Day 137, August 18, 2012

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       I woke up around 9am. I was surprised I hadn't been bothered all night or even when the sun came up. I had slept pretty good compared to the average. I got up and was feeling pretty good.
       I headed up the hill out off the ditch and walked back out onto the 40. I had about 22 miles to go to get to Gallup, New Mexico. So i munched down a cliff bar that I had stored in my cart, and got onto a roll.
       I got into a non distracted groove for most of the day. I had put the cream on my knees in the morning and they felt good. I just threw some music on the iPod and paced pretty rapidly.
      I was about 8 miles from Gallup and was feeling good. I hadn't even taken a break all day. I was partly anxious to get to Gallup so I was just rolling along and trying to get there in good time and rest when I was done.
       When I was walking, I saw sirens up ahead coming my way, then an SUV pulled off in front of me (police SUV). The lady cop said they had a call saying I was pushing baby's down the freeway. I just laughed. I let her know I actually had that once before also. She sort of laughed. She asked where I was going, so I told her. She took my information and what I'm doing so she could let the police dispatch know. She was really cool and funny. She said good luck and took off.
          I got to an exit in east Gallup where I could take the old route 66 highway from there into town. I walked through town and my water supply was low. I stopped at a McDonald's in town and filled up one of my gallon jugs with cold filtered water. I just went in and filled it.
         I wanted to get to the middle of Gallup since it would make the next day 22 miles from the state line. When I woke up in the ditch this morning, I was 44 miles from Arizona, so I split the days 22 and 22.
        The last mile, before the middle exit in Gallup (where I was stopping), had a whole area of homeless people. I ended up giving a couple on the side of the road $3 and a snack. They looked very kind, and were! They were so thankful, in a quiet way. I passed another handful of homeless Indians that I gave snacks to. They were all very kind. I was very happy and I get really exited to help them. I really feel good about it since I know how they can feel to be hungry and uncomfortable. It's not easy. And even a little snack means so much.
        After giving a good amount of my food supply away, I was almost to a taco bell where I decided to stop, just before it, there were 2 cars on a street corner parked by a portable car porch. It was a headlight cleaning operation. Two young guys walked out and asked me how I was doing. One of the guys pulled his wallet out and handed me $5. It's really bizarre how right after helping all those people and giving away roughly $5 worth (the $3 and the food) I got $5 back. You do the math.
          I went to taco bell and relaxed. Man it was nice to get off my feet. I made good time. It was about 3:30pm and I was done for the day. I really had walked fast paced all day. I ordered 2 bean burritos and got an iced water. I sat down near an outlet, and next to a window where I kept an eye on my cart outside. I ate and relaxed there the rest of the day.
          Around 9:30 when I was about to leave an Indian walked up to me and asked if I was homeless. I noticed him come in and out all day asking people for change. I told him yes I was homeless. Then he asked "where are you sleeping tonight?" his eyes were bloodshot bigtime! I said "I'm not sure yet". Then he said in a very territorial manner "there's only one spot to sleep here in Gallup for homeless. It's the only spot. You have any money? Maybe I will let you stay there with me". I wasn't gonna fall for it, so I said "no I'm good man, I'l figure something out". He said again, "there's no figuring out, I have the only spot". I said again in a raised and confident tone "I'm good buddy, I'l be ok". He walked away without saying anything. It was pretty freaky. I wondered if it really was gonna be tough to find a spot though. I for sure wanted to be more hidden than normal around here. There were drunks walking all over the place and seemed pretty sketchy.
        I took off around 10 from there. Just down the street I saw a little caesars. I went over and found the dumpster they use. I figured I had a chance to get a throw away pizza or two. I waited there for them to come out, and they had 4 pizzas! I saw them in boxes on top of the bins they rolled out. I asked if they had any throw aways? They said yes but they couldn't give them away and had to toss them. I was a little upset about that, not so much because I wanted them so bad, but because it was going to waste. After all I understand it's not an area where they would give them away, due to do many homeless. But still hurt that it was perfectly good food that would spoil. They threw a lock on the dumpster and went back in. I tried bending the plastic top a little and squeezing my arm in, but the boxes were still pretty far away from how far I could reach in.
        I left there and sort of roamed around parking lots to try and find a spot. I actually couldn't really find anything that I felt good about. Nothing was really that hidden. I was wondering if there actually was some truth about what the homeless guy with the bloodshot eyes said.
        I finally went into a parking lot for a Walmart and some other stores. There was a spot where the bushes were tall enough to get behind and be semi hidden. So I went back behind them, and made camp between them and a black railing fence. Behind the fence was the back of a building that looked pretty quiet, and like it wasn't used much as a walking route or anything. I laid down on some dirt and rocks there and fell asleep around 11.
        I saw a light shine through my eyelids. I woke up and a flashlight was on me. As soon as I saw that, I also saw a small security car. It was the shopping center security guard. He asked if I was ok. I said ya and that I was just trying to find a spot to rest before leaving town in the morning. He was really nice and polite. But said he was sorry and there was no camping allowed there. I said no problem and I packed up while we talked. He was cool. He recommended where not to go. Like the dangerous spots there. He said they have a lot of homeless die there. He said they have a lot of cases of what he called "plugging". Where a group of drunks beat you with rocks until you bleed, and then rob you and leave you to bleed out. He told me to watch out for that.
        I left there to find another spot. It was about midnight now. I walked towards the nicer area that was west anyways. I finally came to a lowes where across the way there was a storage shed yard (were they sale storage sheds). I found two sheds just far enough apart to roll my cart between. It was dark between them too. I looked around and didn't see anyone, then darted in.
        I made my bed there on the ground on some small gravel. It was actually a better surface to lay on then where I was before. I hoped I wouldn't be messed with the rest of the night. I was really tired. I fell asleep again at about 12:30.

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