Today we crossed the half way point in The Walk, 2,000+ miles!!!...It just happened that about a mile shy of said spot we passed KHAS TV Channel 5 in Hastings, Nebraska...I dropped in to tell them what I was up to and was told that someone would contact me later in the day, in the meantime I chatted with the woman at the front desk and heard the story how her nephew was injured in Iraq attempting to rescue a couple of comrades, Ryan is alive today even after being shot in the head!!!..bless the troops!!!...as a father I cannot imagine the feelings of sending a child off to war and THEN getting "the call"...the stories are all too frequent, inspiring to be sure, but I wish circumstances were such that all of this was NOT necessary...after walking a few miles down the road I got a call from Lauren Conley of KHAS TV who wanted to interview me, so on the sidewalk in down town Hastings she did just that and then we were on our way again...later she called and wanted to get some more footage so for the next few miles she road along with Jim, followed me, ran ahead and crawled around in the ditch to get some extra footage...the result can be seem at their website www.KHASTV.com/news/local I do believe Lauren did a fine job...the wind however was relentless, I am sure the gusts were 30-40 mph, either full frontal or off my right side...I suppose the main purpose of the wind is for me to tighten up the "martyr mantel" that I carry!!!...at the end of the day we had 20.7 miles (33.3871 km's) under 42,155 steps...findings for the day: 1 3/8' socket, 1 hitch pin clip and 1 penny, thought for moment that it was 2 pennies only to find out I have a hole in my pocket!!!...wildlife sightings: 1 red-tailed hawk...after the walk we stocked up on beer for the football games, had dinner at a nice little spot Bullseye's Sports Bar & Grill, great burgers, cold beer and very friendly staff...a special THANK YOU to "Lori" in Hastings who stopped me and asked what I was walking for, thrust some cash into my hand and drove off, Lori, this will go to Camp Utada, thank you again!!!...so from a geographical standpoint we are about half way through The Walk...who will be that right and perfect person to take The Walk to 3,000 and then the finish line!?!?!?...DRIVERS PLEASE APPLY WITHIN!!!...cheers
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!
Walking Day #96, Tuesday, November 20, 2012...Fred, thank you for your service and the pool lessons!!!
Today's walk was dedicated to my friend Fred who not only served our country in that "crazy Asian war" (aren't all wars crazy!?!?!?) but also taught a thing or two about shooting pool and life in general. Best wishes to you, my friend!!!...today we managed 20.5 miles under 41,953 steps...findings for the day: 1 large zip-tie, 1 Craftsman 5/8" wrench, 1 11/32" socket, 1 poker chip, 1 hub cap (as a potential temporary replacement for the one the motor home "threw"), 2 slugs (metal not slimy) 2 quarters, 2 dimes, 1 nickel and 11 pennies, at 16 coins that is a records for the walk (not counting the 27 Chuck-E-Cheese tokens!!!)...wildlife sightings: 1 squirrel and 1 red-tailed hawk, fortunately for the quarrel the hawk was seen well after the furry creature ran across the road!!!...a VERY good story about Dave and Jason from Tri-City Cycleworks in Grand Island: shortly after The Walk started for the day the Jeep died AGAIN, the portable charging unit Jim purchased did not work either, at the time I just happened to be walking by the local Kawasaki dealer, Tri-City Cycleworks and dropped in on the off chance someone would know about cars as well as motorcycles, after I introduced myself Jason jumped into action and had Dave take me back to the Jeep with some testing equipment, Dave got us started and took off, we then headed down the road an parked at the business to say "thanks" and to settle up...NO CHARGE!!!...Jason then started looking at things and determined that one of the battery connections was loose, again he got Dave to start working on the Jeep, a few screws and washers we were on our way at NO CHARGE!!!...these guys are GREAT...on a daily basis I am reminder that these two countries are made up of regular folks who are nice, kind and generous...thanks agina to Jason, Dave and the crew at TRI-CITY CYCLEWORKS out of Grand Island, Nebraska!!!...cheers
Today's walk was dedicated to Josh Peppers of Lame Deer, Montana (look him up)...we walked 20.6 miles (33.2258 km's) under 43,464 steps...findings of the day: 1 1/2 inch socket, 1 small Tonka truck (animal rescue), 1 McDonalds Happy Meal kids toy #5, 1 quarter and 2 rather beat up, oxidized pennies...wildlife sightings: 1 coyote (or if you are from Arizona COYOTE!!!)...missed the post office AND Cheezies (look them up!!!) by about eleven minutes...weather was WONDERFUL!!!, sun shining, a few high clouds and a gentle tail-wind...we walked through Cairo and on into Grand Island, tomorrow we may be in Hastings...nice and tired so I should sleep well tonight...thank you, Josh, for your service and all the best to you as you continue on with your life, may you use your experience to assist others in rising above their PERCEIVED limitations...cheers!!!
