Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Snow foot

Presto

See, it wasn't just smoke and mirrors. This is from yesterday (Tuesday), shortly after I began the descent to Jerome. I topped out at 7,023 feet, only a few minutes after I estimated that I was at about 7,000 feet.

No longer riding

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round.

Spooky

From left: Sonya, me, Tobin, and Jennifer (the waitresses and bartender at the Haunted Hamburger). I probably misspelled everyone's name there, but these folks rock. I pulled into Jerome a little before 8:00 last night, completely exhausted and wobbly, just hoping there was someplace open to eat. The first place I found was the Haunted Hamburger, and it was the right place. Along with the restaurant's staff, I also talked extensively with a couple from Phoenix, who were sitting a few seats over from me at the bar. These people were all so cool. I really enjoyed talking to all of them. If you're ever in Jerome, you have to eat there. Not just because they're cool as hell, but also because they serve some damn good food. --> Today, near Clarkdale, a stunningly gorgeous girl stopped to offer me a ride. As with everyone who offers me a ride, I had to decline, but I really wanted to accept
this offer. We talked for a few minutes, then I thanked her and we each headed on down the road. D'OH!

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Higher and higher

Yes, I am WAAAY above the snow line right now... in sandals. The most recent elevation sign said I was at 6,000 feet, but I've climbed a long way since then, so I'm guessing I'm probably at about 7,000 feet in this pic. Still going up, too.

See ya down in Arizona Bay

These mountains are bigger than they look here. I have to go up and over them today, then make it back down before it gets too cold up there. (And it will get very cold once the sun goes down.) On the other side is Jerome. Everyone says Jerome is absolutely beautiful. One local resident also told me Maynard from Tool lives there, which makes sense because he thinks California is going to fall off into the ocean. (He really should have taken Geology 101 before writing those ridiculous lyrics.) --> The 'tears' remark in the previous post was in reference to a show I watched Sunday night called Undercover Boss or something. I sure hope they didn't just edit that show to make the CEO look more caring than he really is. Believe me: When you have as much footage as they had before they edited that show, you can manipulate the story to make it say anything you want it to say. However, I felt
like everything that happened on the show was pretty genuine. I hope so.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Idiocracy

If you can't figure out what's wrong with this country by reading this flier, please don't have kids.

Prescott

Yesterday I began near Wilhoit and climbed at least half a mile through some mountains, reaching about 6300 feet before descending 1000 feet to Prescott. At 5:00, after busting ass for 19+ miles, I found a restaurant where I could watch the Buckeyes lose. A few miles up the road, still in Prescott, I ate at In-N-Out and slept in the cold mile-high night. Today I decided I'd finally take a day off, so I did some fund-raising and walked down to a cheap motel I passed last night. I paid $34 for a dump of a room, but I kinda like it. The motel is really old and I can picture William Burroughs sitting here on the bed with a needle in his arm, his eyes struggling to stay open and his body slumping over as he drifts off into junkie bliss. I think I'll make a weekend of it and stay here again tomorrow night because my body really needs the rest. At this altitude, I think I have a lot of cold
nights ahead of me. It's probably good that I didn't start 2 weeks earlier, as I'd originally planned.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I just ran into George Throop again, about six miles southeast(?) of Wickenburg. He's going toward Phoenix, while I'm going the other way. Total surprise to see him because we have not communicated at all since we met on February 14, and because I thought he was going to stick near I-10, which is 40 or 50 miles south of here. He ended up walking along US 60, though, which is the road I'm on right now. Crazy.

Chair

Sometimes you just have to take your next break a little bit ahead of schedule.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Goodbye Phoenix

Someone please tell me what a "Family Car Wash" is. --> Now that I'm out of metro Phoenix, I'm shocked to say I'll miss that town a little. Having met a lot of good/cool people there, my opinion of Phoenix has changed dramatically. Wish I'd heard from Eric, though. --> I'm currently somewhere between Surprise and Wickenburg. I'll likely head through Prescott, Sedona, and Flagstaff on my way to the Grand Canyon, which I should reach in maybe ten days or so. --> I figured I'd be a machine by now, but I'm not. I still hurt all the time, and it's still tough to do 20 miles a day. (I'm averaging closer to 19 now. Of course, I've probably walked considerably more miles than my pedometer shows because my pedometer sucks. In fact, every pedometer sucks. I really wish someone would make a pedometer that doesn't suck.) I guess I've just pushed myself so hard, my body hasn't had a chance to
recover and strengthen. The mostly Ramen/oatmeal diet surely hasn't helped much, either. I need a break!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sports

After a pretty rough day, some girls from a high school lacrosse team just made my night at In-N-Out Burger in Paradise Valley. As I was getting up to leave, one of them asked me what I was doing with the backpack. I ended up talking to them and answering questions for the next 15 or 30 minutes. When one of them asked me how I get money, I showed them my signs. As a result, I ended up with a handful of bills and change, which I have not counted yet. These girls and their guy friends really made me feel special and important, and that's a nice feeling. Thanks, ladies. This encounter was a very cool and memorable experience for me. (I already forgot the name of their school. Maybe one of them will see this and mention the school's name in a comment.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

OK, I got my license

OK, I got my license back. Echeverry is actually the one who treated me respectfully, so I'll edit that other post when I get a chance.

