Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good News! or Ultimate Spring Cleaning!

This evening after returning to the house from my daily give away I got a call. This call was no surprise, I have been expecting it since I moved here four years ago. I have to move. Now I have four weeks to store,clear out, or give away all my stuff before I go on the next little stroll for diabetes awareness. I get to turn my world upside down and inside out. Exciting and scary and relieving all at the same moment. Just one more of the many changes I plan to make in my life this year is now a necessity. I am happy for this news to clear out for Spring.
Who want's some!?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Three weeks back home...Someone stop me from posting this dribble!

That's how long I've been home healing. A friend died, Japan is teetering on disaster, the Arab Spring is springing, NCAA March Madness is down to the Final Four I have taken up the task of giving something away every day. Today I gave away wood to an artist who lives and works close by. Yesterday it was a grill and two pieces of furniture. Another day a cookie jar. No, two cookie jars and an end table, another day I gave away two cherished books and a framing square. Another day the car, we still have to go downtown and transfer the title. He keeps calling to ask how much I want for it, he'll pay enough for the parts to fix the front end and replace the motor mounts. He needs a car and has the tools and know-how to fix it along with the fact that he is a good friend, I just had it parked out back since last fall with no intention to repair it. One less thing. Twenty one days and as many hot showers as I can stand, my skin is so dry from all the cleanliness. That's the time I've had to myself , I'm in a haze, sleeping, eating, laughing, dreaming. Last night I was so happy and proud that I was in California doing some good work with a woman whose face and name faded as I awoke to the snow coating the grass outside my bedroom window. My nightly adventures sometimes are so real I forget that many of the participants have long since passed on, friends, family, movie stars and dignitaries. I never used to remember that I had dreamed, but now it is the best part of some days. Five hundred and four hours... I was so bored I wrote some bad poetry of heartbreak when I am now more happy than I have ever been, alone with my dog. Both of us are going a little stir-crazy while I prepare to go on another walk though. Thirty four thousand and four hundred minutes. The most satisfied I have been was when I rolled two limestone blocks which weighed five hundred pounds a piece using lever and blocks. It's all about leverage. Two million four hundred eight thousand heartbeats...yep, I should get back on the road soon.

The road out of Woodbine

My second day in Georgia we began in the town of Woodbine. At the edge of town was the "Fat" memorial bridge over another of the dozens of rivers, creeks and swamps we crossed during our Winters walk. The bridge was long but in no way was it fat. The two lane bridges all through Georgia were not designed for pedestrian traffic or a small planet and a dog yet I pulled out my caution flag as we rolled up this long arch. I made it most of the way over before the cars began to line up behind us. I waved a few past before the Police Deputy got behind me and followed me to the other side and past the guardrail of the approach. When the Deputy got out of his vehicle to talk to me I looked up at the largest man I had met during my travels in the South, for that matter in all of the East Coast,this man was a Georgian Giant. We got along right away and I was soon on my way up the long straight country road. As the day went on I felt like he was either looking out for me or using me. He was pulling motorists over all day. Pulling them off to the side of the road just ahead and sauntering to their window just as I rolled around keeping a straight face pretending not to notice we were even there. The look on the drivers faces seemed to reveal their frustration at being caught not paying attention to the speedometer as they watched the World spinning at them in the distance. I played along and acted as if he wasn't there, saving my chuckles until I was well past them.
I enjoyed my time in rural Georgia.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Can't find the switch

Just because you say goodbye,
Doesn't mean the emotions leave with you.
We met so long ago,
yet like yesterdays warm sun it seems so fresh.
In my mind I grope for the good bye, where's that switch?
Where in my heart is that 'so long' valve, which way does it turn?
Righty tighty or Lefty loosy? And will it stop that flow...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rolling stones...

