Thursday, February 28, 2013
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From my third floor window Southern exposure, fog reaches to the ground from the heavy grey clouds hanging over the distant hills. Steady rain falls onto Mt. Baker Highway…wipers on high speed clearing windshields of passing vehicles
…perfect for taking a couple hour walk to test the integrity of my new “waterproof” shoes.
Truth be known, am pleased to get some exercise. Scheduled a ½ marathon (walking) for Saturday morning Not so sure that is a good idea so close to Wednesday morning departure from SEA TAC Airport. A last minute injury would not be smart.
The narrow 2-lane roadway to Bellis Fair Mall has tons of traffic. The berm is dirt, filled with a rippling stream of muddy water spilling over the white line. Receive honks from irate drivers squeaking past, a good 6 inches from my shoulder.
Good practice of insistence for “my” space to walk…will soon be facing 3,000 miles playing “chicken” with encroaching 18-wheelers…this time also maneuvering SAM’s 22 inches into the same ridiculous space. Well, we will – for the most part - remain OUTSIDE the painted white strip marking the edge of the “legal” roadway.
Perhaps I should have kept my life insurance premiums up to date.
Arriving at Bellis Fair, stopped at T-Mobil to purchase another 500 minutes for my mobile phone. Then dropped in at TARGET where I purchased a 16 Gig chip for my Panasonic camera…had only one 8 Gig chip, so now we have a backup.
Took time out for lunch at the Buffet…$8.25 for seniors…I try to treat my body to once-a-week protein feast…then visited the Men’s Warehouse, where, upon arriving in Bellingham, purchased over $300.00 in new clothing in preparation for “interviews” for work…my clothes were still in storage at the time. The clothing was on sale – two for the price of one. Salesman said I had 90 days to pick up the second pair, so I put it off. Two weeks ago I dropped in to make my selection, but was told I had until March 31, 2013…so I put it off until today. Today, was informed that my 90 days was up on February 15, 2013. So, kissed away another couple hundred bucks.
Only myself to blame…must take better care of such things!
SAM’s provision boxes weigh a total of 51 pounds. Removing SAM’s batteries, controllers, and 36-volt motor driving the front wheel will remove about 100 pounds…so, will net about 50 pounds REDUCTION in weight. Hope this will be enough reduction to allow for safe descent down those 8% West Virginia Mountain Passes. Of course, that means I must now push SAM up all those same mountains. Should be loads of fun.
SAM’s provision boxes are to arrive in Wilmington, NC on March 06, the same day I arrive in Norfolk to meet Karen and Craig. New demands have resulted in a pick-up time glitch…just hate it when I put others in a bind like that…have a mind to walk from the airport to their home…only 50 miles or so. I know we will work out something as we are all eager to spend time – important time – together.
I feel I must comment on what to me is a matter of critical importance. The building I now live in is inhabited by “elderly”…some in wheel chairs…most using walkers. Our building is one of two with three floors. A single stairway is located in …”corner # 4”. In the center of the building is a single elevator. In the event of an emergency, there is simply NO way the residents can escape the building…the elevator would most likely not function…and in no way can the partly mobile residents descend stairs.
I am told by the manager that the Fire Department has told all residents to REMAIN IN THEIR ROOMS with doors closed. Not really clear how that is to function…perhaps to make up a bed sheet rope to shinny to the ground.
My apartment is 20 feet from the stairway…even so; I have a sturdy rope already tied to my bed ready to cast out my “unlocked” window.
When my lease is up, I will look for safer accommodations.
Oh, yes…my waterproof shoes did NOT leak. My pant legs got soaked, however, so must use my Gaiters under waterproof pants and jacket. SAM will not provide much in the way of shelter from a good down pour. SAM herself, however, is well protected from falling rain…even in a good blow.
Monday, February 25, 2013
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POST 1067; FEBRUARY 25, 2013; BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON
1500 hours (3:00 pm)…rain has stopped…wind has shifted from NE to SW and dropped to a mild breeze. Sitting next to my left leg is SAM’s Provisions Box…packed and repacked for the sixth time…and it is still too heavy.
Most probably, I have selected far too much.
Contacted UPS about SAM’s box…cost estimated at $125.00 to ship it GROUND (cheapest way) to Wilmington, North Carolina…where SAM awaits my arrival.
Pondering the wisdom of sending so much clear across the country, am coming to the realization that I can always leave items behind in Wilmington…but, if I leave out something critical, finding it in a big unfamiliar city may be difficult.
As departure date comes near, thoughts are rampaging…here I sit in a most comfy fully furnished apartment. Is it intelligent to again enter into Mother Nature’s domain when there is no one…indeed, nothing…encouraging or discouraging me to continue walking our beautiful country?
I have been in Bellingham going on four months now. I have been pleased to have Bob here a time or three, helping me with this and that. On the other hand, not a single other of my “friends” of so many years has bothered to phone or accept my invitation(s) to visit…nor have I received a single invitation.
