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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!

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Walking Day #136...Tuesday, January 15, 2013...farewell Arkansas, HELLOOOOOOO Louisiana!!!

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Welcome to LAMilestones and records continue to fall at a not-so-breath-taking rate.  Each day I take another step I set a new personal record in ALL aspects as I have NEVER done anything like this before!!!

When the day was over I had walked 23.2 miles (37.4194 km's), used 46,711 steps and found $0.11 in change.  Findings of the day: 1 Stanley flat-head screwdriver, 1 large socket extension, 1 socket reducer, medium to small, 1 dog-tag #21511242 "If Found Go To: www.GETMEHOME.com (sans the dog), 1 Power Rangers Super Samurai Happy Meal toy, 1 dime and 1 penny.

I was joined at the outset of the day by Steve C from the RV park.  He is from North Dakota so we had the nasty cold weather, Devil's Lake and Minot in common.  It was nice to have a fellow traveler along and to hear his story.  Thanks for the several miles, Steve.  All the best to you as you transition into an RV park kinda guy.  In spite of what we had today, not quite as brutal as North Dakota!  At approximately 3:55 PM Central time your favorite walker crossed over into Louisiana and left the freezing rain of Arkansas behind.  Now being in the Deep South I expected that the sun would shine, but NOOOOOOOOOO what did I find?  More freezing rain AND an extension of the Ice Storm Warning from today at 6:00 PM to Wednesday at 6:00 PM!

Ice

Oh, well, I am going south AND it is a stiff tail-wind.  The wind plus the cold temps makes me walk just a wee bit faster.  A stop in Eudora, Arkansas to attend to a call from Mother Nature found me in conversation with a couple of locals, Wayne Edwards and his cohort, LeRoy.  Wayne runs a wrecker service to which I responded that I trust he and I shall NEVER meet again unless it is in Key West on a beach!  They did offer to buy me lunch, which I graciously declined as I wanted to make it to Louisiana by days end.  I did take them up on the HOT cup of coffee, which as it turns out was pretty tasty for convenience store coffee.  It washed down the peanut butter sandwich rather nicely.  Thank you, gentlemen, for the pleasant conversation, for the kind offer of lunch and for the hot cup of coffee.  If I am any judge of character I would have to say that both of these gentlemen ARE a couple of characters AND their kind offer to me was by no means out of the norm.  There are 7 billion of us crawling around on this planet, if we just did one little kindness for someone else each day where would we be!?!?!? Perhaps peacefully sharing a bowl of humus, a plate of hog jowls or a dish of curry with one another and NOT attempting to blow each other up or condemn one another for our particular (or lack thereof) religious beliefs.  Peace, love, harmony and joy, YES folks it IS attainable WHEN we choose for it to be so.  Several miles outside of Eudora on a rather desolate stretch of road a car stopped me with a young man driving and an elderly gentleman as passenger.  It was raining and windy.  The driver asked me if I wanted a ride (talk about a segue!!!).  I explained to Toby A. what I was doing.  He indicated that today was a milestone for him in that he was just released from jail.  Of course I was unable to let THAT one go and started chatting about second chances, no choice in awakening and ALL choice IF we awake.  I thanked him for his kindness, my best wishes to you Toby, for your second chance. Again, how we use the time given us is of choice, how much we get is NOT in our hands, let's make each second count.  Tame the ego, look inside, what can I do to make the world a wee bit more pleasant for the other 6.999,999,999 billion?  Move forward.  How did I (did I say "I"!?!?!?) create this situation?...What is MY (did i say "MY"!?!?!?) lesson to be learned from MY choice?...and where do I (did I say "I"!?!?!?) go from here?  Three rather simple yet VERY profound questions one must ask at EVERY juncture in ones life.  Thank you Wayne and LeRoy, thank you Toby, thank you Steve and thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU Valerie for making this time in my life possible in this particular manner!!!...CHEERS!!!

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Walking Day #135...Monday, January 14, 2013...into Lake Village in rain, ice and COLD!!!

