Saturday, October 20, 2018

United States 2010-2011

View All Articles - Weeks 1-16, 2011

Weeks 1 - 2, 2010 Page, Az to Gallup, New Mexico, 11-10 to 11-23-2010, 260 miles, 21,880 total world walk miles.

Great to be back on the road walking again. I always feel more alive when I am out on my own walking, camping, and seeing new sights everyday. Everyday is an adventure walking the road. All the exercise gets more blood and oxygen to my brain and stimulates my thoughts. All kinds of neat ideas and thoughts percolate through my mind.

My body feels better with all the fresh air, exercise, and constant stimulation. My right heel is still a little sore, but not really slowing me down. I bruised it this summer playing kickball with some kids. Googled it and all the symptoms match Planter Facititis. Bruising of the ligament that runs from the toe to the heel. So I do two stretches every morning that they show, and inserted soft gel heel pads in my shoes.

Gary Walkingman Hause 2011 Camped next to a small Navajo roadside jewelry stand 10 miles south of Page on my first night out. Pete stopped by in a truck to check me out in the morning. It was his stand and he lived just up the dirt road and over the hill. He brought me a hot cup of coffee, biscuits, ham, and some candy for breakfast. Lots of nice Navajo, Hopi, and other people are stopping every day to give me food, water, advice, and just ask me what I am up to. So far I have been given tamales, powered milk, pizza, soup, cookies, candy, chicken, corn, zucchini, sweet tea, water, and chips. Everybody just seems to want to give me whatever they have in their car, and some people go to stores and buy me hot food to bring back. Sure are lots of nice people out there. I guess some people think I am a homeless wanderer, othesr must think I am skinny and need some good solid food in me. I have gone from 187 pounds to 178 in the last two weeks. I have plenty of food and water with me, but always nice to get extra treats. The area I am going through has long distances between towns, and sometimes only a small gas station/store with limited choices and high prices. Have not seen any good road kill yet, but every once in a while I find good food still in an unbroken package.

Coming in to Window Rock, Arizona, a local couple invited me to stay over with them and have a home cooked dinner, hot shower, and sleep inside on what turned out to be a really cold night. All my water bottles were frozen solid in the morning, so maybe 20F. I usually bring 2 liters of water inside my tent every night and wrap them in some clothes to keep them from freezing. Slept next to a nice warm coal and wood stove inside. Always nice to stay with a local couple. I guess something about the strangeness of me pushing that cart with the world walk sign causes people to stop and help me out.

Summer Seschillie from the Navajo Times Newspaper walked with me for about 4 miles and asked lots of questions. The paper comes out on Thursdays, so maybe the December 2nd edition will have a story in it. Not sure if they have a website edition, will have to Google it. She said her feet were kind of sore, not having walked 4 miles in her Uggs before.

Pickup truck with a camera man from AAA Presents Highroads with Don Davis stopped to interview me. December 4th, Saturday afternoon on NBC channel 12 in Phoenix Arizona is the tentative airing date. Or you can view it afterwards on their website at www.aaa.com/highroads .

Weather has been pretty good so far. Mostly sunny crisp days, 50F to 70F, with cool nights, 20F to 40F. Two days of cold blowing snow were not too bad as they were tailwinds. I stay pretty warm inside my bag and tent, with a hot dinner and breakfast from my stove inside me. Usually on a cold night I gather wood and preset a fire to light in the morning. I have plenty of warm clothes, but my toes are usually a little cold in the morning. It takes about an hour of walking, or a campfire to warm them up. One day with a 25mph tailwind, I got hit in the back with something. I jumped up in the air about two feet till I realized it was a giant tumbleweed. They are mostly about 2 or 3 feet around, but this one was about 5 feet around. They only weigh a pound or two, but are pretty sharp and really startle you when they hit you.

One day near Ganado, Arizona I stopped for a break and a snack. A small puppy begged for some food, so I gave him a cookie. When I took off he followed me, even though I told him to stay. I guess he is a stray Rez dog. With no home or steady food supply, I guess he wants me to adopt him. He followed me all day and slept just outside my tent door under the rain fly. He seems to know about cars and stays mostly on the shoulder. His choice to come with me, I am worried about him getting hit. But I believe in free will and not tying up dogs when out in the country. Almost lost him in Window Rock, lots of stray dogs around any food store on the Rez. But just as I was leaving town he found me. Just outside of town the road turned into 2 lanes both ways with a median and lots of fast traffic(65mph). He must have smelled some food in the median, because he ran over to check it out and got hit by a big pickup truck. He got ran over by both big tires, squashed pretty bad. No life in him, so I dragged him over to the side and put him in the tall grass and wished him well wherever he was going. Nice to have him with me for a couple days, just too dangerous to have a dog with me on the road.

Into Gallup, New Mexico now for supplies, groceries, laundry, wi-fi at Arbys, and misc. Hopefully I will get invited to thanksgiving dinner by somebody tomorrow. Big winter storm is also blowing in tonight and tomorrow, so I might stay an extra night here. Just heard the prediction is 6F, 35 to 50 mph winds, and 3 or 4 inches of snow. So I found a good place to camp among some juniper trees and gathered a bunch of firewood for the morning.

Headed south and east for Roswell, New Mexico. Email me with any questions or comments about my walk. Always happy to hear from anybody interested in my walk. Wi-Fi spots are few and far between in the desert southwest, so it might be a while before I answer you though. Just be patient, as I always reply to every email. I got about 90 do not delete replies back out of the 150 addresses I sent my pre walk article out to. I have not deleted the 60 people I have not heard back from yet, but I will try to soon.

Keep on Walking, Life is Amazing, Singing Zippity Do Dah, All Day Long.

Gary "Walkingman" Hause.