I live in the neighborhood where the now dead-former-famous-author Hunter S. Thompson grew up. He blew his brains all over the wall of his home out west a few years ago. I met him here in his hometown when a childhood friend asked me to help him and the students at University of Louisville pay tribute to Mr.H.S.Thompson for his lifetime of achievement. Many a famous personality were there to honor him; Johnny Depp and a host of celebrities from stage and screen. My friend had asked me to come and show the college students how to set up, display and coordinate the novelties for the event; t-shirts, cigarette holders, etc. Somehow I was hoodwinked into staying backstage to help my friend with security and keep the throngs from the room backstage where Hunter, Johnny and the other tributaries were gathered during the event. My boyhood friend was a martial arts student, his instructor and he were shorthanded so they asked me to guard the door. My buddy took his job seriously and was dressed dapper for this honorable event. I, on the other hand, was wearing a smiley faced do-rag and matching t-shirt with brand new white painter's overalls. I was a younger man then and being in my prime I was just a bit scary, like a wrestler filling the bottom of the roster. I had read some of Hunter S. Thompson's writing, seen Johnny Depp's movies and enjoyed the music of his minstrel guest but I apparently was not sufficiently star struck; I enthusiastically watched the door to the room they were partying in during the show but wanted more to get home to my Queen and my son. I was having too much fun screening who came in an out of that door. Even the celebrities got the hand, the smiley face and the insane bouncer glare which I gave just for the fun of it; Hunter and Johnny too. Though Mr.Depp appreciated my lighthearted demeanor the inebriated Thompson was no fan of my playful airs. At the end of the night when my buddy pleaded with me to ride along in the too-long limousine to keep the group safe from who knows what I had words with the drunken Hunter S. who was not to be upstaged by a kid in painter's whites and yellow smiling shirt. Thankfully I was relieved of my obligation to spend the rest of the evening in the presence of greatness. I am no writer but I know when it comes to a verbal tit-for-tat with Hunter who had imbibed in one too many cocktails I hit my mark.
Yesterday I was riding with an old friend whose mother was a librarian who worked with Hunter S. Thompson's mother at the Louisville Public Library. As we passed the mural painted on the side of a restaurant and bar named The Monkey Wrench just a few blocks down from the last place that the author lived before he left the city for fame and fortune. The caption under his likeness says, "Hunter's Louisville". I smiled at my own macabre joke I made up when I heard he committed suicide...Do you know what the famous writer Hunter S. Thompson is called now?... Wall Art.
That, of coarse, was not what I intended to write when I wrote this post's title but it seems to fit and I should go back to sleep. Remember to go walking ,at the very least, so you can keep healthy.
Have a nice day:)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

the question answered, or the wind's council...

After just a few hours from leaving North Carolina my shoulders began to ache again. I had slipped on ice on two separate occasions back in December injuring both shoulders but the pain disappeared as I pushed the weight of the world over five hundred miles and four States. Now I have trouble sleeping because the shoulder joints sting when I relax and "fall" asleep. What does that have to do with the title of this little post? Nothing. I complain sometimes...
The question I've been asking myself is not so much where I should walk but where I should begin. If I start my next walk in the nearest state that we have not stepped foot in we will begin in Tennessee; probably around Nashville. If I was wanting to be a slacker, a wimp, I would begin on the west coast and walk east so I could take advantage of the prevailing winds that flow from the west to the east. I could begin in Minnesota or Iowa. I am saving Michigan for later; it is the last state in the north east I have not walked in. Would you call Michigan north east or mid north? Anyway, It will have it's turn in good time, including the upper peninsula; some part of it at least.
When I returned back home two weeks ago the walkway to my door had collected the last leaves from the oak tree that had fallen and swirled in the recess at the bottom step by the city sidewalk. I filled a few trash cans with leaves upon my return. While raking the leaves I pondered where to go when I "leave". After taking the filled cans to the back by the garage I noticed a piece of paper the wind had blown into the nook by the step that I had just cleared. When I picked up the paper which was a weathered page from a book the first words on the top of the this seemingly random trash carried to my door by the wind said"east to west..." And the title of the book was "open season". So, I guess I will have to take it as a sign from my teacher; the Wind. I will walk against the winds from east to the west and be open for the season to what blows my way. And love every moment I can.
Yes, this is how I make my decisions. By a torn weathered page from a book I will never read that had tire tread marks and dirt in the folds. I can't begrudge the messenger...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Where to go next...

If we go from East to West we will be going against the prevailing winds. Sounds like a plan."Runnin' against the wind."

