Follow by Email


Sunday, December 29, 2013


One week since being discharged from the hospital after having two stents inserted into heart arteries.  Been instructed to not lift or move anything over 10 pounds to avoid damaging the surgery entry points.  Two incisions were made next to my scrotum where instruments and the stents entered the arteries...then fed along the pipes all the way into the heart, some 4 feet away.  Kinda neat maneuver.  I was released within 12 hours of completing the operation(s).

So far, no problems.  Have been packing up clothes, books, and other small items.  Will take them to my new storage unit in Ferndale, Washington, in a couple days.  The big items such as bed, couch, recliner, bookcase, etc. will be taken to storage on Wednesday by a truck I will rent from U&-Haul.  I will then spend a day or two cleaning, scrubbing floors, and shampooing carpets with my carpet cleaner.  Other residents have told me that current management brags about confiscating the 500.00 "damage deposit" when residents move out.  I must have my deposit returned in full, so will take great care in cleaning up before I leave.

The hospital has set up a internet access to monitor my medical status as I progress on my next walk.  I really look forward to that communication, as in the past, I always walked "blind", with no technical awareness of how I was doing, except for my own non-technical observations; which limitations got me into difficulties more than once.   I will take various tests and feed the results back to my Doctor / Nurse, including reactions to changing medications along the way.

Today, I broke down and took SAM out for a 2-hour walk and roll through the hills of Bellingham.  Except for being a bit short of breath the first 15 minutes or so, the ole' body performed without complaint or pain.

Have received e-mail from my New Zealand friends Rory and wife Molly, who have been "homeless by choice" and walking / camping for some 12 years.  They intend to arrive in Los Angeles in early March 2014, to commence a 2-year walk throughout the USA.  I will be arriving in Los Angeles area approximately March 2014.  It is a possibility that we can meet up for a bit.  I look forward to that.

My lease says I must vacate the apartment on Wednesday, January 01, 2014.  Because of the restriction to my movements imposed by the hospital, I hope the management will allow me an extra 2 - 3 days so I can complete move-out and clean-up.  Otherwise, they my scarf up my $500.00 deposit.

We shall see.

I am anxious to walk and roll SAM & ME down the roadways once again.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Like turning to a new chapter, Christmas Day greeted me with the realization that I can no longer be so cavalier about treatment received from hospitals.  In 1995, a heart attack left me with little or no awareness that anything unusual had happened.  19 years later, it nearly visited me again.

Evolving over the past 4 years, my purpose for extreme walking has settled into the comfy niche of promoting awareness of the LYMPHATIC SYSTEM.

In 1991, upon learning of the "terminal" nature of Breast Cancer placed on Cri's shoulders, I asked myself why...then what could I do for her.  Attacking numerous internet and printed volumes I came across the words..."...and kills cancer cells.".   I was reading a text about the Lymphatic System within our own bodies...a complete system within us which at the same time controls movement of WATER and comprises the major part of our bodily IMMUNE SYSTEM.

Never before hearing about such a thing within my own body, I quickly learned that the Lymphatic System is a system similar to our blood circulatory system...series of pipes - large and small - reaching into every measure of our body.  Whereas the blood CIRCULATORY system carries nutrients to the innumerable cells throughout our body - pushed along by a pump, our Heart, the Lymphatic System is a ONE WAY system: collecting interstitial fluids (excess water) from the far reaches of our body cavity, transporting it through the Lymph Pipes back towards the center (Heart).

More activities of the Lymphatic System can be discussed.  FIRST and paramount must be clearly understood that:  the Lymphatic System Has NO Pump.  The fluids cannot therefore move within the Lymph Pipes.  To be able to move the fluids, the sides of the Lymph Pipes must be squeezed by muscle groups lining the Lymph Pipes throughout our body...much like squeezing toothpaste through a tube.

We all recall receiving the admonition to ..."get up and walk...".  I do not recall anyone ever telling me why !

OK, so we can now recover and move the Lymph Fluids about our body.  Much of this fluid will be processed by major organs...much of that excreted as "pee".

But something else is going on in our Lymphatic System:  within our Lymphatic System reside countless LYMPH NODES.  Within our Lymph Nodes are produced White Blood Cells (also produced within our Bone Morrow).  White Blood Cells are the essence of our IMMUNE SYSTEM.  

Together with Interstitial liquids, our Lymphatic System sucks up any intruders which may have found their way into our bodies, including toxins, viruses, bacteria, etc.  not to forget CANCER CELLS adrift throughout our bodies.  These - and many more - elements are transported together with the Lymphatic Fluids through our body by means of the Lymphatic System. 

As Lymphatic Fluids are passed through our Lymphatic Pipes, they also migrate through our LYMPH NODES, wherein lie in wait, our White Blood "Immune" Cells.

A challenge is given out by our Immune Cells to passing intruders:  FRIEND OR FOE  !

Friends are allowed to pass through the Lymph Nodes.  FOE's are instantly attacked and KILLED.

OK:  So much more is going on with our Lymphatic System...but the above is the essence of my interest.

Please be clear:  I am not trained in medicine of any type.  I share here that which I have discovered (or been satisfied of) for myself. This is what I have done with this knowledge:

Christiane was given a short time to live.  Together Cri and I began to message each other.  My desire was to put into action the benefits of the Lymphatic System.  Cri was already versed and trained in REFLEXOLOGY.  Together, we evolved a system whereby we messaged each other's body for at least five hours each day, every day.  This continued FOR FIVE YEARS !

By that time, Cri was without outward signs of cancer.  Cri, alone, sailed our ocean-going yacht into the cold lonely San Juan Islands.  

I then...and now...attribute Christians survival to our dedicated efforts to activate her Lymphatic give her body the chance to do what it was designed to do...KEEP HER HEALTHY. 

One morning at the breakfast table, Cri told me that she would like me to leave...she wanted to continue her fight against cancer alone.  Devastated, I rationalized that it was she who had cancer...not I..  Only she could decide how to fight it.  I left my home, my wife, my yacht, and all my personal possessions.  I fought off a heart attack a few weeks later, continuing the next 15 years to take care of my Lymphatic System.

On January 12, 2001, Cri passed away.

