Thursday, July 31, 2014
G'Morning from McD, Route 1, Yarmouth, Maine on this, the last day of JULY 2014, possibly the most activity filled month SAM / SPIA and ME have experienced. Thank you to so many who have / are lifting and pushing me along.
A special appreciation to CYNTHIA, McDonald's, and WALMART for providing safe havens for SPIA and me these past days.
Folks often ask for my most important moment...to which there is NO truthful answer. Have realized that change to any single moment would certainly have led me to a different place and time. How can I not cherish every moment I am granted...brings to mind the moment I saw VICKI taking pictures on the bridge In PETERBOROUGH, NH...we both stopped, stared, and instantly became friends forever.
...and so many (hundreds !) times that scene has repeated itself in every corner SAM and ME have walked.
...and now I am once again directed to another place.
Fully prepared to walk to fetch SAM tonight when my plane lands in BELLINGHAM; no less than three wonderful friends offered to meet my plane, take me where ever I needed to go; two of whom intended to SURPRISE me by simply being there when I stepped back on B'HAM soil. I may have to extend my B'HAM departure a day or so to spend time with all.
...and I ask myself, "Why ME?"
Know that each and every one is with me as I walk through this promised land. May sound corny, such words, but I assure you as uncounted miles become lonely, I merely conjure up one or many to accompany me for a bit.
OK...flight(s) are confirmed, Storage garage Manager, DAN, is standing by to drive me to the Airport after I drop off SPIA in 4 hours from this moment. We already know what awaits my arrival.
A fact I hesitate to reveal - Donations to my Blog - is that PAY PAL has informed me that within the recent 36 hours, significant $$ have been deposited in the account of SAM and ME.
...and I ask, "Why ME?"
...and now one must understand why I often use the PLURAL when referring to moments or events. This walk is not just about SAM / SPIA and ME. This walk is about all of us who are following a dream...on a mission to find truth in our community and solace to realize that of the Hundreds (Thousands?) met in all walks in every corner or vastness of America - and yes, in foreign Countries, too - ...there is not a single one I would not call a friend.
Now, I post this update. Then back to SPIA...unpack everything prepared to accompany me to BELLINGHAM...just to be certain the correct choices have been made. SAM has limited space...in the midst of a downpour in the dead of night in an isolated mountain valley is NOT the place or time to find I screwed up.
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next stop: BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON...one of this World's finest places for whatever one wishes to do./
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Good Morning from a rather cool start in PORTLAND, MAINE. Portland, you say: Yes, YARMOUTH, WALMART is 5 miles from downtown PORTLAND; and, I am pleased it is close, as tomorrow I must drive SPIA to the Long Term Parking Garage before catching my flight to BELLINGHAM, leaving at 4:30 pm EDT, arriving BELLINGHAM at 11:15 pm PDT (midnight).
It is a 5-mile walk in B'HAM from the International Air Terminal to SAM's Storage Unit...or a 10 minute TAXI ride.
Plan to have SAM prepared to depart B'HAM by SUNDAY, August 03, 2014.
I plan to WALK with SAM across America in less than 90 days. To do so, we will AVERAGE WALKING over 30 miles per day. Actually, I will shoot for a 75-day crossing.
Total elapsed time will be somewhat longer, as I hope to visit MANY FRIENDS along the way. We plan to follow the Route already walked two times; BELLINGHAM to NORTH CAROLINA. Exact route will, as always, be subject to variations...variations this time influenced by FRIENDS who would like to physically join SAM and ME...(SEE "WHY" BELOW) and weather conditions.
Incumbent on our timing is the FACT that my DELTA Flight (AK546), LEAVES B'HAM destined back to PORTLAND, MAINE, on:
LEAVE: B'HAM 6:40 am, JUNE 24, 2015 (DELTA required me to purchase a firm date ROUND TRIP...a date NOT subject to change, subject only to forfeit).
WHY: SPIA has stranded me in PORTLAND, MAINE. Her Rear Main Seal has failed, dumping her engine oil. Cost to repair is : $1,000.00 - more or less.
I do not have access to $!,000.00.
