Day 158

Day 158
I awoke at sunrise on the outskirts of Benson, AZ. I tried turning on my cell phone, and it worked! 

I broke camp and repacked the buggy. I ate some pop tarts and hit the frontage road to town. 

I took a few pictures. So much vegetation! My phone died again 😦
I made it to Our Lady of Lourdes for Sunday morning Mass! Ever since I missed Mass the week before in New Mexico, I couldnt make it to a church that had daily Mass on the day I was in town. It felt like forever since I had been to church and received communion. I was happy to be there! 
After Mass I hit the road. I went to Ace harware and tried charging my phone. Long story short, it was an issue with its software. I made it to a Walmart and I was able to get it to charge enough to download and install an update via wifi. It worked!


I restocked. I bought a couple cans of chef boyardee, some raisins, beef jerky, pop tarts, new gallons of water, and powerade. It would be enough to get me to the next town. 

Just passed 3 p.m., I hit the road. I hiked up and out of the canyons.

I rejoined I-10. I put in the miles:



The sky blackened, and the temperature dropped. A storm fast approached! I water proofed the buggy. I hurried to the over pass at Marsh Station Road. 


It was hard work, but I made it through a gap in the cattle guard, through thick brush, and under the over pass on the train-track side of I-10. I knew I had to hunker down.


So I did! I even set up my hammock way up beneath the road. I always appreciate new places to hang a hammock, and this is one of my favorites so far! It was quiet, and out of site from both the road, and any trains.


Day light! 


I ate some chef boyardee and hung out.


Lightening bolts! It was a wicked storm and it lingered around for a while, but I was safe. I fell asleep feeling thankful for shelter in the middle of nowhere. 

 

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Day 157

Day 157
I awoke at sunrise.

I broke camp, and repacked the buggy. 
I hit the road.

I joined I-10 as the street lamps were still lit. I started chipping away. Things were getting a bit more green:



I have seen adverstiements for “The Thing!” ever since New Mexico. 


I’m not too sure what the thing is, I didn’t go in, but if anyone is curious its out there waiting in the desert, haha.


But I did grab some DQ for the road. It was the 11 o’clock a.m. hour. 


I kept moving. 

To a rest area, 2 miles further down the road. It was beautiful!

I set up my hammock for a long siesta. 

Time passed.

At quarter past 3 p.m., I was back on the road. The beauty continued:



Around 5 p.m., it started to rain! It has rained every day so far in Arizona. It is usually just a quick passing storm. I was just a few short miles from Benson. I didn’t bother to set up a tarp or find shelter. I decided to keep moving. 
It was a mistake! The storm followed me. I got soaked, and so did all of my things! It got pretty severe fast. I was cold. I headed down the side of the road, quickly grabbed a few essentials from the buggy, and hid in my tarp beneath a shrub.


It rained hard! It might have even hailed. Lightening struck down, and thunder shook the mountains. 
…and then my phone died, and the battery wasn’t even low. I sat with my arms around my legs beneath the tarp. I tried to get my core temperature up. 
Time passed. The severity of the storm did too. But the rain still drizzled. I knew I had to keep moving. I couldnt camp along the interstate, and all of my things were soaked. 
Long story short, I pushed it and made it to Benson just at sundown. I couldnt take any pictures because my phone was dead, but I saw so many beautiful things! 
Yellow skies, rich red earth, and canyons just like the movies. Tombstone was a marathon away. Purple lightening spider webbed the sky. 
I transferred the buggy and its contents over a cattle guard to a frontage road. I didn’t have it in me to get downtown. I set up camp beneath a lone tree off road. 
 It was still raining. I set up the tarp and got to work. I did my best to send billows of air across the hammocks fabric. I was trying to air dry it. I hung clothes and the sleeping bag out to dry. I fell asleep a little cold.
But I woke up in the middle of the night, and the sleeping bag was mostly dry. I crawled inside. I slept ok for the most part!

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Day 156

Day 156

I awoke in my hammock in Wilcox, Arizona. 


I watched the sun rise.