I have a few more things to do before we get going again. Nice (the dog) has to get his yearly shots. As fearless as he is it is striking how he cowers when we walk past the vet's office. I may have been vague in my last post when I said I will have to move soon, I will have to move at some point and it would be better if I had thinned out the things which own me. I have always collected stuff and have been giving away many things along the way, have given my most cherished things away. I have a few small jobs/favors to do for friends, some yard work and chores around the house, pay some bills and other personal business. Then we are off on our next stroll.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Debate.

Here I go again, thinking out loud to the World-Wide-Web when all I intended was to say I am finished patching all the leaks I could find and have stuffed the inner tube back into the small opening of the canvas world. I am going to walk about my neighborhood this afternoon. What I am thinking about is what to do when I leave again for the next walk. To let go of the things that keep me here. The lifetime of possessions I have collected. The tools ladders, the boxes of family pictures, music albums and DVDs,books, and furniture that keep me. I have several friends who want me to move to their homes or would keep my paired-down life's clutter. The house I live in I am maintaining by the grace of a good family, a long story not to be shared here, and I would not have been able to do these walks without their kindness. Nothing lasts forever and I will soon need to move. I need an address and home is where the heart debate of the heart, fettered or not?
Walk and occasionally coax someone to do something that may improve their life. Or I could stay here and be a carpenter. I have built foundations, constructed scores of homes and businesses but all of those accomplishments pale to the few messages and phone calls from people I have met for a few moments or have never seen who were inspired to make a difference in their own world.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Hello, my name is Erik. I am a pack rat. I treat it as a title so let me say, I am a Pack Rat. My sister tells a story of an afternoon when she was riding home from high school with some friends. They all began laughing at the sight of a small child who was bent over with the top half of his body in a trash can. When the boy stood up with some odd trinket in his hand. I was that boy. To this day I can't say whether my feeling of pride outweighs embarrassment concerning this habit of mine to recycle-collect-obsess over-hoard-save from the trash. (Twenty minutes later I am walking the dog and have finally gotten the nerve up to continue writing...perhaps four decades of pent up shame has me being led like a blind man by my nice dog. typing with one thumb and plastic bag of dog droppings wrapped around the other thumb.) I have an overpowering urge to press the delete key. Maybe Nice (the dog) may jerk the phone from my hand an' send it flyin'.(That "cuts it",if I am reverting to writing with a Georgian drawl it must be a subject I have issues with.) ( Nice has now led me into the park. Down the large hill everyone uses for snow sliding in winter, we are almost to the creek and following a dirt path only used by hikers and cyclists.) I would rather talk about the shoes I am wearing...
My shoes were a gift from Big Al of a beach side town along the Florida coast. Big Al left everything to his best friend when he died. It was his friend who now had the honor of giving away his possessions. His friend. Gave me a ride one evening, let me shower at Big Al's house and gave me several pairs of shoes big Al had bought at the thrift store but never worn. My feet just happened to be the same size as Big Al, and here I sit wearing a pair of shoes I would have never bought myself in the park a mile from my house because I don't want to address the possibility I might have too much stuff.


I have nothing to say, today.
If you can think of something inspirational, pretend I said it. Or better yet, send me a comment so I can be inspired.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I have taken the inner tube out of the world to find holes. I filled it with air and have mixed up some soapy water. By slowly brushing the bladder I have already found four tiny holes which I have marked with a dot and a cross. It is causing me anxiety because I must be so careful. If I fill it with too much air it my blow out or tear. Not enough and the air will not force bubbles to appear. Patience and a nap are in order. I didn't get enough sleep last night, while I am on the road I sleep more because I am tired but have much more energy during the day by getting ample rest. It is interesting how tired I am with less activity. Fragile to the core.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The accidental day.