I have devised a detailed plan to:
1, Continue Walking - without interruption; and,
2. SAVE $1,000.00 to effect SPIA's repair - with my own future funds - SAVED monthly through SAVING Social Security $$ allocated to the 10-month walk with SAM, as outlined above.
In plain English, Walking with SAM is less costly than walking with SPIA:
SS $$ Funds Available for Walking: $500.00 per month for 10 months
Budget to WALK with SPIA: $500.00 / 30 days = $ 16.00 per day
Budget to WALK with SAM: $500.00 / 30 days = $ 11.00 per day
Savings to WALK with SAM = $ 5.00 per day @ 300 DAYS
TOTAL Savings to repair SPIA: = $1,500.00
OK, there are plenty of holes in simplicity, but must start someplace...
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My hope is that folks will join in my WALK.....not with $$, but rather with hands-on assistance to find and arrange overnight places for SAM and ME during our admittedly optimistic endeavor, avoiding tent setup and take down...a protected dry / safe place to spread our sleeping bag would be wonderful.
- I keep walking and blogging;
- Folks along our route get up close and personal with SAM and ME;
- May set an elapsed time record of sorts for Walking Coast to Coast.
Since events are already under way, I invite immediate participation, using my:
CELL PHONE 360-319-9707; and,
Participants need not be already following SAM and ME. Referrals would be welcome.
Overnights would per forza need to be near our "adjusted -as-we-walk" ROUTE. I walk four miles in one hour, which limits diversions to distance /vs/ walking speed. A reasonable SUV / Pickup Truck ride would not compromise our walking parameters.
Our Saga will, of necessity, be ROUND TRIP; i.e. Coast to Coast and Back to our BELLINGHAM Starting Point in time to be on the JUNE 24, 2015 flight.
If you can help SAM and ME, and wish to become part of our walk, please contact me, as above.
ROUTE: Listed Cities are my desired ROUTE so as to include folks we have already met during prior walks. Time permitting, Route can be modified to include additional Cities.
BELLINGHAM, Washington via Route 20, 174, US 2;
to GRAND COULEE DAM / WILBUR via US 2;
to SPOKANE, Washington, via US Route 2;
to WOLF POINT, Montana via US ROUTE 2;
to CIRCLE, Montana via Route 13;
to GLENDIVE, MT via Route 2005;
to FARGO, ND via I-94;
to BRECKENRIDGE, MN, via Route 75;
to WILLMAR, MN;, via Route 9;
to DUBUQUE, IOWA; via (open and Route 3);
to DeKALB, IL, via (open and Route 64);
to PERU, IN via (open and Route 24)
to GALLIPOLIS, OH via (open and Route 160);
to HURRICANE, W VA via US 35;
to CLIFTON FORGE, VA, via US 60;
to ROANOKE, VA via US 220;
to ROANOKE RAPIDS, NC via Route 24 plus 46;
to JACKSON, NC via ROUTE 158;
to COLUMBIA, NC via 305 plus 308 plus 64;
to SALVO, OUTER BANKS, NC via Route 64 plus 12
= ATLANTIC OCEAN
* * * * * * * * * *
RETURN TO BELLINGHAM to meet JUNE 24, 2015 DELTA Air Flight returning to PORTLAND, MAINE, we must depart Outer Banks, NC no later than February 01, 2015.
Route selection will be determined considerably earlier to include interested followers to participate in our RETURN Walk.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
We have been forced into a slight change to our walking itinerary due to SPIA being taken out of the effort. SPIA goes into long range storage in PORTLAND, Maine until $$ funds become available to repair her engine.
In the interim, I fly to BELLINGHAM on Thursday, July 31, where SAM will be recovered from storage, prepared for service, and commence a 6,000 mile walk from BELLINGHAM East to NEW YORK CITY, thence to North Carolina Outer Banks, returning via DeKalb, Illinois to BELLINGHAM, where she will be returned to storage.
During SAM's trek, we will save the $$ funds to return to PORTLAND, Maine, retrieve SPIA from storage, effect her repair and return to her interrupted "FIGURE 8 of AMERICA", our 11,000 mile trek...of which 6,000 miles have been completed.
My only observation: As advertised, positive thinking and planning have been implemented, creating options without any on-hand $$ funds or usig outside assistance.