 

Weeks 3-4, 2010 Gallup, New Mexico, to Socorro, New Mexico. 11-24 to 12-7-2010, 241 miles, 22,201 Total World Walk Miles.

Lots of cold snowy weather these last two weeks. Coldest was -4F/-20C on Thanksgiving night in Gallup. They had predicted 35 to 50 mph winds, snow, and sub zero temps. Luckily no wind or snow, and I was warm enough with all wool pants, sweater, hat, socks and gloves on inside my sleeping bag. After my hot coffee and oatmeal Inside my tent I lit my preset fire outside and warmed up nice. I have to bring all my plastic one liter water bottles inside my tent on freezing nights. Any I leave outside get frozen solid. I usually pack them inside my white 10 gallon plastic bucket surrounded with clothes. On a freezing day I sometimes have to stop at a house or gas station to use hot tap water to unfreeze them. I might try warming a rock in the fire and wrapping it in an old shirt and placing that in with the bottles.

Gary Walkingman HauseHad two nice Thanksgiving dinners in Gallup. First one was handed to me on a to go plate from a pickup truck. A local couple was driving around passing out dinners to homeless people. Then a homeless man told me they were having a Thanksgiving dinner at a local business, and everyone was welcome. A local business woman hosts it every year or two to give back to the community. Shinasha Benally the owner came over with some of her kids to chat and took some photos that I included. They also gave me some turkey to go that I used with my ramen noodles and eggs for my dinner later that night. The kids had lots of questions about my walk and Ethan and Megan signed my witness book. Great Thanksgiving in Gallup.

One of the men I talked to at the dinner pulled over a couple days later south of Gallup and invited me to spend the night at his sheep camp. His camp was just half a mile off the main road nestled among some juniper trees. There was 70 sheep in the corral for the night, 2 dogs, and a small trailer with wood stove. Lennert "Waa-chit Boy" Tso chopped up some firewood and stoked the wood stove up to warm up the trailer. He was just moving in for a 4 month winter job of guarding and grazing the herd of sheep. Lennert also carved walking sticks and other pieces for sale in town. When I left in the morning he gave me a nice stick carved with eagle heads and other designs. Cold, windy, snowy day as I left. Long cold walk to Fence Lake and my water bottles all froze. Luckily I found a house where a man let me unfreeze them using his hot tap water.

Gary Walkingman HauseLocal Navajo man stopped to chat and showed me an article with a photo of me in the Navajo Times newspaper. I checked the website, www.navajotimes.com but could not find it yet. Will have to check it again soon. I was also able to see the "AAA Highroads with Don Davis" TV show they had on NBC in Phoenix on channel 12. It is cached at their website where you can see it at www.aaa.com/highroads (choose the Dec 4th show and it is about 17 minutes into the show).

Two French Canadians bicycle tourists stopped to chat on their ride from Quebec to L.A. they had lots of questions on how I could walk and bicycle around the world for 30 years. I told them I just worked half the year in a national park and saved and invested 90 percent of what I made. They said they saw a crazy Polish man running around the world just a day ago. Sure enough I ran into him a couple days later pulling a 3 wheel cart. Piotr Kurylo was running or walking around the world for peace. www.runforthepeace.com is his website. He was talking Polish on his cell phone when I met him, and I do not think he knew much English , so I just took a quick photo of his rig, and tried pulling it. His front wheel pivoted and was attached to a 3 foot long pole that strapped around his waist with a thin nylon belt. Hard to pull and not very comfortable. I would have at least had a shoulder strap attachment to spread the weight better. It also felt like he had a lot more gear and supplies then me, maybe 150 to 200 pounds compared to my 75 to 100 pounds. I tried designing a pull cart like his, but found pushing a three wheel cart safer and easier. Lot easier to jump out of the way if a car is coming at you. With a belt you have to fumble to unhook before jumping. He was also walking with traffic as opposed to my preferred method of walking facing traffic. I feel much safer being able to see every car and driver coming at me and looking them in the eye. To many people using cellphones, drinking, and driving distracted to suit me. I also have a rear view mirror so I can keep track of people coming up behind me passing on my side. He was also headed up into higher colder elevations. I would have recommended he head further south for the crossing to the west coast. Much warmer along Interstate 10 and 8 through Tucson and Yuma. He seemed to be pretty busy on his phone and did not have time to talk. I wished him good luck on his walk or run. One police officer that stopped me said the law in New Mexico was to walk with traffic. I told him every state I had checked was bicycle with traffic and walk facing traffic. Been trying to check on the web, but no luck yet finding the law here in New Mexico yet. I like to have it written out ahead of time for when the police stop me. Most officers do not know that law as they hardly ever see somebody walking on the road. Maybe drunks, crazy people, escaped convicts, illegal aliens, and other undesired types. So most cops are usually kind of hesitant when they approach me, not knowing what to expect from me. So I always try to be polite and listen to what they have to say. Most are nice back to me and sometimes ask if I have enough food and water. I think only once was a cop rude to me, and one pulled a gun on me. As long as you are nice to them they are usually nice to you. They have a tough job and it is foolish to talk back or be rude to a police officer.

One man stopped to chat on a cold, windy, snowy day. He asked if I was okay and if I needed any food or water. I told him I was fine and had plenty of supplies. Usually I can walk with just my wool pants, long sleeved shirt, light wind breaker, hat, and gloves on a cold windy day. My body generates so much heat walking that any more clothes just overheats me. He gave me three emergency food packs just in case. The nuts and cranberries were good, but the spaghetti and meat sauce was kind of gross. It came with a bag of sea water to pour in a pouch with a chemical heat pack. It warmed it up to kind of lukewarm, but it was pretty cold and windy that day.