I broke camp and repacked the buggy. I headed across town.
To the post office! Over the past week or two, there have been a few people who wanted to send me donations. I had to send away for a new bank card to access them. 


It arrived!

I headed over to a little breakfast place in town. 

The food was so good! A meal on my friends. I was so thankful!
I then headed to the library. 
I needed to catch up on journaling, but I ended up taking a siesta instead!

I hit sidewalk just past 3 p.m. I cut through town. Storm clouds were rolling in. I stopped by a Circle K to grab a powerade.

I met a woman named Megan! She asked me if I could reach into the dumpster to grab her some chips that the gas station had thrown away. I brought her inside and bought her some in date chips. I also gave her some money. She was so thankful.
Just then the Sheriff’s department stopped me. I had dropped off a bag of canned goods by a WIC office in town. I guess someone called the police 😦
I think they saw me buy Megan some food and give her money. They were really nice to me, and asked me lots of questions… in a good way, haha! They told me a storm was fast approaching, and it would be best if I hung around town till the morning. We parted ways.


I kept moving. I wanted to get on the far west side of town before the storm hit.


It got so windy! I stopped at an abandoned building and watched the dust storms roll in from the south.

Around 6:30 p.m., the storm started to clear. 

I inched further.

I made it to a Chevron, just outside town, and just before the I-10 junction. I bought a burrito and some bugles. The person working there gave me permission to camp behind the building! Didn’t catch his name 😦 
I set up camp at inside a fenced off area behind the gas station. I ended up setting up a tarp too in case it rained. I fell asleep feeling thankful!

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Day 155

Day 155
I awoke just before the sun.
I broke camp, repacked the buggy, and watched the sunrise. 


I hit the road.


Into Bowie! I stopped at a gas station and sat at a patio picnic table. I ate a can of beans and a can of chicken for breakfast 


I washed up at a hose. It was so refreshing!


At quarter to 8 a.m., I hit the road.


I headed through town:



I stopped at a gas station on the west side of town. I used the bathroom and hung outside. A radio was playing some Willie and Waylon.

I hit the road. The interstate. No lines. I chipped away at the miles:


Just before noon, I made it to a highway overpass. I hung out on the inside of a concrete barrier. I siesta’d.


Time passed. I napped and ate some raisins and peanut butter for lunch. It tasted just like a PB&J!


Just before 3 p.m., I rejoined the interstate.


I drank lots of water and rationed gatorade. I kept a great pace. The miles rolled by:



At 7 p.m., I made it to Wilcox!

I watched the sun set in the west, and its reflection in the east.


I made it to the Public Safety building! This is the place Nick back in San Simon had told me could help me out with a hot meal. He said they just like to help people.


And they did! They gave me a gift card to Burger King, just like that! Wow! After days out in the desert, and eating mostly canned goods, it felt so good to have hot food. I ate a big meal, and even had a milkshake! 


Feeling thankful, I doubled back to a culvert I had spied by the Public Safety building. It had a bit of public property behind it, and was quiet. I set up my hammock and passed out. It felt good to be in Wilcox, AZ!

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Day 154

Day 154
I rose before the sun. It was just passed 5 a.m. I had gained an hour! Unofficial west coast time!


I broke camp and repacked the buggy. The hammock is so versatile! Back in Florida, I never thought I would have been able to hang it from a single tree. I’ve learned a few tricks to hang in tight places.


I watched the sunrise.


I hiked back to the rest area and used the bathroom. I found a water pump a bit out in the desert. I washed up. The water surged, it was like a shower!


I hung out for a little bit and ate the last heater meal. Trying to ration food, I had skipped breakfast the day before. I needed the calories.


I hit the road. It was 6:30 a.m. I chipped away:


I made it to San Simon!


I crossed town. It felt hot early! 


I made it to a truck stop just before 10 a.m. I hung outside in the shade. I charged my phone at an outlet.


A trucker came by and gave me some money! He told me he wished he could help me with more. I don’t think he knew how much his charity meant!


I headed inside and bought a hot dog. It was good! I felt better hanging out after making a purchase. I continued charging my phone inside.


Charged up, I found a tree back outside with some great shade. I set down for a siesta.