In 2009, I decided I could promote awareness of the benefits of walking...especially by older people - I will be 80 years old in a few months.  Paramount to my good health has been stimulation of the Lymphatic System.  Leading among activities to stimulate my Lymphatic System has been WALKING.

Fascinating is discovery that my recent bout in the hospital was directly caused by my four-month layoff from my current walk across America.  In North Dakota, I curtailed my walk for some weeks due to damage to my left leg tendon.  This interruption led to stopping all together the final 1,000 miles to The Peace Arch.  

According to the Surgeon who treated my inability to breathe, my lungs filled with interstitial water; my Heart, being too weak  to pump the excess water out of my lungs, my breathing stopped.  His explanation was that if I had not been walking so actively for so many years, the breathing problem would have surfaced much sooner. 

Subsequent medication apparently drained off the excess water through the kidney.

This whole sequence is a fuzzy explanation - at least to me -, but I will work it out.

One more good thing to come from my experience from this week's hospitalization:  it is clear to me that the hospital has taken it upon themselves to "take my hand".

Mary Wright, RN, Case Manager with the Northwest Regional Council, assigned to me by the hospital, spent many hours in my apartment last night  - CHRISTMAS EVE  - going over numerous hospital-generated documents and discussing how I was going to become primary participant in my own health program as SAM and ME proceed.

...OH, and good news:  I have re-gained my AARP SUPPLEMENTAL Insurance - at $120.00 / month.  Together with MEDICARE, which is deducted from my Social Security $$ by Uncle Sam, I need not bother with the provisions of OBAMACARE.


Monday, December 23, 2013


Yesterday, Sunday, December 22, 2013, I was released from the hospital.  

I checked myself into ER on Thursday, being unable to breathe while lying down.  ER determined that there was considerable "water" in my lungs, with the heart not being strong enough to pump it out; i.e., the heart was producing at only 30% efficiency.

Further tests - electronic and psychical - determined that of the six arteries making up the heart itself, two were inoperable from the 1995 heart attack; two were currently nearly plugged with plaque; and two arteries seemed to be OK for duty.

A procedure was run on the two nearly plugged arteries, resulting in insertion of two "stents" inside the arteries, designed to hold the artery open to allow blood to flow into the heart.

(That means that in 1995, no attempt was made to treat the arteries damaged by the 1995 heart attack).

How do I feel?   A bit tentative!  When I was wheeled out of the hospital, my right knee was VERY sore....and I had been suffering from a headache since returning from the operating theater the evening before.  Upon driving myself home yesterday, sight in both eyes blurred...and I felt weak and unsteady on my feet...could I have suffered a concussion???

I welcomed an invitation to a wonderful dinner - I was very hungry from not eating yesterday.

This morning, Monday, December 23, the knee is VERY sore to bend.  The headache is gone. Eyes are somewhat impaired - I see floating images ... some even revolving...images that are not there ! 

While being transferred from the "trolley" to the operating table, an inflatable rubber bladder was quickly (I mean instantly) inflated under my body; my body was vaulted into the air, it was grabbed by the two attendants and "floated" onto the operating table...only this time, they overshot, my body coming to rest half way down the far side of the table leg with the attendant's body catching mine.  I wonder if I was later dropped again, injuring my knee and bumping by head..

The "operation" itself seems to have gone well...I can breathe just fine once again.  I question, however...: "where  did all that water come from"...and where did it go .

Since I am not allowed to lift more than 10 pounds, final move from my apartment must wait 10 days.  This will make SAM and ME late in leaving the apartment - must move a few heavy things to storage across town - any event, the injured leg will not support the extra weight for a few days either.

Bellingham has experienced a bit of cold wet snow, followed by a few days of sleet-like rain .  

Assuming the leg heals, SAM and ME should be on our walk and roll by January 5 or 6.

Friday, December 13, 2013





In 1814, the Peace Arch was built straddling the border of the United States and Canada at the western end of the nearly 3,000 mile border...the longest undefended border in the world.  The walk and roll of SAM and ME begins and ends at this Peace Arch.  Our first departure was March 20, 2010.   Yesterday, December 12, 2013, became our fourth departure, which will see SAM and ME circumnavigating the entire lower 48 states...a walk and roll of some 10,000 miles, returning us to the Peace Arch in a mid 2015.

This roadway, Portal Way, begins at the Peace Arch and ends near Bellingham, Washington, some 32 miles distant to the South.  Yesterday, SAM and ME walked Portal Way for some 20 miles, having already walked a couple weeks ago some 26 miles.  Between now and January 01, 2014, we will continue to walk short chunks south of Bellingham.  On January 01, we begin our quest in earnest with our first major destination being San Francisco, some 900 miles distant.  We plan to cross the Golden Gate Bridge on or about Valentine Day, February 14, 2014.

The border town of Blaine, Washington is the start of Portal Drive...which is "old 99" highway, travelling from mid Canada, across Central America, and ending near the tip of South America

From Portal Way (Avenue), Blaine Marina sends SAM and ME off on our first mile from the Peace Arch.

Please say HELLO to Sally.  Sally, driving her pickup truck, stopped to send SAM and ME on our way.

Sally lives in Ferndale, some 10 miles from Blaine.  She is employed at the Blaine, Marina.  Sally is the first of many new friends SAM and ME will meet along the roadways as we circle America..  In addition to my first HUG, Sally slipped into my hand, two twenty dollar bills...her donation to help supplement our travel funds.

Our saga is financed only by our Social Security $$...and donations here and there.  Thank you, Sally.

Main street (Portal Way) in downtown Blaine, Washington.

The Peace Arch, standing tall astride the USA / CANADA Border.



Please say HELLO to June.  June met SAM and ME some three years ago, as we began our first walk from the Peace Arch.  June works at Peace Arch Park...yesterday, she was pruning bushes in the light drizzle.  She remembered SAM and ME and has been a regular reader of our blog as we completed the first 3 + years crossing America 5 times coast to coast walking and rolling some 19,000 miles.

See you in a couple years, June...


Please say HELLO to George and his puppy Biscuit.  George lives near Peace Arch Park, where he walks daily with his dog.  George has completed many long distance walks in the recent - and not so recent years...keeps us healthy, says George.

On patrol round the clock are Border Police.  

