Day 121 - July 30th

I felt so many emotions when I made it to the Pacific Ocean today. Thrilled, Relieved, and At Peace to name a few. The one emotion that stuck out while I walked into the Pacific is grateful. I am so grateful to have the most amazing dad in the world. If it was not for my father, I would have never completed this journey. He deserves so much credit for this successful journey. I am also grateful for an amazing mom who spent the last four months by herself. She was cheering for us every step of the way. I am grateful to have two wonderful brothers.

I am also grateful for all the kind comments I have received on the journey. I want to thank everyone who went out of their way to write a kind note. You have no idea how much they meant to me the past four months.

I am also grateful for God. The last four months, has been very special and He was with us the whole journey.

It feels strange to be done in a way. However, I am ready to start a new journey. The lessons I have learned the last four months has helped me as a person. I am so thankful to have had this time to grow. I will always cherish the memories I made with my dad. A once in a lifetime journey.

I want to personally thank everyone who donated to runchad. Your kindness and generosity meant so much.

I was not sure how much of a difference we were going to make when we started this journey. However, I believe if we helped one person, it has been an incredibly successful journey.

Day 120 - July 29th

I started early going through the city of Alpine. I then went through some other little towns until I came upon a city called Lakeside. My dad and I had lunch at an Italian restaurant there. We had the nicest server named Terra. Towards the end of lunch, my dad told Terra about our journey. Terra was amazed. We had a great time talking. I told her that I was not allowed to travel on 8W and asked her how long old 80 went. Terra went out of her way to help me. Another server named Cory also helped. I am trying to get to Mission Bay. Terra and Cory spent their time giving me great directions on how to get there by foot. Old 80 ended in a few miles and i needed directions to get around 8. They gave me great directions. I traveled until 80 ended. I then went on Broadway and now I am on Navajo. I made it to the San Diego City Limit!! I can see the city from a beautiful view. Tomorrow, I think I have no more than 15 miles to make it to the water. I am not sure about the exact distance. My route is Navajo to Mission Gorge to Friars. I then take Sea World Drive to West Mission Bay.

I am excited to make it to the beach tomorrow.

It was difficult to find a place to park for the night. We are in a residential area on College Dr. We finally found a Catholic Church parking lot with a great view of San Diego.

Day 119 - July 28th

I kept traveling through the Hills of Southern California. I continued on old 80 through this beautiful country. It feels like autumn weather. Perfect. The incline of the hills does not bother me. There is a lot of beautiful scenery to keep my mind occupied. If you own a motor cycle, I highly recommend making a trip out here. This is perfect conditions for riding. This weather does so much for me physically and mentally. What a difference.

My dad wanted to take a picture of us on his tripod in these beautiful hills/mountains. While he was getting ready, I hung my Raybans on the outside mirror of the RV. My dad was having issues with the camera. He had to find more batteries. I told him I was going to get more miles in while he was working on the camera. About a half hour later, he caught up with me and the three of us took a picture in the hills. I continued for about 15 more miles when I realized I was not wearing my sunglasses. I told my dad that I hung my glasses on the outside mirror of the RV. We drove back looking for my glasses. On the way, we saw a highway patrol vehicle searching a vehicle for drugs. It was a lady. By appearance, I was surprised she was having her vehicle searched.

I was sure my glasses were gone. On the way back, I saw them on the shoulder. I got out and there was not another scratch on them:) I was happy we found my glasses.

Today, I was wearing the first shirt and pair of shorts I saw. My shirt was green and white and my shorts were red. After walking many miles, I realized I was wearing the colors of the Mexican flag. Many border patrol trucks were passing me today. A border patrol headquarters is on this road. I continued until I went through a border patrol stop. Even then, no one questioned me. I guess standing out to blend in works against the border patrol:)

Day 118 - July 27th

We are finally out of the heat and up in the mountains. I can not tell you how much better we feel. It is nice and cool in this higher elevation. My dad and Maddie were having to deal with 107 degree heat in the RV without air-conditioning the last couple of days. Everyone feels much better. It is nice to feel a cool breeze again.

I continued on my road until it was close to dinner. We came upon a casino that had a sign that said $7.77 Prime Rib dinner. Prime Rib sounded really good to us so we decided to go in. We really got a great dinner there. A lot of food:)

We walked around the casino for a bit. They announced that they were getting ready for BINGO in the event room. I convinced my dad to play BINGO with me. I used to play a lot when I lived back in West Virginia. I got four sheets of BINGO and a dobber. My dad got three sheets. When the started calling the numbers, I forgot how stressful it was with four sheets!!! I could not keep up. My dad was fun to watch too. He was having an even tougher time. ha ha The old ladies next to us were pros. They would zoom their dobber through many sheets.

I forgot there are so many different games in BINGO. Some, you had to create different shapes etc. We called BINGO twice. The thing is, we never had a correct BINGO. You can not imagine the nasty looks you get from old ladies when you call out an incorrect BINGO. Let alone calling out BINGO twice!! All we could say was "Sorry about that." I still do not know why we didn't win one of the times. One was because we were not allowed to use the free space for one of the games. We finally decided to get rid of one sheet each. I was starting to get dizzy going through all the numbers.

