Full Honesty and Disclosure

I want to start this post with full disclosure and honesty. I get so many people telling me how brave I am. And how they could never do what I am doing. Mì familia es mì fuerza! Translation- My family is my strength! I could not do this without their love and support. I spent christmas and new years with my family. I wanted to go home and tell my parents in person the journey I was about to embark on. During this time a good portion of my family was together. I was able to talk with them on a personal level and I received great feedback. I was still really nervous about this adventure. I was scared shitless to be 100%; but I put it in my mind that there was no other option then to follow through. And if I told my family that I was going to do it then there is no way that I could back out. I am completely and unconditionally in love with my family. I was blessed to grow up in close proximity to a large portion of my family. All of my AUNTS and UNCLES have a hand in raising me. They have all ha huge influence on the man I am today. All of my COUSINS and I have grown together. We are all off doing our own thing, but no matter where we are, we are bound TOGETHER.
I have absolutely no problems being in the woods or walking the highway by myself for days at a time. Sometimes when I am alone I allow my mind to get the best of me. When you are traveling solo you have no one to bounce ideas off of. It is all on me which is nice because sometimes I put myself in stressful situations that I would not want to put another through. On that note, in all honesty I have my mother and my father to fall back on. At times it feels like a curse of weakness; but in actuality it is a blessing. I have only had to fall back on them twice. Miami was the last time it occurred. I was so excited to see my friends and all the possibilities that Ultra Music Festival presents. So excited that I did not plan for or even think about an exit strategy. I had planned on taking the ten all the way to it’s end in northern Florida and then cuttin’ up to NYC. Miami was a unexpected surprise. A surprise that once everyone departed to the airport left me feeling helpless for multiple reasons. I did not take into account that I know nothing about Miami or it’s highway system. After everyone left I was in a figure it out quick fast situation. I was so exhausted from the previous five days of raging face that I ended up setting up not to far from where we stayed. I found a bush an set up my sleeping bag and racked out. When I woke up the next day, ‘what am I going to do now?’ Slapped me in the face and I started to panic a bit. Rather then take it on like a man who got himself into this predicament, I called my Ma and Pa. I went right into freak out mode and told them I had no idea what I was going to do to get myself out of Miami. I began to tell them that it didn’t seem like a hitch hike or camp out friendly city. In all truth I wanted them to say, ‘yo let us get you a greyhound ticket up outta there.’ That is why I say curse and a blessing. My parents love me so much that they would never want to hear that I am struggling. That is the curse, because I know I can fall back on that. It is a blessing to have, feel, and know that love exists for me. Like I said this is the second time I have called them in this panic mode. And I knew I would not have them buy me a ticket; but hearing them say it for some reason gives me a boost. It helps slaps me back to reality. It helps bring me back to what a portion of this trip is about, SELF RELIANCE. My parents did not say, ‘ hey Matt go out and walk/hitch hike across the country. And oh yea we think it would be even better if you did it with not a dime to ya name.’ Matter of fact they tried to be parents and didn’t think it was a sane or reasonable journey. Their love and support is what puts my ass in check. I am the one who put myself in this predicament, an that means I have to be the one to get myself out of it. I reconvened with my strength of heart, mind, and soul and I told my Mom an Pop, ” I am sorry for worrying you momentarily. Worry no more because I am a warrior and I will handle this.” They told me to keep it movin’ and keep them updated. I went into the Starbucks bathroom, splashed water in my face, filled my water, and gave myself a pep talk in the mirror. I walked out of that bathroom still confused as to what I was going to do; but I knew I was going to do something.