I thoroughly enjoyed walking in Georgia where the people spoke with the southern drawl I learned when I lived outside of Atlanta in the nineteen sixties from the ages of one to five. The words just come naturally when I am not paying attention to my diction. All the years in Kentucky I have felt out of place, never quite matching the Ol' Kentucky Home way a'tawkin'. From the first morning I stepped across the state line, and had the Sunday special at Shirley's Diner, a Thanksgiving plate of food that tasted just like my mother prepared for the holidays, I felt at home.. It's no wonder why I am as big as a truck and the rich cooking she learned to make while we lived in Georgia helped lead to her death from diabetes; Paula Dean had nothin' on Mom.. Sitting on that bar stool I was nonetheless taken back to my childhood surrounded by tastes, sounds, and attitudes that helped shape my mind and Buddha shaped belly; I felt like a nursing kitten, all warm an' fuzzy.
Days later I had stayed behind a Fire Station for the night, had been featured in the local newspaper, was interviewed live on the AM talk radio station by their roving morning personality as I walked out of the biggest town I had been in since entering Georgia. We were walking on the sidewalk along the five lane roadway with turning lanes and stoplights. With all those lanes the traffic was light, the morning rush hour had passed. A white pickup truck rolled by. Ten seconds later I heard the crunch of metal and a man cursing in the distance. I turned to see the truck had hit a car that was pulling out of a parking lot, the truck had tagged it's rear quarter though he had more than enough room to avoid the incident. I wondered if the driver had been paying attention to the road or the world behind him, I walked on. Later in the day I had passed the last stores on the outskirts of town and was rolling along the grassy bank well away from the white line along the roads edge when I passed an intersection to a side road on the opposite side. I watched a grey car slow but it passed me and stopped to turn onto the side street that was now thirty yards behind me. Then I turned my head to see another white pickup truck rolling by but the driver was not applying his brakes. As the seconds ticked I expected to hear the screech of tires as the truck came to a stop, I listened for the trucks engine to throttle down, I said to myself,"This will not be good.". The crash occurred before I could finish the thought. A few seconds later, after the sound of the impacts and rolling vehicles came to an end I stopped shaking my head in disbelief to see the first car coming to rest on the opposite side of the road. My first instinct was to run back and see what I could do to help, I had done enough. I walked on in disbelief. Of all the thousands of miles we have walked, the many tight spots I have skirted next to traffic I would have never thought it would happen there in Georgia; twice in one day.
That evening the man who came and found me to give me a ride back to town to retrieve the van was a retired police officer. When I told him of the accident and shared how bad I felt, how I felt responsible, he assured me the fault was not mine. "If there is a carnival on the side of the road it is the responsibility of the driver to watch the road ahead, that's the law." When I was picking up the van behind the fire station a few fire fighters came out to talk and congratulate me for walking for diabetes awareness and joke with me for causing an accident. They had responded to the scene and had a good time with the driver of the white pickup truck who was blaming me for the mishap. As I was pulling away the shift commander stopped me to shake my hand for the work I was doing... and rub it in about the crash. I still felt bad about it.
Please keep your eye on the road ahead; don't look back.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Search

Where will it take you, this search for the spark that keeps your embers glowing? When your dreams at night make the day exciting, hoping someday your waking self will have such adventure. It's not the mountain climbed or the river crossed, the ocean roar or sights through the trees at the edge of the valley. Not the warmth of a companions arms or camaraderie of the team. Around the world you may go to find that missing piece. Where a simple breath, a closed eye with a hand on your own chest and a smile in your heart...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Not quite there yet.

After several days at home I have patched my roof, repaired the water pipe which burst while I was walking through Florida, paid a visit to the local American Diabetes Association office, visited friends, taken short walks each day with Nice (the dog) taking care to walk slowly, even letting Nice pull me around the neighborhood on the bike. I am missing the constant activity of the road, but the drone of the cars and the horn blowing is not missed at all. I miss the wind.
I long for the roads stretching beyond my sight, yet I understand I must heal and prepare to go again. Nice (the dog) is spinning on the floor chasing, and occasionally catching, his tail. I, thankfully, have no tail.

Friday, March 11, 2011

" How are you doing?"