Well, we did not win at BINGO. However, I am still laughing about us calling BINGO twice incorrectly. I think even if we had a BINGO, we would be very hesitant to call out BINGO a third time. You do not want to mess with these BINGO people:)

Day 117 - July 26th

Today, I got some miles in on old 80. Afterwards, I started making some upcoming plans. I can not believe this journey is almost over. A week ago, I was beyond excited to finish. Now, I have mixed feelings. It will definitely be a transition when I finish.

Well, I do have a place to live when I finish. It is on the beach. I really lucked out with the location:) However, I will be starting over in pretty much all areas. I will have to meet new friends in a new location. Also, I am moving in a new condo and will start a new job. I am getting anxious about it. However, I am sure some beach days will make everything bearable.

My mom is flying out to San Diego to be with us. She will arrive on Wednesday. It will be nice to see her. I booked a hotel on Coronado Island. I am pretty psyched. We are going to spend a few days in San Diego before we drive north to see my older brother Dru and his family. They live a little north of San Francisco. I can not believe it has been 3 years since I have seen everyone. It will be great to see Dru, Christy, and my niece Sage and nephew Silas. The kids are adorable and it will fun to play with them. I am going to spend a couple days with them then fly out.

My dad, mom, and Maddie are going to drive the RV back to West Virginia. I really did not want Maddie to have to fly. It would be too stressful. They are going to stop at Yellowstone and Mt Rushmore. These are places my dad has always wanted to visit. It is really cool of my mom to go with my dad. I thought of going but I have some things to get in order. Also, I think a week on the beach will be good for my soul before I start my life in the "real world" once again. In the meantime, I am going to treasure this last week with my dad on the road.

Day 116 - July 25th

First of all, I want to thank Ryan's coworker for getting us a room. We really enjoyed our evenings in an air conditioned room away from the Yuma heat.

I did get lucky with the Yuma weather today. It was supposed to be 106 degrees but it rained. I was able to get many miles in. I have been traveling on a side road directly with interstate 8. I kept going until I saw a campsite that said Hotspring. It got me curious.

We drove around the campsite with no luck finding the spring. We were driving by the East Mesa canal when we came across a guy sitting under a tree by a truck. We stopped and asked the guy if there really was a hot spring and he said there was. He gave us directions. The gentleman we met is named Aaron. Aaron has been living under a tree for over a year. He hurt his leg three years ago and is having trouble getting any benefits. Aaron is very intelligent and I enjoyed speaking with him. I can not imagine living in a RV for a year let alone under a tree!!! Aaron told us us he had run out of gas a long time ago. His truck with Washington plates just sits on the side of the gravel riad by his tree. When he needs to get food etc he hitches rides etc. We are going to stop and get Aaron some gas for his truck tomorrow.

We are currently relaxing in the hot spring in the desert of California.

Day 114 & 115 - July 23rd & 24th

Yesterday, I got to be interviewed by a Yuma reporter. She came out to interview some police officers in Wellton, AZ about a police brutality case. I was out talking with the officers and she noticed the RV. She was a really nice girl. However, I am not sure if the story made the news. I have not seen it. Oh well, no matter. It was fun to do the interview anyways.

Last night, one of Ryan's coworkers got us a room in Yuma. She got it for us for two nights!!! When my dad and I went to the pool, we had to rig the door so Maddie could not open it and get outside. When we tried to get back in, we couldn't. Maddie locked us out!!! Maddie jumped up and clicked over the safety latch. Just our luck. Ha

We had to wait for an hour until 10 PM for the maintenance man to come. When he arrived, he had to break the safety latch. Maddie was very comfortable laying on the bed when we finally got in:) I could not help but laugh.

Today I am in California!!! I feel really good about going from Florida to California by foot. I will look back at this journey with fond memories. What an adventure it has been.

Today I was thinking how I have been lucky to not have encountered a rattlesnake. One mile later, I saw a baby rattler. It is funny how things work like that.

I kept on my way in 107 degree heat past the Sand Dunes. This is the first day I felt nauseous. Too damn hot!! Also, the air conditioning is out in the RV. We lost it yesterday when my dad was driving up the mountain in Yuma.

It was time for something else to breakdown on the RV:) It keeps us on our toes.

Day 113 - July 22nd

My dad drove me back to the mile marker where I was speaking with Officer Arroyo. I was prepared to walk with my bicycle because of the law. When I was getting out of the RV, I noticed a gravel road on the other side running parallel with the interstate. I did not notice it yesterday because I was on the other side of the interstate. I had to get over some barbed wire to get access to the road. My dad helped me hold down the barbwire so I could get over without harm. I was able to walk on this road for 10 miles. However, there was one flooded area that gave me problems. Once I got off the gravel road, there was another state road I was able to walk on. This is old historic 80. I wonder why Officer Arroyo did not mention this road to me. I can take this road all the way into Yuma.

I really enjoyed going into a little "town" called Tacna. Do you know this is the winter lettuce capital?