This one, Joe, is for you...today we did 23.2 miles (37.4194 km's) using 47,892 steps...findings for the day: 1 golf ball, 1 quarter and 1 penny...wildlife sightings: 5 white tailed deer and 1 one-eyed mouse...the weather was nice with a slight head wind but the day was warm...after the walk I was in a convenience store in Broken Bow getting some munchies to eat during the Ute football game and as I was explaining to the clerk what I was doing in town a truck driver named Chad opened his wallet and made a donation, at age 42 he had been living with type 1 diabetes for 7 years, thank you, Chad, it will go to the FCYD camp...Julie from the radio station finished her story and posted it to their youtube version of their coverage:
thank you for the coverage...just be aware, get control of your disease, get a checkup, say "thank you" to a veteran...go for a walk, slow down and contemplate the meaning and the beauty of YOUR life!!!...cheers!!!
the numbers for walking week 24:
114.3 miles (184.3548 km's)
$1.02 in loose change
numbers for walk-to-date:
1,957.4 miles (3157.0968 km's)
$45.16 in loose change
Decision time and as Yogi Berra said "When you come to a fork in the road...TAKE IT!", so I did just that, east on route 2 towards Grand Island and Hastings our next stop...we started the day just outside of Ansley, NE...while I was walking I got an email from my friend Joe, suffice it to say there was not a cloud in the sky the sun washing and for some reason my face was all wet...Joe, you have to careful what you put in emails as gullible people just might believe the things you write, the things you said are a gift, YOU are a gift!!!, very best wishes to you, my friend, THANK YOU!!!..each day I walk I dedicated that day to a specific individual, today I walked for Carla...after the email from Joe I read something from Carla, the town of Ansley must have thought a real nutcase was wandering through town!!!...today I had to lean into a rather strong headwind (20+ mph), I know Carla has been leaning into her life or quite sometime and a little breeze will hold me back!?!?!?...experiences like that tend to sober me up in a rather big hurray...Carla you are a gift to me!!!, all my best to you and the family!!!...so that was the tone for the day, wonderful people in my life when Julie Toline, News Director of radio stations KBBN 95.3 FM and KCNI 1280 AM called me to do an interview, sure I am the guy wearing long johns under his shorts, wearing yellow wandering down the road...the results of that interview can be found at www.SandhillsExpress.com ,more tissues!!!...at mile post 313 I called it a day with 20.2 miles (32.5806 km's) with 42,398 steps...findings for the day: 1 hitch pin clip, ! quarter and 1 penny...wildlife sightings: 1 deer...Joe, tomorrow is for you...cheers!!!
This week a couple of milestones have been set...3.5+ million steps have been taken and 1,900+ miles...by the end of next week I will have over 2,000 miles (3,225 km's) and be just shy of 4 million steps...November 17th will be approximately one half the way there, certainly for distance AND for time WHEN the new driver shows up, WILL that driver be YOU!?!?!?...to day we logged 22 miles even (35.4839 km's) using 45,563 steps...findings for the day: 1 Craftsman flathead screw driver (a little bent) a blue with white lettering magnetic sign "MIDDLE SCHOOL" approximately 24"x8"...wildlife sighting: 2 white-tailed deer feeding in a corn field started about nine miles west of Broken Bow and finished about a mile or two shy of Ansley...Ansley is the decision point, continue on route 2 to Grand Island or make a south turn on 183...there are pros and cons to each...decision time will be no later than about 35 minutes after the walk begins tomorrow, right now Grand Island is the leading candidate, stay tuned for this momentous decision...dinner was had at Huckleberrys a local restaurant specializing in brisket, as "they" say "they done good", brisket was yummy, HOWEVER the pulled pork was OUTSTANDING...well after dumping the tanks, pouring over maps, talking to Val (sister) talking to Vic (brother), having a glass of wine I am still no closer to making a decision as to route, so I guess I will have another glass of wine, waste some time on FaceBook and sleep on it!!!...cheers!!!
