Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thank you so much, Quinn

Thank you so much, Quinn Williamson & Dewayne Adams, for getting me out of Florida & for the $$. I really, really appreciate it. You guys rock.

No way, I'm finally out

No way, I'm finally out of FL! Excluding the handful of kind folks I met in Florida, FUCK FLORIDA!!! I'll probably never B back. Buncha assholes.

Exit 360 Day 2. Think

Exit 360 Day 2. Think I can get outta this freakin state today? I doubt it. Looks like it may rain, too, so I may have to strip & take a shower.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Florida segment of Aimless

The Florida segment of Aimless will be called Mostly Heartless. Aimless is done w/ FL (or will be if I ever manage to get the hell out of here).

Man I get so sick

Man I get so sick of this sometimes. Walk all day, then stand around & wait for ride for hours more. Can't sit because ants'll crawl all over me.

Busch Dr. @ I-95. Seems

Busch Dr. @ I-95. Seems like a good place to get a ride, so I'll probably be here until next month. If so, plenty of stores & restaurants nearby.

I've walked almost 6 miles

I've walked almost 6 miles to I-95 and the ramps are closed. Detour might add another 2 miles. I don't need any more sun in my face right now.

Just had a cool cop

Just had a cool cop encounter. He was annoyed by the call because it's NOT ILLEGAL TO WALK OR TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!

I believe it was one

I believe it was one year ago today when I came up with the idea for Aimless. I've made progress since then. How will it be in a year from today?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I'll wait here for a

I'll wait here for a ride til 9, but I hope no one stops b/c I'm finally in a peaceful place where I can set up early & get a good night's rest.

Funny how when walking down

Funny how when walking down a single street, 1 person offers a ride, 1 person offers a beer/seat, & another person calls the cops.

Y-day a cop asked me

Y-day a cop asked me how many times I've been arrested. Didn't occur 2 me then, but it was very insulting. Never, a-hole, b/c I'm not a criminal.

I know I'm not supposed

I know I'm not supposed to choose where I go, but Leg 2 will begin w/ jaunt to N. Mich & west from there, staying close to Canadian border.

Jax Beach: Cool place, excluding

Jax Beach: Cool place, excluding a few paranoid freaks. Good spot for vacation. I'm on my way out if I can figure out where 2 go. Pretty burned.

Monday, May 28, 2007

I put trust in beachgoers

I put trust in beachgoers & left my stuff alone on the beach for 2 hours while braving the powerful Atlantic. Strong rip current can be scary.

Jax Beach is nice. Big

Jax Beach is nice. Big beach, lotsa people, plenty of nice-looking chicks prompting the semi. I wonder if any of them are checking me out.

You R NOT free if

You R NOT free if U live in fear of a 160-Lb guy w/ a backpack, America. Sadly, that's clearly the prevailing trend. Maybe I'm out here 2 free U.

Lew recently informed me that

Lew recently informed me that he has a blog at I'll link to it as soon as I can. Haven't seen it yet, myself.

Ah yeah. Good nite's sleep

Ah yeah. Good nite's sleep in park 2 miles from J-ville beach. Might hang around beach today, relax. Need a shower & pit-stop, charge batteries.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mason called me tonite. He

Mason called me tonite. He seems pretty interested in Aimless. Guess I ought to start being a better role model now, watching my language 'n all.

Well, the sign worked. It

Well, the sign worked. It took less than 10 minutes to get a ride to Jacksonville, where I now stand next to a beach. That means no Sarasota.

At Exxon I have made

At Exxon I have made a sign that says, "Please get me out of this stupid, paranoid city. (I am not a terrorist.)" If no response soon, I'll start walking.

Another cop said they're getting

Another cop said they're getting lots of calls about me. Bunch of paranoid freaks. Fuck this place; I'm walking somewhere else. Florida blows.

According to the cop I

According to the cop I just "met": If your thumb is not up, U R NOT hitchhiking. People who call the cops when they see someone taping R STUPID!!

Screw this place (Lake Mary).

Screw this place (Lake Mary). I'm just gonna sit at this gas station until someone offers me a ride. Don't care where they're going; I'm there.

That's funny: A car with

That's funny: A car with a WWJD plate just flew by. If yer really that unsure, pal, I can tell you WJWHD: He would've stopped and offered a ride.

WWJD? THIS is what he

WWJD? THIS is what he would do. Yes, & he would get angry sometimes, too, b/c if he actually existed, he was HUMAN! [Notes from the real world.]

You don't need to behave

You don't need to behave as Jesus would. All you need is a fake "Jesus" license plate. If you have one of those, yer good. No, really. Seriously.

It appears big ants are

It appears big ants are afraid to climb Mt. Ryan, while little ants won't stop climbing Mt. Ryan. I'll continue my study as the trip progresses.

Ended up spending most of

Ended up spending most of nite on asphalt parking lot due to sprinklers. Still feel crappy from those donuts. Think I'm in bad place to get ride.

I ate some Winn Dixie

I ate some Winn Dixie donuts at about 10:00, and now I feel sick. Doesn't help that I'm "sleeping" on a sidewalk, either. No tent tonight.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Julie in SC, if I

Julie in SC, if I didn't thank you when you called: Thank you. I tell a lot of people about the morning I woke up on your lawn. Highlight story.

My waist has shrunk by

My waist has shrunk by about an inch and my belt broke a week ago. Now I have trouble keeping my shorts from falling off. A good problem?