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So we go from 70's on Friday and Saturday to freezing rain today!  After about an hour of walking I had wet feet, ice on my hat, ice on the back of my jacket and dodging the wash from traffic.  Thank you ever so much to all (the few) drivers who move over a lane as they head towards me, the courteous thing to do when one encounters a disabled vehicle, an emergency vehicle, a cyclist or a pedestrian.  For those who observe the protocol, THANK YOU!!!, for those who are ignorant of it, just watch and learn THEN move over!!!, especially when it is raining.  As Tom Hanks said as Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that".  I was accompanied the last two miles by Steve C of the RV park who seems to think he is a "fat man", my experience is that of a man with a vast life of experiences who is embarking on a more healthy lifestyle.  Steve, it was a pleasure, see you tomorrow.

icemanSteve

When the day was over we had walked 25.5 miles (the last two joined by Steve from the RV park) (41.1290 km's), walked 50,697 steps and picked up $0.31 in change.  The findings for the day: 1 single blade folding pocket knife, 1 nail set/punch, 1 black-handled very rusty needle nose pliers, 1 10" 1/2" wrench, 5 sockets, 2 dimes, 1 nickel and 6 pennies.  Assuming we aren't encased in ice tonight, the forecast for Tuesday is a duplicate of today.  Cheers!!!

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Walking Day #134...Saturday, January 12, 2013...warm rain

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70% chance of rain.  After about 12 minutes of walking I walked right into the 70%!!!  The temps were so warm that I chose to walk without my rain pants so after about 4 3/4 minutes I was soaked, good thing it was warm.  At the end of the day I only had to change shoes once.  I was in a hurray as I wanted to get home to watch the Broncos and to make sure I got my 100+ miles for the week.  When all was said and done the Broncos lost (OUCH!!!), I walked 19.2 miles (30.9677 km's) using 39,193 steps and found $0.26.  I did get the hundo for the week as well.  Findings for the day:  1 flat head screw driver, 1 quarter and 1 penny.  Cheers!!!

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Walking Day #133, Friday, January 11, 2013...sunshine, 70 degrees!!!

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Friday, sunshine, shorts and short sleeves all day long! NICE!!!  Backing up a couple of days.  We had intended to move on Wednesday up ran into a new radiator for the Jeep issue.  Just as the installation was completed they saw that the new radiator had been damaged so the replacement had to be replaced.  So the move to Lake Village was delayed.  In the meantime a viewing of "Le Miz" was in order.  I give it two thumbs up.  Thursday, Jeep repairs completed, the wallet a wee bit lighter and we hit the road.  Down into the "delta" country of Arkansas, we set up camp in the Pecan Grove RV Park in Lake Village, Arkansas, a delightful spot with delightful "folks" (I'm in the South now!) running the place.  Off the do some grocery shopping and get a bite to eat.  JJ's Cafe was the spot.  Deep fried dill pickles as an appetizer followed by omelets and a conversation with the owner.  Our waitress kept the coffee full and made sure we all that we wanted for dinner.  As I was about to pay for our dinner our waitress said, "it's been taken care of".  Turns out "JJ" got the jump on us and comped our meal.  Thank you, sir, for your kindness.  As it turns out our waitress's father-in-law passed away from cancer in 2012 so I informed her that I would be walking for him on Friday.  Thank you Valerie for reminding me of a gratuity!!!  The kindness of strangers.

At the end of the day Friday we had covered 22.9 miles (36.9355 km's) under 45,657 steps and $0.43 in cash.  Findings of the day: 1 #7 socket, 1 quarter, 1 dime, 1 nickel and 3 pennies.

Cheers!!!

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Walking Day #132...Tuesday, January 8, 2013...the front page!?!?!?...you're gonna make me cry!!!

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Today we started in the middle of Pine Bluff in a rather empoverished area.  There are some things in life that I do NOT understand, poverty in America is one of many.  I do know that throwing money and GIVING stuff to people is NOT the answer.  I would say if it could be boiled down to one single item that item would be two items, work AND education OR vice versa.  Think about it for a while and perhaps in another forum we can discuss the "mechanics" of just that would look like.  Suffice it to say at this time I believe they go hand in hand.

So after an an hour of walking a woman called out to me "you're the walker I saw you in the paper".  As I approached she said she read about me in the Pine Bluff Commercial and that she was "going to make me cry like that soldier". "Nan" handed me a donation that will go to Camp UTADA.  Thank you, Nan, for the contribution and for alerting me to the newspaper article.  I must confess my ego was rather pleased that I made the front page! and that the store clerk who sold me six copies recognized me (not hard with all the yellow garb and the hat!).  Michael, you did a fine job of the story (objectively speaking, of course!!!).  I am sure all my friends and family who read the story will have the same reaction: "Who is this!?!?!?"  You were very kind.  Lots of waves and taps on the horn as I wound my way through Pine Bluff down route 65 south.  One of my many vices is McDonalds sausage burritos.  One the way out of town I stopped to indulge and bumped into a Viet Nam era veteran and a 91 year old diabetic.  Valerie, the driver, was handed a contribution from "Josef" who served during WWll.  Camp UTADA and Dr. Dave Okubo will be very appreciative. Thank you, sir, for your service and for your generosity.  Several more people came up to me and said they too, had read the story.  Thank you, Mandy James, for your interest and for your contribution.  The kids that go to Camp UTADA will be the recipients of your kindness, I bless you for it.  After all the attention we headed south into a rather rural area, limited traffic and a road with wide shoulders.

