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February 27, 2009
Texas is a thing of the past...

 

2.23.09 Van Alstine, TX

 

Daren’s Blog:

Texarkana_Deprospero.jpgOil Change: Oil change! Bryan and I have been putting off a oil change for about 400 miles too long… I told him to just find a store that does it and drop it off and I will come and get it a few hours later! Perfect! No time lost ! it just cost $42 GEEEZ!  I would rather do it myself!

 

Wallet: I found a wallet today on the side of the road… I picked it up and it was a woman’s wallet and everything was still in it… about 15 different cards, A social security card, Bank card… you name it and it was in there. I snooped around and looked for a business card but couldn’t find one.. .. then I saw a blockbuster card and called it and told them I was trying to track this girl and gave him my number to give to her. About 2 hours later she called and said “Blockbuster called me and said you have found my wallet”?  Yes! We talked a little and she asked “where I found it” and all of that jazz…. I also called the bank to try and get a hold of her but. The bank told me the card was deactivated… I really didn’t care about that.. I was just trying to get it back to her and told her the same thing I told Blockbuster.  I explained what I was doing and how at the moment I was walking alongside the road.. but the wallet was in the support vehicle… She said that she would come and get it later tonight… Then her boyfriend called and asked if he could come get it for she was pregnant and not feeling good… she sounded fine to me.. but I am sure he was just protecting her… They have no clue who the heck I am … and my story of walking across the United states sounds a little out there… Around that time Nancy Powell drove up for she was dropping off some jerseys that Marks Brother wanted to give us…. They were awesome! I loved it.. Mine is from Honduras… It looks flippen sweet!  None the less… I gave the wallet to Nancy for she was heading back toward frisco where she lived and where the owner of the wallet lives…

 

Back on the road: My body no longer likes me… We bonded this past week when I slept just about every day and sat on couches and rested… but now we are not on speaking terms…..

 

Texarkana_Sign.jpg17 more walking days! Ohh man.. It just hit me… I will be done with my leg of the expedition in 17 more walking days… that is crazy.. My whole life since 2006 has been eating, drinking, sleeping The Earth Expedition and in 2.5 weeks I will be done walking and Bryan will take over and go to Europe. I am not going to lie… it is difficult handing something over to someone else that you have poured countless hours and years of your life into. I look back and see what I gave up to do this and now I am putting it in the hands of someone else… kind of.. I will still be the expedition leader but there is a lot that I am letting go… and it isn’t an easy thing to do….but it is going to be in good hands with Bryan.

 

Wind: the wind kind of sucked today.. there was one moment in time where the wind was soo bad  and then about 6 semi’s in a row decided to past… it felt like someone hit the slow-motion button…..I screamed out a colorful explicative to no one.. I just wanted to let myself know I was mad…  I felt bad afterwards..hey.. just being honest.

 

Bryan’s Blog

 

First day back in nine days = horrible. I feel like it’s day one again. I am so sore and stiff, I can’t even walk straight. I got a new pair of shoes today though. They were sent to tonight’s contact’s house. And the lucky winner to take us in for the night was…(drum role)…Bob and Dayna Deprospero!!! Dayna was my boss in high school when I worked at University of Gymnastics . Yes, I was a gymnastics coach. No, I was not good at it. It was just recreational though…not competitive. But it was so awesome to see them!!! We spent the whole night just catching up and telling stories. They have some amazing property out in Van Alstyne. They have a beautiful house, barn, four horses, ATV’s, three dogs, you name it. It was very cool. Dayna cooked us a delicious dinner and then just started emptying her kitchen of things she could give us for the road. It was so great. I love her to death. I got to spend some time with Mr. D (Coach Boom) while he fed the horses. He told me stories of how he worked as an arms instructor in the Middle East . What a baller. Anyway, I can’t say much about the walking day because it kind of stunk, but the night was great with the Deprosperos. I think I can give Dayna the “North Texas Mom” title for me. She was great. We’re headed to Paris tomorrow. I hope the new shoes will do the trick.

 

Album the Day “Details” by Frou Frou

2.24.09 Paris, TX

 

Texarkana_BNW_Daren_On_train.jpgLong Day: I did not want to walk today! This morning was freezing… I had 3 layers on and a pair of pants and a beanie and I was still cold…. Which is kind of ironic considering the temp hit a high near 80 degrees today!

9 days off: Well…. As much as the 9 days off felt good to take…. We are paying the price right now… it feels like we have started all over again… My lower back is pretty beat up … in fact I feel like garbage right now.. I kind of have that feeling that I may be getting sick… I think I am going to take some zicam to fight it off….. I hope that I bounce out of this funk by tomorrow..

 

Road condition:  Wow… the shoulder today was interesting… imagine gravel… but it doesn’t move when you step on it… Bryan and I both commented at lunch that it feels like the road is stabbing you after spending all day on it.

 

Complaining: ok.. I am not trying to complain too much… the night has been great.. the family that we spent the night with last night knew some people in Paris, TX which is where we are right now.. they took us out to eat at a place called the “Fish Fry”  and I rocked  a kabob with salad, corn on the cob and a bunch of rolls…. Soo good.  Texas has been really good to The Earth Expedition. Bryan and I haven’t slept in the car since Alamogordo, NM… that is pretty awesome!

 

Bryan’s Blog:

           Today was so much better than yesterday. The new shoes were great. I am so happy that I don’t walk in pain every step of the way anymore. Thank you Merrell! I finally have a new camera now too! My sister paid half of it for me because I couldn’t afford the whole thing. Thanks Rachael! I took some pictures today with it. They look great. I can finally zoom in on pictures more than 30 feet away from me. My old camera couldn’t do that, hahaha. It was old. I’m almost glad I lost it. I was going to buy a new one sooner or later anyway.

            So today Dayna, the person we stayed with last night, made some calls and found us a place to stay in Paris, TX ! We originally didn’t have a place to stay and so we were going to stay in the car for the night but then this happened! Their names are Rick and Debbie Johnson. They took us out to dinner at a nice local restaurant called “Fish Fry” and it was delicious. They were very hospitable. They treated us like we were their own sons! Debbie bought both of us 12 packs of our favorite drinks. Little things like that make me so happy. It’s so awesome to run into so many loving people who want to take care of us. What a blessing! We only have two more days in Texas ! I can’t believe we are almost done with this massive state! Woo hoo! The people treated us well though. We didn’t have to stay in our car once while we were in Texas . That’s because Texas people are the nicest ones! Thanks everybody who helped us along the way!

 

Album of the Day “Everything in Transit” by Jack’s Mannequin

 

2.25.09 Avery TX

Texarkana_Roadkill_TAx.jpgExhausted…… I was thinking about skipping blogging altogether tonight but I decided that I should just play a couple of songs on i-pod and crank it out….. The day….. Over Cast all day! Which I am not complaining about at all because the temp was 76 and if the sun was out I would have been sweating like a pregnant nun sitting next to the pope!  There really is not too much that goes on through the day when I am actually walking….. Today a officer of the law pulled behind me to see if I was allright.. they are really nice once they find out what we are doing and why we are doing it.  Today was kind of weird… we started in Paris, TX and went through Reno, TX.. then  through what was called “little Chicago” and then through Detroit, TX.  It was like I was travelling the world all in about 8 hours.

 

Avery, TX: This is where Bryan and I landed tonight! We actually are staying at a place of a friend of a friend that we met two days ago. Everyone knows someone in the next town 50 miles away! I love it! And I have a  couchsurfing friend in Texarkana tomorrow night! Bryan and I haven’t slept in the car since Alamogordo, NM!  We got into Avery (Population about 450) and found our contact who is the Methodist minister of the church in town… actually I have seen three churches in this town of about 450….odd… none the less… we got here and they sent us to the only place that was open in town and it was only open for another 30 minutes. The told us to tell the owner to charge it to the church! I was like ok! Will do! The meal tasted even better than usual!  But the rest of the night was filled with conversation about what we are doing and some of our past and all that jazz… I usually don’t mind talking about it… but tonight all I wanted to do was rest! I let Bryan do the talking…

 

Bryan’s Blog

            Today we passed through a lot of towns…like Reno , Detroit , Little Chicago. And we started in Paris . How weird. All in one day. We’re just all over the map!

