Day 158, September 8, 2012

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I woke up behind the dumpster coral in a narrow walkway. I was still laying in the shade and it was somewhat peaceful there. I closed my eyes again to try and get every last bit of rest I could. I needed to catch up on sleep. I'm always behind.
I felt my body heating up and the sun was now shining on me. I sat up and felt like I had a decent night of rest. My hip and knees joints were tight, but they usually are when I sleep on concrete.
I got up and packed up my stuff. I went back across the parking lot and back into the McDonalds to sit for a bit and relax before leaving. I also wanted to top off my charge on my electronics before heading out for the day.
    I sat at a table and was eating a granola bar when a lady got up from her table and walked over to give me $4. She said it was all she had. I had a big grin and loved that. It's not a grin of "oh lucky me", but rather It makes me smile that complete strangers are going out of their way to help me. Without talking to me or knowing me. I really enjoy seeing how many good hearts are really out there in the world.
    She talked with me a while and I shared my story with her. She was blown away. It was really cool how bright she became. She was so happy and shared how she also has a similar passion for helping others. Just as we were talking, a girl on a computer got up from her table and came over to hand me $7. She was really quiet and somber. She handed it to me and smiled, then went back and sat down. It was a pretty powerful moment. When you are living with nothing, things like this are much more magnified. You feel the goodness of people and the guidance of others more than ever.
    I was so thankful to both of them. I still talked to the first lady for a while and she wanted to say a prayer for me. As many of you know, I'm not religious. But I will not deny anyone prayers. I feel I can adapt to many beliefs or systems of faith. Not that I am joining them, but I can join in in any rituals or prayers. I always make sure they know where I stand but also let them know that I have an open heart to most anyone and anything that is positive. So many people have different ways of dealing with life, and I am not a person in a position to tell anyone I am right or that they are wrong. We are only humans. The only thing I know is that I don't know anything.
    So she said a prayer over me for my protection and guidance in any way or form I can receive it. It was a very humbled prayer and I really appreciated it. I would even let an atheist send me good thoughts or hope or whatever. I am always willing to take good from any form of belief. I told her thanks and I really appreciated her help. I got up to head out and also stopped to tell the other girl thanks. When I walked outside the first lady came running back from her car and said I can stop at her house on the end of town for a meal or whatever I needed. I told her thanks but knew I was gonna just walk straight through and right out of town only on the main highway, highway 95.
I left there with my waters full and tires fixed up and ready to go. I cleaned out my cart to lessen the weight and felt good. I walked south on the 95 and through the downtown part of Havasu. It want along side of the lake and I was enjoying looking down the hill to the water with all the boats.
    I spotted a man sitting on the dirt next to the road ahead of me. He looked pretty rugged and like he could use a small boost. I approached him and got a few dollars out of my pocket. I stopped next to him and then grabbed a couple granola bars out of my pack also. When I handed them to him he looked very confused. He said thanks to me and then asked if I was sure I didn't need it. I was obviously looking rough and hungry myself. I told him I was sure and he said thanks again. He was really happy. He said he had something to trade me. He pulled out a ziplock bag from his pocket and it had some large silver coins in it. He said someone just gave them to him and he wasn't sure exactly what they were. He handed me a coin and said that was the least he could share with me. I thought that was pretty cool of the dude.
    I continued walking through town and continued on for a few miles. The town was long and narrow. Mostly off the main road that I was walking on. I walked a long ways and came to the south side of town. It was afternoon now and I decided I would take a break before leaving town. It would be about 2 days before the next town (Parker AZ) so one last sit down in air conditioning would be clutch. I stopped at a del taco and ordered 2 tacos for a dollar. I sat there for maybe 20 minutes and then was ready to roll.
     I headed south out of town and up a pretty steady incline. My knees were feeling good for most of the day, but now were starting to hurt. I walked maybe 4 miles when I wanted to take another break. I stopped at a creek underpass that went into the lake eventually down the hill. I went under the bridge part in the shade and sat down. It was pretty warm by now and I sat down to enjoy some water and to get the weight off my body.
     I left there 20 minutes later and it was pretty bare after that. I climbed uphill a little longer and then it went down from there. I was now walking along the river that ran south out of Lake Havasu. I wasn't right next to it, maybe a half mile off. But I could see it here and there. It looked like I was heading into some really beautiful country right ahead of me.
I was walking when I bike passed by me. He stopped and turned back towards me. When he came up he asked if I was near Flagstaff about a week ago? I told him I sure was. He laughed and said he saw me along I-40 when he rode his motorcycle there. He asked if I walked the entire way. I told him I did, and before that for about 5 months too. He was pretty shocked. He said "no way!!". He shook my hand and we shared emails. He wanted to keep up with the journey. He then took off and headed past me.
