Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rap game!

I love hip hop; real gritty hip hop, the kind that makes your neck and head bob. The kind that just gets deep in your soul! You can’t help but walk with a limp! Let me paint you a picture: Way back in the woods of Utah (arguably the most un-hip hop spot on the planet) I'm sitting on the side of a highway with LeeRoy taking a break.The song A Mill by Lil Wayne (clean version) haha...  comes through my soon as the beat hits my soul started dancing. I was head bobbin so hard I dang near broke my neck. Before the 3:41 song is over I'm on my feet limpin like a pimp down the road leanin waaaayyyy back. The stride of pride! Haha I put that jam on repeat and rocked it so hard, halfway dancing down the road. In my head I wasn’t in the woods anymore I was walking downtown NYC laced up in Jordan's and a black fur coat. Looked so crazy... A little later I was thinking about that moment. I could not help but wonder what Lil Wayne would think of some crusty goat guy walking through the Utah Mountains rockin his song.  I still laugh about it.
Alright let's switch gears, head back to Twin Falls. I left determined to make it to Burly Idaho.  I was walking on the freeway and people kept coming out to find me. Bringing fruit and water it was so great. About 13miles into my day I found a traffic sign where we could hide in its shade and rest. It's always so hot. I rolled out my mat put in earplugs had a little food and took a nap right on the side of the freeway. I was awoken by this lady named Kathy Kent. Little did I know what the next few days would be like.. and that is what I love about this adventure. She had brought me some snacks and water. Then before I new it she invited LeeRoy to stay with her and her family, and I gladly accepted the invitation.  I stayed with them for about a week. It was AWESOME. Kathy got me into a church to speak, and she also contacted the news and got me an interview.
The coolest part was that I got to spend the day as a farmer, bean thrashing digging potatoes and driving around in a potato truck. That may sound lame to most people but I have never lived a life anything like that, and it was cool to experience it.  Her daughter-in-law Amanda drove me all over and I got to see the sights. It was rad.
So a little crazy detail: The pastor whose church I spoke at in Hazelton happened to be best friends with Pastor Mark, the Past St and I met back in Parma. I had shared with him about my blog; he read up on it and then called Mark. It was cool.
After a bunch of days there I finally left and headed on my journey. Only to get picked up by another family about 10 miles down the road. It was wild, two amazing families in a row.  I can't remember their names off the top of my head but the husband had done a lot of animal packing in his life and still does. He gave me so much good advice and also quieted some fears I had. He showed me how to take extra care with LeeRoy and a few new tricks of the goat trade.  It's hard to find people that have done anything even similar to what I'm doing so his advice was really valuable to me. He shared with me that he had taken extended pack trips into the dessert and deep into the mountains. Most everyone I know has gone for 3-4 weeks, and something I have learned is that even though those people have super good advice they often don't have to push there animal. Well not to the extremes I have to push LeeRoy.(I'm sure that last sentence is going to get me some hate mail.) Never the less I was given some really great info. It's been so helpful. We spent a lot of time talking about winter care for LeeRoy and how to keep myself warm. The difference in what he did in winter and what I tried was he built fires and I couldn't build a fire on the side of the road. So even though I had a little jet boil it was just not enough.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The police...

Open up… police! That's the first thing I remember. It was about 3 in the morning and I was in a deep sleep. My first thought was great another shake down. I'm used to it now and get asked the same set of questions each time and go through the same procedures. I know that they want to be able to see what's in my tent so I always open the door as wide as possible so they can get a good look in. I unzip the  tent door and there stand two police officers. One skinny and one heavier set, both look really young. They're shinning flash lights in my eyes and I can see that they have there hands on their guns. The skinny one was yelling at me and I'm completely aware of everything but moving slowly as I'm just waking up. He yells "do you have any weapons". I say "… Ummm, I have a pocket knife but I wouldn't call it a weapon".  

He continues yelling orders while I'm trying to be as friendly as possible. I tell them my story, about the kids and the walk and hand him a promo card that I hand out. He yells something about seeing my id… but here's the thing, I had lost my Id. The last place I remember having it was in Glens Ferry. So i told him that which was not helpful at all. It only made the officer more suspicious of me. So I gave him my information and they called it in over their walkie talkie. My name came back clear over the radio but one of them continued yelling questions at me so I started being less friendly . He yelled " what makes you think you can take up residence here?"  I laugh and said " Well, I wasn't planning on getting mail." He yelled that this is privet property  and that I couldn't be there. I replied there were no signs posted. As he continued yelling I just interrupted him and said "Are you mad at me? Have I done something to offend you because you keep yelling at me like your mad."  He calmed down a little after that.  After getting a "stern" talking to I was asked to pack up and leave. So I acted like I was but when they left I went back to sleep. I know that was not the smartest idea but I was too sleepy to deal with anything else that night.

The next morning I woke up and met with a lady who had heard about my story. We chatted and she was really cool. I also posted the story about last nights event on facebook.  It was crazy!!! I got a huge response of support regarding the incident. People were calling the police department, they posted on their Facebook page and sent emails . One lady went so far as to talk to the police chief ( boss guy). They had a few conversations and he told her that it wasn't anyone from his department and that I was just outside of the Twin Falls district. I was just on the line and that it was probably the Jerome police department.  So she followed up and they said it wasn't them either. Here's what I was really unhappy about. After the TFPD denied they had anything to do with it, they posted on MY Facbook that "we had talked" and that they were not involved. Then gave my supporters a rep-remand about getting there fact straight before they act. The truth is that I NEVER TALKED TO THEM not once. They never called me or messaged me or anything. At that point I choose to just let it go. I didn't want to get in a fight with the Law ya know. 

