Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day, Memories,Chathamto the Crossroads

I have so many things I want to cover about today. Of Chatham ,the road, the helpful law officers, my son, the gps's and more. I will post this now and edit the content in the morning.
Don't let me neglect or forget..
Did you ever get the feeling you were not supposed to do something?
I just woke up and wrote for hours while waiting for Ethan to wake up. about our hot walk on memorial day. Of the people we met and was about to wrap up the days events when I pressed the return key for a new paragraph and the whole edited post returned to this sentence. I feel like Captain Kirk When He was left stranded by Kahn. I want to shake my fist to the heavens and yell BLACKBERRY!!!
So... To sum up yesterday... It was hot, I learned not to keep my belt too tight else my legs cramp, we took many shade brakes, I took off Nice (the dogs boot so he could play
in a cool pool. The end of the day found us with a ride from a young man from Chatham , Ethan is learning that policemen are good people that don't check your I'd if you have good cause, and at the days end a wonderful woman and her husband let us stay in their drive and allowed us to shower and rinse our clothed for todays' walk. I will try to make this a short day so I can give this more attention.

Thumbberries rule.

Have a great day New jersey!!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

From Warren and then to Chatham

Today there were three, two men and a dog. The last time my son had come for a walk with me he was almost eleven and we were bringing up the rear of a St. Patrick's Day parade. Things have changed, now he has grown to a young man. We walked all day and I am proud that he has come to help. Nice (the dog) and he are good company for me and he was well received as we talked to people throughout the day. The dog is getting used to following him and I am able now to maneuver more easily and safely.

My days route was plotted by google's walking route and there was a two mile section that wasn't fit for any pedestrian much less a man with a six foot globe. We suvived it after many complaints on my part.
With all my complaints did come a couple sparks of light for our days journey that show me diabetes can be managed with results to the good. We rolled up a steep side street where a grandfather was using a leaf blower on his daughters driveway. He was diabetic and agreed that with determination the disease is managable. His daughter brought out one of her young twins to meet us as the proud granddad beamed with pride. Later in the day a young man drove up and told us of the hiking his father and he enjoy. His father is type 1 diabetic and is very athletic and has not let the condition hold him back . The young man was obviously proud of his dad. Both these moments show me diabetes is not a life sentence or a reason to loose hope.
I will continue to use the mapping giants guide for another day and I hope we survive, the Chatham police just reviewed the directions and think it should be alright.

Sleep is calling. Thanks for all the help and support people of New Jersey!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Son and Nice (the dog)

Years ago I walked through the side streets and parks close to our home with my seven year old son playing ball. It was a very large ball and soon the idea to walk for diabetes awareness took hold and I walked alone. A few years ago with a broken back I needed some therapy and my desire to do more than just work as a carpenter and further injure my back brought me to revive the cause I'd left behind to raise my son, and build my in laws family business. Walking helped heal me in more ways than I imagined while doing something that brings a smile to most and a message about diabetes. My puppy joined me on a walk from Louisville to Pittsburg. Then again, last year, to Kansas from Kentucky as well as to the top of Pike's Peak. This spring Nice(the dog) and me have walked well over two hundred miles together.
This morning my son, now nineteen, arrived by bus to join us for the journey. It warms my heart that he wants to come. I am sure that he will learn things about himself , like I have, that he never thought would be found on the side of the road. I hope he will see the good in the people we meet, as I do each day.
Tomorrow we will start on the road together. A happy man, his son Ethan and Nice (the dog).

Friday, May 28, 2010

From the Porch to the End of the Driveway

I overworked my poor pooch today, we walked well over 700 yards and napped this afternoon on K's front porch as the sound of chipmonks tormented Nice (the dog) He didn't even raise his head when the cat wondered past the porch.He must feel neglected from the chicken francese he was fed for dinner.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Climb and our Introduction to Warren

First let me apologize for the delay in posting for Thursday, life just got in the way.
Thursday morning I was ready to leave the parking lot of Bill's Deli when I was told he would be there soon and would help plot my course for the day if I would stay for a few minutes. He got there and we talked over how to get up the Watchung Mountain range. He gave me his local map for the day and we left to scattered skies and a favorable wind.

As we do everyday, we took all the time needed for each person who stopped to answer any questions they had about our adventure. Nice was given water and treats as we strolled toward the foot of the Watchung, he was never thirsty or lacking attention. We stopped at a dog kennel where I asked if they had any flea and tick treatment for Nice the dog. They sent us two doors up the road to the animal hospital after coming out to give Nice some love, and take a few pictures. We then strolled to the animal hospital down the road.

When we rolled to the porch in front of the office a man had pulled in and opened the rear of his SUV to reveal what looked like a large pillow. I thought he was picking up an animal. As he walked up he talked to Nice and asked the dog if he were on a trip. I explained what we were doing as we all came to the door. Once in, I stood to wait our turn and realized that the pillow was, in fact, the wrapped body of the mans' family dog who had passed away during the night after a long bout with cancer. The doctor asked a series of questions as the man paid for the burial expence and fought back the emotions from the loss of his friend. He was a giant of a man and I could tell it was hard for him to keep his composure as he calmly relayed the final days of his family member to the doctor. As he left I reached out my hand and expressed my sorrow for his loss. he said "Thank you ." as he crushed my hand, told Nice to have a good journey, and left the office. Once again my journey threw me curve ball and I remembered the passing of my last dog,the sorrow I felt, which anyone feels for the passing of a good friend. The assistant sold me the flea and tick treatment, gave Nice some treats and a bowl of water on the front porch and wished us luck before we walked up the road.

The skies had become cloudy and the world was getting soft from the change in atmosphere. We came to a tire repair store and stopped for a little boost. In talking to the men there I was told by the owner that his brother was in the the hospital for an amputation due to the ravages of diabetes. I wished to myself I could walk just one day without an unfortunate tale about this devastating disease. We filled the world with air and were on our way again.
Just before we began the walk up the mountainside we were passing a child care center when the owner and a couple workers came out to see us. One was a woman from South America who spoke little English but her joy at the sight of us was infectious. She hugged Nice and me,and brought us both out a drink. While she was inside one of the other women told her what we were doing and she became even more excited and affectionate. I needed the hugs after the moment I had just had at the animal hospital. A policeman then walked over from across the road where he and a few others were directing traffic at a road work sight. He had seen us early last week on 130 and told me he had seen a patrol car just before and just ahead of me. I told him that as I walk I tend to slow traffic and sometimes law enforcement lay in wait for speeders, like a whale and the fish that follow and pick off parasites; we laughed at the comparison. He and I shared a few more stories before Nice and me crossed the highway to the foot of the mountain road. The police crew watched from a distance.

