I brushed my teeth and packed up. I hit the road by 7:30 and had 25.1 miles to get to the next town. So I started trucking.
I got about 4 miles in when there was a gas station right off the 287. I pulled off there and bought a bag of ice for $2. I threw the ice over 2 gallon jugs in my crate on the front of my cart. As I sat there soaking my towel to put over my head, a guy walked up behind me and said "nick?". I turned and he stuck his hand out and I shook it. He said he was driving along the 287 looking for me and saw my cart in there. I was a little shocked but still happy I had a visitor. I had no clue he was coming!
So he talked to me for a few minutes and said he admired what I was doing. He was also part of the same work friends from the guy who stopped yesterday. Their boss is an awesome guy! Never met him or knew of him, but he has went out of his way to spread the word and watch out for me!
So he ended up giving me 3 fresh new white t shirts. Perfect timing as I was down to my last one. And he had a bunch of power bars and snacks for me to pack. And he also gave me $20 and insisted I take it. Very nice of him to track me down. That support is amazing and I know I'm looked out for by all these great people I never even knew before this!
So I got on the road and had a good pace. My solar charger was working great now and with the new cord I purchased I have Internet charged up and iPod charged all day now! That is very helpful.
The ice kept my water cold and with the sun beating down it was very helpful. I had the soaked towel over my head, and I also took my shirt off to stay cool. I walked a good pace and about 10 miles later took a 5 minute break. I got right back on the road and continued.
I came up close to Vernon about 7 hours later. Just pretty much straight walking and drinking water all day. I was approaching vernon and took another little break. I had already gone 20 miles! I still felt good and was shocked on how easy it was. Also it was 100 degrees out and it felt like it was only about 85. It was a weird day.
I stopped on the east edge of town right when I got there at a Mexican restaurant. I used my trick there where I order the cheapest thing and then full up on chips and salsa. So I left my cart outside, took my valuables in with me. And sat down to eat. I ordered a side salad that came to $1.47 with tax and gave $3 total. I ate 3 bowls of chips and salsa and was filled up for cheap!
When I left there I ended up walking 2.5 more miles all the way to the west end of town and stopped at a taco bell. I sat there the rest of the night next to a charger and relaxed while figuring my game plan for the next day. As I sat there oustside all of a sudden a fight broke out. It was 2 girls fighting and they were employees on break! It was nuts. They were full on punching each other full force for about a minute until someone ran out and broke it up. It was for sure entertaining!
I left there at 10:30 and walked across the way to the Hampton inn hotel. I walked behind it where there was a storage building and I made my bed in the grass. It was nice grass so I knew it was taking a chance to get hit by sprinklers. But I laid there anyways. I fell asleep around midnight. At about 3am sure enough sprinklers turned on and blasted me! I packed up quickly and walked behind a dollar store across a field and laid down it a little more rough grass and weeds. I fell asleep again there.
at 6:41 PM
I laid there from 5am on hearing the loud thumps as the tires entered and exited the bridge. The traffic was picking up now and it would make the thump noise every 10 seconds or so. There was no way I could sleep through that. The noise was pretty loud.
I had maybe an hour of sleep and I just felt the weight of how tired I was weighing down on my eyes. I just felt a thickness in my thoughts and my head was heavy feeling too.
I laid there until about 9am when I knew I needed to get up and start walking before it was so late that I would be walking in the hot part of the day. The next town was Electra, 16 miles ahead.
So I got up and in a dizzy state I packed my things up. I noticed my hips and knees hurt a little more than usual. The concrete slab I slept on was on a slope so I had weight pushing me down that put an awkward and constant pressure on my hips when I laid on my side. Which I normally do.
After I packed I started walking. I felt very drained and like I could fall asleep in about a minute if I had a couch and air conditioning. But the next air conditioning I had was 16 miles ahead. And just a hard chair most likely rather than a couch.
I walked back onto the 287 and headed north. It didn't seem too hot compared to other mornings, so that was a plus. I walked about 13 miles non stop. I wanted to get to Electra early so I could relax. I was exhausted.