Please say HELLO to Mark.  Before leaving Blaine to return to Bellingham, stopped in the Blaine Bakery and Coffee Shop for a snack and cuppa.  Mark, sitting with his friend at the next table, inquired as to what I was doing...and joined in a conversation about walking after retirement.  It is for folks like yourself, Mark, that SAM and ME are out walking...offering "awareness" of our Lymphatic System...the Immune System of our bodies, which is in need of daily exercise to keep us healthy from all manner of disease.

A waterfront private home in Blaine.

Please say HELLO to John.  John is the owner of a local Convenience Store / Gas Station, where SAM and ME stopped in on our walk and roll to the Peace Arch...and again on our way back to Bellingham.  As I walked into his business on our return from Blaine, he confessed that he had searched the internet, found our blog, and shared with other customers that SAM and ME are for real...

SAM and ME made a half dozen new friends today...and we were on the road for only five hours.  

Good start for our new walk across and around America.

Goodies in our apartment are slowly being packed into boxes and / or given to others.  We should have no problem to put items into long-term storage...ready to spend our last night sleeping on the floor of our apartment on New Years Eve.

At daybreak of New Years Day, 2014, SAM and ME will be on our way.

Did you know that our white blood cells - immune cells within our Lymphatic System, actually KILL Cancer Cells...  


Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Along the shores of Puget Sound lie dozens of communities - large and small - within one of the finest micro climates of the world...affording year-round out door activities for millions of residents and visitors from VANCOUVER and VICTORIA, B.C., CANADA in the north to SEATTLE-TACOMA, WASHINGTON in the south.

The village of EDMONDS, WASHINGTON is situated on a rather steep hillside facing west overlooking the cold pristine waters of Puget Sound...the magnificent OLYMPIC MOUNTAINS - with 10 year-round glaciers and extensive rain forest providing a breathtaking backdrop.  It was in Edmonds that SAM and ME participated in a 11 km walk sponsored by SOUND STEPPERS Volkssport Club, one of dozens of active organizations providing activities for members and guests in virtually every conceivable interest imaginable.

A few photographs of our 2-hour walk through and around Edmonds are offered below:

Over my left shoulder is one of the many super ferries plying Puget Sound.

Above photo is a rather large MONKEY TREE...each branch a replica of a monkey tail.

Christmas Decorations are already adorning Edmond's Chamber Of Commerce.

Two members of SOUND STEPPERS cross in front of one of the many MURALS painted on buildings of downtown Edmonds.

Downtown Edmonds.  

Edmonds Boardwalk MURAL.

Rising from Edmond's waterfront, this picturesque country road reaches I-5 and the Pan-American Highway of "old 99", beginning in northern Canada and ending deep within South America.

Edmonds, Washington is a people's town.  Each neighborhood offers LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES, where books are available at all times...take a book at no cost...leave a book for the next visitor.

Lots of hills in Edmonds.  SAM and ME barely kept up with the last of the 50-something walkers on this cool overcast day- with a bit of drizzle to make us feel at home -


We have submitted our written notice that as of December 31, 2013, we will move out of our apartment.   I have experienced many "closures"; i.e., moving on...leaving loved ones behind...stepping out once again into the unknown.  This time, however, I am wrestling with thoughts of;  this may be our final "home".

My mantra...over the next hill...around the next corner...awaits something - awaits someone; keep SAM and ME walking and rolling forward.

Much of what little remains...a few books, a bed, couple chest of drawers, a swing recliner, a gorgeous leather couch - a "love" gift from E, glass kitchen table with 4 chairs; crystal - china - sterling - home-crafted clothing ("love gifts" from Cri ), and about 15 pair of shoes and boots...;  many treasures being set aside, being offered to "others".

SAM and ME will walk and roll from Bellingham on January 01, 2014.  Our detailed route has been selected to circumnavigate the Rocky Mountains - counterclockwise.  Upon further consideration, we have also detailed a route which once again circumnavigates the entire "lower 48" states...this time on the roadways on the extreme edge of our country.

When SAM and ME leave Phoenix, Arizona - about March 01, 2014, we will decide which route we will take.  Which ever we choose, reaching a "destination" is no longer an objective.  Being a long-time sailor, I know the real value of any endeavor is the excitement of EACH DAY...of each new look into the eyes and heart of the next wild animal to step before me and mentally converse...

For the first time, SAM and ME will have available to us, our full $$ Social Security - except for cost of "enforced": insurance and $150.00/month cost for our computer and cell.  By judicious budgeting, we will be able to finance our "unending" walk.  We will take SPIA-2 (our 1995 Mazda MPV - with 262,000 miles), making SPIA-2 our "home" for the foreseeable future.

We would very much like to align with a "cause", promoting Cancer, MS, Arthritis, or some such.  I cannot, however, bring myself to ask for donations, knowing (having researched the subject) that up to 90% of $$ donations are, nearly always, retained by the organizers instead of the donations reaching those for whom the donations are intended.  We will, instead, continue to promote "awareness" ... firstly to our own LYMPHATIC SYSTEM...the center of our body immune system and caretaker of our bodily health;  such as:  Awareness that one in 1,000 of us have even heard of our Lymphatic System and have no idea where it is, what it does, let alone understand that we must make DAILY efforts to make our Lymphatic System function.

To the best of our ability, we will continue to blog daily.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I once had a dream of standing on a stage before a screaming multitude...I woke with a start and a serious question.  Not as to how I came to be standing before thousands of people, curious as though that was, but perplexed as how I came to possess knowledge of the things I was sharing...speaking about things I had never before known.

Yesterday, SAM and ME were stopped on the roadway while out for our walk.  Naomi, shading her eyes with her hands, wrapped in an expensive cashmere winter coat, would not have been out of place in Hollywood... peering between spread fingers, asked if I was the same person she read about...was I that person who was walking all over America pushing SAM.

I assured Naomi that this was indeed SAM...say HELLO SAM...and that she may have come across some media effort written in the past few years.  Naomi shared that she and her daughter once walked across America...she part way...and her daughter all the way to Washington D.C.

Naomi also shared that she, over the years, traveled much of the world...including some years as a dancer in a CAN CAN troupe from the MOULIN ROUGE touring southern Europe during the mid 1950's.

Did you now, I exclaimed;  I too toured Italy for many weeks as a member of a MOULIN ROUGE troupe...all 13 girls and me, performing in Naples, Rome, Venice, Milano, and, and...

