Friday, July 22, 2011

48-state walk

Less than three weeks ago I started thinking about doing a 48-state walk that'll last two years, covering around 10,000 miles. Within a few days, I had pretty much decided to go ahead and do the walk. I plan to begin this walk late next month, even though my legs still don't work very well. (Actually it's my hips, but when your hips don't work, it feels like the problem is in your legs.)

The plan is to start in Maine in late August. From there I'll go down the east coast to Florida, veering a little bit out of the way to hit WV, KY, and TN. I should make it to Florida by December, then spend the winter walking across FL, AL, MS, LA, AR, and into TX. From there I'll start heading north in February or March of 2012, hitting OK, KS, MO, NE, IA, and MN before heading west again as summer begins.

I'll spend the summer walking across SD, ND, MT, WY, ID, WA, and OR. From Portland I'll head south toward Los Angeles during the fall of 2012 and into winter. From southern California I'll head back east beginning in early 2013, following much of the same route I took last year, veering a little bit out of the way to hit NV, WI, and MI. State #48 is Ohio. I could end the walk in Ohio if I choose, but I'll probably continue on to NYC again, to make it a coast-to-coast-to-coast walk.

No, I'm not gonna have "a cause" because I'm not a fraud or an attention whore. Yeah, some media attention would be nice, but I'm not going to seek attention. After a while, media attention will probably be unavoidable anyway because nobody does what I'm about to do. Also, since I'll probably be able to blog more regularly this time, the blog might generate a little buzz, even though that's not my objective when I blog. (My objective is to share parts of my story with people who find it interesting.) I refuse to do anything specifically to attract attention to myself. If I get attention from the media, it'll be the result of others telling the media about me. If you ever want to tell the media about me, I would certainly appreciate it.

Do you really want to know my true cause? I'm warning you, the honesty might disappoint you. Well, here's my true cause: Like everyone who goes out and walks for thousands of miles, my true cause is that I'm sick of all the unnecessary bullshit that everyone loves to dish out in "normal" life in this country. I feel at peace when I walk, even with the police harassment, extreme cold, extreme heat, extreme hunger, extreme pain, poverty, etc. I choose not to have "a cause" because I have integrity. Due to the fact that I never portray or promote myself as a hero with a cause, I actually meet real people when I walk, instead of people I fooled into believing I'm some kind of hero. You probably can't understand this, but my way is a million times more gratifying and worthy of your respect than it would be if I walked for a phony cause like everyone else does.

I will wear sandals through the entire walk, just as I did for the previous walk, for more reasons than I can mention here. I probably won't disclose the brand name of the sandals ever again, though, because the manufacturer apparently does not understand why it would be in their best interest to hook me up with 8 or 10 pairs of sandals, which would cost them essentially nothing. They offered me one free pair when I contacted them regarding prospective sponsorship. I told them they're funny.

You know what's the first thing people notice about me when they see me walking or when they meet me? The first thing people notice is that I wear sandals, because almost everyone expects to see boots. Regular people notice my sandals, and journalists notice them, too. And if there's one thing I know about journalists, it's that they love stories like what I'm about to do. Furthermore, they love the sandal story just as much as everyone else does. So my offer to the sandal manufacturer was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them, since I alone could give them countless avenues to free advertising, as well as my genuine endorsement on TV and in newspapers. As someone walking 10,000 miles exclusively in their product, they should've seen dollar signs with me, but they just didn't get it.

Last but not least: If I have to spend any more time in jail for knowing my rights when cops perpetrate crimes against me, I'll probably quit the walk because I have nothing else to prove to anyone ever again.

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