Archive for August, 2010

Day 120 – George to Wenatchee

Day 119 – Ephrata to George

Day 117/118 – Wilber to Ephrata

Day 115 to 118

Β The last four days would have been much tougher if it hadn’t been for the support from my friends and family! Thank you Darrin, Dick & Shellee, and even my Dad for keeping me company in the evenings! I guess the only problem with having the support, is that the creative writing juices really don’t flow. I honestly don’t have much to say.

The problem could also be that since I am getting so close to home, my thoughts are focused on the cause. The cause being Children’s Hospital and reaching the fundraising goal I set. I no longer think about how far I have walked. I have already proven that I can walk a long ways. The real accomplishment would be bringing people together to make a difference. So far…I’m receiving a “Needs Improvement”. As a kid in grade school, it was never good if I brought that home that grade on my report card.

So what does a guy have to do inspire a person (of all ages) to open their wallet and donate $20.00 to Children’s Hospital? This isn’t meant to make people feel guilty, I truly would like to know what kind of sacrifice is necessary to motivate. I don’t think I could do much more.

I was able to stay in Moses Lake, WA the other evening. During my enjoyable stay, I was able to meet the production crew for John Mayer’s summer concert tour. Great group of guys who are always traveling and get very little time to relax. Before departing, they provided me with some free passes to their next show, and, a chance to advertise my walk at the show! What!? That is awesome!

Wait a second, I’m not walking in that direction!

Ugh, I am now! With a slight change of direction and actually a reduction in miles, I will be meeting a buddy in George, WA, where he will pick me up to go to the show. I’m a lucky son of a gun!

The crew is providing me with a special booth under their tent to showcase my walk and get some exposure. Ugh, I had better do something other than just standing their, in the same clothing (for months), and perhaps being a bit stinky! So from the road, and in a matter of 24-hours, I have created a professional banner and 1000 flyers to hand out to concert goers! Woo Hoo!

My buddy Sean Cummings is going to pick up the graphic material in Seattle and then meet me in George, WA. Sean is another buddy, who from the beginning, committed to meeting me somewhere along the trip. I think Sean got off easy compared to my other friends who drove about 8 hours…and didn’t get to go to a concert. πŸ™‚ As I have said before, I am very lucky to have such good friends in my life! I’m not sure if I would have made it this far without the support of friends old and new!

For the last ten days of my walk, I will be posting a video blog instead of my usual daily written diatribe. The videos will be dedicated to a different child who has experienced Children’s Hospital first hand. I may add some of my usual blog entries if time permits. I think the videos will be a fitting end to my walk and keep the focus on the goal of raising funds for Children’s Hospital.

TTFN!

Day 116 – Davenport to Wilber

Day 114 – Westward Ho!

The days are closing on me and I find myself getting preoccupied with the few days left on my journey. With this, I realize that I haven’t taken the time to give much background about my friend Darrin and his wonderful family. For variety sake, I will now plan on peppering it in over the closing days. I have some funny stories I will share and hopefully embarrass him with. No matter what, I promise to not write a single word on how his ice-chewing makes me lose my mind! I promise… πŸ˜‰

Leaving downtown and walking westward, I expected to meet with several of the local news stations who told me they would call in the morning.

<insert sound of crickets>

Nobody called and I continued to walk out-of-town. After several hours, I got a call from my buddy Darce in Seattle. He told me that our friend Tom Byrnes had made a couple calls , and instilled some action in a local station. Low and behold..they were on the scene about 25 minutes later. Thanks Tom and KREM for helping to get the word out on the street.

The rest of the 25 miles walked today was fairly non-eventful. Straight roads, lots of traffic and more wheat than any Panera Bread could use in a year! I’m not looking forward to the next seven days of walking. I love our countries farming industry…but walking the fields can be a bit much!

At the end of today’s walk, I was picked up by my uncle Dick. Uncle Dick is from my Dad’s side of the family and could be considered the strong silent type. Hmmm, I think the smart and silent type is more fitting!