Delightful day today...chilly in the morning, by 10:30 the jacket came off and the wind picked up...on the "club" scale this started at about a 1 at a 45 degree angle into my face, as the day progressed it got to be about a 3 1/2-4 FULL FRONTAL!!! (insert joke!!!)...we got started right at 8:00 AM and had there been no wind or a tail-wind..................but last I checked I am NOT in charge of the weather ONLY awaking each day, putting on my pants and CHOOSING what the day will be like...all about personal responsibility, accountability AND choice...now that said today we did 22.5 miles (36.2903 km's) using 46,363 steps ending about 9 miles shy of Broken Bow...findings for the day: 1 wrist watch of questionable functionality and 1 quarter...the only wildlife was not so live but in the back of pickups and on bumpers...chatted with rancher Ben Cooksley who indicated that in spite of drought conditions he is "doing OK until someone tells him different", his family has six members of the armed forces, best wishes to all...also chatted with the son of Jim Chapin, a Viet Nam veteran, who was recently diagnosed with diabetes...another gentleman stopped to see what I was up to and said "I have all three", that you for your service, Dick Hoffman, and best wishes...when I stopped at the Sinclair station in Merna the young lady indicated that her grandma and grandpa are battling both cancer and diabetes, best wishes...thank you to all who served, be it in peacetime or during conflict...best wishes to all who have health challenges...to my first AND best driver thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!! for getting this immovable object moving...to my second driver thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!! for keeping the body that is "The Walk" moving!!!, not only does Jim keep the Jeep on the road he has been know on NUMEROUS occasions to do other things that are VERY much appreciated, he too has family members that are honorees of this walk and they ARE noted on a daily basis...there are many experiences on this excursion where words are inadequate...as I am fond of saying "don't tell me, SHOW ME!!!"...I trust that I am showing something...best wishes to all...cheers!!!
Had my father not passed away 17 years ago today would have been his 92nd birthday...today saw 26.4 miles (42.5806 km's) with 52,002 steps...findings for the day: 2 pairs of sunglasses (appear to be functional), 1 1/4 inch hook and 1 quarter...wildlife sightings: several deer and a flocks of geese flying west!?...weather was perfect for walking, a tad cool in the morning with sun, warming in the afternoon such that I was able to take the jacket off...thanks to the engineers on BNSF Railroad who acknowledge my presence and thanks to all the big trucks who give me all sorts of space...must say I am not a fan of two consecutive days off, "a body in motion tends to stay in motion, a body at rest tends to stay at rest", I like motion!!!...got home, dumped the tanks, iced left-overs, hit the shower, got out the ice-packs and here I am...glad to see the sun shining...cheers!!!
The Walk of Life had its genesis over a long period of time and at various levels. Ever since Jonathan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I wanted to do something to honor that. At one time it was to ride a bike and another thought was to run. It wasn't until I saw a news story about a former NFL football player who walked across the country in ten months that I considered walking. About this same time my daughter Staci and son-in-law Todd where thinking about taking a year long road-trip which sounded fun. With back surgery and the market crash I was not in a very good frame of mind. When Ross was diagnosed with cancer and his subsequent chemo ordeal I began to feel less sorry for myself and come out of my funk. Ross passed away and Cec was diagnosed with cancer and then he too passed away I started to get serious about doing something with my life that would make a difference. I did NOT want not die with my music still in me and I did have a song to sing. At some point my dear friend Marc Fauler pulled the line by "Red" in Shawshank Redemption, "Get busy liven or get busy diein" on me I knew I had to do something. The final straw was at Unity Church in Seattle when the minister played "Dream Rangers" (look it up on the web) about the five old men riding motorcycles. I had to act. My best friend on the planet, Stan Lucas, came up with The Walk of Life and the rest is history. Here I sit in Broken Bow, Nebraska "liven"!!! Thank you to all who inspired me...see ya'll down the road...cheers!!!
