Today marks another pivotal moment! I just crossed the border from Colorado into Kansas. Yeah! I've got to be honest though, the first initial miles and states crossed seemed like greater victories. Now the financial progress is looming over me, while the finish line is coming closer and closer, and it kind of stresses me out. I want this walk so badly to be successful. I feel this incredible responsibility to provide for the kids in Kenya, who are depending on me.
Even though technically today I walked from Colorado into Kansas; this specific blog entry details my walk from Utah to Colorado. Okay, lets take the story back to Utah. I was about 18 miles from Jensen to the boarder of Colorado, which I had walked all in one day. Nearing the boarder, I tried to pick a good song to listen to as I crossed. As you may or may not know, I love jamming out to a good hip hop song. So on this particular day, I picked the song, Stay Fly by Three 6 Mafia. It just sets the mood; I think to myself, "look at me now." It's all ego and pride at this point. Sometimes I have to get into that mind set to press on when my body is nagging me to stop. Music is the bridge to the other side.
We walked over the last hill before we saw the boarder of Colorado. Leeroy and I had been melting all day from the heat and I was ready to stop, but the boarder was just right there. Now I don't know what it is, but every time I accomplish something big I get the giggles. This moment was no exception. I giggled with excitement. Yes, I'm a giggler. In these kinds of situations, I either do one of two things: I giggle or I cry.
LeeRoy and I strutted all the way to the boarder as I'm just laughing, hootin and hollerin,' singing as loud as I can. I'm turning my swagger up to 100,000 and just living it! Every time I get to the boarder of a state, the first thing that I do is pray. I am so grateful that God continues to carry me through. The second thing that I do is set up camp. I like to sleep right at the border. Each of these little victories feel so sweet and I just want to soak it up. After I set up camp, I took a picture to capture the moment. I watched the sunset while daydreaming of the finish line.
The next morning I woke up early (I rarely sleep in). I had a package waiting for me in Dinosaur, Colorado. And let me tell you, this town really lived up to it's name. It was such a small town; so small in fact, you might have thought that it was extinct itself. There were dinosaur statues everywhere. It was quite the sight. I went to retrieve my package but it hadn't come yet so I walked around the corner and had some breakfast.
I noticed that one of the little booties that I had made for Leeroy had fallen off, so I had to make another one for him. I called Shawn and Andrea, who are friends that I made in Vernol, Utah. I asked them if they would bring me some leather from Vernal soon. So that afternoon we met at the local Bar and Grill in Dinosaur. We shot some pool, and my friends gave me the leather that I had requested. While we were playing pool, the owner of the bar came up to me and asked if I would come back again later that night. Apparently, she had invited some of the locals to come out and hear my story. So later that evening I made a cameo appearance. I talked with some of the people, ate some food, and shared my story. Everyone was really receptive and kind to me.
During that night, I met a guy named Don. He was an older gentleman. He had long grey hair that was pulled back in a ponytail. His face was leathered with deep creases. He seemed to have lived a lot and seen a lot in his time. I could see it in his eyes. By the time he had sat down to talk with me, the alcohol was all that I could smell. He initially started asking me questions about my project. I figured he was so drunk that he wouldn't remember me in the morning; so I shifted the conversation towards him and started asking questions about his life. He told me that he has been married eight times and that he worked on oil rigs all his life, except for when he was in the Vietnam War. I was immediately drawn to his story. He had a lot to tell, and I was ready to listen. At one point he started to tear up and I didn't know what to do. I could see the pain and struggle in his life and the scars that were left by it all. I think that I went too far when I asked him if he had ever had to shoot someone when he was in the war. I could see the internal chaos in his heart. I quickly changed the subject and tried to keep the conversation on a lighter note the rest of the time.
After the conversation with Don, the crowd started getting rowdy. Leeroy and I left soon after. Monday morning I got up early, picked up my package and headed out of town toward Hayden.