So, I ponder. Welcoming the Winter season of life, I ponder how I should spend my remaining (years?). Continue to sit on my butt, letting precious moments slip by…or return to Mother Nature and all She has to offer.
Checking Google and FACEBOOK, I find over 100 folks are following this blog each day…and nearly 50 “comments” (even though I realize most are SPAM; i.e., inviting readers to their web / blogs), are being received…ALL of which are of the highest complimentary and encouraging nature…I do not post them for fear of virus, etc.
Vegetating here in my apartment, I am truly bored…and a bit lonely.
Out with Mother Nature, I am welcomed by animals, plants, and natural beauty of our Earth…and with my Mini, hundred(s) around the world join me only hours after I actually complete my daily trek.
Not being among the most intelligent, it is, however, becoming clear… as to be a no-brainer (perfect for ME), that I must once again lift my tush off my recliner, put my book(s) back in the cabinet, run to catch my flight to Norfolk, Virginia, and step back in to the one place I know I am welcome…”On The Road Again”.
My newly purchased waterproof shoes have received two days of walking – 16 miles or so -, proving to be comfy. Tempted to purchase a second pair and leave all my “older” walking shoes behind.
I have, for the moment, declined to add a “Donation” button. Notwithstanding the fact that I might benefit, I go back to three years ago when I first embarked on my long walk. At that time, I received not a single encouraging comment…it was obvious that everyone (except B.) thought I was just a crazy old man. In truth, it made me at once sad and angry…determined, in fact to find – and share the knowledge – of just how much this old body could endure…just how far determination can take one.
To do that, I knowingly set off with no support, no sponsorship, and no encouragement…certainly no $$ “Button”. In fact, I declined many offers of cash $$ from folks I met along the way.
That which has been achieved so far has been more than satisfying. I am so proud of my body’s performance and endurance.
So, tomorrow, I will close up SAM’s Provision Box and send it on its way.
Posts will not “daily”. Arriving at a source of electrical power for my Mini, I will update the “skipped” days of posting.
We will not have electrical power aboard SAM, as I will remove the entire electrical system, including batteries, controllers, and motor in the effort to reduce SAM’s weight. As currently configured, I simply cannot physically guide SAM down the many 8% + Allegheny Mountain Hills. SAM is much heavy and would certainly run away down those precipitous curving narrow roadways.
Oh, yes...as a warm up, next Saturday (March 02), I will compete in a (walking) 1/2 Marathon at 0900 hours, followed by "wine tasting" at 1400 hours.
My goal is to complete the 1/2 marathon in 2 hours 45 minutes...we shall see.
34 years ago, I "ran" the Boston Marathon in 2 hours 50 minutes...only 9 months after giving up smoking (21 years) 3 packs a day...yes, I have a certificate in proof.
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Saturday, February 23, 2013
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POST 1066: FEBRUARY 23, 2013; BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON
Yesterday, POST 1065 was loaded…and after re-reading it, taken down. I was not pleased with my own post; primarily because of the negativism. I have attempted to avoid critical, religious, political, or negative posts, and have a few times previously, taken down prior posts which – in my opinion - failed to meet these criteria. I know that in the first 5 minutes it was up, it was read by six folks. I trust I have not offended anyone. In my sometimes frustrated moments, I get a bit carried away.
As mentioned in the past few posts, I have been a bit under the “flu” weather. Intestinal constriction has tied me up for over one week with none of the normal medications having any effect.. Yesterday, I finally resorted to Google for assistance. First recommendation was: 2 tablespoons SEA SALT dissolved in one quart of WARM water, which is to be drunk immediately…preferable in the morning before breakfast.
I followed instructions, but cutting quantity to 1 tsp in 8 oz warm water. Within three hours, I experienced the first of three BMs…the first in over a week.
Needless to say, I was shocked…and immediately picked up another box of sea Salt which has been added to my walking medicine kit.
While on the subject of “medical” adventures, let it be known that since a young teenager, I – like so many millions – have suffered with chronic SINUSITIS. Having tried, over the past 60 or so years, every imaginable treatment, compacted sinus has been with me.
It was when I began walking in 2009 that I discovered that after “power” walking for 1.5 hours, my sinuses began to run like a faucet. After 2 months of daily power walking, sinuses were completely clear…and remained clear as long as I continued to walk.
Stopping off in OBX (Outer Banks, North Carolina) for 4 months last winter (2011-2012), my sinuses were again clogged, bringing on head aches, severe tooth aches – went to the dentist begging him to pull my wisdom tooth (he refused), blurry vision, and impaired hearing. I have discovered that compacted sinus cavities put excessive pressure on tooth nerves, auditory nerves, and optic nerves…which pass through or near sinus cavities.
Upon resuming my walking on last March 01 – OBX to the Peace Arch – upon reaching the Ohio River 2.5 weeks later, my sinuses were once again clear…of course, the first 2.5 weeks my head drained like a faucet.
At no time did I take any medication…the relief came strictly from WALKING!
In other words, walking induced muscle message upon my Lymphatic System, which allowed it to do its job; i.e., drain the body of excess liquids..
