Friday, April 30, 2010

A Strand of Faith and the World Lands on Safe Ground.

This morning as I ate breakfast my head had that ache from lack of sleep. I pressed on thinking I would make it an easy day and walk fewer miles. It turned out at days end we walked another ten miles. We had been walking along route27 and were a short hill away from the turn we had planned eastward to Hamstead, when a trooper and his supervisor pulled up to find out what in the world I was doing. As I told him my quest I pulled out the news article from the Carroll County Tribune front page with full color photos of yours truly.

Still he asked if I had identification. As I produced it from my wallet a small plastic wrapper from some soft dog kibbles someone had given Nice (the dog) fluttered to the ground. The officer pounced and snatched it from the pavement with lightening fast speed for inspection. Disappointed he handed me the wrapper coated with residue of kibbles. His supervisor and I exchanged veiled smiles.

Upon further questioning he decided he didn't want me walking the direct route to Hamstead, but to Manchester and then down to Hamstead, about 13 extra miles as I figured it to be. All because of a short stretch of narrow road on a hill. I confess I did not walk his way.

When I came to the narrow spot in the road I was standing at the head of a driveway when the owner of the property pulled in, then backed up to see if we needed water. I asked if this section of road was truly as narrow as I had been warned. He confirmed that it was, then offered to get his truck and take us to the bottom of the hill. (This is the part where I preach to those who poo poo that having a strand of faith can change the course of the world.) A minute or two later we were on safe ground and all was good with the world. We worked our way to the top of the next hill where Nice (the dog) lay down in the shade of a young couples' yard. After some friendly conversation, they got on the phone and called down the road to a business where we could camp for the night. Our hosts from last night then picked us up, took us to a cook-out where we ate like kings, and brought us back just as it got dark. Back to a world on safe ground.

I am meeting more good people than I can count. Thank you all.

Now for some sleep!

Catch up Post...

Good morning! I have rested a bit and feel pretty good even though I have been waking up since 4am. It's now 6:30am, the sky is clear and I am pumped to get going this morning and roll into Manchester. Yesterdays wind was just enough to help keep the world moving forward and had only a few moments when I had to stand and wait for the gusts to change direction. The world is like an on land sail which I need to tack to-and-frow. the rolling hills here in Maryland are beautiful and I love slowly walking along, taking in the scenery. The spring flowers and the stubble fields ready to bear the new seasons plantings leave me speechless. Glorious and all that mush. It's good to be able to enjoy it.

I spoke to a newspaper team who followed me a short way. Showing that, "If you roll it, they will come." I was able to tell them my goal of influencing people to walk and eat well to stay healthy thereby keeping diabetes in check and have a happy long life with your family. Nice (the dog) was able to search for any frogs that may be under foot while we talked. At the end of the a nice family took us in for dinner and a shower. This morning we will walk slow. I'll try to keep it under ten miles today. Maine will still be there when we arrive this summer.
Enjoy the day!!!.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Yesterday we were buffeted by high gusty winds stronger than those we wrestled last year across the mid-west. Patiently we plodded ahead. When I looked at the map it seemed best to walk down Main street in Mt. Aire but the line on the map showed nothing of the hills or tiny sidewalks. The yard signs for next week's election and the buildings of downtown built inches from the road added to the windy challenge. All the obstacles were worth the extra effort for the people we met and the crab soup I had at the best place to eat in town, Concettas. It gave us much needed energy for the roll out of town and back on 27 -like my prior post suggested- set us on a collision course with the family who helped us and let me clean up.

I suddenly need to sleep after today's ten miles of walking. I'll say more after I sleep.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wind and where it leads.

Again I say that a wind that seems to keep you from where you think you are going leads you just where you need to be.

i Forgot

After tossing and turning all night from the soreness I forgot how hard it is to juggle an eighty pound dog and an eighty pound canvas world while carrying a backpack. Good thing I was not trying to chew gum at the same time. May I have some cheese to go with this whine?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Over the Brink and Beyond

We began the day with a steady pace and kept it up most of the day. We seemed to slow the fevered pace a bit while the commuters took in the sights. We were given a safer route early in the morning; to a road named Brinks,it had its' share of trenches and obstacles but led us soon to the wide side lane of the road to Damascus where we met many good people who were more helpful than I deserve. All thru the day we had good encounters and Nice (the dog) had many feet to stir up those allusive frogs he imagines are under every foot. (He has been obsessed since last year when he caught one in Illinois). We walled over twelve miles and I am a bit sore for the effort. Tomorrow promises to be a good day.

