can not express my gratitude.

Today is my Mother's birthday. I would prefer to be at her side to celebrate today. I am instead walking across the mid-west spreading a message to those with diabetes to do whatever they can to stay healthy so they my be around in life as long as they can. Diabetes is harsh and devastating in it's many forms.

I know my little walk and message can't help everyone. My mother suffered from adult onset diabetes and could have taken better care of her condition, but she was busy helping others as a State Representative in Kentucky. She worked hard for the rights of many while neglecting herself. She did it out of love for her fellow man, I know. To anyone out there who is too busy, I encourage you to think how much more you could do in a year, or perhaps a decade, if you took the time for yourself, your health, your welfare.

I am here today in Missouri, far from my home walking my dog and pushing the weight of the world before me (metaphors abound), talking to as many good people as will let me about health and walking to prevent or manage diabetes. Please honour your family and take as good care as you can. Today I walk to honour my mother as I do everyday. But on this day if you see us on the road I may be holding back a tear or two.

I am hoping the donations given will help the fight. So, please go to the links on this site and give your Helping Hand.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Rain, wind, and the forth of July morning in historic St. Charles

Here we are again taking refuge by the gas pumps of a food mart. This one is appropriately named, "On the Run", though the only running we do is across busy intersections.

Yesterday was a tough one, the weather was sunny and hot as we walked the Katy Trail that crossed the Missouri the first of three times to Kansas City. I wanted to cross at least once on our own power. The way may be too dangerous or illegal when we find ourselves crossing it again. We were lucky to have the trail with a bike path built on the side of the express-way yesterday. And, thanks to the cyclist whose knowledge of safe routes, we found ourselves alive on the other side.

I am compelled to be a bit critical of some bikers on the Katy Trail. I was quite stressed at days end by the people who seemed inconvenienced by the world sharing the path. The highway may be safer and cleaner for all concerned.

We have been told to move along from our haven from the rain. We can't be blocking one of these eighteen pumps while the rain comes down in sheets. We must be ++++On the Run++++

Friday, July 3, 2009

a bridge too far

There are so many things about the last two days I want to talk about, but to get across the bridge to St. Charles I walked most all the night and then all the day. I am exhausted!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

KVFS-12 News Clip from June 2009

The Forest Park and reflections in the pond

The first day of July was very windy as I pushed away from Downtown St. Louis towards the beautiful Forest Park. The wind kept my pace slow and deliberate. Surrounded by buildings and pavement, I am still controlled by the elements. I believe the wind keeps me at times where I need to be. I was held at one storefront as the people inside came and talked with me. When they went back in the wind let up and I was able to move again.

The sweetest memory of the day came early as a woman called from a parking lot booth. The sight of the world and me rolling along, she said, lifted her from her depression and brought a smile to her. I could tell it truly made a difference. Thank the wind, not me. As I sat looking at a pond in the park later in the day, it brought a warm tear and a smile. If I did nothing the rest of my day, making a difference in that lovely little woman's was enough.

I did talk to a man riding bikes with his grandson who told me how he had been diagnosed with diabetes and had lost weight, was exercising, and had reduced his dependence on medication. Another example of what I am walking to make people aware of. Stay fit and be there for your family.

Off to the day! Have a good one!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The gateway to the west, the outfield, the winds at Union Station, and a talk show host.

As I approached the "Arch" I was quickly greeted by a park ranger on a bike who after asking "why" told me I could not solicit donations while on park property after seeing a little girl with her family give me a generous donation (One dollar. Probably her weekly allowance.) The excited child's mother told me she had seen me several times in their town in Illinois (I believe it was Albion) and when they saw me there at the arch she had to give for diabetes and explained this to the ranger, who was understanding. I was touched by the little girl's gesture and will remember it as I recall passing into the west.

After spending some time at the Gateway Arch park, I began making my way through downtown taking pictures like a true tourist, when a man offered me lunch at Mike Shannon's Steak and seafood (the best hot meal of my trip!) He also invited me to stay the day and watch the Cardinals' game in Mike's Outfield, which is across from the Stadium. The day was cool compared to last week so I thanked him for the lunch, got his business card and pushed on.

Not long after as I spoke to many fine people downtown, I got a call from KMOX radio and an invite to speak to Jack Carney on his 11 o'clock spot. I agreed to be there and pushed forward to Union Station where the wind became so strong I had to stop and call for help to get the support van (and called to see if the offer at the outfield still stood) then made our way back to the stadium. The difficulty of waiting at an outside sport venue for hours when I am used to walking was I became tired. When I am not walking my body needs rest. By the time Nice (the dog) and me got to the radio station I was exhausted and during the interview I did the cardinal sin of talk interviews I stammered with "um", long pauses, and the occasional "you know"... Sorry Jack, and sorry listeners. It was past my bedtime. Hand gestures don't travel well over the airways either. ( I say to myself-BIg Dummy!-)

Last night after returning to my gracious host's home I tried to write my daily blog but the Blackberry kept closing me out of the page. This morning I rebooted by removing the battery and clearing whatever programs were slowing down my small handheld so I can write. I will get a very late start from Union station today but it will all be for the best I am sure. My ankles appreciate the break as the swelling has disappeared almost totally.

I want to thank Marcus of the Outfield, Jack Carney for his patience towards a stammerring guest, and especially the little girl for the love I saw in her eyes at the arch.

St. Louis and Kansas Cities, here we come!