I simply refuse to be defeated for lack of organized support or funds beyond my $15.00 per day budget. (My heartfelt thank you for donations)
SAM AND ME will not easily go away.
This option effectively eliminates our planned LISBON - BEIJING walk, as I have used my DELTA SKY MILES - hoarded for many years - to fly to fetch SAM.
Considered taking the Greyhound Bus, but the $500.00 up front cost is not an option.
Update on my fall: Landing on my camera in my left chest pocket has resulted is lingering discomfort near my heart. Will check in with my Primary Physician, Dr. CARGILL when I retrieve SAM this weekend.
Smashed Nose has healed nicely with only slight residual cartilege discomfort.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Monday has arrived shrouded in thick Atlantic SEA FOG drizzle reminiscent of fogs rolling into JUAN de FUCA Islands in Bellingham's front yard.
Just as well, as SPIA has finally given up her quest to keep moving. Yesterday, oil poured from her engine. Not the repair to her Valve Cover. This outpouring seems to come from her long time Rear Main Leak. Cost to inspect her = $100.00. Cost to repair her = $950.00...
neither of which is available.
Have sufficient $$ to keep moving by pouring oil into her engine, which should get us a few hundred miles. Long range solution is, however, loss of SPIA unless I repair her.
Sure could use some of that $8,000.00 I blew trying to help P. Steve.
Comes at a time when Blog readership is at it's lowest ever. Perhaps my efforts have served their purpose. My $150.00 monthly VERIZON investment has been tons of pleasure, but perhaps it is time to back away from Google and Facebook. I could continue my blog off line, making it available at some future date. Were I a "Reader" instead of Creator, would fight like crazy to keep the blogs coming.
We Shall See.
Have often shared the truth of loneliness while walking endless miles. Recent attention received has been such a pleasure...and a hidden burden. Leaving - forever, those who make such a momentary impact - is a most difficult moment. I pride myself in finding that thread of "positive" in all that comes my way. This moment is no different. If it were easy, perhaps more souls would drag their bodies out there.
Stomach cramps hit me yesterday. TUMS have been a small help, but cramps are still with me. First time I have experienced any such malady. Have often attributed 50% recovery to mental superiority, so expect to be better with a solution to SPIA's burden.
Sitting in McDonald's, cold rain pounding down outside in company with booming thunder...a dozen or so folk communing... as has become ritual at every McD across America. There is a story here. Imagine collecting the essence of tens of thousands of utterances - mostly from retired folks looking to continue their part in society after occupations have been filed away under Reflection and Memory.
Rain has let up ... thunder has moved out of earshot. A word here and there drifts over from the communing folks across the room. Is it time for me to join them?
It is 12:00 noon. Am hungry, but cautious of feeding a still roiling tummy. Perhaps another TUMS.
Is it time to guide SPIA out of FALMOUTH - checking oil level as we go.
If the fog lifts, will catch a few images on my camera.
RATS; my reading glasses fell off the table, breaking the lense frame. Another $10.00 carelessly wasted.
...and so it goes.
Last three days has nurtured a strange growth on my forehead...from "nothing" to a good size lesion. Trust it goes away as quickly. My Mother developed such growths which proved Cancerous.
Not going there !
McD is now nearly full with Lunch time patrons.
Could park back at WALMART. That would be defeatist. Must post these thoughts and go see how much oil SPIA drinks. Maybe ... just maybe, the leak will dissipate.
Going to go see !
* * * * * * * * * *
Drove SPIA the 3 blocks to WALMART; The entire distance is marked by huge OIL splotches from McD to WALMART.
There is NO possibility to drive SPIA ANY distance before FULL repair to the Rear Main Seal of SPIA's engine; i.e., $950.00 must magically appear to continue our ODYSSEY with SPIA.
Considering parking SPIA, busing back to BELLINGHAM, taking SAM out of storage; Busing back to MAINE; transfering "essentials" from SPIA to SAM; and, continuing our walk - just SAM and ME - to KEY WEST - CHICAGO (De Kalb) - VANCOUVER, B.C. CANADA.