We were some way up the hill and I was just beginning to feel the burn when two officers pulled up to tell me they knew what we were doing and supported the cause but were concerned because just a short way up the mountain road the road had rails on boths sides and we would be in danger. They offered to get the department truck and shuttle us to the top, I gratefully accepted the help. We arrived at the top, to Washington's Rock Park, took some pictures and safely made our way down the other side of the mountain ridge.
We walked into Warren New Jersey and while passing another child care facility I was asked to stop and talk to a class of four and five year old children about what we doing. Then we walked a little farther and we met a woman and her daughter who told us the Warren municipal complex was just up the road and there we could leave the World while they took me back to Piscataway where the van was so I could gather up the World before the incoming storm. When I rolled up to the flag poles at the Warren Municipal Complex, tied off the World to a lamppost and was about to get in the women's car a city worker came out to see Nice. I quickly explained about the van and ask if I could leave Nice tied there also, she said she would keep him in the building and as soon as I gave her his leash he pulled her inside. She called back that she was on the second floor in finance as he pulled her around the corner.
I got back to the van and went into the busy deli to thank Bill for the map, he asked if I was staying for dinner but the women were waiting outside and I had to leave. We returned to Warren where I was led to Nice who was fast asleep up in finance as the nice women asked me a few questions and admired my sleeping companion. A man who worked there came and fed Nice some biscuits which Nice ate without picking his head off the floor. I told them he was not as exhausted as he looked, they were not convinced until we went outside for some pictures next to the World where he quickly began to search for the ever illusive frogs that hide under every one's feet.
I asked if they knew where a laundromat was and one of the nice women went inside to search the interned while another called to see if I could use the shower in the rescue squad facility there in the municipal complex. Then the first woman who had gone inside returned to tell us K was on her way to take us to dinner and would give us a place to stay for the night. Warren, New Jersey - voted #6 - Money Magazine 2009 America's Best Places to Live. From a helpful ride up the mountain to a delicious meal at one of the best restaurants in town for a stranger and his dog. I rate it #1 in hospitality and goodhearted people.
After a gourmet meal, shower, and more kindness than a man deserves K has let us stay for the afternoon to regroup and help track the bus which carries my son to a nearby town so we can continue this little adventure together. A happy man, his son, and a Nice dog.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The World has a Different Hue Under the Full Moon

The heat got the best of me today. We got going early enough, but with a poor angle in the breeze and the morning traffic on the road that was recommended by a police officer yesterday, I was already fatigued by the time I had to run the train underpass in rush hour traffic. Running under the bridge in traffic predictably brought a patrol officer who got a call of a man, a dog and a bow and arrow. The report did not mention a six foot globe. My. Twisted willow staff attached to the strap on the World does fancy a bow. The officer left without incident.

The heat came on quickly and the office frontages were all grass with no trees to pass under. Though I had loaded up on water I was soon overburdened with gifts of an extra bottle from the people who stopped to talk. Being taught to never turn down a kindness has it's downfalls. Still, it is rude to refuse a gift.

I stopped at a paint store to get a match for the blue of the world which I used this evening to touch up and mask the odor left from the streets of New york city. The older man who they tasked with the custom match did a fine job with the blend and it is a complimentary hue.

Because of the heat we had to stop walking early, The temperature wash 95 degrees and we, luckily, were given a space in a deli shops parking lot for the night. The owner is a great guy and a pleasure to talk to. A diabetic who had given me his card earlier in the day helped me and took me to the van.the heat had the van as hot as a sauna.
My moment of the day came with an older woman who came out of the. Deli with a sandwich and sat next to Nice (the dog), She , it turns out, is diabetic and after helping to her feet she hugged me for what we are doing.

The moon is full and I hope.I can sleep well. Good Night New Jersey.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

One a Day

We returned to Perth Amboy this morning and I cleaned the inside of the support van while waiting for a package to be delivered to the Fire Department. They were gracious to allow the package to be delivered there. A woman I met on the first week of our journey has taken it upon herself to solicit companies for some things for us (me and Nice the dog) to use on our walk. First I want to thank her for all her hard work. Thank you, L.

Thanks to Red Wing for the Vasque hiking boots. I wore one pair of Vasque on my 570 mile trip from Kentucky to Kansas, then wore them to walk up the Barr Trail on the east face of Pike's Peak on my Uncle's 83rd birthday. I wore them till the end of the year when the heel finally wore through to the plastic core. I had a pair of low cut boots in the same style when we walked from Louisville to Pittsburg  in 2007, about 430 miles. They lasted just as long. I would not walk without them. I have tested several brands and always go back to Vasque made by Red Wing.

They also provided some socks made in Vermont, "DARN TOUGH". I wore them all day and my feet feel good, darn good! I'll be wearing them when I get to Vermont.

Thanks also to MUTTLUKS who have provided Nice (the dog) with boots. It is forecast to be 91 degrees tomorrow and I'm sure Nice will feel the difference on the hot roads. If you want to find good dog boot makers, trust a Canadian boot maker, eh!

Aside from the many conversations I had today with police, business owners, and passers-by, there was one that made the day worth the world to me. I met a young woman who told me she had been Type-1 diabetic since her early teens and was now really working hard at taking care of herself because she just found out she was pregnant. Her aunt and I reminded her that it's those times when she does not make it important when she is doing silent damage to her self. I told her I had walked hundreds of miles to shake a finger at her. She took it in good spirit and said she would look up this site. I told her to look to the side bar and go to the DESA site for good information. I am just a guy stirring things up. If you are out there reading this young lady. Remember the finger!

If I could have a moment like that everyday on this journey, where it seems like I have some motivating influence,  perhaps to a glowing and beautiful pregnant mother-to-be, I will be a happy man.

Back to New Jersey from the sidetrip to NYC

The Big Apple was fun. I leave New York City with good memories of a city where almost everyone smiles. I am going to return to where I left-off in New Jersey, The Garden State, where the rhododendrons grow as big as a house. I saw -and was seen by- a million people in my short time in NYC. Now I'll leave these streets for the open roads of the New England States. My goal is Maine and all the states in the northeast. I'll leave the "City That Never Sleeps" to the painted men, Elmo, Mickey, and statues of Liberty. I will see more of the state of New York soon. I'm sure I'll enjoy it just as much.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wall Street, Broadway, and the Smiling City

This morning I woke up in Perth Amboy, New Jersey at the firehouse. My goal was to get over the bridge into Staten Island, find a place where the supply van could be parked, and start to form a plan to get into New York City within a few days. I hadn't figured that when firefighters get involved things happen fast.