I again repeat that I am not a doctor or trained in any manner in the medical field. I am sharing my own self-discoveries, hoping that others may check out my findings and benefit there from.
Went shopping today for WATERPROOF walking shoes. Finally found what appears to be a suitable possibility…i.e., COLUMBIA Out-Dry TECHLITE Oni-Gip shoes; cost: $90.00.
During last year’s crossing, I was deluged by passing 18-wheeler throwing wave after wave of solid banks of water…as though I was walking through a full-blast Car Wash. My shoes were nearly always full of water seeping down the tongue area.
The new COLUMBIA shoes, coupled with rain pants and GAITERS, will keep my legs and feet dry in all weathers.
I also wish to share that in the past few weeks, this blog has received up to fifty (50) "Comments" each day. Nearly all are anonymous, highly complimentary, with requests to "guest post", etc. I have not posted 95 % of them because they include reference to the sender's web site or blog. I fear picking up virus or inappropriate information.
I would welcome any guidance in handling these comments. So far, every single comment has been complimentary...not a single derogatory content.
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Thursday, February 21, 2013
BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON – Thursday, February 21. 2013
Plenty of time for reading some of my many Historical Novels…mostly, about ancient – 12,000 years ago – American Indians, and 1700 – 1800 British / French Naval Ships slugging it out in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Caribbean. One of my favorites, however, is a book entitled “1421” written by British Submarine Captain (Retired) GAVIN…detailing the three massive fleets of CHINESE ships – some as large as 600 + feet long which in 1421, sailed the world over, colonizing as they went. One aside: When Christopher Columbus first sailed from Spain, he took with him MAPS of the Americas drawn by the Chinese when they CIRCUMNAVIGATED North and South America in 1421 – 1423. Yes, please do check it out !
Since our previous Post, have completed some short 5 + /- mile walks and once again, my 18 mile route via “Y” Road…all successful; i.e., no injury.
Mostly, however, remaining in my apartment – book(s) in hand – reading while relaxing in my comfy recliner. Between books, have carefully selected items to provision SAM, which, in the next couple days, will ship in a box via UPS (United Parcel Service) to Wilmington, North Carolina. Why? you may ask…because I have purchased my DELTA Air Ticket to fly Seattle – Norfolk, Virginia on March 06. Karen and Craig will pick me up and drive me to their home in Columbia, North Carolina, where I will hang out for a few days. Will then take a bus to Wilmington, N.C.,
Arriving in Wilmington, will strip SAM of her motor, electrical controller(s), and 6 batteries…which will reduce SAM’s weight by over 100 pounds. Having reconfigured SAM and loaded up her provisions from my “box”, will begin my 5th walk across America.
Should reach Bellingham about July 10, 2013.
I do have one concern…Intestinal blockage is still with me…possibly a carry-over from my recent bout with the flu. Have decided, however, that walking will be my best “medicine” to patch things up.
In researching Intestinal problems, have come across an incredible bit of recent discovery regarding the APPENDIX. Scientists have recently discovered a most probable “evolutionary” event regarding the Appendix.
It appears that some 18 different Mammals have an Appendix…perhaps many more waiting to be discovered. It seems that the Appendix may after all have a critical function in our body…goes something like this…involving “good” Bacteria and the Lymphatic System (home base for our Immune System):
Our Appendix sits at the junction of our Small and Large Intestine.
Inside our Appendix reside LYMPH NODES, wherein White Blood Cells are manufactured..
Food digested in our stomach is passed into the Small Intestine where “good” Bacteria break it down for transport from the Intestine on to the Blood Circulatory System.
It happens that “Bad” Bacteria sometimes multiplies within our “gut” Intestines, causing problems…including overwhelming “good” Bacteria. When this happens, “good” Bacteria apparently retreat into the APPENDIX, slamming the Appendix Door shut behind them. Any “bad” Bacteria entering the Appendix are identified, attacked, and killed by White Blood Cells living within our Lymph Nodes. “Good” Bacteria hang out safely within our Appendix until the “Bad” Bacteria is overwhelmed within our Intestine…at which moment, the Appendix door reopens allowing our “Good” Bacteria back into our Intestinal Tract to continue to do its job.
I probably have not got it just right, but this is my understanding of the recent discovery.
Since I am presently battling an intestinal problem, it is somewhat comforting to know my body has a process already worked out – through evolution – to fix me up.
Must remember, of course, the Lymphatic System DOES NOT WORK unless the body is in constant motion; i.e., muscular action is the “motor” making the Lymphatic System work…without flexing our muscles – through walking, swimming, biking, running, etc., our Lymphatic System (i.e., our IMMUNE SYSTEM) simply cannot function.
No, I am not a medical guy or anything close to that…I simply try to pay attention to what makes ME function…perhaps it is true that “knowledge is power”.
Am looking into adding a “Button” to my Blog, which will permit interested followers (readers) to make a $$ contribution to SAM & ME. To this moment, our 3-year walk has been financed essentially through my Social Security monthly deposits. With a bit more revenue at hand, a wholesome meal or a now and again motel might be added to our trek.
