Day 35 – Hitch in the Giddy-Up

Upon waking this morning I noticed a little problem with the right knee. Not sure why it was bothering me. It was either from a few days earlier walking to Grand Rivers, or perhaps because I was sitting on the bed cross-legged writing the blog until 2am. Hmmm? No matter, I was out the door and walking out of Jackson about 9am.

As expected, it was hot and humid outside today. Slight hint of rain with plenty of low-hanging fluffy clouds in the sky. My clothing was completely soaked with sweat withing the first hour of walking today.  Several people honked and waved today. I assume it was because they saw me on the news the day before. After talking with a few people, I guess the station ran the story during the day and evening broadcasts. Very cool!

Approximately 8 miles out-of-town, I was stopped by John Casebolt who greeted me with a smile and said it was a good day for a walk. John asked me if he could buy me lunch. I said “Sure”! 🙂 John had seen me on the TV and wanted to help me out. We stopped at a little deli and had one of the largest and freshest sandwiches I have ever had!

While eating with John, I learned that he was about a year from graduating from College, Majoring in Physics and mathematics. John was in construction for 20 years until he hurt his arm in an accident and pointed him in a new direction. John is married and has a 19-year-old son, who lives and works in the area. Upon completion of school, John plans to get into the world of consulting, dedicating his work to solving much of states problems with reductions in the amount of available drinking water.

My apologies John if I have over-simplified your study and work focus. Your passion was evident and the state of Missouri (and surrounding areas) will be lucky to have you!

After finishing lunch and saying goodbye to John, I prepared for the next leg of the day’s walk. Before leaving, Jim Burkhalter said “Hello” and asked if I was the guy on the TV? After chatting a bit, I learned that Jim was formerly a Navy SeaBee (as was I) and immediately our bond was tightened. Reminded me of the conversation with Denny Alvarez on the 3rd day of my journey. Anybody who has spent time in Port Hueneme, CA…would completely understand. 🙂

While walking away, Jim asked if I needed a ride. As usual, I wanted one, but couldn’t accept at this time.

If it wasn’t for the heat, I would consider today to be almost ideal walking conditions. Slight rolling hills, bends about every 1/2 mile, trees casting shade alongside the road, and a convenience story every 20 miles.

At the 12 mile mark, my knee decided that it was going on strike! Same pain as this morning, just more so! I decided to wear my shoes from the beginning of my walk. I refer to them as “The Blister Makers”. For some reason, they direct all the punishment to the foot, and spare the knee. The change of shoes helped, but of course, now my feet were killing me. I ended up stopping in a shady area for a couple of hours and resting the ol’ dogs for a while.

In case I ever forget (or the audience does), this walk is hard, hard work. Since I have set a goal ( that I will keep) of reaching  Seattle on Sept. 10th, I don’t have the luxury of only walking 15 miles or less in a day. Daily minimum will always be 22 miles in order to arrive on time. With that, I need to figure out the knee thing soon!

About 5 miles before the end of today’s walk, a car stopped in front of me and Barb Johnson and Mike Raines got out. They had seen me on the TV and wanted to offer me a beer. As hot as it was out, I said “YES”! We talked on the side of the road a bit, and they helped me plan where I would camp. I was starting to look a nearby homes, but they said that there was a store just up the road and behind it would be good. I took their advice and soldiered forward.

Just before the store, a nice young man by the name of Taylor Mungle swung around in the road. He said he saw me on the TV and asked where I would be this upcoming Friday. He doesn’t get paid until Friday, but would like to donate when he can. I told him about Pledging to donate on the website, but online didn’t really seem to be his thing. I told him I would be in Cole Camp, MO and he can look for me there. Who knows…I may just see Taylor on the road ahead.

While the ground wasn’t real comfortable to sleep on, it was nice being close to the store. They had a deli, restrooms, and some people to talk to. After some brief conversation, the woman behind the deli (Kristi) asked me if I was the guy on the TV. She asked me for my autograph and told me how cool it was! The people of SE Missouri are very, very kind!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lorien on August 11, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Hey, it’s me again. I’m finding myself reading you blog every chance I get, whether it’s at work or at home. I even asked my friend if I could use his computer to show him your blog and do a little catching up. I’m trying to read a couple of weeks or more of your blog per day.

    I hope your knee gets better. I was wondering what you would do if you happened to get injured on the trip.


    • The short answer is…I don’t know! Everyday is a different obstacle that has to be overcome. To make it to the end of something like this, you absolutely have embrace ambiguity and overcome all potential road-blocks! Keep reading!


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