Along the way I took a break to eat, drink, rest my back and feet. Liking the scenery around me, I took this photo.
Follow my journey from Midtown NYC (Nov. 2012) to Downtown Los Angeles (Jul. 2013).
THE GOALS: (1.) Raise $20,000 for the American Diabetes Association, (2.) Spread awareness about the growing epidemic of Type-2 Diabetes, and (3.) Experience America up close and personal. [MISSION COMPLETE 7/20/13]
Madaryville, IN. After sleeping at a beautiful state park, I packed up, and I walked westward toward Lake Village to pick up some gear waiting for me at the post office.
Along the way I took a break to eat, drink, rest my back and feet. Liking the scenery around me, I took this photo.
Marion, IN. This photo was taken early morning on the Cardinal Greenway Trail on my way to Peru, Indiana.
Medaryville, IN. This is Paul and Matt, now at first glance while they were ordering I thought they were brothers or close friends. However, after asking them they turned out to be father and son. We talked a bit about my trip and they later gave a small donation to the ADA while leaving. I really meet some great people at Subway.
Peru, Indiana. It seemed to have taken forever to get into the city of Peru, Indiana. Before getting to my destination that day I met Tom King (Marion, IN), Chris Reed (Peru, IN) who both gave donations, and several other individuals who gave me praise along the way.
Thankfully that evening I had great place to stay and it was with Tony and his beautiful wife Kim who I connected with through their son via the "Couchsurfing.com" website.
Unfortunately, I never got to actually meet their son Dylan (who was away at college), but Tony and Kim were excellent hosts. They offered me Dylan's room with a cozy bed and bathroom, and filled me to the brim with Kim's home cooked food and assortments of desserts.
We sat back in the living room and talked about my walk, themselves & family, tennis (a game I've always admired while living in Connecticut), and they offered great tales and antics of their sons that make my cross country walk seem like an evening stroll.
I love hearing stories of adventurous people, everyone walks around so sanitized to try new things and explore the unknown. So many things that scare us to "follow the program" and keep us scared and falsely fearing.
On this journey I have meditated on the multitude of positive things that could possibly transpire as well as the negative. I am content with all that has, is, and will happen good and bad.
Whether it was sleep walking, walking/sleeping in minus 15 degree weather, walking through the hood/notorious trailer park, hands being numb and useless, sleeping in hunting parks while hunters were hunting, being attacked by unchained dogs regularly, encountering a bear/several coyotes, running out of food/water, or walking through dark forest at night -- I've come to realize no matter what obstacles you or I have faced from Day 1, birth, to right now you and I have survived time and time again and are still standing to learn & grow from those lessons and are here to tell about them! I will continue until my ticket expires, I enjoy and live for my peaks and enjoy and adjust in my valleys -- life is ups and downs, I will ALWAYS, ALWAYS be bigger than any obstacle or personal fear and with a friendly calm demeanor will continue to press on come hell or high water.
It was inspiring to hear about their son's courage. It enhanced my everlasting yearn to think positively outside of my frame of comfort in order to stretch my own self-imposed limitation.
I wished I had spent more time with them, however I enjoyed their (and Dylan's) kindness for graciously accommodating me. Thanks a lot guys and Dylan good luck in school (please make sure to switch from general studies... trust me)!
Above is Tom King, who mistook me for a farm worker (too funny) while I stopped to take off a layer (due to over heating, which happens often while walking through the snow) and get a quick bite to eat -- this was bet. Marion, IN and Peru, IN.
So he asked me what I was doing, I explained, we spoke for a little, gave him my business card, and he departed. He later drove back (which often happens) and gave a donation for the ADA, which I was grateful for.
De Motte, IN. After a night of camping out of camping out with only a frozen can of soup, I was dead hungry. The only things I had to hold me over that morning was some Orbit gum, along with a bag of spicey Doritos and a Rice Crispy treat I asked a police officer for after he stopped me (a technique that's helps me when I'm hungry and happen to get pulled over). Those snacks I received made my day, I quickly ripped the wrappers open, fingers frozen, and devoured them on site.
After walking about 5 miles I discovered a huge truck stop in which I found a Subway restaurant. On my journey Subway has been the friendliest and healthiest fast food restaurant, so that's where I went.
There I met the Rachael and Char (shown above), they were extremely nice and accommodating. They knew just about everyone that walked in the door (like Cheers minus the beer) and probably because of their positive energy I felt I knew them as well. I even noted some things from their interaction with customers that I will use when I return. I ate very well, charged my phone, thanked the staff, and later left.
Life is sometimes a challenge and it helps to come across or have individuals in your life like Rachael and Char to maintain that upbeat, positive mindset. I work in the hospitality field and I admire those that get it, those that understand its not all about how fast or how well you make my footlong sandwich but essentially how you make me feel (customer, non-customer, family, friend, co-worker, etc.) -- that's it plan and simply and that's what keeps 'em coming back. Rachael and Char get it and I'm glad I stopped there.