It is not my usual habit to use caution and stop what I am doing to prevent injury. I have worked my back into arthritis and endured years of spasms at the end of each day because I could not, would not stop and heal. I could list injuries and sprains in the dozens that lingered far longer than they should because of my hard headed stubborn attitude. Last night I walked Nice (the dog) just far enough to do his business and returned home. I'm sure I walked farther than many who have no injuries, only excuses,and my knee is not in pain though I can feel it is mending, that it can mend if I go slowly to let it heal. When I walked into my neighborhood store this morning I was assessing my knee and realized this was one of the first times I can remember where I slowed my roll to heal. It feels odd, but good. When the woman at the counter asked how I was doing I realized I was feeling good, and good about myself. Not regretting having walked that extra mile to prove I could.
Now I need to respect myself. Heal so I can walk another day.
Now is when I can love myself by taking care of me. Where did I learn that was a bad thing?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

When the World Stops Turning.

There are times in our lives where an event warps our perception and the world stands still. The Space Shuttle explosions, the World Trade Center atrocity, Pearl Harbor, the passing of a parent, a brother, a friend.
Last night I arrived back home but was too tired to go to the hospital to see my friend Jeff. This morning in the hospital parking lot the World has ceased to turn.

Someone gave me an MP3 player when I was in Florida filled with a mix of songs, Some I do not know the artist. This is the lyric playing in my ear. Not a random tune...

Shadows have fallen and I'm runnin' out of breath.
Keep me in your heart for awhile.
If I leave you it doesn't mean I love you any less.
Keep me in your heart for awhile.
When you get up in the morning and you see that crazy sun.
Keep me in your heart for awhile.
There's a train leavin' nightly called when all is said and done.
Keep me in your heart for awhile.
Sometimes when you're doing something simple 'round the house mayb you'll think of me and smile.
You know I'm tied to you like the buttons on your blouse.
Keep me your heart for awhile.
Hold me in your thoughts,
take me to your dreams,
touch me as I fall into view.
And when the winter comes, keep the fires lit, and I will be right next to you.
Engine drivers' headed north to Pleasant Stream,
Keep me in your heart for awhile.
These wheels keep turnin',
but there runnin' out of steam.
Keep me in your heart for awhile...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The call.

I have made the decision to call this a job well done. My knee is not too far gone and I feel if I stubbornly walk for just one more day I could do damage that at this point is unnecessary. I have said I would walk until the Tenth of March. If I walk the remaining day the minor sprain could turn to a major injury. I hope to walk later in the year. So, staying healthy is important. One day doesn't matter. I hear I have done some good, brought the cause to people literally around the World.

Thanks to all for the support, I will keep updating and pushing forward as well as I can.


WIlmington to Scott's Hill

We left the Wal-Mart early, rested from the first rain day we have had during this trip. It was a bit breezy, the wind was stiff but manageable. I was full of energy and had some pep in my step rolling north.

Somewhere during the first miles I pulled something in my knee that gave me a little pain. But, of course, I continued on. It bothered me throughout the day as I stopped to talk with lots of people.

The hospitality of North Carolina showed through all day. When I stopped for breakfast a nice gentlman picked up my check and despite my rule to turn down no kindness, I accepted only two lunches. I had to graciously refuse three others while I made my way out of Business-17 and back to the wide US17.

At the end of the day we made it to the last small group of businesses before what I was told was the long stretch to the next town. So, I asked for a place to park my van. Just as I did that, a man and his teenage son came up to ask about what we were doing. He offered for us to stay at his place across the road, and gave me a ride to fetch the support van. When we returned he offered a shower and we washed a load of clothes. He wanted me to visit with him all night as he was a night-owl but the dozen mile gimp of the day and the first shower I have had since Savannah had me longing for sleep. Baby wipes and a bucket of water just go so far to keep me clean. I was awakened several times with phone calls from people who had seen us on the road and a man who had given me a ride and a shower outside of Sebastian in Florida (I'd say the name of the town but it is buried in my notes) but I did have a good sleep.

This sunny morning I still have not gotten out from under the knap-sack as the World outside the van is topped with frost, and I am avoiding standing because I am worried my knee may protest too much. I am two days away from the time I have set to end this chapter in this tour of the east coast southern states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. I don't want to end it two days early because of injury. If I aggravate my knee too much it might make it worse. You will be the first to know if I have to make the call.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's springing!

