Day 178

Day 178
I awoke at dawn in the Mojave along Highway 62 in California.

I broke camp and repacked the buggy. 

I hit the road:

A man named David stopped to check on me! He offered me a ride. I thought about it, but told him that I thought I would be able to make it to 29 Palms. He couldn’t really understand why I wouldn’t accept a ride. He was a really nice man, and even gave me a donation to get to Los Angeles! We parted ways.

Desert miles. Isolation:

I was high up in the mountains. It was a little bit cooler way up there. I had been climbing all day. 

Just before 11 a.m., I set up camp for a siesta in the open desert. I found a gate about 75 yards from the road. I hadn’t seen any shade in a day or so, but I was able to make some decent shelter. I even hung my hammock!

Time passed. I sweat some and drank a lot of fluids. I ate some bagels that St. Vincent de Paul had given me back in Parker, AZ. 

At 3 p.m., I emerged from my desert dwelling. 

I made my way back up to the road.

I started moving.

A woman pulled over and gave me peanut m&ms and a cold water. Then she turned around and went back the way she came from. Wow! What a treat!
Miles. Mountains and road. Desert:

The sun hung low and began to set. I could see 29 Palms off in the far distance! I began the descent:

Into the night. Beneath the Milky Way.

I kept moving through the night. I eventually found myself in a residential area a few short miles from 29 Palms. I kept scouting locations to camp, but couldn’t really find anywhere. I was so tired!

So I laid my sleeping bag down on tarp in the open desert. I slept beneath the moon and stars. A pack of dogs fought a coyote somewhere near my camp. I think the dogs won. I fell fast asleep.

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Day 177

Day 177
I awoke beneath a railroad bridge in the Mojave Desert.

I retrieved the buggy and brought itback down from high ground.

I broke camp and repacked the Mojave rover.

And hit the road.

The sun rose.

The moon set.

I started chipping away.

Clyde and Wilma stopped to check on me! 

They gave me two bottles of water and a donation! They also offered me a ride. I stopped and considered it, but decided to keep moving. They were heading to 29 Palms too! We parted ways.

I kept moving.
At 10:30 a.m., I found the only shade I had seen all morning. A lone tree at the end of the aqueduct. 

I set up camp. I reinforced the shade with my tarp. I set up my hammock.

Time passed. I ate pringles and drank gatorade. I snoozed. Just before 3:30p.m., I emerged from the desert shrubbery.

I hit the road.


And then something great happened. A woman pulled over in her car about a quarter mile up the road. She pulled a 24 pack of water from her trunk, placed it on the ground, pointed to it and waved to me, and then got back in her car and drove off. A big win!

I was so happy! Until that point, I hadn’t realized how stressed I was about water. This lady gave me 3 entire gallons of water! It was enough to keep me hydrated for another entire day. I could make it to 29 Palms! A merciful stranger.

I think I smiled and laughed all the way to the 177/Highway 62 split.

And then another great thing happened. A huge majority of the traffic went to and from Highway 177. I was continuing down Highway 62, no more traffic!

It was such a relief. I was right around the halfway mark to 29 Palms. I had plenty of water, and could now travel at night!

I took a water break and consolidated containers. 

The sun hung low.

It set. I headed west climbing.

Into the dark.

At 9 p.m., I decided to call it a day. Traffic was nonexistent, but I had already been fighting all day. I set up my hammock along some poles by a radio tower. Everynow and then a car would go by. I watched the tail lights fade into darkness. Miles and miles. 

It was quiet, the stars were amazing! Then the bright moon rose and illuminated the desert. I fell fast asleep.

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Day 176

Day 176
I awoke beneath a lone tree a mile and a half west of Vidal Junction, CA. 

I watched the sunrise. I broke camp and repacked the buggy. 

I hit the road.

I ate a few cinnamon buns Miss Bonnie had given me for breakfast. They were so good!