The men at Perth Amboy reached out to Staten Island and gave me a map and instructions to get to the Rescue #5. Once there, after explaining that I was walking through all the New England states for the cause of diabetics around the world with my dog (Nice) and wanted to walk in New York City. They advised me that Sunday morning was the best day to get into the city. They reached out to Engine Company #4 - Ladder Company #14 and were able to get me a place to park. They gave me instructions to get there and we were off to the Big Apple.

I drove over the bridge (and of course took a wrong turn) and soon found myself lost in the city. I called over to Rescue 5, and like their name, they guided me by phone to the waterfront firehouse. Firemen go beyond and above the call of duty: they rescued me from being hopelessly lost in the big city.

The parking is limited for the firemen at Ladder 14 and permission to park there granted over the phone needed clarifying when I got there was needed, and they allowed me to stay. We were a block away from Wall Street.

Walking on country roads with a six-foot canvas facsimile of the earth is worlds away from the bustling throngs of even the small crowds of Sunday in New York City. I inflated the World, loaded our packs, and rolled for Times Square from Wall Street, heading up Broadway. As we approached Broadway, a reporter came and did an interview for a newspaper, took our picture, and we were on our way again. We had only been a few blocks and had our picture taken by hundreds of people and had stopped to tell our tale several times. The first man who had stopped us was a diabetic himself. I thought either this was a coincidence or diabetes is so prevalent it really is epidemic. My journey to New York City will have been a success because that man said he would work harder to control his condition. His friend was standing with him and assured him she would help also. Support from others is so helpful in anything we do.

The sidewalks were wide enough for the World and the Sunday crowds. I could quickly read the difference between tourists and those who live here. All gave us room to pass; even the most sour faces softened and fought back a smile as the World rolled by. We crossed from side to side as the scaffolds and street vendors sometimes left no space for our World. The people were very hospitable to the world and stepped aside.
While we slowly rolled along I heard an almost constant murmur of "" and the click of phones and cameras. I thought of this blog and my writings on it. I thought of how I don't like how I look in a photograph. I told myself that I chose this for the message of being active and fit by any means, to raise awareness for diabetes control and prevention. My self criticism and vanity only holds me back from that end. I pushed on to Times Square.

When I arrived to the Square, I skirted by the heaviest of the crowds and then to Rockefeller Center where I sat at one of the benches there. I was having a conversation with a young couple, people were standing by the world taking pictures, and all was well with the World when a man from the center came to tell me I needed to move on lest someone trip over the World and they were sued. I am not sure how someone can trip over a six foot earth ball (although I do have a string attached to it.) So, I moved along.

Earlier in the day I had asked a police officer where I might be able to safely sit out the evening so that in the morning I could be one of the waving tourists waving to the camera on the morning news shows. The officer said Times Square is safe and people are there all night. They have strong presence there for security. It took me six hours to walk to Times Square, and there was no way I could get back to the van to rest and return by morning. Then came the pinprick. An officer rolled up to tell me I couldn't be standing around the Center or the Square because, with all the scares going on, I may be disguising an explosive device inside this 6-foot round inflated World. So, I had to move along.

I still believe all events have a silver lining, and while I walked the five hours back down Sixth Avenue as the shops loaded their mountains of trash on the sidewalks for the night crews to pick up, that it would be better not to walk the streets on Monday when all the office workers are rushing to and fro' while the tourists around the world are clicking pictures of the man with the Indiana Jones hat pushing his giant rolling stone from the Temple of Doom. Yes, while I walk I do have too much time to think between the photographs and conversations.

When I got back to Wall Street and Broadway in the evening, I met a man who had just left his office and was very interested in my quest. He said he had many media interests and took my information down and wanted to help... A chance meeting at almost midnight on the empty streets in the hub of the World.

Today, I give thanks to the concerned policemen who was protecting the masses of the world from the World for being the latest silver lining.

I Finally Used It

My final day of walking in New Jersey was as hard as any. The wind buffeted us backward. I had to push for every foot most of the day, even pushing down hills. Tacking from one side of the four lane state road to the other was no better. We did have many good conversations with many who we would have passed had the winds been calm, so I pushed on one labored step at a time.

We had good directions from the New Brunswick firemen, but I took an exit off the road before I should and found I was on a divided highway. Then a man stopped with encouraging words and advice how to correct my mistake but was not sure of the exact directions. The next exit found us skirting an industrial area with little traffic. I knew I had to circle around to a bridge that crossed the highway I had been on earlier, but was at a loss as to how to get there. Standing on a corner to an office complex, a van stopped and the man began taking pictures with his phone. I called over to ask the best way. He was no help. So for the first time in my travels I used the GPS hanging from my neck. It led me to the helping hands of the Perth Amboy fire Department.

I said I would take more time to post updates but I find myself in a rush.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Good Nights Sleep and a Hot Shower

Before I leave New Brunswick Fire Company #2, I want to extend my deep appreciation for all their courtesy. They shared their breakfast, hot water (a much needed shower), and allowed me to take time to make some repairs on the World while they washed a load of clothes. They also called ahead to my destination tonight to make sure I was welcome.

New Jersey, all in all, has been a wonderful state to visit. They even have attendants to pump your gas!

Enjoy your weekend, New Jersey!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Farthest Day and a Cold Shower

It is midnight and I just got to a spot for the night. We walked 15.3 miles from Cranbury to New Brunswick. We had stopped at a volunteer fire house in South Brunswick after a hot and sunny day when we were told we would do better if we walked to another station in New Brunswick. They gave us dinner and a cold shower and sent us to an even better spot.

I will wait till tomorow for any more tales to share ZZZZzzzzzzzz

Friday Morning Sunrise

Yesterday afternoon we walked into beautiful and historic Cranbury, found the old and the new Firehouses, talked with the volunteer commander and took some pictures. I then settled down to the work of global reconditioning. As I worked, a local reporter cam to talk with me. We had an interesting interview for his weekly publication. After he left I retouched as much as I could of our planet as possible before the sun went down. Then I wrote a little post and now after a good night's sleep I am getting ready for the day's dozen. We will walk through the rest of historic and beautiful Cranbury before getting back on route 130 to the next city. I hear I have several miles of industry to pass before I get back to civilization. I will need to take plenty of water just in case we have no place to resupply. I am glad I took the time to do some repainting on the World as the rains and roads of the past two hundred miles are taking a toll on the fabric of our little globe.
Have a wonderful day New Jersey!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Special Delivery