            Nothing a lot happened while I was walking today, other than frustration and hills hahaha. It seems that every time I walk it’s downhill and when I run it’s uphill. I stay on a schedule where I walk for ten minutes then run for ten minutes and I try and stay with that the whole way. But every time I start running there is an uphill! UGH!!!!

            We have a great story though when we finished for the day. Rick and Debbie from last night found us a place to stay with a Methodist minister in Avery, TX which is where we happened to stop for the day. So it worked out great. So Rick gave me his number to call him when we were done and I tried to call him but he wouldn’t answer his phone. Well it is a Wednesday and so I thought he was probably in church. So for ten minutes we were thinking about what we could do to try and found out where he is. I got the great idea of simply going into the town and finding the church since the town literally had 462 people. It was extremely small. So we drove into town and in about four minutes, we found the church. No joke, four minutes. So we parked the car and saw people going inside so I thought, “Oh we can go in real fast and see if he is there.” So we went in, dressed in running shorts, chacos, sweaty running shirts, smelling like dead animal carcus and got the expected reaction. EVERYONE turned around and just stared at us. Gary McCain, the minister, was already in the pulpit ready to preach and then saw us. So he hopped down from the pulpit and ran back to say hi to us. We felt so awkward to be in there with everyone staring at us like we were prostitutes or something. We almost got stoned. Just kidding…

Texarkana_train_tracks.jpgHe apologized for not answering the phone. He said that the reason he couldn’t answer it was because he was in middle of baptizing three kids and his hands were wet. He also said that his phone wasn’t on silent and while he was trying to confirm the kids’ belief in Christ it was just ringing away. I felt so bad. Hahaha. So he said we could either stay and sit through the service or go get a quick bite to eat down at the local diner. We did the latter…haha. I know I’m a sinner that I didn’t go to church, BUT I WAS HUNGRY!!! It was such a small town that he told us to just tell the waitress to put it on his tab. What a sweet deal! So we went and ate a nice dinner in a diner that could seat only 22 people. It was really small. We sat next to this group of elderly people. The woman right next to Daren had to have been at least 90 and she would not stop looking at me. Her daughter, who now takes care of her told her, “Mom, stop looking at him. And don’t just move those tomatoes around. You better eat those.” It was kind of funny how the daughter and mother were in completely different positions of authority now. I can’t wait for that to happen to me. Hahaha. The man sitting next to me was wearing a long sleeved, button down shirt with different breeds of dogs all over it. I don’t know how I held in my laughter. But it was awesome. I wanted that shirt.

            So after dinner we went and met up with Gary and his wife at their house. They were very hospitable and gracious. I love it how we just keep getting pushed along to the next by the people we meet. Everyone knows someone in the next town. This is our last night in Texas and we successfully made it through the whole state without sleeping in the car. We stayed at someone’s house every single night except for the two nights that random people bought us a motel room. Woo hoo! I hope it stays that way through the rest of the trip. So it was a good night. But I am still ridiculously sore so I’m going to get some shut eye. Good night all.

 

Album of the Day “Wish You Were Here” By Pink Floyd

 

 

1.26.09 Texarkana, TX

Daren’s Blog:

5 dogs: This morning was interesting… I don’t know what it is about eastern Texas but I pulled my knife 3 separate times today on dogs. 5 dogs total came at me today. I texted Bryan today and told him….. his response was “what kind of dogs were they”  I replied with “ The kind that looked like they wanted to eat me”  I wear my headphones the majority of the day so sometime I barely hear the bark until they are up on me!

 

Texarkana_Avery.jpgGhetto: I also received a text from Bryan today for his section was walking through Texarkana…. What we didn’t realize is that the section that he had to walk through was the ghetto…. He told me that he didn’t even take the time to take a picture of the “Welcome to Arkansas”  sign because he didn’t feel safe …lol

 

CouchSurfing: Last night we met up with our couchsurfing friend in Texarkana! We are his first couchsurfing experience and Andrew is a pretty awesome guy. He took us out to eat last night and we just chilled last night on the porch with another one of his friends “Tim” who came over and jammed on the porch. We had a couple of guitars going as well as my “harp” … the weather was perfect… and the night consisted of stories of the trail as well as ridiculous video from hulu and SNL…before I knew it the time was 1:00 am! 

Day Off: I am soooo excited for a day off tomorrow… Bryan and I each have done 100 miles each in the past 4 days!

 

Bryan’s Blog:

            Alright, I’m going to complain a little bit. Today STUNK!!! My feet are killing me and now I have random pains in my right knee. I don’t even know what’s wrong with it and I can’t get it checked out. It better not give me trouble. I have to finish this.

Nothing happened again during the walk itself again except for danger of walking through the ghetto part of Texarkana . I felt like I was going to get shot. I mostly ran through the whole town. The border of Texas and Arkansas actually went through the middle of the ghetto but I kept going and didn’t take a picture because I thought it wasn’t safe to stop, hahaha. Seriously…But I made it through. There was no room to run though. I had to run on the road with no shoulders against traffic and every piece of cement was unlevel from neglected road maintenance. Yeah, it hurt my feet.

            We have a contact here in Texarkana through Couch Surfer! Woohoo! His name is Andrew Spillers and he is really cool. He has a super nice apartment and he took us out to dinner tonight which was extremely kind of him. I never expect this much out of people when I stay with them. This is just such a treat! For about three hours we hung out on his third floor balcony with one of his friends Tim Paschal and played guitar, conversed through movie quotes (you know how guys are), talked about music, made jokes, relaxed, and watched an incredible lightning storm roll in. It was glorious. Tim also brought some of his camera equipment over and took some pics of us. It was great.

Texarkana_On_train.jpgWe are taking a day off tomorrow. This pleases me. I am in pain and I need rest. Thank you Lord.

 

Album of the Day “3 Sides to Every Story” By Extreme

 

 

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February 23, 2009
A WEEK OFF! 850 Miles to Go to Complete the USA

 Sat: 2.14.09 Frisco, TX

Daren’s Blog

Pres_Move_Shoot.jpgWEEK OFF!: This week Bryan and are taking a rest and meeting with friends and we have a couple presentations as well! Ok.. I have just realized that the blogs this week as much as they may be exciting for Bryan and I to experience may not be the “Stories from the road” you are used to… well… deal with  it J  we are on break this week! We will get back to work on Monday J

The Day: This morning was really just a catch up day…. .It takes about 5+ hours to update the website and resize pictures and to catch up on all of the e-mails that have piled up in the Gmail box that needed my attention.  So I woke up at Bryan’s Dad’s house this morning and Betty (Bryan’s Stepmom) made me some coffee and that is about all I need to have a good morning. I spent the rest of the morning on the computer.

Chicago Marathon: I also spent some of the day recruiting athletes to run the Chicago Marathon for Active:Water. We are pretty excited about this.  Right now there are a bunch of people all over the country who are going to be running in honor of Active:Water. Don’t bother looking up Active:Water on the internet at the moment…. The website is under construction and myself and the co-founder are in the process of piecing together …  If you are interested in being a part of the Active:Water Team then contact me at daren@theearthexpedition.com

“Life to the Fullest” Daren@theearthexpedition.com

Mon: 2.16.09   Joplin, MO

Daren’s Blog:

Video Shoot: Wow.. I walked into CIY today all ready for my video shoot.. there was someone already in there doing their shoot so I had to wait around a little.. But I made some small talk and made some new friends… I don’t know what I was expecting but  I was in and out in 20 minutes!  I guess I have been doing this for the past 11 months. I guess I kind of know what I am going to say and how I am going to say it.  I feel like I hit the easy button. It is kind of weird to fly hundreds of miles to do a 20 minute interview but hey.. whatever it takes… I was told that the interview is going to be used this summer at all of the CIY conferences. That is around 20,000 students and youth pastors. Good Stuff.

