I woke up at about 2am. I heard a bunch of yelling outside of the tent I was sleeping in outside of. It was two ladies arguing with a man and they all sounded hammered. The girls yelled at the man and told him to get out of there. I stood up and peeked outside the tent. There wasn't any physical altercation so I just watched. The man was completely hammered and could barely even sit up. There wasnt any attention needed so I laid back down.
About 5 minutes later a cop showed up. I was worried I would get into trouble so I laud low and was silent. The cop told the two ladies and guy he had to kick them out and off the property. He said he would return 15 minutes later and if they were there he would have to deal with it. He left.
The ladies left and cussed out the drunk during their exit. The drunk guy was talking to himself and his words were so slurred I couldn't make them out. I heard a crash into the bushes and he hit the side of the tent right next to me. I was silent and still. He crawled onto some tanbark between the tent and the bushes and finally passed out.
I wasn't really worried about him there because he was so trashed he wouldn't be waking up for a while. I went to sleep again.
I woke up at about 7am. I packed my things up quietly. I took a picture of the passed out dudes legs then snuck out of the tent. I walked to the north bound on ramp on I-5. I sat there about an hour with a sign that said Eugene and clean. A man pulled up and said he would take me to grants pass where there was a good exit/onramp to get to Eugene.
He was a cool guy who gives people lifts often. We made good conversation and he asked me to pray for him to get job interviews. He was an out of work school teacher. He dropped me off 30 miles north at grants pass in a mcdonalds parking lot.
I sat in mcdonalds for a few hours and used the Internet. After a while I wandered outside to a shade grass area and took a nap. I napped about an hour then went near the freeway with my sign.
I was there about 15 minutes when a car pulled off to pick me up. It was an older Buick. The guy inside was dressed nice and had a briefcase. He said he could take me to Eugene. So we took off driving. We started talking about my trip and we hit it off. He was a cool guy and we shared similar thoughts. We talked about faith a while and he told me some of his stories. It was cool
I eventually asked what he did for work. He said he was the CEO/president of online auction which is the biggest auction site right behind eBay. I sorta thought he was full of it at first until a business call came in. He took a conference call on speaker phone and I couldn't believe my ears. I have never hears numbers that big thrown around like nothing. They were talking 100's of millions and I could tell this guy was big money.
I was a little confused why he drive an older car but it was actually a lot car from one of his dealerships. He also owned a Hotel and multiple houses around the area. We talked about how money won't make you happy and he told me a really humbling story about what he went through that taught him a lesson.
When we neared Oregon Chris said he could tell I was a good dude. He said he hardly ever picks up hitchhikers but he loves my sign. He offered me to stay at one of his houses in Eugene for a few days if I wanted to. I laughed and said thanks. He said he was happy to help me. Then he said he had something else to talk about. He said he really sensed that I was a good dude and he actually had a job opening that he offered to me working for online auction. He said he felt a good vibe with me and that he needs a good guy working there for him. I was seriously shocked. I was literally bathing in a creek a day before and now I was offered a job where I could make good money. He said that the potential to make big money is there if I would work hard. I didn't even know how to feel about it.
I said I don't know how I feel about it and he said don't think too much about it. He would take me to the office and have his guys talk to me about the job the next day. I was really taken back. I told him I would for sure check it out and see what it had to offer. But something felt weird and I was just really in prepared to run into something like this. So he said he would pick me up in the morning and talk about it then.
I got to the house where he had another friend of his staying there. He had recently got out of jail and he was helping him out and had given him a job at a car dealership. The house was big and empty. There was a big online auction semi next to it and a bunch of trailers and stuff stored on the property there too.
I got to the house and was just shocked. Couldn't believe he picked me up and offered me a house to stay in and a job! It was really exiting. I called my family and friends from the guys phone who stayed there (Brian). I talked to a handful of people then I decided to get to bed and rest for the next day. I laid out in a big empty room and was so exited I couldn't hardly sleep. I tossed and turned all night.
at 3:14 PM
I woke up at 7am in tanbark next to a climbing wall in a park. I was still in Medford Oregon. I woke up from a truck driving through the park. It was the parks keeper making his morning round. He drove right by me but I don't think he saw me. I got up and rolled my bag up.
I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I cleaned up there and then headed north. I walked up to a Starbucks at the exit in Medford. I stopped there to use the Internet. I texted my mom and I texted Ashley. I left there after about 30 minutes to walk north.
I decided to walk along the freeway (legal in Oregon) and see if I can catch a ride. I walked about a mile and then sat on a barrier and stuck my thumb out a while. I tried that for about an hour but no luck. I continued walking and came to a creek crossing. There was a trail that ran next to the creek and parallel with the freeway so I jumped onto it.
It was early but it was getting hot already. I walked a while and then impulsively decided to find a spot to jump in. I walked down a dirt path and through some trees to get to the creek. The trees were really thick and the path was narrow. I walked down there and found a few abandoned homeless camps.