At about 13 miles in a car pulled off in front of me. A guy came walking towards me and said "nick?". I smiled and said "hey!" I figured it was a twitter follower. He shook my hand and was happy to have found me. His boss had told him and some guys they work with about my walk (Parts Unlimited) and they were checking up on me. I was very thankful. That lifted me up after a hard morning. He asked what I needed and I didn't really need to ask for anything so I said I was pretty covered. But then he insisted on giving me something. He started listing things like "food? Money? Water?". I knew he wanted to help somehow. He said there was a sonic in the last town and he could run back, so I said "ya some food will help". So he drove back to the town and went to order me food.
He came back out and met me down the road again a little further up. He brought me 2 chicken wraps and a slushy drink. The drink really hit the spot as I drank it right away. He pulled out a $20 and handed it to me. At first I said "no, I really don't need it". But he said, "I hear you help others, so you can share it". That was cool. I took the $20 at that point. He gave me a few bags of trail mix too and then we parted ways. I was very thankful and felt much better after that as I walked on.
I finally came to the little town of Electra. A small place where everything was very brown and old. It was very plain looking and just had a rusty kind of vibe. I walked up to a gas station where there was a subway. I went in and there was a booth there with an outlet.
I bought a drink in there and sat down at about 2:00pm. I was so tired and it felt good to be sitting and not exercising in the heat. I sat there the rest of the day watching people come in and out. A very country town with a lot of oil wells. A lot of grimy workers came in real dirty to get drinks and cool off. It was about all there was in the town so it was the hot spot.
At around 8:30pm I left there and walked a couple blocks. There was an old abandoned baseball field there and I crept in there and settled me and my cart into the dugout. The ground was dirt so I put my tarp down and then sleeping bag on top of it. It was out of sight as the outfield was just marsh land beyond the fence with no houses or buildings. It was basically the last thing on the west end of town. The feild was dry and looked like it had not been used in a while. But it was a good spot to be hidden for a long nights rest.
I fell asleep around 10:30 and with the exception of waking up from beetles a handful of times, I slept ok. Maybe a little above average nights rest compared to the norm.
at 5:39 PM
I got there around 10:15. I went inside and ordered a couple dollar menu items. I sat inside and focused on getting my journals done. It was freezing cold inside. I was so cold I went outside to my cart and grabbed my jacket. I usually leave my cart right outside the window where I sit.
The weather was 30% chance of rain all day and it was only about 90 degrees out. After a few triple digit days that was nice. So I stayed there until about 3pm. Then I was all caught up. I went in the bathroom and washed up a little. And then was ready and hit the road. It hadn't rained all day so I figured I would just go for it.
I started walking northwest on the 287. It was perfect temperature. The breeze felt good too. Just about a mile in the breeze suddenly got cool. Then all of a sudden it started sprinkling and the wind picked up. I pulled off at a rest stop ahead and that was the only thing around.
I sat there a while and waited for the weather to pass. It cleared up a little and I continued walking down the highway. I walked about 2 miles when I could see a cloud north of me coming my way that was raining down. It was one of those clouds that you could see the downpour.
It was moving fast and all I saw ahead in sight for cover was an exit where there was a bridge under the highway. So I picked up the pace to made it there as soon as I could. The cloud was coming faster than I could get to the exit.
So It started raining again. It was getting heavier and heavier. I finally made it to the exit and it was pouring! I ran from the exit all the way off and under the bridge. When I made it there my stuff was pretty wet but no damage was done.
I put my cart under the bridge and behind a column. But the wind was pushing the rain right under the bridge. So I took my tarp out and covered my cart. Then I walked up to the top of the cement incline and sat right under the bridge bottom. I sat there and watched the storm. The rain was possible through the night and I was starting to think I might have to stay there. If I left from the bridge I might get caught in the open in the rain. So I was thinking with the amount of daylight left, and the weather, I would have to stay there.