Naomi reached out for me, swept me into her arms,...I would like to hug she squeezed me tighter and a bit longer than she probably should.  You must stop in - I am in apartment 203 over there (pointing at my next door building).  I think we have much to talk about;  but, not right away as I have appointments this week to have operations on both my eyes...nearly blind you see.

A couple days ago I came across a very upsetting news item...seems the U.S. Navy wanted to divest itself of one of it's oldest Aircraft Carriers...namely, the USS FORRESTAL.  The FORRESTAL is an historic ship in that it was the first SUPERCARRIER built in early 1950's.  The FORRESTAL was "sold" last week to a company in New England...sold, in that the US Navy gave to the company the sum of $ take the ship away and cut it up for scrap.

The FORRESTAL saw service during the Viet Nam War, during which it was nearly destroyed by a fire storm set off when one of the fighter aircraft on board loosed off a live rocket which exploded in a group of other aircraft waiting to take off.  USS FORRESTAL was rebuilt, but never again fired a shot in anger.

The FORRESTAL was also known (to few, to be sure) for playing host to a MOULIN ROUGE Troupe. The entire troupe, including Yours Truly, gave a memorable performance inside the Hangar Deck while the ship lay at anchor in the harbor of Naples, Italy.  (A video was made of our performance, which was later broadcast to the Carrier's Task Force...would love to obtain a copy of that video!).

and what, you may ask, has that to do with anything...

It was on board the USS the cavernous Hangar Deck that I, mike in hand, together with 13 gorgeous CAN CAN dancers and fully nude girls gave our memorable performance before 5,000 screaming Sailors.

My prophetic dream was realized.

and, yesterday, Naomi walks into my life, once again bringing distant memories to life.

Today is Thanksgiving Day.  Sitting alone in my apartment, recalling the many moments for which I have been so thankful, I felt like sharing a moment or two with you.

Happy 2013 Thanksgiving Day.

* * * * * * * * * *

All Alone In This Huge Dome,
The Sea – Stars In The Sky,
My Tiny Ship… Silent… Sails On,
Memories Of Days Gone By;

Rich And Poor, Those Young And Old,
Have Been Mine To Share,
Hurt And Pain – Loss And Gain,
Often Lay My Soul Bare;

Faced With Love – Anger – Hate,
So Confused By It All,
Stars Beam Down  A Ray of Hope
And Strength To Stand Up Tall;

Despair … My Partner,
Takes Me By The Hand…
And Guides Me Through 
This Not So Promised Land;

I Struggle Up…I Face A Wall…
Again Lay My Soul Bare,
By The Grace Of God, I Make It Through …
Proof At Last…Proof I Care

What Becomes Of Me And Others Too
Is My Priority Number One,
To Leave This Place With Lightened Heart,
And A Job, I Pray - Well Done.

Composed February 1954

On a cold and stormy night on the 
North Pacific Ocean,
huddled between Fore-Deck Machinery 
of a Stinking Crowded Troop Ship

For and Dedicated to SAM

Monday, November 25, 2013



Planned route of SAM and ME beginning January 01, 2014, is shown in the color Orange.

We plan to begin walking and rolling counteer-clockwise at the USA / CANADA Border Crossing at the Peace Arch, Blaine, Washington...some 26 miles north of Belligham, Washington, with our first destination being Bakersfield, California, some 1,800 miles distant.

This route is approximately 4,500 miles.

Duration is approximately:   5.5 months = May 15, 2014

This route crosses two deserts and numerous mountain (Rocky and Cascade Mountain) passes reaching 7,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level.

SAM and ME will walk Solo:  That is, we will have NO support.

Because of the great variety of topography, temperatures, and long empty expanses - up to 100 miles - between civilization(s)...where supplies / shelters can be found, we have decided that SAM and ME will provide our own transportation; i.e., our 1995 MAZDA MPV will accompany us for the entire walk.

SAM  and my sleeping space fit nicely together inside our MPV - let's call her "SPIA-2" (Seniors Performing Incredible Acts -2).

Employing SPIA-2 will allow nightly protection, water, food, plenty of clothing, electricity at all times to operate our computer, and the knowledge that SPIA-2 will always be within a three-hour-walk away...absolutely critical in the event of injury somewhere out in the boondocks.

Since before 1900 a.d., approximately 185 walking / running crossings coast to coast have been recorded...with approximately 40 individuals completing 2 or more crossings.  SAM and ME have completed 4.75 crossings so far.  Upon completion of our next walk, we will have completed 6 + (or equivalent) crossings.

2.5 of my prior crossings included SPIA-1, our mini-Toyota Motor Home.  How, one might ask, can we both walk and drive a vehicle at the same time.  After some 2,000 miles of trial and error, we worked out this scheme:

     1.  Park SPIA at Point A.
     2.  Walk and Roll 10 miles which is half way to Point B.
     3.  Walk BACK to Point A (to fetch SPIA); completing 20 miles.
     4.  Drive SPIA with SAM on board to Point B and park.
     5.  Walk and Roll 5 miles, which is half way to Point C.
     6.  Walk and Roll BACK to Point B (to fetch SPIA); completing another 10 miles.
     7.  Drive SPIA (with SAM) to Point C...park for the night.

     This will complete one day's effort of 30 miles.

The next day, repeat the process.  Miles between Points will change depending on logistics and how efficient we walk and roll.  Steep hills (up or down) and inclement weather takes more time and effort.

It also happens that finding a safe place to park SPIA is difficult.  My guideline is that we be settled for the night one hour before sundown.

There is discussion going on with my landlord to find a way in which we could somehow maintain our apartment for the duration of this walk...something like 6 months.  Frankly, such a solution does not look good; i.e., SAM and ME are anticipating being homeless by the end of 2013.

SPIA-1      Our tiny motor home...circa 2011.

SPIA-1...with SAM riding on her platform...circa. 2011

Monday, November 18, 2013


A week or so ago, SAM and ME joined the walking group from Seattle making a 8 mile walk around Lake Union.  At the time, we took a number of photographs, but since our computer software was not available, images could not be uploaded.

We have now purchased a new LUMIX Panasonic DMC-Z525 camera...the third such camera we have used on our 3 + year trek.  This, then is our first effort to share images of our walk around Lake Union, Seattle, Washington...

