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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

POST 539: OUTER BANKS, NORTH CAROLINA

SPIA and I have been resident in the Outer Banks, North Carolin a for about two months. Arriving in mid November, many hundreds of readers followed along daily. We are now down to less than 100 "followers".

This is not surprising. Dozens of vehicles each day pass by as I muck about in SR 12 ditches, helping recovery from Hurricane IRENE - back in September 2011 -. Not much of interest in that endeavor...passing by a smelly filthy old man displaying elbows and ass h...e...how many ways can one find interesting words about THAT !

...and boring boring must be adventures in the Food Bank...seen one - seen 'em all...not in this case, tho; P. Steve and family are something special.

There MUST be something of on-going interest out here on the Outer Banks in the dead of winter. I keep trying !

Today completed a full year since setting out from the Peace Arch in Blaine, Washington on the 10th anniversary of Cri's death - January 12, 2001 - to circumnavigate the United States on foot. So far as I can discover, we have already walked farther than anyone in history - nearly 12,000 miles - crisscrossing the USA...leaving a "show and tell" trail for all to follow.

Truthfully, I am becoming comfy. Among the misery of those who have lost so much in 2011...here in the Outer Banks and all across America...I have discovered a new and satisfying avocation...helping those with a heck of a lot less than me.

Nonetheless, we - SPIA and I - are only 5 - 6 weeks from heading North to the St. Lawrence river via Burlington, Vermont...then points West back to 360 / 0 degrees; i.e., the Peace Arch.

There is so very much I have not shared as to how come I find myself out here. So many times, I have actually written it into this blog...only to put it on "hold" and then, punch "DELETE".

For now, please allow me to share some more details:

Yesterday, I commandeered some stray Trash Cans along SR 12, into which I stuffed a number of piles of my prior policing trash. Great satisfaction to observe that a number of others have joined me in gathering up many of my "piles" of trash. Since yesterday was a bright sunny day, I attacked another 1/4 mile or so of SR 12, clearing the side of the highway to the border between the villages of Rodanthe and Waves. Only about 2 more miles to go.

I received a "reward" in late afternoon...Jeanette, of Hatteras RV Park in Waves, allowed me to use their washer and dryer...the only ones available for many miles...to do my laundry...Thank you...

A current pic of the Food Bank with "clients" picking up food.

Locals passing through the Food Pantry, selecting items on display and from the freezers - at the far end of the room.

I try not to include recognizable folks in my posting...not that they would object...just a kindness making me feel more comfy.

Someone dropped off a couple large boxes of new and slightly used clothing. At the end of the day, most items had been selected and removed. The remainder went into the trash.

There were some very nice clothing items on display...all at no cost.

Leaving the Peace Arch on March 20, 2010 - nearly two years ago, I have walked nearly 12,000 miles in my five pair of Brooks shoes. I have contacted the factory more than once...speaking at length with a representative...asking if I may have directions where to purchase additional new shoes...

Brooks has not given me the courtesy of a reply !

I must say, however, that each of my five pair of Brooks have at least 2,000 miles of tough walking on them. The only wear is at the toe...where the sharp macadam cuts through the sole as I push off. Two times I have re-surfaced the toes of my five pair of Brooks. Thought it might be interesting to share how I have managed with the repair.

The above photograph shows shoes I purchased - gifted by my Nephew, Danny - in Phoenix, Arizona. The toe is nearly worn thru...the rest of the shoe is virtually like new.

This is the "mate" to the previous photograph. It shows the remnant of the previous patch I applied somewhere in Florida a few months ago.

In Phoenix, Dan actually gifted me two pair. This shoe is from the second pair.

Three heavy duty clamps hold a piece of leather firmly in place on the toe of the shoe.

This is the "mate" to the previous photograph...I applied the "patch" two days ago, taking the clamps off only this morning.


The "patch" is glued in place using J-B Weld two-part epoxy. I mix a small batch in the plastic cap of a water bottle, mix with a mini-screwdriver, and apply to the worn toe.

The clamps hold the glued patch firmly in place for 48 hours.

I have to repair all five pair before continuing our walk. Each repaired shoe is good for about 1,000 miles before the sharp macadam stones wear away the patch...then I must repair it all over again.

I keep wondering why Brooks Shoes refuse to respond to me. I imagine getting 2,000 + miles on a single pair of shoes is a bit uncommon.

Would be nice to have a new pair, but I cannot yet afford them...even if I could find a store which carried them. I have stopped in dozens of shoe stores...they are NOT all that popular...a pity !

In addition to receiving Christmas gifts from my new found friends, Pastor Steve and Karen, here on the Outer Banks, I received a gift box of Biscotti from one of my "old" customers, Martine Berliere. Martine, of Greenport, Long Island, New York (near the Hamptons), manufactures one of the finest Biscotti I have ever tasted.

Many years ago...seems like two lifetimes ago, Cri and I sailed our Beneteau racing / cruising yacht from our Stamford, Connecticut marina East to and through the "Race" of Long Island Sound...hanging a right around Plum Island, thence into Gardiner Bay, East around Shelter Island and thence into the the marina at Greenport.

We backed our yacht, TICINO into the long slip, and were invited by Martine and her (then) husband to visit their business.

Martine had, for over 25 years, been my client...and friend.

Referring to the photograph:

The hard-bottom bag is manufactured in a suburb of Lyon, France...one of my most favorite cities, which I have visited many dozens of times...often, riding the TGV Bullet Train from Paris or Geneva to Lyon.

The ribbon is an "instant bow" ribbon, originally developed and patented by a Swiss company in in the 1920s in the small village of Breitenbach, a few kilometers South of Basel, Switzerland.

Kurt Hagenbuch, owner of the factory, was for many years considered a personal friend...Cri and I trading visits to Breitenbach with Kurt and his wife visiting our home in White Plains, New York.

Martine may be contacted at 631-477-6145 or on the net: biscotteria@optonline.net

It is 9:00 pm at the moment...raining and blowing stink. In the morning, I have opted to clean the outside of all windows of the Food Bank / Church. At 11:00 am, Malinda has scheduled a work party to clean up the "back" of the property...still a bit of a mess from Hurricane IRENE.

Friday is another Food Pantry day.

Looking forward to receiving a call from Wachese (town of) where our new "basket" for the front of SPIA is being manufactured. Plan to drive to Wachese to have it installed...then another 50 miles West to visit Karen and Craig - and the boys - in Columbia.

In a few days, I am volunteered to begin painting the inside of the new home of Barbara and her hubby. Will also help lay fired floor tile throughout the entire home.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to "winter-over" here on the Outer Banks. It will be difficult - emotional - to move on !

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