I decided not to let the traffic get to me. It came in waves and pockets. It seemed to be worse late afternoon into sunset. I moved off the road when I needed to, kept the best pace I could, drank lots of water, and kept moving.

Just past 10 a.m., I set up my hammock beneath a railroad bridge for a siesta. It was the only shade for miles and miles! 

I made my way up to an aqueduct than ran parallel with Highway 62. I was hoping I would be able to gather water. It was blue and smelled like a swimming pool. It wasn’t drinkable.

Time passed. I reinforced the shade with my tarp. I sweat a lot.

At 2:30 p.m., I ate some coffee cake. 

At 3 p.m., I was back on the road.

I kept moving the best I could.

and then… shoes.

Hundreds of them.
Mountains of them. There in the desert.

I kept moving.

At 7 p.m., the sun set on the Mojave Desert. 

I found another bridge under some rail road tracks. I set up camp.

Storm clouds rolled in from the mountains! They were sent my way!

I moved the buggy to high ground, tied my backpack and gear high up beneath the tracks, and set up my tarp. I waited.

The wind picked up like crazy, and then it rained! I fought hard to keep the tarp steady in the storm, I was trying to catch water. 

It all happened in about 90 seconds, it down poured, then rain cloud blew away, gone. I almost lost it all in the wind, but I was able to gather a gallon of water! It was a little murky because my tarp was dirty, but I had mosquito netting and purification tablets to filter it if need be. I gathered water in the desert! 
It was such a great feeling! Especially after working against traffic and the heat all day. It gave me a lot of motivation. I was down to 4 gallons of water, and this emergency gallon put me at 5. I had been drinking 3 gallons a day. I had enough to make it another day and a half! I had made it 22 miles that day. It was another 70 miles or so to Twentynine Palms.

The full moon rose and beams of light came down from the clouds. Lightening. Then the storm scattered, the wind ceased, and everything got quiet.

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Day 175

Day 175
I awoke to wild burros stampeding through the grove. They were loud!

I broke camp and repacked the buggy. 

I hit the road.

I made it a little ways and stopped to watch the sunrise. I ate a few slices of left over pizza and contemplated my next move. Trucks hauled by. I had to keep moving.

The shoulder for the most part was non existent. The buggy couldnt handle to the dirt along the side of the road either, it was too heavy, and the wheels would lock up.

It was a slow crawl. The trucks at least gave me some room and moved over during the day. Every now and then I would gain some decent dirt. I slowly chipped away at the miles. Weaving in and out of the pockets:

I made it to Vidal Junction around 11 a.m. A crossroads, and the last stop before 93 miles of open desert to Twentynine Palms. 

I was happy to be off the road. I found an abandoned gas station and set up my hammock in the shade.

Time passed. After a nice long siesta, I headed over to a truck stop and bought a couple gallons of water. I had already drank two gallons since leaving Parker!

I did some maintenance on the buggy. The front tire was not true and created a lot of friction, I used a soda can tab as a washer to hold it in place. It worked!

I was worried about the rear tires. There was no axle, they just popped into the rear frame using a button mechanism. The plastic bearings were broken, the frame bent. I hoped they would hold.

Miss Bonnie

I met Miss Bonnie! She works at the gas station. She was really nice, and let me use some tools from behind the counter to fix the buggy. 

She gave me a big bag of snacks to take with me for the road ahead! She also asked me a few questions about this journey. 

Miss Bonnie told me heading to Twentynine Palms, there was nothing but 93 miles of desert. She told me I would only get one or two vehicles per day out that way. Then she stopped, and said that since they closed the freeway down the day before because of the wild fires out west, I might get a lot more traffic. I wasn’t sure whether that was a good thing or not. We parted ways.
At 6 p.m., I rejoined California Highway 62. I was hoping traffic might let up west of Vidal Junction. 

It didn’t. I made it about a mile before I got frustrated. I set up my hammock under a tree about 25 yards from the road. I just needed to think through some things.