Fairmount, IN. Above is a photo of a great man by the name of John (on the right alongside his dog, Rocky) next to his good good friend Tony (on the left). I met John after looking for non-existing restaurant in the nearby city of Matthews, Indiana (I ended up having a huge satisfying meal at a BP gas station). After seeing my huge "NY -to- LA" sign John knew I had a interesting story and offered me a place to stay overnight for a couple of days which I gladly accepted. That ample time would allow me to plan my upcoming route.
After we spoke and we got to know each other I discovered John was a top director for The Cardinal Greenway (headquartered in Muncie), which is the bike path I had been travelling since Richmond, Indiana to that point (roughly 60 miles). While staying in his home he also kindly informed the Marion newspaper of my journey which transpired into a interview, photoshoot, and finally a newspaper article.
Being a map expert he showed me the best path to take that point forward. John's dog Rocky was also awesome abd was the most relaxed canine I have ever seen. Rocky and I went running in the snow a couple of times which was a lot of fun. I haven't been running since Centre Hall, PA.
My bedroom was extremely cozy and had its own bathroom, I had no problem falling asleep. While staying there I had some of the healthiest meals on my journey, all hand made by John -- tons of great food and I even learned a new technique to make oatmeal. He also repaired the tip of one of my hiking poles which was great!
The things I took from John that spoke loudest to me was his great humility and positive attitude. I also admired his focus on health, not only eating right and being physically active but his advocacy for cycling and The Cardinal Greenway. The excellent bond with his friends was something I took note of along with his overall openess and care. Loved it, great experience!
This is the humble Rocky who is always in chill-mode.
Beautiful living room that was warm and cozy especially with the fireplace going.
Nothing beats morning breakfast, cardinals & blue jays, with a touch of sunrise.
1/23/13 to 1/25/13
Fairborn, OH. This great gentleman is Aaron. While driving he saw me, slowed down, and pulled over to the shoulder. He asked me where I headed, I told him California, and I immediately followed with "do you have any pizza?" I was then expected him to grab a pizza from the seat next to or behind him and offer/sell it to me.
He looked puzzled and then I realized after walking all day I was fantasizing about Domino's Pizza the whole afternoon and associated his red sweater with something a Domino's delivery associate would wear. I realized I had blundered, but he immediatly then told me saw me walking that morning while he was doing his rounds as a UPS driver. He just now had finished his full shift and was amazed I was still on the road walking.
He told me when he first spotted me his first thought was "there aren't any hiking trails around here". We spoke for a little bit and he asked if I needed anything. With food still on my mind I made s food request, but he informed me driving to the closest food place would take him out his way, however he did offer me an energy drink which I was greatful for.
Aaron thanks buddy! Even though you didn't have any pizza I enjoyed our brief conversation and appreciated you offering me the drink.
Shown above, in my hotel room, is my "drank" next to an empty box of Domino's pizza (was bacon, tomato, & spinach).
Richmond, IN. Act I: After crossing the state border into Indiana, I finally reached my destination city of Richmond. My first order of business was to eat, drink, and then eat some more so I found a local place to eat that was by the motel I were to be staying at. After ordering about enough food to feed four people I reached for my card to pay and that's when Debbie & Ron stepped in to pay for my meal. After explaining that she didn't have to she insisted and all I could say was, "thank you" and later ask for a picture! Thanks again Debbie & Ron for the warm welcome -- you certainly made my evening and probably my week!
Act II: The amazing thing is the next morning I woke up, got ready and headed to the same establishment to eat breakfast. Place my order with Curt (the same gentleman that took my order yesterday) and another person stepped in to cover my meal. I looked at Curt as he replied "I can't believe it". I thanked the person while thinking, "I like this is reverse conspiracy".
Act III: The next day, now on the West side of Richmond I stopped a different restaurant, but same chain to order breakfast, before starting The Cardinal Greenway path. I kid you not... An older gentleman, who was once a hiker and saw my "NY to LA" sign down the road, covered my meal again! I officially love Richmond, Indiana!!! Three times in a row having my meals paid for, that goes to show you there is a lot of love in that town.
Muncie, IN. Thank you to Debra and Noama for seeing my sign, stopping their car in this freezing weather, and giving a small donation. It was a pleasure meeting you two ladies!
Grove City, OH. On my journey from Columbus to London I choose the Ohio to Erie bike path. I wanted to walk in peace without worrying about car traffic so this was the perfect option. It was a little tricky finding it but well worth it!
Start of my path down the bikeway nestled between railroad tracks and large stretches of farmland.
On the path I met Liz, Maggie, and Matt who I believe were cycling to London, OH and back. They were very friendly and seeing them ride off made me miss my single-speed bike back home. It was nice meeting them, I wish them many great rides throughout the year.
Farm silos with train loading station, the town's skyscrapers.
Glen and Allen. I met these two gentlemen sho were cycling on the path they stopped and questioned me about mission. They happen to be Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails, so they monitor and maintain the bike path within the county. Along with giving me directions to a hostel in London they (with another fellow named Gary) made donations to the American Diabetes Association, which I was greatful for. Thanks again!
Resting of feet is a must especially when breaking in new boots.
Friday, November 28, 2012
Runner, Writer, Thinker, & Positive Energy.