Day One-Hundred-Eighty-Six

Day One-Hundred-Eighty-Six
I awoke in my hammock in a tree up above the sidewalk. It was 6:15 a.m.


I broke camp and climbed back down. I retrieved and repacked the buggy.


I hit the sidewalk.


And watched the sunrise.


I made it to Sunday morning Mass at St. Augustine in Culver City! After Mass, a woman selling baked goods gave me a cinnamon bun for breakfast, it was good!


I headed west:


To Venice Beach, California, USA!

I went live on Facebook.


I touched the Pacific!

img_8474-1I made it!

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Day 185

Day 185
I opened my eyes. I was in my hammock up in a tree in the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area. 15 miles from the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.


I broke camp and retrieved the buggy.


I joined a bike path.


Down into Montibello.

from left to right: Beth, Shannan, and me!


I met up with Shannan from Twentynine Palms and Beth! Beth is Shannan friend, and was catching a flight back to Okinawa that morning. Shannan was driving her to the airport in L.A., they both wanted to take me out to breakfast!


Beth had climbed Mt. Fuji earlier that year. She showed me a few pictures, it was so amazing! Shannon got a call from Philip, I told her to tell him I said hello! It was such a great time among friends. They were so nice to me.


The food was really good, and Beth sent me off with a HUGE cinnamon roll. Wow! They hit the road, and I hit the side walk. And just like that, we parted ways!


I chipped away.

George


I met George. I offered him a water, and he accepted! He told me to take a walk down Caesar Chavez street if I was trying to get downtown.

So I did!

Into Los Angeles!!!

To the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downton Los Angeles, California, USA!:

I stumbled upon an event! The Sixth Annual Votive Mass, Grand Marian Procession, Benediction, and 2016 Feast of Our Lady of the Angels!

and then, I was back on the street.
Sidewalk.

I moved through downtown L.A.
I wasnt sure where I was going to sleep. I was thinking about ditching the buggy and climbing a tree. They were everywhere in the downtown area, and thick and leafy! 


I really didn’t want to get in trouble though. When I saw this person sleeping on the sidewalk downtown, I wasn’t sure if I even would.


I kept moving.


The Dr. Pepper team gave me a bunch pf cans of soda! They were so nice to me! I wasnt even sure what I would do with them all.

 

I downed one, it was good! I kept moving. West.


I found a church and entered within. There was some some sort of service going on. I headed into the chapel and said a few prayers. I rejoined sidewalk. 

Ralph


I met Ralph! He was listening to some sort of event on his little transistor radio. I offered him a cold Dr. Pepper and he accepted! We chatted for a bit there by the sidewalk. He was a really nice guy. We parted ways. 


I kept moving through the night. I passed through many a neighborhood. It was cultural. People grilling on the street, little shops and vendors, and tons of little iglesias for Saturday night services. I kept my pace up. It was wild.


Eventually, I made it to a safer area. 

Just outside Culver City, around 11:45p.m., I hid the buggy and set up my hammock in a tree above the sidewalk. People passed by down below all night, but they didn’t see me up above! I slept ok!


What a day!!!

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Day 184

Day 184
I awoke at 5:15 a.m. I was in a tree. Someone walked by on the sidewalk down below. He must have been on his way to work. He didn’t even notice me!


I broke camp and shimmied down with my gear. I repacked the buggy and got moving. It was well before sunrise.


Sidewalk.


It was a cloudy day and I missed the sunrise. I found a Wienershnitzel restaurant and grabbed a quick breakfast. I kept moving.


Just before 10:00 a.m., I decided to break early for a siesta. I found a park and set up my hammock.


Time passed. I slept on and off.


Around 3:00 p.m., I was back on the sidewalk.


I kept moving. Into a little recreation area. I followed a pathway up into the hills:

Covina Hills


I watched the sun set, and made my descent back down out of the hills. 


And then, back to the sidewalk-street.

Scott


I met Scott! He was sitting on the sidewalk. Scott had just gotten in a fight with his friend, and apologized to me for making a scene. I guess his friend threw a soda at him. I gave him some baby wipes to clean up. And then he offered me a pair of jeans, I accepted! I asked him if he was hungry, he was! He actually needed to get his blood sugar up. 


Scott has been struggling with a few things, but was really looking forward to the future. That last part made me happy. We headed to a 7-11 and bought a couple slices of pizza, some cookies, and two Arnold Palmer Iced Teas! We sat outside for a bit and chatted. He was really nice, and it was a good time. I gave Scott some money and a few other things I had. We parted ways.


I headed into downtown Covina. It was a nice place! 


My phone had died, so I asked the staff at a pizza shop if I could charge it on their patio. They let me!
After a quick break and decent charge to get me through the night, I hit sidewalk.


I kept pushing through the night. There was a Wildlife Sanctuary I was hoping to camp 15 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Unfortunately, when I got there, it was all fenced off. There was a break in the fence, but I knew other people were camped out in there. I kept moving.

