Friday, June 29, 2012

St.Helens to Scappoose

The first person who talked to me this morning had family with diabetes, the second person was married to a marathon runner, also a diabetic. That's how my day went. While walking along a crop duster flew back and forth over a nearby field. I must certainly be pest free as I was coated with whatever potion being broadcast over us. The woman who gave us a ride at the end of the day to St.Helens to get the van was nurse who told me she knew too well about diabetes, that exercise can help. I"ll keep walking.

An added Bonus

Being on the road leaving my fate in the hands of chance meetings and random coincidence has unforeseen perks I never thought of when I began my journeys. Sure, walking has led me to see the endurance I have, some limitations I must accept, how selfless and good people can be in nearly every state and town I have walked in. Beside the benefits to my physical well being by pushing to stay active one thing I have come to notice lately is "noise reduction". The chatter of my thoughts is greatly reduced. I am calmer by walking. Things that, in another time in my life, would be sure to have me "bouncing on my tip-toes mad" now roll off like "water off a duck's back". If I begin to write less over time it can be blamed, in part, on the benefit, the clarity, achieved from pushing myself to get out in the world and move. Being active has helped me think clearer, helped me loose useless angst and stress. The bonus, I think less.

I am in St,Helens Oregon. Will head to Scappoose today. Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Oregon south Frisco bound.

On the Oregon side of the Columbia. I began this morning reworking a seam patch on the World. The sun has been out since the morning fog burned off. Still as we passed under shaded spots along the hillside steam comes off the breath though it is quite warm in the open. The road has been narrow in areas but we have made past. Daily I have met people who are inspired to walk for themselves. Too many more have excuses. I could very easily jot down a laundry list of trifles that will keep me immobile if I let them. Some painful aches and sprains, or perhaps overwhelm for the task I have taken on. I have been so cautious until now that I wouldn't commit to a goal. If I am willing to let it be in the Daily news I can say it here, I am going to San Francisco.
There, I said it.
Walk for yourself. It feels good.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Word before I go..

I didn't post anything during my walk to Castle Rock or while I have Walked to Kelso, Longview and the bridge over the Columbia. It's a narrow two lane, long, dangerous bridge. A nice man told me he'd give me a lift in his pickup truck once I saw it and decided not to cause an hour long traffic jamb here at the border. Pride can get you killed. I can take the guilt for not walking every inch if we don't get hurt.
Oregon here we come.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

the glimpse

This morning in the light rain and morning fog I walked along the edge of Lewis and Clark Park. The ancient growth is amazing to see. I am glad that I was able to take it in early on a Sunday with no traffic, only the music of the wildlife and the old wood spirits rustling.


Left Mary's Corner at six A.M.. About to the edge of Toledo and it's still early. He rest we had yesterday must have done some good.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rain and Harmony

Out of Chehalis it was not long before a mist began to fall that kept falling for half of the ten miles to the crossroad mid-way to Toledo Washington. Overcast skies all day make for easier walking, the World doesn't require regulating the pressure, less need for water, shade breaks are unnecessary. The roadside shoulder was wide the first half so I was able to make good time. The second leg of the day had hills with banking turns. I'd switch from side to side to give traffic the safest view as the approached and get the best advantage of gravity, slope and wind as I pushed the World uphill balancing the crest between roadway and ditch. At the crossroad I had a delicious salad at the corner "Espresso Sandwiches and More" who allowed us park for the night behind the store. Finding a healthy salad is a real treat this far out, I almost never see more than a banana or apples by the counter. They gave us a ride to get the van and within hours of settling in the constant rain set in all night and , so far, into the next afternoon. After meeting too many diabetics to count walking just a few miles down a country highway.

As I walked along my thoughts wondered to stories of old India when Yogi roamed the countryside, enlightened. How they would appear, insert a thought that changes a life coarse, then fade among the trees. A moment passed. A van stopped with mebers of a team relaying a torch all over the globe for World Harmony Run. Two spoke with an Australian slang as the third trotted up with a blue handled torch we talked about walking, and running; the attitude of the step, stepping softly. We took pictures of each other. As they were about to leave they gave me a card, apologizing for adding to my load,, Sri Chinmoy founder. Those old souls still find a way.
Later a van pulled up, the happy woman nearly was run over as she stopped in the road, left her door wide open as she ran over to give me two Jahovah's Witness monthly publications. Not looking around she ran back, again in front of oncoming traffic. That's faith...