Since this story I have had a lot of encounters with the police. There are a few fun and funny stories but there has also been a few difficult ones that haven't always ended well.  I swear sometimes it feeling like  I'm a criminal and like I'm getting out of trouble by the skin of my teeth.  At this point I have come to the reality that there is a possibility that I could be arrested at some point. I think… maybe for trespassing or something. I can never read cops. Maybe they are just saying stuff to try and scare me. Either way If I do get arrested for some reason I'm sure it will be a great story to blog about. But it will not stop me. I will finish this one way or another.. I will always return to the road. Square or Death.... 

Oh one other thing. I really miss the city life...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Twin Falls Idaho...

I've been out of cell service range and I hate that. I feel the most alone when I can't  call anyone. To have, at the very least, the comfort of someones voice at the other end if I need it. I'm about 10 miles in to the Cannon east of Spanish Fork and I'm headed to Price Utah. From what I hear it's about 60 miles away. I hope to make it there in about 4 days. So much  happens everyday, a book could be written about my time thus far in Utah alone. We will get to it...

Ok so back to Jerome Idaho. Early in the morning I was dropped off at subway restaurant where I was picked up the night before. From there it was a short walk to Twin Falls. When I pulled off the freeway I headed to the Flying J gas station where I was greeted by a really cool guy. He used to work in Hollywood on all kinds of TV shows. Hollywood squares, jeopardy and a number of others. We talked for about 20 minutes outside the gas station and then moved it inside to the truckers lounge where we talked about an hour or more. I told him all about Uzima and Needle2Square. He loved it! So let me tell you a little about this guy. He's a savy business type from the Chicago area. He has a son in high school and was recently separated from his wife. How do I know all this? I asked him! I got the sense that he was at a crossroads in his life/ trying to find himself; where he fit in. He mentioned that he used to be sooo close to his son but now he was getting at that age of starting to not need him and I think that shock him up. I could see that his world was his son. His son didn't need him his wife didn't need him and that messed with him.

 I wanted to head in to Twin Falls before sun down so we parted ways and I started the 4 mile walk into town. Just before I make it to town I see someone walking my way. It was the same guy! He said he wanted to get involved some how so he started telling me all these ideas he had on how to promote better and what not. We walked through the town and ended up at Shari's diner. We talked more about his ideas. So here's where it gets uncomfortable for me. He starts saying I should get my food for free and says that he's going to go talk to the manager. 

Ok … I am not this guy!  I don't feel like this project makes me special and I do not want to use it to get special treatment. I'm not trying to get free stuff or anything like that. I don't have nor am I trying to get sponsors. If a company did want to sponsor me I wouldn't say no but I'm not going to try and sell this project. The best part of this has been not having to do that. I can not tell you how many times I been eating somewhere, sharing my story with someone while other people at a different table are listening in. Once I'm finish and get up to pay for my food, the people at the table I didn't even talk to already picked up my tab. It honestly happens more often than not. Its been one of the many ways how the Lord has provided.  My pastor used to say "where God guides He provides" or "if it's His will, He will fit the bill". That has been so true for my journey thus far. So many times weather its new shoes or a hotel or even new headphones. God provides ALL the time! People ask my often if I need anything and to be honest it's hard to say anything. I tell them " I'm good just give to the kids". That doesn't always work cause they want to give to me in some way.  

 I stayed with a family in Boise and my shoes have reached their end.  I needed to get new shoes at some point soon and Amy's mom comes out as we are leaving to town. She hands me $100 and says I want you to get new shoes but you have to get them TODAY.  WOW, what a blessing!!! I say all that to say this, my job is just to walk and share the stories. GOD has the rest under control. The interviews, the money, my needs... He has it. 

Anyway. The guy was persistent to say the least. We didn't get the food for free but we did get a discount and he ended up paying for my meal. We walked back through the city to his car and exchanged numbers, said our goodbyes and only talked a few times after that. 

I headed back to the freeway entrance thinking I was going to keep walking but later decided to not walk anymore. I waited till it was dark then I set up camp in the back  of a field the truck drivers seem to park in next to a restaurant. 

To be continued...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The past month...

I know its been almost a month since I last blogged. To be honest, I have been so unhappy, sad, emotional, and depressed. I lost my  DRIVE... that fire inside that has always pushed me forward in everything... Its just not there. I've been so unmotivated to write and even walk. I didn't want to be in the spot light anymore. I didn't want the attention yet with leeRoy you get nothing but attention and with attention comes criticism. I felt like I needed to hide out a little, just get out of the spot light. I put LeeRoy in a barn for a bit so I could walk through the city and not get attention but even that didn't work. I started making decisions for this adventure based on what people I had never even met thought. I was in this trap of people pleasing (hate that).  Always thinking" how would this decision be perceived by everyone else?" Anyone that really knows me knows I don't operate well like that. 
Things like... If I take some time off and not walk, does that make me look like I'm a slacker or like I'm not really motivated? Crazy thing is that the more time I stay in a city, the more money I raise. If I eat and hang out at a bar/pub are people going to think I'm a "bad Christian"? What will people think if I don't raise the money? What will people think if I take the winter off? What will people think if something happens to LeeRoy? A million other questions have run through my mind and numerous decisions I've had to make.
For the past month these constant fears and worries have taken the joy out of what I'm doing.  My spirit has felt weak and burdened. I've been faced with many  obstacles and set backs the last month, some of which were my own mistakes  and bad decisions and others were completely out of my control. I'll share more about these in a later post.

The good news is that I feel like I'm getting past all that.  The fire is starting to grow and I'm back on my grind.