Thai Food!: Today for lunch.. I went out with Aarons team at CIY…. He works with three girls… I think on of them is considering running the Chicago marathon.. we will see what happens… a lot of people tell me ohh yeah.. but never follow through so we will see..  but we all went to a Thai restaurant in town… two of the girls got sick later that evening.. Not sure if it was the food or not but that was the common denominator.

MarioKart on the  Wii:  Sporadically over the night we would break out the controllers for the Wii… I haven’t played a video game in a while… I was addicted in seconds.

 “Life to the Fullest” Daren@theearthexpedition.com

Tues: 2.17.09 Joplin, MO

Daren’s Blog:

Pres_dinner.jpgIn the Air again: Wow… today was a not a good day when it comes to flying.. there was just something about the two plane rides that just made me sick.. I don’t know what it was but it was not a good day for flying!

Leaving friends: Well this morning I slept in since I was up until 1:00am this morning….. Aaron had went into work early for a meeting at CIY and I spent the morning gathering all of my belongings.  Aaron showed up… loaded my stuff and then we headed back over to CIY’s headquarters for I needed to fill out some paperwork for a trip that I am leading this summer in Mexico. I am pretty excited about that. We hung out with a few people…. Said my goodbye’s and we headed out to Fayetteville airport… which is in the middle of nowhere…. Aaron told me that it basically exist because the largest distribution center for Wal-Mart is right around the corner.  On the way we were looking for a place to get some food and I saw a Chinese buffet which at this time in my life is quite possibly the best thing in the world! I think I rocked about 3 full plates.. not the best Idea right before you get on a plane.. but it was goooood!

Powell’s:  tonight was a good night.. when Bryan Picked me up from Dallas Love airport he told me that Nancy and Mark Powell had invited us over to hang out. I was like sure! And we headed over there. Nancy and Mark are the ones responsible for setting up the speaking engagement we have here in town on Sat. They have been really really good to Bryan and I when we have been in Dallas… come to think of it… they have been really good to us even when we were not in Dallas!

Flight 93: Wow.. I don’t know if you have seen this movie … but it was seriously intense… pretty crazy… it brings everything back… it is hard to think that all of that 9.11 stuff went down in 2001.

“Life to the Fullest” Daren@theearthexpedition.com

Fri: 2.20.09 Dallas, TX

Daren’s Blog:

Pres_Gents_Place.jpgThe Gents Place: We have to thank Nancy Powell for setting this up for us. Nancy had called us about a month prior to today and told us that she had contacted this place called “The Gents Place” The Gent's Place, is a  upscale men's barbershop and spa in Frisco. The Gent's Place is strictly for men only and offers all hair cutting and coloring services, massages, facials, hand repairs, foot repairs, and body waxing. The Gent's Place offers a select line of men's grooming products focused on natural and organic compounds. The Place rocked! They ended up fixin our feet up, giving them a massage as well as giving Bryan a haircut and trimming up my beard! It was a pretty awesome place… When you wait they have an open bar for you! The girls are super awesome… if I lived around here I would definitely go there again Good stuff! www.thegentsplace.com

The Powells: I can’t say enough good things about Nancy and Mark Powell. They have way too good to Bryan and I over this past week… they not only set up everything for the presentation that is tomorrow but they have taken us out to dinner and made us dinner so many times I can’t even count anymore… tonight they made us a steak dinner! I love them! Thank you two…and ainsley! 

“Life to the Fullest” Daren@theearthexpedition.com

Sat. 2.21.09 Dallas, TX

Daren’s Blog:

Presentation in Frisco: Today was awesome! I didn’t know what to expect when it came to who was all going to be at the presentation… and I was a little nervous for I have never done a formal presentation with Bryan before and a lot of the things that I usually share I was cutting out! But it all worked out fine! Bryan and I went over what we wanted to say once the night before and figured it was good enough.. I have been saying the same thing over and over again for the past year so it was nothing new to me! But The turnout was good… we had somewhere around 35-40 people there to hear what is going on with the international water crisis. We were able to provide water to over 120 of our African friends this year which is always a win!

pres_girls.jpgNight out: Some of our friends came down from OK City to see the presentation! We ended up hanging out later that night for dinner and then later again that night at “Café Brazil” which is a  café that is open all night long… it was somewhere around 1:30 before we left!  I think I am getting soft! Monday we leave to go walking again! Bryan and I have about 850 miles left of the USA! Ok.. going to sleep now! My endless cup of coffee from Café Brazil is wearing off!

“Life to the Fullest” Daren@theearthexpedition.com

Sunday: 2.22.09 Dallas, TX

Daren’s Blog:

The Day: Well… Bryan and I didn’t wake up til 12:10! Today just flew by… we went to watch a movie with Bryan’s Sister and then we went to Wal-Mart to get Bryan a new camera for he lost his last week!  Then we met his mom and sis for dinner and since we have been back we have been procrastinating on facebook and now it is pretty late and the Blog still isn’t done and I still need to pack for we leave tomorrow at 7:00 to drive up to where we left off in Denton, Tx…. My body is going to have some questions for me tomorrow night! 

“Life to the Fullest” Daren@theearthexpedition.com

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 to Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bryan’s Blog:

Pres..._Pres.jpgWe have stopped in Dallas , my hometown, for a week to take a break from the trip and to get a lot of things done. We have to drop off a lot of stuff we don’t need for one thing. And Daren had to fly up to CIY headquarters and get interviewed for the summer conference! And then of course we had a presentation on Saturday hosted by Nancy and Mark Powell at Canyons Rock Climbing Gym! So we had to stop for those things. The presentation was a success. A lot of people I knew came and a lot of new faces were there too. It was exciting. Monday to Friday was kind of slow though. I got a little anxious during that time because I felt like I needed to go walking. I couldn’t relax. We tried to walk one or two days out of the week with other people but everyone’s schedule conflicted with each other so we couldn’t do it. But it’s okay because we start tomorrow and are heading to Bonham! I got to see a lot of old friends, catch up on Lost, went to the Gents’ Club and got a foot massage, hair cut, and shave. It was a good week. But I am ready to get out there and start walking again. I kind of miss it actually. So the blogs will get interesting again. Don’t worry. Have a good night everyone.

Album of the Week – “Under the Iron Sea” by Keane

 

 

 

 

 

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February 14, 2009
850 miles until Georgia!

Sunday, February 08, 2009 Abeline, TX

 

Daren’s Blog:

 

Dallas_ELK.jpgDay Off:  I am pretty excited about our day off… Bryan and I decided to take a day off for we were ahead of schedule and have a couple of days to burn before we hit Dallas. We have a bunch of presentations and I fly out to Missouri for 3 days that is going to keep us there for about a week. But for tonight my college friend Jesse Benson had contacted me and told us that if we needed a place to say in Abeline, TX. then we were more than welcome to stay there!

 

Steak Dinner: Sunday afternoon Jesse and his wife Krista made us T-bone Steaks! Jesse is actually a cook for a camp! Accompanying the steaks was corn and salad and warm bread! Oh... I can almost taste it right now! MMM.. soo Good!  What a great meal! Thank you guys!

 

Elk:  Bryan really wanted to go see the 2,000 windmill at the windmill farm that scattered the mountains. He knew of some places that we could get right up next to them.. so we went.. the things are massive and expensive.. I think it ruins the landscape but my opinion really doesn’t matter too much I guess…  None-the-less there was an elk farm on the way and the elk were out! Huge! 6x6er  it was awesome… It was super windy! I am glad that we took today off! In fact Jesse and I went to hang out on the porch at night and we only lasted about 5 minutes before this wicked storm came… the water was coming up on our laps so we decided to head back inside.