We left this morning to a clear sky. We came to a large nursery where a family of migrants were working. Only the father spoke some English. I did my best to answer his questions. He was as excited as a school kid at what I was doing and amazed at the distance and time of our journey. After we spoke and I was walking away, he called for me to wait while he brought out the proprietor of the place--who was much less enthused but polite. I think she was more concerned with the business at hand so I quickly told her mine and left before she docked the beaming South American man any pay.
The Robbinsville police paid us a visit up the road and brought us fresh water which I appreciate on these sunny and warm days on the open state roads when shade is at a minimum. Many people stopped to learn our story and pulled off the road to talk. One young couple stopped in traffic and turned on their hazard blinkers thinking little of the trucks and cars behind them. These type of people are dangerous so I quickly answered them. Thankfully, they were not hurt or in an accident.
As the day progressed, I came to a place in the shade where two men came from across the road to talk during their break. As I explained myself, a woman trucker stopped to give us a drink. At this point I was trying to coordinate how I was going to pick up a UPS delivery at a store I had passed yesterday and still keep some forward progress. The Robbinsville Fire and Police had given me their phone numbers and the store clerk had said I could authorize them to pick it up, but there was a holding fee. As I juggled phone calls, I mentioned to the trucker I was doing this for diabetes. She pointed at the insulin pump on her side. We talked a little more and she left. About five minutes later, the trucker pulled-up, having found a spot to leave her trailer so she could drive me to pick up my package. That puts a whole new twist to freight delivery.
When I opened the package from D.E.S.A., on top were some wrist bands with the signature phrase of the D.E.S.A. organization, "I run on insulin." I gave one to my special delivery, insulin pump wearing, third generation trucker, first generation owner operator / road angel. She's wearing it now. When she dropped me off she thanked me for walking for people like her. Yes gentlemen, I teared up...Again.

For those that don't know my story, I'm walking because I lost my mother to diabetes, and always stress to you to take care so you can be around for your grandchildren. This walking for diabetes idea is the result of my walking with my -then seven year old- son in the park when the World was too large for our own back yard. The park had a large hill where people would walk their dogs and we would roll the World off the top toward the dog walkers. We called it bowling. The pins always moved, but it was good fun for a seven year old. After a couple months of play many people would come to me asking if I were walking across the country, or where I was going, what cause was I representing. Fun and merriment with my son was just too simple and eventually the idea took hold. These walks are the result of peer pressure and playing with my son in the park.
My boy is nineteen now, he never knew his Grandmother. He called me today and is going to take the money he is earning by helping a man paint his house to buy a bus ticket to come walk with me and Nice (the dog). Even if he has to hitch-hike some of the way, or hop a freight- whatever it takes. Yes gentlemen...
Thank you for being so good to Nice and me New Jersey, and goodnight.

Finding my Pace

I've found that trying to post is the hardest part. In the evening after walking all day, talking to all the good people we meet, then getting things together to settle down for the night. I usually write the introduction and then fight sleep that takes hold and shuts my body down. I'm finding the morning after to be the time for writing even if the events aren't as fresh. This is the third long trek we have taken and I am still learning to pace myself. No day is the same and each has some special moment that may or may not have a connection to our cause of walking for diabetes awareness.
Last night we were taken in by the Robbinsville Firefighters and the police department shuttled me back to pick up the support van. The timing was great, and I'm just amazed how I am welcomed by all the firefighters I've met.
Yesterday was filled with moments, and the theme seemed to center around mothers and daughters. My way of making the point is take care of yourself so you can live long and be around for your grandchildren. One mother and daughter pulled up and when discovering my cause they excitedly announced they were diabetic. I reminded them that being active, even just walking is key to keeping their levels balanced. They both looked guilty and agreed they should do more. Then the mother lowered the rear tinted window to reveal her mom and two grandchildren, and their guilt became more evident. Before they pulled away they promised to go walking, for the kids sake.
I will work on pacing myself so I can do my job of sharing my days experience on the blog. I have a guilty look on my face now.
Have a great day New Jersey.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Relieved Thanks

The men of Burlington Relief Fire Company #3
A quick thanks to the men at Relief Fire Company #3 in Burlington New Jersey.
They were out this morning serving us all!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Dogs New Obsession, Relief from the Rain. and the Benefits of Forgiving

Nice (the dog) and I have been walking the right-of-way along the train track the past couple days through the small New Jersey boroughs. Occasionally along the river in southern New Jersey a train would pass as we were at a crossing. The bells would ring and the gates would lower, the train would sound its horn, and Nice would bark at the evil gate arm, rising up on his hind legs to lightly nip at the bar. I can only shake my head at my dog's new obsession.

Can we talk?

The rain has been constant all morning from a drizzle to a cold rain. I am glad to take this day to let Nice rest. The down-time is good for me also. I am a carpenter and have racked my body for decades., so the rain is causing me to remember every injury, ache, and pain from years of hard work. I am grateful to be allowed to stay here at the fire station in Burlington, Relief #3 while this rain fall drums on the roof of the van.

While I walk --and on days like this-- I have time to reflect about things. The choices I have made, both good and bad, during my life, and how they have influenced my health and state of mind. I notice the things I hold onto negatively cause me to loose sleep, over-indulge, and distract me in my work and at times have caused me to make mistakes or injure myself. On cold, rainy days like today those old mistakes are amplified with aches and stiffness. When I let those things go I am able to work better, sleep more restfully, indulge less, and enjoy life now - not berating the past. I forgive myself, simply.

I am also a painter. When I paint, like when I am walking on long stretches of open road, it is a time to meditate on my life. One benefit from forgiving I want to share is something I held onto for years after high school. The first girl I shared an apartment with moved out and traveled around Europe. We never got back together or talked about that time even when my ex-wife and her were friends over the years. I know we were kids but I held onto this. I see now how it hurt my relationships and caused me other hardships until I let it go, that teenage hurt that kept giving. No break up, just her taking the opportunity to see the world.

To wrap up this sentimental journey I'll try to end it quickly. An old friend and his wife came to town and invited her and I both to dinner, we had all been friends back in the day. Talking about the past days, I saw it was all just young hurt that amounted to one bean in a hill of beans. A few weeks later she called to ask a favor. To help her store the contents of her coffee shop that had failed. In return she would give me a van she used as the coffee and smoothie mobile. $95, a week's work, forgiving my imagined hurt, and I am now sheltered from this blowing rain - not hold-up in a pup tent shivering with my wet dog. The benefits of forgiving. A purple van that sticks out like a sore thumb.

When this storm blows over I'll get back to the business of being a spectacle with people wondering why some guy is walking his dog wearing a weathered fedora and swinging the World by its tail. It's to raise awareness for diabetes, of course.

Smile New Jersey! It lowers your stress.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Authorization and the Fork in the Road.

