Archive for November 22nd, 2008|Daily archive page

Day 110–Bouse, Az

Dan and I had breakfast in Hope and drove back to the start.  I was on the road just before 8 a.m.  Today I seemed to be tired at the start.  It is the 15th day in a row so I guess there is reason to be tired.  Running was not what my legs wanted to do so I walked all day.  At 3 miles I left Hwy 60 and turned onto Arizona 72 toward Parker.  The shoulder immediately got a lot smaller.  The white line at the edge was right at the edge of the road.  I had to be very careful with traffic and watch for passing cars.  They almost never blow their horn and come flying by way too close for my comfort.  After a few miles I noticed a four wheeler trail next to the highway fence about 50 feet off the road.  It was crooked in places and went through the washes adding some ups and downs but much safer.  It must be how lots of locals get to Bouse because it went on for miles and ended in town.  I stayed on the trail and only came out to the road to meet Dan for aid.  We finished with a 25 mile day.  Tomorrow I will do the 27 to our motel in Parker.  It is only a half mile from the bridge over the Colorado River that separates Arizona from California.  

This journey across the U.S. will soon be over.  I have spent many nights in the homes of State Farm insurance agents or in motel rooms provided by the agents at their own expense.  I will contact and thank each of you after I get home but I did want to thank all of you here too.  You have been such a blessing.  I really do think State Farm sends you all to “Nice School” because you are all such good, caring, and generous people.  I might have given up and gone home if I had not connected with you guys in Tennessee.  Then Missouri, Kansas, and Arizona agents all came forward too.  What a story I have to tell about all of you!  Thanks for making my journey comfortable, enjoyable, and successful.  I dedicate today’s run to all of you.

Day 109–3 miles west of Salome, Az


Friday, November 21

I bought Merrie’s plane ticket last night. This morning Dan and I went to Burger King for biscuits and I got online and bought return tickets for Merrie and myself. Now that tickets are bought I have a real schedule. The finish date is December 12. Rick will fly in December 6 and crew me the last week through the finish. Merrie will fly in Thursday, December 11. After the finish Merrie and I will take a few days to look around out here and fly back from Phoenix December 18. I should have no problem meeting the schedule. I have 332 miles to go and 21 days until the finish. The plan calls for only 15 more running days. I am having a hard time believing the end is near.

Today’s run (I can say run again) began at 7:40 a.m. I walked the first two miles and then ran a mile. The rest of the day I continued alternating miles of running and walking. My leg is better than yesterday. I don’t think it is ready for hills again but I have not seen a serious hill in a week. It is hot here. The temperature is mid-80s but the low humidity evaporates any sweat quickly. That is saying a lot for me because I really put out the sweat. The scenery for the days since Phoenix is much the same with little grass but lots of mesquite, creosote bush, and some cactus. I am told there are lots of roadrunners and some javalina here. There must be something because hunting season just opened and the motels are full of hunters. All I have seen is one road-killed roadrunner, a few dead skunks and coyotes. I finished just west of Salome with another 30 mile day.

Today is dedicated to Kathy French (Rick’s wife) and their two sons, Hunter and Parker. Rick is coming back yet again to help me. He has spent a lot of time and money supporting me on this run. None of this would have been possible without the support of his family. When I ran through Taylorsville early in the journey, I stayed at Rick and Kathy’s house. Kathy cooked for me, washed my clothes, drove me out to the course, and was enthusiastic the whole time. Hunter crewed for me in Taylorsville and Missouri. Parker is in college but I did see him a little and he was always encouraging. I joked with Rick that he was spending so much time and money on me that Hunter and Parker must feel that I was their older brother. Never fear guys. This will soon end and you will have your dad back. Thanks for loaning him to me. Kathy, I appreciate all your help and support. Thanks, too, for letting Rick take so much time away to help me. I am in your debt.

Day 108–Aguila, Az

Thursday, November 20

Andy and I slept a bit later this morning since we had a short drive to the start. We went by Burger King for breakfast. I felt like protein this morning so I ordered two egg biscuits with vege-patties on top. While we ate breakfast I posted the latest entries to the journal and checked email. We then headed out to the start and Andy crewed for me until 11 a.m. Dan Hockersmith drove up then. Andy had a plane to catch back to Boston and Dan will crew me into Parker. I will miss Andy. He is one of my best friends and I don’t see him nearly enough. This visit I spent most of my time on the road or in the bed asleep so our visiting took place mostly in the mornings and evenings while he was driving.

During the morning I ran a couple of times for 200 yards or so. It did not feel bad but I was trying to be patient. After noon, though, the walking started to get old. I need miles and running some really helps the numbers at the end of the day. I began on a slightly downhill section and ran a mile. I was careful not to push the pace and to watch my footing. At the end of the mile I went back to walking and could feel no ill effects from the run. I did another mile run followed by a mile walk with the same results. At 5:10 we ended the day just west of Aguila, Arizona with a total of 30 miles. I ran a total of 8 miles of the 30, all of it in the afternoon and my leg seems fine. It’s not 100% yet and I still cannot push off or run uphill but it’s good enough to make a little time of the flats and downhills. The change in pace helps me feel better too.

I have received a number of encouraging emails and phone calls from friends and family since this journey began. Each one helped me keep going. I saved many of the emails in a “motivational” folder and would read them when I was discouraged. Thanks to each of you who took the time to write or phone me. I dedicate today to all of you.