Note to the rest of the family: You are all smart too!Β  Dick may have gotten the brains, but you all got the looks!

Note to Dad: Dick isn’t smarter than you, he is just lucky. I’m thinking you should have picked on him more as a kid…

Never the less; Dick and Shellee live in the outskirts of Spokane in one of the most amazing homes I have ever seen! I felt so lucky to get the chance to stay with them for the evening. Did I mention that their cooking skills far exceed their eye for hot real estate investments? I’m used to eating table scraps most of the time, but tonight, I might has well been eating at Tavern on the Green in NY. Wow, the food was fantastic!

After dinner we had a chance to hangout, talk and eat a Peach pie that was absolutely off the hook! My night was complete and I was ready to thit the hay…

Wait a second, we haven’t even mentioned a bit about their animals! What has happened to me? Being the animal lover, I was so excited to get a chance to hang with their 3 dogs. Two labs and a crazy-eyed terrier (Reilly). Actually, I forgot to ask what kind of dog Reilly is, but I believe he is some kind of mutant terrier!

My experience with Reilly goes back about 7 years when me and my son stopped by Dick’s home in Colorado. During our visit, Reilly had to be kept bound and gagged behind a military style road-block of baby-gates in the house! I swear, if you would have given him a Redbull, he would have pulled a spider-man and literally walked on the ceiling to get to us. All he wanted to do was lick us to death…I think. πŸ˜‰

Reilly has come a long way over the years. With maturity, a new environment, roommates (the labs), and the ever demanding shock collar, he has become a contributing member of dog society. AtΒ  breakfast the next morning, I did feel him eye-balling my bacon though. No matter, with my protective pork instincts intact, we made it through the morning without a problem.

Day 112/113 – Cold, Wet, Cold, Wet…Yip, I'm back to the Northwest

Darrin got me back to Harrison bright and early this morning. Beautiful day and I was looking forward to my new planned path around Lake Coeur D’ Elene. I wasn’t excited about walking the west side of the lake, but it was going to save me a days walk and a much safer walk.

Walking along the lake and across the lake was quite beautiful! Once across the lake, I had a couple of hills, increased elevation, and then slowly progressed into the dreaded plains of Eastern Washington. Dreaded doesn’t mean bad, it just means that it gets a bit boring after a while. I love farm country…but it gets a little monotonous after a while.

With hints of rain throughout the afternoon, Darrin came back to pick me up in the afternoon. Not a moment too soon, as I saw a huge new casino not far away and was tempted to go check it all out. After picking me up, Darrin (again) drove me back to his place for a relaxing evening at home. Agh…I love being pampered by my friends. πŸ™‚

Again, the next morning Darrin is driving me back to walk into Spokane. Darrin wasn’t too excited about waking up early and he definitely wasn’t getting up until I woke him up. I hated having to be the adult during this time. I finally woke up after hitting the snooze 5 times, and dragged Darrin away from the warmth and security of his beautiful wife Alexa.

The walk into Spokane was frigging cold and wet for the early part of the morning. I had been wondering when this would happen…but I didn’t expect the dreaded northwest gloomy weather to start so soon! Well, it did…but only for about 3 hours this morning. After the rain stopped, it slowly and surely got warmer, but made sure to let me know what part of the country I am entering!

After arriving safe and sound back at the Haman household, I had yet another night of good (I mean great) food from Alexa, and just chilling, watching TV and catching up on the blog. As I have said before, I am the luckiest guy in the world to have such good friends!

Thank you Darrin, Alexa and little baby McKenna for making my stay in Spokane so enjoyable!

Tomorrow: Heading westward towards Seattle and planning to stay with my Aunt and Uncle. It’s been awhile since I have seen them…I wonder if they still have that crazy dog I remember from years ago?

Day 112/113 – Cold, Wet, Cold, Wet…Yip, I’m back to the Northwest

Darrin got me back to Harrison bright and early this morning. Beautiful day and I was looking forward to my new planned path around Lake Coeur D’ Elene. I wasn’t excited about walking the west side of the lake, but it was going to save me a days walk and a much safer walk.