My upcoming walk will include only SAM & ME. No vehicle support will be available, keeping costs to absolute minimum…thank goodness, as while crossing America, I must maintain my leased Bellingham apartment. Since it is State sponsored “Senior” digs, strict restrictions are in place to keep out non-approved apartment sitters or sub-leasing.
I still hesitate to take on a “Cause” (Heart, Cancer, Diabetes, etc) because I have discovered a large percentage of donations are skimmed off as operating expenses by the “Cause” administrators, leaving a minuscule $$ available to actually benefit the “Cause”.
I would look quite differently on a “Cause” where reasonable overhead expenditures were guaranteed.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
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LAKE PADDEN RUN / WALK
Bellingham “MEET UP” hiking group scheduled a walk around Lake Padden this morning at 8:30. At the last minute it was canceled, but I went anyway because it is one of the most enjoyable scenic walks in all Bellingham.
One other member apparently showed up, but since we did not know each other, we did not actually meet up…probably passed her on the trail at least once, since I circled the 2.5 miles around the lake two times.
LAKE PADDEN Swimming Beach
Rain Clouds beginning to break up…it rained the 1.5 hours I walked Lake Padden today.
LAKE PADDEN Shore Side Trail…the entire trail around Lake Padden is wheel chair accessible.
LAKE PADDEN Trail is half along open shore line…and half within dense old-forest trees…even under bright sunlight, it is rather dark along much of the trail.
Am writing this blog post on Microsoft Word…for the first time – including images. Previous blog posts have been prepared using Google Dashboard.
Received an e-mail today from VERIZON Wire that I have utilized 50% of my monthly contracted TIME. I signed up for 5 gigs per month…but beginning December 2012, have I been informed that I am now also limited to a TIME allotment per month…and exceeding the monthly limit (I do not know what the monthly limit…must visit VERIZON to find out what is going on) costs up to $30.00 more per month.
Seems time is apparently counted from booting VERIZON to shutdown; i.e., if I leave VERIZON running, the time – clock is also running So, am searching for “work-around” to complete blog posts…today, trying to create in WORD…then Copy and Paste into the Google page…
Lets see how it goes…
.....Well, it did NOT work. Succeeded to copy and paste the narrative, but the completed (narrative with images) page would not paste. So, pasted the narrative...then loaded images into the GOOGLE Blogger Dashboard to get the above presentation. Will keep trying to find a way to copy and paste the complete page.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
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CHIEF SEATTLE (SEALTH)
Was signed up to join a POWER Hike this morning. At the last minute, decided I would do better to avoid such strenuous hikes on mountain trails. The danger of injury is high. With my upcoming walk from North Carolina, do not need any injuries.
Instead, again tackled my 18-mile walk out to the Y Road and back. Right heel tendon is not fully healed, but completed the walk with only modest pain. Returned in 4 hours 32 minutes, walking counter clockwise - the more difficult hills to climb.
A Gold Mine Car...
Not a major region for Gold prospecting, there are a number of gold mines in the nearby Cascade Mountains. Gold is also paned in nearby rivers.
Across Lake Whatcom from North Shore Drive are the hills my hiking friends are climbing this morning.
Lake Whatcom is some 15 miles long reaching a depth of 300 + feet. The South Fork of the Nooksack River has been partially diverted into Lake Whatcom, assuring year round water supply. Bellingham City Water is taken from Lake Whatcom.
Sun breaking through heavy overcast reflecting off Lake Whatcom.
FOR SALE Flyer for a waterfront home. Click the image to enlarge.
North Shore Drive bordering Lake Whatcom.
My 18-mile walking route circumnavigates the hill in the background beyond this forested valley.
Many homes are hidden away in the thick forest. This driveway crosses the bridge in the distance, arriving at a beautiful secluded home to the left.
Squalicum Lake. Many name places in the North West...indeed, in all of the West...are of American Indian origin. For example, SEATTLE is named for Chief Sealth...a personal friend of historic Doc Maynard...who befriended the White Man during the mid 1800s.
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Friday, February 15, 2013
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SAM and ME in Key West, Florida
Karen E. asked me for a copy of the video of SAM and ME she saw on the Discovery Channel a couple years ago.
Searching Google, I found that video...chuckling as I watched...remembering those moments only days before SAM & I first set out to begin our (now) 3 + year trek across and around America.
For those who may not have seen it, I offer it here:
SAM has been in storage for nearly 2 years in Wilmington, North Carolina. It is to fetch SAM that I am about to fly to Wilmington...going to walk back across America to Bellingham...bringing SAM back home.
Should we be fortunate enough to obtain sponsorship and outside support, I intend to modify SAM somewhat in preparation for our flight to Lisbon, Portugal, from where we will walk to Beijing, China.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
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Wish a Happy Valentine Day to all.
Except for a short walk to our local Mall for batteries, have hibernated indoors refining the walking route for my upcoming trek from Wilmington, North Carolina to the Peace Arch, Blaine, Washington.