The creek was further away than I thought and I walked a while. I finally heard water running and knew I was close. As I was nearing the creek all of a sudden a pit bull dog jumped out at me. It was barking in fury and wasn't backing away. It looked like it was going to bite me so I swung my sleeping bag over my shoulder to my stomach and used it to guard me. Right then a girl ran up yelling at the dog to leave me alone. She came from the other direction. The dog finally backed away. I told her he had that look like he was gonna bite and she said sometimes he does.
She shook my hand and I told her nice to meet her. I said I was looking for the creek and she told me I was almost there. So I said thanks and kept on. As I walked a little further I passed her homeless camp. She was probably 20 and at her camp there was also an older man.
The camp was big and had a lot of stuff. It was organized though and didn't look too nasty. It was really thick and jungle like and they had a huge tarp over the whole camp. It was well hidden and was pretty cool looking actually. It reminded me of the movie hook and looked like something on there.
I walked down to the water. I took my clothes off down to my boxers and walked in. It was freezing cold! I decided to lay on the sand for a while to let the day heat up before getting all the way in. So I rested about an hour and just listened to the water. It was pretty cool.
It was getting hot so I finally got up and went into the water. It was really clean and rushed by quickly. I took the clothes I was wearing and washed them with some soap I had. After washing them I draped them over some branches in the sun. I got back in and then took some body wash and cleaned up in the water. It was awesome and I felt like an Indian. I was laughing while I was in there because I never thought I would be taking a bath in a creek as a homeless guy. I always find myself laughing in those kind of moments.
I eventually got out and sat on a rock in the sun to dry. While I sat there I saw the girl and the man from the camp come down to fill up water jugs. Good thing they were upstream or they would have been drinking my piss.
After I dried I put shorts on and packed my things to go find a better place to let my clothes dry (the ones I washed). So I headed back to the path by the freeway. When I got up there I went north and saw a wooden structure that was covered. I stopped there and hung my wet clothes over a bike rack in front of it.
I decided to lay down and read on a bench under the covered patio. I laid out my sleeping bag and put music on while I read. I read a while and then dozed off. I took a nice nap and felt fresh and clean.
I woke up a little later to a man saying "hey man". I sat up and it was a older white man in ragged clothes on a bike. He was just resting in the shade for a few minutes. His name was clayton and he looked like kid rock. He asked if I'm homeless and then said he is about to be homeless in a couple days. He sat down and he asked about me. He was really impressed with what I sacrificed and the cause of my journey.
He told me he was a strong believer in god. He struggles with staying off of drugs but said he is a good person at heart. He told me some of his thoughts and he had a good spirit. He told me that honestly he doesn't know how to live. He prays to ask for help in life because he had never learned how to be responsible. He has tried many times to hold a job and take on responsibly but always seems to screw up because he doesn't know what he is doing.
He said he has to face that he is just not the type of person who can work or deal with much so he just makes the best with what he has. He is a member of the church near there and they call him "preacher". He also said nobody gives him a chance or help him, and many people write him off as a drug addict with no hope. He said he has a good heart and never does anyone wrong, but yes he does have problems with drugs because he is in pain a lot and wants to feel normal at times.
We talked a while and he loves hearing that I had money and possessions and wasn't happy. He said that made him feel more truth that money doesn't make you happy. It might for a time or in some ways, but not the way we ultimately want. He said he felt like god put me in his path and that I didn't even know what I meant to him. He has wanted to hear that for so long and finally did (from someone who went through it).
When I say I had money, I don't mean I was rich. But to people on the streets what I had was all they dream about in having money. It's just the point of not going hungry and having shelter. To a lot of people I have met that has never been something they have had. They were born poor and have always been poor. So "money" is more of having things you want, shelter, food, and a job where you know you will have money and it's not a struggle to stay afloat (all things I had). Middle class. Just don't think going from middle class to upper class would change your real feelings. I think it starts deep within your heart.
So me and Clayton talked about that a while then he said he was going back to town to drink beer. He invited me to his church on Sunday if I was still around. I was glad I met Clayton.
By then my clothes were dry and I changed then continued north. I walked to a town called central point about a mile up. I asked a man walking if there was a Starbucks but he said there wasn't. So I headed to a mcdonalds hoping they had wifi. Luckily they did. I went in and ordered a mcchicken and sat down to use Internet and eat.
While I sat there a lady came up as she left and gave me 4 dollars. I told her thank you so much. $4 out here goes a long way. I wrote my journal a while and ended up staying there til about 9:30.
I left there and when I got outside I saw a girl with a pack and two dogs. She asked where I was going. I told her I was just passing through. I talked to her a while. Another girl came out of mcdonalds and it was the same girl I ran into by the creek earlier. Both girls lived at that camp but the other one was asleep when I passed bye that morning. We talked a while and they were really free spirited. They loved my journey. One of the girls stood up and gave me $20! I was shocked! They said like me money isn't why they are out here. They had money but were out here to share love. I was suprized and would have never guessed. They also gave me some pizza they had left over. I ate a couple slices. I took a picture with them, said thanks and hugged them and then left. That was cool.
I went to little Caesars to see if they were throwing out any hot and readys. They had actually sold out all they had and said try back tomorrow. I said thanks and no worries and left.