To the many parents I met today who are helping their children cope with diabetes I want to say you are shining stars and I was honored to have spent time with you...

I received a message from J. G. of Fairfield Illinois today who told me of his parents passing this year. One of cancer and the other of a broken heart. Their whole family (and the town) showed me such warmth and hospitality when I came thru and I want give special mention to them. If only all families could have so sweet a pair of elders, the world would be a better place. I have , and will, hold you close in my thoughts.

Over the brink, says I!

Monday, April 26, 2010


Though there have been periods of fair weather we have stayed where we are and the thunder storms have come as predicted. They are forecast for another day or more. Nice (the dog) has recovered "nicely" and the rain is steady. No need to begin soaked to the bone. We will wait, thanks to my family.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Plans, Family, Weather and the Whip.

The way we planned the final routes on the walking tours is to get advice from local people who know the area. This way we are able to keep safe and walk on roads with some sidewalk or some access for the world. The support vehicle is also a factor. Where to park it and the ability to keep close to any supplies with shelter when I can end the day close by it. I was lucky to get lost in Arlington and happen upon a great spot. While talking to locals of D.C. and the surrounding areas it will be implausible to walk out of the District and park the van for more than two hours. Residents have permits for their own area and are towed without quarter. As much as I want to walk out of Washington I am forced to change the plan.

I plan to walk in all the states in the Union at some point. Some states I have walked across, others I have walked a short distance in. That is the way of things. I am now at my sisters home in Maryland spending some time with family. I found out yesterday after I returned to the van that she worked just up the road from where I had to park the van in Arlington. When she gave me a street name to meet for dinner I had no problem finding it because the world had rolled on it. Things worked out for the best. I drove her home last evening to her car at the subway terminal and am visiting today with my brother-in-law who I have known since I was seven. This was not on my agenda. A welcome change to the traffic and obstacles of this week.

Today is a beautiful, breezy day. Tomorrow and Sunday there is rain predicted. Also, I am so glad I took Nice(the dog) early for his shots because the veterinarian called from home and my pup has a case of whip worms. Apparently he picked them up a few weeks ago in our walks around my neighborhood. This morning I went to a vet close to my sisters and got him the worming treatment: three daily doses and then again for three days in two weeks, plus a preventative in three months. The past two days he had not been eating and I was worried. Now just three hours after the first dose he is eating normally. I won't stress him and will wait for Monday before we begin walking again, even though he was happy to be back on the road the past two days. It is not worth any risk to him. I can also take this time to plan, or be led by blind luck, serendipity, and faith, to a path. I have landed miles from the inner city and I will take that to be serendipity. Slowing the roll at the start is a good thing, I am in no hurry.

Anyone have a suggestion?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day at the National Mall and the Oldest House

Earth Day morning I thought I would give parking in D.C. another try. I made my way from my quaint parking spot in a small neighborhood just outside of downtown Arlington next to it's little park on the site of Arlington's oldest known structure.

Funny that I came to park there. When I got to D.C. I was able to find a great spot at the mall, but the hitch was I couldn't stay there until 10 a.m. and was sitting in the van to wait for the time that I could. The parking police were soon making the morning rounds and moved me along. The next two hours I shuffled around looking for the next spot and hoping I could be at the mall for the ten minute window when I could get a two hour metered spot. Traffic, being what it is in D.C. had me stuck far away when that time came.

Having learned my lesson, I drove back to the little neighborhood and walked the hour and one-half to where the world was at the mall in the tent of the Dept. of Energy. I arrived, and the earth ball was a good attraction to the crowd,drawing them into the semi-circle of tables the DOE had to offer. As the world was free from harm, I was able to leave it there and visit the other booths which are there for the Earth Day Celebration. Though the event has been going on all week, and there is also a concert event set for Sunday, many booths were unmanned yesterday when it was raining, and others, as with the DOE, did not set up until the festivities of today.
To end this post I will say that I soon retrieved the world and left the event to walk the mall as I had planned. Earth Day and the District of Columbia, done.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rise and Shine the World is Turning...again.