When the day was over 20.6 miles (33.2258 km's) had been covered using 40,203 steps and picking up $0.09.  The findings of the day: 1 AT&T cell phone 1 socket extension and 9 pennies.  Wildlife sighted: several red tailed hawks and 1 snake that scared me to death as I was "examining" some of the local flora!  Tomorrow, after a few errands, we vacate The Werner RV Park in Maumelle and head south down route 65 to set up camp in Lake Village, Arkansas.  Thank you to all today who taped on the horn or waved or chatted with your favorite walker...CHEERS!!!

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Walking Day #131...Monday, January 7, 2013...into Pine Bluff, Arkansas...thanks, Dale!!!

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What is a good walk without a few wrong turns and slow traffic?  After a weekend of light traffic Monday morning brought typical urban slow traffic as we attempted to navigate through Little Rock to Redfield where we left off Sunday evening.  Each urban area has its navigational challenges and Little Rock is no exception.  I think when The Walk is over I will go back through each area I walked and make "suggestions" as how to improve signage for rubes who come through for the first time.  That is ALL I have to say about that. The area between Redfield and Pine Bluff is rather scenic. I picked up a new safety light for the support vehicle as the "new" small one died on me.  Walking into Pine Bluff I was greeted by two gentlemen at the end of the cemetery.  Actually when I first saw the two men I thought someone was doing and advertising photo shoot for the cemetery or a funeral home. As it turns out they were shooting pictures of me (be still my ego!).  Michael Lee, reporter and his side-kick, William Harvey (looks like a "BILL") where there to get a story on none else than your favorite walker.  At least thirty minutes later they had the beginnings of a story and I had a little brake in the action (such as walking can be!?).  It was a rather pleasant conversation with Michael frantically scribbling notes as I mounted my soap-box and proceeded to pontificate in a manner all too familiar to me!  (HEY, us narcissists can't help it if we like tho sound of our own voices!!!).  After the photo-op and the interview I proceeded into Pine Bluff proper for more adventures   I was approached by a man in a parking lot who struck up a conversation with me.  As it turns he was panhandling.  Jeremiah got a fiver out of me for eloquence, quickness and creativity, the dude outta be in radio, selling used cars or real estate!  Several wrong turns, much map consulting, a consultation with a police officer (Lord have mercy!!!) and some rather fast walking we finished up on the corner of Convention Center Drive and 6th Avenue shortly after dark.  Just a few minutes prior to stoping for the day a woman pulled up across from me and called out.  Due to some traffic noise I did not hear what she said.  After crossing the street I heard her say "you are taking money aren't you?", at which time she made a contribution and wished me well.  Thank you, Dale, for your good wishes and for your contribution.  Camp UTADA will put it to good use.

We managed 20.1 miles (32.4194 km's), 40,607 steps and $1.88 in loose change picked up.  The findings for the day: 1 McDonalds Happy Meal toy (Leonardo the Mutant Turtle), 1 deep #10 socket, 6 quarters, 4 nickels and 18 pennies.

CHEERS!!!

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Walking Day #130, Sunday, January 6, 2013...lost the long johns!!!

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Great day for a little stroll!!!  Today I walked in honor of my children's maternal grandparents, Harold and Ruth Dance.  Neither veterans (Harold had polio as a youngster but both brothers served) nor living with diabetes or cancer, just nice people.  Thank you both for being GREAT grandparents and for all your kindnesses over the years.  My best to you both!!! We started just south of Little Rock outside of an area called Sweet Home (always thought that was in Alabama!).  The sun was shining and the traffic was light.  Those that did pass were quick with a wave or a tap on the horn.  I about broke down and cried when the woman at the gas station, when told what I was doing, told me that she and her brother had cancer.  Puts my little life in perspective.  The area was somewhat rural with modest homes lining the street.  As it was Sunday morning EVERYBODY was at church and there are certainly lots of churches in this area.  Everyone was friendly and receptive to my story.  I received several invitations to attend the various meetings and politely declined as I have a date to keep in Key West, besides on a sunny day like it was I am sure lightening would have struck!!!  I had a pleasant conversation with Henry Callahan (not of the car parts company!) who was retired Navy and living with diabetes.  Thank you for your services and the delightful conversation.  I approached two woman standing on a church step and bent their ears for for a few minutes.  I must say it is always nice to have someone laugh at my jokes, inane as they may be.  Thank you, ladies!!!   I guess they got two sermons that day, not sure which would be better, although mine significantly shorter, I am sure!  Another conversation outside of a little church with Harold Bryeles, retired Air Force gave me another little boost.  Thank you, sir, for your service, the invitation and the pleasant conversation.