Riverton Fire Dept.A day that starts with comedy is a good day. I was awakened by the sound of a firefighter loading things in his truck. Soon another pulled in to help gather supplies for the event the company was attending today. The first asked the other if he had gotten authorization to park this "clown truck" there in the lot. I flipped open the levered window and said, "No, but I have." And in one sentence told him what we were doing. We all had a good laugh.
The skies were cloudy all day and the wind was rarely a factor as we made our way along the river boroughs from Riverton to Burlington. I had no map like the previous day, but I had direction from people I spoke with throughout the day. The paramedic station downtown was too busy to help out a boy and his dog so we kept up the trek toward the main road of route 130. Not knowing where I would find a safe haven for the night and without a ride to shuttle the "circus truck" forward, I had to convince myself that things would come together.
Everyday presents itself with different challenges and high points. I had many favorable moments during the day. A woman took her afternoon walk with us which is a treat that rarely occurs. The last time anyone walked with us was In Illinois during our walk last year from Kentucky to Kansas. We had a good time talking along the way. We talked with the mayor of one of the towns and enjoyed several other conversations during the two miles she stayed with us.
I'd come to a fork in the road both figuratively and literally. I could see the highway ahead. Not sure which was the best route, like my wavering energy I chose south.
I walked by a ball park with a baseball game in progress. The parents on the bleachers turned to look. Not wanting to take their attention from their childrens' game I felt like reciting the line from "The Wizard of Oz" when Toto is pulling back the drapes and the wizard booms, "PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!". Instead I quickly let them know what I was doing and apologized for distracting from the game. A few came over to ask more questions and offered directions to a nearby volunteer fire house. The man who gave me directions said he would meet me there and offered a ride back to the Riverton firehouse to fetch the purple stripped "circus" van. He had friends at both firehouses and was able to arrange for us to keep the world safe while we shuttled back. When we pulled up to Riverton the men there had all returned from a golf event and invited us in for a bite to eat. Even Nice (the dog) was showered with attention by the wives and children. Our savior of the day knew some of the men there. We had fresh grilled burgers and a good time was had by all.
When I finally got back to where the World had landed and started to write my daily post, I fell asleep with my Blackberry still in my hand. I have written most of this in the morning. It is raining now. So, I may be here for the day.
I am so thankful to the firemen who have guided me so far and the help from the law enforcement communities that help ensure our safety.
Enjoy the rain New Jersey, may it help your flowers bloom.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Three GPS Systems,Three Road Angels, and a Reminder.

When I awoke this morning I had hand written instructions directing my path from Audubon to Merchantville supplied by the good and kind volunteer fire fighter at the station where we stayed. The morning threatened rain with a slight sprinkle here and there.
As we walked, the skies grew clear and the wind was brisk at our faces. We passed a park that was having a rowing event as well as a 5k run-walk that launched just as we came over the bridge. We rolled out of their way as they passed and crossed the first overpass of the day. It had its hazards, but we made it through, the wind getting stiffer and more difficult.
By the time we traversed the second overpass my guide arm was cramped and my shoulder was throbbing on the pushing arm. I couldn't switch sides because of the wind's angle. People were not very talkative and most just took pictures from a distance. That was good because I was working hard to keep a forward motion.
We finally got close to the town of Merchantville where I was walking toward a man who had been working on his yard. He was so stiff that he used his foot to lift his broom handle just high enough to strain and bend to grab it so he could sweep the final touches off his well manicured lawn. I could relate to his stiff back: I can walk all day but bending over is a pain. I told him he had a fine looking yard and he brimmed with a happy thanks. This has nothing to do with diabetes, but I meant the compliment and gave it as he made his last stroke. I always talk of the wind holding me back for a reason and that was the highlight of the morning. He was obviously in pain, yet determined to do a good job. He deserved the compliment.
I came to the circle turn at the edge of town and could see the last direction on my hand-written instructions seemed to take me a block the wrong way. I went on anyway and came upon some children who asked questions for ten minutes or so as they loved on Nice (the dog) and he loved them back. The eldest, a girl, gave the few coins from her pocket even though I kept saying she should keep them for herself, but her uncle was diabetic and she insisted.
A nine year old telling me I was doing a good thing is quite humbling.
While this was going on, an elderly man stood close by and then offered some directions toward route 130 which cut me back the block I had correctly thought I should have gone and then onto a mile long stretch where he said I should find another guide. I guess it was no wrong turn after all.
I was about two blocks down that road when a man in a suit -probably on his way from church- stopped to talk and wrote out a map for my second leg of the days walk. He was very helpful and encouraging. Just as he was leaving, a young woman came up. When she found out what I was doing she said her father was diabetic and said that since he had been going to the gym and loosing weight his levels were vastly more stable, a point I make when I talk to others. It is good to hear it from a stranger the difference it makes ( I know I'm rambling and my punctuation is worse than usual.) The two exchanged cameras and got a shot of themselves with the world before they left.
The second GPS map was clear, but led me to a dangerous section of road with no shoulders --the approach even seemed dangerous. Just as I was about to go it alone I was called to have a break across the road to a restaurant for a drink. When I was inside, three women pulled in who had been searching for us for awhile. Then an off-duty policeman came by. We all discussed how I was to get through the gauntlet. Finally the policeman said he would turn his head if I went on the over pass while the three women stayed behind us all the way around. I could have easily been road-kill like the three animals that I passed as I walked through the bad area. The angels came right on time. They wanted to escort me up 130, but I had made it to safe ground ans was okay.
After we got across the highway, we stopped to talk with the Firemen of Cinnaminson who gave us our final maps for the days walk. These were printed out from Google, and they highlighted the other fire departments ahead. Google beats the others hands down but does take the adventure out of it.
As the sun drew down to the west and we had found ourselves in Riverton. We were walking the wide sidewalk by the train track right-of-way when we met a woman and her son who invited us for dinner and allowed us a shower. Their family was wonderful and reminded me of when my son was young and the joys that go with raising a child. You can't get those times back and only have one shot to do your best. That family is doing great.
I am so tired I should have waited till morning...

Sunday Morning in the Garden State

Since I am up early (5:30 am), I'll get on the road early. We had a easy walk Saturday of just under seven miles. We got a late start and talked a lot. I don't have much to say this morning, so I'll enjoy the New Jersey sunrise, try to work the kink out of my neck from the weight of the back pack, and keep heading North.

Have a great day New Jersey!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Roses, the Shade, and the Man

It's Saturday morning and the sun has just come over the trees. I was far too tired when we finally settled down for the night to write.

After walking and talking all day Friday from Bridgeport's Firehouse to the Vergas Station (I hope I spelled that correctly), we were tired and got to our destination just before a thunder storm. The day had begun cloudy and misty, but the cool mist soon broke into a very sunny and hot day with us taking time to cool under shade trees a few times. Whenever we would stop we would soon be met with several visitors who had already heard of our trip from D.C. to Maine or were curious to know what we were up to. Like our first day In New Jersey, we were never wanting for water. We had so much given to us our packs were almost too heavy by the end of the day. Nice (the dog) was given a variety of treats, both dry and canned food, which added to our load.

