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Blog The Walk

This blog will follow Art's experiences as he walks across America on The Walk of Life. You can share your support for him or talk about your dedications to your loved ones that you have lost or are fighting some illness. Please leave comments and words of encouragement!

Fare well, Russ Schlappi.

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Russ you were an inspiration to me and many.  It was an honour for me to carry you throughout The Walk.  Fare thee well, my friend, fare thee well.

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the final??? walking day...walking day #193...Sunday, April 14,2013

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well Well WELL!!!…after 10 months on the road, 44 elapsed weeks (40 actual walking weeks) and 193 walking days, The Walk of Life was walked to the southernmost point in the continental United States of America.

 

Accompanied by the primary honoree, Jonathan Werner, first and best support vehicle driver, my mother, Joni Bund, my final support vehicle driver, Valerie Shafer and many dear friends,  at approximately 2:42 PM Eastern time I placed my hand on the buoy and brought to an official close the walking portion of the trip known as The Walk of Life.

 

When all was said and done I covered 4,082.2 miles (6,584.1936 km's), taken 8,007,698 steps and picked up $89.75 in other people's lost or discarded money.  It took me 193 walking days, 40 actual calendar weeks of walking and roughly nine months.

 

As I reflect over the trip I have a very difficult time getting my brain around what I just did.  The individual components (each walking day) seem real enough and I recall each day but the totality of the trip is very hard to comprehend.

 

Regardless of my inability to get my brain around what was done, it was done.  It was done to honor people with diabetes, specifically my son, Jonathan, to honer people whose lives have been impacted by cancer, specifically my nephew, Ross Werner and my mother's husband, Cec Bund and to honor and support the current and past members of Canada's military and those of the United States of America.

 

Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for my drivers, Joan Bund, Jim Doran, Victor Werner and Valerie Shafer,  for without their efforts this trip would not have been possible.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!!

 

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Walking Day #192...Thursday, April 4, 2013...mile marker ZERO!!!...all over BUT the party!!!

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22.2 miles

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Walking Day #191, Wednesday, April 3, 2013

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27.1 miles (43.7097 km's)…54,991 steps…$0.91 in loose change (no paper money today!)…findings for the day: 1 car/boat/motor homing washing sponge (in wrapper), 2 quarters, 3 dimes and 11 pennies…wildlife sighted: several iguanas of various sizes, several Key deer (all small!!)

 

Today I walked to honor "Joe", born in 1925 and a WWII veteran.  After Pearl Harbor he and his father enlisted together.  Joe is a new neighbor at my new home (for a week) at the Fishing Lodge.  I also walked to honor another new neighbor, Barb, a cancer survivor.  Very best wishes to both of you and Joe, thank you for your service.

 

The weather cooperated in assisting me to active my goal of making it across the Seven Mile Bridge in that it was hot to start with and only got hotter as the day wore on.  It took me 1 hour and 55 minutes to make the 6.9 mile (11.1290 km's) span.  Crossing the bridge was like some roads I took across central Montana or South Dakota except here I had water on both sides, there it was grain fields.

 

One interesting experience of the day happened just after I got off "the" bridge.  Through my $4.00 ear plugs (welcome to the Keys!!!) I heard my name.  Two young woman were walking in my direction asking if I was the guy walking from British Columbia.  As it turns out Cristina and Ann are friends with Meredith Greenwood in New Hampshire down here on spring break.  Thank was VERY cool!  A few picks later and best wishes all around and I was on my way again.

 

At days end we stopped just a wee bit south of mile marker 22 on Cudjoe Key.  Tomorrow, after breakfast with friends, it will be on the Key West and mile marker ZERO!!!  After today 22 miles will seem like a walk in the park!  Dinner at The Wharf was pretty tasty as was the conversation with our server, Sue, an ultra-runner and Ben the bartender the cyclist.  Life is so very full of adventures, all we have to do it reach out and grab them.  Seize the day, as Robin Williams so eloquently put it in Dead Poets Society.

 

See ya'll in Key West on the 14th.  CHEERS!!!

