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Thursday, September 23, 2010

PREPARING FOR TAKE-OFF

The Van sits on the Taxi-way.

A long line of projects - getting shorter by the moment - await their turn.

Take-Off is set for 6 am, Saturday, September 25, 2010.

Nearly 4 weeks since I drove out of Lamar, Colorado, with the ER Surgeon admonitions...you take another step towards Key West and we will be picking you up from the side of the road...

Bellingham medical confirmed my problem was nutritional...i.e., I must start eating. Crossing the Oregon High Desert, Idaho, the Rocky Mountains, and the much of the Colorado Great Plains, I walked for 8 weeks, taking One (1) day of rest in Rawlings, Colorado.

Covering 30 - 40 miles a day in 100 F. temperatures at 5,000 - 8,000 foot elevations, one does not find a lot of "watering holes".

My mind was set on pushing my body to the limit...intentionally teasing myself into extreme effort...to find the "breaking" point for this 75 year old apparition.

I found it.

Problem was, I sweated and tinkled so much in the extraordinary conditions...all without finding / consuming food to replace the lost nutrients, I punished my body to the point that it simply had nothing more to go on...kinda like running out of gas and oil.

Like an abused motor, my body nearly seized up. It forced me into the Emergency Room in Lamar, Colorado, where I received the ultimatum...stop walking, start eating, or we pick you up off the side of the road.

So, one month later, here I sit at this computer. I have gained 10 pounds back (lost 40 pounds walking from the Peace Arch to Lamar), and my body is nursed - somewhat - back to health.

A number of major changes occurred in this month of healing.

I shut down my Company - after 30 years -. I can now devote my entire attention on my walk to Key West.

I have obtained a very nice motor home - sits in Denver awaiting me - providing cooking and sleeping accommodations. No more deprivations there.

Jodi will join me in Denver. Jodi will drive the MH to Key West, accompany me on her bicycle for much of my walk, and together we will build my health back to peak performance. No more "double walking".

With Jodi's permission, I plan to share some exciting and fascinating information about this extraordinary lady.

Saturday, I will drive the Van from Bellingham to CHELAN, Washington. Chelan is the site of much of my childhood days. This is the family of my Mother, Leona (Brockman)(Tuttle) Maynard. Leona (Mother) passed away 6 years ago during bypass surgery. She willed herself to stay alive until my Son Ronald and I arrived at the University of Washington Hospital, SEATTLE, where we shared her final hour.

In Chelan, I will, as a member of the extensive clan of the families Stevens, Tuttle, Brockman, Pasley, Rubin, Blair, Garlock (and more), attend a family reunion. We will honor Blair and Maxine Stevens as they celebrate their 74th Wedding Anniversary.

These families have lived the Oregon Trail, the Apple Industry of Washington State, the building of Grand Coulee Dam, and the "Lady Of The Lake" tourist boat on Lake Chelan. There are some fascinating folks in this bunch. Hopefully, this Blog will share some of them and their adventures.

On Sunday, I will drive to Adrain, Oregon, where I hope to visit with Ed and his Son, Lee for the night. On Monday, plan to drive to Rawlings, Wyoming, where Ed's wife, Betty lives and works all Winter as Librarian of the Rawlings School District. On Tuesday, I plan to drive to Denver, where my Motor Home awaits. (Help: MH needs a name...any suggestions).

I will spend the remainder of Tuesday and all day Wednesday, preparing the MH for the walk to Key West.

On Thursday, September 30, Jodi flies into Denver from PHOENIX, Arizona, to join me.

We plan to leave the Van, SAM, and SAM's Trailer in Denver. No, SAM will NOT complete the walk with me. She has served me well over very difficult terrain and deserves a rest. We have NOT, however seen the last of SAM. For the record, SAM is in excellent condition and could easily complete the walk to Key West.

On Friday, October 01, or Saturday, October 02, Jodi and I will drive in the Motor Home to the Game Reserve Lake 20 miles North of Lamar on Highway 287, the exact spot I walked to before Lamar ER events took me off the road. From there I / we will begin the completion of my walk from the Peace Arch to Key West.

Last evening, I attended a meeting of Squalicum Yacht Club. I was told by one sailing friend that they were amazed that I made it to EVERETT, Washington, 60 miles from Bellingham. Another said he considered my walk a success when I reached Mount Hood, Oregon. Guess there remain those who doubt I will ever see Key West. Perhaps I will not see Key West, but be certain... what lies BEHIND me has been a fantastic experience.. Us Seniors should be proud of what we can do when we set our mind to it.

Now, lets get out onto the road and silence the remaining doubting Thomas's.

Got a feeling, we ain't seen nothing yet.

2 comments:

Barbara said...

Hi Bruce-
Sorry we missed last night's meeting. Barbee leaves this a.m. for Chicago to see son, daughter in law but mostly Noah (age 6) and Sophia (age 20 months.) It has been an overwhelming couple of weeks for Barbee as it has been her Jewish High Holy Days. We keep up with you on this sight and follow along with you. You MUST take care of yourself first and foremost for we love you!!!!
Barbee, Larry and Sailor, the cat!

Melissa Keith said...

Hi Bruce,
I'm so glad to hear that you've picked up a motorhome AND a travel partner! The walk should go much more smoothly from now on. You should be able to eat better too with the new motorhome! I love reading your updates!

Don't know if you know or not, but Thane and I are currently traveling in Turkey. We probably won't be back to B'ham until about March or so. When do you think you'll be back?

Check out our facebook for pics or our blog for what we've been up to, if you want :-)