So I laid down on the sloped concrete under the bridge. I ended up napping a little there before the sun went down. When I woke up it was still raining so I made the decision to stay there. The exit was very slow and only a few cars came by there, so I thought it might be ok.
I put my sleeping bag out on a concrete slope right next to the road. It was the flattest spot that was out of the rain. I laid down and after a few minutes felt the cool wind that was stronger down on the ground compared to up under the bridge where I napped. So I put on my jacket and used a small towel as a pillow.
So the night was very rough. I was extremely uncomfortable and every car passing on the highway above (on the bridge) made a loud noise that would keep me awake. And every big rig was that much louder and shook the ground I was laying on. And about 5 or 6 cars passed through the night on the road that was about 10 feet away from me. I was worried I would get the cops called on me by someone driving by. But I lucked out.
So through the night I had a combined maybe 1 hour of sleep and don't think I was ever fully asleep. It was very tough. My hips hurt, my knees hurt, and my shoulder and head also throbbed.
at 12:06 PM
I had no clue what time it was and usually the sun wakes me up. But it was still dark there so I just slept. Then they came back in the house later and his truck battery had died. I was waking up already and checked my phone and it was 10! I had slept 10 hours! And solid sleep! I felt amazing.
I got up and just sat there in total relaxation as everyone just hung out in the living room. We just took it easy and watched tv. I eventually got up and had a bowl of cereal. I was in no hurry to leave and they were just hanging out all day. So I took my time.
Eventually I wanted to head to Walmart which was about a half mile away from their house. I left my stuff there and just walked with nothing. I felt naked and it was pretty trippy. I went to office depot and Walmart. I got a cord I needed for my solar charger to charge my Internet device, and then at Walmart I got 2 more spare tires and 2 spare tubes. All together it was $90!! So I was now down to about $40 left in my backpack, plus $45 on a Sonic giftcard.
I headed back to the house and the rain clouds were coming in. I got back there and slowly got my things packed up and together. The kids were so funny and I played games with them and watched them play around like crazy monkeys. It was awesome!
When I was ready to go, Mark gave me some snacks and I thanked him so much for letting me rest there! I said bye to the kids and I had a blast with them. I'm a big kid at heart so I enjoyed them a lot.
I took off around 4:30. I walked towards the next town west of there, Iowa Park TX. As I walked I hit a little bit of rain but not bad. The route took me through some back roads. They were so narrow I was really hoping it was right and that they actually went through. They did.
On my way to Iowa Park I watched a really pretty sunset. I stopped and just looked at it for a while to enjoy it. Very pretty. I walked past dark and finally came to the town. As I walked through the town I passed a house with 2 people on the front porch. They were talking and I heard one of them say "its a bum". And the other person said "ya thats what it looks like". I get this stuff a lot, especially when I stop at public places. I can always hear people talking about me. But I never take it personal. I know a person's judgement means nothing. Gods is all I worry about, and he doesn't care if Im a dirty, smelly, filthy, gross looking bum. Haha.
So I came to a church in town at about 10pm. It wasn't the best spot but I made camp. There was a chance of rain through the night so I was under an overhang. It was hidden ok and behind a small wall. But in day light I wouldn't be comfortable. So I hoped I wouldn't have any trouble in the morning.
Sent from my iPod
at 3:11 PM
I got into the highway and walked the rest of the way through Henrietta TX. As I left town I got about 3 miles when a white truck pulled off in front of me. A guy got out and walked back to me holding 2 gatoraids and a small white bag. He came up and said he was a guy who had recently friended me on Facebook from hearing about me through a buddy of his. He had read my journals and knew that I dumpster dove in the beginning of this walk to survive before I had any food or money still. Stale donut holes were one of my dumpster dive finds so he brought me a fresh bag of donut holes! That was great! He said he was taking his kids to church and then he wanted to meet up later when I arrived in Wichita Falls (where he lives). So I said I would post it on Facebook to let him know when I got there.