Need more space to recap

Need more space to recap this one, but I got a ride from Penny & Michael to Deltona, where they fed me @ Perkins along w/ Penny's son Mason. Wow!

Man I hope my pal

Man I hope my pal Mike in Sarasota will let me hang 4 a few days. I need a break so bad, & a shower & laundry facilities & rest. I'm so beat now.

The 2 quickest rides (by

The 2 quickest rides (by far) I've ever received were both from natives/residents of South Carolina. Between the 2, I waited MAYBE 3 minutes.

My face has been burned

My face has been burned for 5 weeks now; blisters on my forehead. When will it end? Need a break. Calf muscles are showing some definition. RAWK!

OK, maybe it's just SOUTH

OK, maybe it's just SOUTH Florida that's full of a-holes. I'm getting a much friendlier vibe from the folks up here around Daytona.

Snoozed my alarm a few

Snoozed my alarm a few too many times this morn & got a knock from the New Smyrna Police. They were very cool from the start. Sarasota next?

Friday, May 25, 2007

I almost never get a

I almost never get a chance to sit or sleep in comfort. Not even when I'm riding w/ someone. It's rough, tiring. I need a couple days to relax!!!

Got my phone charged! I

Got my phone charged! I guess I'm near Daytona now. Good spot to sleep, but I'll have to get up before 6 because the rising sun will expose me.

I say plenty about the

I say plenty about the good people out there, so I'm entitled to reveal the bad ones, too: Florida is jam-packed w/ assholes. Serious assholes.

I say plenty about the

I say plenty about the good people out there, so I'm entitled to reveal the bad ones, too: Florida is jam-packed w/ assholes. Serious assholes.

Someone Google "Marley Elena Ortiz"

Someone Google "Marley Elena Ortiz" for me. I found her ID in strange place, can't get cops to stop for me. In case she's missing or something.

Phone battery low, so can't

Phone battery low, so can't update for a while. Still in Davie, FL. Don't know if I'll head to Cape Canav or not b/c James may be gone already.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

What I said about Travis

What I said about Travis sounded shitty. I didn't mean it that way. I will explain when I get a chance. I want to apologize to Travis for that.

Oh, it's Lew, not Lou.

Oh, it's Lew, not Lou. (Let me consult my pocket atlas about that one, Lew.) BTW, Lew also gave me a hat, which is making things easier already.

Got another ride to Davie

Got another ride to Davie w/ Lou Graff. He bought me fish/chips & a beer. He's a pastor, nice guy. Glad to be outta Naples. Now where do I go?

And I'm not forgetting you,

And I'm not forgetting you, Bobby Ware. Thanks for the ride. Wish I'd had more time to capture some of your stories. Interesting and compelling.

As usual, the shit turns

As usual, the shit turns to gold. A ride 5 miles took me to Tim, an Irishman w/ a gift for gab. 90 mins. of footage w/ him + $20. Much more L8R.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lexus, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Cadi,

Lexus, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Cadi, 'Vette. One after another. Naples: City of Assholes. I know it sounds negative, but it's true. You shame Italy.

If I get arrested, there

If I get arrested, there WILL be footage. So if it happens & I end up w/ no footage, y'all will know the cops took it, unless I say I otherwise.

Remind me to never come

Remind me to never come back to Naples. This place sucks! I just want outta here NOW. When I get rich, I'm gonna live among the real people.

If you enjoy your liber-ty

If you enjoy your liber-ty (aka freedom), thank a liber-al. Yup, them's two different forms of the same word. I heard one of them is bad, though.

...I have 19 full/used tapes,

...I have 19 full/used tapes, 1 partially used, 1 cleaner & 3 blank. Someone please copy & paste these 2 posts into comments ASAP to verify time.

Please leave comments on previous

Please leave comments on previous post ASAP in case anything happens 2 me or my shit. It'll be evidence if the cops destroy stuff. All is OK now.

Another cop fucked w/ me

Another cop fucked w/ me @ 9:20. She said she'll take me to jail if she sees me here again. I'm still here. I dare you to fuck w/ me again, lady.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

15 mins later 2 more

15 mins later 2 more cops stopped. I matched the description of perp. They were cool. Then an investigator. Held me up at least an hour. No ride.

So much for cool sheriff's

So much for cool sheriff's deputies. 1 just fucked w/ me on on-ramp but bolted when I reached for my camera. I want him to come back & try again.

Fatburger is a total ripoff.

Fatburger is a total ripoff. No way I'm eating there for almost $10. I'd pay up to $5, but no more. I can't believe people pay that 4 so-so food.

Fatburger in Naples!? I'm there,

Fatburger in Naples!? I'm there, dude.

Collier County Public Library

I am at the Collier County Public Library in Naples, Florida right now. Can't say much here because I only have 17 minutes left and I don't want to stay here long.

Travis showed up about ten minutes ago with my cash from yesterday's work (mostly painting). He paid me $60 for 9 hours of work. I believe the current minimum wage is over $7 an hour, so I feel a little cheated (do the math), despite the nice things Travis has done for me (all of which were voluntary on his part).

Naples seems pretty nice. Sheriff's deputies seem cool, too. Weather has been nice here.

Gonna try to get back to the Atlantic coast as soon as I leave here. I want to meet back up with James (the bicyclist) in Cape Canaveral, to return the swimming trunks he left in his Beaufort, SC motel room, as well as to get some footage of him recapping his adventure. I think James said he would be around until the 26th, so I should make it there easily before he heads back to NJ.