So now I was looking for a place to sleep. I walked towards an albertsons. In the parking lot there was a huge white tent up, probably set up for selling fruit or something like that. So I just said screw it and went inside. It was completely empty inside and I made my bed. I laughed because I had the biggest huge a$$ tent I had ever seen all to myself. I wondered if I would get kicked out in the morning or if anyone would start taking it down the next day. I just figured I would be ok and I fell asleep on the concrete floor in there. My own tent. It was funny.
at 5:56 PM
I woke up in Medford OR at 9:30 am. I slept like a baby all night and was well rested when I woke up. I laid there and relaxed listening to music for a little while. Today was 4th of July.
I packed up at around 10 and headed to a bathroom in the park to brush my teeth. There were a few other guys near the restroom who seemed to be homeless too and had gear. I heard them talking about me while I brushed my teeth. They said they didn't know how I could feel comfortable sleeping in town. They must have saw me wake up. They had bikes and I figured maybe they stayed in a camp somewhere outside of Medford.
I headed to a Safeway nearby where they had a Starbucks inside. I sat inside during the heat of the day. I took some notes in my journal of different thoughts from the night before.
I met a couple there who I talked to for a while. The wife was disabled and she told me how she can still do mostly everything even when doctors told her she couldn't. She told me to never let people bring you down and to follow your heart. She was a proud woman. They gave me words of encouragement and left.
A little later an old couple walked up with two Safeway employees. They were trying to get his keys to give to his wife. I was confused at first. The old man kept calling his wife a friend. And he would ask what they Safeway guys were looking for? They kept saying they wanted to help get his groceries into his car, but the old man seemed paranoid. I finally realized the man was senile. He didn't know his own wife and it was like he constantly forgot what was going on. The wife called his daughter and gave the phone to the man. He asked who's this? And after a while he finally said "hi sweetie". A little later his daughter showed up and he didn't know who she was. The wife was crying and the whole thing was really sad. The man wouldn't give up his wife's phone and thought everyone was trying to "steal" it. Eventually the cops showed up. One of the cops and the wife and daughter walked away to figure out how to get him out of there. He didn't want to leave. Meanwhile the other cop stayed and talked to him so he wasn't alone. The cop asked if he had ever served the country in the military. The old man said he was in the army. Then the cop said "well we have you to thank for our freedom today. Thank you for your years of service" and the man replied "what do you mean? This is the first time I been to this store! And who are you and what are you looking for anyways?!" I couldn't help but laugh. But it was still sad overall. Eventually they got him out.
A little later a guy my age sat next to me and ate a sandwich. He talked to me and asked where I was headed. He was pumped and said he hitchhiked for a while when he was 18. He told me some stories about it and he was a street hustler when he did it. He would call pizza places and make fake orders so he could get the pizza when they threw it out. He said he made bunch of money pan handling and asking for change too. A year later he went to prison for 6 years on a bunch of theft charges and had just got out two months ago. He asked me what I needed and he was gonna buy me something. He told me him and his girlfriend got $1000 a month for food stamps and to get whatever I wanted. So I got a box of granola bars. He took off after that.
I left Safeway and went to a grass area where I found shade and took a nap. It felt really good. I slept a while then woke up at around 7:00. I was watching some people who looked like tweakers walk by. It was a man and lady and they walked to Safeway. They looked like they were on something. They came back out with 4 cases of water in a shopping cart. Then I thought, wow, I was wrong and again can't judge them by their looks. Then about 10 minutes later they walked by again with the shopping cart full of empty water bottles. Now I was confused. They walked to a recycle box next to Safeway and started to throw the bottles in. Then it hit me. They bought the water with a food stamp credit card. Then they emptied all the bottles and returned to recycle them. Then they take the receipt inside of Safeway to receive cash for the recycling. Then they take the cash to go buy whatever dope they were on. Straight junkies. They do all that to turn credit into cash so they can use drugs. Wasted the water and all. That was pretty upsetting. Then about 20 minutes later another tweak did the same exact thing. Poor people are so desperate. Dam tweaks.
I went to the little ceasars to see if I could catch some throw away food when they closed. They closed at 8pm for the Holliday. The guy came out to throw trash bags out and said they didn't have anything left. I said no worries and started to pick my things up. Then he said to come inside the front in 20 minutes and he would see what he could do. He ended up giving me a deep dish pizza and I think he put it on his own tab then made it. I was exited and he was a good guy. I got a picture with him.
I went to the park at around 8:30. I got to the park and watched a group of mexicans play soccer while I grubbed out. I ate about half the pizza then was full. I forgot to get a bag and knew the pizza would be full of ants leaving it in the box over night. So I went to the mexicans and gave them the rest. They were so pumped. I talked to them in Spanish a little (spanish I learned as a farmer in high school). They were funny guys and liked the curse words I knew. I got a picture then left.
I made my bed in the grass at the same spot as the night before. I wondered when the sprinklers would come on. I laid there a while and all of a sudden it felt like a Ton of bricks needed to fall out of my a$$. Excuse my language. I hobbled to the bathroom across the park and clinched the whole way. I got inside and let her rip. When I was in there a parks keeper came to lock up the bathrooms for the evening. They were single bathrooms. When I was inside he turned off the light and was going to lock the door. I yelled out for him to wait, and said I was dumping. He said sorry and turned the light back on. Then when I was done I came out laughing and said thank god he didn't lock it because I didn't want to spend the night with the aliens I just hatched. We both cracked up.