They irrigate this land. I am currently walking by cotton fields that are ready to be picked.  A little trivia, I am close to the Sand Dunes of Arizona. Can anyone tell me what film was filmed here?hint Kurt Russell

Day 112 - July 21st

The storm hit us in the early morning. It was raining hard enough for me to want to sleep in:) I waited till it lightened up and headed on my way. It was really nice and cool for the first 7-8 miles. It was nice to be under the clouds shielded from the sun.On the way, a nice border patrol officer asked if I was ok. I mentioned about the cause and he thought it was awesome. He said do not let this cool weather fool me. Once I get out under the clouds, expect 100 degree heat. I told him I know too well about the heat. Actually, I am quite lucky this year. Usually temperatures are 116 or higher this time of the year. I chose a good year to do this journey. The temperatures have been mild in all the states compared to years past.

I kept going until I reached a town called Dateland. I saw many trees that looked like palm trees. I learned they are date trees, hence the name Dateland:) I tried a taste of date ice cream. It was not for me.

I took a siesta then got back on the road. It was a nice evening. I enjoyed the scenery of a long train with mountains in the background. Seven miles into my evening, another police officer stopped me. He came 60 miles all the way from Yuma. Someone called in that there may be an illegal walking on the highway. I told him what I was doing etc. Officer Arroyo was really nice. He mentioned that he had no problem with me on the road but it is prohibited. I mentioned I have come too far to stop. He respected that. I asked him if he knew Officer Hon and Officer Pearson. He knew Officer Hon and I mentioned how nice he is. I am starting to get to know the officers in these parts. Officer Arroyo mentioned there is no law against riding a bike on the interstate. He said as long as i an walking with my bike they will assume i am taking a break from riding and will not bother me. It looks like I will be walking with my bike the last 60 miles out of Arizona.

Day 111 - July 20th

Well, after talking with many people in the area, it appears we are out of the dangerous drug trafficking area. We were told from Casa Grande to Gila Bend was the problem area.

Today, I took the frontage road in Gila Bend. It felt like I was in a third world country. A lot of run down trailers. While I was walking by a trailer area, I saw a dead cat that had to have been there for days. A few feet up there was a dead dog. This is not on the interstate. These dead animals were laying right in front of these people's homes. Disgusting!!!!

It was back close to 100 degrees today. While walking, many tractor trailers were flying by me on the frontage road. When they passed, a horrendous odor would knock me back. At first I thought it was a garbage truck. After a few more of the trailers passed, I noticed the trailers were hauling manure. This is not very pleasant, especially in 100 degree heat. I began to hold my breath when I could hear a them coming. I could not believe how many tractor trailers were passing me. I arrived to a fertilizer plant. I was so glad to get out of that area.

I took a break from the heat then got back on the road. While walking, I saw a policeman drive past me. I was glad I did not have to explain myself for being on 8W. A few 100 feet west I could see that there was a policeman waiting in the median. He appeared to be checking on a car on the side of the road. I did not want to hear that i am not allowed on the interstate. My dad drove up right at that moment. Perfect timing. I crossed the median and asked my dad to drive me past the police officer. While driving past, we waived at him. He looked at us without a smile while we passed by. We thought it was just a matter of time before he would be heading our way.

My dad let me back out a half mile past the officer. While walking, it looked like a storm was on the way from the south. I got another 10 miles in before another officer passed me. My dad was walking with me at the time. The officer noticed us and turned around. This was a different officer from earlier. He asked if we were ok and I told him what we were doing. The officer was awesome. He thought it was great but insane that we were going coast to coast. The officer never once mentioned I was not allowed on the interstate. He just wished us well and safe travels. He told us a big storm was on the way from Mexico. This was one really nice guy.

There was a rest area a few miles ahead and we thought it was a good idea to stay there. What a beautiful sunset we were having before the storm.

Day 110 - July 19th

We got a late check out. The weather is brutal. I played some more poker while i was waiting out the heat. I won 50 bucks and had enough to buy my dad and I the buffet. It was all you can eat crab legs tonight.

We finally got back on the road after the heat went from the 100s to the high 80's. I am now back on the road. With each mile, I am closer to San Diego.

Day 109 - July 18th

The Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert have always been on my dad's bucket list. We decided to rent a car and head north about 3 hours. I am glad we did this. I really got to see a lot of the beauty in Arizona. Early on, we were in what appeared to be a cacti forest. We then went up in the mountains 7,500 feet where there were beautiful pine trees.

We also got to drive on the historic Route 66 for a few miles.

When we arrived to the Petrified Forest, it was already 6:30. It was neat to see how trees had become petrified. There were quartz crystals within the trees. We also saw the beauty of the painted desert. While driving, we saw a coyote running in the field next to us. One thing that was really cool was "Newspaper Rock" This is where people etched symbols and pictures into the stones. These are called petroglyphs.

I ended up driving home so my dad could sleep. We got caught in a pretty bad storm in the mountains. When we got out of the mountains and back into towns, I had some fun with the rental car. At each red light, I would floor it once the light turned green. I would get up to 6000 RPMs. You could say i broke in the car and tires. This childish game helped keep me awake and I would laugh every time when I saw a red light. I felt like I was 16 when I first received my license.

