Thursday, October 18, 2012

Run Finished! 125 days total September 24

  This is long over due I know sorry! Since I've been home it's been crazy between figuring out my future with loans kicking in shortly, trying to get back into a "normal"" lifestyle and catch up/thanmk anyone who supported me along the way. The Brotherly Love Run has concluded on September 24th at a little after 10am at the Atlantic City shoreline. On hand were members of the Gift of Life and AtlantiCare staff who were a HUGE help in this run and helped to make a great finish . I was also surrounded by many members of my family and friends who were able to attend.
 On the Friday night I reached Philadelphia I stayed at the Gift of Life House where individuals who need medical care in regards to organ and tissue donation can come and stay if their hospital location in the Philadelphia area is too far from home. I

The police of Egg Harbor Township and Atlantic City, New Jersey graciously gave a police escort which in addition to helping me to arrive safely, really helped the cause by drawing much more attention to myself as I crossed the streets down there, which in turn helped me to get my message out. My brother Brian also did the last mile with me, as I met him on the boardwalk and we went together to meet everyone before stepping onto the sand and running down into the ocean.
   It felt great and I was overjoyed at finishing this journey which the dream for stayed in my mind for over two and a half years. However, it also felt extremely surreal. I also am forever grateful for Gift of Life, AtlantiCare, and anyone who helped me along the way. Could not have been possible without every individual's help. After the time on the beach we went back to the Atlantic City Hospital for a lunch and everyone was welcome to come back.

    When I got home I struggled to believe that this was all real and had happened. It felt like I was coming off a cloud. Though the pictures and supplies confirm all of the memories I have, over the next week and still currently, the memories feel like scenes out of a distant movie who's title and plot has long been forgotten. This isn't to say my memory is fuzzy, but just that some of these events and things I went through seem so far out of a normal life that at times I feel it couldn't of been me. Talking to a couple of individuals who have experienced similar crazy events say the same thing. It also seems that it may never fully sink in, it may come and go, and at times i may not accept it, while others, to know confidently yes that was me. These individuals have voiced that yea it seems to come and go like a passing wind.
   This is also probably due to that some of the things I had to do to make it across no sane person would ever do, especially in areas that were all brand new to me and knowing no one in these areas. There were times when I couldn't find a place to sleep at and I would just crawl behind a church in a secluded spot late at night and sleep there before disappearing in the early morning. Similarly going through the Mojave Desert and just about passing out in the tent before the sun goes up in the first spot I deemed ok for what remained of the night. Then, staying in the shade at a rest stop or gas station before night and doing it all over.

    I also realize how far behind I became on this blog, but the question almost always as trade the blog for more miles (which I was able to finish about two weeks earlier at worst than anticipated)  or interacting with people whether in public or those who invited me into their homes The answer was the blog can wait but the opportunities presented would never be there again. I realize that though I definitely made some lifelong friends, the fact is some people I will never see again.  This fact I most remember from exemplified from a deaf man I met along the road a little outside Denver. He approached me on a bicycle and a wooden cross worn like a backpack and stopped while signing I love you. I struggled my best to convey what I was doing and to understand him. He saw by reading the sign and I asked where he was going and he just pointed west. He also pulled my arm up to pray with force of joyful enthusiasm and unexpected energy. Upon leaving he also signed so I could understand it that I'll see you in heaven. This act of parting left me with a slight sense of melancholy that I would not see this person again to learn more from him or who he was, but more so with such a level of profoundness of such a bold and surprising statement but also the truthfulness of it deeply moved me.

   Another common question I've received over the past couple of weeks is when my book will come out. I'm still up in the air about such a venture or whether to just to go back through this blog and present everything in prose from start to finish. The reason I am hesitant to say anything about a book is because of the possibility that such a work would confuse the main intention of this run. WHICH IS NOT ME! The run was to do something big to allow people to really stop and listen to what I have to say (the importance of organ donation and to honor my brother).I have perceived that some (not all) of those who have discussed with me the possibility of a book just want to hear of the stories of it, which I don't mean to downplay the journey at all, functions as a means to discuss the issue of organ donation and lack of registrants. I don't want the run to gain notoriety while losing it's main message is my biggest concern in (if any) possibility of a successful book. Similarly this run is not something in any way I am trying to gain anything from so with these in mind it logically would follow that sharing all stories on this blog would be the best means, especially if their is no national press that emerges. My ultimate goal initially to try to benchmark making a difference but with individuals who have registered as a result of the run I can feel perfectly satisfied. Will continue to weigh it on my mind.
  Similarly, I continue to be asked what I learned or how I developed. This in itself could create an entire book but just in perceptions I will say just how mesmerized I am by the beauty of the sky, which became such a wonderful canvas for the hours on end I had on the road.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

