Monday, September 22, 2014
Sliding once again into my sleeping bag, CHUCK put SAM and ME up in their entertainment center located on their hill top property a few miles West of the city of GALLIPOLIS, Ohio. Because of festivites, no motel rooms were to be found.
CHUCK explained that I was not invited inside his home because of the recent trauma left with his family by the loss of his Mother and Step Father, both murdered.
Even so, in the morning, CHUCK and his Father drove SAM and ME across the OHIO River Bridge into West Virginia on Route 35 to the Convenience Store in the village of PLINY, some 30 miles from GALLIPOLIS, saving us a full day walk - and another overnight search.
Walking Route 35 some 6 miles to HURRICANE CREEK ROAD, we walked and rolled on that back country road until being offered a ride by a passing motorist, RICK THOMAS, who delivered us to ARBY's in the city of HURRICANE, West Virginia, home of our friend, DALLAS.
We have beat the COLD !
CHUCK's Hilltop Home.
Entertainment Center, in which SAM and ME found our overnight home.
Tucked into a corner of the Kitchen, our blog update was completed among our Air Mattress and Sleeping Bag.
Bridge spanning the OHIO River into the State of West Virginia. Photo taken from the back seat of CHUCK's Pickup Truck.
Poor back-seat photograph of the OHIO River.
Please say HELLO to JEANNIE, of the Pliny Village Convenience Store. I misplaced my previously prepared maps. JEANNIE gifted me her West Virginia map, pointing out a back country road shortcut to our destination city of HURRICANE.
This Country Home overlooking a pristine lake is FOR SALE.
West Virginia typical countryside scene. Certainly one of America's most scenic States !
SAM surveying JEANNIE's shortcut road from Route 35.
Shortcut road to HURRICANE is recently repaved...a pleasant conclusion to our two month race across America to reach DALLAS' HURRICANE home.
Many have been instrumental in our timely crossing and arrival...Thank You, again.
West Virginia resident...trading his Long Rifle for his Weed Eater.
Please say HELLO to JEREMY - and his young friend - not pictured -, ISAIAH.
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DALLAS lives some 3 miles from HURRICANE city center. I was not certain which road to take because of considerable new business construction Phoning, DALLAS joined me at ARBY's, where I enjoyed the BEST Fast Food Sandwich (BLT) ever. Sorry McD, but you don't hold a candle to ARBY's meaty treat.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
30 miles seemed a reasonable walk at 8:00am this morning. When 12 noon arrived, I was struggling up miles-long hills on Route 35.
At 4:00pm, we arrived at the town of RIO GRANDE, still 12 miles short of GALLIPOLI, Ohio, our destination for today.
Try as we will, no vehicles stopped for us. Two Police did stop, having received 911 calls from concerned motorists, claiming an OLD Woman was struggling with a Baby Stroller out on Route 35. Chuckling, the Police confirmed that we were totally within the law. I observed to the Police that folks are quick to call in the LAW for things they do not understand...and ignore the option to simply stop to ask if we need help.
Both Officers said folks are afraid for their safety, so they will not stop for ANY reason.
Leaving DAYS INN Motel early this morning from JACKSON, Ohio.
US Route 35...NOT a FREEWAY at this point, so SAM and ME walked and rolled on it all day...until 4:00pm this afternoon, at the town of RIO GRANDE, where it was declared to be a FREEWAY, prohibiting PEDESTRIANS.
A TRUCK STOP on Route 35, where I purchased a Mt. DEW drink. Water is good to drink, but a bit of flavoring gives a lift to tasteless water.
At RIO GRANDE, we switched to OLD 35 once again, continuing to walk toward GALLIPOLI, some 10 miles distant...still thumbing for a ride.
As we were leaving RIO GRANDE, a pickup truck finally stopped, offering to drive SAM and ME to a Motel in GALLIPOLI>
Please say HELLO to CHUCK of GALLIPOLI, Ohio. On an errand with his DAD, Chuck drove us to a Motel, only to find there were NO rooms available. We telephoned a half dozen nearby motels, only to find NOT A SINGLE ROOM AVAILABLE.
CHUCK offered to drive us to his home where he had a large entertainment building ...completely protected from the weather, with electricity and running water. I gladly accepted his offer that we , using our air mattress and sleeping bag, spend the night...for free.
In the morning, Chuck offered to drive SAM and ME across the OHIO River bridge on Route 35, into the State of West Virginia..
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It is now 9:00pm. Our blog update is ready for publication. My BED is laid ou ready to slide into. Have sprayed for the mass of mosquitos, so should sleep well.
And, another day is in the books...including more new friends to help SAM and ME complete our mission.
Friday, September 19, 2014
We quickly discovered that US Route was a FREEWAY, posted to prohibit walkers.
SAM and ME set off on OLD 35, which paralleled NEW Route 35 (called The BYPASS). Three hours later, we arrived at the city of WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE, having walked some 12 miles.
Walking through town, we came upon the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars...of which I am a member in KEY WEST, Florida).