I strapped up the toe shoes outside and gave a quick stretch. I hucked my rucksack on my back, put my head phones in and started truckin’. While I am walking, sun beating down trying to be a discouraging force, I just kept repeating to myself, “You have no other option than to succeed. You will get the fuck out of Miami today!” Within 1 hour and a half I was in a car with two amazing ladies. I spent the entire day talking with them and having them show me parts of Miami tourist don’t see. My whole view of Miami flipped 180. And by the end of that day my heart, mind, and the love of other beings had me on a bus four hours north to Orlando. All that stress and worry was for NOTHING! I have said it all through out my post, if you want to focus on the negative possibilities then all your going to get is stress. Somethings are just out of are control and we have to learn to roll with that, and focus strictly on what we can effect in that moment and on to the next. We are all capable of ANYTHING. And we ALL have the ability to ADAPT and OVERCOME ANY obstacle that presents itself in our path. Another lesson learned that has taken me a few times to grasp. Actually taken many multiples of times to grasp. I have a feeling that it is just one of life’s test that will always be there to keep us on our toes and remind us.
I didn’t sleep so well on the bus ride, and arrived at 4am in Orlando. If you don’t have a transfer ticket to another spot you are supposed to kick rocks and leave the greyhound station. It was super cold outside and Instill needed to rest up for the next day. I snuck right past the guard and found myself a little nook to hide and catch some shut eye. I woke up around 8:30 and was cloudy headed and red eyed’. I am not a morning person, so it takes me a moment to wake up and be solid minded. I can be grumpy at times when I first wake up. I like silence and peaceful surroundings. Didn’t get that at all. Im sitting on a bench and this dude comes out of left field an sits right next to me. Would be no problem except he is talking loud as hell on his cell. And before I know it this cat is free-styling raps to his girlfriend, loud, and is horrible at it! In my mind I am yelling furious words and shooting mind daggers straight for his jugular! Next thing I know he is off his phone. He looks at me and says, ” hey bruh, I can’t finish this last piece of chicken. You want to crush it?” And with a nod he hands it over to me. I was hella hungry, and while I am mowing it down feeling horrible for my previous thoughts dude is happy and smiling. Not a lesson learned, more like another slap in the face wake up call for positive thoughts. Doesn’t matter your tired and upset, the rest of the world wants to be happy. And it wants you to join in with that happiness. LOVE that gentleman for showing me whats up and starting my day off in the right mental direction. A few moments later the security guard came over an said let me sew your ticket. I told him, ‘ no worries brother. I was just about to leave.’
I got out into the heart of Orlando and just started walking. It is a really beautiful place. I hadn’t talked to my friend Val Mc Valster in a while and I knew she would keep the good vibes going. She did not disappoint! Love you Val! I was recently blessed with a online Starbucks gift card from Cathy (one of my best friends mother). I stumbled onto one and enjoyed a big coffee, a bagel, and a tasty brownie. I handled some internet affairs and talked to a few more friends, always a rejuvenating situation. I was soon joined by to sisters who sat at the table with me. They were both proud loving mothers interested to see what I was about. I told them about my journey and a few of my adventure tales. It was really awesome company/conversation. As they were leaving one of the mothers handed me a 10$ bill. I tried to refuse it and they told me to take it because as mothers they will have a feeling of safety for me. I don’t argue with my mother; so why would I start with the beautiful ladies. A few moments later I received a text. It was my friend Mel who I had just met a few weeks prior in the woods at Rainbow Gathering. She asked where I was and if I was going to make it to Gainesville to hang out and see her band play. I told her I didn’t know how I would get there but I would try. She wrote me back ten minutes later and told me to give her the address where I was, because she was on her way to get me. Mel drove two hours each way to get me!!! That ten bucks was a sweet kick down for gas, thanks mama. Mel and her husband opened their home to me with wide arms. I am so blessed and thankful! I totally did not expect to be in Gainesville on this trip. The best things in life are unexpected!!!!!!! This place is so rad! I an not wait to write the post to tell you all about this epic time here! It is not over yet so you will have to wait…. I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING TIME OUT OF YOUR BEAUTIFUL DAYS TO READ!!!!!