In order to visit as many new places as possible - from last year's route -, have prepared new AAA maps with route details. To reduce the volume of paper, have scissored (cut) the physical maps to fold into Ziploc bags.
Discovered an interesting surprise as I scanned the map of last year's walk...mentally visualized my (nearly) entire route, bringing to mind the actual road...businesses along the way...even individual trees, bridges, landscapes, animals and people. Just for the heck of it, pulled maps or prior routes walked...and was astounded that I also visualized nearly every place as I dragged my finger over the map.
Now, if I could just plug a computer into my brain, I could share my recollections in near real time.
This is, therefore, an appropriate moment to share my previously created story-line (already becoming a book) based on the premise that ALL knowledge of ALL biological ancestors is passed down to us at the moment of conception...such knowledge being available for OUR recall; i.e., we actually access our own biological information back to the beginning of ancestral time.
In my - proposed - book, we EXPERIENCE knowledge in real time as experienced from the standpoint/viewpoint of our ancestor(s).
This premise also means that OUR personal life knowledge is also passed on to OUR descendants upon conception.
I know, what a ridiculous idea...but then again...
WHATCOM COUNTY Bus Stop. The entire county has bus service, providing service on 15-minute schedules. "Senior" bus service is available on call in most areas.
The past couple days, walked about 8 miles each day visiting with old business friends - going to get a new reflective safety vest with SENIORS WALKING AMERICA stamped on the back (current one is 3 years old having lost all it's reflectivity) - ...bought a new lightweight pair of walking trousers (installed a new high quality zipper and re-stitched the leg cuffs), and arranged to sell - on consignment - my many motorcycle riding leathers.
For years, have viewed JEEP front grill as a work of art. Some things seem never to change.
VOLVO trail lights have somewhat artistic also.
A relatively new shopping district, BARKLEY CENTER, has been developed in the North East corner of Bellingham. This lake and its new fountains were only a year or two ago brush-filled swamp. Barkley Center is about 20 minute walk from my apartment.
Bellingham proudly includes a number of religious edifices...this one two blocks from Bellingham High School.
Not to forget to update WWU - Western Washington University - Men's Basketball Team: WWU Division II Basketball Team plays again at 7:00 pm this evening (in 10 minutes). Having now won 28 games in a row - 20 this season plus the final 6 leading to 2012 Division II National Championship - , each new game is charting new ground...gaining national media attention.
Most amazing is that nearly all WWU players are from local Northwest schools.
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Monday, February 11, 2013
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Having decided to essentially repeat last year's trek from North Carolina to the Peace Arch, Blaine, Washington...and having gathered up my previously used maps, found that I needed new maps. So, took the opportunity to walk to AAA (American Automobile Association, of which I am a member) to pick up my FREE maps.
Along the way, met up with...:
Please say HELLO to TUFFY (the gorgeous 10-year old pooch)...said to be a bit feisty tending toward nipping... TUFFY and I hit it off exchanging nuzzles
and getting my nose and hands licked clean
Arriving at AAA, was received by...:
Please say HELLO to JESSICA...greeting limited to cordial hand shakes. Took all of 2 minutes to gather my maps of North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Washington (the states we will be walking)
Then spent 1/2 hour chatting about walking, as Jessica is also a walker, planning on doing the 1/2 marathon in Bellingham this year.
PEACE HEALTH ST. JOSEPH HOSPITAL, Bellingham, Washington
Recently spent three nights inside for intestinal cramping...as a part of the recent flu, just yesterday have reached a degree of normalcy.
Popular winter plants in Bellingham gardens
SAINT SOPHIA GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH, Bellingham, Washington
Always take the back roads if possible...note the lack of side berms... making walking a bit dangerous. This condition is my biggest concern about walking with SAM back across America. SAM is 22 inches wide, meaning we MUST Walk n' Roll on the pavement where the vehicles travel. In the mountains, such conditions are perilous.
SAM is equipped with WHITE lights forward, AMBER side lights, and RED tail lights - including a RED one on my back.
Fortunately, many states allow - and prefer - that pedestrians walk the freeways...definitely the safest roadways to walk. Walking freeways is much less interesting, but a whole lot safer than narrow twisting back roads.
On this crossing, North Dakota, Idaho and Montana freeways are open to ALL mode of traffic...even horses and pedestrians.
Speaking of horses, I have passed by these two a number of times...today, they waited for me as I topped the hill about 1/4 mile away; yes, I stopped and chatted with them.
Stopped in at the shoemaker at the Mall, picking up my newly repaired (new partial heel) NIKE MONARCHs in which I walked last year from OBX to Peace Arch. My new NIKE MONARCHs are breaking in nicely, giving me two pair to make the up-coming crossing.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
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The last couple days have started out cold and foggy...by mid day, warming and clearing into beautiful puffy white clouds. Today was no exception.