We had one more red light before we got back to the hotel. I made the best of it:)

Day 108 cont - July 17th

When the officer told me that I was in a dangerous area on 8W, we took interstate 84W. 84W runs parallel with 8. We were able to stay on this road close to 20 plus miles.

We decided to look for a hotel at the end of the day. We web searched and there was a Harrah's hotel and casino close by. For curiosity, I called Harrah's to inquire about the room prices. When I was talking with the customer service representative, she asked if I had a Harrah's loyalty card. I mentioned I had one. She checked out my info and said I was eligible for a complimentary room. Sweet!!!

The room was really nice at Harrah's. I decided to play the slots for a little while . I was having some luck and was up a couple hundred dollars. About three hours into playing, I got a message on my machine that said "You are eligible for a complimentary night. Please see the front desk." When I went to the front desk, I told them about the message on my machine. When they checked my loyalty card, they told me I had another free room!! I got the room for the next night. Ha ha They must really need people to stay here in the desert:)

The rest of the evening I enjoyed the buffet and played poker for a few hours. The poker dealer named Chad was really nice and we talked about sports and different cities. I played until there were no longer enough players and then went to bed.

Day 108 - July 17th

Goodbye 10W!! Finally, a sign to San Diego. It feels good to be on the home stretch. I started on interstate 8W today. A few miles on the interstate, I got stopped by another police officer. Apparently, this is a really dangerous area. There is a lot of drug and human smuggling. This is a drug war area!!! Are you kidding me? I knew the area by Juarez was dangerous but not here. The officer told me that the drug smugglers have even decapitated people as a warning to our government and to rival drug smugglers. I asked why there was no fence like in Texas. Apparently, some people have an objection about cost etc. This is absolutely ridiculous!!!! Something has to be done!!! If this is really the case, President Obama needs to send thousands of troops to secure our border. We get so involved with so many international issues. It is time to protect our own land. Below, is an article from the Washington Times.

"The federal government has posted signs along a major interstate highway in Arizona, more than 100 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, warning travelers the area is unsafe because of drug and alien smugglers, and a local sheriff says Mexican drug cartels now control some parts of the state.

The signs were posted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) along a 60-mile stretch of Interstate 8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend, a major east-west corridor linking Tucson and Phoenix with San Diego.

They warn travelers that they are entering an “active drug and human smuggling area” and they may encounter “armed criminals and smuggling vehicles traveling at high rates of speed.” Beginning less than 50 miles south of Phoenix, the signs encourage travelers to “use public lands north of Interstate 8” and to call 911 if they “see suspicious activity.”

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, whose county lies at the center of major drug and alien smuggling routes to Phoenix and cities east and west, attests to the violence. He said his deputies are outmanned and outgunned by drug traffickers in the rough-hewn desert stretches of his own county.

“Mexican drug cartels literally do control parts of Arizona,” he said. “They literally have scouts on the high points in the mountains and in the hills and they literally control movement. They have radios, they have optics, they have night-vision goggles as good as anything law enforcement has.

“This is going on here in Arizona,” he said. “This is 70 to 80 miles from the border - 30 miles from the fifth-largest city in the United States.”

He said he asked the Obama administration for 3,000 National Guard soldiers to patrol the border, but what he got were 15 signs.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer condemned what she called the federal government’s “continued failure to secure our international border,” saying the lack of security has resulted in important natural recreational areas in her state being declared too dangerous to visit.

In a recent campaign video posted to YouTube, Mrs. Brewer - standing in front of one of the BLM signs - attacked the administration over the signs, calling them “an outrage” and telling President Obama to “Do your job. Secure our borders.”

BLM spokesman Dennis Godfrey in Arizona said agency officials were surprised by the reaction the signs generated when they were put up this summer.

“We were perhaps naive in setting the signs up,” he said. “The intention of the signs was to make the public aware that there is potential illegal activity here. But it was interpreted in a different light, and that was not the intent at all.”

He said there should be “no sense that we have ceded the land,” adding that no BLM lands in Arizona are closed to the public.

“I kind of liken it to if I were visiting a city I were not familiar with and asked a policeman if it were safe to go in a particular area,” Mr. Godfrey said.

Rising violence along the border has coincided with a crackdown in Mexico on warring drug gangs, who are seeking control of smuggling routes into the United States.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has waged a bloody campaign against powerful cartels, yesterday announcing the arrest of Texas-born Edgar “La Barbie” Valdez - a powerful cartel leader captured outside of Mexico City on Monday evening.

More than 28,000 people have died since Mr. Calderon launched his crackdown in late 2006, and the bloodshed shows no sign of ending. Law enforcement authorities have been warning for more than two years that the dramatic rise in border violence eventually would spread into the U.S.

T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents all 17,500 of the Border Patrol’s front-line agents, said areas well north of the border are so overrun by armed criminals that U.S. citizens are being warned to keep out of those locations.

