Day 11

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Today I woke up inside a big patch of trees next to a park just west outside of Lee, Florida. It's has been 10 full days since I started on Jacksonville beaching the atlantic. I started there with no food water or money. I wanted to attempt to make my way across the united states by walking the entire way to the west coast and to the pacific ocean. Starting with no food or money was the toughest. Water I knew I could get easily. But food and money would take some survival strategies and a serious prayer. All I have is my licsence, no other access to money. I started with my backpack and a few things in it:
Sleeping bag
Sun glasses

3 t shirts
Basketball shorts
1 long sleeve shirt
2 tooth brushes
Cortisone moisturizer
iPod touch 
iPod charger
Virgin mobile wifi device
3 pair of undergarment underwear
Plad shorts
5 pair of socks
Nike shoes with sole inserts
12x8 tarp
3 prepaid wifi cards
2 sets of headphones
Wallet with license and social
Screw driver(left in from motocross)

And since then have actually lightened the load by getting rid of some stuff. It has been a miracle to have myself in this position where now I have 3 gallons full of water, a box full of packaged food, a rolling cart to tote behind me, and 73 dollars from people stopping to support me. I haven't approached anyone and the closest I got was holding a sign outside a store for 10 minutes that said "on a journey, food or water". It has been amazing that I am on a roll now and already have walked 120 miles. 
        So I sat up out of my sleeping bag. I slept on some long grass so it was soft and I slept well with no worries of being seen. I took my time waking up just sitting there for a while relaxing. It was a little overcast which was good as the sun wouldn't be shining through to heat up the day. I hoped it would stay like that. 
        I got up and tried to use my Internet. I couldn't get it to work the night before and was frustrated so I wanted to try right away. No luck. I hoped it was just the area and not a problem with my connection in general. I brushed my teeth and packed my gear up, and ate 2 bannanas. When I woke it was 9 and now I was ready to go at 9:30. I walked out towards the highway and out of the trees. 
         I got onto the highway and began walking. My feet were pretty sore and my legs were too. Especially my hamstrings and calves, and my pinky toe on my left foot. I hoped my feet didn't have blisters that would end up limiting my walking. I could deal with soreness but a blister might cause me to stop.
         The town of Madison was about 5 miles ahead. I walked and finally got there around 1. There was a mcdonalds there where I wanted to charge my phone and use wifi. I went in and sat down. It was so cool in there (temperature) and it felt good to have ac. I used the Internet while charging my stuff. I wrote a couple blogs there and by the time I left it was 2:30. 
        As I headed out of Madison I crossed a guy on a bike coming towards me. He stopped and we talked a while. He was a homeless hitchhiker and came from Washington state, riding part of the way and getting rides the other parts. He said he was doing it for love. He was a gentle spirit and a very soft spoken and quiet person. I asked if he needed anything and I ended up giving him a water. He was interesting. Said he didn't have a destination but would just circle the country a while. 
         After we parted ways I kept on westward. About another half mile a cop in a ford truck pulled in from of me and got out. He asked where I was from and where I was headed. I told him. He said they usually stop travelers to just make sure they are safe and to be used to it as I would probly get it a lot in my journey. He took my licsence and called it in. After waiting in the heat for 10 minutes he finally returned in and I said "I'm not wanted am I?" he laughed and said "no, your clean". I actually was a little relieved to hear that since I hadn't been checked in a while and have had a few incidents. Nothing bad. 
        So I packed up and headed on. I walked another 5 miles and my toe was really starting to hurt. So I took a break, sat in the shade under a tree and checked it out. When I pulled off my sock right away I saw that basically my whole pinky toe was covered by a blister. It was so gross. I needed to pop it. I popped it on the inside where it wouldn't rub on my shoe. I didn't have a needle so I just grabbed it with two finger nails and twisted it until it popped. When it broke open juice literally flew 6 feet. It was nasty but it was also awesome. I took a napkin I had and a bandaid from the bag the mom an daughter gave me and okie rigged a little bandage over it. It was a little uncomfortable but I would keep walking anyways and see how it did. So I kept on. 
        I stopped another hour or so ahead and decided I needed to eat. I pulled out the loaf of bread and just grabbed 5 slices and ate it like a sandwich. It was pretty plain but my stomach didn't care. I guzzled some water so it wasn't so dry as I ate it also. 
           I walked a few more hours as it started getting to sundown. I flipped my sign that says "food" over so people saw the "food" side thinking I might get lucky for a little hot treat before night. Sure enough about 20 minutes later a guy probably my age pulled off and gave me a fresh double cheeseburger and a cold coke! Couldn't believe my luck! I ate the burger and downed the coke. It was really good! 
        Just then my mom sent me a message on the Internet when I signed on and we ended up skyping while the sun was setting and while I walked. Right in the middle of skyping a couple in a jeep pulled in front of me and said they saw my sign and brought me a bag of food and water from the store. I was so happy and I faced my mom to them and they said hi to here. It was cool. Told them thanks and god bless. They gave me a small Salisbury steak dinner, a fruit cup, a pack of pop tarts, a small thing of ritz crackers, and Vienna sausages(which must be popular out here). And also 3 water bottles. I packed it away and talked to my mom a while. 
      I walked until I came to the town of Greenville. When I got there I was for some reason exhausted and just decided to stay there and find a camp place. I found a church just past the town. There was a house behind it and nowhere to get out of site so I went behind some trees next to it where it was nice and landscaped and hid out there. I made camp and laid down. 
         I couldn't sleep for some reason and was just over thinking stuff. My body was exhausted but my mind was not. I laid there til midnight thinking. When I got there it was around 10. Just as I started to nod off something flew into my ear. I heard the wings buzz loud and I put my had over my ear to try and swipe it away. But it was still there. I sat up fast and kept swiping. Still buzzing and I felt it moving around. So then I stuck my fingers all in and around my ear and i didn't feel it. Then I could feel the big burrow all the way inside of my ear. It freaked me out. I literally stuck my finger as hard as I could all the way in a circled it around and nothing came out. Just then I heard the buzzing but it was like a dying noise, like a battery dying going from fast to slow and quiet. I was really pissed and couldn't believe a bug just died all the way in my ear drum. I just kept saying "you gotta be kidding". I again stuck my finger in and nothing came out. I was pissed. I didn't know what to do so I grabbed my iPod for some reason and shined the light in my ear. I don't even know why I did that but when I did the thing came flying out and I caught it pressed on my inner ear and pulled it out. It was a Dam mesquito! I pulled it out and it was already dead from me smashing it when it tried to fly out. It was sooo weird. After that I covered my head with my jacket and it was another hour until I fell asleep.


Joe said...

as a backpacker/climber, can't help thinking, if I were doing this, I'd carry fewer/lighter gear and ditch the cart, and use an ultralight sleeping bag and bivy bag for rain, solar battery charger, etc. . . . . but then, of course, you're the one who actually walked the walk :)

Andi said...

I couldn't imagine making this trip without the cart. The solar battery charger would have been helpful.

davis awake said...

hello fellow road wanderer. i'm the guy traveling for love. what ever happened to the picture(or video) of me you tooK? i wanted to put it on the blog i was keeping.
anyway great to see you persevered and met so many wonderful people along the way. i'd like to have a conversation about travels some day.
cheers-Hoop Rider