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Walking Day #190...Sunday, March 31, 2013

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26.1 miles (42.0968 km's)…52,913 steps…$2.64 in coins AND paper money salvaged…findings for the day: 2 United States one dollar bills, 2 quarters, 1 dime and 4 pennies…wildlife sighted: several iguanas of varying sizes from body of about 24" to little guys

 

Today we started just north of mile marker 74 and finished at mile marker 49.  The walk today was dedicated to a WWII veteran, Tom Baker, who was a paratrooper on D-Day and    Greg, an Army veteran from Desert Storm.  Thank you, gentlemen, for your service and best wishes to you.  It appears that after today there will be just two walking days left (not including the final few miles on April 14).  Best wishes to Marine, Kenny Montgomery from Akron, Ohio who had the misfortune of having his motor home break down mid-span of one of the bridges.  I attempted to get to the base of the seven mile (6.9) bridge but fell short by about 2 1/2 miles. I wanted to hit that bridge first thing in the day before all the water, juice and other liquids made their way through my system.  Mid span turning into mid stream, not so good!  Tomorrow will be a day off and then Tuesday a moving day down to Big Pine Key to the Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge.  See ya'll in Key West on the 14th for the finale!  Cheers!!!

 

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Walking Day #189, Saturday, March 30, 2013...4,000 miles!!!...thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU drivers!!!

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20.9 miles (33.7097 km's)…42,836 steps and $0.50 in loose change rescued from the street…findings of the day: 1 #4 socket, 1 quarter, 2 dimes and 5 pennies

 

Week 43:

117.8 miles (190 km's)

239,055 steps

$3.66 in loose change

 

Walk-to-Date:

4,005.6 miles (6,460.6452 km's)

7,850,535 steps

$85.66 in Canadian and US funds picked up off the streets

 

4,000 MILES!!!  THAT IS A LONG WAY!!!  At approximately 4:47 PM, Eastern Daylight time our favorite walker crossed the 4,000 mile mark.  To celebrate that auspicious occasion, my current and final driver, Valerie Shafer, Texas Rangers International Scout AND his huge ring, Jose Fernandez, Desert Storm Army veteran, Greg (thank you, SIR for your service AND for your generous contribution to Camp UTADA), three not-so-starving FIU medical students, Corey from Connecticut, Andrew from New York and Alex from the REAL Transylvania.  The Atlantic Ocean on one side of us and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, sun shining, blue skies and a gentle breeze.  Doesn't get much better than that.  We finished up just a wee bit north of mile marker 74.  If all goes well there will be three more walking days left, Sunday plus two more.  That should leave a mile or two for Sunday the 14th when my son Jonathan (the primary honoree) and my grandson CJ will be in Key West.  Not to mention a significant contingent from Miami, my mother from Castlegar, BC and a couple of clowns from Salt Lake City.  Chris, I am shocked and appalled that you aren't showing up, did I teach you NOTHING when I lived up there!?!?!?  Well before I start drinking the celebratory champagne I better fix a bowl of high-carb soup for tomorrows walk.  It was nice chatting with the three physician wannabes, Glen and Gene the veterans and Jose and his HUGE ring plus the other folks who expressed an interest in what I am up to.  See ya'll in Key West on the 14th!!!   CHEERS!!!

 

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Walking Day #188, Friday, March 29, 2013...Key Largo, father and son and dinner with friends

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26.5 miles (42.7419 km's)...55,723 steps and $1.78 in loose change (4 quarters, 6 dimes 1 nickel and 13 pennies)...we started at mile marker 121 and finished at Snappers Restaurant in Key Largo at approximately mile marker 94.5.

The day started by us missing mile post 121 and having to go down the road and turn around.  There at our starting point was a small white pickup, obviously disabled with a man under the hood.  It turns out the man was a mechanic and was repairing a blown radiator hose.  Valerie went back to town to get some coolant to get them on their way again.  As it turns out he ended up with a blown head gasket so the vehicle was totally disabled and our attempts to show a stranger a kindness were just that.  As it turns out he ended up giving Valerie ten dollars more than the cost of the coolant.  Sir, if you ever read this know that the ten extra dollars will go to Camp UTADA, a camp for diabetic children, sooooo thank YOU for your kindness!  The road has a very nice walking shoulder so I was able to make just about record time.  In Key Largo I walked a bit with a father and son pair of walkers.  Dick and his son Eric come from North Carolina and have gone on several walks together.  This trip is a short one Key Largo to Key West then rent a car back to Ft Lauderdale and fly home.  What a bonding experience!  Thank you, gentlemen, for sharing your time with me, best wishes on this and all your other journeys.  It appears that the Keys attract all sorts, as shortly after I chatted briefly with a cyclist from Michigan who was on a lengthy trip around the country.  This guy really looked like he knew what he was doing.  I was impressed how much gear he had and how easily he moved down the road.  Following a dream or just going out and doing something outrageous, what a way to spend some time!  Create another story (like I don't have enough already!?!?).  Some father and son bonding, an adventure, a walk to honor special people, all of these are ways of self-actualizing.  If you have an idea, go with it, step out of your comfort zone, defy the odds, create a memory and a story that will et richer with time.  Thank you, Mom, Jim, Vic and Valerie for making my outrageous dream a reality.