When I began this walk I said I was going to walk until Springtime. During the cool and raining Sunday everytime the rain would begin to drum on the roof of my sleepy little support van I would be lulled off to sleep. I had forgotten what a relaxed Sunday felt like. The small tree outside sprouted red leaflets all through the night in the blowing rain and this morning basked in the pre-spring sunshine. Today, refreshed, we are making our way up Market/ Business 17 out of Wilmington with a stiff breeze. Spring, just like I planned it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I'll go with,"One hundred percent."

The clouds are rolling past in layers, the man on the radio says it will rain through the day and into this evening. It has already rained hard once but the sun is peeking in as the wind now buffets the van. It is still early and Nice "the dog" doesn't seem to mind the lazy Sunday. If the roads dry up I could be fooled into walking later. I have charged out once before during this trip and battled stinging rain and forty mile per hour gusts, an episode in my life that is burned into my memory in the same category as the scene from Raiders of the Lost Arc, or the moonlit night my son and I were beaten back by the seventy miles per hour winds of Mount Washington in New Hampshire. Or the time I walked through a drenching rain for two miles to get to a dry hotel room and when I finally got there I wanted to roll up the steep bank to the hotel entrance rather than push down to the driveway one hundred feet down the road. The twenty foot high, rocky, brush filled earthen bank to the edge of the parking lot would usually be simple but with rain saturating the canvas World making it very heavy and the waterfall of rainwater washed away the rocks and dirt around my feet; I was only able to reach the parking lot by standing on the root bases of the scrub brushes and step of before they washed away. The parking lot was a three inch high pool as I reached the top, all draining over the bank I had just traversed. It is gusting wind and though the sun is shining the rest of the sky is clouded.

I could use the Cracker Barrel gift card a couple in a green SUV gave me when I was in South Florida. I wonder what healthy food I can get there. For now I will rest, and eat this granola a young couple brought me last night, it is Sunday.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It is important

A few years ago, on our first walk, I was in northern Ohio where state road 22 becomes restricted highway so I had to skirt along the original "old road" usually named Steubenville Pike. I was "in the middle of nowhere" as they say and a man came up while I was talking to some other folks, then more people came and went as he stayed there listening. When all the other had left he told me he had lost both his parents to diabetes, type-1, and was himself diabetic. In tears he shared the regret he had for the times, even years when he neglected his diabetes. How it wrecked his body and he knew had he made it important before the permanent damage had been done he would be so much healthier. I can tell you now that I had to give that man a hug, and not a slap on the back - man hug but one of those blubberin' we both lost our 'mommas' to diabetes type hugs. All that girly' stuff aside, the point is he learned the hard way, "use it our loose it."
I talked with a man yesterday who was telling me of his battle he is fighting to keep his foot, a scratch that in a few days almost led to amputation. He showed me his "report card" and his schedules. He was stammering and sort of choking when he admitted he didn't always take it seriously. He was scared and fighting for his life, he was now a believer. He was making it important.
I know diabetes runs deep in my family and I know who I favor from my parents makeup. I know if I don't stay active, don't "use it', I will slip into diabetes and loose sooner.
I'm tired and should have just gone to sleep. Now I went and showed my feelings again.

Outside the Box, or Leapfrogging bridges.

Whirling north on US17 the road quickly went from friendly Leland to just short of feeling like I was on the side of a restricted expressway. A woman stopped to tell me she had seen us on the news and was now "checking her sugar"; World Guy goes outside the box! I whipped out my orange flag as I crossed the bridge over the Brunswick River, the head wind had me labor for every yard with no trees to buffer the gusts or the bank of the roadside to hold the World from blowing into traffic. In these situations it's all on me to keep the World safely to the right side of the white line. Nice "the dog" is trained to stay behind me on bridges and by guardrails, he tucks himself between the ball and my leg. Past the river we went on until the road split to lead to the bridges into Wilmington. Then a man appeared who saved me from sure tragedy. We loaded the World into his vehicle and he rode us back to the van where I then drove leapfrogged over to the Main Fire Station on Market Street/ Business 17 in Wilmington who allowed me to continue from there. In years past I might have stubbornly refused the help of this "road angel" and pressed on. I am too grey for that now, and after twenty five hundred miles of walking for the diabetics of the World, I believe my dedication is clear. No need to cause a traffic snarl or worse over a bridge not fit for man or beast. We walked away from the Fire Station and out of the historic section of Wilmington, the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson, and after a short rain followed by some sunshine we made it to a safe spot just as a couple pulled up and gave us a ride to the van, someone out there is watching out for us. Now, safely snug in the van the skies have clouded over and the rain has returned. What will tomorrow bring?