Today we left Valentine bright and early in the morning, parked it in Thedford and went for a walk...put in 20.2 miles under 39,560 steps...findings for the day: 1 carabiner, 1 locking "C" link, 1 small bag of washers and 1 live round .270...wildlife sightings: same juvenile bald eagle (identified as such) breakfasting on the same slow raccoon, 1 new flock (herd) of wild turkeys and 1 adult bald eagle...had a good conversation with Duane and Wynona Bolton from Valentine, Duane served in the military as did their daughter, thanks to both of you for your service and thanks for stopping by...a bit chilly today but nice for walking, especially with the tail-wind...moved to Broken Bow and got set up in the rain, now getting colder with the wind picking up...staying at the Wooden Castle RV Park...had dinner at a local spot, the Tumbleweed Cafe, bless the waitress, must have been her first day, knew nothing of the menu, messed up the order and never brought us the check!!!, good thing we weren't in a hurry, she really was TRYING on various levels!!!...interesting town, hopefully we DON'T have to explore it in the snow...Sunday and Monday will be days off to watch football, ice body parts and relax...cheers!!!
Numbers for week #23:
122.5 miles (197.5807 km's)
$0.54 in change
1,843.1 miles (2,972.7419 km's) vs budget of 1,840, +3.1 miles
Walking Day #88...Friday, November 9, 2012...ain't it foggy outside all the planes have been grounded!!!
Fridy did not dawn foggy it just was!!!...as "they" say a real "pea-souper"...22.3 miles (35.9677 km's) with 45,647 steps...found nothing but sand today...wildlife sightings: the same juvenile eagle having breakfast on the same unlucky raccoon, 1 bald eagle and a whole herd (flock) of wild turkeys...today was the 17th anniversary of the passing of my father Gus Werner, so today's walk was dedicated to him, he passed away just shy of his 75th birthday, among other things he had diabetes...the walk ended today around mile post 158 on route 83 south...tomorrow we will move the coach to Thedford, walk the 20.1 miles and then pick up the coach and move to Broken Bow where we will spend Sunday and Monday hunkered down to ride out an anticipated storm, snow maybe, maybe not, we shall see...Veterans Day Sunday (Remembrance Day in Canada) so hug a vet or remember those who are no longer with us and have gratitude for the freedoms that we have...just a little side note, yesterday I scored the trifecta of posting in that I violated three of my primary tenet of speech and posting and paid dearly for it...#1 KNOW THY AUDIENCE...#2 KNOW THY AUDIENCE ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO SOCIAL COMMENTARY...#3 WHEN IN DOUBT REFER TO ITEMS #1 and #2 AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN INTIL THE URGE TO HIT "ENTER" PASSES OR UNTIL STRUCK DUMB!!!...if anyone was offended none was intended, it will NOT happen again...cheers!!!
very nice sunny day with a tail-wind, what more can one ask!?!?!?...today we finished with 25.6 miles (41.2903 km's) using 50,424 steps...right at the end of the day we crossed the 1,800 mile mark!!!...findings for the day: 1 iPhone, 1 black rubber tie-down strap and 2 rather oxidized pennies...wildlife sightings: several white tailed deer and 1 hawk or juvenile eagle dining on a raccoon that was a tad bit too slow crossing the road...the terrain is rolling hills as far as the eye can see...the hills are all sand and covered with grass, yuccas and other low scrubby plants...route 83 goes right through the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge which consists of a series of marshy lakes home to much water-fowl...lots of semi traffic but the road is wide as are the sandy shoulders...now that the election is over let's get behind the new prez to support him in doing what is right for the country, winner be careful of the arrogance, losers don't bitch just get together to make sure that America succeeds short-term as well as long-term...ME BLESS AMERICA!!!...give your favorite diabetic a hug, support your friends and family fighting cancer, remember those who lost that fight, shake the hand of a veteran and say "thanks", remember those who paid the ultimate price for OUR freedom or who have passed on...see ya'll down the road...CHEERS!!!