Nick


The trucker came back! His name is Nick. He just returned from backpacking in Central America for the last 5 months. He went to some festival in the desert back in Wilcox. Nick was “flying a sign” recently, and Chris, a trucker, offered him a job! They run gasoline up and down the interstate. Nick told me where I could get a hot meal in Wilcox, and wished me the best. He returned to work, we parted ways.


Just past 3 p.m., I hit the road.


A frontage road, it went all the way to Bowie, the next town. No interstate miles 🙂


To the north, a dust storm was picking up. 


It rolled in. It was crazy! Lightening, winds, dust, rain, and chaos!
I ducked down beneath the road and hid out in a culvert.


I hung out on the dry side of the wind tunnel. I watched the storm roll through.


An hour later, I was back on the road:


Digger

Digger stopped by! 

He gave me a few ice cold waters! So refreshing. Digger hung out on his bumper, and picked my brain a little. He couldn’t understand why I was crossing America. He was a nice man. We parted ways.


The sun hung low in the sky:


And it set.


I kept moving.


It started to rain, I ducked beneath the interstate overpass.

Travis


Travis pulled over in his truck! 

He gave me a bag of canned goods, and ocean spray grape juice, and a gatorade! He asked me if I needed anything else. He had already helped me so much! We parted ways.


It was the kick I needed. The rain let up, I kept moving.


There was lots of vegetation along East Olga Road. I found a bit of brush and set up my hammock.


And my tarp too! It rained for a bit at one point. I enjoyed it.
The rain passed, and I fell asleep beneath a bright moon. I was just outside the town of Bowie, AZ.

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Day 153

Day 153
I awoke just before the sunrise.


I broke camp and repacked the buggy. I made my way up to the road


I started putting in interstate miles:


At 10:30 a.m., I made it to an abandoned truck stop in the middle of nowhere. 

I set up camp.


Time passed. I ate a heater meal. It was good!

A trucker came by! He gave me a few cans of beans! Didn’t catch his name 😦


Just past 2 p.m., I rejoined the interstate and continued chipping away at New Mexican miles:



At 5:30 p.m., the sun hung low in the afternoon sky. 


I made it to Arizona! I went live on Facebook. I chatted with friends and family for almost an hour, wow! It felt so good to have another state under my belt!


I put in a couple more miles and made it to a rest area. 


It began to rain.


I hung out and ate another heater meal. Those things are great, it had peanut m&ms. Such a treat!


As the storm passed, the sun set. I decided to set up camp. I have yet to travel on the interstate at night.


I found a lone tree surrounded by brush a few hundred feet from the rest area. I set up camp. At one point in the night I woke up to rain! I threw a tarp over the hammock and drifted back off to sleep. I slept great!

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Day 152

Day 152
I arose just at sunrise on the east side of town. I was in Lordsburg, NM.


I broke camp and repacked the buggy.


I followed old Highway 70 back to town.


I met a homeless man by the railroad tracks. He was laying on the patio of an abandoned building. He was in rough shape. I asked him if he needed any food or water. He told me just what I could spare. I gave him a can on soup and some bottles of water. He thanked me. We parted ways.


I made my way across town. I visited St. Joseph’s and spoke with the priest and the staff. They directed me to a place in town where I could get some emergency food!

Manny (left) and Julie (right)


I made it to the Recovery Management Center. Julie and Manny helped me out so much! Julie gave me some heater meals, boxed milk, a can of chef boyardee, and a can of beans! It would get me to the next town!


Manny was so interested in the journey. He went to his car and came back with a bunch of things he wanted to give me! A sweatshirt, a pair of sunglasses, a backpack, some snacks, and…


A ukulele! He asked me if I played any instruments. He told me he just bought a brand new uke and wanted to give it to me. Wow! What a gift!

Manny (left) and me (right)


Manny is from Silver City. He was the kind of guy who would give me the shirt off his back if I needed it. I left my hat back at the center, and he ran all the way to the library to bring it to me! He also took this cool picture of us! We parted ways.


I hung out at the library through the heat of the day. I caught up on journaling. It had been a while! I refilled my gallons at a hose outside. Shortly after 3 p.m., I headed across town.