It's good to know even the birds get up early in our nations capitol. People are walking into work and the traffic is brisk for five in the morning. In Louisville there is at least an hour of quiet streets after four a.m.. I am glad the cogs of Democracy never sleep. It helps me feel safe.
Perhaps you may be wondering if I have been saying I would get to Washington D.C. on Earth Day, why am I here a full day early? Traffic. I anticipated more obstacles in getting across the river and crossed at night to keep from annoying bike riders and pedestrians proved to be fast. So here I am waiting for the sunrise and the new day.
Since everyday is Earth Day for Worldguy I came a day early to appreciate the experience.
Of coarse after I celebrate Earth day I will change hats, as it were,and begin this years journey for diabetes awareness. I have been walking all this time truly to honor my mother, Kentucky State Representative Gerta Bendl, who died a week shy of her fifty fifth birthday. I have just aged forty eight and this year I am being selfish and also walking for me. I have always been a large guy and walking can keep diabetes away. I want to honor my mother by living longer than she did and doing some service for the world like she did during her stay on it.
Have a happy Earth Day, and turn that light off, save a tree or plant one, and slow down on the parkway for OUR sake.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Loss for Words at a Dead Run

As I wrote this morning's post I had a clue about the traffic I might encounter on my way from Annapolis and into D. C.. But the reality of the enthusiasm drivers have for their gas pedals around here just makes me laugh. This afternoon I made my way to the scenic Roosevelt Island and walked to the memorial. I met a park ranger on the bridge on my way back and asked him a few questions about the area because I want to begin this chapter in Arlington and roll into D.C. by Thursday (Earth Day). He told me to head out on the Washington Memorial Turnpike and quickly turn left and come back into Arlington. When I got on the road the traffic was going so fast I was forced to keep going straight. The speed limit is posted at forty but no one cares. Further on it goes to fifty. I was going fifty five and I was clogging up the lane. I went sixty five, and still even a Prius passed me. To add to the hilarity there are no exits. I had to go ten miles to get back, and the return trip was even more amusing starting with a bridge sign named Dead Run, then Turkey Run, then Douglass Run. Then a police car blasted by going faster than all of the rest. When the sign reduced to forty again the flow was, and stayed, above sixty five. I couldn't stop laughing. All this after spending the morning and early afternoon in the capitol being cut off and bum-rushed for a few feet only to sit at a signal two car lengths up.

The bridge from Virginia to the capitol will have to be done at night because it is narrow and I am going to guess the bike riders will have more attitude than the car drivers.

I have found a spot to start and am at a loss for words as I begin this walk.

This too shall pass.

Clear Skies and the Fast Lane

I was able to sleep till it was light this morning. I did awaken once in the night but eventually calmed the racing thoughts and slept again. The morning is beautiful and peaceful now. We drove down to Annapolis where I intended to survey the sights a bit. A lane change in the rush of the morning traffic forced me back out onto the expressway and we now are relaxing on the outskirts in a large sports park where Nice could do his business and I could charge my Blackberry and the travel charger from an outside plug. Nice needed this, the ride is stressful. Soon we will load up and see where the next lane choice takes us.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Where Do I Begin...

This morning I was in the middle of Ohio taking note of the places and the people I encountered during my trek to Pittsburg. I would drive a little and stop to jot a note here and there. Sometimes I would recall what was over a rise or around a bend. A short space of road whose canopy was so dense it left me blind in the night, also an eerie memory. So much has changed in less than three years with urban sprawl, natural disasters (wind and ice storms) and decay of old structures that I fancied or visited on my way. I stopped at a cemetery where I had to fall asleep from exhaustion high on a hill next to a set of three cypress trees whose trunks had grown twisted together like the family buried there under. When I slept with them three years ago the middle tree was fading from a lightening strike that tore a crevice in its trunk. Today you could hardly make out that there was once a strike at all, like the faded letters of the elders sandstone marker. Things change, fade and return to dust. They kept me safe that foggy and cold morning; I remember them... The towns folk don't remember the family name. The next morning, I spoke to the grandson of the cemetery owner who knew all the living inhabitants in the county but not those of the family whose stones he had cut and weeded around as a child.

That was not the only tree I slept under that exists now only in my thoughts. So many things changed, I noted a few.