Just as I was about to call it a day I got a call fro my good friends Laura and Marc, from Miami, who just happened to be in the area.  We arranged a meet at Snappers in Key Largo.  It is a delightful restuarant right on the water with excellent food and cool beverages.  So today I walked right in AND told the folks at the front desk that I had walked nearly 4,000 miles just to eat there! (no lie!).  A few minutes Marc and Laura showed up.  One of the great things about truly good friends is that be it a month, a year or longer since the previous meeting, one can pick up right where one left off.  The ONLY time that matters is the time spent together.  So nice to see you guys again and had I know, Marc, you were going to buy I would have ordered two meals!!!  So tomorrow we get to start just a wee bit north of mile marker 94.  See ya'll in the Keys!  CHEERS!!!

 

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Walking Day #187...Tuesday, March 26, 2013...into the Keys

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22.5 miles (36.2903 km's)…45,304 steps…$1.12 in loose change…findings of the day: 1 cheap no-name flat-head screw driver, 1 #16 gear wrench, 1 Callaway golf ball, 1 Titleist PV-1 golf ball, 1 quarter, 6 dimes, 2 nickels and 17 pennies

 

We started out out on route 997 and headed south.  After a few miles the road turned into "nursery row".  Little fruit stands, small strip malls, gas stations and nurserys.  Through Homestead and Florida city when we turned south on US 1.  We finished up at mile marker 121.  Mile marker 0 will be the temporary stop in The Walk until the fans arrive on the 14th of April.  At that point there will be about 1 1/2 miles left until we get to the buoy, marking the southernmost point in the continental United States, roughly 4,070 miles from the beginning of The Walk in Whistler, BC.  If all goes well that last little bit will be walked with my son Jonathan (the primary honoree of this adventure), my grandson CJ and any other brave souls how wish to join me.  ALL are welcome!!!  However there still are a few days to walk so focus, Focus, FOCUS!!!

 

When the day was over Gilbert Melendez and his wife Linda, hosted Valerie and me for dinner.  Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful experience.  These small kindnesses have been common on The Walk.

 

Wednesday was a moving day.  We left Midway Campground and moved to Southern Comfort RV Park in Homestead, Florida.  We will stay here for a few days and then move the rig down to Key West for the last three walking days.  That will give us a few days to go visit friends in Miami and rest up for the big celebration on the 14th and the subsequent road trip to drop Valerie off in Phoenix and then for me to head for Salt Lake City for Jacob's graduation from the police academy and Jay's wedding.  One of these days I will actually stop long enough to play a round of golf and just SIT!!!   Thursday will be a day off as well to get laundry done and rest a wee bit for the sprint to the finish.  See ya'll in the Keys!!!  CHEERS!!!

 

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Walking Day #186

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25.1 miles today (40.4839 km's)…49,146 steps…$0.26 picked up…findings for the day: ! 8" chef's knife, 1 small tackle box with rubber creatures (insert joke here!), 1 poker chip, 1 pair of cheap sunglasses, 1 quarter and 1 penny…Valerie (my driver) found a book: "Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Florida"…wildlife sighted: more 'gators but not as many as Sunday as the canal is wider and deeper, they don't favor open water…finished up with route 41 and made a serious south turn onto 997, finished the day about 16 miles north of Homestead, Florida at West Kendall Nursery.