“The federal government’s lack of will to secure our borders is painfully evident when signs are posted well north of the border warning citizens that armed and dangerous criminals are roaming through those areas with impunity,” he said. “Instead of taking the steps necessary to secure our borders, politicians are attempting to convince the public that our borders are more secure now than ever before.

“Fortunately, some responsible civil servants are candidly warning the public about the dangers that exist not just along the border but, in some cases, well beyond,” he said. “This situation should alarm all sensible people, and should spur endless demands that our legislators take whatever actions are necessary to restore law and order to these areas.”

Rep. Ted Poe, Texas Republican and a member of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees, said the federal government’s new border security plan apparently is to “erect some signs telling you it’s not safe to travel in our own country.”

“If you are planning on loading up the station wagon and taking the kids to Disneyland, the federal government doesn’t advise going through Arizona - it’s too dangerous and they can’t protect you,” said Mr. Poe. “These signs say to American citizens, the federal government has ceded this area to the drug cartels. Don’t come here; we can’t protect you.”

Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, called the signs “an insult to the citizens of border states.”

“American citizens should not have to be fearful for their lives on U.S. soil,” he said. “If the federal government would do its job of enforcing immigration laws, we could better secure the border and better protect the citizens of border states.”

Michael W. Cutler, a retired 31-year U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) senior criminal investigator and intelligence specialist, said the BLM warning signs suggest the U.S. government is “ceding American territory to armed criminals and smugglers.”

Meanwhile, he said, politicians in Washington, D.C., including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, continue to claim the border is now more secure than ever and, as a result, it is time for comprehensive immigration reform.

“How much more land will our nation cede to drug dealers and terrorists? At what point will the administration understand its obligations to really secure our nation’s borders and create an immigration system that has real integrity?” Mr. Cutler said.

“At the rate we are going, the ‘Red, White and Blue’ of the American flag will be replaced with a flag that is simply white - the flag of surrender.”

Ms. Napolitano said this week that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) would begin flying a Predator B drone out of Corpus Christi, Texas, on Wednesday, extending the reach of the agency’s unmanned surveillance aircraft across the length of the 1,956-mile border with Mexico.

Last month, Mr. Obama signed a $600 million bill to beef up security along the southwestern border. The bill funds 1,000 more Border Patrol agents, as well as 250 CBP officers and two more unmanned aerial vehicles.

Two years ago, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the investigative arm of Homeland Security, said in a report that border gangs were becoming increasingly ruthless and had begun targeting not only rivals, but federal, state and local police. ICE said the violence had risen dramatically as part of “an unprecedented surge.”

The Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center, in its 2010 drug threat assessment report, called the cartels “the single greatest drug trafficking threat to the United States.” It said Mexican gangs had established operations in every area of the United States and were expanding into rural and suburban areas. It said assaults against U.S. law enforcement officers along the southwestern border were on the increase - up 46 percent against Border Patrol agents alone

At the same time, the Justice Department brought a lawsuit to stop a new immigration enforcement law in Arizona, saying it violated the Constitution by trying to supersede federal law and by impairing illegal immigrants’ right to travel and conduct interstate commerce.

Mr. Cutler said it was “outrageous” for the BLM to direct travelers to dial 911 to report suspicious activities since the calls do not go to the federal government but to state and local police. He said the signs are telling Americans to call state and local law enforcement authorities to deal with border lawlessness while at the same time telling Arizona that only the federal government can write and enforce immigration laws.

“You can’t make this stuff up,” he said.

Mr. Godfrey said that just because the signs direct travelers who witness illegal activity to call 911, “that does not mean that only a local agency will respond.”

“The idea is that people will get help as quickly as they can,” he said.

Sheriff Babeu has dealt firsthand with the rising violence in his county since his 2008 election. One of his deputies, Louie Puroll, was shot and critically wounded in April after he spotted five men he suspected of transporting drugs along a remote span of desert near Interstate 8 and Arizona 84.

He said his experience makes him see the issue differently from the administration in Washington.

“The president is only looking at this from a political perspective,” he said. “Everything is not fine. Everything is not OK.”

Day 106 & 107 - July 15th & 16th

Yesterday, it was really hot. I got some miles in but by noon it was up to 102 degrees. I told my dad it may be a good idea to get a motel room. I was tired and have been getting a lot of miles in. We were able to get an early check in at the motel. I instantly went to bed. I slept from noon until 8 PM. When I awoke, I called by buddy Robbie and we talked for a couple of hours. Once I got off the phone, I went back to bed. I slept until six AM. My dad was much more productive. He did all of our laundry. He also went to the store to get us food.

Today, we got up early for our complimentary breakfast. After eating, I decided to make it an early day. I could tell my dad was still tired. I had my camelback so I told my dad to sleep while I got an early start. I got 20 miles in before I heard from my dad. I was glad he got some sleep. I took about a half hour break when my dad arrived. While I was taking a break, a lady named Dolores walked by the RV. My dad started talking with her. She was heading to Phoenix and was hoping for a lift. Dolores saw the sign for Mental Health Awareness on the RV. Dolores suffers from schizophrenia and homeless. Dolores is really kind. It is sad that the state of Arizona does not provide any help for the mentally ill without insurance. You first have to be a threat to yourself or to others to receive any treatment if you do not have insurance.  This is ridiculous and needs to change.