Today at 10:19 AM we passed from South Dakota into Nebraska...the day was VERY nice, sun shine, warm temperatures BUT a gale force wind!!!, right into my face!!!...20.4 miles (32.9033 km's) with 41,181 steps...findings for the day: 1 dime, i nickel and 1 penny...no wildlife sighted...the terrain in Nebraska is somewhat the same as South Dakota except the rollings hills tend to be very sandy and there are many, Many, MANY more trees,all planted...I had a pleasant conversation with a gentleman on a highway survey crew...the Crete driver continues to honk and wave...weather report for the general area is for cold and snow on Sunday and Monday...I will have to do a quick bit of research to see if it would be prudent to move Saturday about 125 miles south...we shall see, stay tuned...cheers!!!
nice day today...sunny but WINDY!!!...22.7 miles with 42,517...findings for the day: 1 quarter, 1 dime, 1 penny, 1 "Rock Flight" golf ball and one set of keys that looks like a safe deposit box...very Very VERY windy today, fortunately it was a tail-wind for the most part...thanks to the two guys who stopped me in mission and gave me a bottle of water...thanks to Felix Hairy Shirt a former ranger for your service...thanks to Dixie Larvie for stopping to share your story of living with type 1diabetes for 42 years, go for another 42!!!...we stopped just a few miles short of the Nebraska state line, tomorrow we should walk into Nebraska and through Valentine...weather reports indicate cold weather this weekend (like it has been warm!?!?!?)...now just watching the election results to see who I get to bitch about for the next four years!!!...tired so I will hit the shower and finish up tomorrow...cheers!!!
just a quick day of 11.3 miles (18.2258 km's) with 21,048 steps...no findings for the day...no wildlife as it was hunting season opening and all the animals were in hiding or in the back of a pickup truck, I heard no less than 22 gun-shots!!!...a special thanks to John Boyle for stopping to share his story of his sister, Merietta Firecloud...thank you Roger Embry for your service to this great country...we finished up just shy of mile post 27 on route 83 southbound...packed up the motor home and headed for Rapid City to get the seal redone...300 mile round trip at 6 miles to the gallon at $4.14 a gallon, OUCH!!!...at least I got the seal done so perhaps I can rest easy as far as leaks are concerned...the last 50 miles east of Rapid City was done in rather windy conditions, not as bad as with Mom but enough to make the knot on my shoulder go from grapefruit size to that of a watermelon!!!...we parked the rig at WalMart, did some laundry and ran a few other errands then moved the rig to the repair shop...good news is that we got to stay there for FREE (oh right!!!, no such thing as a free lunch OR re-repair!!!)...Monday ran a few errands, eat breakfast at a little local diner and then hit a museum...very interesting to see how the Black Hills/South Dakota/Lakota/Sioux interacted over the years, history is always as those who write it...picked up a repaired rig and headed fro Valentine, Nebraska where we found a nice home at the Wacky West RV Camp
Walking day #83...Saturday, November 3, 2012...into White River and beyond...cheated (somewhat!?!?!?)
what a day!!!...20.2 miles with 37,834...findings for the day: 1 Verizon phone charger (functionality yet to be determined)...wildlife sightings: several turkeys, several deer, several prairie dogs and one bunny rabbit...the day started by moving from the Badlands Ranch and RV Resort to about 15 miles west of White River, a kind gentleman let us park the motor home on his property and we proceeded to head east along the way the Reverend Neil Old Lodge offered a prayer on my behalf, about 5 miles out of White River the Jeep decided to stop, perhaps the victim of a drained battery, same symptoms as before only a tad more severe, a kind group of deer hunters had some cables and took me back to the Jeep, Joe from upstate New York spent several minutes to get the Jeep running and followed us back to town to make sure we got in OK...it seems that the Jeep will run but the gas always must be applied otherwise it stops (odd), not being a mechanic I have no idea...in order to complete the day's goal of 20.2 miles it was necessary for my to run about three of the last five (the cheating part, this IS a walk NOT a run!!!)...I had to park the motor home in the dark and in doing so managed to loose a wee bit of paint to a rather small but effective stump!!! (@#%&, $#@% and &$#@!!!) rookie mistake, as Mom would say "nobody died"...tomorrow will be a quick 10-11 miles and then off to Rapid City to do laundry, buy food and spend the night so we can get the slide repaired first thing Monday morning after which we will take the rig to Valentine, Nebraska...only insight for the day is: when parking a motor home, check, double check, triple check and then check some more!!!...as a bonus the Utes beat Washington State today in football (Matt, Jim too bad for you!!!...GO UTES!!!)...the numbers are as follows:
for the week #22:
131.1 miles (211.4516 km's)
245,892 steps (some of them running steps!!!)