Actor Tim Culbertson from Hill Street Blues stopped to chat. He was traveling the country in a camper van with his cat and writing a book about it from the cats point of view. He gave me a bunch of food, his brother phone number in Socorro, and took a few photos. Then he left his camera on my baby jogger and took off. Luckily he noticed and came back an hour later to get it back.

Passed over the Continental Divide near Pie Town, New Mexico. It was 7,996 feet in elevation, but just a few small hills, mostly flat prairie there. A few people had told me about the Toaster House in Pie Town. So I stopped by to check it out, about 12 toasters on the front gate. The side door was open, with a note saying the owner was in Hawaii for the winter, but feel free to stay. Food in the kitchen, wood by the wood stove, outhouse out back, water and electric turned off for the winter. Lots of extra beds to sleep in, plenty of books and magazines to read or trade. Big share box on the porch for stuff people left behind of traded for. The neighbors kept an eye on the house, but lots of people hiking on the divide trail, and biking through would stop and stay. It must be listed in hiking and biking books. Also stopped by at the Pie Town Cafe, 15 different types of pie, fresh baked. I went for a soup and grilled cheese by the wood stove. Seems like most small town caves and general stores have a wood stove going and some chairs to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee and chat with the locals. An old man (at least 85) came in for lunch wearing cowboy hat, cowboy boots, vest, jeans, and a old colt 45 gun slung low in his holster. Lots have locals have rifles in their trucks to shoot coyotes, wolfs, deer, rattlesnakes, outlaws, and what ever else that threatens them or their ranch. He is the first I saw wearing a handgun besides the police though. Had a nice cup of coffee in Quemado in front of the stove with the owner on a cold morning. Bunch of men drinking coffee and talking guns and hunting.

Down out of the hills and into the Rio Grande River Valley now at Socorro, New Mexico. I think I have left most of the cold weather and snow behind me. I had planned on going east through Roswell, New Mexico, but it looks like I would have had to climb up into higher elevations again. So I am headed south for El Paso where it should be lower elevations and warmer weather. Will walk near Interstate 10 till Van Horn, Texas. Then take route 90 all the way across to Houston and into Louisiana. Took me 4 weeks to cross Texas on my first walk across the USA back in 1996. That was when I was younger and averaged 28 miles per day, at my slower 20 miles per day it should take 5 or 6 weeks to cross.

Having a great walk so far, meeting lots of nice people and seeing lots of great sights. Email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or from my website at www.walkingman.org if you have any questions or comments.

Keep on Walking, Life is Amazing, Singing Zippity Do Dah, All Day Long.

Gary "Walkingman" Hause.

 

Weeks 5-6, 2011 Soccoro New Mexico to El Paso Texas, 12-8 to 12-19-2010, 203 miles, 22,404 total world walk miles.

SocorroNewMexico_wk5-6aMuch nicer days (50F to 75F), and nights (32F to 50F) now that I am lower in elevation and further south along the Rio Grande river valley. Straight narrow local road with a slight downhill slope as I head to El Paso Texas. Passed through the Bosque Apache Wilderness Preserve where I saw a lot of Sandhill Cranes, geese, ducks, and other migratory birds that either pass through on their migration or spend the winter. With the river dammed and all the new farm fields some of the birds are staying all winter and eating grain and other crops. They lost a lot of marsh habitat, but a few preserves have been set up for them.

Mostly Pecan tree groves, chili peppers, cotton, hay, and a few other crops in this area. One man in a grove came over to give me a bag of pecans from his trees. I talked to another man at the Hatch Senior center who invited me in for coffee and told me a little about his grove of 25 pecan trees. Most groves have no trespassing and no nut picking signs posted. One night I did find a grove with no signs and camped on a nice bed of soft pecan leaves. He said he had his whole crop picked and bagged, when they were stolen one night.

Stopped at the Santa Fe Diner and truck stop (an actual old Santa Fe Railroad Dinning Car with various additions). Two truck drivers came in for lunch and asked me lots of questions about my walk. People often ask what my most unique or strange experience was. So I usually tell them about all the nice people that invite me in for a home cooked meal. The family in Turkey that sacrificed a goat for a fresh BBQ lunch was probably the most unique. So the truckers offered to buy me lunch there. Junior Saavedry was hauling cattle for his Fort Worth Cattle Co. The two waitresses Joyce and Elaine were real nice and had lots of questions for me to.

As I was passing through the small town of Arrey New Mexico, a lady stopped to chat and invited me to stay the night at her small desert homestead. Maritza and Eric had 5 acres that they had been working on for 13 years. Hand built adobe house, garden, chickens, solar water pump, wood stove, kerosene lanterns, greenhouse, and no utilities. Nice vegie dinner of lentils, rice, beans, tomatoes, pecans, tea, and dried fruit. All either grown by them or bartered for from local friends I think. Very simple inexpensive and satisfying lifestyle. No computers or electronic gadgets, although they did go to the local library to use the computer and get online.

As I was shopping at a thrift store in Truth or Consequences New Mexico, a local man invited me to stay at his place for a home cooked dinner and hot shower. Chet was 88 years old and just recently got a fixer up house to work on. He had some health problems that landed him in a nursing home which he did not like at all. He was able to go through the government to get a first time buyer loan. Chet said he has worked in construction all his life all over the world and had lots of interesting stories to tell me. He said he worked for Armand Hammer of Occidental Petroleum over in Russia for a while and got to fly on his private jet. Chet said he always took a bunch of trunks of trade goods with him to give to locals. There was always quite a bit of corruption and theft in the construction business and he found it easier to get important stuff back by trading for it.