I wish I could show the pics and footage of my gator encounter, but there is just no way for me to do that right now. I was about 8 feet from the gator, in or near the Everglades. Some kid kept throwing rocks at the gator, which really pissed me off for a couple reasons: 1) It drove the gator away; and 2) That's just not cool. And his mom just stood there and allowed him to do it.

Gotta go. Hope I can get some more computer access soon. So much to say.


The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
If you'd like to contact me, call me at 614-738-3867.

Unpublished post

For some reason the following mobile blog did not publish two nights ago (5/20/07 - 10:45 PM):

I've been zig-zagging FL. Going to Naples right now. Might do some painting tomorrow for the dude who picked me up today. Good timing because I'm down to $30.


The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
If you'd like to contact me, call me at 614-738-3867.

Waiting 4 dude to show

Waiting 4 dude to show up with my $$ so I can leave Naples. How much will he bring (if he even shows up)? Should be $90 or more. My guess is $50.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Busted ass 9 hrs today

Busted ass 9 hrs today for $40. I gave it back so dude could get gas. Says he'll give me more in morning. Maybe he'll up it to the OLD min wage!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I've been zig-zagging FL

I've been zig-zagging FL. Going to Naples right now. Might do some painting tomorrow for the dude who picked me up today. Good timing because I'm down to $30.

In Miami for 3rd time.

In Miami for 3rd time. Got up close w/ a gator in wild today. It's so hot here; need to get away north. I may take A1A up to Cape Canaveral next.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Alone in Everglades tonite with

Alone in Everglades tonite with gators, panthers. (Wearing OSU shirt = prime gator bait.) US 41 @ FL 29. Kinda eerie. Tomorrow should be awesome.

I went into the Miccosukee

I went into the Miccosukee casino. After a few mins, guard told me I can't be in there w/ my pack. I said: Fine, I'll leave & take my $$ with me.

Attention: Brad & Jeff

Since Brad will probably see this long before Jeff, I guess this is directed more toward Brad than Jeff. Anyway, I'm going to ask you a favor.

As far as I know, both of you guys are very active on the drum corps forums like Drum Corps Planet. Knowing that, I hope one of you will post something for me: I think I would like to volunteer with a touring drum corps after I return home from Leg 1 of Aimless in late June. So would you please post something on the message boards that might reach the corps directors or whoever they put in charge of touring? It doesn't matter to me which corps or corps (plural) might be interested in allowing me to volunteer (in conjunction with Aimless). I might even want to spend time traveling with various corps, possibly all the way through Championship week.

I don't know how I might be able to meet up with an interested corps, but I do know I will be in Columbus in late June. I also don't know if there are any shows in or around Columbus in late June, but if there is/are, it might provide a good opportunity for me to hook up with a corps looking for some assistance. Additionally, Aimless could provide some valuable exposure for whatever corps snaps me up. Or maybe not. I don't know for sure. I'm not writing the story; I'm just finding it.

Brad or Jeff, if you are willing to do this for me, give me a call so I can elaborate on what I've said here. Basically I will be in Columbus at least from June 20 to about June 25. I'm almost sure there will be lots of drum corps in or near Ohio during that time span. Depending on where I am in early June, I may arrive home a little sooner or hang around a little later than those dates (to get some badly needed rest and relaxation).

Also, Brad, would you mind sending an e-mail to the LE list for me, letting them know that I've been out on the road for almost a month, as well as inviting them to follow my adventure through the blog? I've probably already been in the neighborhoods of many LE alums but never even knew it. I think I may venture into Mike Heineman's area very soon, so it'll be cool to see him. (He already knows I might be around.)

OK, I think I said what I needed to say. Hope to hear from one of you soon. And thank you.


The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
If you'd like to contact me, call me at 614-738-3867.

Still at FIU

As I mentioned in my short mobile post, I had a very cool spot to camp last night. I also said quite a bit in the longer post, but I neglected to mention a guy I met on the bus to FIU. His name is Rafael (can't quite make out the last name on the piece of paper he gave me). He is a musician and teaches history at FIU, I believe he said. Anyway, he told me about his myspace page and I wanted to link to it here, even though I haven't had the chance to look at it yet. Here it is: (Rafael is from Venezuela.)

Well, there are lots of people here trying to use these computers, so I better go. Not sure I had anything else to say, anyway. I guess I'm in no hurry to leave this place, considering the abundance of internet access and a great spot to camp out, but I will probably be long gone by the end of the day.


The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

If you'd like to contact me, call me at 614-738-3867.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Haven't used tent the last

Haven't used tent the last 5 nights. Feels good to be back "home." I'm camping by a pond on FIU campus. FIU doesn't even know how kind they are.

Live from Florida International

I am now west of Miami, at Florida International University's library. I'm not supposed to be using their computers, but they don't have any special login criteria, like passwords & stuff, so I guess I win.

Don't know where I'll stay tonight. Haven't really gotten a feel for the area because I came here straight from the 8 bus. Additionally it is getting dark, so I probably won't be able to get a ride west on US Route 41 through the Everglades.

The homeless shelter wasn't bad. I think I slept well and no one bothered me. Also, there were a couple guys there who I met on the bus down to Key West, so that probably made it easier.