        I walked another 2 hours or so when the sun was setting. I stopped for yet another epic sunset. It was so peaceful around and nothing but the desert hills. After it was set I wanted to walk another 5-6 miles. I was heading down a decline when a little black car passed me. I heard it slow down behind me and when I looked back he was turning around. He came back by me and in front of me made another u turn and pulled over next to me. When I walked up it was a big guy. Young with dark hair and pretty stout. He looked like he was almost in a panic and had a nervous look on his face. Right away I had a weird vibe. Then he said in a nervous manner "look, I don't know your situation or anything about you, but when I saw you I something hit me. I need to tell you something big is coming up. I don't know what it is but it's big. And your gonna have to just hold on tight. Just hold on. I don't know what it is but hold on buddy!". His lips were almost quivering and he seemed worried. It was really bizarre. Sounded like someone on drugs but my tweaker radar was not alarming me. He seemed like a straight up guy who wasn't tweaking. Then he said "but for now I can hook you up, here is some food" he handed me a big bowl rapped in tinfoil. Then he said he had to go and he took off abruptly. There I was standing there with a bowl of food and in complete shock. What just happened?? What the hell could have made him feel he needed to tell me that. Wow!
I was starving, so I opened the bowl up and it was pot roast left overs. It was incredible! Like great. One of those times where it's just amazing food. I was still pretty weirded out but just told myself not to take it too serious.
    I left there and now it was dark. I put my headlamp and vest on and still had a little more walking I wanted to do. I was going by the mile markers and I wanted to get half way to Parker from where I started in the morning. That way I could make Parker the next night and have a town to hangout in when I was done with tomorrows walk.
I walked in the dark up and down windy roads with nothing around. I finally reached the mile marker I was aiming for. 26 miles for the day!! I made some good ground and was happy with it. My knees felt a little warn out but not killing me bad. My feet felt a little tender and the last few miles felt like a blister may have developed.
    I spotted a railing where there was an opening big enough to get my stuff through. I walked behind the railing and out off the road on a rocky area. It was alongside a dry creek between two hills. It was actually a pretty good spot compared to what I was thinking I might end up at. It was open enough with no bushes. I like that better since I could see around me a ways with my flashlight. Basically snakes or whatever couldn't hide if the were near.
    I made my bed and laid down. I was really tired again and fell asleep pretty quickly. I ended up waking up hearing rain on my sleeping bag. It was a little windy too. I was up for a few minutes and then the rain stopped. I fell back asleep. I woke up again to a heavy wind. It was blowing my things over (my water bottle and supplements). I had to gather some of my stuff and pack it in my cart. When I was doing that the rain started falling again. I gathered my bedding stuff and tucked it close to my cart. They I pulled my tarp open and sort of bungeed it half way over my stuff where I took one half of it and covered myself too. I was staying dry but was pretty uncomfortable. I was in the fetal position because i was trying to squeeze under my little area of tarp covering me to stay dry. I barely slept that night. It never rained hard, but just enough to keep me on guard and alert where I couldn't relax. It was a rough night, but if that guys warning was legit, there's no way this was what he was talking about. He was far to nervous to warn me about a mediocre rain and wind like this. Hmmmm...?

 I heard tires rolling over rocks and I opened my eyes. I veered out and saw a black police SUV pulling right up to me. He got about 10 feet away from me and stopped. I was so tired and groggy I felt like a zombie. The cop opened his door and stepped out towards me. I sat up very slow and rubbed my eyes. I don't know why but I just had a gut feeling that wasn't good about the situation. Plus I had a pounding headache that did t help. Really bad.
       The cop then asked if I was ok. He was an older guy who looked like he was native (ethnicity). I said I was ok and just stopped to rest a little there. He smiled and said "well I'm glad your ok, some people called in and said you looked hurt". I smiled and said "no, I'm fine. Just tired".
He asked what I was doing so I told him I was walking across the country. He was pretty blown away and excited. He asked a few questions and soon I found myself in a conversation with him about life lessons. He was a cool dude and thought my trip must be very good for me.
       He turned out to be a really good guy. He ran my license and then came back out as I was packing up. He asked if he could go get me breakfast? I said no and he didn't have to. He asked again and said its no sweat. But again, I told him I was fine but thank you very much. He shook my hand, said Goodluck, and then turned around to head out back onto the highway.
It was still pretty early. The sun was just starting to rise and I was so tired. It was a little chilly still. I got all packed up and walked back out an onto the highway.
As I started walking my knees were already uncomfortable. I was really beginning to thing a day off was needed soon. I figured I would get a few miles up to a shopping center where Lake Havasu city began and see how I felt.
       I walked down the beautiful stretch of highway 95 and then reached the town. The shopping center had a Walmart, a McDonald's, and some other pretty nice and new stores. I needed to pick up a couple things from Walmart for my body. So I went in there first.
I bought some Advil for my headache, icy hot for my knees, and a couple spare tubes since mine were getting to be torn up from a lot of holes. The items ran me down pretty low on money. But I needed them all.
       After Walmart, I went to the McDonald's in the opposite side of the parking lot. I wanted to ice my knees there and take a little break to rest. I went in and sat down to plug my electronics in. When I sat down, I suddenly had a moment where I realized I just needed to take a day to rest. I'm in no hurry and really don't want to push myself too hard.