 

Bobcats: Driving back from the Windmills we passed two bobcats chewing on a dead animal carcass! It was awesome. That is the 3rd and 4th bobcat on the trip so far! Awesome!

 

"Life to the Fullest" Daren@theearthexpedition.com

 

Bryan’s Blog:

Dallas_Windmill.jpgI am so glad we took the day off. It was soooooo windy all day long. But we didn’t let that get us down so we took advantage of the windiness and went to see the wind farm! South of Abilene is a wind farm of over 2,000 turbines and today they were really moving. I’ve always wanted to see how big they truly are when you’re right next to one. So we got tons of pictures. They are so cool. But we didn’t just see a wind farm, we also went on a safari! Between going to the wind farm and coming back we saw elk, deer, dead deer, bobcats, and javelina! I have never seen elk before and they were just camped out fifty feet away from us inside a high fence. They knew they were safe so they didn’t run away. We got a bunch of pics there too. We also got to see the camp that Jesse works at and got some funny pictures there as well. So lots of pictures!

            I also went into Abilene and saw my friends James and Caleb. I love it that I have friends in every big city to go visit. Well, not every big city. But at least the ones I have friends in. That’s nice. Haha. You guys ready for a big day of walking tomorrow? I’m sure not…good night.

 

Album of the Day – “Final Straw” by Snow Patrol

Monday, February 09, 2009

Daren’s Blog:

Late start: Today we got a late start! We got up late at Jesse’s house and then had to drive an hour to get to where we left off! Needless to say that we didn’t get started til about 10:10… I think that is the latest we have started! I really don’t care how late we start as long as we get our 50 miles in a day! Were were definitely walking during the night. I finished early and I drove beside Bryan for all we could hear were dogs barking but you couldn’t see any dogs.  It was a creepy feeling.

 

Running 8 miles  a day: I love that the second half of the day is only 2 hrs 45 minutes! I started to run some of the day. It just feels good to use different muscle groups. I think I can get the time down to 2 hrs 10 minutes. We will see… I am signed up for 5 marathons at the end of the summer and really want to qualify for the Boston. You have to be able to run a 3:10 in order to qualify in my age range.

 

Graham, TX: Bryan and I are excited because we have another place to stay again in Graham. A friend that we met in a El Paso, TX while at a starbucks told us that when we come through Graham, TX told us to look him up when we come through! We are excited!

 

Bed: My body is telling me to go to bed! Should I visit facebook before I go to bed??? That is the question!

 

"Life to the Fullest" Daren@theearthexpedition.com

 

Bryan’s Blog:

Dallas_Metal_Woman.jpgI didn’t get much sleep last night and I did not feel well this morning. But I had to get over it obviously…Lunch time was pretty fun though. We stopped in Throckmorton, TX and ate at this place called “Between the Forks.” We walked in and absolutely no one was in there, not even employees. We walked around looked in the back and couldn’t find anyone but it was open. We waited for five minutes until someone finally came out. So we sat down and ate a tasty lunch while 10 different stuffed animals were staring at us. How fun. The afternoon walk was great though. I didn’t listen to any music or sermons all afternoon. I got to just listen to all the sounds of the earth and animals. It was relaxing. I even saw five fighter jets fly low right over me, all breaking the sound barrier. It was awesome. Because we started late, I had to do some walking into the nighttime. But it was really awesome. The moon blasted light on the clouds as if it was the sun. The temperature was so awesome that I just had to start running at the end. For the last four miles I ran while Daren drove next to me in the car. We had a lot of fun. It almost felt like I was training for a marathon with my dad again. He used to drive next to me while I ran 20 miles so he could hold my water and food and stuff. It was a cool night. So we are in Graham, TX with Stephen Leckenby, who we met in El Paso at the Starbucks. He took us to get awesome burgers and play pool. And what would you think that place would be called in a small town like Graham?...”Burgers and Billiards” hahaha. It was cool. But I am so tired from not getting any sleep last night so I am going to bed now. See ya.

 

Album of the Day – “Combat Rock” by The Clash

 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 Graham, TX

Daren’s Blog:

The Day: Easy Breezy day…. There was nothing to the day today.. just a day of listening to music and the constant reminder that you are only one persons mistake away from death. The shoulders were not very good today. We usually have our own lane to walk in but today did not prove to be that way. I was walking on the white line most of the day. If you don’t you are on the slant which over the period of the day can really mess up your alignment.

 

Dallas_Country_CLub.jpgCountry club! We had asked Stephen and Nita if we could stay another night at his house for Bryan and I were ahead of schedule and needed to burn a day and this place was pretty sweet! Last night They took us to a country club! I guess it is the best meal in town! I ordered the Chefs steak with sautéed Spinach! Ohhh man… sooooo Goood.. I had a salad as well.. and when I was done I ordered another salad! Then I had some rolls, and then after that I had a apple dumpling dessert… and then Coffee!   I wish I could relive that experience! 

 

"Life to the Fullest" Daren@theearthexpedition.com

 

Bryan’s Blog:

I hate it when I walk all day on uneven road. By the end of the day it feels like a knife is lodged in my foot. Sheesh. So I saw a lot of roadkill today. And by a lot I mean two dozen…yeah. Lots of dead things. Yesterday a poor coyote got stuck on a fence and starved to death. But I just had to get a picture of it. Well, you guys don’t want to hear about roadkill…

            We made it all the way to Jacksboro today. We are only 80 or so miles from Denton , our stopping point! A storm was chasing me down today. Luckily, I made it to the car ten minutes before it fell. But when it fell…man I couldn’t see anything. And I mean nothing…twenty feet in front of me was my vision. And when you’re driving down a skinny highway, that’s scary. But yeah we made it.

            Stephen and Nita took us to the Graham Country Club for dinner tonight! It was sooooo good. It was probably the best food I’ve had this whole trip (sorry all of you who made us dinner). I had the shrimp with angel hair pasta and sautéed vegetables and a salad and cheesecake. WOW! What a night! What were the chances that I met Stephen randomly in El Paso and happens to live here in this small town that we are walking through. Sweet deal. Another day, another dog biscuit.

 

Album of the Day – “We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank” by Modest Mouse

 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Daren’s Blog:

Movie day as well….. I watched   3movies today! We were soldiers, and Timeline…and ½ of Johnny mnemonic! I haven’t watched a movie it seems for a long time!

 

Lunch and Dinner: Wow.. I have to say that the Leckenby’s have really taken good care of us over the past few days.. they have taken us out to dinner for every dinner and lunch and have paid for it all! SSOOOOOO kind.. today we had Philly sandwiches and then for dinner she took us out for Bar-b-Q… SOoooooooo Good.. I got the pulled pork and I have to say that it was on Daren’s top 3 best barbecue joints I have ever had list!

 

Bryan and I have a short day tomorrow! We only have to do 19 miles each or something like that in order  to reach Decatur! So… another easy morning for us! It is already 9:35 and we are going to be getting going pretty slow!  Ok.. I need to go and get the sag vehicle packed up!  See ya! “Life to the Fullest” Daren@theearthexpedition.com

 

Bryan’s Blog:

Dallas_Carcass.jpgWe decided to take another day off. One, we are having such a great time with the Leckenbys that they are okay with us staying another day. Two, my foot is killing me. And three, we have made it this far faster than we expected and we don’t want to stay in Dallas for a week and a half and get lazy, so we are going to stretch out the time it takes to get there. But we will still make it to Denton on Friday! That’s still early! But my mommy wants to see me. So I guess I will take a break for a little bit. Hahaha.