Not too far. At 1:45 a.m., I found a recreation park down the street. There weren’t many places to stealth camp. So I climbed another tree! I set up my hammock and hung my water bottle and back pack in the branches. I broke down the buggy and left it on the lawn about 50 yards away. I was hoping no one would stumble upon it before sunrise.
No one did! Every now and then I heard someone wandering down the road past the park. I slept pretty good!

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Day 183

Day 183
I awoke just before sunrise above San Timoteo Wash. I was a good ways up off the ground.


I was swinging in my hammock beneath a bridge.


I broke camp. I grabbed the buggy along the slope and hauled it back up to the road.


I watched the sunrise down below. Then climbed back up above.


I hit the road. Into San Timoteo Canyon:

It was nice to see deciduous trees. 


I was back in the country. I stopped at a little RV park and bought a few snacks at a general store. An Arizona Iced Tea, a danish, some sour cream and onion chips, and beef jerky. Breakfast!

I kept moving. It was a great stretch!:



Eventually, I made it out of the canyon and to Loma Linda, California. 


Around 1:00 p.m., I decided to break for a short siesta. I found a Starbucks. I still had some money left on the gift card Gisela and her daughters gave me. I had a frappuccino, it was good!


Around 2:30 p.m., I was back on the road.


Sidewalk actually. I found myself in Greater Los Angeles!:

Nicolo

I met Nicolo! He was on the street. We started chatting about life on both the road and the street. I offered him a few things and he accepted! Water, gatorade powder, a water sack, and aaa batteries. He was really thankful. He also gave me a couple pencils!


Nicolo was pretty amazed I was walking to LA. He told me I was in one of the most dangerous places of all of California. He gave me some tips on which towns to avoid, and which routes would be best for travel. I offered him some money and a meal, but he wouldn’t accept! He told me I needed it more than him. He was really nice, and we added each other on Facebook. We parted ways.


A short while later, a woman and her daughter pulled over! They were on their way home from a restaurant. While they were eating, they witnessed the manager kick a homeless person out of the restaurant. They felt so sad about it, that they through together a little meal from the buffet for him! Unfortunately, they couldnt find him, so they offered it to me! I was really thankful, I was getting hungry! We parted ways.


The sun hung low in the sky.


And it set. Coming out of the desert, and heading towards the city, it was getting harder to find places to sleep. I suddenly found myself on the street in Greater LA. At night.


I made it to the First Christian Church in Fontana, CA! I heard someone speaking Spanish inside and wandered in. It was a Bible study!


I was pretty dirty, and was really happy I was welcomed in. The Pastors son bought me dinner! I forgot his name😦, I think it was Jonathan. He told the volunteers to put dinner on his tab, haha!


Dinner was so good! And spicy!

Olga (left) Frank (center) and me


I met Frank and Olga! They lived in Worcester, MA for a few years. Frank is originally from Puerto Rico. We talked about the island for a few minutes. It was fun speaking in Spanish!


Everyone was amazed that I had walked from Florida. I don’t think anyone actually believed me until I showed them pictures on my phone. It shocked them too when I pulled an iPhone out of my fanny pack! Haha! I thanked everyone for being so nice to me and for dinner. I spoke with the pastor briefly about a place to sleep, but he told me he only rents the building so he could not give me permission to camp. I understood. For some reason I knew I would be ok.


Back on the street, it was cold! At least it felt that way. Hoodie weather! I threw on the sweatshirt Manny had given me back in New Mexico. I hit sidewalk.


I kept moving through the night. Eventually, I made it to an industrial park area with very few people on the street. I was scouting locations to camp, but couldn’t really find any.


At midnight, I broke down the buggy and hid it under some brush. I climbed a tree! It was something that had been on my mind while passing through a few cities. With a hammock, I could go where others couldn’t. 


Up above, I hung my hammock high in the branches. I fell asleep to a sweet scent and a gentle breeze. I was perhaps 10-12 feet up off the ground. I felt safe!

 

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Day 182

Day 182
I opened my eyes. It was just before sunrise. 


I broke camp and repacked the buggy. I traveled through the tunnel back under the interstate.


Frontage-roadside, I watched the sunrise.


I took in my surroundings, and put in a few miles:


And made it to Cabazon, California.


I crossed over the interstate and ate breakfast at a Burger King. I also needed to catch up on journaling. I headed over to the library and got to work.


I was there almost all day! Time passed.


At 4:30 p.m., I was back on the road.


West towards Los Angeles!

I traveled along service roads that ran parallel to the interstate. 


The sun hung low in the sky.

And it set. I kept moving.

Suddenly, I found myself on sidewalk! In Banning, CA. 


A couple kids driving a really nice car flagged me down and gave me some money, wow!


I was suddenly in an urban environment. 