Time passed.
I decided to call it a night. I had only made it a few short miles that day. Traveling at night would be too dangerous. I would have to face the heat of the Mojave, and travel during the day. It would be a long and slow crawl through the wilderness to 29 Palms. 

The moon rose on the open desert. It was such a sight. I fell asleep looking forward to a full nights rest.

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Day 174

Day 174
I awoke on the Colorado River Indian Reservation in Parker, Arizona. I was hanging beneath Daniel’s Really Good Fresh Jerky sign.

The sun rose. I took in my surroundings:

And hit the road.

Down into Parker,

And to Sacred Heart church for morning Mass!

Fr. Richard and friends!

Fr. Richard was there! He introduced me to the parish after Mass. Tina, Ann, Edith, and Julie. I answered a lot of questions. Everyone was so nice to me! They gave me donations and told me they would be praying for me.


Julie works for St. Vincent de Paul. We walked across the street to the warehouse and they were able to help me with some things.

Breakfast, groceries, and bottles of water! I was really thankful, they helped me out so much! Julie gave me directions to the library. I needed to catch up on journaling.

So I did! I was actually there for a long while. I charged my devices and got to work.

Time passed, and around 4:30 p.m., I left the library and crossed town. I went to a lizza hut and bought a pizza for the road. Calories.

Over the Colorado

and into California!

I went live on Facebook, it was such a great time. I chatted with friends and family, both from home and from the road. I did my best to answer everyone’s questions. There was a lot of them!

At 7 p.m., I crossed back into Parker, AZ the sun hung low.

I ran a few errands around town. I needed to make sure I enough food, water, and supplies for many days. It would be a long trek into the Mojave to 29 Palms, the next town, 118 miles away! I would be traveling at night. 

I figured at night time I could keep my water consumption down. I would also be able to cover more ground. Traveling at night meant no siestas, that might give me another 3+ hours of footwork! 

The buggy was so heavy! I had 7 gallons of water plus food and supplies. I was actually worried it might break. I needed to ditch weight, consumption would be the best way to do it. I started fueling. Hydration.

I crossed back over into Califronia. 

I joined Highway 62 west up and out of the Colorado River.

The moon shone down on the Colorado River.

It was such a difficult climb. There were many trucks hauling down those hills and bends. I had very little shoulder to work with. The buggy was so heavy, it was exhausting!

It got to a point were I couldn’t handle it. I was actually yelling at trucks from the side of the road. I realized how dangerous it was fighting tractor trailer traffic. Where was all this traffic coming from? I was supposed to be in the middle of nowhere… 

I decided to call it a night. I found a grove of trees along the Big River a few hundred feet from the road. I set up my hammock. I dozed off as the semis hauled by.

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Day 173

Day 173
I awoke along Highway 72 in western Arizona beneath railroad tracks. I was in my hammock. I broke camped and repacked the buggy.

I watched the sunrise. 

And hit the road.

I put in the miles:

I reached Bouse, AZ, a little town on the road to Parker. I didn’t see it on my map so it was a surprise when I saw a sign.

There was a Family Dollar. I headed inside to use the bathroom. The AC felt so good! I would have hung around and let my body temperature drop a little bit, but I wasn’t making a purchase, so I kept moving.

I found a little Veteran’s Memorial park and set up for a siesta. It was almost noon.


Adrian came by! He was catering an event further up the road. He saw me walking earlier, and then decided to stop and help me! He gave me a burger and an ice cold can of sprite. A meal, it was so good! I couldnt thank him enough. We parted ways.

Time passed. I slept off and on in my hammock. I kept waking up drenched in sweat. I was in the shade, but I think UV rays were reflecting off the concrete floor I hovered above. It was so hot! I just kept sweating. My skin was cool, homeostasis.

At 4 p.m., I headed over to a convenience store and asked if I could fill up a gallon of water. They let me! I also went to a laundry mat and used a hose to wash up and cool off. It made such a difference, so refreshing! I hit the road.
Into the desert:

It was hot! My water supply almost felt like it was boiling. I had to force myself to drink. A trucker stopped and gave me an ice cold water! I thanked him so much, what a great guy! I cooled my scalp and drank it cold, fast.