Looking South across Lake Union with Seattle Center in the distance; the Space Needle to the right at the base of Queen Anne Hill.  Seaplanes take off and land near the shore line adjacent to the Space Needle.

Lake Union offers numerous excellent water side parks, through which trails and local residential and business streets afford safe scenic lake access to walkers.

Please say HELLO to John and his two "retired" greyhounds.  This is the second pair (brother and sister) John has adopted to share their retired years together.

The above scene is from the Government Canal looking under the Aurora Bridge - Old Highway 99, which runs from Canada into South America.  Beyond the Aurora Bridge, from which not too many years ago, a city bus with passengers aboard, crashed through the guard rails, falling to the ground, lies Lake Union.

From the Seaplane Terminal, the Space Needle rises some 600 + feet.  An observation level tops off the Needle, with a revolving restaurant at the next lower level.  From the base of the Space Needle begins the Monorail which carries tourists to mid-town Seattle...about 7 blocks from the world famous Farmer's Market...home of the "flying Salmon".

Historic Note:  Back in 1968, while on a business trip to a work site of a new dam  being built across the Snake River, my employer Star Iron and Steel, Tacoma, Washington, leased a Piper 210 twin engine aircraft.  Returning to Boeing Field - where the famous B-17 of WWII were built - I, occupying the right seat, was given control of the aircraft by the pilot after taking off from the sandy beach on the mid-river island.  We flew the 300 + miles through thick clouds crossing over Cascade mountains very near Mount Rainier - tallest volcano in the lower 48 states, guided by air traffic control.  I had no difficulty flying the plane...until reaching Seattle.  The pilot insisted I descend through the clouds - under radio control - and land the plane.

Coming out of the clouds, after making two 90 degree left turns to reach final approach, the Space Needle Restaurant windows appeared a bit to the left and above our altitude.

Yes, I did land the aircraft, greasing her onto the runway without a murmur.

A month later, we - two employees and myself - once again leased the same aircraft to fly to the Snake River Dam.  We did not make it.  We were very fortunate to survive the effort,...but that is a story for another day.

Another view of the  spectacular Aurora Bridge, from which the bus fell...after the driver lost control from being attacked by a passenger.

Today was a most beautiful day in Bellingham...heavy fog, about 45 F...light winds...and a continuous mist falling, thoroughly soaking the ground.  I went out two times...both times without a jacket...just like most locals...

One of my greatest pleasures; walking through the "liquid sunshine" so treasured in the pristine airs of the Pacific Northwest.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


An overcast misting Saturday morning in Bellingham, Washington.

Was looking forward to taking SAM for another long walk 'n roll today...up at 4:30 am, prepared breakfast of hot oat cereal with raisins and brown sugar, toast with jelly, and day-old coffee ... to not waste the coffee, each drop is drunk instead of being thrown out.

Eager as I am to be on our way, the ole' body has once again refused to cooperate.

Our 30 + mile "extreme" walk to the Peace Arch was pushed a bit by psychological luggage; i.e., I far exceeded my normal 4 mile per hour pace and walked twice my intended distance.  I know, a dumb thing to do...and I know better to push so hard after such a long lay-off recovering from injury.  So now, I must again pay the price.

A sharp piece of crushed gravel got into my right shoe, immediately cutting a deep blister into my heel..
To travel quickly, I stupidly lengthened my stride to a pace nearing 5 mph.  In doing so, I stretched the right foot tendons atop the third and fourth Metatarsels  (foot bones leading to the toes).  And, stretched the tendon over the left Patella (knee cap).

None of these injuries are severe and will heal quickly.  It does mean, however, that I must be very careful to avoid extenuating the injuries.  I can - and will - still walk with SAM, however, at a much reduced stress level and for only short durations.

The news that I cannot check out of my apartment lease until December 31, has all of a sudden, become important in that we now have an additional 4 weeks to heal and get the body fully prepared before setting out.

When first deciding  back in 2009 to walk across America, I took nearly a year in preparation; i.e., learning to walk.  The first few weeks of preparation resulted in repeated muscle / tendon injuries; each requiring up to 6 weeks to heal.  That year of learning to walk was well spent.  In the next 3 + years, I walked some 15,000 miles without a single injury...not even a blister.  The recent string of injuries began with my carelessness descending too quickly - holding SAM back - down the steep steep hill into Fort Ransom, North Dakota, compounded by continuing to walk another 300 miles across North Dakota before recognizing that I was in deep trouble.

Now that my body is somewhat healed, really was kinda dumb to push so hard a couple days ago...pushing much too hard and too soon; not allowing for the muscles and tendons to achieve the strength and flexibility to handle the extreme stresses of high performance walking.

Looking to our up coming walk route, we plan to head South from the Peace Arch on January 01, 2014, arriving at Bakersfield - some 1,800 miles distant - about March 01, 2014.  We then hang a left paralleling Interstate 40 until arriving at Interstate 25 at Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Our project at this moment, is to determine the "walking" route paralleling Interstate 40.  Highway maps do not include "back roads" in enough detail to identify suitable "walking" roads...and most states prohibit walking the Interstates

(Note:  Interstates are without question, the safest roadways to fact, the states of Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota  - there may be more - promote walking Interstates...on which SAM and ME have already walk 'n rolled thousands of miles).

 We have made a major addition to SAM.  An fully enclosed "room" has been added...a room affording temporary protection from inclement weather (rain, sun, etc.).  Using the light weight folding chair so graciously gifted by CJ,  my personal Columbia, North Carolina, Barber,  our new room becomes a treasured addition where I am protected while resting - even catching a cat-nap.

I can place my "kitchen" table - manufactured to my specifications by SIGNS BY TOMORROW, Bellingham, Washington, in our room which has direct access to SAM's food storage area(s) as well as providing a safe place to light off our tiny propane stove.

It has taken me three years to figure out this new room.  Two stout golf ball-retrieving telescoping poles integrally made a part of SAM's structure, form the framework to support lightweight waterproof plastic,  attached to and draped over a small portion of SAM...thence over the extended poles reaching 6 feet high, the plastic drops to ground level where tent pegs hold it in place.  A back panel snaps onto the ends of the poles, giving an effective "door".  The finished room is two feet wide by 6 feet high by 6 feet long.  The entire structure weighs about three pounds and is installed in a couple minutes.