Distance to complete our trek is 2,000 miles to KEY WEST and 4,500 miles to BELLINGHAM = 6,500 miles.
Yes, I am up to it and WILL complete that which I have begun.
I do have 100% of supplies with me now on board SPIA...preplanned just for this event. SAM and ME require far less $$ than does SPIA and ME. The 7 months to me to PUSH SAM (her Solar Power Equipment has already been removed) back to our starting point will complete MAY 2015..
I understand and accept that many will certainly consider me a bit touched...and you would be correct. Remember, please, I AM an old man, and as such have a mission to complete. I have not yet failed in any endeavor - severely challenged yes - but eventually succeeded.
...and yes, SAM and ME WILL blog all the way.
After that: LISBON, PORTUGAL - BEIJING, CHINA awaits.
So, again, from abject defeat - with SPIA - comes our inevitable positive - with SAM...just the way programmed.
SAM and ME WILL save $1,000.00 for MY return to FALMOUTH, MAINE; fetch SPIA; repair her engine, so she lives to drive a couple hundred thousand miles more.
...and please recall that SAM and ME passed this way.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Welcome to the Atlantic Ocean. We found our way to BAILEYS ISLAND, a narrow strip of land reaching many miles into the Atlantic Ocean below the city of BRUNSWICK, Maine.
This is LOBSTER Land.
LOBSTERMAN Statue kneeling on the rocky cliff at LANDS END. the seaward tip of land about 30 miles East of PORTLAND, Maine.
Purchased a book of highly detailed Maps of Maine... and I still got lost twice this morning. Roads of Maine are something else.
HARPSWELL SOUND, separating the finger islands of ORRS Island and HARPSWELL Island.
BAILEY Island "Cribstone" Bridge connecting ORRS and BAILEY Islands.
Bridge over tidal waters flowing through the lattice stonework supporting a roadway since 1928.
End of Route 24 on Bailey Island.
LOBSTERMAN of BAILY Island.
From a distance, a rather large mansion isolated on off-shore JAQISH Island, as seen from The LOBSTERMAN Statue.
Three children playing on the beach side rocks.
Having driven the 10 or so miles to the town of FREEPORT, Maine. The entire town-center is a collection of famous Outlet Companies. Sidewalks were crowded with tourists and shoppers skimpy dressed for a warm but misty overcast Summer day.
* * * * * * * * * *
Am fighting a sorely upset tummy. Purchased salted Spanish Peanuts. Walking ORRS Island this morning, ate a few handfulls. One hour later, severe stomach cramps hit.
Am at McD for the blog update. WALMART is directly across the roadway ...US ROUTE 1..., about 5 miles from the city of PORTLAND and one mile directly below the city of FALMOUTH, Maine.
Will overnight here.
In the morning, will walk over to parallel Route 9, beyond PORTLAND, following the Atlantic Ocean towards the city of DOVER, New Hampshire.
Could do without the tummy cramps !
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Only a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean, feelings of already missing these unique and embracing hills are tugging at my heart strings. Having not been here before, am beginning to consider walking deeper into the State of Maine, possibly to wait for the leaves to begin their color change, which happens about September 15. Should I decide to do that, it would also benefit the Winter walk.
Heading South now will just move us into being too early to head North for the walk back to Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
Next week, will meet once again with VICKI in DOVER, New Hampshire. After that, may swing back into the interior and North East of Maine for a month or so.
Having no "Staff" to help make these evaluations and decisions puts an additional burden on me.
Click to Enlarge. LISBON may be found on this map...a bit left of and above center.
This map covers the Atlantic Coastline South West to PORTLAND, ME.
This map covers the Atlantic Ocean to the South West from PORTLAND, ME. toward New Hampshire.
Intend to stay close to the Ocean as we make our way past PORTLAND to the city of DOVER, New Hampshire, arriving Thursday or Friday next week.
Route 196 which I walked from LEWISTON to LISBON, Maine, this morning.
This new 22 foot Welded Aluminum Pontoon Boat boasts a 110 HP HONDA Outboard, Full Canopy Top. Including the heavy duty tandem axle trailer, full price is $39,000.00...seemingly a very fair price. The Marina has recently sold and delivered two such craft; have four more en-route from the factory, two of which are also already sold.