August 18

Made it to Springfield, Illinois today. Great last few weeks and the heat has finally broken for now which has made it much easier to run. The worst of it was up to 111 in Kansas. Have continued to meet wonderful people and was donated a new jogging stroller by the Midwest Transplant Network in Kansas City in addition to other forms of help. The one I had was repaired in Colorado and kept it going to there where at that point even the aluminum was cracking. Spending time with them was probably the best experience I have had thus far and will have more written on that later.
      To retrace back to where I was with my last post leaving Craig Colorado I headed towards Steamboat Springs and stopped into a library in the middle of the day and got to talking with a woman in the library Rachel, who later told me that she registered to be an organ donor after being inspired by what I was doing. This helped me to feel that everything I am doing is worthwhile and that I truly am making a difference, no matter how small. I plan on continuing forward even if it means on bloodied knees, but if for some reason I did have to drop out, I could actually feel that this had been a success. This allows me to better ignore critics who have voiced their opinions about poor planning, no notice, my inexperience and whatever else they like to say. I am not critical of the character of these people, please do not misunderstand, I love them just the same, but an individual should surround themselves with people who support them, so I try to stay away from those who consistently produce negativity.
   I say this not to be critical, but I know each and every person has dealt with individuals like this in their life and I hope it can allow others to also overcome similar criticism.This is a dream I have thought about almost daily for over 2 and a half years. I knew I needed to go out and do this. Yes, it may not be perfect but my entire heart and soul has gone into this.
     Similarly, I remained hesitant to truly show the level that this has gone to. I received two emails shortly before leaving and I was not sure whether or not to include them and have weighed this greatly on my mind. I have decided that to not include them, would be to not show this journey honestly. Also, presenting them as first and foremost a lesson to myself and in a way to help others. One is not supportive of me doing this and the other was supportive, and I will not include names for privacy. I do not think of either person any less but need to show for the importance of this run. Both are presented in their entirety so that I am not criticized or accused for misconstruing its meaning. Here they are.

 First, I think you may want to think about putting together an advanced directive and carry an id on you at all times.  When they find your body, they know what to do with it.  Next, I think you still don't get my message.  I am sure that you can do this, so it has nothing to do with belief--as if belief is THE deciding factor in all of this.  Your inexperience is shining through by pursuing this so wrecklessly.  I cannot teach you everything you need to learn in the amount of time we have left.  I have availed myself on weekends and have offered to go backpacking.  We have only met 3 times and I have only begun to  bring things to your awareness.  Had we used our time better, I would feel differently, but the simple facts remain: you are doing this by yourself.  I don't want to hear that other people have done it solo--they are foolish to attempt something like that.  Allow me to cover a few factors which are important.

I've identified a number of variables for consideration: experience in general, general skills such as fire starting, wild animal encounters, shelters, pioneering, navigation, mental hardiness, physical fitness, safety resources, planning such as mapping for your trek and weather predictions, knowledge of native resources, and general awareness.  All off these may be construed into your ability to survive in the low levels of living.  In these situations, you will need to have an positive attitude (one that doe not let mother nature do-you-in), skills to survive, create shelter, food, water, safety, and maintain general health, and return to civilization.  Ive divided these variables into skill levels (0-2).  If each factor was a possible value of 0 to 2 points, I would score you as a 12/28.  This is disconcerting considering the challenges that face you.  Ill give some examples.
Context: Torrential downpour for three days in the desert where temperatures plummet over night. Clothing becomes wet. Gear becomes wet.  No heat source such as fire.  Action: you manage to setup shelter, remove your wet clothing, and enter your sleeping bag.  Possible consequence: most likely, none of this is sufficient to regain core temperature: hypothermia and death result.  If you had a buddy, you could huddle and share body heat.  If you had a support vehicle, you could rest in there.

Context: general mechanical injury which disables ambulation w/ deep venous or arterial laceration.  Action: turnakit.  Worst possible consequence: first aid is not successful and emergency personel take hours or days to reach you. Death, loss of limb, lasting disability.  If you had a buddy, he could manage first aid and call for ER personnel.  If you had a support vehicle, you could rely on rapid transportation and fresh supplies.