I have been sitting, waiting out the rain. I have just asked permission to stay until morning. Of coarse the rain quickly stopped and the sun is occasionally peeking through the clouds. It is late in the day, too late to begin. Nice (the dog) doesn't want to get out of the van. He is usually a good judge, it will rain more. That doesn't mean I am not struggling with myself to go despite knowing I need to heal for a day, we both need it.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tut tut, looks like rain.

Not much to say
The skies are grey
Once I walk some miles
I may write at the end of the day.

Keep the feeling, keep active.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Two Days and Tenino Too

On my way out of Tumwater I came to a bronzed likeness of Mark Twain sitting on a bench. He is posed looking up from a book toward you if you have the gumption to repose for a moment with a great author. When in Vermont we were invited to breakfast at the historic home of Rudyard Kipling. Twian and Kipling were friends and twain even inspired Rudyard to transform the attic of the home into one of the first "man-caves", a term Twain apparently introduced. The billiard table he gave Kipling is still there as well as the checker board and other games of their time. As I relaxed beside the bronze I recalled sitting where he surely had in the hills outside of Brattleboro.
Unlike the days previous where I walked in the "big city" I met many people all through the day after the roadside turned from sidewalk to grass an trenches. The difference in peoples from the city and country is stark. By the time I reached Tenino I had made a few friends and shared many "belly laughs". I had no worries about getting help at the end of the day. I stayed outside of the fire station where they offered a shower. I rested well in the heart of Tenino and had breakfast in the morning where I love to eat at every small town, the "Liars table". Sitting amongst the wisemen of Tenino-stone country I listened as they discussed another pressing world problem, moles. I daydreamed looking at the Tenino stone wall of the diner adorned with many, and some collectible, pictures of "the Duke", listening to the varied techniques to eradicate pesky vermin from a well kept yard. A blast from a shotgun seemed to be the accepted sure-fire method. Full of coffee and new memories I continued down Old 99.
The scenery and wildflowers are rich with colors. I had to stop and snap a few pictures of the late spring fields whose beauty cannot be fully appreciated with a photograph. The snow capped mountain and blue skies made the days a joy to walk through. Much of the way to Centralia the shoulder was wide enough for me to keep rolling without walking in the bottom of the trench as I had to do the day before into Tenino but I still had my times patiently waiting for the traffic to pass. Then is when I able take in the birds and the bees, or watch the snakes slither off the warm roads edge along the grass away from the impending world.

Getting to the edge of Centralia I was invited to a small town, Nonaville, in the yard of a loving couple. They had built a tiny hardware store, a saloon and all the shops a town would ever need. The man, a diabetic, showed me their "red-neck" hot-tub, a free jucuzzi liner he buried in the garden. Then he walked me to a shed that had his tub heater he had fashioned from an R-V heat pump and a propane tank to circulate the water. Then he pulled out the water-jet system, an electric trolling motor. I could have visited for hours but the sun was going down and my energy was almost spent.
Further into town as I passed a neighborhood pub I was called to stop for a picture. I noticed they had a large parking area and asked if I could hold-up there for the night. Thankfully the day had again worked out well with a ride, a nice dinner and good company.
This day like all others I met many who live with diabetes. A man stopped to talkn who told me he had lost fifty pounds and was getting his diabetes under control with activity and diet changes. He was an inspiration.
Do something each day for your health. Eat something green, walk further than the mailbox and enjoy the scenery.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

To Tumwater

We walked from Lacey past the Capitol in Olympia into Tumwater. The brisk wind slowly drained my reserves as I found my way thru the maze of streets, bike paths and I-5 overpasses. Though many honked or slowed to catch an image on the camera very few took time from the commute. Many smiles. Those who stopped were helpful with directions south. When I could go no further and sat to rest on a wall between two parking lots a woman came a soon offered a ride to retrieve the support van. The few were just enough. The owner of the property who allowed us to stay for the night had been diagnosed recently with diabetes. Small world...
Walk for you own good, it will make a difference.


I can't juggle, ride a unicycle, write a sad country-western tune.
Can't balance a chair on my nose as I walk a high wire. I can make some noise in this world walking my dog quietly along the "Pac" Highway.
We all can make the day happier.
Take a moment, give a moment...

