On Saturday, September 28th 2013 in New York City I will be walking for diabetes again, however this time it will not be cross-country and I will be joined by 3,000 others in solidarity. Please click the button below and show support and donate (any amount is fine) as we turn out in numbers to make a change in diabetes awareness!
Cedar Rapids, IA. Needing a place to stay on my way to Waterloo, IA (further north) Deveri graciously allowed me to spend a couple days in her home located in Cedar Rapids though "couchsurfing.com". Deveri's home was very comforting and took my mind off the freezing weather outside. I enjoyed my long talks with her and she answered all my city slicker questions about Midwest living and about wildlife.
She prepared some great meals for me during my stay and I even got to enjoy cooking prepared by her son, who was a former restaurant cook, and his girlfriend.
Deveri also owned a stable of horses that lived on her large property which I thought was awesome! I didn't get to spend much time with them, due to being too tired, however I did enjoy watching them out the window and seeing them when I was coming or going.
Wanting to upgrade my military sleeping pad, Deveri was nice enough to swap her comfortable Therm-A-Rest self-inflatable sleeping pad for my Army-issued one. After recently finishing my journey I sent her a brand new sleeping pad along with bungee ties from Amazon.com, the her borrowed air mattress was punctured by thorns from a dry desert plant.
During my stay I was given a great building/historic tour of Cedar Rapids where I learned about several important building and bridges throughout the city. In addition, I found out about the Flood of 2008 which left the town flooded for long 2-week and caused at least $64 billion in damages to the state of Iowa.
Thanks a million to Deveri for your warm spirit, taking me to church service, & the terrific hospitality -- you made my journey through eastern Iowa ever more enjoyable!
[ NOTE: I apologize for the delay in writing this entry. A busy schedule after finishing my walk coupled with the lack of sleep over the months catching up with me made it difficult to get my thoughts together. I’m now relaxed and in good state of mind. ]
Los Angeles, CA. On July 20th, 2013 at 11:00 am I finally made it to my destination of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of California located in South Los Angeles. From my start in New York it took exactly 7 long months and 22 days to reach Los Angeles, but I finally made it!
For the last 2-miles several people joined me for the final leg. Including WM Dorian Glover of New York, Malcolm Douglas, PM Walter Davis, and several other great individuals. During that time-frame there were several people honking and expressing signs of support for my efforts.
Mixed feelings of joy, appreciation, peace, accomplishment, along with exhaustion (both mentally and physically) all overwhelmed me simultaneously. I’m glad I didn’t get teary eyed towards the end as I had a probably over couple dozen times over the course of the trek. My continuous smile shown throughout the last day was result of accomplishing my mission, the huge love & support shown, and the fact I was finally going back home!
My journey would not have been accomplished without the hundreds of people who supported me along the way. Even with its flaws we live in such as great nation, to experience the amount of generosity I have received during these almost 8-months has been astounding. Now with my super busy life back here in New York I will still continue writing entries and posting photos thanking as many across the country as I can who assisted in some way (I have a long list but didn’t have time while walking).
I want to the thank the following people & organizations who helped me out tremendously the last couple of days of the walk and immediately after:
MW Lovell Morgan, Grand Lodge Officers, Brothers & Sisters of Most Worshipful Prince Hall Jurisdiction of California, PM Walter Davis, MW Dorian R. Glover, Jody Lepore, Malcolm Douglas, Ron Gamble & Anissa Brathwaite, Brother Headley, PM Kevin Malone,WM Donny Jones & the Brothers of High Desert Lodge #107 (Victorville, CA), Pastor Birdgette and the entire Belmont Baptist Church congregation, The Hugyiks, The Bacons, American Diabetes Association of California (Sunnyvale, CA area), JetBlue, and everyone else who graciously donated, or supported my worthy cause in the L.A./San Francisco area.
Until next entry PEACE!
Las Vegas, Nevada. Huge thanks to the Most Worshipful Grand Master Jeffrey Jones, Grand Lodge Officers, Brothers, and Sisters of Most Worshipful Prince Hall Jurisdiction of Nevada! Thank you for the $500 American Diabetes Association donation and hotel room near the Vegas Strip. The pot luck dinner you held for my arrival was great and I truly appreciated your warm welcome. The fellowship I had with the brothers and sisters of your jurisdiction was certainly a pleasure!
LaTanaya & Myla of Mighty Queen Esther Chapter #2 along with myself at the lodge (above).
MWPHGM Jeffrey Jones and I on the level near his home in Las Vegas (above).
MWPHGM Jeffrey Jones and I at Nellis Air Force Base in front of a F-16 in Las Vegas (above).
Washington, Utah. Thank you to Duwayne, Keoni, & Devin for stopping to say hi on that blistering Wednesday and providing me with those Gatorades, tasty cranberry trail mix, and Jacks Link beef jerky (the best). You guys are awesome, that definitely made my day -- enjoy the rest of your Summer!
Eagle, Colorado. Approaching the residence I was unsure which was the right house. It was too late at night to see the house number, I walked to the door and rang the doorbell anyway. Cherlynn greeted me at the door invited me in where I met her husband Mike, their son Nate, and daughter Morgan.