Context: remote areas in the mountains and desert provide no or little cellular or GPS coverage in the event of emergency.  Possible consequence: they arrive too late.
Context: deranged individuals whom mean to do you harm.  You have no means to defend yourself and no martial art training or combat training.Possible consequence: your safety and health are compromised.  If you had a buddy or a support vehicle, you would be at a tactical advantage.

Context: lack of civilization and loss if supply.  I have not examined your Trek but I think its BS that you will see a town every 60 miles.  Possible consequence.  You lose supply and must rely on skills you have not yet acquired. 
The list can go on to touch on the fact that you didn't know how to det up your tent until Thursday and that your GPS is unproven, I don't even know if you can read a compass and a map.  And I know you feel like you need to do this but going without constant and reliable support is not safe.  Going alone is stupid.  I have a great deal of respect for you but after seeing how unprepared you are, I still cannot rest easily at the thought you are still convinced that this must be done now and is the only opportunity you will have.  What I see in you is that you will never stop these extreme runs.  You regularly run ultra marathons which cannot be easily taken from your assessment and advice as a friend is that you should postpone this for after grad school.  This will give you time to gain funding for support, which may eliminate your need for survival skills, and stack the odds in your favor.  You may have to wait some time, but it will be done right (safely).  I drew the line when I found that you havn't even acquired means for fire and that your tent was still a cardboard box. 

I would bet you don't like being called naive.  Truth is I don't give a damn if you don't like it.  You need to hear this.  I don't even care if I lose you as a friend over this.  Better that I lose a friend than you lose your life.

 And the second:

 I wish you the best as you make your way across the country. Zach told me some people have tried to dissuade you from the run. I urge you to do what you are passionate about and strive hard at achieving your goal. Based upon my observations of your desire, determination, and dedication, I am sure you will achieve what you set out do--bring attention to the importance of organ donation. You are about to endure an experience very few will even think about; I hope you learn from your travels into the many different parts of our country and finish this run a stronger person. This will be an experience that will shape your future no matter what you end up doing next year. Be safe!

I can see the positive intentions of both while the first came after the point had been clear I still intended to go. In life there are plenty of risks if you decide to step outside your door, and I live with the belief that when it"s your time to go it's your time so I do not need to live in fear of everything. No day is promised so to wait until the odds are in your favor is to do nothing until death. Danger does not mean you should not try. I do not know what will happen months from now but I knew that in 6 months from the day I graduate loans kick in so this may be my only shot in life and I had to take it. I do not need to explain myself further than that or apologize for it.

   So back to post the library I went to use the bathroom in Milner and stayed for dinner and was invited back by a very kind couple Jim and Linda who allowed me to get a shower and a bed for the night. The enxt morning I helped Linda move her horses across the street, which is the closest I ever was with horses so I thought it was really cool. From there I went to Steamboat Springs where I stayed at the Steamboat Motel. AFter paying for the room and talking to the woman there Sarah, I went to get a shower in the room and the note was extremely supportive of me and she donated money "for the room and some dinner." I was shocked by the kindness and went back to thank her tremendously.

  I know this doesn't make much of a dent for those who wanted to know more about the journey but these in particular I felt I needed to share now, but hopefully the next will be much sooner as I should have much better access to computers as well as more importantly cell phone service.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Helper to Craig, CO