            Stephen had to go out of town on business but Nita still decided to take us to lunch and dinner today! For lunch we went to a place called the Big Chill and dinner was Clayton’s Barbeque. It was sooooooo good. Oh my gosh, small town food is sometimes the best. But I just couldn’t believe how well they treated us! I didn’t expect all this pampering! It feels good! The problem is now that tomorrow I have to get up and convince myself to walk 25 miles when I don’t really want to. Hahaha. Some days you need to take off to let your body heal but it only takes one day for your mind to tell you “Okay, I quit.” So I honestly have to push my self to go tomorrow. But I’ve done it before so I will do it again. But all in all, we had a great time here in Graham, TX . Woo hoo!

 

Album of the Day – “mmhmm” by Reliant K

 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Daren’s Blog:

DID I even walk today? Man.. today didn’t even feel like I walked today.. we did a 10 miler and then a 8.5 miler…. Crazy!

 

Trees: Praise God we are actually able to see trees! And hills…it is glorious! We have been in the desert so long it is soo nice to be around trees and people.. and things that are alive!

 

Dallas_SHoes.jpgBaptist Church: Hotel stay: Wow… I am amazed at some people generosity… Right now I am sitting in a super 8 because our good friend Nancy Powell did some legwork for us and e-mailed some churches in Decatur TX to try to find us a place to stay…I guess a lady from a Baptist church got back to her and told us that they would love to help out and that she was on her way to the hotel to make reservations for us! We asked if they wanted to do dinner with us but they were already busy. So here I sit in the room kind of amazed that I will never be able to meet the person that did this for us! It is kind of awesome as well…. To do something for something else and not want anything in return… it is nice to know that there are people out there like that. Very cool.

 

Huddle House: Ahhh… A mistake I am sure but Bryan and I went to Huddle House tonight for dinner. If you don’t know Bryan and I go out to eat once a day and that time is usually dinner for we are sooo tired after 25+ miles we don’t feel like cooking anything.

 

Rush Hour: Rush hour is on the TV right now… to be honest…. I just realized that I have not watched tv at any length for over a year….. and I don’t really miss it at all.

 

"Life to the Fullest" Daren@theearthexpedition.com  

 

Bryan’s Blog:

            Bad news…I lost my camera today L. I bet it fell out when I was running. I guess I have to buy a new camera now. I was going to eventually because that one was really old but now I have a real reason. So that was a bummer, but I got over it.

            Today was a short day because, like I said, we made it here quicker than expected. We are in Decatur now and we only did 37 miles today. But I was thinking…37 miles is still a long distance yet we both felt like we didin’t do anything because we’re so used to do 50 miles. Man you’re body adapts quickly. I felt worthless, hahaha. We are walking to Denton tomorrow and then we’re stopping for a week in Dallas . Woo hoo!

            Tonight we got into Decatur and a random person that our friend Nancy Powell contacted bought us a room at the Super 8 Motel! How awesome is that??! We were going to meet the people that bought us the room but they had obligations at their church. So it was kind of weird that I have never met the people that gave us a room. I wish I could thank them in person. I don’t even know their name! But this is so great! Thank you whoever bought us the room! Hahaha. One more day till we take a long break!

 

Album of the day – “Cities” by Anberlin

Friday, February 13, 2009

Daren’s Blog:

 

Dallas_Masks.jpgHalf Day: Bryan and I slept in this morning because we only had about 30 miles today until be hit Denton, TX. That is just North of Dallas.I woke up at 8:40am and woke Bryan up…. I was like… Dude… if we want breakfast then we are going to have to get down there soon! SO we woke up and in  a minute we were in the elevator…. As we walked into the Continental Breakfast room… we just kind of stared at it…. There wasn’t really anything there anymore…We just kind of stared… Bryan sat down….and I looked at him… and asked if he was going to get anything?   He replied  “Get what” I looked back at the picked through counter and said.. ok.. back to bed. So we went back upstairs and jump into our beds. They were still warm… you gotta love that.  I couldn’t go back to sleep so I just hopped on the computer. I feel like a computer junkie! 

Irish Car Bomb and Friends: Last night Bryan’s friends were all going out to an Irish bar/restaurant. Bryan’s closest friend Stephen was excited that we were back and offered to cover the first round. That was nice of him…  we ate and shared stories of all of the people that we have met and just laughed a lot. More people kept showing up.  Everyone that we met have been to our website in the past couple of days and were all caught up… the biggest question that confuses people (with reason) is why do we have a car? (support vehicle)  I explain to them that we are leap frogging. Every mile is walked by either Bryan or I. Here is how it works…. I start walking and Bryan drives the car up 12.5 miles and parks it on the side of the road and then he starts to walk. About 3.5 hours later I will arrive at the car and then drive up to Bryan to have lunch. We do that twice in a day to make our combined total of 50 miles a day. None-the-less Stephen was soo excited we were there he bought us a Irish Car Bomb… If you have been following the blogs since The Appalachian Trail you will remember the “Trail Bomb” which is the same thing. Stephen was good to us last night! Thanks my friend!  "Life to the Fullest" Daren@theearthexpedition.com

 

Bryan’s Blog:

            Break time! We made it to our stopping point safely! So we stopped in Denton and are leaving the distance from Denton to McKinney to use for anyone to walk with us, if you feel like it. I got to see my family today! Everything seems to be okay with everyone…so that is a blessing.

            Oh yeah, as I was walking through downtown Denton I saw these two ladies on one side of the road who were trying to get to the other side to the bus stop. Unfortunately they could not cross with ease because they had to carry 50 bags of groceries across the heavy traffic. And I am not exaggerating. 50 bags. And these two ladies were kind of old. So every bit of common sense in me said to stop and help them. So I go up to them and ask if they need help and they immediately screamed “Yes we do!” So I grab a ton of bags and just start making my way across the street through traffic and they follow. Well one of the ladies’ hands started hurting because she was carrying too many bags and within about 12 seconds her complaining escalated from a docile tone to a raging scream. And while she was screaming in pain, she decided to stop in the middle of the road, where cars were accelerating hastily her way. I guess her hands were in so much agony that the pain even moved to her legs and stopped her from moving. Her other friend began yelling “Get out of the street.” And she shrieked “I can’t move, my hands are killing me!!!” Note: This is not what she said verbatim. There were also some very colorful metaphors voiced out of anger that would not be appropriate to express here. So I ran to set my groceries down by the bus stop and ran back to grab some groceries from her. After about five minutes of trying to move the groceries literally 90 feet, we successfully made it to the bus stop. I said my goodbyes and they said their thank-yous and I went on my way. Just a fun story to share with you. I wish you could have been there

 

Album of the Day – “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)” by AC/DC

 

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February 8, 2009
Abeline, TX 158.8 miles in 3 days!

Bryan and I made the Lubbock News!  Check it out

Click on The Earth Expedition after you click this link:

Thursday, February 05, 2009                           

Daren’s Blog:

Abeline_Bryan_and_brian.jpgToo tired to write… Sorry.. I will write tomorrow about tonight!

Bryan’s Blog

We set another record high for mileage today. We did 52.4 miles from Brownfield to Post. Because we were the same exact distance away from Lubbock in Post as we were in Brownfield, we went back and stayed at Julie’s one more night. Unfortunately, the piece on the earth expedition was not aired on the news today so it will be shown tomorrow night. They had another story pop up.  I guess that’s what happens in news. But it was overall a good walking day. I came across a few horses and they let me pet them but one of the horses was missing an eye. It made me sad so I pet him a little more than the others. But it totally creeped me out. It looks like the horse from Sleepy Hollow. I wondered for at least an hour how that could have happened. Poor guy.

When we got back into Lubbock a new friend I met at the Starbucks a few nights ago, Bryan Simpson, took us out dinner! We went to On the Border. We had a good conversation and he happens to be getting his masters degree in athletic training so maybe he will want to help with Active Water. That would be really cool.

It’s our last night with Julie so we stayed up a little late and watched a bunch of YouTube videos…what a waste of time, hahaha. But we had fun and I’m going to miss her. She has been so nice to us. She bought us some food for the road because she overheard us talking about stuff we needed. She is so great. And she let two smelly men stay at her place for three nights. I hope to pay it forward someday. Thank you Julie! Anyway, it’s already late. Good night.