Walking along the lake and across the lake was quite beautiful! Once across the lake, I had a couple of hills, increased elevation, and then slowly progressed into the dreaded plains of Eastern Washington. Dreaded doesn’t mean bad, it just means that it gets a bit boring after a while. I love farm country…but it gets a little monotonous after a while.

With hints of rain throughout the afternoon, Darrin came back to pick me up in the afternoon. Not a moment too soon, as I saw a huge new casino not far away and was tempted to go check it all out. After picking me up, Darrin (again) drove me back to his place for a relaxing evening at home. Agh…I love being pampered by my friends. πŸ™‚

Again, the next morning Darrin is driving me back to walk into Spokane. Darrin wasn’t too excited about waking up early and he definitely wasn’t getting up until I woke him up. I hated having to be the adult during this time. I finally woke up after hitting the snooze 5 times, and dragged Darrin away from the warmth and security of his beautiful wife Alexa.

The walk into Spokane was frigging cold and wet for the early part of the morning. I had been wondering when this would happen…but I didn’t expect the dreaded northwest gloomy weather to start so soon! Well, it did…but only for about 3 hours this morning. After the rain stopped, it slowly and surely got warmer, but made sure to let me know what part of the country I am entering!

After arriving safe and sound back at the Haman household, I had yet another night of good (I mean great) food from Alexa, and just chilling, watching TV and catching up on the blog. As I have said before, I am the luckiest guy in the world to have such good friends!

Thank you Darrin, Alexa and little baby McKenna for making my stay in Spokane so enjoyable!

Tomorrow: Heading westward towards Seattle and planning to stay with my Aunt and Uncle. It’s been awhile since I have seen them…I wonder if they still have that crazy dog I remember from years ago?

Day 111 – Okay…I've had enough of the 72 mile long trail

Mornings in the valley are frigging cold! Walking through the mountains, next to the river, at 6am in the morning, definitely requires gloves and a long-sleeve shirt. Nothing witty here…just information in case you ever decide to walk the Coeur d’Elene trail. πŸ˜‰

Today I yet again had to make a decision on whether to cross the pass using Google maps directions. Since the map hadn’t been updated with the trail I was on, I decided to stick to the trail. This would take me an extra 20 miles south, but it would be on flat terrain all the way to Harrison, ID.

As I have said several times before, this area is filled with such immense beauty! When walking the trail, you are even more connected with mother-nature since you are miles from any highway or interstate. By yourself and away from people for 12 hours during the day…it can get kind of boring though.

<This is probably where I will get struck by lightning for such blasphemy>

About 12 miles into today’s 30+ day, I had to take a break on one of the many benches provided next to the trail. I fell asleep on the bench and must have slept for about an hour. If there was any single time that I resembled a transient during my walk, this was the time.

The last couple hours of my walk today was with a bicyclist from Manhattan, NY. Evan (the biker) and his wife had just finished a week-long hiking trip, and were now taking it easy for a few days before heading back to NY. When Evan passed me on the trail earlier today, he figured he should find out what the guy pushing the shopping cart was doing.

Evan and I talked about my walk, his bicycle trip across the US, and theory regarding why people are so obsessed with their cell phones. Time certainly did fly by during the last 10 miles of the walk. I can’t lie though, I was in all kinds of pain the last couple of miles. A few times I thought some stranger might see me crying the last few steps.

Tonight I was going to be picked-up by my friend Darrin Haman. Darrin was driving back from Seattle and was going to swing by Harrison before taking me to Spokane. Unfortunately, Darrin wasn’t going to be arriving for about 4 hours. Oh…what is a guy to do?!

It was a busy weekend in the lake front town with all kinds of boaters and tourists. For the first couple of hours I relaxed in the cafe/lounge, watching the sunset and drinking lots of water. The next couple hours, the place was packed with all the boaters who arrived after the sun went down.