Current location: St. Francis Ks....Way back to leaving Price, UT. The next day I went about 6 miles to Helper still without any idea whether it would be safe enough to go to the next town past there. I stopped into a church there for a bit to charge my phone and try to figure out where I would end up. Guess I was there too long for the Priest there screamed at me to leave already. I continued on and found a motel and decided to spend the night there and figure out where to go. I stayed at the Riverside Motel where the owner Maxine gave me a great deal as her life had been affected by organ donation as she lost a cousin whom helped others with organ donation and it was a big step for her to register.
     I stopped into a restaurant there called Balance Rock where I met a couple who were big Bruce Springsteen fans and they really liked what I was doing and when I wnet to pay I found out they had bought it for me. Their name's sadly escape me and I can't find them in my journal but it meant a lot to me. While there I also inquired about the road ahead towards Duchesne. The waitress there made some calls for me and found out it was safe enough to go through on foot.
   The next morning I went towards Duchesne and after the 2,000 ft climb up to the top I met an officer Miranda who told me I really should make it to Duchesne before resting, about 46 miles. She also gave me a couple of gatorades, and some snacks and told me I could sleep in the park by Duchesne.
    When I started the run down the other side was really when the smoke started. I have never seen anything like the smoke when I really hit closer to the fires. I did not see any flames but the smoke enveloped everything in a white haze and blotted out the sun. When the sun was visible the smoke made it look blood red. It may have been a little excessive but I had gotten a bandanna in Price so I tied it over my mouth for a it of the way down. I also met several of the firefighters fighting the fire, whom I thanked for their hard work which has meant 16 hour days for many of them. They also gave me some cold water and I met one firefighter who' s daughter had a double lung transplant.
     When I woke up I started through the middle of town and found a library which hadn't opened yet, but I saw a woman, Sue outside and asked if there was an outlet outside I could charge my phone at. She let me into the library early, gave me some drinks and snacks and let me use the computers. After this I headed towards Roosevelt, plenty of clouds this day so it was not brutally hot. This road I will always remember for having a huge amount of roadkill along the way. It was a busy road so I do see why there would be but pretty nasty. Roosevelt was a strange place. When I got there I saw a girl in a car outside of a church so I went to ask her if it was possible for me to sleep outside of it and she said she didn't know and after finding the doors on the church locked and knocking to see, I headed towards a different one.
   Later after getting some Subway I headed towards a couple that seemed promising ad it was dark and I could just go to the back, sleep, and be up before anyone knew I had been there. On the way to them I was stopped by the police who had earlier in the day received a call that I had been going through cars stealing things. I told them what I was doing and they quickly realized how ridiculous the phone call was. they asked where I was sleeping which I told them and they told me to be safe, so I wnt to the church and found a spot in the back behind some wood and went to sleep.
   Headed towards Vernal in the morning, which was hot as a cloudless sky emerged. When I got to Vernal I stopped outside a Wendy's and went in after four people, at least one of whom recognized me from the road. They offered to buy me dinner and I told them they didn't have to but they wanted to and I sat with them and we talked and I got to know them a bit. I asked about places to camp near there and eventually they told me where to go. It was shortly after this that for whatever reason one of the women got agitated and clearly showed she wanted to go. I quickly finished eating at this point and said goodbye to three of the four while the last woman was already out the door. (It is deemed in me to be honest about what happened, and while not critical, open to show the full story as best I can.)
      Next  I went to Dinosaur and entered into Colorado. Iy was so cool to enter there and I took a picture just as I turned around the curve into the state. I completely understand why it is called Colorful Colorado. At Dinosaur I found out they have a park with SHOWERS! which I could camp at. Such an awesome thing to find. After leaving Dinosaur I knew it would be a long day as it was 57 miles to the next town with any sort of convenience store. There was a town midway there which and a camp area and restaurant, but, getting there in the middle of the day and finding no one I knew the best thing was to just push on. I made it there very late at night, but was glad to find the park there had showers as well, tossed my shoes (had a backup pair) because my legs were extremely sore, and went to sleep.
    In the morning I met two people from Philadelphia who were biking across America to San Francisco. From there I went to Net's cafe in town where owners George and Jeanette wouldn't let me pay for the meal and said I was good to go.  On the run that day towards Craig, I met Dobias who was biking east across America. He told me that he often knocked on people's doors and just asked them to camp in the yard. A bold move, but Dobias said he and his friend had about an 80% success rate and doesn't think they've been told no more than once in a row. In Craig I found a chrch that was open so I went inside to find someone to ask if I could stay by there, couldn't find anyone but when I went outside I saw a couple of kids so I asked if they knew the pastor, which they replied he was out of town but their mom (His wife) was here. I knoced on their door and she let me stay in a youth building they had right by there which had a shower and a couch where I slept.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Post Gunnison to Price UT

Huge thanks to Kim Cameron for letting me use her computer! She interviewed me here in Kremmling CO today.