As soon as I decided that, I was very relieved. I was excited to just rest and enjoy a day of relaxing. I went up to order some breakfast off the dollar menu. I got some bags and filled them with ice for my knees. Then I sat down and just appreciated the feeling of relaxation and rest. I can feel more than ever my body just easing to recover. My muscles relax and the pain and soreness sets in as they are not working all the time. But it's a good feeling of pain and soreness if that makes sense. I guess maybe more mentally since I know they have an entire day to take off.
I checked the weather and it was actually a good day to take off. It was going to be 106 there. And the next day was down to 98. So it justified the day off even more.
       I iced my knees for about 2 hours, rotating the ice from front to back every 20 minutes. After I took the ice off I spread icy Hott onto them and it felt great. I went outside and figured it was a good time to change my tube in my tire while I had air conditioning to relax in afterwards. When I opened the door, I was shocked how Dam hot it was. It hit me right when the door opened and it felt like I was standing by a fire. Wow! Glad I wasn't walking for the day even more now.
I sat outside of the McDonalds on the curb and took my tire off. I swapped the tube out and then put it back on and aired it up. Then I swapped the front tire with one of the back tires also. The front tire wears out less and my back tire was pretty bald. So I switched it out for hobo cart preventative maintenance. Gotta think ahead haha.
       By the time I was done about 15 minutes later, I was burning up. It was so hot and still early that it was unreal. I was so happy I could go back inside to have a cold drink and sit down and relax.
I threw more ice on my knees and then sat down to write some journals. I spent most of the day doing that or just going on the Internet. Also just watching some of the people traveling come in. It looked like a lot of them were going to or coming from the lake.
I sat there all day and then at around 7 or so I had some visitors. I couldn't believe it. It was the wife from the couple who visited my before Kingman. The husband and wife drove from Vegas over 2 hours to visit me before, and now the wife and her friend drove about 3 hours to come visit me again! Unreal. I felt so lucky to have their support!
They came in and handed me a care package. It had some candy, some sunscreen, other snacks, and a pretty sweet cooling pad. It was called a frog tog and you get it wet then it stays ice cold for a long time! I didn't even know those existed. That would be a big help and I was really excited she gave me that.
       They bought me food and we all sat down to eat dinner together. They asked me some random questions about the trip and we also talked about some motocross related stuff. They were both motocross fans and that is always really awesome To talk about. I love that sport. I have a lot of friends in the Moto world and it's just something I love in my life. So talking Moto with other fans is always refreshing. We sat there in McDonalds for a while and it was great to have the company. They kept wondering where I was going to sleep that night and couldn't believe I just go for it each night and figure something out. It's weird in my eyes because I seriously worry 0% about where I will sleep at night. I know I will always figure something out. It might not be a good spot sometimes, but I know there are plenty of places to hide out being homeless.
      So at about 8:30 or so they headed out to make the long drive back home to Vegas. I was very thankful that they came out to help me. The supplies were very helpful, but even more than the supplies, the visit itself meant the most to me. We said goodbye out in the parking lot and I have them big stinky hugs. Such cool people.
I went back in to McDonald's and wrote a little more in my journals before heading out. My knees felt much better with the rest I was able to get that day. It was a good day and my spirits had for sure been lifted.
      I went to the drink machine to refill my drink and the manager was cleaning the station with a rag. He said he overheard me talking with the girls and asked if he heard right that I was walking across the country? I told him yes and then he had some questions. He asked also where I was gonna sleep that night. I told him I would figure something out. He thought I was pretty brave.
I went back and sat down to keep journaling. I noticed outside it was getting really windy. Really windy. There was a big cloud of dust rushing past the entire shopping center outside. All the flags and banners outside we're whipping intensely in the wind. It was pretty sudden and I couldn't believe how hard it was blowing.
      The mcdonalds Manager walked over to me and said that their dumpster coral on the end of the parking lot was pretty big and enclosed if I wanted to stay in there. He said the wind usually picks up and blows hard at night there. He said it would be no problem and that there is even cardboard I could lay down in there. There was a back walkway part he said to go into and shut the door to keep the wind from blowing by me all night. That was really cool of him!
         So I packed up all my stuff around 10pmand said goodbye and thanks to the guy at the counter. I left and walked over to the coral. It was really windy and sand blew across with the wind. I got to the back of the coral and opened the door. There was a little walk way with two sides and it was surprisingly very clean. It was closed in and actually a pretty legit spot. It didn't smell to bad either. There were a few roaches crawling but that's nothing new to me. They are harmless. I'm not sure I would have stayed there if I didn't have permission. I just feel like since I'm enclosed in there and the workers could potentially come in, that I wouldn't have felt comfortable there. But with permission, and the guy telling me that they don't use that walkway, it was heaven for the night.
      My cart fit right in there and I pulled my stuff out and made my bed. I was really tired and ready for an undisturbed night of rest. I could even try and sleep in a little. It was cool laying there hearing the wind blow over me. I felt like a stealth warrior or something who found a good hideout. My knees felt better and I was happy with my decision to have taken the day off. I laid there with a good attitude and fell asleep around 11.

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