I went back to my bed and laid down. I laid there around 10 minutes when sure enough, the sprinklers turned on. I grabbed my things and walked toward a playground. The only place I could find was on the playground behind a climbing wall. So I made my bed there to stay out of the grass where the sprinklers were running that night. I laid there and then I saw a few teenagers walk up. It was a boy and two girls. They jumped on the swings. I was really hoping they wouldn't come any closer. Then they went to a jungle gym and started climbing on it. I was next to the jungle gym but in a dark shadow where they didn't see me. But I had a feeling they would climb the wall next so I decided to let them know I was there. I didn't want them walk up on me and be scared to death. So I said "excuse me". I didn't know what to say really. Both the girls screamed and jumped back. I felt terrible. I said I didn't mean to scare you guys but I wanted to let you know I was here. They laughed from being startled so much. They were cool about it and said it was ok. They went back to the swings, and when they eventually left they yelled "happy 4th of July!" to me.
I laid there and watched some fireworks go off from the neighborhoods around me. I eventually went to bed around 11.
at 5:44 PM
21 day reflection
So I have actually been out on the streets for over 3 weeks now. It has been a journey let me tell you. The dark and scary place I thought the streets would be has actually been a light in my life that I never could have imagined. Granted, I have been in nicer towns and haven't had too many scary encounters which I know are out there. But living in different places every night has not been nearly as scary as I thought. And in fact my sleeping habits are surprisingly better than when I was dealing with stress and the daily grind of society. Never expected that.
Being out here has been a real eye opener and has opened my mind so much. The lessons I have learned are invaluable and will last me a lifetime. I've learned to give, and you will receive in return. I have learned NOT to judge a book by it's cover. And most importantly you can find true happiness with hardly nothing. It really has been crazy out here in a good way more than bad. Taking the time to talk to people I would normally judge and avoid has proven to be very rewarding. I have heard some of the most real stories and truths out here from people who have been through some $hit! And have made their way through it with the grace of god.
I left walking north with no money at all and just a few snacks. I have never not once asked for money or food or anything. It has been given to me through people who have been amazing supporters of my sacrifices to seek something real. I am very stubborn by nature and even my stubborn mind has opened and is transforming into something great. I'm not a cocky person, but I am proud of the things I have learned and I know they are giving me what I seek.
It has been awesome out here. It's like those really awesome chills you get when something miraculous happens are seriously happening to me daily. Not drinking or drug induced, all natural. If somebody told me a year ago that they knew I wasnt happy. Even with all the nice things I had and good job I had. Then they said not to worry because in a year I would have non of it, but would be truly happy as a homeless man eating thrown out food by a dumpster, I would have slapped the $hit out of them. But i am happy and it's true, and I still am in shock that it is true. Real talk.
So this journey is almost like a reward to me for being able to let go of that life and follow what my heart wanted (seek truth and happiness). Do I want to do this forever, no. But I feel like this is what I need in order to live the life I want to in my future. And i will be prepared to raise a family soon. I feel like I don't carry fear anymore. I can do things without worrying and knowing I can always be happy even with the slightest of fortune. That is something I needed to live in order to believe. And now I feel like I've been set free. I have more trust now and less fear. Even when I fall asleep behind buildings on cardboard with homeless people. This doesn't mean something bad can never happen to me, I know that's not true. But I would rather not always fear that possibility. And instead trust that whatever happens is for a reason. If I die tonight, I will die a happy man who found something my heart took me to. That has been something so important to me and is worth a life. I can't even wait to experience my trip to to see what's in store for me. I hope to bring a light there and lift spirits however I can.
I'm happy to have kept in touch with many of the amazing supporters and friends I've met along the journey. Trung from has actually started a blog of his own which is pretty cool. And Jenny, also from Fairfield will spend 4 or 5 days staying with my family and will get to see before she leaves. She will also get to be at one of my family partys to meet the amazing family I have.
This journey has brought a lot of spiritual people into my path. People who have been down a road like mine and have shared stories of the faith that saved them. I have also found part of myself. I have found that helping and inspiring people makes me feel real and I love everything about it. Now I don't think I have answers for anyone, but just sharing my story can show others that there is hope, for everyone. I don't think living homeless is others answer, it might be mine but not everyones. I just needed this to humble myself and seek what was important for me. It was just the path I took that is leading me to life. I love real people and their brutally honest
Thoughts. No matter your skin color, or faith or religion. I just love TRUTH!
Thanks to everyone who has helped this journey turn into what it is. I really love all the support and encouragement daily. And for those who have me in their prayers thank you too.
For anyone who would like to donate to nicks journey to japan, you can send donations to
at 11:57 AM
I heard Tom coming down the stairs and I woke up. It was around 10am. I slept like a champ and the couch was really comfortable. When I woke up I brushed my teeth in the bathroom. I asked Tom if he watched the whole movie. He said it was boring so he went to bed too.