SocorroNewMexico_wk5-6bAnother dog tried to follow me near Arrey. I thought he was tied up in front of a house, but somehow he must have slipped his collar and followed me down a dirt road back to the main highway. He was a Husky sled dog, so I thought he would probably have taken right to helping me pull my stroller. I did not want to be responsible for another dog getting hit by a car though. Plus I was pretty sure he belonged to that house that he was sitting in front of. So I yelled at him a lot, threw stones at him, and tried to get him to turn back home. Finally lost him by a store while I was inside.

Lots of border patrol agents as I get closer to the Mexico border. One agent stopped to check if I needed any food or water. Vegetation changed to mostly just desert Creosote bushes as I get away from the irrigated farm fields. Pretty quite and peaceful on the local roads away from the busy Interstate highway. Lots of stars to see at night and you can hear an occasional owl hooting.

Found a Ci Ci's pizza buffet as I was coming into El Paso Texas. My favorite pizza buffet with salad, desert pizzas, soup, pasta, and great pizza. Checked out their website and found their store locator app so I can find one every once in a while.

Stopping in El Paso for a week. I have been invited to spend Christmas with my girlfriend and her family back in Page Arizona. So I found a hostel and stayed the night there. They have a storeroom in the basement where I can leave my baby jogger while I am gone. Got a round trip bus ticket, so I will be back in El Paso December 28th to pick up my baby stroller and continue walking east along Interstate 10 for Van Horn Texas, and then southeast on route 90 for San Antonio, Houston, and into Louisiana.

Email me with questions or comments by clicking on reply or from my website at www.walkingman.org .

Keep on Walking, Life is Amazing, Singing Zippity Do Dah All Day Long.

Gary "Walkingman" Hause.

 

Weeks 7-8, 2011 El Paso to Marathon Texas, 12-28-2010 to 1-10-2011, 260 miles, 22,664 total world walk miles.

Walkingman Weeks 7-8 2011Picked up my Runabout Stroller at the El Paso International Youth Hostel and started walking again. Nice week off spending Christmas back in Page Arizona with my girlfriend and her family. I think I traveled 700 miles in 12 hours on the bus to cover about the same distance that took me 40 days to walk. Stocked up with water and food and headed southeast on the local road route 20 that follows Interstate 10. Lots of dusty farm fields and dusty pecan groves along the Rio Grande River. One day the wind picked up to 35 to 50 mph with lots of blowing sand and tumbleweeds. Had to sit it out behind an old building and take my contacts out. Once I get sand in my eyes and under my contacts I can not see very well. Just laid out my tarp and sleeping bag to lay on for a while, but it just kept getting worse and the sand was coating me. So I set up my tent early and got into make some hot supper. I guess a storm was blowing in, because as soon as I got in
my tent it started raining, then sleeting, then snow, getting colder all the time.

No dead firewood around to collect for my morning fire, but luckily there was a gas station/cafe just down the road a couple hundred yards. So I went in to Wenchos Cafe/Gas station and had a cup of hot coffee and sat around for a while to warm up. The owner brought out a plate of toasted bread with beans, cheese, bacon bits, and potato bits for me. He said no charge and gave me back the 95 cents I gave him for coffee. Kind of like they were tipping me for coming in to eat. I guess on a cold morning people see me all bundled up and pushing my cart, and they must think I am a homeless person down on my luck, freezing and hungry.

Lots of Border Patrol agents passing me every day now as I am quite close to the border. They usually pass me by during the day when I am walking, but stop and check up on me when they see me camped out at night. I have been camping between the local road and the railroad tracks that run about 100 feet away. There is a small dirt road in-between that they patrol on every night looking for aliens and their footprints. No place for me to hide my tent, hardly any bushes or trees out here on the Texas plains, so I have been hanging my green reflective vest on the jogger so they can see me and not run me over. They usually spotlight me, and I unzip my tent and wave and tell them I am an American. They usually ask if I am okay and if I need any food or water. Lots of aliens die out here in the desert trying to make it to the promised land. Passed one checkpoint on Interstate ten where they had all kinds of cameras, thermal and or infrared cameras, and satellite links to check for aliens in vehicles. Also passed a big grey blimp tethered 1000 feet in the sky probably loaded with high tech equipment to scan for aliens. All the agents have been real nice.

Walkingman Weeks 7-8 2011Long 75 mile stretch between Van Horn and Marfa with only one small ghost town. So I loaded up with 14 liters of water, and enough food for 4 or 5 days. My Runabout Stroller (www.bergdesigns.net) handles the extra weight with no problem. It still is pretty easy to push with just one hand on the flats and 2 hands going up hills. I passed through Valentine and all the stores, cafes, and gas stations were closed and boarded up. Only the post office and the library were open. So I checked my email at the library and the nice library lady even made me a cup of coffee and a couple corn dogs. Nice old stone cottage that was donated by a local ladies family to be turned into a library. Into Marfa with 2 liters of water left and plenty of food. Been listening to the local NPR station KRTS, for the last 4 or 5 days. So I stopped in to compliment them on their station, and they invited me back into the studio to interview me. The KRTS website indicates that they broadcast the interview on Friday’s edition of Talk at Ten at 10 AM and 6:30 PM.

A local lady from Alpine stopped to chat and invited me to camp in her backyard and have a hot bath and home cooked meal. She had a big garden in her back yard, and made a great fresh salad from all the lettuce and herbs she grew. She also told me about a neat hostel in the next town of Marathon where hikers and bikers can stay free. So I stopped into www.lalomadelchivo.com hostel for a look see. They have a big garden, and various houses built out of different types of materials like adobe, papercrete, earth bags, bottles and cans, and recycled wood. Anybody can come and stay a while and experiment with building, gardening, alternative energy, or whatever else they feel like doing. It is loosely connected with www.couchsurfing.org and www.warmshowers.org, two travel groups you can join and stop in to have a place to stay free. Another cold front blew in and dropped temps down to 20F at night. So I stayed an extra night and explored around. Lots of ice and snow just one or two states east of me in the southeast.

