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Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Today is the first day of the fourth Month since SPIA, SAM & ME walked from under the Peace Arch at the USA / CANADIAN border at Blaine, Washington. Looking to the West, I see snow covered mountains. On the other side of those winter playgrounds lies Los Angeles and San Diego, California. Never did I envision I would actually walk to Los Angeles...and yet, here I stand gazing at a most incredible sight after nearly 1,600 mile trek (say 2,500 miles if counting doubling). I am humbled. My heart is in my throat. I am at the intersection of US Highway 395 and Bear Valley Road. To reach my immediate goal, Key West, Florida, I must hang a left on Bear Valley Road and endure another 2,000 miles of American Wild West...endless deserts until reaching the Mississippi River. I am also humbled to realize that hundreds around the Globe who have joined me through the magic of the Internet, are within 3 - 4 hours after completing my 6 - 10 hour daily walk, seeing, reading about, and in their imagination, enjoying the sights on the screens before them...just as though they themselves had walked that 6 - 10 hours. I have done some pretty exciting things in my life...but, none more satisfying as that which I now do. Springing from the Mojave Desert are row upon row of new homes. Some are available for far less than $100,000.00.

Freeways come and go following Section Lines cutting through the once hostile environment of endless desert. Each intersection offers a wide selection of modern conveniences...motels, Restaurants, and yes, even Truck Stops...some, however, are empty and quiet...victims of our economic times.

This vacant Truck Stop is a welcome resting place for all kinds of vehicles. The local township, Adelanto prohibits any truck from stopping to park with the City Limits...which for some strange reason reaches far into the desert. Perhaps, staking their claim for the future.

A small shopping center along US Highway 395. A mile away, endless number of new homes fill the horizon in all directions. In Adelanto, California, the desert is no more.

A street in Adelanto, California...leads...of course, out into the desert.

Actually, there is a rather large military Air Base next to town. Big four-engine planes are coming and going all day long.

So close together, I fantasized as I walked by these "project" homes, that one could run through the entire neighborhood without ever touching the ground...the roofs are so close as to be an easy jump from one to the next.

A welcome "curve" in a neighborhood street.

Not allowed to stop in town, US 395 is lined for miles with parked trucks. I spoke to one driver...he said he had reached the 11 hours of driving allowed by law...he was stopping to sleep for 8 hours before he could continue again.

Progress is rampant in this "City" of Adelanto, California. Just look at the many modern roadways which go off into the Desert.

I must apologize for today. I made a decision after reading John's CNN editorial, that I would NO MORE walk double. I will walk to Key West, all right, but on my terms. I walked North on US 395 for 5 miles and returned to SPIA...count 10 miles. Then I walked South on US 395 for another 5 miles and returned to SPIA...another 10 miles. I did not attempt to hitch a ride.

And you know what ... I felt good about it.

Then the roof fell in.

I asked a friend in Bellingham to try to find the local "Brooks" walking shoe dealer in VCTORVILLE, CALIFORNIA. He did so, giving me the phone number and address. I called them 5 times this answer. Then I drove out Bear Valley Road into VICTORVILLE, some 6 miles from US 395. Using the GPS, I drove directly to the store...and does not exist.

In my eagerness to find the proper building - a part of a small Mall - I drove SPIA into a parking space not noticing the low-hanging tree. It promptly ripped the roof-rail right out of SPIA, leaving gaping holes.

I have spent the rest of today finding materials and rebuilding the rail and SPIA's roof. I just hope my workmanship is OK to hold back the rain which is certain to start again any moment.

As usual, my efforts were with make-do materials...I am not a body-shop trained guy...but then, much of the infrastructure of my walk has been created from a little of this and a bit of that. Lack of proper funds does that. Glory be we have successfully come as far as we have.

Like the fliers of the B-17 Flying Fortress of World War II...we proceed on "a wing and a prayer"

DAILY REPORT: Walked 20 miles this morning...goofed off gluing SPICA back together the rest of the day.

SEE YOUR IMPACT.ORG: Credit 20 miles @ $0.02 per mile = $0.40 for the day.

SPIA, SAM & ME are parked for the night in the parking lot of the Auto Zone on Bear Valley Road in APPLE VALLEY, CALIFORNIA. In the morning, I will walk back West on Bear Valley Road toward US 395, and return to SPIA...then we are off to the East on Highway 18 towards TWENTYNINE PALMS and PHOENIX.

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