First thing this morning I walked about two miles from the shelter to the bus stop for the bus that takes you 50 miles to Marathon. The $2 bus showed up maybe 15 minutes after I arrived, and we proceeded down the road. When we arrived in Marathon, at about 9:40, I figured I might have to wait maybe an hour, tops, for the next bus to Florida City. But when I walked to the nearby gas station to buy some smokes and take a whiz, I asked the station attendants if they knew what time the next bus was supposed to come. They said 1:00. Fucking great! Almost a three-and-a-half-hour wait, after I'd gotten off to such a good start.

So I waited for a while before going to McDonald's to cheaply acquire some comfortable seating and AC. Then I went back to the bus stop and waited. It sucked. Finally the bus showed up at about 1:10. I waited almost three and a half hours for that bus ($1.85 plus $0.50 transfer for the 38 bus in Florida City), hoping to get the front seat, but it was already taken when I boarded the bus. One thing I have to say about the bus drivers around here: They can make it a little scary.

Arrived in Florida City at about 3:30. At 3:42 I boarded the bus and asked the driver for a transfer to the train. I expected it to cost me another fifty cents, but she just gave it to me. That was cool of her.

Let's see. What else did I want to say?

I want to say more about the planetarium thing, but that would take too long. (I only have 31 minutes left.) And I think I already made it pretty clear that I don't like Key West.

Man, it's really difficult to keep my thoughts organized. This really is a lot of work, and I'm in constant sensory overload mode.

I think there are real students waiting to use these computers, so I'm going to get off now. Hopefully I'll encounter another computer soon so I can continue the updating game.

I'd love to hear from people while I'm on the road. Feel free to call me at 614-738-3867.

The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

I've now walked over 200

I've now walked over 200 miles. Not sure of exact dist. Keeping notes to figure it out L8R. Outta Key W, waiting 4 bus back to Miami. Where next?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Homeless shelter tonite. They make

Homeless shelter tonite. They make you take a shower b4 you enter the sleep area. I wanted a shower as much as I wanted somewhere 2 sleep anyway.

I just went to a

I just went to a planetarium to feed my appetite for science, but I had to leave because it turned out to be creationist propaganda. Ridiculous!

KW is boring as hell.

KW is boring as hell. It is so ordinary & predictable. YSO is a much cooler town. I'm tempted to leave right now. But should I take bus or walk?

Feel more like homeless tonite,

Feel more like homeless tonite, my first all-niter. Nowhere to camp/hide. Just have to pass a few more hours, then head to beach for some rest.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Galen in SC just called.

Galen in SC just called. Said he & wife read blog every day. Wished me the best. Awesome people! Thanks. Made it to Key West for $4 via 3 buses.

Riding an L train north

Riding an L train north of Miami right now. Gonna take it back south when it ends, then head toward Key West. The road there should be very cool.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Miami, Florida

Arrived in Miami at about 11:00 tonight, riding from Beaufort with Daniel Dosier. So many places to go from here. I'm going to be depressed when I get back to Ohio after being in all these beautiful places for so long.

I'm tired and I think I'll stop sending all those short mobile blogs. I get the feeling they're kind of annoying.

Guess I'll see all the Forrest Gump stuff some other time. It's OK that I left town, though, because the Gump stuff is not really in Beaufort; it's actually quite a way away from town. Would have been too much trouble trying to get there. I do want to go back to Beaufort, though. It looked like a very cool city.

Thanks for buying the shirt from Robert, Jay. That was really cool. (Did you see Dave around?)

The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

My god I'm so completely

My god I'm so completely aimless. Here I am on my way to Miami. Who'd've figured? (Jeff would've.) So what next? Who cares? I'll be there.

Aha! I found a Best

Aha! I found a Best Buy & got 6 tapes for $24. Not 2 bad & should last a while. Time 2 find a ride 2 Savannah or something, overtake James maybe.

Live from a real computer!

It just never stops: the good, the bad, the sun, the rain, everything. Crazy, man.

Yesterday there was hours and hours of clear, sunny skies. Not good when you're walking west or south (which happens to be the two directions I've been walking exclusively). Then, out of nowhere, it rained. Still walking along US Route 17 South, the hospitable southerners just kept driving by.

About a mile into the rain I passed a house. I looked over for a second and saw two figures sitting in the garage. A split second later I heard one of them yell for me, clearly inviting me to take shelter with them in the garage. I welcomed the invitation.

I hung out with the two black gentlemen--Al Edwards and Robert E. Lee--for about four hours before they took me about ten miles down the road to a truck stop. Lots more to say about this, but not much time right now. Awesome guys. Really great people.

Earlier in the day I encountered a bicyclist who had seen me walking the previous day. His name is Peter Masiello (from near New York City), and he is riding the entire Atlantic coast (or most of it) from Florida northward. Having just purchased two videotapes at a drug store for way too much money before our encounter, Peter asked if he could take care of the cost of the tapes. I obliged. He ended up giving me $22. (The tapes cost about $13). We talked for probably close to an hour. It was nice conversation. Thanks Peter. You're too kind.

Not ten minutes after Peter took off in the opposite way from myself, another bicyclist passed me going the same direction. He stopped and we talked for 20 or 30 minutes. His name is James Dolan, and he is also from the NYC area (northern New Jersey). Oddly he is biking the Atlantic coast from NJ to Kennedy Space Center (where his son lives). Another great guy. He gave me his phone number and told me he would be staying in Beaufort (BYOO-fert, locally). He said if I make it that far and see a bike outside a motel room, knock and he'd let me get a shower and stuff. But after getting a ride to Beaufort, I ended up calling him. He told me where he was staying, and "Wayne & Kim" (need to double check those names) drove me right up to room 111.