Yesterday, joined a local Wine Tasting Group, visiting Mt. Baker Vineyards, which offers daily tours and tasting. I have been visiting Mt. Baker Vineyards since 1987...in the days when locals were invited to Grape Stomps during fall picking time. No stomping these days, but the quality of wine produced has seriously improved...winning many awards.
It is a fact that with the warming of the earth, wine vineyards have been moving north rapidly. California no longer has a choke hold on fine wines.
Mt. Baker - our local volcano - peeked out of the cloud cover, showing her glacier shrouded flanks. This image was taken about 1 mile north of my apartment. Out another 3 miles, the entire mountain is visible above distant Cascade Mountain foothills.
Our local ski resort is on the flanks - about mid elevation - of Mt. Baker. Skiing begins in late October and continues until the end of May...when our local SKI TO SEA Festival is held...a 80-some mile relay race from the ski resort (cross-country skiers climb to the top of the slopes...downhill skiers back to the lodge) - runners down the steep mountain flanks - road racing bikers to the Nooksack River - canoe 30 miles to near Ferndale, Washington - mountain bikers to Bellingham Marina - and finally, racing kayaks some 12 miles across Bellingham Bay, finishing in Fairhaven (old Bellingham).
Hundreds of teams from the world over come to compete.
Interstate 5 about 2 blocks from my apartment
It was quite cold at 8:30 when I started out...fog hugging the ground until mid day.
Ole' SOL burning off the dense fog.
Mt. Baker Creek flows into the above Squalicum Creek, which flows into Bellingham Bay at Bellingham Marina.
Was on the road nearly 4 hours this morning, stopping by Bellis Fair Mall...then another mile to COSTCO...with time out to try our local Chinese Buffet. After one plate, I was stuffed...food was good, but not especially exceptional.
It was a 4 mile walk back home...arriving rested and without injury or pain...a total of about 12 miles.
Spent most of the afternoon gathering up my road maps to chart my course from Wilmington, North Carolina back to the Peace Arch. Except for the first 100 miles or so through North Carolina, I plan to follow the exact same route I walked last Spring.
Friday, February 8, 2013
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Yesterday, ventured out onto the roadways, finally walking 6 miles to the local Mall, where I found and purchased a new pair of walking shoes. Really wanted another pair of BROOKS, but that company showed NO interest in my walking some 13,000miles in 5 pair of their shoes, so I returned to JC PENNYs, where I found a duplicate of the NIKE Air MONARCH shoe I used for my most recent (March 01 - June 24, 2012) walk from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to the Peace Arch, Blaine, Washington.
Was very pleased that local JC Pennys charged only $50.00 for the NIKE, whereas I paid $125.00 for the BROOKS.
Please say HELLO to Drew Belstock, the JCP Shoe Salesman who assisted me in locating and purchasing my new NIKE Monarch.
(Looking good, Drew !!)
From my apartment, I walked the back roads to reach the Mall. The above image is of Baker Creek...a swampy area lying a few hundred yards a bit North of my apartment.
Returning from the Mall to my apartment, I walked the above roadway...in the distance - behind the low lying hills, lays our volcano, Mt. Baker.
This abandoned railroad right of way used to carry passenger trains and logging trains from Mt. Baker downthe flanks of the Cascade Mountains to the Bay of Bellingham. Far as I know, it is the only remaining right of way not yet improved into a walking trail.
Have contacted my friends in Columbia, and Wilmington, North Carolina to set up preliminary logistics for my return to Wilmington to retrieve SAM (my Solar-Powered Self-Propelled cart). My current objective is to return to Norfolk, Virginia via DELTA AIRLINES, be picked up by Craig and Karen, spend a day - or few - at their home in Columbia (Karen says "my" room is all made up waiting for me), then drive the 100 miles to Wilmington, where Ron just today tells me SAM is waiting and raring to go.
If events go as I envision, this adventure - my 5th walk across America - will commence the first two weeks of March...only 3 weeks away.
That will mean I must leave my apartment unoccupied for about 4 months as I walk back with SAM. Anticipate expenditures to be about $100.00 per week to complete the crossing. With SAM, will be self-sustaining, camping all the way.
Before leaving Wilmington, I plan to remove SAM's motor, batteries, controllers, and perhaps one of the two solar panels. This will reduce SAMs weight by 100 pounds. She currently weighs 175 pounds without my tent, sleeping bag, clothing, & food / water. Much for me to negotiate the steep (8%) mountain passes crossing the Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia...I can push SAM UP the hills, but SAM is too heavy to safely descend those 8% - 5 mile long mountains.
My logic is making this crossing NOW in lieu of waiting later is that:
1. I can do the crossing at $400 /month.no $$ beyond sitting at home.
2. I am recognizing some degradation in my health..must get it done NOW
3. To tackle Lisbon/Beijing, must await $$ beyond current availability.
Wanted to chat for a bit about my MANY meetings and "conversations" with wild animals during the past three years...including a large snake, a gorgeous rare Red Fox, numerous cattle and horses, a Red Wing Blackbird, and a large completely YELLOW butterfly who hitched a ride on my vest for about 30 minutes..., not to mention chats with various plants...