I wasnt sure what was up the road, but I kept moving anyway, through Banning and into Beaumont.


Into the night. 


Eventually I made it just outside Beaumont. I put in about a half mile along Highway 60 west. It was dark, and I was worried about being on the shoulder at night with heavy traffic, but I made it to a frontage road safely.


I kept my eyes peeled for places to camp. 


At 11:00 p.m., I hung my hammock beneath a bridge over San Timoteo Wash. The wash was dry, and it was quiet. I was high up above the ground. I fell fast asleep as trains moseyed by.


At some point in the middle of the night, I heard footsteps up above! I hoped it was just a passerby, but the person lingered around for a long while. It was a little scary, I was hoping they wouldn’t wander down beneath the bridge. Eventually I fell back asleep.

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Day 181

Day 181
I awoke before sunrise in my hammock. I was halfway up a mountain wall.


I broke camp and repacked the buggy.

I rejoined Highway 62.
The sun rose on Morogno Valley. I made the descent down into town:


At 9:30 a.m., I made it to town and stopped at a gas station. I bought a large gatorade and fueled up. 


At 10 a.m., I decided to break early for a siesta. I didn’t want to leave town and risk not finding shade. I set up my hammock in a pine grove across the street from the gas station. Time passed.


Just before 2:30p.m., I was back on the road. Through the mountains and out of Morongo Valley:

Windmills.

I came to a residential area a few miles north of I-10. I really didnt want to travel on the interstate, so I found a detour. I might have gone a couple places I wasn’t supposed to go for a mile or two:




But eventually, I made it to Whitewater, CA! The first rushing, flowing, surging, clean, water I had seen probably since Hill Country with Mitchell Manning! I took a dip!

Refreshed and renewed, I joined a service road that ran parallel to I-10. It eventually met a frontage road called Railroad Ave that I traveled upon. It was another little adventure:


It grew dark. The milky way was bright up above. The glow of city lights hung on the horizon. 


5 miles from Cabazon, CA, I found a drainage culvert that led under the interstate.

 I traveled through, and found a great tree to set up my hammock on the opposite side of I-10. It was windy! In fact, it had been extremely windy all day. I had been working against a strong eastwardly wind. I was tired. I bungeed down the sides of my hammock, and fell fast asleep.

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Day 180

Day 180
I awoke just before sunrise.


I rolled up my sleeping bag and repacked the buggy. I eased down Sunrise Road to the base of the mountains. I rejoined Highway 62 west.


The sun rose.

I started putting in the miles.


I made it to Joshua Tree!


I kept moving.


And then I found Daniel sitting along the road with no shoes. He was really dehydrated, I could tell. He was just sitting there staring into the sun. I offered him my help.
I gave Daniel some water and gatorade, and some light snacks. I asked him what he needed, and he told me ice if I could. So I hiked into town and got him some. I also bought him a coconut water. He was really thankful.


I knew he needed to get out of the sun, and long story short, Daniel let me call him ambulance. He was really polite and thankful. I’m happy he decided to let me help him! 
I made it to town. I was hungry! I stopped at a really cool pizza place and had a great meal!


A “Buffalo Soldier” calzone and a rootbeer. It was really pricy, but I always enjoy a sit down meal. It was good! 
I headed over to the library and met a man who looked like he was homeless. I offered him my left overs, and wished I could have given him a full meal, but he accepted! He was really thankful too! 

I went to the library to catch up on journaling, but I was tired. High noon is usually my siesta time, I couldn’t find the strength to journal. I hung out, listened to music, and relaxed. After a couple hours, I rejoined the road.


I chipped away.

From left to right: Kristen, Gisela, and Rachel


Gisela, and her two daughters, Kristen, and Rachel, pulled over to check on me! They are friends of Philip and Shannon’s! They also mentioned they saw me at Mass on Sunday. They were so nice, and gave me a gallon of water, and a gift card to starbucks! They told me they knew I needed somewhere with wifi to catch up on journaling, haha! We parted ways.


So I went to Starbucks! And ordered a big frappuccino. It was great! I powered through all the pictures I had taken. It took sucha long time. I took hundreds back kn the Mojave! 


It started to grow dark, and I didnt want to be on the streets at night, so I hit sidewalk. I was hoping to get just outside town to find somewhere to camp.

From left to right: Roy, Flannery, and Jared. and Jesse too!


I met Roy, Flannery, and Jared! Their dogs name is Jesse. They were hungry, so I was able to help them out with some food! I gave them some bags of trail mix, some crackers, and a couple cans of chef boyardee. They were really thankful. We parted ways.


I traveled sidewalk into the night. A little road too, but the shoulder was extremely wide. I cracked a glow stick for good measure.

Eventually, I found myself on the far outskirts of Yucca Valley. I climbed a hill along the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. I found a great place to set up my hammock between a few trees. Stars above, I slept great!

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