Unfortunately, somehow I lost my Aussie type hat during the ride in the back of Wayne and Kim's pickup. That sucks because I really like that hat. I got it in Panguitch, Utah close to ten years ago. It helped me keep hair, sweat, and sun out of my eyes and face. Now I need to buy a new hat. Not an expense I planned for. Well, the way things are going, expenses don't matter much because Wayne & Kim also gave me a 20. (I'm trying to get desperate, but people are too damn good to me.) Thank you Wayne and Kim. (Jeez I hope I'm getting all these names right. I have them on tape instead of my notebook, so it's hard to reference.)

Correction?: I said I camped near Ten Farms Creek or something like that. I think it may actually be Tea Farm Creek. Still not sure, but that's what the fellas told me.

Oh yeah, and I think Al and Bobby are Gullah people. They speak with very Jamaican sounding accents, as do many (or most) of the black people in this area, even though they were born and raised here. I can't believe I have never learned anything about these people or their history. I need to come back to get some more time with Bobby.

From here in Beaufort, James took off about an hour ago. Hopefully I'll catch up with him again for some more video opportunity. This is a good story. I'll probably keep going south all the way to Cape Canaveral (instead of Jacksonville) just to keep the correspondence with James. Oh yeah, and here is a URL about his journey:

If you checked out Robert Paschell's web site, you haven't seen anything yet. His best designs are not on the site. (My favorite is "Pink Freud.") I'll try to post some pictures of his shirts whenever I make it back home, but I won't be there long, so I may not have time.

This is so much work. 18 hour days almost every day, and that is just the walking. Weird thing is that I can go several days without taking a shower and I don't get smelly. I guess it's all the water I consume. Instead of sweating toxic crap like usual, I'm sweating damn near 100% water. I had a shower this morning, though, so I feel very refreshed.

Time to find the Gump House, I guess. Beaufort seems to be a very cool town. I hope I didn't forget to mention anything important. (Oh yeah, there is a Best Buy around here somewhere!!! Now I can get some reasonably priced tapes.)

The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Walk walk walk, no one

Walk walk walk, no one stops. Hot hot hot, I'm bout to drop. Southern hospitality is BULLSHIT! Most kind folks I've met in south are from north.

Heading toward Gump House in

Heading toward Gump House in Beaufort, SC (aka Greenbow, AL). Mostly I just want to get new tapes, take a shower, & charge batteries, though.

Awesome campsite last nite. US

Awesome campsite last nite. US 17 @ 10 Farms Creek, beside marsh. Almost outta tape, so couldn't get any footage. Luckily no gators to eat me up.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Unbelievable how many 10s of

Unbelievable how many 10s of 1000s of cars have passed me by as I turn purple under this brutal sun. US 17 South toward Savannah.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Lotsa walking in C-ton. Talked

Lotsa walking in C-ton. Talked to a guy named Rich & his beautiful girlfriend Sarah for a while, mostly about music. Better find a campsite ASAP.

Sick of Myrtle B. Got

Sick of Myrtle B. Got a ride to Charleston y-day. Woke at 6 today, gonna try to find soup kitchen downtown. Living like I'm homeless, I guess.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

E-mails to my phone can

E-mails to my phone can be a maximum of 160 characters. Jay, yours ended at "jour."

Leaving Myrtle Beach

I'll be heading south along the beach beginning in about an hour. Where will I go? I don't know. I might end up in Maine or something. That's why I call this Aimless.

Remember this number: 6147383867. That's my phone number. If you add to the end of it, you can e-mail my phone. There is probably a character limit, but I'm really not sure yet. Give it a try if you want to say something to me without calling.

Also, now that I know how to mobile blog, expect more blog entries. If there is a character limit on text messages, these entries will be short, as well.

I have to go now so Billy can finish his work on this computer and so I can finish getting ready to leave. Check back soon.

The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I am sending this from

I am sending this from my phone. It is just a test.

Aimless side effects

When I finish this adventure, I will have the baddest-ass calf muscles you've ever seen. All this walking with an additional 1/3 of my body weight upon my back has put a lot of new muscle on my legs. There's new muscle on my upper body, too, but not to the extent that there is on my legs.

I noticed yesterday that my ankle feels a lot better, at least in the spot where it has been hurting since December 16, when I dislocated it and likely tore a ligament. There is still a lot of pain when I walk long distances, but long walks make me hurt everywhere. I think I strained another part of the same ankle when I was in Yellow Springs, but that was one of those things that probably only lasts a week or two.

I've had a lot of numbness and swelling in my feet and hands. I wouldn't think it's anything serious, but it's pretty constant, so I worry about it a little bit. Knowing my luck, I'll probably have to get my feet amputated when I'm done with this.

Billy made some awesome spaghetti sauce last night, along with linguine. I would like to make these guys some pizza while I'm here. (Billy has two roommates: Daniel and Joe.) I also went down to the steam room and hot tub with Billy for a while last night. I love hot tubs. There is also a very nice pool here, as well as a sauna, I think. Steam room was a first for me. It feels kind of strange in there.

Don't forget about my lady in the black Pathfinder, Yellow Springers. I'm counting on you. I'm sure it's the only black Pathfinder in town, and she spends plenty of time on Xenia Avenue, so you've got to see her once in a while. I think I forgot to mention the look she gave me in the previous post about her, but it was one of those looks. I gave her the same look, and we both know it. The problem is, I can't reach her from here without your help.