As we walked, I took the time twice to stop and smell the roses, literally, that were in full-bloom next to the road. I tried to write a quick post under the next shade tree stop, but we had so many visitors I had to post the title first and then edit one sentence at a time as we walked in the hot sun later in the day.

rose At the first rose sniffing stop, a bearded man came to his fence to get his little dogs that were barking at the gate. They were protesting our presence at his blooming bush. I told him I was taking a moment to smell the roses as I walked through the northeast for diabetes. He smiled and said to take all the time I needed. The aroma hung in my senses far down the road and the old hippies' reaction left a smile on my face much further. I meet so many different people on the road.

The law enforment officers are all understanding, some are speechless, others get a little tick or twitch in their face, and on occasion, one will be stern about me staying off the lane of traffic, which I am very practiced at after walking over a thousand miles in fourteen states and the District of Columbia. The one police officer who had this stern attitude yesterday may have been so because of my answer to his first question. He asked "What's the point?" and I can never resist... "There is no point, it's a ball." In the end all was good with the world and we were on our way.

Everyday I meet so many people who are diabetic and more whose family members are (or died from) diabetes. I wish it were an unheard-of ailment that I had to describe to everyone, but it IS epidemic. At one of our shade break meetings I met a man and his son. Later as we walked along the road, another man pulled-up who I thought to be the man I had seen earlier, but it was his brother. He got out of his truck and told me his brother had told him he saw me and that I was walking for diabetes. He shared that he had just been diagnosed a few days ago with diabetes and that I was, to him, a sign from above. Now I'm just a guy pushing a big ball and walking his dog... He and I talked and exchanged phone numbers. He was my GPS (good people support) at the end of the day to help leap-frog the support van to the volunteer fire station. All things being connected, his brother and cousin are members of the volunteer fire company, and I will keep in touch with this new friend and hope he keeps the enthusiasm to lose the weight and turn around his life. I am a large (read: fat) man, and if he can get down to my weight there is hope.

I have been taught it's rude to turn down an offer of hospitality, and have been invited this morning to have breakfast at a family's home. So, after breakfast, I will get my World together and walk-off the meal. I can't loose weight on these walks, to turn down a kindness is just rude.

Have a great weekend New Jersey!

Sent from the good people at Gibbstown F.D.:

Gibbstown N.J. Fire Dept.

Yes, We Do!

We stop to smell the Roses, and lay in the shade out of the hot sun.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Our First Day in New Jersey, Love Taps, and The Girls.

We slept at a rest stop last night on the recommendation of the fireman at Deep water. His advice was great, we slept late until 8am. Then we made it to the station house and inflated the World, the firemen stopped traffic so they could take a picture of Nice (the dog), me and the World in front of the building and all the trucks. They said they will post it on their web site. We were off into New Jersey by nine o'clock.
I am anxious when we begin each new state but the people of New Jersey were great all day. I was never wanting for extra water from people stopping with a bottle for Nice and me. I enjoyed talking with all the police officers who stopped. The word of Nice and the World spread quickly and we had a fine day despite the three fender car bumping "Love tap" , as one of the drivers described it.
At the end of the day I got a ride back to get the van while Nice was pampered by several pretty young girls. Some guys have all the luck.
I am going to get some sleep now. Good night New Jersey!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Three States and a Dog.

Monday we walked from Maryland into Delaware late in the afternoon. As we crossed the border I looked back on some of the memorable moments that happened. One sunny day Nice (the dog) laid down under the shade of a tree in the front yard of an old woman who came from her garden to see why the World was at her doorstep.
As her and Nice had a therapeutic moment she shared with me that she was diabetic. Though her hands and feet were numb and most days he worked hard to keep her levels balanced she would tend her garden and stay active. She said her grandchildren were a motivation for her on days when she was feeling down and she pushed on. Despite the hardship.
She thanked me for walking for the cause and thanked Nice for reminding her of her little dog she had just lost after 15 years. Scenes like this motivate me to keep going.
Just before we walked out of Maryland we were walking by a drive thru coffee shop when the wind blew hard and seemed to prod me into the picnic bench in front of the shop. I took it as a good time for some coffee and stepped in for a coffee smoothie. I was trying not to be a nuisance and move along but between the brain freeze and the line of patrons that had formed to get coffee and ask about our World I couldn't go . Then a woman pulled up who said she had just been told she was borderline diabetic and the doctors and family say she could turn it around. I shared a story of a man I met who had lost a lot of weight and with walking biking and diet had gotten off medication. She was encouraged and said I was just the thing she needed, that she would redouble her effort. The wind played a part in that scene because I was not going to stop at the Kiosk. As we finally did get going the owner filled our water bottles and encouraged me for what I was doing.
Not far into Delaware we were met by the Newark Delaware Fire Chief who had already read up on us and had a plate of chopped chicken for Nice. we talked about our route and he wrote some instructions out for me. Then he offered for us to stay at the fire house that was a half mile off the route 40 we were walking on. I don't turn down a shower when I am on the road so we were at the station in good time.
Once there the firemen printed a more scenic route off the busy highway to historic New Castle and offered to bring the support van to me when I arrived.
The walk the next day was 14 miles and it rained from early afternoon until almost 6 pm. A couple came and offered warm drinks and a meal at just the right time. They even sent us away with a thermos of coffee and some extra supplies. There are so many good people on the road, I am constantly humbled.
When we arrived in New castle I got to Goodwill Fire Co. To ask if I could park and stay the night in the van but before I knew it I was invited in for the night.
Finally the. Next day we loaded up and drove the World over the Bay Bridge and found a place to begin this morning. We will be head north on route 130.
Have a great day!

All Thumbs

I have to laugh at myself sometimes. I just spent the morning and early afternoon thumbing on this blackberry a review of the last few days. I gave vivid examples of inspiration, praise for people and organizations who have helped me, discribed Nice (the dog) and his dealings with people; his contribution to the good feelings along the way. Then I lost it by pressing the wrong button.

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Work is Done in Maryland

I need to approve all comments that are sent to my blog. I ok each one without question and then read them as I review what I previously posted. I believe what I am doing is set by the bar of influencing awareness more than the funds I raise. A comment I just moderated from my Mother's Day post brought me joy and caused me to tear-up. A young mother commented she may change her lifestyle. Not for herself, but for her children's sake.

My work there is done.

Today I crossed into a new state, Delaware. I have much to say about the day, but I will wait because the best thing to happen was to see that comment from an anonymous Mother.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day, our Day in Grace, and the Road to NorthEast

When the sun came up over the river I pumped some air in the World, and since we were unable to see anything of the city of Havre de Grace yesterday because of wind and traffic, I walked in the early Sunday streets.