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Making It To The Gathering

I had the opportunity to eat one more meal with Willie. We went out and some great crawfish on the bay. He ordered for me and told the waitress I needed 5lbs just for myself, it was a heaping mound that I maybe got 3/4 of the way on. It was great company that we both needed. At one point I ask him what one of his dreams is. One of Willies dreams is to sell his home and spend his life on the road in a RV. With his personality it would be the best. I guarantee he would leave a trail of friends where ever he went. I asked what was stoping him from doing it. He looked me in the eyes with a big smile and said, “Balls.” Willie I know you are reading this. You already have all the balls you need, you just gotta grab em’ and go for it.
I left Woody’s lake shore home around 12 the next day and started walking. When I got to the on ramp there was a cool hippie dud with dreads, a skate board, and his dog. We exchanged a few words and as I am walking away he yells out, “hey, you ever heard of Rainbow gathering?” In my head I instant recalled Kamy telling me about this on our hitchhike through Arizona. He informed me that there was one going on in Tallahassee on the 1st of March. I told him I would see him there and made my way on to the highway.
Rainbow gathering is a concept I have been dreaming about getting involved in for a long time. People go in to the woods and form a community based on love and helping one another. There is no exchange of money, it is all on a barter system. There are bonfires and drum circles at night and you work and help durning the day. If you listen for the calls through the woods you can eat three meals a day for free. Check out the site for more info, they happen in every state all the time.
http://flrainbow.org/A-cola/
The days leading up to getting to the gathering were a bit rough mentally. I stopped living in the moment and got focused on how long I still had to go. I allowed it to weaken my spirit. During the next four days I did not have one person pull over and offer me a ride I just walked. Looking back I can tell why. I had my head down instead of looking at all the beauty around me and I prolly had a cloud over my head because I was not happy in those moments of pure freedom.
I woke up early yesterday and immediately put on music. As I started packing up my gear to get on the road I noticed that I was smiling and moving to the music. The night previous laying in bed I started analyzing the last few days and my mood. I told myself to get back to the moment and forget about three days from now, because right now there ia nothing you can do about three days from now except be positive. I packed my gear quick. I walked down to the highway set my bag down and stuck my thumb out. I told myself that I would be there all day until I got picked up, and that it would be the right ride. An hour later Eric picked me up and he was an awesome guy! He told me he could take me 20 miles down. As we get close I ask if he knows where a Starbucks was. I was hungry and remembering Cathy Wright, my life long friend Keith’s mother, bought me a Starbucks gift card online. A mile after I asked there was a sign for a Starbucks at the next exit.
I stuffed myself with two bagels, a cup of oatmeal, and two cups of coffee, thank you Cathy. As I am getting ready to leave Sheri who is sitting next to me says, “if you want I can give you a ride to the 10.” Which was about two miles away. She told me it was her uncles truck otherwise she would run me all the way to Tallahassee. When I get out of her truck I am about 170 miles away and it is around 3:30pm. I stand out for maybe 20 minutes before Johnny stops to scoop me up. Johnny is a retired Engineer an tells me some awesome stories in the 30 miles we ride together. I got out of his truck at a rest stop to use the bathroom and try my luck hitching out of there. That lasted 20 minutes and I decide to start walking on the highway and scope out a place to lay my head. As I am walking on I see a SUV pulled off the side 200 ft up ahead. I walked to the side and Angie asks me if I want a ride. She asks where I am going and I tell her about the Gathering. She replies, ” I will take you there right now.” Goal accomplished! I made it 170 miles in a day to make it to the Gathering at 8pm. Just like I told myself I would when I woke up that morning…
I am here at the Gathering right now!!! I am laying lake side in the sun and I am settling in for a two week hippie fest! There is no electricity where i am, but in a few days I will walk into town and make a new entry. After my phone dies I will be off the grid for a while. See you after a bit. LOVE!

What A Open Heart Can Bring to Your Life

  At this portion of my journey my legs are getting pretty strong, and my 70 lb bag doesn’t feel like 70 lbs anymore. When I got out of Ms. Williams car I put it in my mind that I was going to clear 20 miles before I even thought about looking for a place to set up camp. I also put it in my mind that when I got across the bay I was going to start looking for a fishing boat to work on. I have never been deep sea fishing before and I want to learn more about the ocean. Some day when I settle down and have a family I want to be able to provide for them using my hands and cunning whether that be hunting, or if we are by water I want to be able to bring them a meal from that. I told myself that I was going to make it happen and I smiled because I knew it was going to happen. I walked for a bit on the Eastern Shore Trail and then hopped back on Interstate 10 to walk on the Bay Way bridge. Probably one of the sketchiest portions of the 10 I have been on. The shoulder is pretty narrow and on the other side of that wall is a 20 ft drop to the bay, I believe it is about ten miles long. I got maybe seven miles across and Woody Walker pulls over for me. I hop in the car and he says, “Hey man, I can take you to the other side of the bridge.” I reply, “That would be awesome, I really appreciate it.” We get to talking and I tell him about my idea to get on a fishing boat. No sooner can I ask if he knows anyone, he has his phone out and tells me he is about to call the best captain in all of the gulf. I am shocked! I just put this in my mind an hour ago and now someone is calling to see if he can get me on a boat. That is just how this trip is going, I am meeting all the right people and my minds ability to attract the things I desire is beyond me.