The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

Monday, May 07, 2007

For all we know, he might be an angel

Wow! So much to say, but there is no way I can possibly say it all right now. Believe me, though, there will be a book about this.

Right now I'm in a condo in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I camped out in a forest last night, then started walking toward the beach at about 10:00 AM, when a guy named Billy De Lorenzo stopped to ask me if I needed a ride. I didn't really need a ride, being less than a mile from the beach, but I hopped in anyway. In the car he said I was welcome to hang out at his house, take a shower, do laundry, etc., so I came on over. He has since told me I'm welcome to stay as long as I want.

Now flash back about a week...

When last I checked in, you may remember I was in Covington, Kentucky. After writing those two entries, I stood around the I-75 on-ramp for four hours before a guy gave me a ride about ten miles down the road to Kentucky Route 371. (Can't remember his name right now, but I have it on tape. It will be in the credits.) I waited on the on-ramp for a few minutes before just deciding to walk along the road intersecting the interstate. I walked a couple miles and ended up at the Dixie Highway. Took the Dixie Highway south to Florence. Being off the trails, I had a difficult time finding a good place to pitch the tent, but I eventually found a pretty decent place.

I've had four encounters with cops so far, with the last one occurring not long after I woke up in Florence. No problems with them or anything; just cops doing what they're supposed to do.

From Florence I had to backtrack a few miles because I had managed to venture off of the Dixie Highway. So I found my way back to the Dixie Highway and headed south. Walked miles and miles with no luck getting a ride, so I walked over to a Pilot truck stop where the Dixie Highway met up with the interstate.

Within about three minutes of my arrival at the Pilot station, a trucker walked by and asked, "North or south?" I responded, "South. How 'bout yourself?" He said he was also going south, to Duncan, South Carolina (between Greenville and Spartanburg). At this point he didn't seem to be offering me a ride, but after a little more chit-chat, it was on. I rode with Bruce overnight through Lexington, Knoxville, and Asheville, to his destination in Duncan, South Carolina.

From upstate South Carolina I thought I might as well head toward Charleston or Savannah since I was so close, but I was in a bad spot to catch a ride that way. Where I was (beside I-85), it would have been much easier to get a ride to either Charlotte or Atlanta, but I really didn't feel like going to either of those cities, so I started walking west, thinking I was only a few miles from I-385. After walking five or six miles, I realized I'd put myself in an even worse spot than I was before. But I waited for a ride anywhere, and it didn't take long for someone to stop and offer me a ride closer to where I wanted to be.

I was now next to I-26, where I waited for a ride south. After four hours, no luck. I got sick of waiting, so I just started walking somewhere. I ended up walking through Roebuck, south of Spartanburg, about three nights ago, but again I had trouble finding a good place to set up camp. After about 12 miles of walking, at 11:00, I plopped down in someone's front yard, not pitching my tent because it just wasn't a good place to camp.

I unstrapped my sleeping bag from the backpack and tried to rest a little bit, using the sleeping bag as a pillow, thinking I would continue heading down the road after a few hours. Didn't happen, though. I woke up at about 1:00 AM cold and still tired. I decided to just pitch the tent and hope I don't wake up with a shotgun in my face.

Instead of a shotgun in my face, I woke up with a flooded tent at around 7:00 or 8:00. I got out of the tent and stood around for a while, trying to figure out what I might be able to do. Then I noticed a carport at one of the houses nearby, so I walked over to it. At that point I heard a voice from the front of the house. Someone wanted to know what I was doing, so I walked to the front door and explained what I was doing. I then asked the homeowner if I could keep standing under his carport. He said it was OK.

I can't tell this story right now; it would just take too long. But I want you to know it's an amazing story and it will probably be a very moving scene, the scene that will let viewers know this thing is gonna be good.

Anyway, Vernon Payne ended up making me breakfast--eggs, toast, grits, and a biscuit--as his initial apprehension gradually turned to friendliness. I also met his next door neighbor, who is related to him, before Vernon drove me to the nearby truck stop. At one point while we talked, the neighbor, Galen, said something like, "For all we know, he might be an angel." That's when I started realizing that I'm somehow enriching the lives of the people who help me. I can't really explain it because I don't really understand it, but somehow I am making a huge positive impact on the people I meet. This is all really amazing; it's beyond comprehension.

After Vernon took me to the Kangaroo truck stop, I stood outside for a while, trying to stay out of the rain. Eventually the manager of the place stepped out to ask me what I was doing. I said I was just trying to stay out of the rain, maybe get a ride somewhere. He then invited me to come inside and sit in the dining area. His name is Jessie Wright and he is also a minister.

I sat inside the gas station for hours, talking to a few people while not getting a ride. I ended up talking to a group of four people (two couples) I estimate are in their 60s. Like most people I talk to, they were intrigued by my story. They were heading toward Myrtle Beach from Peoria, Illinois. I mostly talked to one of the men. His name is Ken Waggoner or Wagner (or something like that). Before they left, he slipped a 20 dollar bill into my hand, even though I said I'm not hurting for money. (Vernon and Galen also gave me $5 each.)

Immediately after they left, I turned around to see a woman handing me a styrofoam clamshell and an empty cup. It was a meal from Aunt M's chicken, located inside the truck stop. The woman was Leslie Browning; she works at Aunt M's. Inside the clamshell was a piece of chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni, and a biscuit. I thanked her and just couldn't believe what was happening.