Since SAM and ME will soon become "homeless", SAM is proving to be an interesting and convertible vehicle.

I am again looking to make SAM into a self-propelled vehicle...this time using a water-fueled "hydrogen" motor to provide electricity to power SAM's 36-VDC hub motor front wheel.   

We shall see....

Friday, November 15, 2013


Yesterday, I gave notice to my landlady ... notice that I would be leaving WOODROSE APARTMENTS as of December 01, only to be informed that I must give 20 day notice not later than the 10th of the month.  This means I have missed the train.  Next notice deadline  for month-end departure is December 10, with departure being December 31, 2013.

This is OK by me, as I no longer live by schedules.  Gives me another month to prepare for our walk 'n roll.

This past week SAM and ME have completed two rather long walk 'n rolls; one in Seattle with a local walking group around Lake Union, and yesterday a 30+ mile trek from the Peace Arch at the US/CANDA border crossing to Bellingham. 

The Lake Union walk brought back many memories, as it was my major playground in those early years in Seattle.  In 1942, I often "borrowed" the dinghy - tiny row boat - from a family friend Harold H. who lived (and parked his rather large motor yacht) in one of the well known boat houses  - Restless In Seattle - lining the lake shore.  Down the shoreline was - and still is - located the Seaplane terminal.  As a daring 7 year old, I found great sport to row Harold's dinghy onto the "air strip" where the planes took off and landed.  My goal was to row like crazy into the path of aircraft taking off....only once did I have to duck to avoid being hit by dripping pontoons roaring over my head.

Then too, was the huge sign board high on the side of Queen Ann Hill facing Lake Union where Aunt Patricia - Pat was 9 months older - and me would climb, sit on the work platform, watching cars and trucks traveling Highway 99 some 100 feet below our dangling legs... and the sea planes taking off and landing on the lake.  It was on that big billboard  in 1944, that Pat one day said we can't play you show me yours and I'll show you mine anymore...ending some of the most important lessons of my young life.  Some years before, Grandma caught Pat and me comparing notes while under the driveway bridge to their old Allentown home.  After being switched all the way into the house, Grandma took us into a private room, sat us down, and held an impromptu sex class.

My buddy Patricia, suffering from Arthritis for many years, died a few years back from the effects of countless surgical operations to replace virtually every joint in her body.  To the end, Pat and I remained close and in touch.  

Other things happened on Lake Union...among which was the discovery that Harold H. was sent away to the State Penitentiary in Walla Walla for child abuse...I somehow missed out on that.

So, this Saturday morning some 70 years later, I sit uncomfortably in front on my mini HP, ... uncomfortable from a very sore body not used to 8.5 hours SAM and ME spent on the roads  yesterday walking 'n rolling to and from the Peace Arch.

Just yesterday I received a telephone call from my dear friend, Karen, from Columbia, North Carolina.

The destination for SAM and ME in two weeks time, was to walk directly to the home of Karen and Craig.  Karen asked us to please NOT come.  After battling cancer for untold years, ..."I really do not have the strength for visitors...".

It was Karen's phone call that precipitated our long walk 'n roll yesterday.

Spending much time on the back roads of America, I recall the endless moments of my life and the many people I have loved...many who accompany me in spirit only.  I am, however, one to live for the moment.  Cherishing the past moments, I look to the next hill and curve in the endless roadway...I look to the next corner up ahead...knowing (and often proven) that incredible moments...incredible new "friends" await my arrival.

From time to time, I receive the opportunity to speak with / before groups.  One memorable moment, I was asked..."...of all the places you have been, what has been the most rewarding moment...?"

I considered this question for some months.  When again receiving the same question, I was ready:

..."This one...this moment that you have taken to come chat with me.  There has been / is no greater moment in my life than this moment we are spending together."

I now often repeat this moment.  For retired older people, many of whom have been left behind by their society, are shocked and reduced to tears...hearing that they are the most important moment in the life of a complete stranger.

As Karen said to me:  ..."It is as it is, Bruce...."

How can I not step out to meet these people.

I spend quite a lot of time these past 4 or so years with tears falling down my cheeks.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Believe it...once again we will do a short update. 

Walking:  In the past month, SAM and ME have completed 3 - 4 walks each week...each of 2 - 3 hours duration.  Left foot / leg still swells up a bit, but has no pain.

Medical:  Still experiencing difficulty breathing !  Seems to be associated with the long-standing intestinal problems I have experienced the past few years.  Unable to eliminate properly.  Have entered many ER (Emergency Room) in hospitals across the country including a recent 4-day stint IN the hospital, including X-ray and CT scan...all with NO determination of what is going on.  Swelling of adomen during constipation seems to press against the lungs, inhibiting proper breathing.  It is past time for a colonoscopy, however, with no insurance and because my primary doctor has retired, I must wait until my Veterans Administration medical is finalized - it has been initiated.

Whether or not we get a handle on the breathing / elimination problems, we are making arrangements to terminate our apartment lease on November 30 - three weeks hence.
Furniture etc will be placed in long term storage.  SAM & ME plan to become "homeless" at that time.  Our initial action will be to begin our next walk.

We are leaning heavily toward walking US 101 to Bakersfield, California; hanging a left destined for Columbia, North Carolina - to the home of Karen and Craig...thence up the East Coast, continuing across the top of  America, making a stop at Sister Carol in DeKalb, Illinois...then on to our starting point at the Peace Arch near Bellingham.

Such an effort will result in something like 8,000 miles, giving SAM & ME 27,000 miles in the recent 4 years. 

...and yes, I would love to have a hand to hold...see what you did, Tammy !!!

Re photographs:  Have re-activated our mini-computer.  When we shut it down upon placing our ANDROID into service, the imaging software was somehow deleted.  Must purchase a new camera, as our current Panasonic Camera software is no longer available.  When we set off, our $$ finances will become available so we can purchase the new camera. 

This route is + / - 8,000 miles.  This trek will also complete the unfinished 5th cross country walk.

Friday, November 1, 2013


Sincerely apologize for the absence of blog update.  Many a time I sat before my computer to post an update...realizing that the past two months have been absurdly boring with not much of interest to share.