The sun set.

The moon rose.

I kept moving.

I made Parker city limits! It was still another 14 miles or so to town. I kept moving.

Highway 72 ended and I joined Highway 95 north. 

I took a little break there at the intersection. I mixed a gatorade and ate a can of chef boyardee. It was a hot meal, the sun had cooked the can all day!

I gained and lost shoulder off and on. I used my system to avoid oncoming traffic. It worked, but it was tiring. I took water breaks when pockets of truckers hauled by.

I crossed onto the Colorado Indian Reservation just before 11 p.m. I gained shoulder and traffic became less of an issue. Then it slowed and it was quiet.

Sand dunes and mountains. Hills and mountains. Shrubs. The moon was high in the sky.

I started scouting locations to camp as I approached Parker. There weren’t many places to hang a hammock, in fact there was only one. I set up under a billboard 4 miles from town. I was a little exposed to the road, but It was late and cars were few and far in between. I hid the buggy behind a shrub and hoped no one would notice me dangling beneath the Daniel’s Really Good Fresh Jerky sign. No one did. I fell asleep around 1 a.m., I slept ok!

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Day 172

Day 172
I awoke in my hammock a few miles from Wenden, AZ. I broke camp and repacked the buggy.

I watched the sunrise up on the road.

I started moving.

I made it to Wenden! 

My phone had died, but I made it to a convenience store and charged my phone outside. I looked up, and the mission was across the street! 

Mass wasnt until 1 p.m. Time passed. A man from town gave me a hotdog that he had bought! It was so good, much better than pop tarts and pringles!

At 12:30 p.m., I made my way over to St. John the Evangelist. Doug greeted me! He showed me to the bathrooms where I could wash up before Mass and gave me a cold bottle of water. He was so nice to me. I also met his mom, Marylyn. she is from the Boston Area!

Doug (second from left) Marylyn (third from left), Fr. Richard (far right), and friends!

After Mass, everyone was so nice to me! The priest, Fr. Richard was so welcoming. Doug gave me a few more cold waters. Fr Richard drives over 200+ miles round trip on Sundays. He celebrates many Masses at the missions and parishes in Western Arizona. I answered everyones questions the best I could about what I was doing. Fr. had some interesting perspective on this pilgrimage and gave me some insight into some challenges I had been facing. Everyone wished me the best. We parted ways.

I headed back over to the convenience store and restocked what I could. I was trying to find things high in calories. Peanut butter, cans of beans, tortillas. The woman behind the counter’s name was Crystal. She gave me a free gallon of water! I gave a man outside who looked homeless a bottle of water, and he gave me a dollar. He told me to buy a cold drink! I hit the road.

I rejoined Highway 60. 

Heading west. I chipped away.

The sun began to set. I took in my surroundings:

I traveled through Hope.

I left Highway 60 and joined Highway 72 west. It brought me deeper into the desert.

Traffic was nonexistent. I had my reflective gear on, but kept my head lamp turned off. It was dark and quiet.

I stumbled into JR! We almost walked right into eachother! I think when I turned on my headlamp, I scared him silly!

And then we started chatting. Out there in the desert. JR is 70 years old, he wants to get into better shape. He was walking his bike back from a 5 mile ride. JR served in Vietnam at the same time as my father. We chatted into the night.

It was kind of trippy running into JR out there in the desert. After what seemed like a long while of chatting, we parted ways. He headed east back towards Salome, and I continued on towards Parker. 

Into the night. 

And then everything changed. Highway 72 met up with a trucking route. Traffic came in pockets, and I could see cars coming for miles, but there was basically no shoulder on the road. The truckers cling close to the white line. I had a system of avoiding vehicles, but I kept having to haul the buggy back and forth across to the opposite side of the road. It was tiring.