He went and grabbed me a bottle of gold bon he had and told me to take it with me. I told him thanks but it was big and my pack was full. I told him I would use some though. I went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth then put some of it on. That stuff is amazing! It's like icy hot and baby powder mixed and has a tingly feeling to it that feels relieving. I decided to stuff it in my bag and made room.
He asked where I wanted him to take me and I said back downtown to the gas station would be fine. So we jumped in his car to head over there. We came to a stoplight where you can go north or south and we were in the lane to head south back to the downtown area. This stoplight didn't seem like anything special but later I realized it actually changed the day. We sat there in the lane for about 2 or 3 minutes. No green light. We waited and waited and Tom was confused. I told him to try and back up a little, but still no green. So he said he would just turn right (north) and make a u-turn to go back the other way (south). So he went right. He said he had never even gone that way since he moved there. We drive north but there was no place to make a u-turn. Then we came up to the overpass of the 5. All of a sudden he said "you wanna just take a road trip?!?" I paused for a second then looked over and said "if your down I'm down!". He said "screw it! Let's head north!". I was pretty pumped.
He had never been north of redding and actually was wanting to check it out. He had a Tom Tom navigation system and I looked up the towns north. He said he wanted to drive a loop and hit the California coast on the way home. So I looked up a route where he would go as far north as Medford Oregon. He said he could drop me there. I was really exited and couldn't believe my luck.
So we road tripped. It was really fun. We talked more about our hometowns and growing up. He loved his home state of Minnesota and the small town he grew up in. He said he always wanted to get out of there his whole life and now he can't wait to get back. Tom also said he was happy he was doing something for the weekend and really needed it after working so much lately.
We stopped in the town of "weed" CA. It was a small town but had a souvenir shop that was packed! It was pretty funny. All kinds of "weed" stuff. Everything you could think of. Tom bought a couple shirts there.
We drove about 2 hours and into Oregon. We finally came to Medford. There was a Starbucks right off the freeway where we stopped. We went in and Tom got a coffee. We took a picture then tom was gonna hit the road. He said it was cool to meet me and good luck. I told him thanks for everything and that I was real exited to be up in Oregon. We shook hands and he left towards the coast and back down south to California.
I went into Starbucks and did my thing and wrote. I couldn't believe I got so far north. I stayed in Starbucks a few hours. A group of church teens came in and sat next me. They were having a worship meeting of some sort. They were right there so I heard pretty much all of their discussion. To be honest it was kind of weird and the things they talked about were almost colt like. The way the leaders answered questions that the kids had didn't make sense and were very close minded. I was really annoyed and a few times almost wanted to butt in. But it wasn't my place. I honestly felt like it was more of a brainwash type teaching rather than being real. Even the kids at times seemed confused with what the leaders would tell them. I felt bad for them. They would more less tell the kids how to live and what was wrong with things they did rather than listen and really support them through it. Or in other words seemed to almost power trip rather than encourage them to walk their own walk. Like they were micro managing their lives. I just think being more open minded about things is a better approach. I have learned how god works just as hard in places you wouldn't expect, like the streets where I have been experiencing it and learning through others out here too. But I had to check myself and just mind my own business. Maybe people disagree with me, those are just my honest thoughts. I just had a bad vibe from them.
I left Starbucks a little later and walked towards a park nearby. The park was really nice and I felt good about staying there that night. I scoped it out and found where I would sleep.
I headed back to a shopping center where there was a little Caesars. I was going to see if I could get some food there. I hadn't eaten all day and was really hungry. I talked to a little Caesars worker that was outside on his break and he said he would make sure to bring a pizza out for me. So I was going to wait there til they close.
I was sitting there a while when a Safeway worker came out and was taking his lunch. He was in his car next to me with his window down. I saw some people throwing glass bottles into a box shaped and was wondering what they were doing. I kept looking and trying to figure it out but I couldn't. I asked the Safeway employee if he knew what they were doing. He said it was a recycling box that prints a receipt to get a cash redemption in Safeway. He then said "you must not be from around here huh?". And I told him no. He asked where I was from and I told him. Then he asked where I was headed and why. And I told him the story. He told me he really appreciates what I'm doing. He said when he was growing up he supported his family by working and buying food. At 15 he had a stroke and lost movement of the left side of his body. He had to fight through that and it was a humbling experience. He learned a lot of lessons then. He fought threw it and now is at 100%. His name was KC. He was a real nice guy. He gave me half a bag of beef jerky and went back to work.
At about 10:15 the guy from little Caesars brought me a pizza. And another employee came out with him and gave me a few bucks. I told them they were awesome and thanks! They said no problem and good luck. I got a picture of them.
As I started to eat some pizza KC came back out for his break. I offered him pizza but he didn't want any. He sat next to me on the curb and we talked a bit more. He was mid 30's and had a couple kids. He said if he didn't he would fir sure go on a journey like mine. I told him a couple stories of miracles I have experienced and he loved them. He told me I will be happy I did this. He said he would pray for me and to keep my eye on the prize. And not to let anyone bring me down. He told me he sensed that I have a great spirit and to keep doing it. I was thankful and he went back to work.