When the day was over 21.7 miles (35 km's) covered, 43,045 steps taken and $.035 in change picked up.  The findings for the day: 1 dime, 2 nickels and 15 pennies.  No wildlife sighted.  We finished up on route 365 south just south of Redfield, Arkansas.

See ya'll down the road...cheers!!!

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Walking Day #129, Saturday, January 5, 2013...into and outta Little Rock with welcoming committee

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Big day Saturday.  Today was driver number four's first day on the job.  Valerie Shafer from Arizona kindly consented to finish the journey with me.  While I didn't go over the "driver cliff" looks like the "fiscal cliff" cost The Walk a few dollars.  Oh well, someone told me that we cannot have a better past and can ONLY deal with what IS and I tend to believe that.  Thank you Valerie for your participation.  After a brief, briefing on the functions of the support driver we all hit the road.  The procession was led by brother Vic on his car with the hatchback open and a video camera trained on The Walker, then came The Walker and then came the newest member of the team, Valerie.  We went down the road like that for about ten minutes and pickup up some decent footage.  That and other material will soon be on YouTube along with some other stuff we posted a week or so ago. (see links)  After the "dolly-cam" material was wrapped up Vic did a farewell walk with me for a few miles.  Traffic was light and the weather was fine for walking.  We had just a tad less then five miles to Maumelle (Victor's home) and when we got there Vic's wife, Pam had a welcoming committee.  The first of its kind.  Then on through Maumelle and down route 365 into North Little Rock and into Little Rock over the Arkansas River.  After wandering around downtown Little Rock for a while "we" finally headed out of the city.  At one point I called Valerie up so examine the maps so I could get through the city when a young lady hurried out of a coffee shop and asked, "are you Vic's brother?"  It turns out that Vic's supervisor was having coffee at the same corner where our favorite walker turned up lost (actually taking the scenic route through Little Rock!!!).  Lisa, I really wanted to stay and talk BUT I gave into to my not-so-inner OCD's as I wanted to get me 100  miles in for the week and had to run like a scolded cat.  Thanks for greeting us and thanks for the coffee offer. Next time.  The tour of some of the older parts of Little Rock was quite fun, so I guess I wasn't really lost, just creating a new adventure!  By the time we got out of the city it was dark.  It was a great day, turning Vic back over to his wife and breaking Valerie in through and urban area.  When the day was over 23.3 miles (37.5807 km's) had been walked, 47,179 steps taken and $1.10 in loose change picked up.  The findings for the day: 1 long 1/4" socket, 1 deep #13 socket, 1 regular #12 socket, 2 quarters, 3 dimes, 3 nickels, 15 pennies and one pair of cheap sunglasses!!!...cheers

Numbers for week 31:

103.1 miles

211,459 steps

$6.71 in loose rather beat up change

Walk-to-Date:

2,708.9 miles (4,369.1936 km's)

$65.78

Numbers for my Victor's tenure as driver:

11 days walked

214.9 miles (346.61290 km's)

444,720 steps

$12.04 in loose change...thank you, Vic, Thank You, Vic, THANK YOU, VIC!!!

 

 

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Walking Day #128, Wednesday, January 3, 2013...WOW!!! What a day...through Conway down route 65/365

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As has been to case of late the day started rather chilly, extra gloves, extra clothing, am I NOT in the south!?!?!?  For some odd reason I started the day in somewhat of a pissy mood (yes it HAS been known to happen!!!).  Nothing like a stiff jolt of reality to bring The Walker out of his pissy mood.  Shortly after I started walking a gentleman stopped to chat.  He had seen me in Harrison (up the road) and read about me in the paper.  His son Logan (17) has been living with diabetes since he was 6 and Sam wanted to stop, chat and make a contribution to Camp UTADA.  Thank you, SIR for sharing your story, for the contribution AND for, AGAIN, showing me that I have NOTHING to bitch about!  All the best to you and your family, especially Logan.  On with The Walk and another person stopped to chat, Dorothy Hutson and her grandson who is living with autism.  Dorothy's husband is a cancer survivor.  Again all the best to you and your family.