 

Weather report for Monday: cloudy skies, temperatures in the 70's.  Road report: smooth pavement in and out of construction areas for most of the day.  Flat and smooth makes for fast walking.  Cooler temperatures are also favorable for walking.  That would explain  the distance and the number of steps.   Today I flew!  997 on the other hand was (is) a nightmare.  No shoulder to speak of, what little there is, is covered with trash, weeds and dirt.  This is Miami so EVERYONE is in a hurry and they ALL drive like people possessed!  Even with the recent addition of the bright orange flag I feel I am running a gauntlet.  It appears that I have roughly 137 miles to go before I place my palms on the buoy at Key West.  I am guessing it will get real in about 138 miles!!!

 

Shortly after The Walk got underway today I came across some guys on the route 41 road crew.  Tommy Flanagan, Gilbert Melendez and Liborio Perez were all kind enough to make contributions to "the cause".  Dr. Dave Okubo and the staff at Camp UTADA will, no doubt put the funds to good use.  Thank you, gentlemen, for your kind generosity and words of encouragement.  As the day was ended and we were getting gas, Gilbert dropped by again and extended a dinner invitation for Tuesday evening.  He lives in Homestead so that will work out nicely.  As I have travelled through Canada and the United States I am more and more impressed at how people by and large are just plain nice.  At the same gas station, Tim Dalling, from Nova Scotia came up and chatted as well.  He had cycled across Canada in 1987(?), from sea to shining sea.  He too was kind enough to make a contribution that will go to Camp UTADA.  It was a great day, made very good time and met some wonderful people in the process.  See ya'll down the road.  Mark your calendars, Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 2:00 PM Eastern time…CHEERS!!!

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Walking Day #185

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22.8 miles (36.7742 km's)…46,046 steps…nothing was found…wildlife sighted: 'gators, 'Gators and more 'GATORS, all manner of exotic (to me) birds, 2 species of turtles and fish…The Walk ended today at the Miccosukee Indian Village on route 41 east in Miami-Dade County.

 

Today I walked to honor the family members of our dinner waitress on Friday at Joe's Crab Shack in Naples, Samantha.  Wendy and Candy who are currently fighting cancer and Emily who is living with diabetes.  Thank you, Samantha, for sharing your story and very best wishes to your family members.

 

This is beginning to get a wee bit real as I used to live in this part of the world and have been down this road before, albeit NOT on foot!  The weather was HOT and humid, welcome to south Florida.  There was a wind which was nice. The Jeep thermometer indicated 87 degrees today, it felt 107!  The wind was nice to mitigate the temperature.

 

Midway Campground is quite nice, other than the fact that it only has electricity at each site and no water and sewer.  We will only be here for three more nights so we should be fine.  The advantages of having a "big rig".  I guess that is what I get for six miles per gallon!!!

 

See ya'll down the road!!! CHEERS!!!

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Walking Day #184, Friday, March 22, 2013...'gators, 'Gators, 'GATORS!!! and nice people

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Day #184;

22 miles (35.4839 km's)...44,575 steps...$0.01 in change...findings for the day: 1 container of assorted tie-down straps, 1 screwdriver and 1 penny...wildlife sighted: I lost count of the 'gators at noon at about a dozen...the day ended on route 41 east just east of Monroe Station, Florida in the Everglades

Week #42:

105.2 miles (169.6774 km's)...216,677 steps and $0.90 in loose change

Walk-to-Date:

3,887.8 miles (6,270.6452 km's)...7,611,480 steps and $82...right now I feel like I walked that ALLLLLLLL today!!!

more to come but I am beat...thank you Samantha, thank you Rocky, thank you Jack and thank you Al & Emma...here is the updated post:

 

Today I The Walk was dedicated to a friend of mine, Paul Snellinger, a WWII veteran and all-round nice guy and his wife Doris who passed away from cancer several years ago.  Thank you for your service, Paul, and very best wishes to you.  I look forward to seeing you very shortly.

 

Shortly after we got started we made a "pit stop" at a Mobile station at the junction of route 41 east and state road 29 going to Everglade City.  While stopped there an elderly couple came by on their bicycles and struck up a conversation.  They had read about us in the Naples newspaper (thanks, Michael!) and wanted to stop and chat.  Al and Emma are from Ontario where they ran a dairy farm.  They originally came from Switzerland.  Thank you for your interest in The Walk and thank you very much for your generous contribution.  Dr. Dave Okubo will surely put your gift to good use at Camp UTADA.  While I was chatting with al and Emma another gentleman came up to me to see what I was up to.  I unfortunately did not get his name.  He is living with diabetes, battling cancer and a veteran.  Thank you, sir for your service and VERY best wishes as you fight the diseases.  At one point my driver, Valerie, stopped and a little roadside eatery (Joanie's) to investigate their facilities.  While there she met Rocky (Roxanne) and Jack.  Rocky was kind enough to buy Valerie an adult beverage and both she and Jack where kind enough to make a contribution to Camp UTADA.