Then it was off to the great unknown! I drove from downtown Pitt into Maryland and am now close to the bay an hour north of Virginia. It is long past dark and this parking lot is safe enough. In the morning we will begin to work our way down to our destination point, which is our begining point and subject to change. Like the man said in the Harry Neillson tale of Obleo and his dog Arrow who were banished to the Pointless Forest, "Ain't nothin pointless about this gig."


Dreaming in Circleville Ohio

All night my dream went in a loop of me in a cramped truck driving from work thru the city. repeating the same congested route shifting gears with a floor shift and clutch talking to the other two men in the cab with me. I'm not a small man and though I didn't recognize one of the men, the other, and more talkative, was Terry (Hulk) Hogan. Far too many bodies in the little trucks cab. Now that Nice (the dog) has bullied his way under my blanket I can see the relation between the dream and the reality..Why "the Hulkster" was dictating driving instructions is a mystery.
I remember the dream ending, it being my time at the wheel, easily blending into the flow of traffic despite Hulks warnings it was too difficult.

I'll write something of value after I get somewhere for breakfast or this evening when I have finished this task I have of reviewing my first long walk for diabetes in 2007.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

looking back while moving forward

Yawn! I spent the day driving more than half way to Pittsburgh to recall the experience. Taking some notes as I went. Wonderful people and many forgotten bits from that time are both good and some sad. Now I am exhausted so I will soon be asleep.

I got the house taken care of with the neighbors on all side helping out.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Just a Few Ducks

As anxious as I was last week I have changed to a calm and deliberate resolve to get the preparations out of the way. Things are falling into place, bills paid, jobs finished, tasks tasked. In the morning Nice (the dog) gets his shots a month sooner than is needed, which leaves cleaning and arranging the house, travel supplies, and the WG van(the two ton grape). A nice woman today took it upon herself to go to AAA and get every travel book and map of the north east for me. She was giddy with pleasure from twisting the guy at the counter who wanted specific routes and destinations. She laughed as she recalled the look on his face when she said she wanted maps all the way up the coast to Maine. A real head Bangor...
If all goes well we will be headed out Sunday.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Counting Down

All the little things are going together for the road trip. I have been spending good times with my son these last days. We'll both be leaving this fine city the same day,just in different directions. He is heading back to Madison and I am going to D.C. and beyond. Just a few things more to finalize.
Earth Day in the Capitol is where I'll give the world a new coat of paint, a once over, a fresh look. I may even wear a new hat. No hidden messages here. I have a few jars of blue and green and a Stetson that's not had a thousand miles of sweat and rain or cradled the weight of the world 'atop it. Like the one I have worn so long it is hard with salt and mountain dust. I bought it for myself as we walked thru downtown K.C. My ATABOY for a journey well walked. I have been babying the thing so; it's time to break that hat in!
Am I rambling?
On Earth Day I'll do my little part for the World with a stroll thru D.C. and then begin my little part for diabetes with a stroll through the summer

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Today I want to go and I know I need to save more "quan" for the trip. There are things I need to do for a few people, and for myself. I am anxious to get on the road. Just like last year, my body is retaining, and my belly is expanding, like it knows what I am about to do and is storing fat. Like the happy Buddha.
I will be starting soon. This time I will start around earth day in our nations capitol. It depends on me now how close to earth day I start. Like the saying goes, "Your needs are taken care of, your wants you have to work for."
The oak next door is leafing, the mimosa in my yard still holds a few seed pods and awaits its spring calling. My 'angst' holds no sway. I don't want to post this . I will anyway

Thursday, April 1, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons...or a two ton grape

A few weeks ago I was contacted by an old friend who needed to move her coffee shop out of it's current location and store it at home. In exchange for my help she proposed to give me her van which she used as the smoothie and coffee mobile. I agreed and after much hard labor I have a well maintained conversion van. The original owner bought it new and was a mechanic who used it only for vacations, very good condition. I had been thinking that someday I might splurge and get something to use on our walks that was more suitable than the dirty old electricians truck that had obviously been driven hard by disgruntled employees as a work truck and all terrain vehicle. This gets better mileage by virtue of good maintenance so I now have the new World Guy Mobile complete with earth emblems embroidered on the seat backs and an earth engraved on the front vanity plate. (The manufactures emblem) Kentucky requires only one plate one the rear so I will keep it.
And it is purple like a cartoon grape...