I made our way to the only coffee house open on Sunday and had a good time with the woman who works there and the only other patron in the shop. We then made our way to the docks where a paddle wheel ship was docked. It is tiny compared to The Belle of Louisville which is still in service in my hometown, yet it still is impressive to see an old paddle wheeler.

I was also glad to see how accommodating the city is. They have public restroom accommodations for the tourism season. Our National Mall has no such thing, and if you ever have to roll a canvas world on the Mall in the rain, you won't like the aroma the next day.

I say this because Havre de Grace lost the chance to be our nation's capitol by one vote and, I think, is better-off for it. A statue and the oldest operating lighthouse in the country is enough to accent it's beauty. This area of Maryland would be very different had that vote so long an age ago had gone another way. The lighthouse was first I'd ever seen. To see one with such a history as my first makes it special.

I will cherish this morning's memory. A happy memory for Mothers' Day is hard to come by since my mother has gone. Were it not for the hurt of loosing my mother at such an early age to diabetes I would be back in my hometown hammering nails or painting some little old lady's house because it's more fulfilling working for an old woman in need than remodeling a McMansion. My mother has been gone almost half my life and I still grieve. If I can influence someone to avoid this hurt for their children by regulating their diabetes, getting fit to prevent diabetes, to somehow make it important and make changes in their life for the people they love, my walks will be a success to me.

I walked around havre de Grace this morning and put the World in the van, drove over the river then walked eight miles to avoid thinking about Mothers Day. I could have rested my sprained ankle but where's the fun in that? I honestly just wanted to fall asleep rather than write a post for Mothers Day. So all you Moms out there: take care, lest your sons or daughters walk thousands of miles to ease their pain.

I talked myself into needing a hug. Com'ere' Nice...

The Moment

I am awake early (4am) and can't get the scene from yesterday off my mind. For five hours I was sitting on a bench in this small town. The reason I made my way to downtown was to eat at a seafood restaurant, Price Seafood. I didn't know where it was. Soon the wind blew-in and I was unable to wander about to find the place. I tied down to a bench.

During the day I had many conversations with people as I was waiting for the winds to calm enough to move. As I told my life story over and again, I would ask where Price's Seafood was. Some had heard of it but did not know where it was. I had thought it was further down the historic St. Johns, the road with all the shops. I could not walk up because of the high winds and narrow walks. I sat, I talked, I told my story, I told my story... again!

Then, when I was telling my story, again, to one particular person, I mentioned that I had come to see the restaurant and she said it was just down the street in the other direction, not three hundred feet from where I was. Even in the blustering wind I could have gotten there hours before. I quickly gathered my things and at a run I was to my goal for the day.

That was when I had my Forest Gump moment. If you haven't seen the movie you wouldn't understand.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My friend Gail

We made it to the point at St. Johns and Union in historic Havre de Grace where the statue of LaFayette stands. The hill down to the city was steep and treacherous. I was brought to my knees when I stepped in a hole hidden in the grass. No journey is complete without at least a slight sprain. At the most dangerous spot on the long hill, a woman who had read about us on this site stopped, turned her emergency flashers on, got out and gave us lunch. When we finally reached bottom, I stopped for the sandwich and apple with chips. Then the gale winds rolled-in as we approached downtown. This is as far as we can go. I have tied the World to the bench where we sit looking at Lafayette's back. The World is raised off the ground occasionally by the gale force winds. I do what Gail says.

Friday, May 7, 2010

End of the Day on Level Ground.

I met some interesting people today walking east from Bel Air: an eighty-one year-old man who interviewed me and wrote my answers on a kleenex box, a tattooed mother with nose piercing, a veteran who steered me in the right direction, a softball team who cheered us on from across the highway, a young family fishing by a pond, and many more. At the end of the day we have found ourselves in a church parking lot and I have just been given permission to stay and rest for the night. Tomorrow we will walk to Havre de Grace.

Sleep well!

pardon the spelling and grammer please... grammar, grahams, graham crackers!

Nice, the Twins, and the World.

Yesterday we spent the day in Bel Air. As Nice (the dog) slept and rested, I took care of laundry. A man who called me on Wednesday evening recommended I ask someone at the Fire Dept. where I could wash my clothes. He was right, and the firehouse gave me directions to the laundry and where a Sprint store was located.

The mall which once housed the outlet now had only an AT&T store. Just for interest I went in to research their coverage. While waiting my turn I was impressed by the patience of the young man who was trying to assist an obnoxious old codger who was berating him and making it hard for the young man to do his job. The codger even had a whistle he blew as he attempted to make a point. The old fart said he used to be a sergeant and had been in communications: he was a good communicator.

That is where I chimed in saying I fancied I too was also a fair communicator and added that it was clear and succinct communications without a lot of clutter. The old man agreed and then added a "yuk,yuk,yuk" imitation of Curly, one of the Three Stooges. I said "That would be clutter."

Before I got into a verbal wrestling match I decided it best to ask where a Sprint location was and after getting clear directions from the young employee I left. After getting my phone serviced, I returned just to commend the young man for his infinite patience, and see how he faired against the ultimate customer relations challenge. All the store workers and I had a good laugh. Later that day after washing my clothes and having lunch, I returned to that parking lot to begin the day's walk as it was a few hundred yards from where I had stopped the night before. By then I had been "friended" on Facebook by one of the guys at AT&T and was on a first name basis with the star employee. A good day so far.

During these journeys where I am alone with my thoughts, the challenge is often from within. A few days ago I had some assistance from a man and his wife who had stopped to let me use the lighter plug in their car to put some air in the World with my camping air pump I carry with me in the back pack. When they handed the plug end back, I dropped it it cracked.

Yesterday when I plugged into the van's socket it blew a fuse, the plug end fell to pieces, and the World was flat. Keeping in mind that all thing have a purpose I found that a Pep Boys was just around the corner where fuses could be gotten and that a Target was just behind that. Target had a pump for air mattresses, but not an auto version. The associates there told me a Dick's Sporting goods was at the next light down the road.

After an hour and a half of walking and driving I was back to the point of resurrecting the World for the late day stroll through part of downtown Bel Air. Like the wind blowing hard against me, this glitch, I told myself, was just a nessesary cog that would lead me to that special someone or something that lay ahead which otherwise would be missed. Perhaps I make that up to keep from being frustrated at times when the wind or technical difficulties slow my roll. But, it serves me well.

Before I left the parking lot, the owner of the mall's Quizno offered a sandwich and anything I wanted. The first car that stopped to talk was a mother and her sons--one had type 1 diabetes. We exchanged encouraging words. While walking through the business district that was mostly shut down for the evening, I met several interesting folks such as a man and his little children who loved the world and Nice (the dog), and the woman who offered her home and hospitality for the evening, a place to shower, and good conversation plus the twin female dogs for companionship for Nice, playing in the yard and being a dog for a change.