Cherlynn and Mike offered to put me up for the night via the couchsurfing.com website. Their home was beautiful, spacious, and I liked the fact they practiced healthy living.
Mike is a military flight instructor, which I think is excellent. Cherlynn, a former teacher who now instructs yoga and promotes Juice Plus+, a concentrated fruit & vegetable dietary supplement (which I have using daily since I've met them).
The subject of "quantum healing" was brought up and was a very interesting topic to me. I believe thinking is one of the highest forms of energy a human possesses and when you can channel positive thoughts great feats can be accomplished.
If not for positive focus I would not have made it this far in my journey. I'm looking forward to researching this topic even more in depth as I travel and beyond.
I enjoyed the great conversations we had discussing health, healing, thoughts, focus, food, and other matters of the human psyche.
The Feltons were absolutely terrific hosts. Staying with them was a great experience and it was an honor being around such a uplifting individuals.
Moab, Utah. Mike Corenella & Mrs. Corenella, thank you both so much! Not only for the water while I was walking into Moab, the advice, the stories, the new Montrail shoe insoles, and the excellent tour of Arches National Park -- but above all that, thank you for your enthusiasm for life! Keep up the excellent job you and your wife are doing.
Guided Hiking/Backpacking, Scenic, and Photo Tours
Flagstaff, Arizona. Thank you Clay for your taking care of me in selecting the right pack, your great professionalism, giving me packing tips, your store's phone etiquette, store's selection, logistics, and your follow ups. 5-stars, great job all around the board!
12 E Aspen Ave
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Grand Canyon, Arizona. Walking 22 miles from the southern rim into the Grand Canyon and up the northern rim seemed like a simple undertaking. However, the 110+ F temperature added a different element to the task.
After receiving several recommendations to walk across the Canyon at night from very knowledgeable locals, I decided to walk during the day in order to meet and converse with people, take colorful photos of the Canyon, and for safety reasons to not slip and fall down to the bottom.
The sprint down into the Canyon was fairly quick & easy. Once I got a good pace going the only person who passed me was a trail runner, which I thought was cool. I miss running and was actually a little jealous.
3-hours later at the bottom near the Indian Garden I took a nap on the ground, woke up and trekked 5-miles to Phantom Ranch. Phantom is a complex at the bottom of the Grand Canyon that is composed of log cabins, a campground, ranger station, and a canteen.
I chilled at the canteen for a bit drinking several cups of lemonade until my belly ached and talking to Noami, the girl behind the counter. I took another siesta at the eating table, woke, filled my water bottles, and kept trucking.
At this point I had 15-miles to go to reach North Rim and I was seeing less and less people. After wiping dripping sweat from my face several times, I knew things were about to get serious. That trek down to the bottom was to easy for me. They advise park visitors not to go down and come back up in one day, but I'm hard headed and had to do it.
The journey back up to the other side of the Canyon was long, hot, and uncomfortable at times.
Once the sun went down 6-hours after I left the ranch. Shortly thereafter it was completely dark and the Canyon took on another personality.
The colorful landscapes were gone, besides the area in front of me lit by my headlamp all I could see was the black silhouette of the scaling Canyon walls surrounding me beneath the stars and satellites. Seeing the Milky Way spanning across the sky for the first time I realized this was the clearest view I've ever seen of the heavens.
I then stopped took off my pack, sat down, took a ibuprofen, two sips of 5-Hour Energy, and several gulps if water. Cleared my mind while massaging my feet for a bit. I played DJ Shadow's Gi Mix (from "Do Androids Dream of Electronic Beats"), I got up and was ready to go!
With all of the switchbacks and being in the dark, the last 3-miles were the toughest. I seemed to be going nowhere, the elevation would rise then fall for quite some time, and it was extremely frustrating.
"Don't think... be", a Bruce Lee quote and "Battle physically, conquer mentally" line were somewhere in that mix (along with a nice Whitney Houston track) and at that point I was fully engaged going full speed being careful not to slip off the ledge on one of the turns while working my way up.
I finally made it to the top and felt accomplished. I wanted to pass out but the adrenaline was still pumping. Great walk, beautiful scenery -- this is probably No. 4 in this trip's greatest challenges.
Moab, Utah. Big shout out to Steve, LJ, Mark, Skeeter, and the whole crew at GearHeads!
From Fruita, Colorado until I got into town everyone told me I had to visit three places in Moab: Arches National Park, Moab Brewery, & GearHeads.
Entering the outdoors gear shop I wanted to buy everything I saw, even the unrelated stuff -- there was so much packed into this one store. The staff were fairly knowledgeable and super friendly. They assisted me in finding the following items:
* Mountain Time freeze dried dinner meals to cook and eat while camping
* Small propane canister for my portable stove
* 3-Liter Platypus water reservoir, an upgrade from my 2-liter one
* Tactical lighting device with tons of neat features (graciously donated)
* Black Diamond gaiters to keep thorns, rocks, sand, and everything else out of my boots while walking (graciously donated)
* Various Clif meal bars, flavors I never tried before because I like to experiment (graciously donated)
Overall great shop, great people, and thanks again guys -- these gaiters are priceless!
GearHeads Outdoor Store
471 S Main St
Moab, UT 84532