I left to the park and packed 4 slices of pizza in a grocery bag and into my backpack. I got to the park and made my bed. There were a few fireworks going off through the night. I listened to some George strait and went to bed next to a tree at around 11:30pm.
at 1:45 PM
I felt a tap on my shoulder that woke me up. It was a carls jr employee. He was holding a tray with a burger and fries on it. He sat it down in front of me and said "enjoy". I sat up from the booth I was in and was exhausted. I told him "thanks man" and laughed a little. He said no problem and that an older couple had come in and before they left they ordered it for me. I was shocked! I was also a little bummed because I never saw them. I remember a couple sitting by me and I saw a blur of them as I woke up briefly but wasn't sure if they were the couple who did that for me.
It was 7:30 am and I scarfed down a famous star with cheese and a large fry. I was so thankful and kept laughing while I was eating it. I wondered if the couple would ever know how much I appreciated it. And I also had a strong feeling they would be taken care of in return somehow and somewhere.
I was so tired from hardly sleeping but was in a good mood. I read a little bit and then jotted some thing in my journal also. I also used the Internet to look up a few random things. Some random facts; hitchhiking is legal in California anywhere except on the freeway or on/off ramps from freeways. Oregon is legal to hitchhike anywhere, even on freeways. And defending world champion San Francisco giants are still in first place.
A man walked up to me awhile later and told me I could stay in carls jr as long as I want. And if anyone kicked me out he would fire them because he is indeed the CEO of carls jr. (he is pictured above wearing the hood). He talked to me for about 15 minutes. Just so everyone is aware he has been putting murderous hits out on mcdonalds managers. He plans to kill most of them in the next 6 months and take out mcdonalds. He said killing the managers are where it hurts them, executives won't effect it as much, and all other workers can be replaced. But managers are the backbone. So if you like mcdonalds enjoy it for a while because this dude guarantees only 6 more months before they close the company. He said everytime he builds a carls jr they decide to build a Dam mcdonalds across the street. So he and Bill Clinton designed a plan to execute them. And his good friend Bill Clinton also gave him a time machine but he hasn't tried it yet. I was very friendly to this man and listened to all his stories. Before he left he even offered me a chance to use his time machine in the future. He was also chosen with the Clinton family to be a select few people to survive Armageddon in a bomb shelter. I couldn't believe how lucky he was.
After he left one of the girls working there said sorry if he was bothering me. I told them it was cool and I actually enjoyed his stories. We both laughed about it.
I stayed there a while through the day and was eventually told I had to leave by the crew in the next shift. They said they have a 30 minute max time to stay in the lobby. I said no problem and packed my things. I was really wishing the "CEO" was still there to have him step in.
I went right across to mcdonalds. It was extremely hot outside and really just wanted to stay cool before flying a sign that evening at a fuel station. While I was in mcdonalds I saw a young kid with shaggy hair and some blankets and stuff. He ordered food to go but just sat at a booth and never ate. He was really wigging out and every so often he would make a tense looking face and pull his hair. He was always turning his head fast back and forth and seemed to suffer from some kind of condition.
I left mcdonalds and went down the street at around 7 to hold my north sign at a gas station. I sat there about 10 minutes when I heard a loud bang from behind me. I turned around and it was that same shaggy hair kid. He was at the gas station across from me and he grabbed a fuel nozzle off the pump and was beating the side of the pump rigorously with it. He was really going to town and spazzing out yelling. I watched him do that for about 10 seconds then he just dropped the nozzle and hose on the ground and walked away super calm. It was like he had a seizure and didn't even realize what he did right after. About 5 minutes later 4 cop cars came zooming by and went the direction he left walking. I really wondered what happened with that.
I sat there about an hour more holding my sign but it was pretty slow. There was a row of parking spots next to me. During the time I was there I saw 2 separate kid exchanges from people who were probably divorced or split up. It was weird because I could feel tension when it happened and I wondered if the kids could feel it. Both couples argued a little when they made the exchange and one of them had a bunch of papers for the other.
I took off at around 8ish to head about a mile east towards the river where there was a little ceasars in a shopping center there. I was gonna wait out back to try and score some pizza. I got there around 8:30.
Right when I got there a kid came up on a bike next to me and asked me where I was heading. He said on the 22nd of july him and a group of friends were gonna head up the coast to Washington then cut over to Utah from there. Him and his group had a homeless camp down by the river. He asked if I wanted to check it out and stay with them. So I figured I would go look at it. As we walked down to the river we talked. He was only 18 and was here from Fresno after getting kicked out by his dad. They camped at the river and grew weed down there. They were planning to trade the weed once they harvested it for a suburban so they could drive north. He said it would be cool if I would go because none of them have ever traveled and I could help them. I knew right away I wouldn't go. It was too sketchy off the bat. I went down to his camp and before we got there he said the guys he stays with are drunk and to tell them we grew up together. I told him I wasn't gonna lie and if they had a problem I would take off.