When The Walk was over for the day we stopped by to see if we could have dinner but they were sort of closed.  We were invited in for a cold one and in the process got to meet the owner, Joanie, from Miami and several other people.  Jack was kind enough to give a Cuban cigar which found a home in the humidor, anxiously awaiting a spare two hours to enjoy it!  Since we had not eaten and it was getting late we drove into Naples looking for a place to eat when Joe's Crab Shack caught our collective eye.  I look like a clown when I walk, yellow shirt, hat with a big feather in it, medicine bag over my shoulder and probably smelling like a moose (apologies to moose!).  I had my maps with me and our waitress, Samantha, asked if she could be of assistance in our navigation.

 

Once we shared with her what we were up to she started to tear up and indicated that she had two relatives losing to cancer and one living with diabetes.  Suffice it to say a few more terse were shed, hugs exchanged and pictures taken.  Thank you, Samantha for sharing your story and once again bringing home what I would consider the significance of what I am doing.  I know I am not curing anything, however what I like to think I am doing is spreading some positive energy.  Like the sign on the truck I saw several months ago, "WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE, NOT EVERYBODY LIVES", I would like to think I am, in some small measure, encouraging people (self included) to live, WHATEVER that looks like for each one of us.  I do know that my life is richer for each experience I have along the road.  I would also like to think that in some measure I am dropping grains of sand, pebbles, rocks and perhaps even boulders into the ponds of lives (self included) that create ripples that go out to make a positive difference in this world.  Just one "Samantha Experience" makes this journey worth while, in my case I have had a thousand of them.  I am indeed and very, Very, VERY lucky man!  See ya'll down the road, CHEERS!!!

 

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Walking Day #183...Thursday, March 21, 2013...'gators, turtles and photogs

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23.1 miles (37.2581 km's)...46,499 steps...$0.11...findings of the day: 1 pair of pliers, 1 Happy Meal Barbie, 1 5/16" socket, 1 nickel and 6 pennies...wildlife sightings: 1 bald eagle (being chased by a smaller raptor), 2 deer, 2 turtles (about the size of a serving platter), countless "exotic" (to me) birds, countless jumping fish and 16 alligators (1 monster!).  The walk today was dedicated to two veterans, Bridgitt and Reggie, thank you both for your service and best wishes.

We started at the south end of Naples and about three miles later we were out of urban area into rural.  By eight miles I had sighted the first 'gator of the day, ten minutes later I saw the second.  After about ten miles we were smack in the middle of the everglades.  The road started out with about a seven foot paved shoulder down to about three feet by the end of the day.  Better than Kansas.

At one point about mid day I was passing a small trail head and noticed a gentleman with a nice camera (in MY photographic days I would have serious camera envy!).  Frank Spinelli, from New York, was out catching the everglades on film (pixels I guess).  I felt like a celebrity when he asked if he could take my picture.  We swapped cards and I went on my way.  It is nice to have understanding friends as I had to interrupt a phone from my friend Norman who just happened to be in Pensacola.  A few miles later Don Columbus was taking pictures of some birds and I stopped to chat.  He too took my picture.  I suppose if I was really on top of things I would have taken their pictures as well.  NEXT time I walk across the continent I will change the way I have done things, live and learn.  My only insight today:  If alligators are a dime a dozen in the everglades then I got a wee bit over thirteen cents worth of sightings!   See ya'll down the road, CHEERS!!!

 

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Walking Day #182, Wednesday, March 20, 2013...into Naples and beyond

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22.8 miles (36.7742 km's)...51,136 steps...$0.14 (1 dime and 4 pennies)

Today I walked to honor Matt Taylor, a young man who suffered a severe cervical accident and for Pat Moore, a cancer survivor, who along with her husband Jim, made a contribution to Camp UTADA.  Best wishes to you both as you continue down your respective Walks of Life.