So I stopped and set up camp early. Well, it was passed midnight, but I have been slowly getting used to traveling at night. It was early for mileage. Beneath a railroad track I slept. I had to climb through cattle guard to get there, but I was safe. A train went overhead at some point early in the morning, it was loud! I slept great for a few hours.

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Day 171

Day 171
I awoke before sunrise in my hammock along Highway 60 in Arizona. 

I broke camp and repacked the buggy.

I watched the sunrise in the east.

And then hit the road.

I put in a few miles and made it to Aguila, AZ. It was a agricultural town, and it smelled a little bit. Lots of flies too!

I made it to the Centro Catolico in town. It was just a little mission building.I was  hoping there might have been a vigil Mass, but it seemed they only had Sunday afternoon.

I took a siesta on the front porch. Lots of farm hands walked around town. I think it was their day of rest.

Time passed. I washed up at a hose behind the building. At 2:30 p.m., I was back on the road.


I watched the sun set. The moon rose. It was beautiful all around:

I moved into the night. I was just a few short miles from Wenden, AZ. I found out there is a mission in town with a 1 p.m., Sunday Mass. I would have some time to kill, and decided not to push it to make it to town. I set up camp along a culvert down beneath the road. Lots of crickets and a few mosquitos. I slept great!

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Day 170

Day 170
I awoke in my hammock.

And watched the sunrise.

I took in my surroundings. I was at the Hassayampa River Reserve. A few short miles from Wickenburg, AZ.

I hit the road as the sun rose.

I made it to town! 

I went to a Taco Bell and ate a breakfast burrito. I drank some fluids and charged devices. I wasnt there long.

I headed across town towards the library. It was another hour or so before it opened. I set up my hammock beneath a footbridge and took a little nap.
At 9 a.m., I crossed town and made it to the library. I was there to journal, but I ended up just kind of hanging out. A long siesta. I watched some youtube videos on my phone and listened to music. I continued to charge devices.

Just past 3 p.m., I left the library and crossed town.

I stopped at a Family Dollar and restocked on food. I left town.

Up, and out, of Wickenburg, AZ. It was a lot of climbing!

I chipped away at the miles:

The sun set.

It grew dark.

Into the night.

I kept moving. The shoulder was decent, but it was Friday night, and I was worried about reckless drivers on the road.

At 10 p.m., I stopped a little early, and set up camp along a drainage culvert down beneath the road. Coyotes off in the distance. Some sort of winged bat or bird kept flying around. I think I intruded its habitat. I slept great!

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Day 169

Day 169
I woke up in my hammock behind Walmart in Surprise, AZ. 

I watched the sunrise.

I knew I was forgetting something and I was! I headed back in and bought a huge tub of gatorade electrolyte powder. I would be heading into some vast distances over the next week or so. I also bought a reusable water bottle and batteries for my headlamp. 
And then I hit the road. I started chipping away at the miles.

Back into the desert, and back in rythyhm.

Just past 10 a.m., I found a culvert and decided to stop for a siesta. 
Time passed. Just past 4 p.m., I left the culvert and rejoined Highway 60. 

Desert miles.

I made it to a truck stop in Whittmann, AZ. Some one on a bicycle outside gave me a stick of beef jerky. Didnt catch his name. I bought a meatball sub inside and hung out charging my phone.

After a quick break, I was back on the road.

With an Arizona Iced Tea! 

The sun hung low.

And then it set. It was beautiful all around.

With reflective gear, and a bright bright headlamp, I continued on Highway 60’s wide shoulder. Into the night.
I have to say, it was so great seeing this sign! I have been on this journey since February 26th, 2016. Los Angeles is so close!!!

The bright moon illuminated the night. I even saw a few shooting stars!

I passed over San Domingo Wash. Deep canyons and steep cliffs.

I kept moving.

Just past 1 a.m., I found a little nature preserve along the roadway. I set up my hammock. The moon had set. The meteors and night sky were incredible! I’ve never seen anything like it. I fell fast asleep.

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