So I munched those donuts down with a quickness. I continued walking and hoped to get to Wichita falls before it was too hot. I was making great time and walking with excitement to reach the half way point.
It was pretty hot and getting tough around 1pm. A car pulled over and a guy jumped out and gave me some waters. He said they were probably colder than what I had. He was right. My waters were hot at this point.
I walked a ways up and was reaching the city limit sign. And finally I was there! It felt pretty good but the heat kept me pushing forward to keep going.
I was about a mile from sonic where I was gonna stop and treat myself with a sonic giftcard I had received the week before. About a mile before a white car pulled off and the same guy who brought me the donuts in the morning jumped out with a backpack and shade hat. Then the car took off. He came up and said he was gonna keep me some company! So he walked with me to sonic. When we got there we ordered food and sat in the shade. He wouldn't let me pay for my food and insisted on buying for me.
We sat there and talked a bit about motocross as he rides dirt bikes too. We talked about the trip too and hung out and ate lunch. Then he said for me and him to just walk to his house a few miles up and I could hangout there and stay too for the night! That was awesome! I was totally surprised and exited too! To have a soft place to sleep on the day of getting half way across America would be a treat!
So we walked the 3 miles to his house. It was pretty hot and again drinking my water burned my throat. I think he was a little surprised in how aggressive I walk to get across streets and keep moving in the city and though traffic. I try to hustle across towns.
We got to his house and I was drained! The combination of little sleep last night (and the entire way), walking 22 miles, and the brutal heat had for sure wore me out.
When I got there it was very relaxing. He got me a cold drink with ice and I plopped down on a couch/recliner and was in heaven! I hung out with his family and his kids were awesome! They were so funny and entertaining. I havn't been around kids in a long time and I love kids. So it was a great atmosphere.
We just relaxed and even watched some baseball. It is very different watching tv when you havn't watched it in months. So it was really great to just enjoy everything there. They made a home cooked dinner that was amazing! BBQ chicken, macaroni and cheese, beans, and stuffed peppers on the BBQ also. What a treat that was! It was such an awesome night and just a great laid back rest.
After dinner I took a hot shower! Wow. The 4th hot shower I have had in 96 days. If you go 5 days without a hot shower it would feel great. The last time before this that I had a hot shower was just under 2 full months ago! That is something I have really learned to appreciate. My typical shower is either under a water hose, or in a public restroom. So the shower on this night felt great!
They set me up to do laundry and gave me clothes to wear while I washed mine. It was a bunch of great things at once.
So that night I laid on the couch and just felt so incredibly comfortable. It felt like I was drugged up or something and just stuck on that couch. I fell asleep and slept absolutely amazing! I honestly forgot how it felt to have a good nights rest. This day was very awesome and the half way point turned out to be a better day than I could have imagined!
at 5:40 PM
I woke up around 9:15. I got up and rolled up my bed. I went inside the store and it was the same girl from the night before. When I walked in it smelled like dead animal bad! She was spreading powder and other freshening products to get rid of the smell. They had an adult toys rep coming in later that day and didn't want the store to smell at all.
I went back to the anal section and plugged in at the outlet. I was gonna have to wait there until the lady showed up sometime that day with my stuff to fix my cart. (just realizing this journal sounds pretty perverted so far).
So I just hungout all day waiting around. At about 1pm the lady showed up. She brought me a new tire, 2 tubes, slime, and a hand pump. The products cost me $50 and I gave her $60 since she went out of her way to help and so that I wasn't taking a handout. It was only fair. I was still very thankful though.
I went right out and fixed my tire. The front tire was still low so I pumped it up but it would leak as I pumped it and stay only part way inflated. So I changed that tube as well. The back tire that I changed (tube & tire) was damaged. The sidewall was coming apart and that was why it kept slipping off the rim. It was a good thing I tested my cart now with all the water weight to be sure it can handle it.