The day started out overcast threatening rain.  The only rain was a few light drops just before noon then just bright sun.  The whole area along route 41 is urban.  Parking for the support vehicle was virtually nonexistent so Driver Valerie spent the day at the mall, napping and generally enjoying a semi day off.  I picked up water and food at various businesses along the way and called her when the day was just about over.  Shortly after Valerie dropped me off for the day I was stopped by a newspaper man, Michael Braun.  An interview and photo-shoot later I was on my way having met another delightful person on this walk that is The Walk of Life.  Michael, thank you for allowing me to ramble on about my little project.  Later in the day another walker and I kept trading places.  I would have struck up a conversation earlier but I was filling my face with some rather tasty General Tso's chicken.  I have trouble enough sitting at a table with two free hands but when I attempt to eat and walk at the same time I generally juggle and slop whatever it is that I am eating.  Today's eating "on the walk" was no exception.  Vern from North Dakota was pleasant company for about 30 minutes until he went north and I went east.  Vern, I fully expect a report from you as to what the sunrise looks like from atop Mt Kilimanjaro!  Thank you for your company and conversation.  Thank you for your contribution.  Dr. Dave Okubo and staff will find a good use for the funds at Camp UTADA.  Your generosity is appreciated, best wishes as YOU continue on your walk of life.  Two more walking days this week with Saturday as a moving day.  See ya'll down the road...CHEERS!!!

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Day Off...Tuesday, March 19, 2013...nice day for relaxation

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Tuesday was a total "down" day.  Woke up at six with the alarm then went back to sleep.  Woke up, read a bit, slept a bit, "FaceBook-ed" a bit and generally relaxed.  Dumped the tanks, replaced several light bulbs, cursed a few leaky spots on the motor home.  Looked for some flourescent tubes for the rig but came up empty.  I did stop at an RV dealer just as the parts department was closing but did chat with "Lou" one of the sales people.  We did chat about an extended repair contract for the rig.  Generally I am not fond of those but in the case of this unit it may very be in my best interest.  We shall see.  Lou was a Navy man during Viet Nam, thank you for your service and the integrity that you show towards that service.  I also bumped into a veteran from Wisconsin while getting breakfast, thank you for your service.  A quick trip to a service station for the Jeep to investigate a "check engine" light was determined to be a stuck sensor that will have to be fixed sooner or later, I guess a job for "Mike and the mechanics" in Utah when I go there for Jakes graduation and Jay's wedding.  Still debating whether to take the rig or not.  After all that a quick trip to the beach to just miss the sunset and dinner after with a wallet missing from the appropriate pocket!  Still attempting to replace a few other bulbs in the rig, I guess I WILL figure it out sooner or later.  Cheers!

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Walking Day #181...Monday, March 18, 2013...past the motor home, rained out in Bonita Springs

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15.6 miles (25.1613 km's)...30,723 steps...$0.45 in loose change...findings of the day: 1 Flying Lady golf ball (pink), 1 quarter, 1 dime, 1 nickel and 5 pennies

Hot and humid, welcome to South Florida!  Lest my driver roast in the car while I wandered down route 41 south (Tamiami Trail) she spent the better part of the day shopping and I headed south.  There were plenty of gas stations and stores along the way so I was not without water or nourishment.  In fact it appears that route 41 for the foreseeable future will be populated on both sides of the road with businesses and other commercial/residential developments.  I walked past a sign that said "Miami 125", that is just six walking days! Getting close!...see ya'll down the road!!!

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Walking Day #180...Sunday, March 17, 2013...Happy St Paddy's Day!!!

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When the day was over I had walked 21.7 miles (35 km's), using 43,744 steps and picking up $0.19.  Findings of the day: 1 woodworking clamp, 1 dime, 1 nickel and 4 pennies.  The day started in Tropical Gulf Acres on route 41 south and ended just south of Ft. Myers on the same route 41.

We got started a wee bit late this morning.  Moving into the Eastern time zone and then going directly into Daylight Savings time is more than a bit of an adjustment!  We are only about 12 miles from the motor home so tomorrow we can get an early start, walk far and still get home early.  Tuesday will be a day off to sleep in, read, do a bit of household (motor home) chores and rest up.