hutson

Thank you for the second time today for showing me that I have NOTHING to whine about and EVERYTHING to be grateful for.  To continue on I stopped at a convenience store/gas station to pick up a cup of coffee and a blueberry muffin.  When I attempted to pay up Mr. Huq (Hawk) pushed my money back to me and said, "it's on the house".  Based on our conversation I came to the conclusion that I was far from the first person he has ever shown a kindness to.  I had Vic stop to take a picture of him and Vic left with a case of water and other treats only a support vehicle driver could enjoy, all with Mr. Huq's blessings and good wishes!!!  Some of us thick-headed folks take a while.

huk

On into Conway where I broke one of my rules and called my driver up to David's Burgers and decided to stop for lunch.  Lunch is usually on the road and I wanted a burger!  No sooner than we had stepped into the store we were greeted by the Assistant Manager, Justin.  Upon learning what we were up to he indicated that lunch was on him.  Thank you, Justin, for your generosity and kindness (just how much can two Werner brother eat!?!?).  Cody, the manager, apparently taught Justin well, although I suspect that Justin was born with his attitude.  If I ever own a business Justin will definitely be on the "A" list for employees.  The David's experience was delightful, not only did the manager and assistant have great attitudes so did the employees. So very nice to have the personal touch.  Each of these kindnesses are just what we could all use a bit more of in this world.  Seven billion kindnesses on a daily basis, something to think about.

Daves ManagerVetsfries

When the day was over we had walked 20.4 miles (32.9032 km's) under 40,983 steps and picked up $1.07 in change.  Findings for the day: 1 Winchester 2003 "buck" knife (somewhat workable), 1 pick of some sort, like a dental pick with a screwdriver handle, 1 12mm socket, 2 quarters, 2 dimes, 4 nickels and 17 pennies.  We finished up on route 365 just south of Mayflower, about 5 miles shy of Maumelle where my driver (my brother Victor) lives.  I will park the motor home on his front street for a few days and use his home for a base camp for this current leg of the journey.  I will probably move it south of Pine Bluff later next week depending on The Walk progress.  Tomorrow my second steak dinner gets paid off and later in the day my new driver arrives from Phoenix via Dallas.

Thanks to all who made this day so very worthwhile...cheers!!!

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Walking Day #127...Tuesday, January 1, 2013...new year and records fall!!!

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A wonderful day for walking.  No rain, reasonable temperatures (high of 42!!!), I did count twelve snow flakes at one point.  During the day, as I am want to do, I stopped at various places to chat with the locals.  At one point I stopped at a convenience store to get a cup of coffee and the proprietor of the establishment motioned to a group (a dozen) of men and referred to them as "The Useless Old Mans Club"!!! She also advised me if I was to go over to them that I wear "tall boots".  After I picked myself up off the floor I walked over to the group and started chatting.  Spoke to a couple of veterans (thank you for your service, gentlemen) and chatted about what I was doing.  Fun group of guys sitting around enjoying the first cup of the new year. Further down the road I stopped and chatted with "Rickey" an Army vet, thank you for your service.  At a gas station I chatted with one Bo Hudson who spent time in the Air Force, Army and Navy, thank you for your service.  When the day was over I logged 23.1 miles (37.2581 km's) using 47,435 hard earned steps and picking up 50 coins for a total of $3.00.  The findings for the day: 1 1/2" to 3/8" socket adaptor, 6 quarters, 10 dimes, 4 nickels and 30 pennies.  Based on coin count that is a record.  Tomorrow morning we will move the motor home to Greenbrier, park it and walk.  At the end of the day we will go to Maumelle (Vic's home) and park.  Thursday has a dental appointment, laundry and a steak dinner after which we will go to the airport to pick up the final driver for The Walk.  Friday will be a day for errands, new driver orientation and a day to relax before picking The Walk up again on Saturday.  So far 2013 is off to a great start...cheers!!!

oldmen

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Walking Day #126, Monday, December 31, 2012...last day of the year...rain, Rain RAIN!!!