As I walked to my hostess's home on the now slow Main Street, I came on two city workers struggling with a large sewer grate that had fallin in the basin. I helped place it with them as I am a carpenter and have experience with a mind toward safety. They thanked me after the task and I thought to myself that, had the fuse not tripped, had I not had to replace the air pump, one of them may have been hurt. Or, all this was just coincidence.

This morning I have touched-up a couple spots on the canvas of the World with paint. Last year I would roll far too long without taking care of my planet and it suffered. I've learned from my past mistakes, I hope. I am working to change the way I manage my resources as I walk for diabetes awareness. No hidden message here, eh?

Out of Bel Aire today and into to new unknown. Have a great day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rolling Horse Country=No Signal, Word of Mouth, and the Sanctuary of Starbucks

Last spring and summer when Nice (the dog) and I walked from Louisville, Kentucky to Kansas City, Kansas, I had network signal even in the most remote spaces and never gave it a thought that my cell phone that I use for blogging and sending pictures would text and call but not connect to the WWW (wide world o' wifi). On the high mountainous areas as we rolled to the top of Pike's Peak in Colorado I had no service, which is understandable, but what has the world come to when in the heart of Maryland horse country --an hours drive from the capitol of our nation-- a guy walking his dog can't send a picture to a friend(s)? What's a Worldguy gonna' do?

My last post, I was waiting for the evening traffic to lessen so the world could keep turning. When we finally went in motion we walked for an hour or so and were passing by a country home that was fenced-in for dogs. Down the drive came a twelve pound shaggy bijon-poodle-type. But Nice almost stopped in his tracks when a deep bark came from the small dog's direction. A larger dog was obviously about. Nice's reaction was comical.

Just as we were almost past the property a woman came to the fence to ask what our story was. Within a few minutes she had offered her yard and a ride back to the Two Ton Grape (Worldguy Supply Camper). When we returned, a woman whom had spoken to me during the rush hour break was waiting by the World. We all discussed the direction the world should follow and the woman wrote out GPS instructions into and thru the beautiful horse country. She then brought me dinner: a salad and hearty lasagna. Tillie you are so nice!

From that point is where my net access disappeared and we were going by word of mouth. We soon got some great advice to use the NCR trail, a converted rail trail which cut off several dangerous miles, that led us into Monkton. When we left Monkton following the directions, we found ourselves on a road that had guard rails on both sides with nowhere to go.

As logging trucks and semi-trailers flew by, I felt as if we were like cattle in a slaughter slew headed for the hammer. Then in a space between double rails a man was tending his garden. He offered to ride us out of harms way. Pride be d--med! You can't rake every leaf in a yard, and I don't need to walk every inch for my ego.

When we were dropped-off, a woman stopped just a minute later who was very supportive to ease the doubt in my mind I get at times like those when I ask myself "what am I thinking?". A few miles later we enjoyed picture perfect sights and people, culminating with Mr. Phil and his Fair Lady giving us their hospitality and a ride to survey the next day's options. After a search on their home computer, we decided to take a long road but one that was back to wide shoulder access that allows good passage for a man and his dog.

Of all the days, many fine people and conversations, one I will never forget and have no words to express my gratitude for is when we walked by a dentist's office and a throng off dental nurses/hygienists/assistants/angels came out to coo over the star of this tour: Nice (the dog).

Earlier in the day a happy man stopped to film us on the road and ask our purpose. A joy to talk to, he is the type of person that meeting for a few minutes makes the day better. It turned out *he* was the dentist who's fine coworkers we'd just met! It was soup day and they offered me lunch. And, as the bevvy of women led Nice (the dog), the happy man offered to fix my chipped tooth while I was there. By the time I left, he repaired several problems and given me no small miracle: the happy man gave me back my smile! I don't usually name full names but, as he said, he does business by "word of mouth". A dentist... word of mouth... Get it?

Joseph Castro D.D.S.
2106 Fallston Rd.
Fallston, MD11047
(410) 893-0513

Fabulous results and great people. Hug this man for me! And give him your business!

We walked over thirteen miles on the good road and are in Bel Air, MD., without phone/net signal, sitting at a Starbucks. Today will be a supply and clean-up day. I learned from last year's walk that we need a day on occasion where we don't walk, and where Nice (the dog) can also rest. The road to Maine, through all the states in the northeast, will be more enjoyable if we savor the experience. I will post again as soon as I can. I must find some way to keep good service on this journey. Recommendations?

Have a great day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Country Rush Hour, the Rhythm of the Roads.

This morning we took our time getting started both for the traffic and the rain. When we rolled-out, the little traffic on the road went the speed limit and for the most part we were able to dip and dodge on and off the narrow way with little problem. When we made the few miles to town we had lunch, and Nice (the dog) was right at home on the porch of the country store with folks stepping over him as he slept. After walking awhile further it is now time for the busy city folk to go blasting by the picturesque scenery. So, I have taken a seat on a large stone at the end of a drive to wait. I can tolerate the noise of the cars blasting homeward much more than they can if they were to have to take their foot off the gas pedal or --god forbid-- use the brake pedal. Dinner may get cold!!!

Sunday Addm.

We made our way to the road thet heads east across the Maryland "horse country." And though it was early afternoon, a family insisted we stop to eat, shower, and wash my clothes. They then brought the two ton grape where I was at day's end. Thanks to the H. Family. I will be heading out now that the morning traffic had slowed, and head thru Clark toward Bel Air. Have a great day!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


We did well today and made some good friends. I did not get as good a sleep last night as I had hoped. I will post in the morning some thoughts of today's journey. For now I must rest...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

8 Mile

At the end of today's walk we found ourselves at a newly opened bar where Nice (the dog) was pampered, petted, watered, and fed while one of the owners took me back to the Two Ton Grape. We had traveled eight miles, which surprised me since it was so hot and we had to make so many stops in the shade as well as taking time to meet with people along the road. I am going to try to get to bed early and wash up in the morning before we walk on Sunday.

I also got to watch the Kentucky Derby race on the big screen--a reminder of my home town. Derby time is the best time for Louisville, Kentucky.

Many people have come to talk to us saying they couldn't walk a mile, much less eight or ten. You'd be surprised at yourself if you just push yourself a little. If you start hurting, slow down and think of something other than the ache. Soon you may be surprised to find you have walked eight miles.

Sunday is a good day for a stroll.

Hot Morning

We have made our way into Hampstead (I misspelled it before) where the welcoming committee and everyone since has been a joy to talk with. We have been stopping from shade to shade as it is almost ninety degrees and still early in the day. I'm having a bit to eat then we will be going again.