I went to Mcdonalds and ate two McChickens. It felt good to have some hot food. I also drank alot of powerade and a bag of chex mix Manny had given me. I needed to be fueled up for the miles ahead.


I left town at 5 p.m.


I took some crazy detour. I was hoping to follow country roads parallel to I-10. I wanted to get some miles in at night. I actually lost the road a few times. It ended up being a long-cut.


But I enjoyed it. It felt good being up in the highlands. I saw great sights. I was the only one around for miles and miles:





Once I realized I missed a turn, I made my own route back up to I-10. I transferred the buggy through and over the cattle guard.

Just before sundown, I started putting in interstate miles:


At dark, I found a culvert far down beneath the road. I snuck through a gap in the cattle guard. I set up camp.
I had chef boyardee for dinner. I looked around my campsite for the night. It was almost like I knew what I was doing!


I played the ukulele. I knew nothing about the instrument, but it was fun messing around with chords and melodies. It had been a while since I had played music. I enjoyed it.
Around 10:30p.m., a storm blew in! The lightening lit up the sky like daylight! I broke camp and ducked inside the culvert. It became a wind tunnel! I crawled beneath the interstate to the dry side of the wind. I watched the severity of the storm.


I passed out on the concrete! I came too around 12:30 a.m., the storm had cleared. I crawled back to camp, set up the hammock, and fell asleep beneath a bright moon. I slept great!

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Day 151

Day 151

I awoke to moonlight around 4:30 a.m. It was dark. I was tired. From my hammock, I started listening and counting the cars as they went by. Somewhere past 8 cars I drifted back off to sleep.


I awoke just before the sunrise. I slept in!


I broke camp and unearthed the buggy. I made my way up to the interstate and watched the sunrise. It was 6:30 a.m. Mass was at 11 a.m. I was 18 miles from Lordsburg, NM. I kept doing math.


I downed a coconut water and started chipping away at the miles. 


A strong eastwardly wind blew across the flats. I was working against the current. It was draining.


Around 9 a.m. I stopped along a guard rail. I ate some cheerios and a can of pork and beans.


I kept moving. The winds were so strong. They zipped across the desert.


At 11 a.m. I was six miles east of town. The sun started to beat down. I found an overpass and sought shade. I missed Mass 😦


I set up my hammock and took a long siesta. I chatted with my sister Emily on the phone. I opened up my last bit of canned goods, but most of them were expired by a few years 😦 I would have to toss them. I ate a can of beef tamales and the rest of the cheerios. 


At 4:15 p.m., I was back on the road.


I put in a few miles. Storm clouds hovered to the east.


At 6 p.m., I made it to town. I wandered through a truck stop and and hit sidewalk.


I made my way through town. I spoke with a good friend on the phone. No one seemed to be at the St. Joseph’s rectory so I kept moving. 


I made it to the Assembly of God church. There were some cars outside.

Amanda and Joe


Joe and Amanda were so nice to me! Joe is the pastor, and when he saw me poke my head in the door, he invited me to come in and sit with everyone. They were having a bible study! Amanda is his wife, and she was also so welcoming! 


We talked about the journey, and the road ahead. Joe enjoys following people on their adventures across America. He knows someone who is currently cycling. They gave me a bunch of bottles of water, and a couple cans of soup! I felt so thankful. Joe lead us in prayer. We parted ways.


I was a week or so behind on journaling. I headed to McDonalds. I bought a small drink and drank a lot of powerade. I was there to use the wifi, but it was down 😦 


I headed outside to a patio and ate some New England Clam Chowder. It was so good, even from a can!


I had spied a culvert on the outskirts of town by the truck stop. I started making my way.


A man who only spoke spanish called me over to his house, he gave me a donation! I thanked him. What a kind man!

Storms danced around the mountains. I kept moving. Out past the truck stop, down Old Highway 70. I found a rail road bridge with culverts. I set up my hammock beneath.