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Walking in the RainToday it rained...and I walked.  The temperature was about 34 degrees with constant rain.  The only thing that varied was how much rain was falling.  After two (almost full) changes of clothing I decided to call it a day.  When the numbers were in I walked 15.7 miles (25.3226 km's), used 33,566 steps and picked up $1.02 2/3.  You ask, how do we get 2/3 of a cent?  This coin was missing about 1/3 of it, looks like someone took a bite out of it.  Findings for the day: 1 1/2" socket, 2 quarters, 2 dimes, 3 nickels and 17 2/3 pennies.  I decided to stop short of my typical 20+ miles as I was soaked to the skin and I knew it would take a looooong time to dry all the clothes so I could get back at it tomorrow.  The treat of the day was meeting John H. Durhman of Wild Goose Studios in Dennard, AR.  John is a man who is truly following HIS dream and enjoying, on a daily basis, HIS "Walk of Life".  Thank you John for tracking us down and sharing your story.  You and your dreams shall travel with me for the duration.  Best wishes to you and much success.  So here we are the end of another year and the beginning of another one.  This is sort of like awaking in the morning and facing another day, the slate is clean and the story is ours to write.  In my case the first part of the year will have a little stroll to Key West as the story.  A way to honor my son LIVING with diabetes (and his colleagues who also LIVE with the disease on a daily basis), a way to honor my nephew who never made it past the cancer, to honor my mother's husband who also lost out to cancer (and to those who are in remission or are continuing the fight, or did not make it) and my way of saying "thank you" to all the men and women who have served in the Canadian and American military and have secured for me my freedoms such that I CAN go for a walk to honor all these people.  I have gratitude for all that I have and all that I am and for all those wonderful people that I call "friends".  My blessings to all the honorees of The Walk, to all those who have assisted me in making this outrageous dream a reality, especially my drivers.  The Walk is simply a dream and an idea without them.  thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!!  Best wishes to all for a Happy New Year...CHEERS!!!

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Walking Day #125, Sunday, December 30, 2012...Broncos WIN...thanks, Sonny

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on Tuesday, 01 January 2013
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Morning AfterI figured that I would walk today (Sunday) as some interesting weather seems to be rolling in.  The day started sunny and cold.  The shoulders of the road were nonexistent.  At day's end I had walked 20.6 miles (33.2258 km's),used 42,296 steps and found $0.52 in loose change.  The findings for the day: 1 pair of rather rusty needle nose pliers, 1 large roll of "brand X" duct tape, 2 dimes, 2 nickels and 22 pennies.  Shortly after I started walking a "nosey" gentleman stopped me at a snowy turnout.  He introduced himself as "Sonny" and wanted to know what I was up to as he had seen me several times as did some of his children.  Turns out he was a former mayor of Marshall, AR.  As we chatted I decided that if I lived around Marshall he and I would be friends.  We had a pleasant conversation about a variety of topics.  Sonny, when THAT days comes you shall indeed get a "free pass" from St. Peter.  My experience is that ones does NOT have to be part of a church to get to the front of THAT line, in fact there are a great deal of "church people" who will be rather surprised when they get to THAT day as they WILL be issued a shovel!!!  Sonny was kind enough to make a contribution to Camp UTADA, "it ain't much but it is something'"  It is NOT the size of the gift that counts but where it comes from and you, SIR should be called "Sunny" as what you do spreads sunshine!...Thank you for your "something'", Camp UTADA will put it to good use.  Just as we were wrapping things up a van pulled up and a woman got out and introduced herself as Paula. She indicated that she had read about us in the paper and wanted to meet us and have her daughter take a picture.  Turns out that Paula came from Bremerton, WA the daughter of a Navy man.  She served in the Army and her husband has diabetes.  We chatted about a variety of things after which photos where exchanged.  Her daughter Elizabeth now has a picture of "The Walker" that she can share with her FaceBook friends.  Paula, it was a pleasure to meet you and your daughter, best wishes to you and your family and thank you soooooo very much for stopping and sharing your story.  This is part of what The Walk of Life is all about, "regular folks" on the ground.  To a person everyone that I have chatted with since I began this adventure has been WONDERFUL!  Now if we can get 7 billion of us to follow we will REALLY have accomplished something!   Thank you Paula, thank you Sonny.  You both made my day and enriched my life...CHEERS!!!

paulaandart

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Walking Day #124...Saturday, December 29, 2012...happy birthday Joey...sunny with a tail wind

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on Sunday, 30 December 2012
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Thursday The Walk was called due to rain and a wee bit of snow so we ran errands and caught a movie.  Saturday dawned clear and cold with an hour and a half drive to start where we left off Thursday.  Saturday was my son Joey's birthday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY son, I love you and am proud of you. Today I walked for Dave and Noreen Wray.  They are the parents of a very good friend of mine, Lance.  Dave served during WWII and Noreen has been with him for 68 years as of tomorrow (the 30th).  Thank you for your service and congratulations on 68 years together.  When the day was over we had covered 22.2 miles (35.8065 km's) using 45,189 steps.  Findings for the day: 1 carpenter's pencil, 2 thin dimes, 1 rather beat up nickel and 2 pennies.  We started about a mile or two south of Pindall and finished up a mile or two south of Marshall.  I had a pleasant conversation along the way with Bob Younger (no relation to Cole) whose son was active duty and is now National Guard.  In Marshall a gentleman, Dave Watts stopped me to see what I was up to.  Turns out Dave is a walker as well.  He has walked EVERYDAY from 12-25-1993 to 12-25-2012 and on that day he hit the 10,000 mile mark not missing even one day in 19 years!  That IS dedication, go for another 10,000!!!  Dave also spent six years with the National Guard, thank you for your service. Tomorrow we shall walk again and forego watching football as the weather may be nasty on Monday.  As "they" say, "make hay while the sun shines" or walk before it starts to rain!!!...see ya'll down the road...cheers!!!

