Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bridge outta Portland

2.34 miles so far. Not much, but it's a start. Tells me I should be able to hit my goal of 10 miles today.


48-state walk began at 7:50 this morning in Portland, Maine. Can I actually do it? I don't know, but I'm gonna try. Actually, I know I can do it; I just don't know if I can do it right now because I'm still so beat up from last year. Every step I take is dangerous because my nerves are messed up. There's a ton of muscle in my legs, but that doesn't mean much if your nerves are messed up. My first step is just to try to do at least ten miles today. I'll let you know how that works out.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

Aimless Video Evidence

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I took a train from Boston to Maine tonight. That means the proposed 48-state walk has technically already begun. Officially, however, it begins with my first step tomorrow morning. My legs and hips have felt a little better the last few days, so I might actually be able to do this.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

Aimless Video Evidence

Monday, August 29, 2011

More surfing

I just realized I like this one, too. Notice how far the skateboard is in front of him. That oughtta give you a clue how fast he was going when he was still on it.

Fun with hurricanes

This guy's objective was to remain atop the skateboard while Irene was blowing him. Some girls are just a little too aggressive, though.

Home 2

And here's a pic from the other side, sans rainfly.

Home 1

ER, you asked for pics of where I sleep, so here you go. This is at Storrow Dr. & Charlesgate, in Boston. The storm (Irene) really didn't do anything here. It just rained hard for a few hours, with some strong wind occasionally.

I have to stay in Boston for another night because all the trains to Portland are fully booked today, due to the fact that Amtrak shut down yesterday, in anticipation of Hurricane Irene.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


This is my first ever glimpse of Boston, from Roslindale, on Washington. I'm closer than I realized. I didn't take the train from Providence because they jacked the price up. (You would have known that a couple days ago if you followed me on Twitter.) Probably gonna take the train to Portland tomorrow. It should be $19.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Train to Maine

I probably won't be writing many long blog posts for a while. Instead, I'll more likely tweet pretty regularly during this adventure. So go over there -------> and start following me on Twitter. I'll probably keep posting pics here regularly.

Right now I'm in downtown Providence, where I intend to get on a train to Maine in a few hours, for $33.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

Aimless Video Evidence

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Optic neuritis

In addition to my recent injuries and the lingering injuries from last year's walk, I've been dealing with optic neuritis in my left eye for about the last four months. Basically this means I can't see shit out of my left eye because my optic nerve is scarred. I've been through this a couple times before with my right eye, and it only lasted a couple months those times, so this is very frustrating. Optic neuritis makes it really hard for my brain to translate what I'm seeing, and it also affects my depth perception, which makes walking with a heavy pack pretty dangerous. Hope it gets better soon.

Still at the truck stop in Carlisle, PA. Pretty cool place to be stuck for a while.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Nice trees

I got a ride to Carlisle, PA with an old friend who's a trucker. This sign was just too cool not to share here. My injuries are feeling a little better, but still painful.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Not a good start

Five or ten minutes after my folks dropped me off at a truck stop last night, I stepped in a hole and fell down. I twisted my right ankle, jammed my left thumb, and also jammed the second and third toes on my left foot. Probably broke something, but I'm out here trying to get a ride east anyway.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Test 2

Test #2. (Edit: Oh, cool. This means I can post via e-mail from my phone, which will be a lot easier than posting via the tiny internet. And I'm pretty sure there is no character limit this way.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Social media

I've had the same phone for like four and a half years (pictured). Even though it is ancient and useless for most people, I like it pretty well. I especially like it when I'm on the road, precisely because I CAN'T use it to get to Facebook or any other brain-wasting web sites (which is almost all of them nowadays). It's nice to get away from the internet, sometimes for months at a time.

However, as I learned in Pennsyvania last year, sometimes you absolutely need internet access because sometimes you can't get a state map until way after you need one, and sometimes a good state map isn't good enough to help you figure out what you need to figure out. Sometimes interactive maps are the only feasible way to plan a route. If you want to better understand what I'm saying here, take a look at a Pennsylvania state map and try to figure out how you intend to walk across it, entering the state on US 40 at the West Virginia state line, with the intention of walking to NYC.

Seriously, give it a try. But before you plan your route, be sure to keep these things in mind: 1) After having already walked 3,000 miles, you want to find the shortest possible route across PA; and 2) You want to choose a route that'll put you in a town at least every 10 miles or so, which may require using a route that's not the shortest. Now look at your Pennsylvania state map again and tell me your route. See my point?

Last Monday I went with my mom to the phone store, hoping she'd be willing to help me get a phone that was at least equipped to handle the internet. When we got there, she went straight to the iPhone display. Long story short... I have an iPhone now.

With the iPhone, not only will I be able to look at maps whenever I need one, but I will also be able to use social media on the road now. Not only will it be easier for me to blog, but it will also be possible for me to tweet and upload videos from the phone. And some other things, too.

