We pulled into the driveway at 5:30 pm, Saturday, October 23, 2010.
SAM has been on the road for a very long time. She wheeled herself out from under the Peace Arch on April 20, 2010, with great expectations and excitement from friends and media. 6 months (less 3 days) later, she has returned. SAM has not been allowed to complete her promised journey to Key West - yet.
But as a famous American General once said..."I Shall Return..."
Failure is NOT easy to endure or to accept. Failure has NOT been the fault of SAM. SAM has performed flawlessly from day one until reaching Lamar, Colorado in September. SAM, the darling of the media and many passersby, has guided ME across Deserts, over Mountains, and through Plains. SAM has done everything asked of her. SAM has been a good companion.
Now, SAM is Home.
Discovery Channel recently made it clear that their interest in our SAM & ME walk was SAM. I remember when I walked into VALE, Oregon (without SAM), I went entirely un-noticed. The next day, Jay Brown, pushing his cart, entered Vale to considerable excitement and media coverage...why...because Mr. Brown gave a message..."support our Bill of Rights and Constitution" (He changed into "Period Costume" before entering Vale)..and he was pushing his cart.
Message: Interest is NOT in the walker. Interest is the manner in which the walker is walking.
In our case, the "cart" and Period Costume.
SAM & ME did not set out to gain interest or notoriety. We simply wanted to walk...and walk we have done.
We are followed by many, who read our Blog; who stop on the highways of America to say "Hi" and express support and who offer their Home and Table to SAM & ME. We cannot express our appreciation enough. Our walk has become much more than a simple walk. We have assumed a responsibility to the many of folks who have been touched by an Old Man and his Cart trekking across America.
In retrospect, I regret not continuing alone with SAM. I made a mess of our walk by introducing the Van, the Motorcycle, the trailer(s), and a "driver". I tried to make our walk enjoyable instead of facing the challenges head on.
It is true that I needed the Van to return to Bellingham regularly to take care of my Company responsibilities (thank you, Raleigh for your valuable help). It is also true that introducing the Van was a detriment to our walk. It became a confused, inefficient, and compromised trek taking away from our initial goal...to WALK.
Well, all that is now behind us. We have proven SAM's ability. We have proven ME's ability. We have together WALKED many miles. We do not wish to offer excuses or self-criticism.
Our Company is now Gone. So, regrettably, is our $$ reserve.
SAM is, however, in superb condition, ready to go. ME is also in superb condition...not a single blister or pulled muscle over 2,000 miles of walking...and ready to go.
Many have said that in spite of not yet reaching Key West, SAM & ME have already succeeded in going farther, faster, safer, and more interestingly than any have imagined. That may be so, but we have cheated...we did not do it alone...we brought in support vehicles which compromised us. With the Company gone, we no longer require the Van. We can, just the two of us, WALK to Key West.
SAM & ME have learned a lot in the past 6 months. We have proved (during the first month or so) that the two of us can walk efficiently, safely, and comfortably. We also very much enjoyed the personal contact from new friends and supporters. This was lost when we introduced the Van, Motorcycle & Trailers and Driver.
I am certain many looked upon our "support" vehicles as a necessary element for this Old Man to achieve a successful walk. Psychologically, perhaps to ME, it was. In retrospect, however, SAM & ME got along just fine before "support" vehicles came along.
We will begin again very soon, SAM & ME.
Then, We Shall See.