Please say HELLO to PEGGY and BILL, employees of FRAN's Restaurant, where I enjoyed a bowl of Hot Oat Meal Cereal (Mush). Later, BILL gifted me a bottle of ice cold water...handing me the change to a five dollar bill.
Thank you, you two...your gift is much appreciated.
* * * * * * * * * *
Am the guest of the well known Chain of DUNKIN DONUTS, to create today's update.
Must find a place for SPIA and ME to settle down for the night.
Tomorrow, we should wade in the cold salty waters of the Atlantic Ocean near the city of BATH, MAINE.
POST SCRIPT: Informed that WALMART is only 15 minute drive from LISBON FALLS ... in the city of BRUNSWICK, MAINE. Will drive there yet this afternoon ... and walk BACK on Route 196 in the morning.
BRUNSWICK is adjacent to the BATH, Maine waterfront.
This blog will therefore be mainly dedicated to the Atlantic coastline for the next week, at least .
Friday, July 25, 2014
A bit of a culture surprise this morning. Leaving behind the mountain foothills, we entered flatland...sans lakes. Have completed two walks, one on Route 26 - a heavily travelled two lane roadway leading directly to PORTLAND, Maine...and the second on Route 121, leading to the rather large twin cities of AUBURN and LEWISTON.
Have discovered little of real interest...this corridore to the mountain and Lake Region we left yesterday. ..for our blog. Will do some of the town before we settle down for the night at the local WALMART.
Tomorrow will lead us toward the FJORD-Like Atlantic Ocean Seacoast about 50 miles North and East of PORTLAND, Maine.
White dot center-right is SPIA, where she parked last night and remained while I walked Route 26 this morning.
Route 26 heading to PORTLAND, Maine. Good walking roadway...nice wide berm and well maintained...albeit, heavy traffic.
Fresh veggies and fruit as we near the town of AUBURN.
A popular Ice Cream destination: GIFFORD'S.
* * * * * * * * * *
Am still quite sore around Neck and Shoulders from the fall.
Nose is still letting me know it got slammed rather HARD into the pavement; acts like something inside may be damaged to remain sore like this. Would not be surprised to have a wee concussion to deal with.
No, no Doctor visit...those guys will take one look at my heart and throw me into cardiac prison. I landed on my chest - as well as my face - , my camera taking the brunt of that impact, transmitting the result to the area of my heart kinda close to the new Stents installed 5 days before beginning this journey back on January 02. So far, only mild discomfort, so we'll keep an eye on it.
Will go walk this town some this afternoon ... is now only 11:30 am. Will then settle down for a nap in SPIA's Back Seat Bedroom ...and later read some more of my new BOURNE adventure.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
We have arrived at the apex of our trek North, reaching into the range of rising mountains. Reluctantly leaving Lake KEOKA, spent a couple hours walking the village of HARRISON, MAINE, which lies at the North End of LONG LAKE, of which we walked the Southern reaches last week.Then drove part way to the small city of NORWAY, walking the final few miles.
Will stay overnight at WALMART, Norway, walking Route 26 and 121 toward the large city of LEWISTON in the morning.
SPIA - so far - is performing fine. NO oil leak following the TLC from JOSH.
HARRISON Town Docks
Please say HELLO to AL and RICH, Town of Harrison PARKS DEPARTMENT.
Image of the walking bridge over the Lake Feeder Stream.
LAKE PENNESSEEWASSEE, at the town of NORWAY, Maine
The soaring curved poles are intended to hold the moored boat from being pushed by strong winds into the dock./
CORN GRINDING ROCKS.
Looking toward CANADA, some 100 miles plus distant.
* * * * * * * * * *
My fall - tripping on the storm drain grate - did no apparent lasting damage. Pulled many muscles in the crotch, elbows and shoulders, all nearly healed already.
Receiving the brunt of the impact was my nose which seemed to be smashed flat into the pavement. Some internal left nostril bleeding kept on for three days. Beginning walking this morning, sensed some internal - behind the eyes - pressure. May have received a bit of a concussion as am a bit unstable and blurried eye.
Will watch carefully.