Backtrack to Gunnison UT. When I was in Gunnison I learned that the roads ahead were closed due to 8 forest firest in Utah in one week. The options I was given were either to go North and wait on a 10 percent contained fire that had shut the road past there or reroute west enough to head north, both of which would have cost days. Felt that these were not my best options so I asked around and found out I could head to Mayfield and from there I could cut through the Manti LasSal forest to Ferron UT. This felt like my best option. I then headed to Mayfield camped out on the outskirts of the forest and early the next day headed up Twelve-Mile towards Skyline. This was one of the hardest days I had as it climbed over 4,000 feet from where I was to up over Skyline Drive. During stretches I maybe covered a mile an hour of a step above a crawl. Once I got nearer the top people kept stopping to see if I needed a ride and when I told them what I was doing and where I had come from on just that day they all were very impressed. When I got near the top a forest ranger told me that I could get a shower at a place a few miles further down which I took full advantage of. A couple miles later I set up the tent and passed out exhausted.
    The next day I made it to Ferron and stopped into the Grub Grill ready to DEVOUR a huge meal. They did not have a credit system set up and so I had to run to the bank to take out cash. My PIN wasn't working so I cam back to apologize that I couldn't get out cahs, but the woman who saw what I was doing with my stroller left there said she wanted to give it to me for free and a couple of other women there had jumped to give me money when they saw I came back without any. Just after going to the grocery store I saw a lot of people arriving at a church for something so I felt like it was right to go in, so I went in for a service and afterwards was invited to the Stotler's to have a place to camp, shower, do laundry, and have a good breakfast. I had a great experience with them and found we have a lot in common.They helped me tremendously. The next day I found out that there was construction that blocked the road pretty badly so Gerry Stotler went up there with me and talekd to them. A woman gave me a vest when she found out I had lost mine in Zion. I was then piloted (they led me while I ran behind) through the construction by one of the construction vehicles in the closed lane. Felt  pretty badass not gonna lie, but I went as quickly as possible to not hold anyone up. At Castledale I was interviewed about the run and met a woman Kaylee who also had two kidney transplants.  There I was approached by Terry Fonville who gave me a Subway giftcard and has continued to give words of encouragement. He also told me to meet him at their Church for dinner that night.
   A few hours later I made it to the Desert Edge Christian Chapel in Huntington for a great spaghetti dinner, where I was invited back to a woman, Judy's for a quick shower before returning to the church to sleep there for the night Jerry and Gerry Stotler also met me for dinner there and I also met Terry's wife gayle. Pastor Carl the pastor there brought me out to breakfast the next day at this awesome plate that had some of the largest pancakes I've ever seen. The smoke was huge seeing it miles away in the distance and could be smelled in Huntington.
   After that I continued on towards Price and Pastor Carl actually me up with me to bring me some Gatorade which was a big blessing. A pastor whom Gerry Stotler had contacted found me on the roadway and said I could sleep outside his church for the night if I wanted to so I did when I got to Price. The smoke was worse in Price as now it hung much closer over top the skyline....Will update more things later

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Over a third through!

  Well I've covered over a thousand miles and my body continues to get stronger and more used to it. As of late my days are usually over 30 miles and as much as 46 and 57. I am doing my best to keep everyone updated and where I am but it is extremely difficult and some days I barely have time to check in with my family. Right now I am in Milner CO with Happy a Philly guy so of course it's awesome, Steph, Dave, Josh, Marty and Karen in Daddio's Bar and Grill. Was going to just use the bathroom but everyone was so nice and welcoming I decided to hang, especially with the approaching rain. Been a great past few weeks. Finally saw significant rain (more than 10 minutes worth) since starting. This will just be a more brief post to update but I have been keeping a daily journal and will take some time soon to go through and reflect but the people here offered me to use their computer so wanted to update quickly.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Just over a month in.

