Sunday, February 08, 2009 Abeline, TX
Day 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
I 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
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
I 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
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.
Country 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
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
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
We 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
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!
Baptist 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
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
Half 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
Break time! We made it to our stopping point safely! So we stopped in
Denton and are leaving the distance from
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