I headed out to get more miles in while my dad helped out Dolores. He drove her fifteen miles down the road. A little closer to Phoenix.

I walked 35 miles today. When we ended for the day, Dolores is at the gas station where we decided to eat. Dolores is going to join us for dinner tonight:)

Day 105 - July 14th

Last night, I was calculating to see how far we have travelled. We were a couple miles to 2000. It was a good feeling passing the 2000 milestone. After 19 miles in the morning, we stopped at the Vail Steakhouse. This restaurant had some history. John Wayne, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin used to eat there years back. Also, Johnny Cash used to play at the bar in the restaurant. His friend, who was in the band was also the bartender there. We met the owner George. George was a really nice guy. He reminded me of the father in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." He sounded a lot like him. I enjoyed his company.

Again, after my siesta, I got back in the road. I saw a sign that said Tucson City Limit. I continued on until dark.

This evening, we are at another truck station. This place has a barber shop. It has been since Lacombe, LA since I have had a haircut. It's a much better feeling now because my hair was getting out of control:)

Day 104 - July 13th

I awoke in the historic town of Tombstone. I think my dad and are were one of the first in town. We started out morning with breakfast at the Longhorn Restaurant. After breakfast we walked around town. It was really cool to see the saloons and buildings where Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan Earp hung out. Also, my favourite Doc Holiday.

We watched a reenactment of the famous gunfight at the OK Corral. It really felt like I was back in the 1800's. A lot of fun.

I am now  in Big Nose Kate's saloon.I am having fun imagining Doc and the boys being rowdy in the saloon so many years ago. I have been here for a few hours having some beers. As Doc would say, "I have not yet begun to defile myself."

Day 103 - July 12th

My dad liked the little town of Willcox so much he wanted to stick around a few hours. I continued on my way in the cool morning. About 9 miles in, I got a call from my dad. "Mr Social" had met some folks in Willcox. He was talking with a lady in Willcox who was a mental health counselor. After listening to my dad about what we are doing, she contacted the Willcox paper. A really nice lady named Ainslee wanted to do a story on our journey.

Ainslee drove down to mile marker 331. We spent about an hour talking. Ainslee was so nice to take the time out of her day to get some press for Mental Health Awareness.

After the interview, I continued until I reached "The Thing." Ha There was a nice little museum. At the end, there was "The Thing." I would tell you what it is but I do not want to ruin the surprise if you are ever heading out this way.

After my siesta, I continued until dark. We saw a sign for Tombstone and decided to drive 23 miles to see this historic western town. When we arrived we saw a saloon that was calling our name.

Day 102 - July 11th

Once again, I got up really early for me and got on the road. I got many miles in before lunch. The closest place to eat was 11 miles west in Willcox. We decided to drive west for lunch and my dad would drive me back to the mile marker later in the day. My dad is tired of McDonalds. I could eat McDonalds every day. We decided to eat at the truck stop. They had an all you can eat buffet. I met a nice guy named Winston in the restaurant. We talked for a couple of hours. It was nice to talk to such a nice guy. Winston is a truck driver from Arlington,TX. We talked about a variety of subjects. I enjoyed the company.

My dad drove me back to where I stopped before lunch. I had my camel back that my brother bought me. It was a really cool afternoon. I could tell rain was on the way. My dad needed to get some things done with the RV. After he dropped me off, he went back to the RV to sew up the seat.

I found a feeder road and took it into downtown Willcox it is a nice little quaint western town. Once I arrived I called my dad. We decided to see a movie "Now You See Me." It was a pretty good movie. However, I think any movie would have been good to us. It is such a rare occasion that we watch TV let alone a movie. My dad really loved the historic part of Willcox. An old country singer named Rex Allen is from there. Also, Arizona's oldest store is in Willcox.

We went back to the truck station to sleep. One thing nice about the desert is it gets nice and cold at night. We open up the windows and let the cool breeze blow through the RV. There was a big storm last night. I am such a sound sleeper it did not awake me. My dad told me there was a lot of thunder and lightning. He was surprised it did not awake me. 30 miles a day brings a good night's rest. I am under 500 miles at 489.6 until I reach San Diego.

Day 101 - July 10th

Another State, another time zone. I made it to Arizona. Today was my moms birthday. My dad and I made a video at the state line singing Happy Birthday!

I woke up early once again. I always plan on getting on the road at 6AM. However, I definitely am not a morning person. I say 5 more minutes to my dad many times before I get on the road. It takes me about 5 miles to get going. Those early miles are rough each day.

Today was fun seeing the Welcome To Arizona sign. The miles go much quicker when you have something to look forward to. We are only 45 miles from "The Thing" ha ha. I have seen so many signs for this. I will definitely have to stop to check this thing out:)

I got 32 miles in for the day. This early rising thing has really helped me get in some extra miles. It is like working double shifts. It is so worth it because it gets me much closer to my goal each day.