Album of the Day – “Talkie Walkie” by AIR

Friday, February 06, 2009

Daren’s Blog:

Abeline_DAren.jpgEhausted!: Wow… I am super exhausted… today was the second day that I did over 27 miles. I am trying to run a little of the day to break up the monotony.  I decided that I didn’t want to take anymore Ibuprofen as well… we will see how long that last … right now I am at two days…we will see what tomorrow brings.

Last two days: walking wise there is not much to write home about. When the highlight of your day are 3 dogs chasing you then you didn’t have a fun filled day. But I do have to say that after walking was fun. Julie Muskgrave who has let us stay at her apartment for the past 3 days has been really good to us. She is also the reporter for the local news station who did the interview for us. It is actually airing tonight but we are here in Aspermont, TX.  and won’t be able to see it.

Bryan Simpson: The day that we got to Lubbock Bryan and I went to starbucks (They keep giving us free drinks!) and Bryan struck up a conversation (I was on the phone)  with a guy at the next table over. He told us that he had to leave at the moment but he believed in what we were doing and wanted to take us out to eat on Thurs. We never turn down calories so we were in!  Last night is when we met… he was a pretty awesome person….he was finishing up his masters in physical training which was awesome! I told him about the new Non-profit we are starting called Active:Water! He was interested! It is awesome how everything works together!

Jayton, TX: We ended today at a town called Jayton.. there is no reason why anyone should ever go to Jayton. There was nothing there so Bryan and I drove to the next town 20 miles away called Aspermont… there was actually a dairy queen there which is where I sit right now. We are hoping to strike up conversation with some town folk and hopefully score a place to stay tonight! Right now there is a basketball game in town so there is absolutely no one here right now. I think the game gets out at 10:00 and then the people will roll in.. maybe something will happen then…hoping!

3 hours later: Score! We have a Motel room… I am not sure how it all worked out other than it was a God thing but this is how it came to be! Bryan had been chatting it up with the guy behind the counter trying to see if there was a church in town or anything that would lead to a place to stay. He said that he had a friend that would be coming in after the game. I was like sweet we are going to have a place.. then he arrived and it was High School senior. Through a little small talk he shared with us all of what was wrong with the government and then shared with us the solution all within about 5 minutes. It was incredible. I mean… the national debt was cleared and taxes were lowered, and the oil business was booming and everyone had a job! It was incredible…. He told us that as soon as he got his computer back he was going to write a “bill” outlining the plan and send it to Obama. Well…. My best wishes to him. Next he called his mother and told her about what we were doing and asked if there was something that the church could do. She told him to take us to the Sherriff. MMM… I am not going to like.. I was a little skeptical. I guess the churches got together and have a funds for people who need help but you need to go to the sheriff’s office to make it happen so we all hop in the car and head down Main street and arrive. We walk into the Sherriff’s office and it is a scene straight out of the movies. We walk around the corner to hear a dog running around and then it hops on the back of the secretary’s chair. We make a comment and she says the dogs name is “chigger”. After looking at the dog… that is the name I would have given it as well. We explain to her what we are doing and she says we need to talk to “Rusty” . Rusty is the man in charge… we walk into his office and Rusty is a cowboy looking feller with a blonde mustache, cowboy boots and hat and smoking a cigarette and ashing on the carpet like he has been doing it for years! Cracking me up! He proceeds to do a background check on Bryan…”We don’t want to be helping out criminals” he says.  Cracking me up… He was super nice to us and he called up the only motel in town and got us a room. Simple as that! Which was awesome because we were planning to stay in the car tonight!

“Life to the Fullest” Daren@theearthexpedition.com

Bryan’s Blog:

Abeline_Horse.jpgAh the Texas plains…a slow medium from death to life, from desert to deciduous. I can almost feel trees coming at us any day now. We’re almost there. We are starting to see more and more life now. I’m so glad I’m out of the desert. There was no scenery, no life, no consistent weather, and no hope, hahaha. Okay it wasn’t that bad, but I am glad I’m out of it. The wind was blowing on the tall grass today as I walked. It looked there were 1,000 invisible horses stampeding across the fields. It was good to see something different. We finished 52.4 miles again today. We got all the way to Jayton! I know, no one knows where that is. But we still got there, nonetheless.

                We’re camping out in the Dairy Queen in a neighboring town called Aspermont, hoping to find someone that might want to take us in for the night. We sat at the table right in the middle of the restaurant so there is no way people could avoid us. Its funny listening to the people that come in though. It’s such a small town that everyone knows everyone. One of the Dairy Queen employees’ mother comes in and just walks right into the back looking for her daughter and she doesn’t even work here. And then she sees someone at the drive thru and calls them by name and just starts talking to them. It’s so funny. Small towns…gotta love ‘em.

                But I definitely love this town because the CRAZIEST thing happened. It is my intent every night to find a place to stay either with someone or find help to get a place for free. It gives a chance to talk to more people about the expedition but also to not have to sleep in the Blazer. Well tonight, without shame, I went up to the cashier at Dairy Queen, Aaron, and asked if we could stay at a church nearby. Well he then called a friend, Tod Krausse, who just got done with his high school basketball game and came to talk with us. Before getting to the point that we needed a place to stay, we talked for twenty minutes about traveling, taxes, and secret politics. It was good small town talk. So he then called his mom and she said to go to the sheriff’s office to get help. So we had no clue what was going on but went to the sheriff anyway. We get there and the office is a replica of any western movie sheriff’s office. The secretary had her dog sitting behind her in the chair, the sheriff named Rusty was flicking his cigarette ashes directly on the ground, and everything was wood paneling with old topography maps on the wall that are completely out of date. It was priceless. But I still had no clue what was going on. So Rusty then proceeded to give me a background check but then shortly after unraveled what he was doing. The town church has a fund for people who come in and need help. They have money set aside to put up people in their town motel that need a place to stay. Well they gave us a room and now we are clean and sleeping in beds in a free motel! Praise God! I can’t believe this happened! I love this town hahaha.

Album of the Day – “The Timeline Post” by The Timeline Post

 

Saturday, February 06, 2009

Daren’s Blog:

Abeline_Creepy_house.jpgFiery one: Wow, It was pushing 80 today… If you were sitting next to me right now I would show you my ridiculous tan lines. I do have the typical raccoon eyes from my Optic Nerve Glasses but other than that I am tanned more on my right side of my body than my left. The sun rises and sets on my right which makes for a great uneven tan…. Oh well….

Record day!: The past three days have been records for Bryan and I . 52.4, 52.4, and then today we rocked out a 54 miler. I actually ran the last 3.3 miles in the dark. I felt like forest Gump!

New Wildlife: Today was  a good day for me when it comes to wildlife…. I saw two animals that I have never seen in my life.  Earlier today I saw a Armadillo! I have never seen them before…alive… but my personal favorite of the day was right at dusk right outside of Haskell, TX when I looked about 30 yards away and thought I was looking at a baby black bear…but I was like… I am in Texas… not New Jersey and then I realized what I was looking at was a Javelina! Let’s just say that I quickly stopped in my tracks… I really didn’t know what to do.. I have never seen one before… so I kind of just stared. I knew that they will charge you in a second and I really wasn’t looking forward to a tusk in my leg tonight…. So I just stood still… he hadn’t seen me yet but there was a couple of cars coming and he was getting closer to the road. I think he spotted me as the cars rolled past and then quickly retreated back into the brush. I wanted to investigate but wisdom told me to keep walking. ..I kept walking

Jesse and Krista Benson: Tonight my friends from college are taking good care of us. We got here late and they took Bryan and I out to eat at an Italian restaurant. It was sooooo good! The night was filled with trail stories and catching up with people we all have in common.We are looking forward to spending tomorrow with them. But for now I am going to bed. Day off tomorrow!