Sunset Over Marshall

The numbers for week 30:

111.9 miles (180.4839 km's)

231,877 steps

$5.40 in loose change

The numbers for Walk-to-Date:

2,605.8 miles (4,202.9032 km's)

5,061,982 steps

$59.07 in loose change

The hot news of the day:  A new driver showed up to replaced my irreplaceable brother, Vic.  A friend formerly from Washington state, Valerie Shafer, now from Arizona is between jobs and had graciously consented to be the new and improved driver for the duration, thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!!  I am looking forward to it.

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Walking Day #123, Thursday, December 27, 2012...half day walking and a full moving day

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on Sunday, 30 December 2012
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Today we moved the motor home from Ozark, MO to Damascus, Arkansas and walked a half day.  We parked the motor home at Steve's Used Car which was just south of Valley Springs and north of Western Grove, still on route 65.

Steve served during Viet Nam and then became  school principal.  He has a son who is currently active duty.  Thank you, gentlemen for your service and thank you for letting us park the rig on your lot.  When the day was over we had walked 10.3 miles (16.6129 km's) under 21,586 steps.  Findings for the day: 1 dime, 3 nickels and 1 "Track Coin" from The Track in Branson, MO.  At a deli I bumped into Viet Nam vet David Powell, thank you for your service and thank you for your good wishes.  After the walk we finished moving the motor home to the Damascus RV Park in Damascus, Arkansas with is about 40 miles from my driver's home.  So we are closing in on the greater Little Rock area.  Vic did some laundry and I went shopping after which we ate Christmas dinner leftovers.  Cheers!!!

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Walking Day #122...Boxing Day, Wednesday, December 26, 2012...through Harrison and beyond

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on Thursday, 27 December 2012
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Today was supposed to be cold and snowy.  As it turns out snowy was not part of the day and in fact sunny was the order of the day.  Cold is was.  Good thing the wind was behind me most of the day.  We continued down route 65 from Ridgeway to Western Grove.  When the day was over we covered 21.1 miles (34.0323 km's) with 44,502 steps.  Findings of the day: 1 socket driver, 5 thin dimes, 1 nickel and 16 pennies.  In Harrison, Don Langford, gave me a pair of coveralls to wear during the cold weather, Thank You DON for your kindness!  At the same garage I had a spirited conversation with a former navy man, Duane Swenson.  WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET TERM LIMITATIONS!?!?!? Reporter,  David Holsted interviewed me roadside for the Harrison Daily Times.  Tomorrow we move the motor home to either Clinton or Damascus after a short 9-10 mile walking day.  Cheers!!!

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Walking Day #121...Christmas Day 2012...no rest from diabetes and cancer

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on Wednesday, 26 December 2012
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Merry Christmas from The Walk of Life.  Today I walked out of Missouri into Arkansas.  When the day was over 21.9 miles had been walked (35.3226 km's) using 45,015 steps.  Findings for the day: 1 small Bart Simpson doll, 5 quarters, 1 nickel and 4 pennies (2 of which were found in Arkansas).  The weather was not TOO bad.  Cold but I did add my old ski jacket to the mix of clothing and that kept my "core" nice and warm.  From there I regulate my body temperature by taking off or adding a toque (watch cap) or by changing gloves (thinner vs thicker) or by removing them all together.  I have honed this to a fine art.  Pity that it will be a skill that I shall never, Never, NEVER call upon as after the walk has been completed the ONLY time I shall see a temperature less than 50 degrees will be when I go to the refrigerator to grab another cold beer!  Cold weather is for polar bears and Eskimos!  Even though I appreciate my Canadian heritage I am NOT a fan of cold weather particularly when the cold weather brings that white stuff.  So much for the climate commentary.  This is a great experience, number one for me to be able to honor family and friends and also to celebrate my freedoms.  On this leg of the journey it is nice to be able to spend some time with my "baby" brother, walking down memory lane and for me to give him driving lessons, keep right except to pass!  I am looking forward to the next installment of this adventure I call The Walk of Live as I anxiously await the new right and perfect driver.  Again wishing you all a Merry Christmas today, for my Interlake friends a Happy Ukrainian Christmas on January 6th and a Happy New Year to one and all...CHEERS!!!