Day 100 - July 9th

Wow day 100. When I started writing this blog on day one I thought what it would like to reach day 100. Well, close to 1900 miles and it has been quite the journey. Mostly great times except the issues with the RV.

Last night I ended walking once I passed the Continental Divide. I woke up really early today. I was in the road by 7 AM. I walked 15 miles in the morning and then had lunch. I then took a nice siesta then got back on the road once it got cooler. Siesta's are the way to go!! There was a storm brewing in the mountains tonight. I got to see an amazing lighting show. With all the rain in the mountains, I was able to take some really nice pictures. I was able to get over 30 miles in for the day. I am waking up much earlier but at the end of the day it is nice to see how much ground we covered. I will be heading into Arizona tomorrow:)

Day 98 & 99 - July 7th & 8th

"Stingy owners at

The Grand Motor Inn in Deming,NM"

Yesterday, it was nice to sleep in at the motel. We really appreciate my aunt getting us the room. We needed to get out of the heat. We stayed at the Grand Motor Inn in Deming, NM. My aunt paid for the room and the description said it was pet friendly. However, when one of the owners saw Maddie, he wanted an extra $5 dollars. My dad mentioned about our run for Mental Health etc. The owners at this motel did not care. They wanted their extra $5 a night. Some people do not care about anything except money. This is the impression I got from the owners of The Grand Motor Inn in Deming, New Mexico. I would not stay there again for that reason. They should have been happy we were staying there instead of another hotel in such a small town.

I have been getting many miles in by walking lately. It is so hot and I have to be smart in this heat. I am currently in a Petto gas station 13 miles west of Deming. It is still really early and I should be able to get another 13 in by the end of the day. Today, I have seen many tumbleweeds and dirt devils blowing in the wind. I should be out of New Mexico in a couple days.Arizona will be a challenge. New Mexico has been like a vacation compared to Texas and Florida.

By the way, we filled up every cooler we own with ice at the Grand Motor Inn. We definitely got our $10 back in ice:)

Day 97 - July 6th

I woke up earlier than normal, however it took me awhile to get out of bed. I really did not want to hit the road today. This was until I read a post from my friend Kristi Lucas Grimes. Her post really touched me and motivated me to get on the road.

It was nice to enjoy the cooler weather for a few hours. We are in the desert and I took a few pictures and posted them on my Facebook page. The desert is very beautiful in its own way.

A few miles into the day, I saw a tractor trailer driver trying to help a family change a tire on their car. I asked if they were ok and jokingly the truck driver asked if I had lug wrench in my back pocket. Apparently his was not fitting the bolts for the car so I told him my dad who was up the road 13 miles and he had one. I called my dad and he was on the way to help. I can not tell you how many people my dad has helped in this trip. He is a saint and always looking to help. Honestly, I have never met a nicer person than my dad.

About a mile later, I got stopped by border patrol. They asked a few questions and I told them what I was doing. One of the officers took an interest and she asked if she could get her picture taken with me. After many miles, I got in the RV with my dad and it was a whopping 111 degrees in the RV. It was cooler outside but not by much. I went to lay on the bed in the back and I sweat through my shirt in minutes. Coincidently, my aunt emailed my dad and said she was going to get a couple of nights at a motel for his birthday in August. There could not have been better timing for this email. Well,  we are taking advantage of this gift a little early. My aunt called and got us a room in Deming, NM. Thank goodness because I don't know how we could of stayed let along slept in the 111 degree RV.

We are so happy to be in a cool room. Thanks so much Aunt Sally and Uncle Ned

Day 96 - July 5th

Ryan left today and we miss him already. It was great to have him here the last few days. However, he probably did not have the most exciting time watching me put in the miles, but he was at least able to tour El Paso and White Sands. However, the way he surprised us was priceless!! After spending a few days with Ryan, I think my dad and I are ready to get to San Diego and get back home, this journey has made us both very tired. My dad has been such a trooper but I can tell he misses my mom a lot and so do I.

I have been looking for places to live after this journey and also looking for a job.  I was offered a job in Clearwater, Fl when I get back from my journey.

I think this journey has made me really appreciate everything I have. It has also made me realize some things about myself that I want to change. For example I am ready to work hard then play hard as well:)

Today was hot in New Mexico. I walked for hours and hours in this heat and now I am exhausted. There are not many cities on I 10. After I was done for the day, we just got off the exit and pulled off the side of the road for the night. There is not another town for 40 miles in either direction.  I think Ryan spoiled us with those hotel nights and meals the week he was here.