Pic: The coolest town in Arizona. O-H... --> The people of west suburban Phoenix have been very friendly so far, stopping to offer rides and stuff. It's going to take a lot more gestures of kindness to make up for some of the bullshit I've dealt with, though. --> Eric, if you're going to call, you need to call NOW because I'm in Goodyear. If you've e-mailed me or anything like that, I haven't seen it because I don't have internet access. I hope to hear from you.

Fire

Here's that fire.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Arizona is for losers

This cactus and I feel the same about Arizona. --> Two nights ago, after walking 20 miles out of Gila Bend (through absolutely desolate desert), I found a great spot to sleep. I set up my tent and whatnot, but I also started my very first campfire. I thought I was in a good, invisible setting, but shortly a couple Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies showed up. One was mostly all right (Deputy Echeverry, or something like that), but the other one was an abusive prick. Long story short: They forced me to pack up and ride with them 20 miles back to Gila Bend. Then, and I didn't realize this until they were gone, Fuckface kept/stole my drivers' license. This was no accident. The guy has the personality of a serial killer, and keeping his victims' possessions gives him a hard-on. It's that simple. So when I get to the station tomorrow, I'm going to file a complaint (and a
theft charge if my license isn't there waiting for me). He's probably jerking off to it right now.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sign Interpretation 101

This means you have to drive like a fucking retard for the next 9 miles.

Gila Bend, AZ. No, I haven't seen a Shaqtus yet.

UFO over Phoenix?

Anyone remember the shows about the "UFO over Phoenix" maybe ten years ago? Even though the show's producers tried to present the lights as something really mysterious by ignoring the real evidence and instead focusing on the interpretations of crackpots, I was pretty satisfied with the explanation (and evidence) that said the lights were flares. Now having seen them for myself, I can tell you the lights in these pictures are most certainly flares. Yeah, I was in awe when I first saw them, but after a while it was pretty clear what was going on. You probably can't tell from the picture, but these things are VERY bright. They're so bright, you can sometimes see the trail of smoke above each flare as it slowly falls toward Earth. Oh, and the fighter jets... This was about 100 miles SW of Phoenix on an Air Force range near Mexico. --> I should be in Phoenix's west suburbs tomorrow night.
So Eric, call me very soon if you intend to meet up with me. --> Does March Madness start this week?

Cattle guards

These things scare the shit out of me, especially when my pack is heavy. (It's almost always heavy.) When you're carrying a lot of weight, your steps rarely hit their target. As you can see, there's not much room for error on these things. So every time I set a foot down on one of them, there's a chance I might break a leg or something. And yes, I've had to walk over a lot of these lately, even though I haven't seen a cow in days.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Booty

Nature provides. --> Thanks, Aunt Lisa and Uncle Paul. I sincerely appreciate your help. --> Phoenix ETA: Sunday.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Vulnerable

Apparently no one is willing to help me get any of the things I desperately need right now, like new footwear, a good headlamp, and a reflective vest. That's OK, though. It just lets me know I really am alone out here. Not having these things might get me seriously injured or killed, but at least I know where we all stand.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

18 days and 362.5 miles

18 days and 362.5 miles from the Santa Monica Pier to the Arizona state line above the Colorado River in Yuma.

Today: A day of rest and fundraising in Yuma

Waking up 22 miles from the Arizona state line yesterday, I knew I had to bust ass and take very few breaks to make it to the sign before darkness (to get a visible pic). So wouldn't it figure that some CHP asshole had to stop me not once but twice to hassle me and tell me I'm not allowed to walk along the ONLY FUCKING ROAD. Instead, I was supposed to walk over giant sand dunes and wide irrigation canals with no bridges. Essentially this dude negated all my break time by making me stand around and listen to him with my pack on. You probably haven't thought about this, but every minute I stand around carrying my pack is a minute I'm neither resting nor moving. It adds up quick, as do the extra miles. So I ended up having to walk 23 or 24 miles, with almost no rest, to make it to the state line in time for a pic. (If you haven't done this, you don't know what pain is.) Much more to it
than that. --> Thanks to whoever contacted John Sears for me. --> Need your help getting some gear...

If I don't get a

If I don't get a really good headlamp, I'm gonna end up seriously injured. If you'd like to help, call me so I can let you know how. Thanks.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Yuma

So much to say... later.

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Dunes

Monday, March 01, 2010

If I don't get a

If I don't get a really good headlamp, I'm gonna end up seriously injured. If you'd like to help, call me so I can let you know how. Thanks.

27 miles today; 72 the

27 miles today; 72 the last 3 days; 300 the last 15 days. South of El Centro. Finally averaging 20 miles/day. Yes, I hurt like hell all the time.