Made it today to Gunnison, Ut for a break in the afternoon in their library. Backtrack to leaving Bill's in Mesquite. I traveled to Littlefield, Arizona, a very small town where I slept behind what I thought (and what my GPS told me was a Catholic Church. Turns out it was a boarded up Elementary school. Good thing it was closed or at least summer time. I quickly cleared out of there. I went to a rest stop where I stayed out of the sun for a few hours and tried to get food a a restaurant but the owner didn't want me there saying they were closing at 1 and when I got out my phone to look at the time saw it was 12:25 he quickly said we're closed today so I left. Worked out for the best. Went back to the rest stop and as it got hotter I went into the bar next door for some AC, a corn dog, and a soda. Met some of the locals including Barry, and the "Amuck sisters" two close friends Dorie and Dorthy know for the good fun chaos.
     Went the back way to St. George, UT and entered into a new time zone. Desolate road. Between boredom and probably more delirium from lack of sleep, I became thoroughly convinced I was Mario, and my only goal was to get the next "flag" the next mile marker on the road. I also a while back named the stroller Nacho. He won't talk back but whenever I yell at him I hear mariacchi music. In St. George thanks to Dixie MAdsen at Intermountain Donor Services I got a hotel. Took an offnight (which still meant walking a sixmile round trip to Walmart to load back up on supplies). Ate at a Denny's and demolished just under 12 pancakes. Got a new pair of shoes (3rd total pair) cause my feet were wrecked (held onto the others cause I can still get more miles in them but my feet needed a more comfortable pair for a while.
     That night I ran with Cory Reese and Ryan Duckworth, an awesome 100miler ultramarathoner, and great triathlete respectively.  I ran with them towards Hurricane and they turned around after about 8 miles back to their cars. Cory drove by and comes with In-N-OutBurger some snacks and later invited me to crash at his for the night for a shower, bed, and some great home-cooked food. I had a great experience with the run with those guys, and with Cory's family, his wife, two daughters, and son. His daughter also wrote me a note which is probably the single greatest thing I've receive so far. It reads  "Dear Chris, my name is Danica and I believe that you will be able to finish your race. I'm glad that you are able to stay with us. I am so sorry that you aren't able to sleep on a nice comfy bed like you did last night. Thank you so much for caring so much about your brother and running so long for him. I hope you will keep this note as long as you live. From Danica." Cory also has a blog and wrote a story about it. Check it out and also his other awesome posts!
   The next night it was time to continue on. I was stopped in the middle of the night by Crystal who supported the cause and offered me a free breakfast the next day at wildcat Willie's om Springdale. Slept in the park there with permission through Tom Dansie who also got me a dinner the next night. Had a great breakfast at Wildcat's and the waiters and waitresses there even pulled together to donate to help the cause.
   After that still on a nocturnal schedule I passed through Zion Park. Was not able to get permission through the tunnels so got two rides. The first was extremely important and a great encounter. Will, Mike, and Trevor gave me a ride through and well after they had dropped me off right out of the tunnel I realized my CamelBak was gone. This essential item has kept me hydrated and made it easier to have a larger quantity of water out of the gas tank, quickly accessible. Later on that night after leaving the park a car passed by me and about 30 yeards up had to stop as a herd of buffalo were in the middle of the orad. It stood there and had to honk to get them to pass wide enough to clear the road. I stood there for a minute thinking they would hopefully leave but they didn't so I slowly walked through the middle of them with their large eyes glowing and fixed on me. Slept outside a church by Orderville.
           After at best 5 hours of sleep got up and got myself right into a day schedule of running/walking. Made it to a rest stop to avoid some of the heat where I heard someone say my name and I look up and see Will and Mike who found me MILES up 89 to return  my Camelbak. Such a crazy aweosme act of kindness on their part to go so far out of their way to find me and to return it.  Made it to Hatch, slept behind a church.
   Next day feet were in pain so I limped on towards Panguitch. MEt Donny and Darron who worked next door and they helped me out with the tires. Both were awesome people but Donnie was the man for helping me to get a hotel for free at the Horizon Motel as well as a dinner and breakfast at the Flying M next door. He was someone who just went so far out of his way to help me that I was stunned by his charitable heart and goodness. He also gave me the number of a guy up at Circleville (Hometown of Butch Cassidy) where I was able to get in contact with a guy who also offered a free motel room. With the guy up there Mike though I felt like I was a burden to him (something I never want to feel). It was a difficult situation in that I owed it to Donny for all of his help to let him know I was safe so I took the room but skipped on the breakfast Mike had offered the next day there.
   Next I went to Junction where my new great friend Junction had told me to get into contact with the Reber's. I had lunch with them spend a lot of time talking with them, got a shower, and took a nap before continuing on. The lasting impression I will have of them is of their tremendous love for one another and for the family. I will especially remember Jim talking of his time spend at a base in California during the Korean War. Whenever he would have 72 hour breaks he would hitchhike about two-thirds of that time roundtrip to see Dee whom he later married. He said he enver has felt so tired as he did during those times, which often meant walking for miles in the desert to an interesection, but he said every second was worth it. I still saw that love they had for each other during my brief afternoon I spent with them. Continued to Joseph. Was going to sleep behind one church but when I got there it said no trespassing violators will be prosecuted. Laid down for a few minutes but got up and left continuing forwards. Found another churhc and slet in the  dirt behind it. Next day went towards Richfield. Before getting to down I got hionked at by a lot of cars so decided I probably did not want to spend the night in town there. Slept behind a church on the outskirts. Got up the next morning and decided it would be better to find a different church so I found and went to the Sevier valley Baptist Church. Members Ann, Sue, And Karen went out to lunch with me to McDonald's after and Ann bought me lunch. I later went back to the park where I had an odd encounter and made me decide to hightail it out of there. I made it to Salina where at a gas station,  man, James gave me a donation enough to cover a slightly reduced rate at the Ranch Motel there. Based on some odd experiences earlier that day I felt that night safer in a motel which ended up being free through this.
   Been trying to spread the message of organ donation as best as possible. Hopefully by the time I hit a 1,000 miles I'll be able to get more press for it. It is amazing that just about every single day I meet someone who is personally, or has good freinds who are affected by organ donation. I is my most sincere hope that this can continue to grow and get people to change their perspectives and  register to help save lives.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Week 3