Next thing I know, a band is playing and people are dancing everywhere. In my walking (read: stinky) clothes, I mingled with the locals and shared some of my info. A fun group of guys immediately asked for my cards and proceeded to hand them out to a bunch of people in the bar! It was funny and I appreciated it. After a while though, I figured they were just using it as a way to pick up chicks in the bar.

Once all the cards were handed out, I heard my name announced from the band playing. They wanted me to come up and say “Hello” to everybody. I did (reluctantly) and was greeted with all kinds of hugs from some ladies. At that moment…I look back at all the wasted opportunities across the country to hand out my cards. πŸ™‚

Darrin showed up just a few minutes later. No a moment too soon, we were now headed back to Spokane for the evening. I asked Darrin to drive my planned route to Coeur d’ elene to see the road conditions. It only took about 5 minutes to realize that I wouldn’t be walking that way tomorrow.

What seemed like only a few minutes later, Darrin announced we were at his home. Guess I needed a little rest from my days walk…

Day 111 – Okay…I’ve had enough of the 72 mile long trail

Mornings in the valley are frigging cold! Walking through the mountains, next to the river, at 6am in the morning, definitely requires gloves and a long-sleeve shirt. Nothing witty here…just information in case you ever decide to walk the Coeur d’Elene trail. πŸ˜‰

Today I yet again had to make a decision on whether to cross the pass using Google maps directions. Since the map hadn’t been updated with the trail I was on, I decided to stick to the trail. This would take me an extra 20 miles south, but it would be on flat terrain all the way to Harrison, ID.

As I have said several times before, this area is filled with such immense beauty! When walking the trail, you are even more connected with mother-nature since you are miles from any highway or interstate. By yourself and away from people for 12 hours during the day…it can get kind of boring though.

<This is probably where I will get struck by lightning for such blasphemy>

About 12 miles into today’s 30+ day, I had to take a break on one of the many benches provided next to the trail. I fell asleep on the bench and must have slept for about an hour. If there was any single time that I resembled a transient during my walk, this was the time.

The last couple hours of my walk today was with a bicyclist from Manhattan, NY. Evan (the biker) and his wife had just finished a week-long hiking trip, and were now taking it easy for a few days before heading back to NY. When Evan passed me on the trail earlier today, he figured he should find out what the guy pushing the shopping cart was doing.

Evan and I talked about my walk, his bicycle trip across the US, and theory regarding why people are so obsessed with their cell phones. Time certainly did fly by during the last 10 miles of the walk. I can’t lie though, I was in all kinds of pain the last couple of miles. A few times I thought some stranger might see me crying the last few steps.

Tonight I was going to be picked-up by my friend Darrin Haman. Darrin was driving back from Seattle and was going to swing by Harrison before taking me to Spokane. Unfortunately, Darrin wasn’t going to be arriving for about 4 hours. Oh…what is a guy to do?!

It was a busy weekend in the lake front town with all kinds of boaters and tourists. For the first couple of hours I relaxed in the cafe/lounge, watching the sunset and drinking lots of water. The next couple hours, the place was packed with all the boaters who arrived after the sun went down.

Next thing I know, a band is playing and people are dancing everywhere. In my walking (read: stinky) clothes, I mingled with the locals and shared some of my info. A fun group of guys immediately asked for my cards and proceeded to hand them out to a bunch of people in the bar! It was funny and I appreciated it. After a while though, I figured they were just using it as a way to pick up chicks in the bar.

Once all the cards were handed out, I heard my name announced from the band playing. They wanted me to come up and say “Hello” to everybody. I did (reluctantly) and was greeted with all kinds of hugs from some ladies. At that moment…I look back at all the wasted opportunities across the country to hand out my cards. πŸ™‚

Darrin showed up just a few minutes later. No a moment too soon, we were now headed back to Spokane for the evening. I asked Darrin to drive my planned route to Coeur d’ elene to see the road conditions. It only took about 5 minutes to realize that I wouldn’t be walking that way tomorrow.

What seemed like only a few minutes later, Darrin announced we were at his home. Guess I needed a little rest from my days walk…