  Well, Woody taking me to the other side of the bridge turns into him telling me that he was on his way to his house for a moment and if I wanted I can go there freshen up and he will take me back to the highway when he leaves in a bit. He had to head out to Mississippi to pick up a new oven for his restaurant  We get back to his house and we are talking about travels he has been on and telling him about my adventure. He tells me that if I want I can mow his lawn and he can shoot me some cash to help me out. I tell him I don’t need any money, but that I have been craving pizza and beer. He replies,”Consider it done.” He tells me that he has to take off but I can mow the lawn and then take a shower and he will be back in a few hours. Someone was borrowing Woody’s lawn mower so we had to go to his neighbor Willie to borrow his. Woody gives him a quick explanation of who I am and Willie asks if I can mow his front yard as well. Of course I can sir. 

    Throughout the time I am mowing the yards Willie comes out to check on me and at one point he hands me a $20 bill. I tell him that I am doing it out of the kindness of my heart and that I can not take his money. He looks me in the eye and says,”If I didn’t want to give it to you I would not have offered it.” After I finish I come in Woody’s place take a quick shower and then hop on his computer so I can catch up on the blog. During the time I am writing Willie comes in and offers me a beer. When he brings it back and I tell him after I am done if he wants some company I will come over and tell him all about my journey. Willie is 81 years young and I can tell off the bat he has a huge heart and a lot of life wisdom.

   Later that evening I headed over to Willies and I am greeted with another beer and a big smile. At one point Willie says he is gonna give Woody a call and see where he is at. Woody got caught up and was still a few hours out. Willie tells me he wants to take me out for a drive to check out some places that most tourist don’t get to see. Who in their right mind is going to pass that up? We head out and get to a beautiful town called Fair Hope. The streets are lined with lighted trees and beautiful flower beds. The neighborhood is very similar to Carmel, Ca, and every house has it’s own uniqueness. You can feel that a lot of creative people live there. At the end of the town out on the bay is the Grand Hotel, Willie tells me we are gonna stop off and have a beer. This is one of the most interesting gentlemen I have ever met in my life. The stories he has and the places he has been are incredible. At one point we both agree that it feels like we have known each other all of our lives. Here we are with a pretty good size gap in age, complete strangers a few hours ago and now we are at a nice bar talking about life and brand new friends. I will never forget that night.

  Like I mentioned earlier Woody owns a few restaurants in downtown Mobile, the Bicycle Shop which is a awesome bar serving great Mexican food and next door to that is his steak house Union. Over the next few days Woody opened his home to me, fed me super good food, and got me shit faced drunk. The adventures we had together were freakin’ awesome. This gentleman doesn’t know me; but opens his home, trust me alone while he goes out and handles his business. I did’t tell him but he reminds me a lot of my uncle Bud, and it goes a lot further than them being white and southern boys. One of the best men I have ever met in my life, always has a smile on his face and will talk your ear off. The way that Woody goes about this life is second to none. He is beyond honorable, always truthful, and not afraid to tell you he has done some fucked up shit and probably might do some more before it is all said and done. That is what makes someone down to earth, not perfect and not trying or worried about it, just livin’. Woody is a entrepreneur and a man about town who has done a lot with his life, but remains humble. Every place we go someone is yelling out his name and offering to buy him a shot or a beer. I have learned a lot just from being in his presence over the last few days. He and Willie will be life long friends and I know our paths will cross multiple times before it is all said and done.

Home Sick

I woke up under that bridge to beautiful sunshine, the pressure of rocks throughout my body, and feeling like shit. As soon as I woke up I started hacking like a 50 year smoker and gnarly green phlegm pouring out of my nose. On top of that I was feeling something I have not felt in 11 years, home sick…