A couple people have been telling me there is a man ahead of me walking cross country pulling a rickshaw. I heard about Allie (www.rickshawroadtrip.com) last year when I was walking through Yuma Arizona. I guess he has been going pretty slow and stopping a lot to stay with people. He also has had a lot of bad luck, getting hit by cars twice, injured by a beer bottle thrown at him, and attacked by Javalinas (wild pigs). I guess a pack attacked him and tore him up pretty bad. He had to spend quite a while in a VA hospital back in El Paso. He pulls a rickshaw loaded with 400 pounds of gear.

I am headed east for Del Rio and San Antonio on route 90. Email me with questions or comments by clicking on reply or from my website at www.walkingman.org.

Keep on Walking, Life is Amazing, Singing Zippity Do Dah All Day Long.

Gary "Walkingman" Hause.

 

Weeks 9-10, 2011 - Marathon to San Antonio, Texas. 1-10-2011 t0 1-24-2011, 282 miles, 22,946 Total world walk miles.

Still cold every night (20 to 40F) and warmer days (40 to 65F). So I am still collecting firewood every night and pre-laying a fire to light in the morning. Border Patrol checks up on me just about every morning when they see my fire and some times I hear them slow down at night and check me out. No place to hide on the plains, so I usually hang my reflective vest on my stroller so they can see me at night. I figure no illegal alien is going to be so visible at night. Camping between the road and the fence with maybe only a bush or small tree to hide my tent a little. No rain in west Texas since August I hear, so a burn ban sign is open on every county line sign usually. I am real careful to drench my fire with water and then smother it with dirt to hide the scar. I like to leave my campground looking like no one was there. One Ranger stopped to check me out early in the morning by my fire. But he did not seem to mind as long as I was real careful about putting it out.

West Texas is pretty hot and dry most of the time. Mostly creosote bushes, sagebrush, cactus, cattle, sheep, deer, armadillo, coyote's, and lots of big ranch's. I should be crossing into east Texas pretty soon. Warm, muggy, and wetter then the west. Interstate 35, which connects Dallas, Waco, Austin, and San Antonio seems to be the dividing line between West and East Texas.

Once in a while I take a siesta in the afternoon on the roadside grass if I am tired. I pull out my sleeping bag and lay down for an hour or two and usually lay out my tent to dry also. Usually I get a couple cops or Border Patrol that stop to see if I am okay. I do not know what the country is coming to if you can not take a nap on the roadside without be bothered (ha-ha, just kidding). They are usually pretty nice and check to see if I need any food or water. I think they assume I am a homeless bum down on my luck. One man offered me an electric coffee maker. I have been thinking about putting an electrical outlet in my tent for coffee, popcorn maker, TV, space heater, refrigerator, microwave oven, hot tub, water bed, and other miscellaneous must have items for camping. Feel free to make suggestions for other stuff you think I should put in my tent. But then I would have to get a really long extension cord to make it work (ha-ha). I also would have to build a bigger cart. I saw one down in Central America made out of a pickup truck bed. It had a big load of iron rebar (maybe 2000 pounds) and two men were pushing it. I would add a third wheel on the front to make it more stable and easier to push. I figure I could go from a 120 pound payload on my Runabout Stroller to a 2000 to 3000 pound payload. Might have to add some help pushing it though, maybe get at least one sled dog to hitch to the front. I did hook up Tim Tam, a dog that joined my walk for 3 days down in Australia that was pretty good at pulling. Might be too big though, maybe I will try to build a mini sheep camp trailer first. Three 26 inch mountain bike wheels, some angle iron and conduit pipe, and 2 sheets of plywood to build a wagon box should be enough materials. Then some canvas to make a wagon cover like the old Conestoga or Boer treks wagons of old. I was thinking of making the bed 6 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 2 feet deep. Will draw up some plans and work on it this summer at Lake Powell Resort. Page, Arizona. Plan on going back to work there by about April 1st. I could even add a small electric motor from a little Razor Electric Scotter I saw in the store. Add a solar panel on top of wagon, and a drop down platform I could step on to ride when I get tired, but that would be cheating and I would not get as much exercise. Always coming up with ideas when I am walking.

One couple stopped to give me a hot cup of coffee, 2 warm bean tacos, 2 MRE's, and a candy bar. They had seen my fire as they drove out of their ranch and were concerned that I must be cold and hungry. I had camped in a little overgrown corner of their ranch with and old broken windmill, 2 cement water tanks, and a water trough. Going through Bracketville the city manager Henry Garcia stopped to chat and offered to buy me lunch in Julia's Mexican Cafe. The local editor of "The Good News Newspaper" was also there to interview me. I always thought that would be a good idea to have a TV, Radio, or Newspaper devoted just to good news. Media now seems to cover mostly bad news and they always over sensationalize it. Had a great big chicken and veggie omelet, potatoes, toast, and big bowl of chips and salsa. The editor also told me to stop in at the Hondo newspaper as they also wanted to interview me. Sandy Hutson emailed me to give a talk about my world walk to her 4Th grade class in Hondo also. The students had lots of good questions, and presented me with a couple trail mix bars and some nice drawings they had done of me walking. They had gone on my website and liked seeing my Youtube video, music video, and NBC video. I always enjoy inspiring students to turn off the TV and computer and go outside and bike, walk, and have an adventure. The human body is amazing and you can do and see amazing things out in the real world. I just heard an article on NPR Radio about the "Second Life Computer Game". It's amazing how much time and effort people waste on these games. They seem to lose touch with reality and get addicted. Causes all kinds of trouble with spouses, family, jobs, and life in general. Its not real people, go outside and experience nature, its a lot healthier and satisfying.
Hondo News Article p1 / Hondo News Article p2

As I was coming through Sanderson (the cactus capital of the world) Jeff Alexander stopped to talk and bought me lunch at the local mimi-mart. I asked him if there was a bigger store where I could buy fruit and yogurt. He said no, but right away called up a friend of his (Mrs Hinkle) and asked her to bring over a big bag of fruit and other goodies for me. Jeff had walked across the USA pulling a little red wagon (www.LRWT.word press.com), and knew a little kindness can really make your day. So next time you see a walker, bicycle tourist, or homeless person, consider offering them some food or a home cooked meal. It will really make their day. I always try to have extra apples, bananas or fig bars to offer homeless people when they ask me for spare change.