“Life to the Fullest” Daren@theearthexpedition.com

Bryan’s Blog:

Abeline_Bryan.jpgIts crazy how one day you could feel great walking 25 miles and then the very next day you feel like road kill. Today was one of the bad days. Yesterday I felt great…I didn’t have any pain all day, the land wasn’t too rough, and I even ran three miles at the very end of the day. But then today, I felt like I weighed 400 pounds and was out of shape. But the crazy thing is out here, such little things can alter your physical condition dramatically. I ran three of the 25 miles yesterday, I didn’t go to bed until midnight last night, the ground was even most of the day today, it was hotter today, and I didn’t take any ibuprofen (which I am trying to get off of anyway). But those things could play a small part in how bad I feel today. So you never know. It could be a good day or a bad day. One little tiny thing could change your whole day. But the cool thing was that we hit another record day…54 miles! We are unstoppable!

                We are going to be taking a day off tomorrow because the weather is supposed to be windy and rainy. We were planning on taking Monday off in Graham, TX with the friend we met in El Paso at the Starbucks but sometimes weather changes your plans. But still, we definitely needed another day off. The temperature every day has been in the 80’s and we’ve been walking over 50 miles every day. We’re pretty much dead. So we drove down to Abilene to stay with Daren’s friends from college, Jesse and Krista. They are really awesome people. They took us out to dinner and then we just sat and watched soccer all night. They have the Fox Soccer Channel! Yes!!! I don’t care if they have a bed, I’m sleeping on the couch and falling asleep to soccer! Anyway, the day is over and so now I must say…Another day, another dog biscuit. Good night.

Album of the Day – “Aquemini” by Outkast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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February 4, 2009
190 miles in 4 days!

1.31.09 Ruidoso, NM

 

Daren’s Blog:

 

Lubbock_Elk.jpgThe Day: Today was quite the scenery change… This morning I walked out of Alamogordo, NM and it was desert… then after lunch with Bryan I climbed for 12 miles straight! But since I climbed to around 8,000 ft I felt like I was in Maine all over again… There was nothing but Pine trees! I loved it! The 2nd half of the day was walking through an Indian reservation filled with about 3 casino’s!  I know that this oasis of trees will last for about another day for Bryan and I will be heading into Roswell, NM tomorrow. We have a contact there that we are going to watch the Super bowl with! We are pretty pumped about that!

Dead Animals: I saw more dead animals today than any other day. I think I saw 6 dead dogs, 4 cats, and a few coyotes. One was quite the experience..As I was walking out of Alamogordo I saw a dog that looked like it jumped out of the back of the truck going about 150 mph. The dog was all twisted for about 100 yards (no kidding) was the line of blood that it left when it got hit and dragged. As I kept walking I am pretty sure I saw the heart…then I walked a few more yards to see a piece of the jaw and teeth… then some other auxiliary chunks I couldn’t make out. It was pretty disgusting. I thought I should share that bit of my day with you J 

50 Mile Day: Today was a record day for Bryan and I . Together we were able to do 50 miles between Alamogordo and Ruidoso downs. We felt good about it.

Hotel Room: tonight Bryan and I were blessed! One of Bryan’s friends donated a hotel stay tonight! We were excited considering that slept in a Wal-Mart Parking lot last night and when we woke up this morning it was below freezing! It is sooo nice to sleep in a bed!  They also had a hot tub! Glorious!

“Life to the Fullest” Daren@theearthexpedition.com

Bryan’s Blog

                I am officially a member of the nasty blister club. I got one about four days ago and it has progressively gotten worse. Luckily it doesn’t hurt, so I’m not going to pop it but it looks gross. Hahaha.

                We slept in the Walmart parking lot in Alamogordo, NM last night. We were nice and cozy all night long but the worst part is getting up in the morning and having to get ready to walk in the freezing cold after being warm all night. But that’s why we have Walmart! So we ran in and got dressed in the bathroom. I know, its pretty white trash of us. But its free!

                Today was our first 50 mile day through the Apache Mountains . We were in desert and then all of a sudden we walked into this mountain range. Complete change of scenery. It was crazy. This was our longest day so far. But that’s going to be our norm from now on.

Lubbock_cementary.jpgThe coolest thing happened to us tonight. My dear friend Lisa Rodgers was trying to get us a place to stay here in Ruidoso with her sister or some friends. Well she couldn’t find anyone to let us stay with them so she decided along with a group of other lovely ladies to pitch in and buy us a hotel room! What a generous offer! I was so shocked. It was the perfect night for it too because the elevation is higher here and it is already freezing. We would have been miserable in the car. What a blessing. Thank you so much ladies!!!

Anyway, 25 miles of walking makes me tired so I’m going to sleep early. Goodnight everyone!

Album of the Day – “Much Afraid” by Jars of Clay

 

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Bryan’s Blog

                So our radiator is leaking like my Jewish nose on a cold day. We’ve been filling it up with coolant every time it looks low but we still have a way to go to Georgia and we don’t want it breaking down on us. That would be devastating and would ultimately delay our finish date. So pray for that please J.

                We made it to Roswell today though it wasn’t incredibly easy. I have an enormous blister on my right pinky toe. It looks like I have a pinky toe on my pinky toe. I will get a picture of it soon. But it has been hurting all day, yet I still have to walk on it. This is when the expedition starts to get really hard, when you have to keep walking even when it feels like you can’t. But after five miles the pain went away, thank God. But also the wind was back again. Man I hate that wind. It sucks all the life out of you!!!! I hate it…unless I’m in the middle of the ocean on a sailboat.

Lubbock_TX_sign.jpg I have friends that live here in Roswell (Tim and Denise Arlet) who are letting us stay here for the next two nights. What a blessing. We got here just in time to watch the Superbowl. I’m just mad that the Steelers won. That means they now have more Superbowl wins than the Cowboys. NOOOOOO!!!! But this family is so much fun. I love ‘em. Five kids (four boys between ages 2 and 8, one girl who is 14) and three dogs = a rowdy house. These kids are so much fun. The two oldest boys are actually wrestling in front of me right now as I type this. We’re going to be sleeping in the boys’ beds on Superman and Spiderman sheets. What a night. I love these experiences. I’ve had a lot of fun just watching this family interact. Anyway, as I finish for the night I would like to say, “Another day, another dog biscuit!”

Album of the Day – “Sincerity is an Easy Disguise In This Business” by Evergreen Terrace

 

1.2.09 Roswell, NM

Daren’s Blog:

Another 50:  Wow… I sure am glad that we had a place to stay last night for this morning was 25 degrees outside! Thanks to a contact that Bryan had from the previous year we were able to crash at a house! I started off the morning about 15 miles west of Roswell. I ran some of the morning for I wanted to get some running in to alleviate some of the walking muscles…. The morning went fast and before I knew it the 12.5 miles were over and there was the Blazer! I loved the I-pod this morning. I decided to surprise Bryan for lunch with some McDonalds! Hey… I was craving it all morning! So we rocked some chicken snack wraps and Bryan had chicken Selects and a Big mac… we also ate some stuff from our food bag as per usual we set up on the side of the road eating about 4 feet from the semi’s and cars that were flying past us… We are so used to it now it doesn’t even bother us but I am sure that people thing we are stupid.

Trooper: I got pulled over by a state trooper today! I didn’t even realize he was there until I heard the door slam. I had my earphones in  and looked over my shoulder and there he was. He asked “What are you doing out here?” He is referring to the vast wasteland I was entering into…. There is literally nothing for hundreds of miles. I told him what I was doing and told him that I had a teammate about 12 miles ahead. He looked at me and laughed….he said “You have a beard”   “yeah” I said…. He replied “We got called and it was reported that a 16-17 year old kid was out running on 380”  “nice” I said.. He was really nice and said to be careful out here because the sun is in the drivers eyes and I wouldn’t want then to strike you” I said thanks   he commended what I was doing and told me that he was a runner himself. We shook hands and departed.