Today I walked to honor some dear friends, Mike and Sue Wildeuer and their family, especially a son-in-law, Todd, who passed away from brain cancer several years ago.  Mike was also a reservist for several years.  As I walked today I bumped into several people with stories to tell.  John Davis from Ohio, a cancer survivor living with diabetes. John also gave me some information on getting my motor home repaired.  At the Magnolia Landing Golf and Country Club, Aaron, the security man, a former Marine was nice enough to left me dispose of a banana peel and offer me some water.  I also got to watch the 'Pens score a goal on the Bruins.  Thank you, Aaron for your service and thank you to your father, Rob for his service in the Navy.  Best wishes to both of you.  At one point a couple in a pickup stopped to ask directions of me.  As it turns out she is a cancer survivor and is living with diabetes and he is a veteran.  As we got back to the RV park one of the residents, Gary Orvis, stopped riding his bike to chat.  From Minnesota, (eh!?) Gary has had some experience with walking.  Thank you for sharing your story and the book.  Best wishes to you as you write your "memoirs".  I finally KNOWINGLY broke a law today as I walked over a rather lengthy bridge.  It specifically stated no bicycles and pedestrians on the bridge, but I figured with my blinding speed I would chance it.  Not being a fan of water nor heights nor VERY narrow walkways I scurried across.  Better to repent than ask permission.  I am not sure how long the bridge was but it seemed like three miles with all the speeding traffic, gusty wind, low guardrail (two feet) and narrow (20") walkway.  I was VERY glad when I was back on terra firma!!!without a ticket.  A good day for a walk, plenty of time to fine-tune some of my beliefs, a few more miles closer to the transition point AND a few hours closer to when I shall see my son and other family members and dear friends.  Thank you to the young blonde woman this morning who set the tone for the day, karma CAN be our friend!...see ya'll down the road...CHEERS!!!

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Walking Day #179...Saturday, March 16, 2013...another day, another week...Happy Birthday Jay!!!

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Route 17 south to route 41 (Tamiami Trail) south...24.4 miles (39.3548 km's), 48,054 steps and $0.30 in change

walking week 41...98.3 miles (153.5484 km's)...195,336 steps...$0.77 in change...on a rain shortened, Lazy Days shortened week

Walk-to-Date:

3,782.6 miles (6,100.9677 km's)

7,394,803 steps

$81.10 in funds picked up along the road

Today my soon-to-be-married son, Jay, celebrated his 26th birthday...Happy Birthday Jay Paul Harold Werner.

The day was picture perfect for walking.  Left rather rural route 17 and got on rather urban route 41 (The Tamiami Trail) south.  The day was pretty uneventful as far as The Walk was concerned except for just before the start and after the end.  As we were loading the Jeep this morning I had occaision to chat with several people about what I was up to.  One person, Harold came up to me and indicated that he was a veteran and that he would like to make a contribution.  Thank you, Harold for the service you rendered to the citizens of this country. Thank you as well for your contribution to Camp UTADA.  After The Walk was over for the day we went back to a man that my driver, Valerie had ferreted out earlier in the day.  Lou was in the North African campaign under Patton.  At age 92 he continues to work as a security guard at the Seminole Lakes Country Club.  Thank you for your service and for your generous offer of a round of golf. Interactions like that ALWAYS make my day.  See you all down the road.  Cheers!!!

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Walking Day #178, Friday, March 15, 2013...beware Lazy Days on the Ides of March...OOUUCCHH!!!

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Short day today.  12.8 miles under 25,209 steps and $0.14 in loose change.  Findings for the day: 1 Craftsman flat-head screw driver, 1 #19 socket, 1 dime and 4 pennies.

As I walked through Arcadia I stopped at the AMVETS Post 60 and chatted with some of the folks there.  Floyd (the head guy) served in WWII nd Leland served in Viet Nam.  Thank you both for your service.

Thanks to half the people of Sunnyy Grove (not-so-mobile) Mobile Home Park (they rent out a few slots for us vagabonds) who showed up at about 9:00 PM when we got in.  They all gave me a hand as I backed the rig into the slot.  I have trouble enough going forward, reverse is an adventure.  Ian was rather patient as he directed me backwards.  No property was damaged in the process and nobody died!

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Walking Day #177... Wednesday, March 13, 2013...made up for lost time

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Flat surfaces most of the way led tp 23.6 miles under 46,479 steps and $0.13.

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Walking Day #176...Tuesday, March 12, 2013...shortened day because of rain delay

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Started today at 11;58 AM due to a rain delay.

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