After I fixed it all I went inside to grab my things that were still charging. I said thanks to them and goodbye. It was about 2 by the time I was on the road, and I was gonna go about 14 miles to get to Henrietta TX. I started walking and it was extremely hot! It was 103 degrees out. I was constantly having to drink water as my body was sweating it out right away. It was so hot and very tough to keep moving. My water heated up so hot that it burned my throat when I drank it. But I had to keep drinking.
I walked about 5 miles when a van pulled off and asked if I was ok? I said yes and they couldn't believe I was walking out here in the middle of a long stretch in the heat. They asked if I needed anything but I said no thanks. It was really cool to have them check on me though.
About an hour later a cop pulled over. When he got out I noticed it was the same cop from the day before. I was hoping he was going to be cool. He said he had a call that I was pushing a baby down the highway in the heat and he laughed. He said he thought it was gonna be me when he got here. He was really cool. We talked a bit about what I'm doing and then he offered me cold water. I didn't take it only because I'm trying to get used to the conditions I will be up against soon in the bare dessert with no town for over 100 miles. I told him that and he said good idea. He shook my hand and said good luck and sorry about the day before. That was cool.
All of a sudden as I started walking the wind picked up. It felt great. Then the cloud cover came in and blocked the sun. All of a sudden the brutal heat was gone. It was cool and windy. The wind picked up more and more. Then suddenly it was really heavy. It was so strong it was pushing my cart up a slope so fast I had to use the break moving uphill. Thank god it wasn't against me. I had to strap my sleeping bag in and tuck my jacket away. If anything would have been caught in the wind, it would have been gone. It was very strong!
I walked all the way up to Henrietta and got there at about 6pm. Just as I was exiting to get off the 287 a car pulled over on the frontage road and walked through the grass and out to me. They had waters and a hat. They came out and said they were the parents of the guy that drove the day before to come see me. They were heading south from Wichita Falls and tracked me down! That was great. We talked a bit and they had some great questions about the walk. They gave me cold waters and $20 to help me out. It was great to meet them and to have their help!
So after they left I got off the exit. My gps showed there was a Mexican restaurant right off the exit. I was gonna stop there and order something cheap and eat a bunch of chips and salsa. But they were closed. It looked like they recently closed for good. There was nothing else around there except a junk yard next to it. It was very dead and nothing around.
I walked behind the closed restaurant and found an outlet. And it worked! So I decided I would sleep there for the night. I made my bed up on the deck next to the back door and the outlet. I ate some crackers for dinner and that was all I had eaten all day. The bugs there were EXTREMELY thick! They were all over! I zipped up my sleeping bag to sleep that night but they still crawled in my hair all night.
I fell asleep around 11:30. I wanted an early start the next day to avoid the late day heat if I could. I didn't sleep well that night from the hard surface and the bugs constantly waking me up.
at 5:52 PM
I left the exit there and continued north on the 287. The next little town was Bellevue TX where I was gonna try and get to in good timing. It was 7 miles.
So I got going and was moving fast. I came up to a car that was pulled over and there was a cop searching all through the car while the lady stood outside next to the highway in the grass. I passed them and kept going.
It was hot but the ice really made a difference and drinking cold water helped a lot. I walked a few more miles when I saw another car pulled over and again the cop (same one) was searching while a guy was outside. I got close and took a picture. Just then the cop looked up and seemed startled. He said "can I help you?". I said "no just passing through". He then said "well you need to go ahead and pass through then". I said "that's what I'm doing". He said "well you need to do it now". Then I told him "well I would but I don't want to play chicken with that big rig coming this way so I will after he passes". He said then "sorry I just got a little spooked looking up and seeing you while I pulled someone over". I said "sorry, I didn't mean to scare you, I'm harmless". Then after it was clear I went into the highway lane and around them and kept on walking north.
I came to the little town of Belleview TX and stopped in at a gas station/cafe. I found a charger there and plugged in then got a drink there. I stayed there a few hours and relaxed. It was extremely hot and I was trying to stay out of the heat wave for a part of the day. As I sat there two girls and a guy came in and were really loud and obnoxious. They were yelling and cussing and being rude to the people in there. Then they came over and sat next to me on a bench. They started saying things to me that we're sort of rude but I was nice about it. They were dressed in fishnets and had blue hair. And every kid that came in they would say "hey gangster, you think your cool?". It was odd.