$0.16 in loose change
for the trip:
1,720.6 miles (2,775.1613 km's) vs budget of 1,760 showing a deficit of 39.4 miles
$43.60 (I located $0.32 previously unaccounted for)
today we went an even 23 miles using 43,163 steps...findings for the day: 1 pair of red-handled wire cutters...wildlife sightings: several deer, several turkeys, a golden eagle, an unidentified hawk and a bunny rabbit...weather was decent, a wee bit chilly to start the day with the last 2-3 hours in the sun...we will move the motor home tomorrow to where we will start walking, walk, then pick up the rig and move it to White River, will walk 10-12 miles Sunday then go back to Rapid City to have the seal corrected, the work will be done Monday am and we should be able to get back to White River Monday afternoon..from White River on it should be a straight shot south, if I move fast enough we may be able to move into warmer weather...cheers!!!
foggy to start the day a wee bit chilly with a gentle breeze from the south by south-east, after 22 minutes on the road it became a 3-3 1/2 club wind and by the end of the day I was leaning into about a 5 5 1/2 club wind!!!...not that I applied for the job of resident martyr (it is genetic maternally AND paternally!!!) I am sure that Jonathan, Ross, Cec, Fred, Barbara, Richard, Jerry, John, Bert, Gerrard, Carla and a host of others have gone or are going through much, MUCH more than a gentle 5 1/2 club wind!!!, QYB and get walking!!!...so walk I did...20.2 miles with 38,475 steps...findings for the day: 1 tie clip with a US flag on it and a mauve plastic spider with blue spots...all self respecting animal species were hunkered down in a warm burrow or in some tall grass NOT wandering around the prairie with the exception of a few turkeys...we went from mile post 135 on SD route 44 east to the junction of said road and US route 73...we went through the small Lakota community of Wanblee...just outside of town a car stopped to see what I was up to, when I explained the driver indicated that he had been to Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom he said and then proceeded to tell me what he thought of George W. Bush, since this blog is mostly G rated I'll not repeat his comments but it did stimulate some rumination on "Iraqi Freedom"...no matter how it gets dressed up the American public was lied to about weapons of mass destruction, Iraq will NEVER be free until the Iraqi people choose freedom over tyranny and oppression, NOTHING anyone can do from the outside will EVER change that, we (the US of A) of all countries should appreciate that but it seems that we know better what Iraq wants than do the Iraqi people...freedom cannot be forced!!! otherwise it is just another form of tyranny, similar features, longer hair!!!...perhaps our arrogant politicians should pick up a rifle and go out on the battlefield, if that happened perhaps we would be a tad more inclined to take care of our own house before we attempt to live someone else's life for them!!!...enough politics, DO NOT GET ME STARTED!!!...another gentleman stopped me in Wanblee and asked what I was doing...Orville "Asanpi" Milk is a Viet Nam veteran, he thanked me for what I was doing and I thanked him for his service, he then made a gift to me, Thank You, Orville!!!, I am sure if I lived in Wanblee we would be friends, thank you for the gift of money and ALSO the gift of stopping to chat...see ya'll down the road...cheers!!!
23 miles today using 43,158 steps...findings for the day: 1 Bostich number 20 hammer, 1 bag of gold star shaped confetti, 1 wrist watch of unknown brand, 1 thin dime and 1 penny...wildlife sitings: 2 hawks (species unknown to me), lots of deer, several prairie digs, several wild turkeys and a couple of bunnies...the slide seal issue may very well get resolved on Monday which will mean a trip back to Rapid City, oh when we can get laundry done and get groceries...I guess my next project will be to identify the raptors in South Dakota so I will know what majestic birds I keep seeing...right now an ice pack on my left knee and a good night's sleep...cheers!!!