Tony the Vet stopped to chat with me in Del Rio. Tony is walking across the USA raising money for veterans (www.tonythevet.org) . He had his cat with him in his van. I think he had some problems with his knee and lost his support driver also. So I think he is taking a break and healing up for a while. A man I visited in Dublin Ireland is running around the world now (www.theworldjog.com) . Tony Mangan started running in the U.K. and Ireland, and now is running through Canada and the USA. I will see if I can meet up with somewhere on the east coast in the spring.

Heading east on route 90 for Houston and Louisiana now. Email me with any questions or comments by clicking on reply.

Keep on Walking, Life is Amazing, Singing Zippity Do Dah All Day Long.

Gary "Walkingman" Hause.

Extra from weeks 9-10: Letter from a class that Gary spoke to.
"Mrs. Hutson’s 4th grade class had a great visit with the Walking man, Gary Hause. He stopped off at Woolls Intermediate and visited with the class in the garden area. He showed the students everything he carries on his cart, and how he is able to survive in a camping situation for 6 months out of the year. He told us about all the places he has traveled and the people he’s encountered. He said people along the way have been very generous and supportive. Gary also said he has learned that if you approach people with a positive attitude, they will respond positively. He shared some of his creative ideas and spoke to students about writing in his journal. He writes down everything interesting that happens, and records his thoughts about his adventures for publication on his website: www.walkingman.org.
The students really enjoyed their visit with the “Walkingman” and plan on keeping up with his journey through email and logging onto his webpage."

 

Weeks 11-12, 2011 Near San Antonio Texas to Houston Texas, 1-25-2011 to 2-7-2011, 278 miles, 23,224 Total World Walk Miles.

JanaksMarketinTexas_wk11-12Finally warming up in south Texas. Had my first warm muggy night at about 65 F. Left the rainfly off my tent so I could see the stars and moon through the mosquito net roof. Warm enough to sleep in my cotton sleep sack on top of my sleeping bag. Only two nights of warm weather though, and then another cold front came south and plunged temps down to 20F at night and 40F during the day. A little bit of freezing rain one night and froze my rainfly solid with ice. Must have been the coldest and iciest night in south Texas for a long time as many people stopped to see if I was okay and gave me water, food, and offers of coats and rides. I have plenty of warm clothes, food, and experience on how to walk in cold weather though. It is actually easier to stay warm in cold weather by wearing the right layers of wool and goretex, than to cool off in hot weather. The human body generates a lot of heat walking as long as you are in shape and eating a well balanced diet. In hot weather I have to wear a sun robe made out of a bed sheet and a wet washcloth under my hat to keep reasonably cool. Only one hot day over 70F so far down here in south Texas. Which is fine with me, I like 50 to 65F degree days to walk in best.

Stopped at the Sandy Creek Country Store just outside of Sheridan Texas one late afternoon. Couple men sitting in chairs around a small table invited me to join them and have a cup of hot coffee. Punkie wanted to treat me to a sandwich, chips, and a dessert. So I lingered inside and had a nice chat with the locals. Camped right across the street in the woods so I could come back in the morning for hot coffee. I usually make my own cup of instant coffee on my stove, but nice to sit inside and have a cup of real coffee. Roads were pretty icy though, and the radio said many schools and businesses were not opening till later in the day. Store was not open yet so I kept on walking. Still below freezing so I had to run a little bit to warm up my toes. Stopped around 10am to make a small fire by a dead tree and heat up some water for coffee. One man stopped to see if I was okay, and another man stopped with a big bag of food from Leah back at the Sandy Creek Country Store. The man said she had seen me out in front of the store in the morning and was sorry she had not opened up on time. Another lady stopped with a big bag of McDonalds food and coffee. I always get the most people stopping on really cold or rainy days to see if I am okay and give me food or drink.

Stopped in at the Janak Country Store to warm up and get some coffee one cold day. Free coffee and when Marianne the clerk found out I was walking around the world she offered to treat me to a free sandwich. So I listened to Polka music on the local radio station and had a nice BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwich. She also gave me a big care package with smoked sausage, jerky, cheese, and carmel corn. Real nice lady, also took some photos and emailed them to me (see attachments).

One afternoon the radio was predicting 40mph gusts and 20F temps for the night. So I stopped a little early and found a protected campsite in the corner of a hayfield behind a big tree. I only camp in the woods or a field with no fence around it. But I guess somebody saw me collect a big pile of firewood and called the hayfield owner. He stopped by later with a local sheriff to talk with me. He said there was a burn ban on, and that he was concerned about a grass fire with all his hay bales down in the corner of the field. They said it was okay for me to camp here, but no fires in the morning. So I thanked them and said I had my stove inside to cook my dinner and breakfast, and would not have a campfire in the morning. Ranchs and farms nowadays are so big that it really is hard to find an owner to ask. Used to be farms were 160 acres and the farm house was right there visible from the road. Now lots of small farms have gone bankrupt, and been consolidated into bigger and bigger farms. So if there is no fence I just camp and no farmer has ever asked me to leave. My toes were pretty cold in the morning without a fire to warm them up. So I walked and ran back 3 miles to the last gas station to warm up instead of going forward 15 miles to the next town. A campfire in the morning makes all the difference when I am breaking camp and packing up. Humankind has been sitting around fires for hundreds of thousands of years warming up, cooking food, singing, telling story's, and just having a good time. So campfires are just naturally pleasing to have. Always funny when I see one of those fake heaters or DVD's with a campfire video on it.