Later on, Jessie asked me if I needed anything, like a shower or food or drink or whatever. In awe of this undeserved kindness, I told Jessie I might take him up on the shower offer, as I had not had a shower in about four days. Shortly after, I told him I'd love to take the shower offer.

The kindness just doesn't stop. It takes some breaks for days at a time, but it never stops. I don't deserve all this kindness, and I just can't tell you how it feels. It's amazing.

I can now verify that Aimless is aptly titled. Even though I had some vague plans for where I would go first, I've ended up doing something completely different. I never expected to be anywhere near South Carolina at this point, but there I was in Spartanburg. And Myrtle Beach, no way. But here I am. Even when I walk, I take roads I don't know, not knowing where I'll end up. I know I am doing this right.

OK, so I hung around the Kangaroo station for about 12 hours Saturday, and I finally realized I was not going to get a ride that night. Business was dead and there were no lights near the on-ramp. I decided to pitch my tent near the lot where trucks park, and I got to sleep at a decent time.

I woke up pretty early yesterday and headed to the Kangaroo station to brush my teeth. After eating some soft batch cookies for breakfast and having a smoke, I made my way to the on-ramp.

Before I even reached the spot where I intended to wait for a ride, someone stopped to offer me a ride. Gaile Myers (I need to check the spelling), a 70-ish man, said he was going to North Myrtle Beach. Sounded perfect to me, so I put my backpack in the bed of his Dodge truck and joined him up front. Mr. Myers is an interesting guy--a reasonable conservative, I'd say. He reminded me in some ways of the character in American Beauty played by Chris Cooper, the dad of the boyfriend. He bought me lunch at McDonald's and showed me the town of Little River before dropping me off at North Myrtle Beach at about 12:30.

I walked about 15 miles yesterday, reaching the north (or northeast) edge of Myrtle Beach. I found my way to a McDonald's for some cheap eats when a mother and daughter initiated a conversation with me after noticing my red face and backpack. The mother (Linda Drost) offered me a ride to wherever I was heading, which I accepted, although I was not completely sure where I was headed. All I knew was that there were some woods where I might be able to find a clearing near where I'd already been.

Linda drove me there while her daughter Marialyn followed. We talked for maybe half an hour before finally separating. Marialyn gave me a lot of useful information about fire ants and bug bites, which I appreciate immensely. These two women were both very friendly. I enjoyed talking to them quite a bit. (Marialyn, if you see this, will you please leave a comment with a pronunciation of your name? I was so exhausted when you said it that it just went straight through me.)

After the ladies split, I walked around the woods, shortly finding a decent place to call home for the night. The clearing was of decent size, and the ground was reasonably soft. Unfortunately, like every other night I've slept outside, it got pretty cold overnight. (I've only slept inside two nights since I left on April 22.) Still, I got a lot of rest, and my very sore body feels much better now than it did last night.

As I already mentioned, I'm now sitting at a computer in a condo. Billy and his roommates are very friendly, and Billy has told me I can stay as long as I want. I think I'll probably hang around for a bit. It's cool and windy outside, so there's probably not much excitement (aka titties) at the beach.

I can't remember if I mentioned Robert Paschell in my previous update, but I know I didn't link to his web site, so I want to do that now. Robert lives in Yellow Springs and makes t-shirts. He's a very talented and unique guy, but he hardly makes any money at all. So I want you to take a look at his web site (which I haven't seen yet) and consider buying one or two of his shirts. He works so hard making them, one at a time, and he deserves better than what he's getting from life right now. I want to help him, and I hope you'll help me help him, so please tell your friends about his web site, too. I think he sets up shop every Saturday and Sunday in Yellow Springs, too, between Tom's Market and Ye Olde Trail Tavern. (If you go there looking for him, he has a long gray beard. Santa Claus-esque.) If you buy something from him, tell him I sent you.

I have now walked about 115 miles with 50+ pounds on my back. Unfortunately my shitty pedometer is toast after only two weeks. I hope I can manage to get another one--a better one--somehow, because I really want to keep track of my walking mileage. So if there is anyone out there who'd like to supply a new pedometer for me, I'd love to meet up with you (and it'll get your name in the credits at the very least). I can't check e-mail very frequently, but I always have my phone around. 614-738-3867.

Also, this will be a fucking incredible documentary when I'm done. I have absolutely no doubt about that anymore. This is going to be much bigger than I ever wanted it to be.

The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Help me get my girl!

All right, I now know a little bit more about the girl I've written about: She drives a black Nissan Pathfinder (which is probably the only one in Yellow Springs).

I didn't get any opportunities to talk to her while I was in Yellow Springs, so I ask all you Yellow Springers (and Yellow Springs regulars) to do me a favor. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do me this favor. If you see a slim, twentysomething, tallish woman getting out of a black Nissan Pathfinder in Yellow Springs, please tell her some guy (me) would like her to visit and call the contact phone number (614-738-3867).

I just didn't have the chance to talk to her while I was in town, and now I won't be there for a long time, so I'm counting on you to help me. It's the only thing I'll ever ask of y'all.

Whoever comes through for me will win something (probably a personal thank you from me). You may not just be doing this for me; you may also be doing it for her. The look she gave me Saturday makes me believe that's very likely.

Thank you.

The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

Getting down the road

I am at the library in Covington, Kentucky right now (right across the river from Cincinnati). I'd hoped to provide some updates sooner than this, but I can only do it when I have the opportunity.

