Day 4 – Miscellanious thoughts of the day.

 More of Denny Alvarez

 Only 4 days in to this journey, I am conflicted with contradicting thoughts. While I thought I had trained long and was ready for the physical requirements. The answer is ‘Heck No” and it has been a long time since I have exerted myself this much. It would be sooo easy to quit right now. Another part of me wishes (already) that I had a couple of years to make this journey. There is so much history and stories to take from the people and land I am walking across. If you took the time to read the link about the ‘Queen of the Okefenokee’, you’ll understand the cast of characters that developed and continue to live here.

While I’m trying not to pay too much attention to trip metrics, I just realized I put in over 30 miles yesterday. Now I know why my feet are so ticked off! I shall try not to do that again!

After writing about my adventure yesterday, I remembered there is so much more to say about Denny Alvarez. In the hour that I spoke with him yesterday, he said a few more things that I found quite funny. Towards the end of our time together he asked “Did it really take you 3 days just to make it up her to Waycross”? Now, I know that I am a SeaBee, but at no time did they require us to do more than 25 mile a day hikes in 95 degree weather. I told him I thought I was making good time at 25 miles a day! He said ” You telling me you haven’t ever hopped a train”?!  I didn’t know what to say. I just knew that I felt like I missed out on some part of my childhood…where I should have been hopping trains. 🙂

When we were talking about a spot to camp, I mentioned to him that the good people at Google had recommended I take a road parallel to the freeway for the next 10 miles. Denny quickly told me that “you don’t want to do that”. Curious and concerned about how this could possibly be something that a SeaBee couldn’t handle. Denny told me that the area next to the freeway is actually leased land. Many of the people who lease the land are hunters and people who want to keep that area to themselves. Denny had no problem calling most of those people ‘rednecks’ and probably the kind of folk you don’t want to run into. When Denny speaks, Jack listens.

Mobile Shout Outs

Kirkland Vision Center – Assuming that somewhere along my trip I would either lose or break my glasses, I called and ordered some new glasses. After informing Roxanne of my journey, she said she would confirm my order with Dr. Peters and get back to me. When I received her call, she said she would have the glasses shipped and that they would be provided for FREE. Not only FREE, but they insisted that I get the more expensive pair of prescription sunglasses I had been admiring during my last visit.  I have been getting my eyes checked at Kirkland Vision Center for about 15 years. Even when living in California or Mexico, I always waited until coming back to Kirkland to have my eyes checked. I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Peters, Roxanne and the entire team. If you ever need to have your eyes checked or need new frames, PLEASE go to Kirkland Vision Center.

Berg Design Team and the Runabout Stroller – When my sciatic nerve informed me that it refused to participate if I was going to carry a backpack, I had to search for another option. As a modestly tall 6″3′, most baby strollers today are at best made for a 5″5′ mother who probably won’t need to carry an 80 lb  kid over rough terrain and 3000 miles. Using the Bing decision engine (old Microsoft habits are hard to break), I learned about Richard Berg and his high-quality Runabout stroller. Since I was already in the Portland area, Richard asked me to come visit his facility. While there Richard gave me a 2-hour tour, bought me lunch, introduced me to his team and ultimately provided me the Runabout frame for FREE. Unbelievable! If you ever have any questions about the quality of this product, just give me a call. I guarantee (from experience), there is nothing close to the Runabout!

Bob Becker – Bob, my old neighbor volunteered to take care of my cat for me. <Let the cat jokes begin>. Bob was hesitant when I first asked, but after hearing about the journey I was about to take, Bob said “Absolutely and of course I will take care of your cat”. Thank you Bob and I’m glad to have met you! I just wish you would turn your stereo down (kidding). 🙂

Hug a Trucker and Hang-Up Your Cell Phone

The last 75 miles of asphalt have given me a strong appreciation of our trucking industry and the level of professionalism of (most) drivers on the road. They are constantly aware of the road in front of them and moving to the far lane when they see me. Thank you and ‘Keep on Trucking’ my brethren!

I would say most drivers are equally aware and very considerate on the roadways. I’m sure seeing somebody pushing a grocery cart (sorry Berg Design) on the freeway shoulder comes as a shock when coming around the bend. I would guesstimate that the overwhelming percentage of those who don’t notice early, if at all, are those talking on their cell phone. If this was a public service announcement, I would say “Stop the talking, while I’m walking”! Stepping off the pulpit…

Lazy is as Lazy Does

Today I spent the day chilling in the motel room, medicating the feet, eating pizza and catching up on phone calls. Awesome! I needed to pick-up some supplies. I heard that Wall Mart was only about 1/4 mile away. As I walked outside in shorts and my rain jacket, I turned back around becasue it just seemed too far to walk. What happened to the guy who walked 30 miles yesterday? Since they are open 24-hours, I figured I would stop by early tomorrow when I am already walking.


Perfect day for laundry

Walking around the motel this morning, reading the many historical signs about Waycross, GA, I decided to stay and miss the rain (if possible). I talked with Dave Desai (Operations Manager) and he helped me to use some of my Dad’s (Thanks Big Jack) reward points. At the same time, his trusty assistant Sarah created a new room key that I had somehow demagnatized. I went back to my room and commenced watching the weather channel and flood updates. It wasn’t more than 5 minutes when I got a call from Dave on the room phone. Dave called to tell me that on behalf of him and Best Western, they wanted to comp my room for the night. Can you believe this? I don’t know what kind of parallel universe I have stumbled into. I do know that I am inspired by your generosity and driven to complete what I have started!

Best Western Bradbury Inn & Suites

Thank you Dave Desai and Best Western for your warm hospitality!



3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jamie Reilley Heffner on May 5, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Jack, you are amazing me!! I’ve been to the Okefenokee (sp?) Swamp when I lived in Georgia! It scared the day lights out of me seeing all the alligators (or is it crocs?)! Love reading your blogs and seeing your pics. Keep up the good work, I’m lovin what you’re are doing although I don’t know why you are doing it! haha


  2. Posted by Eileen Cantu on May 5, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Wow Jack – I am amazed at your journey. I’ll be praying for you and thinnking of you everyday.
    Love, Aunt Eileen


  3. Posted by Ann Mansfield on May 6, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Hi – I am reading your blog and wanted to let you know how impressed I am with what you are doing. I know your Dad, who forwarded your link to Mike Southards at the Washington Trucking Associations, where I work as well.

    I will be keeping up with your journey and look forward to your postings –

    What inspired you to take this journey?

    Take care – my good wishes and prayers are with you.

    Ann Mansfield
    Washington Trucking Associations


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