A beautiful day in Leland...

We had a good nights sleep and even with the wind blowing I believe this will be a good day into Wilmington. A few people have come up to us as I have prepared to walk this morning. A man with his small son came for a picture, a man who told me he was diabetic as well as his two daughters, and another whose mother and sister were suffering from the disease. Again, I think to show those close to you you care and love them yo might want to walk with them and avoid or control diabetes. Those who can, please give to an organization of your choice. Now I better get going, the tenth of March is getting close and I will need to get back to my old Kentucky home, far away.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Day After

Yesterday we walked against some heavy gusts and brutal wind. We made it to our goal in the end but during the night I felt the effects. My wrist felt as if I had lost a wrestling match and my thighs were tight. Taking my time this morning to get back on the road I was thankful for a break from the winds. We made good progress and covered many miles in short order. When we approached Leland the wind picked up and many people stopped to talk. I liked the conversations but the winds were dealing a knock out punch to my body. I held up well yesterday, today I was drained. The last mile and one half, with all the stops and winds, took two and a half hours. I was glad to finally get to a place for the night and grateful for a woman who shuttled me to the van right away. The fun in the wind had it's toll on me, when I recover I will be a little stronger. When I recover...

Woulda' shoulda' coulda'

Thirteen years ago I had prepared to go for a walk to inform of Diabetes Awareness Week brought about by The American Diabetes Association every March. A short one, only a hundred and twenty miles but because I had asked the help of a sponsor the man from the ADA, who was helping coordinate on his own time, had to call off the walk the day before because the sponsor had not come through with the promised money and was not returning calls. I later found out my sponsor had a reputation for this habit in other fund-raising events where the loss of one sponsor would not stop the presses to remove his logo from a t-shirt. I wanted to go on my own. I had the time slotted and had a loan from my father that I could pay over time. Instead I mailed the check back to my father and have wondered for all these years what adventure I had missed. Without that experience, and all the things that occurred from then to now, I would not be here today in the State I am in. A happy man who appreciates the goodn' woulda' shoulda' coulda'.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A few words, then sleep.

It is good I stopped where I did yesterday, like someone out there was watching out for me. Though I may have had an easier time with yesterdays wind, would have found myself without a safe haven last evening. I left this morning at ten past eight and with the help of many drivers who helped keep the world pumped up during the cool and very windy day I. Arrived at Handee Hugo's some thirteen miles north at six forty as darkness fell. Several folks had given me their numbers to call at the end of the day and one was waiting for me but a man was also there who was going past my starting place on his way home. I could not have made it today without so many good and friendly people from police to parents with car loads of children, I am grateful to one and all.
I met a man today who was a prosthetic salesman. He informed me that diabetics are the are the #1 consumers of his prosthetics "in the whole world". So, I sarcastically will say, "Use it or lose it!"

it's a blast

Even though I am tacking against twenty five mile per hour gusts and a sustained head wind. I am zig-zagging up and down the wide banks of US17 and having a BLAST.

Some days...NC

It's cool this morning and the radio says it will be a day of gusting winds. If the wind is from the right direction it could be fun, or a labor. How far I will travel always is factored by the wind, the people and Nice "the dog". With the advice of good women at the Local Literacy Council I had a short walk yesterday. Rather than walk sixteen miles or more I opted to take it slow. Since I began this winter walk in Januaryt I have walked a good five hundred miles. I walked from Fort Lauderdale through Georgia to the South Carolina border and after a short visit with my boy I returned again to Myrtle Beach. North Carolina will be my final destination when I stop this trip on the tenth of March. As much as I would love to continue, I have chores at home, I must stop somewhere and then prepare for the next adventure in spring to spread our little message; walk with your loved ones to control or prevent diabetes.
I usually have more to say, some days I just need to walk. Enjoy the beautiful day!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Even Standing Still