I'm not saying I will use all this stuff on a daily basis now just because I can. But I'm not saying I won't, either. I'm just letting you know I now have the tools to more easily share my upcoming journey. I want to share this journey as much as possible (without turning into an attention whore), but I already know I'm gonna need a lot of Ryan-time, and Ryan-time comes first. Also, I already know the iPhone battery drains pretty quickly if you spend much time messing with it, so I'm gonna have to limit my usage most of the time to keep from killing the battery.

So far I do not find the qwerty keypad any more useful than number keypads because 1) It's nothing like typing; and 2) I'm always hitting the wrong letters anyway because the "keys" are so small, which constantly makes me have to delete and re-type. I'm sure I'll get better at it in time, but I'm still hoping I can find and obtain a good lightweight, roll-up keyboard to use with the iPhone. I'd say I can type ten times faster on a keyboard than I can on any kind of keypad. That means a blog post that takes five minutes to compose on a real keyboard might take around 50 minutes on the iPhone. That's 45 minutes I could be resting instead of typing. Hopefully I can get something worked out.

Here's one of the major benefits of having an iPhone: With the iPhone, I will almost certainly end up with some very compelling video of cops committing crimes against me. Y'see, when I walk, I always pay attention to what's going on around me. (If I didn't, I would have been dead at least a year ago.) So whenever I see a cop pass me, then slow down to turn around, I'll have more than enough time to turn on the phone, clip the phone to my sternum strap, and capture video of almost everything from a first-person perspective. The cops will never even know it's on because the display will be against my chest (in the case).

Better yet, I will be able to upload videos to YouTube from the phone. And if I manage to push all the buttons right whenever I see it coming, this shit will blow your mind.

However, I don't think I'll get any good asshole-cop videos for a while because the east coast is mostly urban. City cops rarely go out of their way to start shit with people like me. But I don't know what to expect when I get to Georgia, Alabama, and all the other southern states. Regardless, I know my rights. I cooperate with cops until they start treating me like a criminal. But once they start treating me like a criminal, without any justification or any reason, I respond like someone who knows and values his rights and the limitations of law enforcement officers.

In case you're not aware of my rights or the limitations of law enforcement officers, here's a beginner's course: The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution says cops cannot force me to identify myself to them, nor can they search me for ID (or anything else) unless they have a court order or damn good evidence that I've committed a specific violation of the law. The Fifth Amendment says I don't have to say a word to them if I don't want to. (This is true even before they tell me I have the right to remain silent.) On the other end of the spectrum, the First Amendment says I have every right to tell them to go fuck themselves, which I have done more than a couple times.

I took this picture with the iPhone.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

Aimless Video Evidence

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Underdog, idiot, or bad-ass?

I'm gonna hit the road to begin the 48-state walk on about August 17th, even though I'm still nowhere near recovered from the punishment I put my body through last year. 'Handicapped' is an appropriate word to describe my current physical condition. My feet are still kind of numb and my legs feel heavy when I walk, which makes me very prone to tripping. I also get worn out pretty quickly whenever I do any kind of physical activity because I usually can't move my hips or legs how they're supposed to move, which forces me to put extra work into every move I make. In addition to all that, I don't have any endurance because I've been physically inactive for the last 11 months. However... my condition has definitely been improving, slowly, and I finally feel like I know how to continue improving.

The big picture: Even though I've trimmed a lot of weight from my gear, the odds are not on my side, and I may find after a month that I'm physically unable to do this. That means I might have to quit after a month or two. So don't be surprised if I end up quitting (or postponing) this ridiculous megawalk.

You may wonder: If I'm in such bad condition, why am I even considering doing such a long, difficult walk, and why do I have to start now? Here's why: If I don't start now, I probably won't be able to start until this time next year. I need to start in Maine in late summer, then make my way south through autumn and into winter, for obvious reasons. I need to head north again during the spring, and so on. It's important for me to be in the right places at the right times because this will be a continuous walk (with no extended breaks), and I will sleep outside almost every night regardless of whether it's 10 degrees or 90 degrees at night.

Even in my current condition (which is worse than I've made it sound), I think I can do this. By doing the right stretches and by using a tennis ball to simulate massage of the muscles I've ruined, I THINK I'll be able to walk and heal simultaneously. And if I'm wrong, all I have to do is quit.

But even if I realize after a month that I should quit, it doesn't mean I will quit.

Even with all the trouble I'm having, I remain optimistic because I remember how I felt last year during the final month of the coast-to-coast walk. Whenever I stopped for more than a few minutes, my body would tighten up so much that I could barely walk. But once I started moving again, my mobility would return after a few minutes. So as messed-up as I was, I still managed to average over 21 miles a day for the last month of the walk, mostly in mountains. And that average includes a couple days off. (Yeah, I was trucking.) So I remain optimistic.

(ER: You will be very pleased to hear what I have to say in my next post.)

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

Aimless Video Evidence