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.