Wednesday, August 7, 2013

People are what matter....

     Leeroy and I had a good nights sleep, thank you to the Village Resort for letting him sleep in the room with me as well as for the free room. It was amazing! Leaving Winter Park I got a ride back to Frazier by Moose who drives the resort shuttle. He dropped me off at the coffee shop that was the last place that we stopped. I walked in to the coffee shop and grabbed a cup of joe as I chatted with the locals and then headed out.  It was good to be moving forward. I walked the 2 miles  between Fraser and Winter Park. As I walked  in to town I met a mom and her daughter .. The daughter was about 23 I think and I'm not sure how old the mom was. Any way they invited me to have breakfast at their condo and as  always I said yes. I love to meet new people. The condo was about a mile away just at the end of town. I told them I could be 45 mins to an hour... She looked at me like I was crazy. With disbelief on her face she said, It's just at the end of town it's less than a mile. I smiled and nodded ... Yes I know but goats are slow and I'm sure people will end up stopping me wanting to talk and take pictures. The plan was set and I headed on my way.  Haha wouldn't you know it, an hour and 15 mins later I get a text message from them "You on your way?"

      I eventually made it there and was stoked to eat a home made breakfast again and drink more coffee.The other people at breakfast were educated individuals with a verity of masters degrees. I felt a little out of place cause I didn't even understand what half of their degrees were in but I guess that's normal for me. When am I not out of place? We talked a lot about what I was doing and they wanted straight facts and figures like the cost brake down per child per month per year per second per …whatever.  I did my best to give them all the info I knew but the reality is that it's not as easy as facts and figures. Unexpected things happen and it's always more then we plan for but I know that God Provides. One of the women there was the CEO of a Ronald McDonald House and I desperately wanted to pick her brain. As Needle2Square grows, I want to be ready to grow with it (if that makes sense). We had a little think tank going with everyone in the room.They actually had some really great ideas which not only inspired me but got me thinking in a different direction.

     We said our goodbyes and I left there with my mind grinding hard. I took some notes on my phone as Leeroy and I got back on the road and kept walking right into a huge rain storm. Once it got too wet to continue walking we pulled off and I made a little hooch for LeeRoy and I to get under. I ended up laying down and slept through the rainstorm all together. At about 5 the rain stopped and we headed back out. Walking almost to the top of the pass (about 3 miles from the top) there was a little turn out. We kicked out and I set up our tent about 60 yards off the road.  Just as I was getting ready to turn in for the night I see this young girl come walking through the trees in my direction with a McDonalds bag in hand. Apparently she had seen me as I was walking up the hill about an hour before, drove the 15 miles down the hill to buy me food and then drove back up to find me. Haha how crazy is that! On that note I would like to say I am so shocked that this young girl would hike in the woods to bring some crusty goat guy like me a meal. I mean what about "don't talk to strangers" and "safety first". In all seriousness though, people are what matter and she was a great example of that.

     The next morning I walked the 3 miles to the top of Burthud Pass and right as I got to the top I met a lady. We got to chatting and she told me that there was a big storm coming in and I needed to find shelter. At the top of the pass there was a " warming hut" which means a restroom with an added room on the side that was lined with benches. It had a sign that said no over night camping and no dogs inside. I figured they would be cool with LeeRoy being inside since he's not a dog. Haha  it never did rain and I never saw this so called crazy storm but we made the best of it by asking the people that stopped to use the bathroom to help me make a Harlem-shake video. That was a lot of fun!

     Burthud Pass is part of the Continental Divide trail that runs from Mexico to Canada. At the warming hut I meat two guys in their mid 20s that were on that trail. We started talking about our experiences on the road. In the back of my mind I thought that what I was doing (walking across America) is a lot like all the other hikers out there that are walking the multiple trails that criss-cross America. But after talking to these two guys and several others along this journey so far, I've come to realize the major differences between my self and them. An example of that is that everyone is in a hurry, they are on a time crunch. Most of these treks are for 7-8 months avoiding the winter months all together. They also do everything they can to avoid any kind of civilization including roads, towns and highways. They try to be as deep in the wilderness as possible which is the complete opposite of me and my route. Firstly, I am terrified of the wilderness and I truly don't like to camp that much. Secondly, I love pavement and so does Leeroy. Walking on dirt trails is always uncomfortable for the both of us. And lastly, my goal is to meet people and share the story of Uzima while raising money along the way.

     Not long after, the two guys left and an older guy in his late 50s came in. He seemed a little…um, I'm not sure how to describe him…  he was just in his own world. The kind of person that will say stuff that is rude or just not cool to say and have no idea he's offending others.  Any way he was telling me that finishing this Continental Divide trail would be the triple crown for him. That means he would have walked the Appellation trail, the Pacific Crest trail and the Continental Divide. We talked for a bit and as always I started asking him personal questions. I learned quickly that he is not a big fan of people. That he loved to be out on the trail cause there he was alone. The whole time I couldn't help but think that I would be so bummed to not get to meet and hang out with people along my walk. 

     He asked me what was the coolest thing I have seen on the road thus far and I told him a little girl donating all of her savings to this project. That was obviously not  the answer he was looking for. He was probably thinking some beautiful mountain top view or something like that, but honestly I really don't care about that stuff. Don't get me wrong, I have seen some really cool sights on this trip so far and I've loved it but they are trivial compared to the look people get when their gears start moving and I hear them say "I want to do something, I want to make a difference!"  When I see someone step out for something they believe in after we talk and later I get an email from them saying "I'm doing this thing or that thing"; to see them make a change in their life or community in there own way. That is the most amazing thing I have seen on this journey. More beautiful than any sun set and more awe inspiring and majestic then any starry night and more powerful then any wild storm. The miracle of changed lives... People are what matter.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you got a homemade meal! I wanted to let you know that I teach 5th grade language arts and social studies. We will be following your adventures in our classroom this year. I think the kids are going to love hearing about what you are doing and why you are doing it! :)