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


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


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.


Miles:




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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Day 168

Day 168
I awoke on the ground by the Sovereign Grace Bible Church in Phoenix, Arizona. The sun was about to rise.


I broke camp and repacked the buggy.


I hit town. The sun rose.


I went to a Walmart and waited for it to open. A man came by and gave me a banana! At a Mcdonalds inside they had a great breakfast special on sausage mcmuffins. It was good! 


I killed some time at Walmart. I had some time before Mass. I took a little nap outside.


I made it to the Cathedral of Saints Simon and Jude!


I passed through the Holy Door of Mercy.

And attended Mass.
After Mass, I started heading west. I needed to find a safe place to get some rest.

And I did! At a park in Glendale, the next town west of Phoenix. I set up my hammock in some decent shade. Just before 11 a.m., I fell asleep!


Time passed.


At 3 p.m., I awoke. I rejoined the sidewalk and headed west.


Northwest.


I filled up my 3 gallon at a water machine outside a dollar store. I had finished it off early that morning. 3 gallons in one day! Rested and hydrated, I felt great!


I made it to a Circle K in Glendale. I bought a burritto and a coconut water. I sat outside and ate.
And then a man pulled up to the gas station. He tried handing me a pack of cigarettes. I thanked him, but told him I didn’t smoke and kindly refused. But he told me to look inside. Wow!

And then a woman came out of the store, she handed me some money and told me to get something to drink!


And immediately afterwards, a woman pulled up, got out of her car, and asked me, “Sir, are you thirsty?” She bought me a huge cup of powerade! She was so polite, kind, and sweet!
I was pretty dumbfounded. These three different people all helped me out in the span of a few minutes. None of them knew each other, or saw the other person help me either. It was pretty moving. It had been a rough 24 hours. I don’t think they knew how much they helped me!


Feeling a resurgence of motivation, I started moving.


Chipping away at the miles:


I made it to Sun City just passed sundown! 


The police stopped to check on me. They had gotten a call about someone pushing a stroller, and just wanted to make sure I was ok. They were pretty amazed after they asked me where I was coming from!


Sun City was beautiful. 


A thunder storm to the south.
I had recieved an “anonymous donation” from someone! I headed to Taco Bell and sat down for some much needed calories. I rejoined the road.


And then the storm blew in! It was pretty crazy, lightening and all. I found a DQ and got a small blizzard.

I  I watched the storm from the patio. 


It passed. I started moving.

I joined Highway 60 was wide, and traffic was minimal. There was construction going on too, so all the cars were going slow. I decked reflective gear and a head lamp. I kept moving.


Into Suprise! 


I made it to a 24 hour Walmart. I decided to stock up on some things I would need for the journey west.
I bought: a coconut water, pop tarts, new sandals, chef boyardee, pringles, new gallons of water, and a few other things. 


I knew I was probably forgetting something, and didn’t want to leave town unprepared. So I camped out behind the store. There was a great little forested area behind the back loading docks. I set up my hammock. Phoenix was well behind me. It was quiet and safe.

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