Had to ring the door bell to be let in. Quartermaster BOB and Hostess SUE, helped guide me through the Route 35 complications...where can we walk...and, where are walkers prohibited.
SUE took the Bull by the Horns, phoning VFW members who might have time - and desire - to give SAM and ME a ride to the city of CHILLICOTHE, some 30 miles distant. SUE prevailed. 15 minutes later, BILL, CARA, and Son BRYCE drove up in their shiny red pickup and changed forever the definition of "a Ride".
Waiting for BILL and family, SUE cooked up a delicious Sausage and Egg sandwich, chased with a cold COORS Light Beer. No, says SUE, your money is not accepted...Traveling Veterans get a free sandwich and cold beer.
Close up look at a new helicopter.
OLD 35 SAM and ME walked to WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE. Seems there were once two (2) Towns WASHINGTON in OHIO. To clarify the confusion, one town added the words COURT HOUSE in honor of their city center landmark.
Crystal Clear water flows in Ohio streams.
Field of BEANS, to be harvested at the end of October.
SEED CORN, which dries out still standing in the field. Two other types of Corn are SWEET CORN (Food for People which is delicious eaten raw from the COB), and Animal Feed - also used for car engine fuel.
A new CORN HARVESTER being driven on OLD 35.
East end of the West Bound Corn Harvester.
This barn is not painted. The White material is called "White Wash", common on farm buildings across America.
Nearing WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE, palatial homes line OLD 35.
Please say HELLO to SUE METAIS, VFW Hostess to whom I owe considerable for rounding up a VFW Member to give SAM and ME a ride to the city of CHILLICOTHE, some 30 miles distant.
Please say HELLO to BILL, CARA and 3 year old BRYCE, who gave of their time, their Pickup Truck and friendship to drive SAM and ME not just to CHILLICOTHE, but on and on and on to the distant town of JACKSON, a mere 27 miles from the OHIO River and the border of West Virginia.
Not only that, these two wonderful people searched the internet on BRYCE's I PHONE 'til they found a Motel for us...then delivered SAM and ME to the Motel Front Door. BILL accompanied me to the registration to be certain we had our room...not only that, BILL paid for our Motel Room.
All told, BILL and CARA drove us 50 miles, paid our Room, and saved 2 Days walking and two additional nights. This because of SUE's phone call on behalf of SAM and ME.
Is it any wonder SAM and ME are dedicated to continue our walk and roll.
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Tomorrow morning, we are allowed to walk the FREEWAY portion of US Route 35. We must EXIT at the town of RIO GRANDE, taking Route 588 to the town of GALLIPOLIS, set on the banks of beautiful OHIO River. This will be our 4th visit to GALLIPOLIS, from which we will cross the OHIO River bridge into West Virginia.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Pushing SAM down the ON Ramp of Route 35, we were greeted by the PROHIBITION Sign designating PEDESTRIANS as prohibited on the FREEWAY. Backtracking, we found "OLD SR 35" nearby. Walking OLD 35 for 3 miles before discovering a Walking / Bicycle PATH advertising to carry us all the way to the next City: XENIA, Ohio, some 12 miles distant. Since all passing vehicles ignored us anyway, opted to take the path...a converted Railroad right of way no longer used.
Reaching XENIA, we walked on OLD SR 35 toward the next town of JAMESTOWN, some 14 miles distant. On this roadway, we received our first and only ride of the day.
Needing a place to stay for the night, SAM and ME walked and rolled the 11 miles to the Truck Stop Center near the town of JEFFERSONVILLE, where we found our Motel Room @ $60.00. Because we are nearly out of $$, we again did not stop to eat. Instead, I ate my partially eaten sandwich of yesterday - which was on ice all day .
My BELLINGHAM Primary Doctor (Nurse MELISSA) telephoned a bit ago...time for a battery of tests, which I will try to have performed tomorrow here in JEFFERSONVILLE. If no LAB is available, will keep moving until a LAB is found. I am particularly fortunate that my Primary Doctor is monitoring my medical status from her offices in BELLINGHAM. I am in tune with my body, reporting goings-on via telephone and e-mail.
It is comforting to have her following along as SAM and ME progress on our walk. The first 4 years, I made all my own medical decisions...sometimes missing important events.
SAM surveying the Walking Path to XENIA.
One of only a couple buildings to survive along the path when the railroad went defunct.
Converted RR Bridge crossing a small river.
Please say HELLO to LEE, living in the town of JAMESTOWN. Lee gave SAM and ME our only ride of the day...a 8 minute ride to JAMESTOWN.
From JAMESTOWN, SAM and ME walked and rolled to the Truck Stops just outside the town of JEFFERSONVILLE, some 13 miles distant. Many vehicles passed us by, but not one stopped to help us.
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It has come to pass that hitching a ride in the Western United States is a ten to fifteen minute exercise. In the East, we have sometimes gone a day or two before someone stops for us. Most recent rides come forward from folks who are already stopped and overhear our conversations in Convenience Stores or Restaurants.