Have, in the past two weeks, returned slowly to walking.  SAM has been modified...and the tendon(s) have come along nicely.  Walking 2 - 5 hours every other day or so.  Still incur some swelling in the left foot and lower leg.  Yesterday I set off on a 40-mile walk to the nearby tourist village of LA CONNOR, Washington, where on Saturday (tomorrow) I plan to join a walking group outing from SEATTLE.  As La Connor is close by, decided I would walk there and back to Bellingham, making for a 4-day outing, camping along the way.

Reached the 1/4 point, walking the beautiful cliff-side roadway - CHUCKANUT - which skirts the waters of PUGET SOUND.

For whatever reason, my body reached a weakened state giving clear signals that it would / could not continue.  I turned back.  Reaching my apartment by literally crawling the final two miles, I dragged myself into bed and crashed in early evening, not waking until 5:00 am this morning.

Obviously, the three months of little or no exercising (walking) has resulted in severe loss of body strength.

Nonetheless, I am faced with a major cross roads.  I can no longer afford to stay in my apartment.  Within the next two weeks, SAM & ME will once again continue our unending walk of the by-ways of America.

Since we must complete the final 900 miles from the North Dakota / Montana State borders...and recognizing the Winter cold / snows block our passing over the Rocky and Cascade Mountains, SAM & ME plan to walk South along Route 101 bordering the Pacific Ocean to the Los Angeles basin...then hang a left paralleling the Mexican border to Texas...then another left walking North across the Colorado Great Plains, across Wyoming, South Dakota, ... and finally, reaching I-94 at the North Dakota / Montana border.

From I-94, SAM & ME will head North West across Montana to the town of WOLF POINT on US Highway 2, which we will follow to within 30 miles of Bellingham. We should return by May 2014.

In so doing, SAM & ME will have completed our 5th walk across America...AND... will have circumnavigated the Rocky Mountains from the Peace Arch (BLAINE, WA.), South to near the Mexican border, East to the state of Nebraska, North to the Canadian border...,then, back to the Peace Arch.

SAM & ME will have walked / rolled some 25,000 miles.

We hope to become associated with a "cause", promoting awareness - and donations - for the "cause".  To finance our continuation, we will give up our apartment (become truly "homeless"), thus freeing up the $750.00 per month previously paid for our monthly apartment lease...which for the past one year, stood EMPTY...empty since our apartment has been subsidized for "seniors" by government program(s).  Such subsidized apartments PROHIBIT sub-leasing or even access by family or friends unless I am physically occupying it.   In actual fact, such government rules required me to THROW AWAY nearly $6,000.00 last year, when SAM & ME so desperately needed $$ walking across America.

Whether or not SAM & ME become associated with a "cause", our primary message will remain to promote AWARENESS of the LYMPHATIC my mind, the third most important organ of our body; the Lymphatic System, controls amount and movement of WATER within our body...AND is the center of our IMMUNE system.  Body fluids flow through our body -  essentially by means of our Lymphatic System.  Within our Lymphatic System are Lymph Nodes, wherein are created  WHITE BLOOD CELLS.  As body fluids flow through Lymph Nodes, all elements are challenged by our White Blood Cells...a continuous FRIEND / FOE interrogation.  All "Foe" elements are immediately engaged  in battle AND KILLED by our White Blood Cells; i.e., our IMMUNE SYSTEM in action.

We have discovered that nearly NO ONE of us knows we even have such a Lymphatic System, let alone where to find it or how to make it function...YES, HOW TO MAKE IT FUNCTION...because the Lymphatic System does not / cannot function without OUR daily life-long activation !!!

Enough for the moment...

At the moment, I am fine.  Must "prime the pump" so to speak, to gain strength lost during non activity while the ligaments have healed.

Trust all are happy and well.

Will drive to La Connor tomorrow to participate in the Seattle-group walk.


Saturday, September 28, 2013


 Feel as though the past two months have been mostly wasted...sitting in this empty apartment - not a single visitor or phone call - watching the shin splint injury healing, which it is doing.  Of the three points of injury, only the muscle / tendon tear attached to the index toe (next to the big toe) is still on the mend.

Last week, took the first of three walks with SAM...each 1.5 to 2 hour duration, avoiding any steep hills.  The completion of each walk resulted in some swelling...less with each walk.   There is, however, no pain.

Most of my leisure time has been spent re-reading books from my small library.  Interesting how much "new" information I find even after reading the same stuff a number of times.  Glad I have not thrown - or given away - books.

Having little exercise for many weeks, the ole' body is badly out of shape.  Sitting or lying down to read for hours on end also leaves sore places, especially in my back.  Was a bit concerned at continued breathing difficulty wile lying down...especially lying on one side or the other.  Spent 1.5 weeks staying awake most of the night(s) for fear I might stop breathing while sleeping.  The breathing restriction seems centered in my upper back above and behind the Heart.  Standing, the restriction goes immediately away.

Spent half of one night fascinated by a series of chest pains...very like a heart attack...  During this episode, drank swallows of water during each pain, which seemed to flush out the cause.  ever since my 1995 heart attack, I keep drinking water close by.  Have discovered that stomach gas often produces chest pain(s) very similar to the heart attack pains.  Drinking a swallow or two of water flushed the "gas" away, relieving the pain.  Have come to the decision that if the pain persists after drinking the water, best to look further.  So far - after 18 years - I'm still here.

Oh, my, the little worries of advancing age.

Have one other malady:  Arthritis in both hands.  Left hand thumb started acting up some 15 years ago.  Since pushing SAM some thousands of miles, both hands are now becoming arthritic, with the restrictions / pain moving into the wrists.

It is my discovery that energetic walking allows the LYMPHATIC SYSTEM to do it's job, which among other things, flushes the body, removing toxins - indeed, removing virus, bacteria, and all other "invaders" including CANCER cells - from the body.  My take is that Arthritis is nothing more than build up of irritants in the joints...removable by and through the Lymphatic System.

Disclaimer:  No, I am not a Doctor...nor do I have any formal training in matters medical...I share here in my blog that which I have be used or ignored.  Many might, however, find it interesting and perhaps rewarding to do a bit of research on the Lymphatic System.

My apartment lease is being renewed next month.  Terms switch from yearly to monthly; i.e., residents can terminate residency after a 30-day notice.

FALL is upon us here in the Pacific Northwest.  Rain and intermittent strong winds have been daily occurrences.  Temperatures have also dropped during the past two weeks.