Monday, June 18, 2012

reluctant recap

Don't know weather I should get some sleep and post something in the morning before I leave or to pound out something tonight. It only gets later, later... As the sun rose the people of the night made their last stroll before going back to where they came from. The homeless emerged walking toward their daily routines. Some are more gracious and dignified where others are still obnoxious from last nights' drink. Alone, in pairs or small groups. The groups generally are louder, smell of ack'a'haul' and don't pay attention to the hard grimace of Nice (the dog) when they invade the space he likes when they smell of booze and stupidity. The pairs and couples seem more at ease, with a lighter outlook than some of the quieter lone souls. The comfort that someone "has your back" or some other intangible of having a buddy makes them seem more alive.

Fatigue is catching up with me. I am falling asleep and have rambled myself into a hole. To make the hole deeper I will post it...
The next morning..
With the help of a few misdirections from locals and the GPS on my phone a wiggled my wat South around Tacoma. I was glad it was Sunday when I passed the heart of town as the traffic of a business day would have made it much harder. We made our way to S Tacoma Way that led again to the Pacific Highway. They say the "PAC"_Highway leads all the way down the west coast but in Tacoma it disappears and later blends into the Interstate as it passes the military base. When I was walking along miles of car lots we met some of the local law officers, one of whom is a diabetic who showed me his insulin pump. They were very helpful in letting me know how far I could go before I was pedestrian-locked and would have to shuttle south past the Base. It never ceases to amaze me how fit and healthy those diabetics who take of themselves look. When I mentioned this the officer proudly said he had no choice but to be fit. The officers thanked me for spreading the word and what I am doing. I don't think it is equal to their dedication. They "Make a Difference."
During the day a couple came to talk and offered a ride when I hgad gotten as far as I could go. I then shuttled the World to the recommended exit past the militery base and the river basin.
It rained overnight and I am going to let the sun dry things a bit before I press on. There is no avoiding the wear and tear on the World but a soaked road is like coarse sandpaper.
Take some time to get you blood flowing during the day. It's not like the World is on your shoulders.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tacking through Tacoma

We have stopped for a side of the road snack for lunch. The day has been very windy with sun, then clouds, then mist and sun again. This bank of clouds is low and cool so we may get wet. Who knows. I will wait ten minutes...
There seems no road leads directly south but I have managed my way despite the wind.
Go out and move a little. It can't be as touch as what I am up against.
Have a nice rest of the day.

The World's going South

I began my day at the Kent Fire Station in a slight mist that fell most of the day. The sun peeked through occasionally just long enough to heat the World enough for me to have to let air from it. Too tight it will rip at the seams. Too soft and the inner-tube, or bladder, the core shifts and the fill-hole shifts out of reach where the laced hole of the outer surface align. Then, when the sun would fall away behind the clouds, off comes the backpack and out comes the portable air pump. A quick cool wind, a role along a cool ditch line or stopping under the shade of a tree and out comes pump. Sometimes one of the many patches give way to these expansions and contractions and off comes the backpack and out comes the glue and possibly another small patch of canvas. The World had good amount of attention before I began and I had a full afternoon at the KFD to inflate the World and repair loose patches and re-touch crumbled paint so at the end of the day after walking to Tacoma "proper" the World held up fine.
At the end of the day I was able to stay outside "Red's Valley Pub". I was walking past when "Red" called out for my story. I was tired from the day with new shoes and a steady wind in my face and asked for help. "Red" is a gracious host.
I had only one prospect for a ride. A woman who had stopped to talk for awhile who sometime later stopped to tack our picture for her daughter. I had sked for her help "just in case". It just takes one good person to keep the World rolling South and she was that person.

The preceding is what happens when I have no idea what to say when I wake up far too early and cannot fall back to sleep...

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Of all the times to look down at my feet while juggling the World up hill I spied something shining in the grass, a silver star,

a token at my feet.

Friday, June 15, 2012

On the Road again...

It would be difficult to tell all that has transpired since I deflated the World back in April at the Plaza in downtown Dallas after walking from Seminole Alabama then back home. Much of what I did was maintenance both for myself and others. I worked some, walked some, spent time with my son who is recovering well, and did a lot of waiting for the next walk for diabetes awareness. I patched and repainted the World, there is only so much I can do to protect it from what I put it through. It is time now to get back to the movement-movement because , as they say, a World at rest stays at rest.
Rather than walk stubbornly thru Montana without any help ( I've been beaten by the element enough to know I'd be broken down before I made it half of the way to Butte from North Dakota) I opted for a stroll south, from the Seattle area. I will walk in, thru or to the wilds of the interior, but with help.
After driving for three days I need some rest so I will begin walking in the morning. My body-clock is still on Eastern time...