It was a rough night. Storms surrounded Lordsburg, NM. It rained off and on. Lightening. I kept ducking inside the culverts. The wind was so strong! I wandered around a bit looking for better places to sleep. It was depriving. Around 1 a.m. the skies opened, the wind let up, and I passed out. I slept ok.

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Day 150

Day 150
I awoke just at sunrise. 


I took in the view.


I broke camp and repacked the buggy.


I headed over to the gas station.


I used the bathroom and washed up in the sink. 


When I got back to the buggy, someone had given me an anonymous donation! 


I ate some cheerios and drank a lot of water.


I continued on the frontage road, but it turned to dirt! 


I slipped through a gate in the cattle guard up to I-10. 


It was daytime. I decked a bright neon vest. I put in some interstate miles:



Around 9:30 a.m., the frontage road picked back up! I dipped down through a break in the cattle guard.



At 11 a.m., I came to a rest area. They had restrooms, running water, and little huts! 


I set up camp.


I siesta’d. Time passed.

Just past 3 p.m., I refilled my gallons at a hand pump. The water was so cold! I doused my head, and then my whole body.


I rejoined the frontage road, chipping away.


I crossed the Continental Divide!


I continued west.


Just past 6 p.m., I took a quick break in some shade.


I ate the last bagged lunch Margarett had given me back in Deming. Those things pack a good punch! 


I continued on the frontage road until it turned to dirt. The sun hung low. Google maps said it kept going, and it did, but on private property. I had hoped to contunie for atleast another 10 miles on that stretch of road.


I took a break at a teepee and contemplated my next move. I was 20 miles from Lordsburg. I really didn’t want to travel on the interstate at night, but I also was trying to make Sunday Mass in town the next day. 


I hiked up to the interstate. 


I put in two miles while it was still light.

I watched the sunset. I thought about traveling through the night, trudging through desert beside the road. I also thought about waking up very early before the sun to start the trek into town. I’d much rather face early Sunday morning traffic than late Saturday night.


I found some huge culverts down beneath the road. I left the buggy along some cattle guard and slipped through. I camouflaged the buggy and set up my hammock. I fell fast asleep.

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Day 149

Day 149

I slept in! The sun had risen.


I took in the view, repacked the buggy, and hit sidewalk. 


I headed into Deming.


I made it to St. Anne’s just in town. They had a Door of Mercy! 


I spoke with Romy in the office. I was out of food. She gave me a bag of little pastries and a few sodas! She also gave me directions to St. Vincent de Paul in town. Wish I got a picture of her, she was so great!


I also stopped by the First Baptist Church. Margarett there gave me a big paper bag of emergency groceries! I took what I could eat: cereal, saltines, peanut butter, green beans and corn, and two bagged lunches! I left things I couldn’t take: pasta, rice, beans, things I would have to cook. Wish I got a picture of her too, she was so nice to me. She wished me well for the road ahead.


I found a city park and hung my hammock in the shade. I was so tired, almost too tired to sleep. Time passed.


At 2:30 p.m., I made my way across town. It was so hot! That early hour or so of being in the sun, I could feel it!


I made it to St. Vincent de Paul! The staff was so great and helped me out tremendously. Again, wish I got a picture. I didn’t even catch their names 😦 


They gave me pizza and some canned goods from their pantry! They also let me fill up my empty gallons at their sink!


Between all the help I had been given in town, I had enough food to get to Lordsburg, NM, 60 miles west of Deming! It would take me atleast 3 days.


Just before 3 p.m., I joined the frontage road out of town.


I chipped away at the miles:



At 8 p.m., I made it to a truck stop along the highway. They had a great promotion involving the new Pokemon game. 


It just so happens I dabble! I got a free drink! I loaded up on gatorade. I felt so thankful. I had a coconut water hidden in the buggy incase of an emergency, but it had been a while since I drank electrolytes. 


I cracked a can of pinto beans. 


The sun had already set. I hit the frontage road.


I put in the miles.


The moon rose.


At 10:30 p.m, I made it to a Dairy Queen and gas station. It was closed. It was also quiet.


I hiked into the desert a bit to a few telephone poles about 100 yards from the gas station. I hung my hammock between the poles. I fell fast sleep.

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