Right now I am sitting and resting in the home of Bill, a pastor from Valley Presbyterian Church in Mesquite, Nevada. I will pass into Arizona tonight. His kindness was a huge help and he gave me a place to rest, shower and have some great food. It was definitely fate that this, the first Presbyterian Church I have gone to (my home church is Presbyterian as well) is right next door to a dialysis and nephrology (kidney doctor) center The days are beginning to blend together so I am looking through my journal to recollect my thoughts and experiences.
   I had such a great time in Vegas exploring and resting up. My good friends Charlit and Melanie showed me around the city including walking up and down the strip and also seeing the Freemont street area. It was nice to have some home cooked meals for once and Melanie's meal was definitely the best thing I've had so far having some leftovers for the road. Both of their families were far beyond kind to me. Charlit's family including his parents Suzy and Charlie and brother Shane were extremely kind and wanted to help me in any way possible. His parents treated me like a son, showing great concern for everything of myself and Charlie said I had a great heart which moved me a lot.I had met Melanie's parents at graduation and to see her dad again was awesome and also an extremely kind-hearted individual. I felt extremely sad leaving Vegas because of how positive an experience it was and I definitely want to go back.
  I also watched the Pacquiao fight which he was clearly the better fighter and I hope that he comes through with the win now that it's under investigation but I extremely admired his attitude postfight, that he did not get angry or upset, was extremely humble about it and that though he felt he won he did not get angry with the judges or anyone. It showed a mark of great character.
  I also had dinner with my friend Mike, whom I met by  Victorville at an awesome all-you-can eat buffet called Sweet Tomatoes. Great food with salad, bread, mac and cheese and I definitely got my fill. I had an awesome time talking to him and his family. He has found a source of goodness which I hope he will continue where he gives socks to the homeless and also a radio. Homeless individuals often do not wear socks because the sweat breaks down the elasticity and causes them to hurt the feet. I believe he said weekly he gives them and allows them to have more comfort. He also gave a windup radio to another individual and it was amazing the transformation it had on the individual. Before this person didn't know the weather so he would get poured on, didn't know the day of the week, and thus felt extremely isolated. However, with the radio it allowed him to feel more connected to the world, and I could just tell the sense of gratitude this individual had towards Mike created positive growth in both of them.
   This blog will probably become more of my interactions with people as that has been the most valuable piece so far and I think also the most interesting for people to read. Over the last few days I slept by the Moapa Plaza and Casino where I met some other amazing individuals as well as in Moapa Town, where upon leaving I met a woman who mentioned her wish for me with this was just to not be too forceful (which I do not plan on doing at all) because previously people had been so to her daughter about organ donation and she said due to medical reasons her daughter is unable to be an organ donor and I promised her I would listen to that.
   I have also learned a lot more about love, and that the purest form of it is the love a parent has for a child. Spending time with people over the past few weeks I have seen this a lot. A child until they reach a certain stage of development, usually in adulthood, due to their naivety and immaturity are incapable of understanding how deep this love goes. I am only now beginning to see it with my own parents whom I have called every day so far.  This love transcends all and can be found everywhere where there are parents and children. Made me think a lot more about loving all people and not desiring any sort of karma against them, because somewhere they have parents who would be devastated by anything poor happening to their son or daughter.