I have given SAM a full overhaul, adding some details to enhance her performance.  She is fully protected from the weather and stays dry in the most severe conditions.  I owe much to many who have assisted me with SAM during our journey...with special thanks to BROKEN SPOKE Bike Shop in BISMARK, and STEFFAN BIKE in DICKINSON, North Dakota.

Work opportunity has slowed as Winter approaches.  I have resumed job search - part time or full time - which I am confident I will find shortly.

In the interim - awaiting March 2014 when Montana snows and cold abate to allow SAM & ME to complete our interrupted USA crossing - will begin local short excursions with SAM.

I must return to daily intense exercise.  It is intense exercise that allows my Lymphatic System to function to it's fullest.

It is my Lymphatic System that allows this old body to remain healthy and - as coined for SPIA (Seniors Performing Incredible Acts) by my Bellingham Teens in Juvi - walk 1.5 Marathon distances day after day after week after month after year.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


On a beautiful 85 F. sunny Bellingham day, I remain a cripple...cripple in that since the leg has finally lost most of it's swelling, I can visible see the extensive damage received from the Shin Splint injury while walking North Dakota.

Since stepping off the fish processing assembly line, it is now 1.5 weeks.  Understanding that ALL my medical care - beyond MEDICARE - has been terminated, there is no "professional" care available.  My VA application is pending, but for the moment I am dependent upon my own observations and - after referring to medical books - my self-determined treatment.  Damage to the left leg / foot is as follows:

!.  TENDON OF EXTENSOR HALLUCIS LONGUS (left leg) has torn adjacent to the ankle bone.  The tendon is present retaining a small marble size lump which is sensitive to touch, especially to rubbing from shoe while walking.

2. TENDONS OF EXTENSOR DIGITORUM LONGUS (for toes # 2, 3 and 4) have also received stress tears, with all three tendons still locally swollen with pea size bumps sensitive to touch.  Swelling for toe #2 is significant enough to make it difficult to put on a shoe...and is sensitive to even short walks (5 - 10 minutes).

The toe tendon tears appear to be at the splice point of the tendon and the muscle lying above the metatarsals.

#2 metatarsal swelling is pronounced, leading me to suspect potential bone damage, as that point of injury is NOT appearing to improve.

Bottom line:  I seem to have sustained severe damage...compounded by standing 10 - 13 hour shifts in one spot, resulting in the entire foot and leg to the knee swelling to calf-size.

Now that the swelling has mostly gone down, the damage is visible.  Any bone damage is not visible without X-Ray, but if the bone were broken, pain should be much more severe than it is.

Needless to say, I am walking only as absolutely necessary; I.e., driving to the supermarket every three or four days.

In the interim, I stay in the apartment, icing a couple times a day, using arch-supported house slippers on carpeted floors .  To keep blanket pressure off the foot, a full size pillow is used to support the bed cover(s) away from the foot.

Because of the injury, I am leaning toward a 6-month renewal of the apartment lease...then put everything into storage, and returning to the roads as a homeless walker.  The $$ saved from having no rent to pay should make it possible to continue walking with little or no $$ pain.  I remain in good spirits, confident that the injuries will heal quickly and properly.

Perhaps during the next 6 - 7 months, I will be fortunate to discover a "sit-Down" job to help pay medical bills incurred during the past 3+ years.

I appreciate the expressions of concern.  Will continue to post every few days...and in event of any significant moments.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Last night was a night to forget...and hope it never returns.

As the Sun set, so did a great weight sit on my short, I was unable to take a full proper breath until mid morning today.

The THREE days of work in North Dakota was performed in a near continuous cloud of construction dust...wood. paint, cement, and dirt tracked inside.  I requested permission to spray a water mist or sweeping compound, but was denied...resulting in my lungs filling with dust...YES, I SHOULD HAVE USED A FACE FILTER, BUT DID NOT.

The first two days working in Bellingham was spent in an enclosed room folding thousands of corrugated "fish" boxes.  Turns out corrugated boxes also create substantial "dust" also.  Naturally, face masks were not available - althouge Hair and Beard "nets" were issued to all of the 30 something folks working along side me.

Yesterday offered the opportunity to work in a different Company, performing "warehouse" work...something I have done since age 9.  Arriving at the work site, discovered the task to be joining a "production line" assembling steel cable ANCHORS ( for bridges, tunnels, buildings, etc) requiring precision and extreme high quality; steel cables inserted into plastic pipe shrouds, adding fittings, bundling 30 - 50 foot lengths of pipe-shrouded cables into groups of 4 or more cables...then feeding the cable assemblies onto a cable "coiler".

Each step of the process utilized "hay wire" fasteners applied with a "spinning" hand held hook, causing the hay wire to twist tightly around the cable bundle assemblies.

I failed in this work...primarily because I did not grasp the dexterity of the spinning hook...and the rapidity of the production line.  I was given NO instruction...told to join in...which I did at every work be overwhelmed by the speed of the work...and the limited physical work spaces.

For the first time in my life, I was released early...and NOT invited to return.

Back to breathing, I slept not one minute all night...unable to take even a 1/2 breath...fearing the next breath might not come at all.

I have analyzed the progression leading to my near suffocation, thusly:

My lungs became saturated with construction and corrugated box "dust";  Sinus fluids drained down the back of my throat into my lungs (a common occurrence) mixing the dust into a pasty gruel which literally became a PLUG, cutting off my breath - both inhale and exhale.

In addition, the damage received to my KIDNEY during the recent bus ride - being squished by grossly oversize ladies into the seat arm rests, resulted in intense pain...pain released by trips to the toilet every 10 minutes ALL NIGHT LONG.

I was pleased to get my breath back around noon today...and no need to pee for the last many hours.

Today, I have slept comfortably nearly 7 hours.  Tomorrow night, I am back on the "fish" crew...from 6:00 pm 'til 4:00 am, this time, hopefully PACKING Salmon instead of handling the corrugated boxes .

My "employer" is COMMAND CENTER, INC. with temporary employment on a day-to-day basis - with $$ paid at the end of each day -.  With employment offices in over 60 cities / towns nationwide.  Phone #: 1-866-464-5844.

Left leg tendon is still swollen and tender.  No possibility to walk any distances on it for a while yet.