Big wagon train passed me headed for San Antonio. They had about 10 modern Connestoga Wagons pulled by mules or horses, and about 30 cowboys and cowgirls riding alongside. The lead wagon's mules were shying away from me, so I pulled way over on the grass verge and stayed still to let them pass. Some of the wagons had plastic windscreens so the driver could sit inside in a chair and stay protected from the weather. Rubber auto tires also instead of old style wooden wagon wheels. I think it was run by a commercial company as I saw a horse trailer truck following them with "Texas Trail Rides" printed on the side. One man I asked said they were coming from Altair and headed to San Antonio, about a 150 mile trip. I would like to build something similar, like a mini 3 wheel sheep camp or connestoga wagon.

Weighed myself at one truck stop old style weight scale. Down from when I left Arizona 20 pounds from 190 to 170. Luckily I was able to find a Ci-Ci's Pizza Buffet to gain some weight back. I can usually gain maybe 3 or 4 pounds eating all their yummy pizza, honey buns, salad, and dessert pizza. Had to lay down under a big shady oak tree and nap for two hours until I had digested some of it though.

Stopped at the Alamo as I was passing through San Antonio. A Texas Ranger asked me to move away from the entrance with my Runabout Stroller though. They must be afraid I could be a suicide bomber. Not sure if I would be able to walk through Israel with my stroller. I had already been inside and seen it before, so I just kept on moving through the city. Big cities usually overwhelm me with all the noise, traffic, people, and bad sidewalks, so I usually try and pass through as fast as possible.

Amazing thing now with smart phones is that a lot of people see my "World Walk" sign on the front of my stroller, and pull up my website. Many people have turned around and came back to talk to me after seeing my website on their smartphone. Just a couple years back I would get emails from people saying they saw my sign and pulled up my website on their computer when they got home, and then said they wished they would have stopped to talk to me. I have my Apple iPad with me now and really enjoy how easy to use it is. Usually stop at McDonalds or a Library to use their wi-fi to connect to the web. Still trying to get the hang of all the tricks of using Apple after being on Windows computers for so long.

Into Houston Texas where I had a nice stay with Luke, a www.warmshowers.org member. Nice hot shower, got to do laundry, and play with his cat. Nice to be able to look up members on their website and call local people to stay with.

Headed east on route 90 for Lake Charles Louisiana. Email me with any questions or comments.

Keep on Walking, Life is Amazing, Singing Zippity Do Dah All Day Long.

Gary "Walkingman" Hause

 

Weeks 13-14, 2011 Houston Texas to Baton Rouge Louisiana, 2-8-2011 to 2-21-2011, 290 miles, 23,514 total world walk miles.

Gary_with_Milts_gearWarm, muggy, and misty just about every morning now. Takes a couple hours for the mist and fog to burn off. A few mosquito's in the evening when I set up my tent and get inside. Have to kill a few that follow me inside. Lots of swamps and long bridges once I crossed into Louisiana. One bridge was 4 miles long with swamp and cedar trees below. Lots of tall pine trees provide nice shade on the south side of the road. So as long as there is a good wide shoulder to walk on, I use the shady side of the road.

Passing a few places I recognize from my first walk across the USA back in 1996. Here are a couple articles I wrote from that walk. See US 1996-1997

Met another walker on the road pushing a cart. Milton Miller was walking and running from Miami to LA to raise money for ECYE. His website is www.100daysofmadness.com .Had a nice chat and took some photos.

 


Milt_MillerHad to hitchhike across a real narrow bridge across the Mississippi river into Baton Rouge. Made a cardboard sign and only had to wait about 10 minutes before a man in pickup truck gave me a ride across of about one mile.
Headed east now for Pensacola Florida on route 90. Stopping my walk there and taking the bus up to visit family and friends in Virginia and NY before I head back to Arizona to work the summer at Lake Powell Resort. Email me with questions or comments by clicking on reply.

Keep on Walking, Life is Amazing, Singing Zippity Do Dah, All Day Long. ps. this is a link to the zippity do dah song at youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47ak4vjiNzw

Gary "Walkingman" Hause.

 

 

 

Weeks 15-16, 2011 Baton Rouge Louisiana to Pensacola Florida, 2-22-2011 to 3-5-2011, 283 miles, 23,797 Total world walk miles.

This walk is almost over and the weather is getting hotter, muggier, and the insects are out attacking me. Woke one morning to a horde of ants walking around my tent searching for food. So I got up , took down my tent and turned it inside out to shake them all out. Wiped down my black plastic foot locker with bleach water to kill them and clean up all the sugar and other food I spilled on it . Not biting ants, so no big deal. You have to watch out for fire ants, as they really sting when they bite you. I stepped in one fire ant hill in sandals and got quite a few bites before I could take off my sandals and kill them all. They all swarm out the nest as soon as you disturb them and start biting at anything. One night as I was setting up my tent near the beach I was attacked by a horde of sand flies or no-seeums. Luckily I was able to grab my mesh insect jacket with hood and run away as I put it on. After I set up my tent they followed me inside and kept annoying me. Hard to kill them all, so I left my mesh jacket on, got inside my sleep sack and sleeping bag and tried to get to sleep without dinner. Killed some more in the morning and cooked my breakfast without to much trouble. Glad to get out of there and back on the road with a nice headwind that blew them all away. The headwind picked up to 20 to 30 mph with blowing sand from the beach. So that got pretty annoying to. You just have to take lots of breaks and pace yourself so as not to tire yourself out to much. Eventually the wind died down and I was able to make better time.