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Walking Day #120...Monday, December 24, 2012...happy birthday Stef!!!

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on Tuesday, 25 December 2012
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Christmas Eve showed up with 25 rather hilly miles (40.3226 km's) under 52,088 steps.  The Walk stopped in Hollister, MO today.  Full day, I will complete this tomorrow...The findings for the day: 1 plastic Pizza Hut sign off a delivery car stuck to a guard rail, ! magnetized Dish Network sign, 1 small Phillips screw driver, 1 small child's sheep toy, 1 small child's cow toy, 1 blue Kobalt utility knife (useable and in great shape), 1 set of "Fashion" earrings (it said so on the package!) pink cameo, 2 quarters, 7 dimes, 3 nickels and 16 pennies.  The folks in Missouri certainly like to throw their loose change out of their vehicles!!!...Looking forward to hitting another state tomorrow...Merry Christmas to all!!!...cheers from cold wintery Missouri.

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Movin' right along!!!...don't book the flight quite yet...short time for the new driver!!!

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on Monday, 24 December 2012
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It appears that The Walker is moving a little faster than he had planned.  At this present rate he could be in Key West as early as the middle of April!!!  By the end of this week I should have about 1,300 miles left.  That is about 13 weeks, weather permitting that could be further reduced to about 12 weeks which puts us right around April 1st.  Since the world did NOT end on December 21st there is a good possibility this may happen.  Sooooooo it appears that the new driver will ONLY be employed for about three months.  That will hardly be enough time to REALLY appreciate the 24/7 experience with our favorite walker!!!

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Walking Day #119, Sunday, December 23, 2012...short day

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on Monday, 24 December 2012
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Today we just did 11.4 miles 18.3871 km's) with 23,497 steps.  Findings for the day: 1 plastic oil change pan (un-used), 1 pair needle nosed pliers, 1 nail set, 1 large #12 socket, 1 small 5/32" socket, 1 debit card for Verna M, 1 length blue nylon rope (12ish feet), 3 quarters, 4 dimes, 1 nickel and 12 pennies.  Vic went and played a round of golf while I rested my body, walked football and took a nap.   Best wishes to former navy man, Roger, whom we met leaving the supermarket.  Thank you for your service.  Should be in Branson by days end tomorrow.  We are right on the southern edge of the big snow storm so we may or may not get interesting weather of the next few days...we shall see.  CHEERS!!!

 

we ended the day going from Nixa to the Highlandville exit from route 65 south.

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Walking Day #118...Saturday, December 22, 2012...I guess we survived...breaking in the new guy

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on Sunday, 23 December 2012
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Thursday this whole area was cold and snow fell from Ozark to Kansas City.  Several roads up there were snow packed and icy.  In spite of the weather Jim got to the airport with plenty of time to spare.  By the time I got home it was late so I just climbed in bed and went to sleep.  Friday I spelt in until 9:00 AM, did a little cleaning, a lot of laundry then headed down to Branson to pick up my brother, Victor, my new support vehicle driver for the next couple of weeks.  After I picked Vic up I finished the cleaning then we headed to the Argentine Steak House in Springfield.  The payoff for a Ute victory was a rather tastey medium rare, porterhouse steak, YUM!!!  Our waiter, Travis, was particularly attentive and as it turns out has parents who shall now travel with me "in the bag" for the remainder of the trip. Thank you, Travis for sharing.  On the way back to the motor home we stopped for gas where I bumped into "Jeff" a diabetic who was kind enough to make a contribution to Camp UTADA, thanks Jeff!

Today the new guy got broken in as we walked right through the middle of Springfield.  We started about five miles north of Springfield and stopped in Nixa.  When the day was over 23.2 miles had been walked using 48,563 steps.  Findings for the day: 1 range ball, 1 9/16" wrench, 1 #8 socket, 2 quarters (one folded in half), 5 dimes, 3 nickels and 28 pennies.  Today was a record 38 coins picked up.  No substantive wildlife seen.  When we got home Vic finished hanging the Christmas lights while I fixed dinner.  Weather was sunny and pleasant, almost good enough to lose the long johns.  Tomorrow will be a half day so football can be watched.  The following are the numbers for walking week 29:

89.3 miles (144.0323 km's)

184,113 steps

$2.47 in loose change

Walk-to-Date:

2,493.9 miles (4,022.4194 km's)

4,830,105 steps

$53.67

 

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