But, that will have to await a later blog...Oh, yes, and a 10-minute conversation with a "house fly", who sat on my bath tub staring at me as I jabbered away to him (her?).
Today, walked another 6 miles to break in my new NIKE shoes.
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013
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Whew...the past 2 weeks have been a torment...not that I have shared the matter, but appears that I caught a flu bug, generally sapping my energies, and specifically, causing rather severe stomach and "gut" upset, bloating, constipation, and pain...accompanied with nausea and vision blurring. Only yesterday, signs of coming out of it are showing up.
That has not been all bad. Bloody right heel pull in not healing as quickly as I anticipated, so less walking has given a bit of respite and lessening re injury.
...and have been able to fill up my new (purchased "used" from a thrift store) book case and read a book every couple days. My KINDLE crapped out on me; i.e., the "keyboard" shorted out, not allowing me to enter. Amazon says they no longer handle my model, so it cannot be repaired. Best option was to purchase a "reconditioned" upgrade - for $113.00 - if I wanted to read the 50 or so books I purchased on line...otherwise, they informed me, was nice to know you ! ! !
So, I have a reconditioned KINDLE en route from...I believe they said South America someplace.
Today, I sold my "moving" trailer, for which I paid $3,000.00 in July 2012. Towed it to OBX - Cape Hatteras - to work my butt off for Pastor Steve -, running up a AMAX Credit Card debt of something over $8,000.00 (thanks Steve). Received $2,000 for the trailer, so am chewing into the AMEX debt...now sitting at $6,000.00 or so.
Have put my beloved motorcycle up for sale also. Hope to get another $2,000 which will chew further into my AMEX obligation.
After that, I have nothing more to sell...so, we shall see.
I am, in any event, walking to keep in some kind of physical condition. Am finalizing logistics to travel to Wilmington, North Carolina to retrieve SAM out of storage. Ron, who is watching over SAM tells me she is in a warm room, protected from the elements...and ready to roll when I am.
At the moment, I plan to fly to Wilmington - using DELTA "miles", and walk with SAM back to the Peace Arch via De Kalb, Illinois - to once again visit Sister Carol who has been fighting Parkinson's (plus assorted and sundry other ailments, such as Diabetes, etc.) for something like 8 years in a nursing home -
If I can find the pennies (how about a JOB ! ! !), intend to make this walk beginning around May or June this year...
To do so, would be my 5th crossing by foot of America.
Seems weird that back in 2009, I was first thinking of walking across America. Having completed four crossings, I now wonder what the big deal was...making the final decision to do so was the biggest challenge...the doing of it has been a piece of cake...
...and one of the most satisfying accomplishments of my life.
I know I'm rambling...just not much to write about. Been mulling over whether I should continue my "bare bones" biographical posts...
...read on the Internet just today that FACEBOOK is concerned about the results of recent decline in "readership", with the leading reason being lack of items of interest being posted.
Here's an item of interest: Western Washington University (Division II NCAA) Basketball Mens team has now won 26 games in a row, ranked 2nd in the Nation (being National Champs last year); whereas the Ladies WWU Basketball Team has won something like 16 in a row, being ranked 5th in the Nation....and Gonzaga ain't doing so bad either, ranked 6th in the Nation.
Since I am feeling a bit better, will return to walking tomorrow.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
CRI and TICINO
The slight breeze caused hardly a ripple on the deep blue cold waters slipping beneath the keel of TICINO. Ghosting through Bellingham Bay under Jib alone, Cri was, as usual, cat-napping on top of the upturned dinghy tied down on the foredeck. Having sailed from knee high to a grasshopper, Christiane, indifferent, as usual, to the danger of lying up there, wore no life jacket.
The helm on autopilot, I lounged in the cockpit beside the big elk hide chrome wheel…gazing at distant Mt. Baker dominating the eastern skyline some 90 miles away. A puff of air on the back of my neck caused me to look back over my shoulder … shocked to see a deep black weather front bearing down on TICINO from astern…lightning flashing from within the clouds . Racing across the placid waters an unmistaken line of wind driven waves bore down on our 38 foot Sweden built yacht, not 100 yards away.
Christiane, I yelled…hold on … here comes some wind. Upside down, the AVON offered not a single hand hold or line to grab. The wind filled the Jib, heeling TICINO to Port. I watched in horror as Cri, without a sound, slid backwards across the rubber bottom, pitching over the lifeline and into the cold 53 degree waters of Puget Sound.
I threw two cockpit cushions as TICINO, now tipping to port under the wind pressure, sped past Cri…just coming to the surface. I threw off the Jib Sheet, letting the sail fly free…pushing the diesel start button. Then, over went the large life ring which is attached to the boat with a 100 foot line.
I disengaged the autopilot, spun TICINO through a 180 reversing turn, powering back toward the seat cushions.
The brunt of the wind had now reached us. Waves built in a flash to 2…then 3 feet high. I knew Cristiane was in deep trouble…survival in the 53 degree water is about 15 minutes without proper protective clothing.