   When I was 17 I got caught with quite a bit of weed on me in separate bags. I would not say that I was a model son. I have never done very good with authority and wanted to do my own thing, parents telling me what to do and when was not my idea of livin’. A felony for intent to distribute was the last straw for my pops, he informed me that he had talked to a Army recruiter and that if he signed papers I could go in at 17. I felt like it was the best option at the time; so I went for it. I thought about it and if I am going to do this then I am going to go as far as I can and be stationed overseas. After I finished basic and advanced individual training I was shipped out to Germany. For the first three months of being there I found myself feeling real home sick. I realized that the people I had spent my entire life with were now thousands of miles away and all the times I was out running the streets I could have been spending with my mother, father, and little brother Mikey. I didn’t see my family for two and a half years. My parents had further grown and my brother was now a college student. I had been living in Europe growing in my own way and just came back from 15 months of war in Iraq. We were all figuring out how to reintegrate into each others life’s. Since I have been out of the military I have been moving back and forth between San Diego and the Bay area trying to figure out where I fit. I see my parents and my brother maybe two times a year now and have never really thought much about out. I love them with all my heart and that will never change. When I woke up under that bridge it hit me hard. I was in the middle of a place I had never been all by myself, and my family is miles upon miles away. 

   Connections are made for a reason and the ones that are worth anything will always be there even if you have not seen each other in years. I lived with Jazzy J for a little over six months. We had a sick apartment 3 blocks from the ocean in Ocean Beach, San Diego. Her and I had some up and down times and that is only because she is a good friend and I was not living to my potential at the time, she let me know it. Real friends will always tell you the truth, even if it hurts both of you to do so. When she graduated from the University of San Diego her mother came out and I had the opportunity to enjoy lunch and briefly get to know her. During this lunch collard greens got brought up and I explained that I had never tried them, but have always wanted to. Ms. Williams told me that if I ever made it to Mobile, Alabama that she would make me some of her collard greens.

  I put it in my mind that I needed to make it to Mobile that day. I got out of my tent stretched out and packed up quick fast. I cleared ten miles before stopping at a truck stop to clean up and make myself some oatmeal. After a bit I got back on the road. I was not feeling good and thought about starting to look for a place to set up camp, it was around 2pm. Something in me said NO! ‘Keep going, you told yourself you were going to get to Mobile and you are not quitting until you get there.’ I walked another five miles before I got picked up. Luckily It was only a short 20 miles to Mobile because this guy was weird as hell and I really thought I was going to have to knock him out. Conversation started going south and I told him he needed to drop me off quick fast or else, he obliged. I got out and gave Jazzy J a call. Told her I was in Mobile and wanted to know if her mother was around. Jazzy says, “Give me a a second, I am going to call her right now.” Within five minutes she calls back and tells me her mother is waiting on me and that she was going to have someone come pick me up. Yes! As soon as I get into Ms. Williams house she is showering me with smiles and a lot of love. That home sickness I was feeling earlier is gone. The very next day she reminded me of that conversation we had four years ago. That evening for dinner I tasted collard greens for the first time, and it was made with love. My heart was filled with joy and I was recharged to get back on the road. Ms. Williams dropped me off on the side of Interstate 10 and I got to steppin’. Love!