I touched up the paint on the world most of the day, spreading the acrylic thick to act as a tread. The day was perfect for it, a bright sun and a cool stiff breeze to dry it fast but not cook it and clump the thick paint as I tended to the chore. The twenty mile per hour gusts from the north would have made for a battle had I walked this day, and would have surely frayed the cloth even more without this maintenance. Thousands of miles for a painted ball takes care. All over it's surface are the signs of wear, patches and scuffs.
I spoke to just a few people during the day, those who came up to me as I sprussed up the planet close to the road in the outer parking lot at Wal-mart. A man who had seen us walking the day before, he worked next door and told me of his grandfather who was diabetic. A woman reporter who was informed about me by the man. A gentleman who watched as I sailed by his house the previous day when I walked into North Carolina. He had words about people spending too much time in front of a screen playing games when they should be exercising. A woman with her daughter rolled up in their car and I told them my simple message, walk with the one you love. I joked to the daughter that she didn't want to be like me and walk around the country saying she missed her Mom. Later I got a thankful message from the Mother, her daughter was insisting they walk together.
I, I just can't write any more right now. My eyes are clouding up...Call me John Baynor.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A good day for sailing.

Yesterday I began to walk from North Myrtle Beach toward the border of the Carolinas. My walk along the beach the previous day had left a residue of gum and a sticky slime on the world. I don't really want to know what was in that fine sandy mix. I could see I would have to give the world a coat of paint to build up what the steady grind of the beach sand wore away. The fabric was showing through but I had to rub away the residue in the grass as I made my way up US17. I came to a bridge that crossed the inlet and walked up the approach to see if I had room to get across. Just as I realized I would need to roll off the highway and go down the bank to the roadway and short drawbridge I could then see from my high vantage point a policeman on a motorcycle pulled up. I told him my story and instead of checking my identification he said, "Good luck Brother." And watched as I rolled down the side of the high grassy approach. The drawbridge was much easier to cross and it led me along Old 17 where I found a place for breakfast, the people there where great, and then I came to something I had never seen; an old man selling sweet potatoes and turnips out of his pickup. I had to stop and buy a couple just because I wanted to talk. He wouldn't take my money for the sweet potatoes and told me to have a couple turnips too. I asked if I could pump some air into the ball with his lighter socket and as I pulled the cord out I left him a five dollar bill on his seat, a gift for later. No telling what falls off into the turnip truck! I walked on to where the old and new roads joined again and the wind picked up behind me. Before I had gotten to the state line I was just holding on to the line and walking stick I have connected to the spinners on the lacings, I was steering with the wind and not touching the world at all. For fun I decided I would see how long I could do this, after awhile I had to stop and wait for the wind to pick up to get the ball rolling, with patience I guided to world into North Carolina. I wondered if this was a state that posted mile markers as I rolled and rolled. I saw a green marker in the distance and thought how cool it would be if I had walked a mile without a hand check, a random push, to my surprise the sign was the third; I had sailed for three miles free hand! Soon the road turned to the right and I got back to business. I made my way to a McDonalds as it was getting late. My shoulders where aching and cramping. I could go no further. Just as I took my pack off and turned around a woman pulled in with her family and after a warm conversation she said she would see if her husband would give us a ride back across the line to get the van. I always say you have to have a little faith that things will work out. I had no prospect at that point and who would pull up at that exact moment but the Pastors wife. That will give most anyone pause... When I returned to the world I had received a text from someone who said he had seen me and didn't know if I needed help. I returned with a thank you and said I was taken care of. Moments later the man was there. He let me know how to get into town and directed me to the Wal-mart, a safe place to stay the night, and let me know of the rain due to come in the night. That confirmed my decision to let the air out of the world and put it in the van. I have to touch it up, do my wash and couldn't if the world was a ball of wet canvas.
After a great day of sailing and an inspirational end of the day I awoke this morning to find I was within sight of a laundromat and after getting my clothes started when I was walking nice for his morning business I found a dollar on the ground. I gave it to the attendant at the laundry. Life is good. I weighed myself in one of those scales this morning and have lost fifteen pounds, another twenty five hundred miles and I may be skinny.