Part 2 of the walk and its been a rough start. As always things didn't go as I had planned. I was suppose to leave May 2nd as I did last year but its May 22nd and I just finished my second day of walking. I'm currently on top of Soldier Summit in Utah sitting at a gas station feeling physically drained. I had no idea the altitude here would affect me as it has. I'm having a hard time breathing, massive headache, nausea, slight dizziness and just feeling weak. I had a hard time sleeping last night cause I kept waking up feeling like I was suffocating. Combine that with a really bad sunburn and it just hasn't been a good start. Yet with all that physical stuff I have a new sense of confidence in the remainder of the walk. I feel like I own this road… like I've built it myself. Its so odd but I feel home again. No longer feeling like I'm racing against the clock or like there's pressure for me to get to the end. More or less I feel like I have the freedom to enjoy the journey this time around.
I found out later that day that a man who was walking from Seattle to Brazil while dribbling a soccer ball was struck by a car and killed along the Oregon coast. He'd been walking for two weeks and just made it to Lincoln City when his journey ended. It was a really hard thing to find out about having had walked over 1500 miles myself. We walked almost the same route through Washington and it was a sobering reminder of how dangerous the roads are. I couldn't stop thinking about his story… I went on his website wanting to know more. It was an eerie feeling seeing that he had just posted a YouTube video an hour before the accident had happened. I had so many people calling/ texting telling me that they were worried about my safety.
I ended up hitching a ride with my old youth pastor who happened to be driving through Portland back to Bend and then on to Ontario. I spoke at his church last year while walking through Oregon and ended up speaking again at the youth service that Wednesday evening. I love to share, inspire, and encourage the young people to step outside of themselves and get involved in the world around them. Friday we drove to Ontario and I got picked up by my friend Mary whom I met last year in Redmond. She moved to Boise for college and volunteered to pick us up and take us to my friend Noah's house. Noah used to be my roommate back in the day when we lived in Spokane. After a few days hanging out with him and his family, Mary drove me on to Utah where I left off on my journey last winter.