Hitch Hiking to Mardi Gras

I set out Friday morning from Jennings headed to New Orleans! Kayla was nice enough to drop me off at interstate 10 a few miles from her home. I did not have one care in the world, spectacular feeling! All I knew was that I was heading for New Orleans and it was going to take as long as it took. The sky was a bit overcast and it was humid as hell because it had just rained hard the night previous. The surroundings were beautiful deep greens. My legs were feeling strong and I kept thinking that I could cover a lot of ground before I would have to stop and set up camp. I walked for maybe three miles and a big ford truck pulls over in front of me. The gentleman asks where I am going and tells me throw my bag in the back. He had to have been in his early 60’s and was a fellow Army Vet. He told me he could take me about 60 miles up the way. Awesome! Its about 172 miles from Jennings to New Orleans. We talk a little about hunting, mainly me listening and trying to learn because I know nothing about hunting. As we are driving he gives me a history lesson on points of interest. He points out the shacks on stilts way out in the bayou where people are living like they have for many generations. The swamp looks beautiful and scary at the same time, it being overcast it gives off a scary movie feeling. There is old decaying moss hanging from tree limbs forming ominous creatures, ready to wrap you up and drag you to your deep murky doom. After driving for a bit Rudy says he wants to pull over to the welcome center and get some free coffee. Since I don’t have two pennies to rub that sounds real nice. Inside there is an exhibit about the surrounding bayou and the people and critters that inhabit it. I thought it was pretty awesome, plus I had a legit tour guide. The coffee was a kick in the pants. It is a brand you can only get here in the great state of Louisiana, Community. After a bit Rudy says,”Alright partner, we gotta head out.” Everything Rudy says sounds cool because of his born in Puerto Rico, been living in Louisiana for the last 30 years accent. We get back on the road and before we know it he has arrived at where he needs to be and the end of the line for me. He tries to tell me that you can’t walk on the bridge thats a mile up the way, I tell him I will figure it out. I get back on the highway and start truckin’. I maybe make it 3/4 of a mile and Rudy pulls up,”I got some time, I will take ya cross the bridge to the other side of Baton Rouge.” Whata guy! We get outside and once more we say goodbye. Im back walking down the highway. I walk another four miles and have a bit of a equipment malfunction with my back pack so I hop off the highway towards a gas station to fix it and munch a tuna sandwich I made earlier that morning. A soggy tuna sandwich never tasted so good. Im sitting on the side of the feeder lane for maybe three minutes and another gentleman pulls over and tells me to toss my bag in the truck bed. I am kicking myself for not remembering his name. He tells me he can take me up the road ten miles to Prairie, perfect. During these ten miles we talk about religion. This man has a great heart. Before he drops me off he reaches in the back cab and hands me zip lock bag that has a scripture, tooth paste, new tooth brush, deodorant, and a new wash rag and soap. Blessings bag is written on the outside in magic marker. Wow! I am and continue to feel blessed. I hop out and say our good byes. I walk across and sit on the side of the feeder. I sat there for about an hour with my thumb out watching people smile as they drive by. Right as I’m getting ready to start walking and looking for a place to set up camp, Dan and Toma pull over. I hop in and they ask where I’m headed, ‘New Orleans’. “Thats great, we are headed there too.” They had Reggae playing and Toma is passing me a bottle of wine to swig. It’s about 5pm and I am on my way to Mardi Grais for the first time in my life!!!!!!! We get into the outskirts of New Orleans and they have to drop me at Canal street because they are running late for a prior engagement. I text Renne’ Peggy Savant and tell her I made it to town. She text back, “Come on over we will be waitin’ on the stoop.”…. To be continued!

Moments That Create Connection

My day started out with getting dropped off at interstate 10 right outside of Lake Charles, La. The night prior my brain kept me up. Lots of thoughts running wild and wanting to flow onto paper. Before I knew it was 3:30am and the realization of covering miles on foot in a few hours hit. I woke up around 8:30 and was ready to go.
As I start walking I look to my right, and see a huge open field with soft grass and the sun is beaming down perfectly. I just wanted to be in it for awhile, there is no rush. So I walk into it about 50 yards from the highway and lay down my tent tarp and sleeping bag. It is just as soft as I knew it would be. A few nights prior it rained pretty hard for about 45 minutes giving the earth a feeling of soft squish when I lay down. I cross my hands behind my head and one leg over the other. My eyes close and I am seeing soft red from the sun shining bright down on my eye lids. I begin to taking in deep breaths that fade out the passing traffic, soon asleep and caring of nothing else.
As I have stated in previous posts, things have been going smooth. Life has to shake things up, why not wake up from the nap to another encounter with the cops? Sweet! I slowly get up from my bed and yell to the officer standing on the bridge above,” how are you doing sir?” He yells back, ” Pack your shit and get up here.” I was in such a relaxed state, naturally I took my time. I knew it was going to be a laid back experience with this guy. He didn’t yell at me to hurry up. I got up there and he told me that three people had called and said there was a dead guy laying off on the side of the freeway. Then we proceeded into the normal cop to civilian questions. I told him I was makin’ my way across the souther states via interstate 10. He informed me that it was illegal and that i should go to the truck stop and try and catch a ride there. I walked over to the gas station knowing that as soon as i got some charge in my phone that I would be back on the highway.
I walk back onto the highway headed for Lafayette. Both sides are covered by dense woods that open into huge cow pastures. I am walking with head held high and on a swivel soaking in everything around me. I walked for around a hour and came into contact with Mama Tina, Papa Rudy, and their son Jim. They pull over 100 yards in front of me and throw there extended cab Ford truck in reverse. Jim pops his head out the window and asks if I want a ride. Sure why not. I toss my bag in the bed of the truck and hop in the back with Jim. Tina turns back from the driver seat and says, “Jennings the furthest I can take you.” I have no idea how far or near that is so it is perfectly cool with me. We start to talk and i’m instantly involved with their life. Rudy is telling me about a car accident he had two years ago that almost took his life. They begin to tell me that they have recently taken 17yr old Jim into their home because he has no family to help him. In all this and more they are striving to live with a positive out look.
This family is struggling to make ends meet and they open their home to me and offer to make me a meal. I am blown away! We are, for the moments we have come together, intricately involved in each others life giving each other gifts. As soon as we get in their home Jim starts cleaning the house and then starts cooking. I am sitting at the table with Rudy talking and laughing. He pulls out photos of his granddaughter with a smile and hands them over to me. He begins to tell me stories about his family, some were sad and some happy. I thanked him for opening his home and heart to me. He replied, “Thank you, right before we picked you up my wife and I were about to be in a big fight.” I would have never known that from the way they showed love right from the start. I just felt like there was a lot of love between them.
After being at Rudy’s for a hour Stace and Brandi (aka the modern Bonnie and Clyde)walked in and sat at the table….
I have to get back to walking and figure out where I am going to make camp tonight. So, this story will have to be… Continued next post. LOVE!