Motoring back to the seat cushions…no Cri. Difficult to see a small head bobbing in flat water, it is nearly impossible to see anyone in growing seas. Slowly, I cut power and drifted alongside the cushions…no Cri. I walked along the deck, holding on to the life lines as TICINO, now rolling furiously, came to a stop. I walked completely around the 38 foot deck…CHRISTIANE…C R I S T I A N E… no Cri.
Back to the helm, I turned TICINO back towards the cushions…C R I S T I A N E…CRI …CRI…CRI
In the howling wind, I heard her call back…OVER HERE…I’M OVER HERE. Up wind from the yacht, I swung the bow into the wind, powered to her voice, cut the power and climbed back onto the foredeck…I’M OVER HERE, BRUCE….YOU CAME BACK FOR ME…YOU CAME BACK FOR ME…I’M OVER HERE…I CAN SEE YOU…AHEAD AND … …. …..
CRI…CRI…straining into the wind,… C H R I S T I A N E….. ……..
I woke drenched in sweat…my heart racing…I threw off the covers, sat up, head in my hands on my knees,
I Cried for a very long time
For those of you, our many friends and boating companions, I need say no more. I know you understand.
For those who never knew Christiane, she was, in January 1991, diagnosed with aggressive Cancer…given a few weeks…perhaps months, to live, I dedicated my every moment for the next five years at her side…messaging her body 5 hours every day …until one day in 1995…Cri said to me…Bruce, I don’t want to be married any more…I love you, but I want you to leave me…or I will move to my own apartment.
Cri lived five more years…restraining my presence by court order…. I followed her wishes by never again directly contacting her.
I received a telephone call one evening…Bruce, this is …….. I’m afraid Christiane is not going to make it this time. For a few minutes, I sat, stunned. I then dialed her phone at Ann’s, who had taken Cristiane in and looked after her since 1995. Hello, …. Hello Cri…Who Is This…this is Bruce, Christiane, …Who …. your Husband…Oh…Oh…yes, Bruce…well, good bye….CLICK.
Moments after my phone call, on January 12, 2001, Christiane Deckert Maynard, my wife, died.
I dedicated my walk around the World to Cri….Every Step I Take, Cristiane, I take for you…I have so written in my Blog.
Last night was the first time I dreamed of Cri…although I speak with her every day.
Perhaps Christiane has finally forgiven me….then again, perhaps………
I miss you, Christiane…and I am so very sorry.
Friday, February 1, 2013
Captain Les picked a super day to cruise TRUMPETER over to the Gas Dock...the first bright sunny day of for such days promised for this weekend.
TRUMPETER is a 27 foot HUNTER Sloop.
The Stern Access of TRUMPETER
Capt. Les backs into the slip, making access very easy.
TRUMPETER tied up to the Gas Dock...Took 6.5 gallons of diesel to fill the tank.
My first two weeks back in Bellingham, TRUMPETER was my Home Away From Home...thank you, Les.
Bellingham Bay looking East into downtown. Mt. Baker would be in view some 80 miles distant...if the clouds lifted just a bit.
Bellingham Bay looking South toward the home of Les and Lynn halfway up the distant hill. Western Washington University sits in a small valley atop the hill.
TRUMPETER ghosting (4 mph speed limit - no wake/waves) down the marina waterway.
Many beautiful yachts...large and small...inhabit Bellingham Marina.
TRUMPETER nearing the gas dock.
Bellingham Marina Gas Dock.
TRUMPETER backing out of her slip (parking spot).
TRUMPETER exiting the (Southwest) main marina entrance. The San Juan Islands are in the foreground...the Olympic Mountains are hiding within the distant clouds.
The Pacific Ocean lies 100 miles dead ahead...
Cri and I sailed these waters for 10 years...one year, we sailed every weekend for 18 straight weeks. In the San Juan Islands, one sails the year around...most likely, being the only boat anchored in one of hundreds of pristine coves.
Returning to Bellingham Marina South Entrance, one guides on this pylon...easily visible in all weathers...providing one has RADAR or GPS (Global Positioning System)
TRUMPETER making the final turn into Bellingham Marina South Entrance...Bellwether 4-star hotel dead ahead.
Please say HELLO to Captain Les Blackwell, retired PHD Professor from the University of Washington and Western Washington University
During the Korean War, Dr. Les was a Trumpeter with the United States Military Marching Band...and for fun and cruising entertainment, plays a mean Bagpipe.
Back in the 1950s, Les and I shared High School Days in the Tri-Cities - Kennewick, Pasco, Richland - , State of Washington. In interim years we also - unknowingly - shared Rye and Mamaroneck, on Long Island Sound, New York
Today, I had a most enjoyable few hours together with Les on TRUMPETER and lunch at Giuseppe's, overlooking Bellingham Marina.
Les and I have sailed together...together in a single yacht...or piloting our (twin) identical 38 foot yachts to destinations throughout the SALISH SEA - local American Indian name for The Puget Sound.