So this is how it's gone so far:

I left home (near Darbydale, Ohio) on Sunday April 22 at about 5:00 PM, walking toward London along Route 665. About 8 miles down the road I came to an intersection I figured would take me to the old railroad line that is now a trail, so I headed north to find the trail. I found the trail and pitched my tent in the darkness, using a tiny flashlight to read the instructions. I didn't have much choice other than to sleep on forgotten railroad ballast that night, as would be true of the nights to come. In total I walked about 8.5 miles that night (in 5 hours).

Monday I was a hurtin'. I hit the trail toward London at about 10:00 AM, I guess, arriving in London at about 2 or 3. Found my way to McDonald's for a couple $1 double cheeseburgers and a $1 fry, then sat at McDonald's for a total of about 2 hours. Leaving McDonald's, I had a smoke then started walking southwest along US 42 out of London. Didn't know if I would stay by the road or get back on the trail, but I ended up getting back on the trail, then camping beside the trail a couple miles out of London. Walked about 8.5 miles again, but it took nearly twice as long as the previous day because this shit ain't easy after Day 1. It rained that night.

Tuesday I stayed on the trail, walking a little past South Charleston, 11.5 miles for the day. Got a lot of sun that day. Unfortunately I was too late to whip out the sun block, so I ended up with some pretty bad burns. Had some really good chicken from the grocery store in South Charleston. It stormed that night, with me camped out under power lines. (It was really the only place I could choose.) Like usual I didn't sleep too well.

Wednesday there was a small break in the rain that gave me an opportunity to pack up the tent without getting too wet, but there would end up being a lot of rain that day. I got off the trail and walked up South Charleston-Clifton Road (or something like that), toward Clifton and Yellow Springs. By now I had decided I wanted to walk all the way to Yellow Springs because I had already walked so far, so I actually turned down an offer for a ride about 3 miles up the road.

Wednesday was tough. With the rain and the pain and the hilly roads, I wasn't liking things much. Eventually, though, the rain stopped and I made it through Clifton, leaving me about 4 more miles to Yellow Springs.

About a mile from Yellow Springs, I hit a wall, having walked another 11.5 miles. This was about 5:00, I think. So I sat down and decided I would take a ride if anyone offered a ride. Eventually I decided that I would pick up my stuff and continue walking if no one offered me a ride by 7:00. But at about 6:00, a young lady (Jill ???) stopped to ask me where I was headed. I said Yellow Springs and she took me there, dropping me off behind Dino's. She said she was meeting her sister in Yellow Springs and maybe they'd stop by later at Dino's.

Shortly after arriving at Dino's I walked across the street to Tom's Market and bought some donuts. I then chowed down on four of my six donuts at Dino's. Yum yum. Later Jill, her sister, and a friend came into Dino's and invited me to join them for dinner across the street at Ye Olde Trail Tavern, their treat. Even though I had already satisfied my hunger, I accepted their offer and had me a cheeseburger. Jill & Co. were very friendly and nice to talk to. They said a prayer for me before we split up.

I pitched the tent near the firehouse Wednesday night and freshened up the next morning at the public restroom near the trail.

Thursday morning, as I walked to the restroom from my tent, a young woman on a bike passed me in the opposite direction. I didn't get a good look, mostly because my brain was too asleep to interpret pictures correctly, but I think it may have been the girl I've written about recently. Whoever it was, she said "Good morning" as she passed me. It was the sweetest sounding voice, and I've decided it must have been her. Even if it wasn't her, I'm going to remember it as if it was her. (More about her in the next post).

I had a bed and a shower Thursday night, thanks to the kindness of Lisa Russell, who is the girlfriend of a guy I know in Yellow Springs (Donn Steinhilber). I really appreciate your kindness, Lisa and Donn. Thank you.

While in Yellow Springs, Dave Chappelle spoke to me for the first time. Walking into Dino's, he asked me if I didn't mind him leaving his skateboard next to me while he waited in line for a coffee. Smiling and nodding, I said, "I'll take care of it."

I met a lot of interesting people over the weekend in Yellow Springs. Getting out and walking around town really helped me get out of my shell. There are some people I'd really like to talk to whenever I hit town again.

Man, so much to say. And I'm on limited time here.

I left Yellow Springs Monday morning after spending four days recovering from the 40-mile walk. Heading south along the trail, toward (and beyond) Xenia, I ended up walking 17 miles before setting up camp. I could have walked even longer, but I found what seemed like a good place to spend the night in the middle of nowhere, about a mile or two past Spring Valley.

With my endurance improving dramatically, I figured Tuesday would be about the same. I thought I could walk 15 miles or more and end up close to my brother's house near King's Island. Well, I was wrong. Everything went wrong yesterday, from running out of water to not being able to eat. In other words, I had a shitty day yesterday, hitting the wall again after about 11 miles. So I called my brother from near Waynesville and asked him how far I still had to go to get to his house. I said I was trying to get a ride, but he ended offering to come and pick me up. He arrived at about 7:00.

I had hoped to hang around Roman's house today and leave tomorrow, to recover a little bit, but his wife Erin is a total fucking bitch, so it was out of the question even before I could ask. Erin used to be really cool and enjoyable, but she has become a manipulative twat over the years. I have no love left for you, Erin. You're not a good person.

So now I'm in Kentucky, and I think I'm going to head south. Hopefully I'll be able to update more frequently down the road.

The Quasi-Aimless Trailer