Hitch Hiking With Kamy

As I wrote in the hitchhiking post I linked up a ride from Flagstaff into Texas. I had no idea what I was getting into or who I would be meeting. I have found that when you go in with no expectations that you can’t be let down and that it will usually be way better then anything that you could have imagined it would be. I met Kamy in the parking lot of a Wendy’s off the highway in Flagstaff, Az. When she pulled up we both met each other with giant smiles and i think we both instantly knew we were gonna click. I tossed my backpack into the van and as soon as I sat down she smiled and said plans have changed. I replied, ‘Awesome! No worries.’ Initially there was going to be a van load of people and we were going to have to back track to go to Phoenix to pick someone and cut across the States via Interstate 10. Everyone else flaked, it was just her and I. Instead of back tracking we just hopped on the 40 East and said we would figure out the route as we went along. I explained to her that I had no time frame to be anywhere and that I was up for anything. We did not stop talking, instantly connected and felt like there was nothing we couldn’t say. We quickly decided that we didn’t want to drive any faster then 65 mph and that we would stop anytime either of us felt like it. Kamy is 22 years old now and has lived quiet a adventurous life up to this point. She left home at 19 and hopped on a train not knowing where it was going. Since then she has not stopped traveling the states and recently Mexico. Kamy was schooling me to ways of living on the streets, traveling with no money, and further insight to livin’ individual freedom. I was amazed and intrigued by our conversations and we were both learning and feeding off of each other. As the sun began to set, Kamy walked to the back of the van and came back with a Ukulele. I was stoked, I started screwing around with the Ukulele a few months back and love the sounds that come from it. She began to strum… Then she began to sing. One of the most beautiful live voices I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. She has a back round in opera singing and peppers in a pretty awesome rhyme scheme. We freestyled and freestyled not caring about the miles melting behind us. We found a truck stop outside of Gallup, Nm and decided to call it a day and get some rest. I introduced Kamy to the Snapjudgement podcast, storytelling with a beat. I highly recommend everyone check it out, there are some epic stories of Love, Triumph, Defeat, and everything in between. You can hear some stories on snapjudgment.org. I pulled out my sleeping bag and tried to get comfortable in the space given on the floor of the van. That night it got down to 5 degrees F, I could not get warm to save my life. When we woke up the next morning Kamy said that she has a bad itch to hurry up and get to her girlfriend in New Orleans; so we decided to do shifts and drive straight through the night to Houston, Tx. We mad a few stops along the way to stretch and kept on. The following morning i pulled off into a gas station so I could charge my phone for a bit. While I was in charging my phone Kamy was in the parking lot entertaining herself by juggling, she belongs in the circus forsure and I mean that in the best way. While she is juggling a woman comes up and hands her a $20 Subway gift card and says, ‘I don’t know what you need; but I hope this helps.’ Wow! Kamy just has that kind of magnetic way about her. She truly lives with no worries and is thriving doing it. People are amazing and are full of giving love. Wherever that woman is now, thank you. When I met up with my Army buddy Chase in downtown Houston I chucked my stuff in the back of his truck and excused myself. I walked up to Kamy and gave her a huge and thanked her for the ride and new found friendship. She said she does not except thank you and that it is not necessary. Kamy explained that me riding with her was the chance to learn from me and teach me and that was all the thanks that she needed. I will see her again when I get to New Orleans. I can’t wait