Many have told me that it is no secret that folks are afraid and reluctant to risk a confrontation by stopping to offer to give hitch hikers a ride.
A subject I reluctantly open: Our rush to cross America has required we "rest up" each night by getting a good sleep. Our funds have been nearly drained from the many Motels. We have $$ enough for three more nights. After that, we must pitch our Tent. This will mean no electricity to prepare our blog with our computer, AND, will severely slow our progress each day.
Folks must know I am a penny pincher, purchasing only critically needed supplies. Even food has taken a back seat to getting our nightly rest. Yesterday, we walked 10 hours, covering nearly 40 miles. Today, we walked and rolled 9 hours, covering over 30 miles. Without adequate rest and proper nurishment ( Food ), I must cut back my daily exertion...i.e., less miles covered...and less blog updates.
In nearly 5 years, I have not asked for much. Tonight, I must ask for some help
At the top of our Blog Page is a DONATION BUTTON. This button activates a PAY PAL program designed to receive a donation which is deposited in my North Carolina Bank DEBIT CARD (Checking) Account. It takes 36 hours to process.
I will continue our walk and Blog until no more funds are available.
For information, our budget is $15.00 per day. ALL motels and Restaurant meals have come from personal donations we have received hand to hand from those caring folks we meet each day during our walks.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Reserving last night's motel ($41.00), we were told it was in the town of WEST ALEXANDRIA.
Today, SAM and ME walked and rolled from the Motel to the town of WOODMAN, some five miles BEYOND the city of DAYTON, Ohio, starting out at 7:30 am and arriving at our new motel (MICROTEL INN @ $56.00) at 5:30 pm, having walked 10 hours in the process.
We received one ride of a 5 minute duration, approximately 4 miles. The remainder of day was walked at very high speed. We did not stop to eat. We took some 15 minutes out loading SAM and purchasing a drink and sandwich (which was eaten while creating this update). While walking to the extreme - which I am achieving in the last couple days -to eat is not a priority.
We walked the entire way on US Route 35, a NEW Freeway-style roadway, but not restricted from walking. The map shows Route 35 as a FREEWAY. Much of Route 35 which takes us all the way to CHARLESTON, West Virginia, is depicted as FREEWAY. I hope we can walk it, as it is much shorter than the Secondary Road options, is much safer to walk, and has considerably more traffic from which we might receive rides.
Today, I crossed the whole of DAYTON on the FREEWAY, crossing dozens of OFF and ON Ramps with not a single problem.
I PUSHED myself as two years ago. I became a bit weary and foot sore, but never once over exerted myself.
Arriving in our room in this first class International Motel, I soaked for one hour in HOT water bath steeped with Hair Conditioner, which leaves my skin soft, supple, and strain-free. I WILL BE READY TO PUSH HARD AGAIN TOMORROW.
Leaving our "WEST ALEXANDRIA Motel at 7:30am.
US Route 35...still 2-lane at this point.
It was after walking 1.5 hours that we arrived at the VILLAGE of WEST ALEXANDRIA. These towns claim a wide expanse of Real Estate. Seeing a sign announcing the boundary of the "TOWN", often requires traveling 5 to 6 more miles to reach the actual VILLAGE.
Can be quite disappointing to walk another hour or so after thinking the VILLAGE is just around the next corner.
WEST ALEXANDRIA VILLAGE.
Next Village is NEW LEBANON, Ohio.
SAM and ME are still walking and rolling at top speed. Hearing a vehicle coming up behind us, I turn to see if it is capable to carry SAM. Without stopping, I give a left-handed THUMB, begging for a ride. No such ride stopped for us today !
McD TRAINING CENTER !
Please say HELLO to ASHLEY and STEVEN STRANGE, who carried SAM and on a five minute ride UP a steep hill as we approached the town of DREXEL, some 10 miles from down town DAYTON, Ohio.
It was a short ride, but very welcome to carry us UP the hill.
Please say HELLO to JEROME.
Please say HELLO to JAMES.
These two formed a Maintenance Crew on US Route 35 in the city of DAYTON. I stopped to ask about finding a Motel nearby - two exits further on, said JAMES. We chatted for a few minutes before they had to rush away, JEROME gave me an introductory note to his friends in West Virginia...to help us on our way . Thank you, JEROME.
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Here is hoping we can stay on Route 35 all the way to West Virginia. ,
I am pleased my body is approaching top condition. My leg tendons need more strength, but I will be ready for the West Virginia Mountains when the time comes.
We have a new PRIORITY to work into our walk. My Mother's Sister SHIRLEY, who has been following our blog for years, has entered an assisted living program, having been battling CANCER. She is in VIRGINIA (must do some navigating to find her), but she has asked for me. I will, of course, rush to her side as quickly as possible.
As now planned, I will stop at the home of DALLAS in HURRICANE (near CHARLESTON, West Virginia). Respecting SHIRLEY's request, must cut my stay with DALLAS a bit short, but WILL stay at least a week or more...weather permitting.