A bicycle tourist I met stopped to chat and told me about a nice route to avoid going through Mobile Alabama. Lots of big oak trees that crack and uplift the sidewalks and make it terrible to walk through with my stroller. So I headed southeast to Dauphin Island to take the ferry over to Fort Morgan.  Neat old Civil War Fort with info on some important battles. Passed through Bayou La Batre where they filmed some of the shrimp fishing scenes for the movie "Forrest Gump".

Madi Gras starts in New Orleans next week, so lots of floats have been passing me by headed for parades in some of the outlying towns. A couple even threw plastic beads and candy at me. Lots of broken beads and candy on the roadside. I never have been into large drunken crowds partying and celebrating. I heard on the radio that they have Family Gras planned also for kids and family's to enjoy without any drinking.

Pulled over by the cops to check me out. Officer said they got a call about somebody urinating on the sidewalk. I was actually doing it on the beach below the sidewalk kind of hidden behind a wooden stairway down to the beach. Officer ran my ID for any wants and warrants. All clean, so the officer just told me to go down by the ocean and get farther away from the road. Thought I might have to spend 30 days on a Alabama chain gang singing the blues, picking up trash, and eating lots of hard boiled eggs (50 eggs by Cool Hand Luke is the record). I should have told the cop I had uramysatosis (disease Jerry and George told the mall cop they had when he arrested them for urinating in the mall garage on the sit-com "Seinfeld".

I was looking for a local library when I was surrounded by a campus cop in a car and one in a golf cart on a local community college campus. They said only students were allowed on campus and pointed out the local library one block away. Somebody probably thought I looked strange and called in a crazy person report to the campus cops. Security is tighter since they had all these school shootings.

As I was passing through Orange Beach Alabama a man came out and invited me into his cafe for a free breakfast. Joey Ward of the North Shore Grill (www.facebook.com/northshoregrill) treated me to a huge tropical fruit plate with yogurt and 2 huge glasses of OJ. Nice break from a cold windy day with blowing sand from the beach. One motorcyclist stopped to chat while I was taking a break at a picnic area. He wanted to check to make sure I was okay and see if I needed anything. He offered me a beer, I said no thanks, I do not drink. Then he asked if I needed any food or money, I said no, I have plenty of food and I work hard every summer to save up plenty of money. He seemed a little pissed that I did not need any help, but I think he was just kidding. I have always thought that honesty is the best policy, and do not tell people I need anything unless it is really true. People still want to help me anyway, so I usually accept anything they want to give me just because I know it makes them feel good to help me. Its amazing how little you need to survive. Food (I get by on about $5 a day), water ( mostly free), shelter (tent and sleeping bag $200 bucks for a good set, or a lot less at a thrift store if you keep looking and are persistent), warm clothes (I get all my clothes at thrift stores for about $2 or $3 bucks each). You can usually find a cheap backpack, stroller or bicycle at the thrift store if you can't buy one new. Amazing how simple and cheap it is to walk or bicycle around the world.

Into Pensacola Florida March 5Th after walking 2108 miles in 106 days from Page Arizona. About 20 miles per day. Not a single blister thanks to "Udderly Smooth Udder Cream" that I slather on my feet every morning. Of course thanks to Roger Berg of www.bergdesign.net for the free "Runabout Stroller" he gave me last year. Strongest and best built baby stroller on the market. Rain off and on most of the last day, only the second day of rain I have had in the last 4 months. Glad to pull into the Greyhound bus station and pick up my bus ticket. Took me about 2 hours to take apart my stroller and pack everything up to take on the bus. Taking the bus up to Virginia to visit my brother. Buying a car there and driving up to Newfane NY to visit family and friends, then out west to work at Lake Powell Resort , Page Arizona for the summer. Already have one talk on my world walk set up at a school in the Denver Colorado area. So email me if anyone wants me to give a talk on my world walk at any school, senior center , or other organization. I always enjoy sharing stories about my world walk with anyone that is interested. I usually charge 3 home made chocolate chip cookies for a talk, although I will accept a home cooked meal instead.

I hope I have inspired lots of people to get out and walk, bicycle, have an adventure, read more books, just do it. Life is amazing, lots of nice people out there. The human body is amazing, use it or lose it. Email me with any questions or comments. I always enjoy hearing from anybody interested and always willing to answer any questions you have. Not sure of my next walk, will do some research over the summer. Thinking about North Africa, if democracy rules and all the fighting settles down it might be possible to walk across  Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, and Israel. Or maybe go back to South America and continue walking through Ecuador and Peru. 

Keep on Walking, Life is Amazing, Singing Zippity Do Dah All Day Long.

Gary "Walkingman" Hause

Houston Texas to Baton Rouge Louisiana, 2-8-2011 to 2-21-2011, 290 miles, 23,514 total world walk miles.
Warm, muggy, and misty just about every morning now. Takes a couple hours for the mist and fog to burn off. A few mosquito's in the evening when I set up my tent and get inside. Have to kill a few that follow me inside. Lots of swamps and long bridges once I crossed into Louisiana. One bridge was 4 miles long with swamp and cedar trees below. Lots of tall pine trees provide nice shade on the south side of the road. So as long as there is a good wide shoulder to walk on, I use the shady side of the road.
Passing a few places I recognize from my first walk across the USA back in 1996. Here are a couple articles I wrote from that walk.

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