So I left there and before leaving town I filled all my water jugs up. I want to do a stretch of walking where I keep track and see how much water I can survive off of. So I filled everything I had and was loaded down. I also want to see how my cart handles the weight.
I left walking and got about 2 miles in when a car pulled over. A girl in uniform came running out towards me with waters. When she got close I noticed she looked familiar. And it ended up being the same girl who stopped in Decatur and offered me $100! She came up and said "you have come a long way!". And asked what I was doing. So I told her and she was amazed. She gave me some waters and asked again if I was sure I didn't need money. And I said yes but thank you. And then she headed out and said she was going home to Wichita falls. That was really nice of her to stop again.
After she left about a mile up I noticed my tire on my left rear tire was coming off the rim. The sidewall came out and now the tube was exposed. It worried me so I pulled off and zip tied the tire to try and keep it from coming off any further. There was nothing around there except bare land and a flat would be a disaster!
Another half mile up about half the tire was off now and quickly getting worse. So I stopped and thought about it. The only way to get the sidewalls back inside the rim was to deflate the tire, get the tire back on the rim right, then refill the tube. All I had to refill the tube was a fix a flat, but for a car. But it was about my only choice.
So I let the air out of the tube, then got the tire back on the rim right. Now was the tricky part. I had to screw the can of fix a flat on the valve stem. Then just let a little in and unscrew it fast. So I screwed it on slowly waiting for it to insert the fluid. And all of a sudden it just shot a bunch in and before I could back it off to stop it, the tire came off the rim again, and the tube expanded rapidly and then popped right in my face! I had slime all over my face and arms. It did not work and I was out in the country and the heat.
I stood up and threw the can down in frustration. Then I looked around and saw a building. I looked at the sign and it was an adult video store. It was seriously the only thing for miles and I was hoping it was open.
So I walked my cart over on the rim. When I got there I went in. There were 2 ladies inside and I asked them which direction was the nearest Walmart. I knew there was one back south but wasn't sure how far north there might be one and if it was possibly closer. The lady said that it was 15 miles back (the same one I stopped at the day before). I asked them if I could leave my cart there while I walked back. I was thinking I would just take my back pack and sleeping bag, get there that night, then trek back the next morning.
The lady said she actually needed to go there to get some stuff that night. A cat had gone under the store and died, and it was stinking up the store. So they needed supplies for the maintenance guy to crawl under and get it out (a suit and mask ect.). So she said she could take me there if I wanted and bring me back. Then I felt dumb but told her I was walking across the country and committed to myself not to even set foot in a car or anything else besides walking. So she was cool about it and said to make a list and she would bring it back! I got so lucky!
So I gave her a list and she took off. She said I could sit inside and stay cool in the meantime. So I sat next to an outlet next to the anal video section and plugged in at an outlet. I sat there all day and watched some very creepy guys come in and either buy stuff, or use the private adult arcade rooms and then leave. It was pretty weird.
I waited there until 10:30! Then finally, after the lady left at 6, she called. She said she let her daughter and her boyfriend and friend use her car to do something really quick, and they were still gone and not answering their phones. She said the way it looked, she wouldn't be back until morning. So I said it was no problem. After all she was really helping me out so I was just thankful for that and didn't care how long it took. So I said It was no problem and I would camp out back and be there the next day, and it was no worries.