We got to the camp and it was wrecked. There was garbage everywhere and it smelled horrid. They had bags and clothes all over and they were all wet and molded. There was a big tent there that all 6 of them slept in. There was old food all over that had gone bad and the place was flat out disgusting. Not to mention there were mosquitos everywhere!
When we got there only his girlfriend was there. She was also really young she was wearing a dirty bikini and had scabs all over her body. Both of their arms were pure mosquito bites. I felt really bad that they lived there and dealt with that. They said they were moving camp because the cops came down and red tagged them. They had 7 days to leave. The kid showed me around and where he had his 2 hidden weed plants. They were like 2 inches tall.
He said I could stay with them and it would be cool to have me there but there was no way I was doing that. Even though I'm homeless and am not the cleanest, that place really grossed me out. Hard to explain how sick it was.
So after about 10 minutes down there I walked back up to the little ceasars. I felt 10 times better getting away from there camp and out of the river bottom. I sat behind the little ceasars a while. I ended up talking to some Japanese folk in the back of a sushi place for a while. They were cool and were having an after work beer drinking session.
I heard some music down by a bridge up the river a little. It was Saturday night and I thought it might be something cool to go check out. So I hid all my things behind a building and started to walk over there. I had time to kill before little Caesars would come out so I was gonna go check it out.
When I walked towards the bridge I ran into a guy with fishing gear. He was around my age. I asked him if he had any luck and he said no. Then I asked if he knew where the music was coming from. He told me it was across the bridge and in a water front park on the other side. I told him thanks and that I was gonna go check it out. He asked if I was from redding and then I told him I was traveling through. He was from Minnesota and was here for a job. He said he fishes there often and doesn't really know anyone. I told him I wish I had a pole and that I love to fish. He asked where I was staying that night and I told him I wasn't sure yet. Then he said "dude you seem cool, you wanna grab some beers and you can crash on my couch?". I told him I don't drink but if he's sure it's ok I would kick it with him and crash at his house. He told me yeah and it wasn't a problem.
So I went and grabbed my stuff and I jumped in his car. He was a real cool guy. His name was Tom. He was in the army and fought as a gunner in Iraq. He moved here to Sacramento for work and had just moved to redding as they had a new job there. We headed to Safeway and he got beer and bought some steaks.
We headed to a condo that his work paid for in north redding. The place was really nice. Tom fired up a grill on the patio and BBQ'd the steaks. He drank his beers and we talked about our pasts and lives growing up. He said after fighting in war he now thinks very different then how he used to. He told me he really hates his job and actually has thought about doing something similar to me. He wanted to go to lake Tahoe a while and just enjoy life. He said he has been working (as an engineer) non stop for so long and is miserable not being able to enjoy anything. He was always stressed and didn't want to live that way. He was planning to quit soon but just didn't know what he would do from there.
We ate some steak with A1 tapatio sauce and it was amazing. That sauce was the ticket. After we ate Tom wanted to go get a movie. So I drove his car (he had been drinking) back to Safeway. He bought more beer and we rented a movie from blockbuster express. We got back to his condo and watched it. Tom had a good buzz going and I could tell he likes drinking his beer. I watched about 30 minutes of the movie before I passed out on the couch. I was really tired. I was really exited to be able to sleep comfortably without bugs crawling on me. And I got a good nights rest.
at 10:51 PM
I woke up on Friday morning in some grass next to the railroad tracks in Dunnigan, CA. All my stuff was wet from the morning dew. I sat up and tried to let my eyes adjust to the brightness outside.
A black dog wandered up next to me from out of nowhere. He came up next to me and I pet him a couple times. Then he ran off into the alfalfa field after some birds.
I walked up to the tracks and brushed my teeth. I sat there for about 15 minutes waiting for my stuff to dry in the sun. After that I went down and packed up.
I started walking towards the truck stop across the way. My legs were sore and my thighs stung from chafing after the 17 mile walk the day before. I got to the truck stop and found the wifi had been out for 2 weeks and I had no way of using Internet. I was kind of bummed by that.
So I went outside to sit by the gas station with my north sign. The place was really busy with campers and travelers so I hoped to get a ride out that day.
I sat there about an hour when a lady walked up with 3 puppies. She let them down to walk around near me. She asked how far north I was going? I told her Washington or Oregon. She said she was heading to Orlin and could take me there. I didn't know where that was but she told me about an hour north. I asked her if there were any stations to get a ride out from there. She said yes. Then I warned her that I smelled really bad and if she was sure. She laughed and told me it was ok.
So I put my things in the trunk of her Subaru car and hopped in. I was exited just to be heading north. We headed up the 5 and talked in the car. Her name was merylynn. When she was little her mother took her and her sisters to Mexico to escape an abusive dad. They lived in basically a shed there and were poor. Her father eventually hired a private investigator to find them, and he did. Her father was wealthy and brought them back to the states. He was changed and better to be around. She works now as a therapist in natural healing in napa. She also has a string of solar farms set up in and around Orlin.
So we made it to Orlin. She offered me to take a shower at her house from when I told her I stank. I told her I would love that. We went to her house and I showered. She also did my laundry which was awesome. She was really nice and smiled as she was able to help me out.