Shoes: Well my feet feel great but because I am coming up on around 500 miles on them I have ran the rubber sole off the bottom. She shoe still looks new and has held together like magic. I just have put so many miles on them that the sole is disappearing. It is all right though. Merrell had sent me a few pair so I have others in the Blazer!

Lobbock_Nancy_nurse.jpgAnother Place to Stay: Bryan and I have been blessed the past few days. People have been taking us in or have donated a stay in a hotel. Tonight we are with Nancy and Tom. They picked us up in Roswell and cooked us burgers as well as prepared a foot soak for our feet! The conversation was great and they have a fantastic house. I am laying in bed right now and my body is telling me to stop typing and drift away in the flannel sheets. I think I am going to give in……….

Bryan’s Blog

                I will no longer be frustrated for spending long hours in a car on a long distance trip because of this trip. The fact that I walk all day long and only advance a distance that a car takes half an hour to drive is…primitive. So from now on I am happy to drive anywhere in a car even if it takes forever to get there. I like cars…

                I have another friend walking every step of the way with me…this time it’s on my left foot. Yes, another blister. But it’s okay because the people we are staying with tonight are letting us soak our feet in Epson salts! These people are amazing! They’re names are Tom and Nancy Finkbeiner. They are members of the church of the pastor we stayed with last night. They fed us a great dinner and let us stay in our own beds! They have a great house.

                Tomorrow we will be in Texas . This pleases me. Glory be to God that we are so close to the American Promised Land. But I need sleep. Goodnight.

Album of the Day – “Light Grenades” by Incubus

 

1.3.09 Lubbock, TX

Daren’s Blog:

Nurse Nancy and Tom: This morning Bryan and I woke up early because we had to drive back out to the place where we had to start. The great thing is that there was Bacon, Eggs, and Coffee made up for us when we woke up! Such a blessing! The (Nurse Nancy) We love you!  Took care of us and gave a ton of medical supplies for the road! You guys were awesome!

 

Lubbock_loose_women.jpgThe Flu: I have something and it is kicking my butt!  Today after the first 12.5 miles Bryan and I was talking and had a bad morning mentally…..we decided to cut our day short by 5 miles. It actally set us up for better places to stay for the next few days and we didn’t feel like doing the last five. The back of my neck was achy as well as my lower back. It is a awful feeling not to be able to stop and just rest on the couch at your home when you are sick.

Texas!: Bryan and I are now in Texas! We crossed the border this morning and I have to say that it is just as depressing as the rest of the desert. But I have noticed that we are kind of out of the desert now….at least on our way… there is a lot more farming where we are now. But I can see for miles and miles and not see a single tree. What I can see it oilfields! I stopped to count the pumps for a minute and within a 360 degree turn I counted 44 oil pumps.  I am definitely in Texas!

People: I have noticed that the second I walked into Texas Bryan and I have collectively been asked a total of 4 times if we needed a ride or any assistance.  We have only been in Texas for less than 24 hours!

Golden Corral: Wow…Bryan and I went to the Golden Corral last night to eat!. My appetite is now voracious and I am starting to eat a ton. None-the-less as Bryan and I were eating we noticed something….and that something was that we were the skinniest people in the restaurant!  Geez! It was kind of unbelievable!

Julie Muskgrave: Bryan’s High School friend Julie is a reporter for the news station here in Lubbock, TX. She let us stay the night last night at her apartment. She is super cool and tomorrow is actually doing a story on The Earth Expedition. I know that Bryan and I are going to take a day off tomorrow to heal up but I think that we are going to stay here again the next night! Good times!

Exhausted: Once again I am exhausted. The Theraflu that I took 1 hour ago is starting to kick in and I am about to pass out. Thanks for following!  “Life to the Fullest” Daren@theearthexpedition.com

Bryan’s Blog

                Today was the worst day for me mentally. I don’t know what it was because I have had to walk through high winds before, and these blisters have been killing my feet for a few days now, and I am used to walking in complete isolation, but it just hit me today. I was thinking of all the ways I could possibly quit or get around having to walk the mileage or why even decided to do this in the first place. I was feeling this way all morning. I felt like I regretted doing this and that it was too difficult and how bad it sucked. It was nothing but negative thoughts flowing through my weak mind. But I kept pushing and by the time I got to lunch I felt better. I got a break, I ate lunch and we only had eight miles each to go for the day. We finished a little short to make the future days line up with the towns that we are staying in. So we did a 40 mile day still which is good.

                Lubbock_Starbucks.jpgThen we went into Lubbock to meet up with my friend Julie Musgrave who is a reporter for the news station up here. But she wasn’t finished with work yet so we hung out, once again, at our home base, Starbucks. And yet again the employees were very nice to us, they gave us more free drinks, and we got to talk to many people in the store about the Expedition. One guy that we met there named Bryan Simpson wants to take us out to eat tomorrow night and talk about it more. What a cool night! So that was really fun.

                We met up with Julie back her place and just relaxed for a little bit. I went to high school with her and I haven’t seen her since then. So we got caught up and did that whole “did hear about so and so” conversation for like two hours. It was great. But tomorrow is the big day. We are going on to be on the news tomorrow night because Julie wants to use our story! This is so incredible! I can’t wait. So have a great night everyone!

Album of the Day – “Beyond the Neighbourhood” by Athlete

1.4.09 Lubbock Texas (Day Off)

Daren’s Blog:

Slept in!:  Wow… Bryan and I slept in until 10:00! That is awesome considering that we usually wake up at 7:00! We have just been updating website stuff as well as our Facebook. Then Julie asked us to go out to lunch and once Bryan and I ate everything that we ordered! I never do that!

Interview: Now we are waiting for Julie to call us so we will know where to meet her for the interview. The after that I am pretty sure that we will go to Starbucks again. We were there last night and got to talking to all of the people in Starbucks… and before we know it we have an audience. I was on the with Amie from The Earth Expedition and I have to say that I was proud of Bryan. He sounded like an old pro presenting the facts about what we were doing and the plight of the African people. I smiled as I knew that when I stop walking in GA that the expedition is going to be in good hands. We continued to talk to the girls behind the counter. We asked them to sign the guitar and then one of the girls grabbed it and started to play it! Then right as we were about to leave the manager came out and handed us free drink cards! Awesome! That is the third time that has happened!

Feeling better: I am feeling much better today… I have been taking a bunch of stuff that is supposed to help so I think it is working!

Chicago Marathon: I am now officially signed up for the Chicago Marathon!  I will be running for Active:Water  (Active:Water is a Non-profit that we are starting that uses athletic campaigns and non-athletic campaigns to raise awareness and funds for the International water Crisis)  We are looking for Marathon runners or hopefuls that may be interested in running the Chicago for Active:Water. If you are interested then contact me at Daren@theearthexpedition.com

The Marathon is October 11th and the signup fee for the Marathon is $125   Active:Water will be making Jerseys as well as providing Personal fundraising pages for its runners! 

“Life to the Fullest” Daren@theearthexpedition.com

Bryan’s Blog

Lubbock_Julie.jpgWe did the TV interview today! It was fun. This will be the first time for me to ever be on TV. I am excited to see what it will do for building awareness in the Lubbock area. That would be amazing if people started campaigns all over Lubbock to raise money for this!

So today was an off day. We got to relax and rest our bodies from the New Mexico beating. Daren has had a sore throat and fever and I have horrible blisters so this is the perfect time for us to take a day off, especially when Julie is being so kind to let us stay at her place. It’s been great. So other than the interview today, nothing much happened. We try and take it easy on the days we don’t walk. Wouldn’t you? J Anyway, time to relax some more. Tomorrow, another 50 miler. Good night guys.

Album of the Day – “The Campfire Headphase” by Boards of Canada

 

 

 

 

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