After I got off the phone with her (the store phone) the lady that was there working still said her daughter and boyfriend and friend were worthless mooches and always screwed her over. She strongly disliked them. So I headed outside and camped on some grass outback. I was stranded there until I had supplies to keep moving. I was really tired and fell asleep right away. Bugs were heavy there and woke me up on and off, and truckers would pull in once on a while and go into the store (it was open til 2am). Pretty weird day it turned out to be, but I was very lucky that sex shop saved me in the middle of nowhere.
at 4:53 PM
So I just had to try and make the next town and see if I could air up there. So I headed out on the highway towards Bowie TX. I walked a ways and came across a pretty nasty wreck that had happened right in front of me. It had just happened and the cops were there. As I passed it I just thought it was a good thing my tire was low and I was held up a little. I know the chances are slim, but you never know. And the frustration I felt when I saw that the air machine was out of order, now made me feel ok about it.
I kept walking towards Bowie and had a good pace. A truck pulled off ahead of me into a small gravel parking lot. Then a man started walking out onto the shoulder of the highway and towards me. He came up and said "hobo nick" (my twitter name). And I was happy to meet him. It was getting very hot outside and he had brought me a gatoraid. It was great timing and I downed it! We hungout and talked about 15 minutes and it was really nice to have a visitor. He drove an hour and a half to come see me! He also brought me socks but I had just been given a few pairs so I didn't take them. But the gesture meant a lot and was awesome! He walked with me about 100 ft back to his truck and then we shook hands and parted ways. It was a great suprise!
So I continued on towards Bowie and the heat was really getting to me. It got to the point where my waters were heated up and very hot. Not refreshing when you are on the verge of dehydration. I stopped at a bridge and took a break in the shade under it. I was feeling light headed and a little dizzy so I thought it would be good to stop. I say there about 15 minutes drinking hot water and trying to rest up a little and cool down.
I continued towards Bowie and about an hour later finally got there. I headed off the highway and went to the Walmart right off the 287. I went in and sat in the breezeway to cool down for a few minutes. Then I went in to get some things. I got a huge sandwich for cheap that I could make last a couple days. And also I got 5 gallons of water to pack under my cart on the frame. I needed to test out carrying about 10 gallons of water to make sure my cart can handle it through the long 100 miles stretches of nothing in the desert. So I packed those things under my cart and bunged them nice and tight.
I sat in the Walmart breezeway on a bench and found an outlet there too. I charged up while eating part of the sandwhich. That was the only thing I ate all day besides two cracker snacks, which also probably caused me to be light headed and dizzy earlier. But that's all I had and I don't have extra money to use to eat a lot all day.
I left there at about 8. I went across the parking lot to a gas station where I finally filled my front tire up with air. After that it rolled much easier. Then I headed down the highway again for a short evening stretch. My feet had already felt much better since I switched shoes that morning, and I bandaged my feet before walking this day also.
I walked about a mile up the 287 when it was getting dark. So I put on my reflective vest. I walked about 3 more miles where I saw an exit with a gas station. That was where I was gonna stop for the night as there was really nothing passed that for a ways. So I pulled off and looked for anywhere out of sight to sleep.
I walked right off the exit and there was really nothing there at all. But I saw something ahead. There was an old closed down abandoned building. It was small and had big overgrown weeds all around it. So that was the spot. There was a few trailers behind it down a dirt road and besides that nothing around for miles except the gas station on the other side of the highway.
So I got my flash light and walked up to check it out. There was a brick slab that had bushes in front high enough to keep me and my cart somewhat out of sight. So I rolled my cart up there and then made my bed. There were not really too many bugs there so that was good. It was finally cooling down too just in time to sleep. I made my bed out and laid down. I was warn out from the sun that day and tired.
I passed out around 10pm. Every once in a while a big rig would pull off in the rocks in front of me and wake me up. But I was sure they couldn't see me. Then at around 3am, I heard a loud noise wake me up!... I sat up and saw lights shining on me on and off. I was freaked out a bit and my heart jumped. I was so tired and couldn't think fast. But I looked out and finally realized it was a quad (4 wheeler) and it was spinning donuts in the rocks in front of me. I wasn't sure if they saw me. As I came to my senses more it was a guy and a girl on it doubled up. They spun another few times then took off back behind the building down the dirt road to the trailers back there. My heart was beating pretty good. So after calming down for 10 minutes I fell back asleep on the brick slab. Usually when I sleep I wake up due to pain in my knees about every 20 minutes or less. I have to change positions until that position hurts, then switch again. So my sleep is never solid. But I was asleep again for the moment.
at 7:41 PM
It was the 4th of July, so I was thinking of family right away. I missed them a lot and it was probably gonna be a tough day to be alone.