She made me a bowl of cereal and cut up some fresh pineapple for me as well. We ate together. I was starving and it was probably the best bowl of cereal I ever had. She also showed me a book she was writing about her adopted daughter. I read some of her story. She found her daughter in a cardboard box in Mexico on the side of the street and adopted her. It was a pretty cool story.
After we ate she took me up to her ranch to feed her dogs and horses. It was beautiful. It was up in the hills west of Orlin and I got to hangout there for a while. The horses were really cool as I pet them and took some pictures. There were about 10 of them and 4 were youngsters.
We headed back to the house. She asked if I knew how to install spy ware and if I could put it onto her computer. I told her I would try it by googling directions. So I ended up figuring it out and set that up for her.
I folded my laundry and packed my things. She also made me a salad to go. She was heading to chico to pick up her daughter and would drop me off at a gas station in next to highway 5 in Orlin. She dropped me off. I thanked her sincerely and really appreciated all she did for me. We took a picture then hugged goodbye. She said she was happy to meet me and that she felt like she connected with me. It was cool.
So she took off. I went across the street to a burger king to write. I literally sat there 5 minutes when two old gentleman walked up. One man asked me where I was headed. I told him and he said he could take me to redding as he was headed home there. I said "yeah!". I picked my things back up and jumped into his Toyota car outside of burger king. I was exited. They were driving different cars. The older man was in an el camino.
We took off heading north. His name was Ron. He was heading home from Sacramento. Him and his wife's uncle (the other man) went there to pick up the el camino, which Ron was restoring for him. We drove about an hour and a half up north. I couldn't believe my luck with two rides in one day!
Me and Ron thought much alike. He was a really cool guy. He was a vet and worked in a charity now called people restoration and helped improve peoples lives. He told me working in that is like having a litter of 12 piglets and only having 8 teats. But all in all he really loved it. He thought what I was doing was great and courageous. He said he was a believer in god and sharing with others was what his life was about. I was really happy to meet him and hear his story. He went through a time where he experienced my same thoughts. And now he is very happy and living in peace. Gave me more hope.
Ron stopped off an exit south of redding where his wife's uncle departed, then we got back on the road to redding. When we got to redding me and Ron stopped at a harbor freight. He had to get a tool there. Then we went to Costco where he had to pick up a printer for his wife (she was a professor).
After that Ron took me to reddings biggest tourist attraction; the sun dial bridge. I never heard of it before. It's a 38 million dollar bridge that is made of glass. It goes over the Sacramento river and is only for people, no vehicles. It was really cool. We checked out some of the history and things about the bridge. It's actually an accurate sun dial (tells time with shadows). It was really interesting.
Me and Ron hungout a while there then he took me to the nicest mcdonalds I'd ever seen. It had couches and was like a restaurant. They had wifi there for me to use. Ron came in with me and got an ice cream. When he left he said he was very thankful to meet me and he would be praying for me. He gave me a brochure to his church, which was down the road, and said if I was still there Sunday to stop by. He hugged me and left. It was great to talk to Ron and amazing of him to show me around. He was a nice man and we really connected.
I stayed in mcdonalds for a while. An older couple walked up to me asking where I was going? I told them my plan. They sat down at my booth to hear some of my story. The mans name was Wayne smith, I can't recall his wife's name. They were very kind people. Wayne told me that even though we only talked for 5 minutes, he felt connected to me and really liked the sense he had of the kind of person I am. That was so cool to hear. And it was the third person who told me they loves being able to connect to me that day. Pretty random but very cool also.
I shared with Wayne my thoughts on faith. He said he was happy to hear that I'm seeking truth. He also was a missionary insouth America many years on a similar spiritual journey. He told me he was nearly at the same point as me at one time. He told me keep being honest and do what I'm doing, and that what I seek will come. I thanked him for that. His wife seemed very worried about me not having a place to stay and having no money (my money has run out by this point). I told her not to worry but she was unsettling still. It was nice. We exchanged information and they shook my hand and left.
I left mcdonalds at around midnight. I went next door to a taco shop to find a place to stay. There was a shed where i could be hidden just behind it. I sat there for a few minutes to see how I felt about it. There were roaches crawling all over the concrete so I decided no way I would stay there.
I walked to the corner of the lot behind mcdonalds. I sat behind a tree there to feel it out. I noticed right away a man laying down near me. He was holding a beer up in the air and talking to it. He was saying "your the one who understands, this world isn't good enough for me". He said more but I took of and wasn't gonna stay there. I was really tired and there wasn't much around there for places to sleep. It was mostly commercial buildings in all directions for a couple miles.
I went by a carls jr where I saw their lobby was open 24 hours. I figured I would go in and see how long I could stay there. The streets all around were full of roaming tweaks and I didn't know where to go. I set my stuff in there and sat down. I put my journal in front of me and fell asleep leaning on my hand with my elbow on the table. I slept hardly at all that night and seriously woke up for 10 minutes every 10 minutes (roughly). I had a really bad headache also from being so tired. I heard the manager at one point say "he can stay here, he's ok". That was pretty nice to hear and even though I was restless, I was comfortable.
at 5:27 PM