Thursday, June 7, 2012

Made it to Vegas

Been just over two weeks since I've started and every day continues to feel surreal. There is a certain continued excitement of not knowing what will happen 5 minutes from now. During the last week I've switched to night runs to avoid much of the desert heat. Starting from Barstow I made it about halfway between there and Baker and stayed at a rest stop. Though the stop only had water and bathrooms (and I did have my own food) the kindness of strangers (while not soliciting anything through their  hearing of what I was doing wished to help) left me with coconut milk, a wonderful woman Evelyn gave me a hot pocket  and a Dr. Pepper, trail mix, carrots, granola bars, and water bottles between there and Baker. I passed Death Valley Road in Baker which was cool to see. Leaving Baker it was very difficult with the terrain going above 4000ft but slowly but surely I made it through and I will have climbs much higher in the future. During the night runs I was stopped several times by the California Highway Patrol all of whom could not be nicer (I apologize you guys received several calls of a maniac on the freeway with a baby but hope we all got a good laugh out of it). Two officers in particular Matthew and Chrissie (hope it's spelled right)  stopped me twice and the second time gave me a gatorade and a California Highway Patrol which I will wear from here out and helped to keep a close eye on me. Post Baker I made it to a gas station by Cima road where I camped by in the Mojave National Presevere and stayed in their shade for the day. After that I went across the state line into Primm. Luckily after covering a lot of the height this was mostly downhill. Saw Primm from miles and miles away, which made me feel it was much closer than it actually was, however I made it ok. The plan was to continue the next night but a severe weather alert for winds and sand being blown, forced me to take off the night for safety. I stayed at whiskey pete's which had an exhibit on Bonnie and Clyde. Crazy enough I found out they died on the same day I started my run (May 23) in Arcadia, La. The next night I went up along a dirt trail next to 15 to Jean and then took the Las Vegas boulevard (which starts all the way by Jean) up to the outskirts of Vegas. Covered more miles on that road then I saw cars so I raced a bit of it right up the middle and had a blast running and walking. Passed out for a power nap on the outskirts of Vegas before heading to the Oasis Church for a power nap very kind people there. Then, I continued up to a Burger King where an awesome guy Kyle and his son Tage reached out to me and invited me to a church service at Valley Bible, an actual bed to sleep at, and a warm shower. Was the best blessing so far (although all have been amazing) to have met them and I got to have Panda express for the first time which was gnarly awesome!) It was great just to spend time with them. Going to chill in Vegas for a couple of days with my great friends from college Charlit and Melanie to rest and see the city, well as meet up with Mike and his family for dinner (met Mike down by Victorville). My first time out here so it will be cool to see the city.
         Everywhere I've gone I've met people affected by organs (either those who are in need of transplants or those who knew those who donated them), it should me how widespread this problem is and the main aspect of this journey, more important than any number of miles, is to help spread the word and save lives. It continues to be my main focus is to be able to discuss it with everyone and get them to register. I hope through this I can do it in any way possible.
      This run continues to change me. I used to believe that the most powerful force on earth is the human will, yet this run has shown me greater than that is the kindness of the human heart. I have continually been given food, donations to help, and a ton of prayers and encouragement. There has been several days where I have almost been moved to tears by people going out of their way to help me. Similarly continually sleeping outside, behind churches or other places has given e an even greater sense of thanks for things as simple as a bed and shower. These things we take for granted on the daily, are rare occurrences for so many people and not knowing when the next will come, makes me appreciate it much more. Everything I have received has caused me to have a much greater desire to help others, so it has become a duty of mine to see if I can help everyone who comes through my life. I don't like the random act of kindness a day mentality where it grows to that people will go out of their way to help one person a day, but I desire to go out and help all, that I sincerely hope every person I see who is in need of help, I may able to do something to alleviate any difficulties.

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