I headed towards Decatur TX. It was about 4 miles away. I wanted to stop at Walmart there to see if they had any small solar panels. As I approached Decatur, a car pulled over in front of me and turned its flashers on. A girl got out and jogged towards me. She said she saw me in Denton a couple days ago. I noticed she had money in her hand. Then she said, "you need money". Since she asked I didn't want to say yes, since I didn't absolutely need it. So I said no thanks but I really appreciated it. She had a $100 bill in her hand. And she said are you sure? She said she was gonna give it to me, but I said I was ok. That was really awesome!
I got to the intersection where I was ultimately going north on 287, but the Walmart was south a half mile. I never like backtracking since it doubles the miles. But I needed a couple things. So I went towards Walmart. Right before Walmart there was a lowes. I figured I would check there first. As I was walking through the parking lot, a car pulled next to me and I heard "hobo nick!". It looked over and it was the family that came to visit me in subway in Denton a few days before. I asked if they were in the area, but they actually drove about an hour to come visit! That was awesome! They gave me a gallon of water, $10, and some gatoraids. I asked if they wanted to hangout or if they had to go? I was Hoping they could stay and visit. They said they had no plans that day. So I told them I would meet them at McDonald's after I got a couple things at the store.
So I went in to see if they had it there. And they did! They were a little pricey, but I wanted it for the long desert runs just incase. And it would be great to keep my stuff charged all day. So I paid $92 for it. But it could save my life.
So I was a little low on money now but still have enough where I'm not seriously worried. Plus if I need to I can be incredibly frugal and eat bread again.
I went to Walmart and got another gallon jug of water, and duct tape. Then I hurried back to the McDonald's across the street to meet them. It was the couple and then 2 kids. It was really awesome and we hungout for a couple hours just sharing stories. It was an awesome surprise and visit for the 4th of July! I was so thankful I got to spend it with some good people. I was happy. I wasn't worried about my trek too much that day either and just took in the pleasure of having company.
They ended up staying til about 3. They went to the store and brought me back dry ice to try out keeping my water jugs cool. I left McDonald's at about 3:30. I headed out north from decatur TX up the 287.
I walked a little ways and my new solar panel was working great! It was charging my iPod right up and I was pretty exited about that. About 4 miles past Decatur, a man pulled over and gave me 2 ice cold cokes. He said its hot and make sure to stay cool out here. It was pretty hot out. The dry ice was also working really good and keeping my waters cool.
So I walked about 12 miles up when my feet really started to hurt. The shoes I was wearing were starting to wear out. I had started using them about half way through Louisianna and they were just about done. The soles were warn down so much that I could feel every little rock on my foot each step. I also felt some blisters coming on, so I pulled off in Alvord TX. It was a very small town with one exit and just 2 gas stations. But the high school was surprisingly really nice! So I ended up going up along side of the high school and found an outlet. I made up my camp on the grass there next to the building.
There were a lot of bugs there and they were constantly crawling all over me. I sprayed my bug spray heavily around my sleeping bag and on myself. But they still crawled on me. I laid there around 9pm hoping to maybe catch some fireworks. I heard a lot but didn't see any. It was a tough night falling asleep alone, but I was still thankful and it meant a lot that the family came out to visit me earlier.
I fell asleep around 11 and still would wake up to a firework boom here and there. And the bugs crawling on my skin woke me up constantly. I also was blasted big time by a sprinkler around 3 am. It popped up right next to me and drenched me and my sleeping bag. I was lucky that my iPod was in my shoe or it would have been soaked. So I moved onto a cement slab next to a side door and passed out again at 4. It took me a while to fall back asleep.
at 4:54 PM