We are taking it one day at a time. That is all we can do. I am no longer counting how far I have gone but instead I am counting how many miles I have until we are finished.  I am ready to reach my destination of San Diego.  Now the countdown begins.. 660 more miles to my destination :)

Day 95 - July 4th

We all woke up late today, seems like none of us got a good nights sleep for some reason but after breakfast we all got ready.  I wasn't in the mood to run today but after talking it through I decided the sooner I got moving the sooner I would end my run.  Ryan was going to drop me off where I left off the day before and he was going to drop dad off at the antique super store he found the other day, but when we arrived it was chained up.  So we went on to my drop off on the feeder roads in New Mexico.  While I ran dad and Ryan went ahead in the car.  Every few miles they would pull up along side of me to check if I needed water and that I was doing alright, it was 97 degrees today.  Around 2pm Ryan texted me and said there was a truck stop up ahead and wanted me to stop so we could have lunch.  After lunch I refilled my water bottle and went on.  Ryan and dad went back to the hotel to clean up and grab all of our belongings.  Ryan is leaving us and going back to WV tomorrow.  It's about 60 miles from the location where our RV is and Ryan's hotel so he bought us a hotel room next to where our RV is.  So they went back to get everything and take it to our new hotel room.  Ryan will spend the night at his hotel tonight and drive to the airport in the morning.  He has spoiled us these past few days, between having a nice hotel room to sleep in, all of our meals, and fixing the RV.  It will be hard to go back to sleeping in the RV and not having enough money for good meals.  He arrived at the right point of our trip, dad was able to rest and get the sleep he needed.  He looks 200% better than just a few days ago before Ryan arrived at our motel room.  I ended up walking close to 23 miles today and I would of gone further but Ryan needed to drop us off and then go back to his hotel an hour and a half away. 130ish more miles in New Mexico then on to Arizona and California.

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Day 94 - July 3rd

Last night a friend suggested that we go check out White Sands which is about an hour or two away from where we are.  So we woke up this morning, called our insurance agent about the damage that happened to the RV when the tire blew last week.  This was the first time we've had good enough phone service to get the list of damages and talk with our insurance agent.  They wanted a estimate of the damages so we drove the RV to a place that had the time to do an estimate on the RV.  While the RV was getting checked out Ryan, dad and I drove to White Sands, NM.  On the way we saw a sign for White Sands Missile Range so we pulled over to check it out.  We walked around looking at all the test missiles then got back on the road to White Sands.  When we pulled up to the National Park we noticed it was going to be $3 per person to check it out but dad had a Senior Pass to national parks that we showed the lady at the entrance.  It turned out that not only did dad get a free entrance to the park but everyone in our car.. So we saved $9 and dad's senior pass only cost him $10 for a lifetime pass, I'd say we already made the purchase worth it. :)  White Sands was beautiful!!  It was amazing that the sand was so cool to walk on.. I figured it would be hot in the dessert heat but to my amazement it was nice enough to walk on barefoot.  Madison was in heaven, even though it was against the rules we let her off her leash.  There wasn't anyone around so she was able to run and run.. she had a blast.  After awhile of taking pictures and enjoying the scenery we decided to take off.  On the way home the speed limit went from 75 to 65 without any warning and unfortunately Ryan got pulled over.  So I got a ticket in Texas and Ryan now in New Mexico.. I hope we are finished getting tickets because it's money we don't have.  The part that stinks is 10 miles down the road it went back up to 75.  While we were driving we saw a police officer pass us, I don't know why it's ok for them to speed and yet pull us over.

For dinner Ryan took us to Texas Roadhouse.  We felt bad leaving Maddie in the car so we asked the hostess if she could join us at the table, and to our surprise they said sure.  Maddie was in heaven, she not only got to stay in the AC but she also got everyone's left overs.  She has been spoiled girl today.  

Day 93 - July 2nd

Today I slept in while dad and Ryan went down for the free breakfast, they were nice enough to bring some back for me since they stopped serving it at 9:30.  After breakfast we all got ready for the day.  Ryan fixed and updated both dad's and my phone, he laughed at us because we didn't know that we needed to update the apps or do the software updates when they were available.  We were about 3 versions behind and neither of us ever did a backup of our pictures or data.  I didn't even know what the "cloud" was when he was telling me what he was doing.  After he was done updating my phone I got my things ready and left the hotel to start my run.  Ryan ended up leaving shortly after me to explore the city and be my backup when I needed drinks.  He called and asked where I was and I told him I was on I-10 around mile marker 16.  He said he would drive up I-10 west to exit 13 then turn around on I-10 east to drop off water and gatorade for me.  But before he made it to me a very nice police officer pulled me over and told me for my safety I was not allowed to run on the main interstate.  So he gave me a ride to a place where I could run, then Ryan later met us to pick me up.  Officer Romero seemed very interested in what I was doing and even checked out my website while we waited for my brother to pick me up.

Once Ryan arrived we drove and found a feeder road that ran right beside I-10.  I started running again while Ryan drove up a few miles.  He texted me and told me he found a really cool Antique store that he was going to check out.  So I continued on running.  Once Ryan was done with his exploring he called me to find out where I was, I told him I had just reached the Welcome to New Mexico sign :) woohoo.. no more Texas!  What an accomplishment!! I am so happy to finally be over with the longest state of my run.   

Ryan met me by the welcome to New Mexico sign and we took some pictures, he had cold drinks ready for me.  I sat down in the A/C of his car and we drove to the visitor's center to find out some information about running along the highway in NM.  We found out there is a couple of feeder roads that run right along side of I-10 in New Mexico as well.  We drove the feeder roads about 20 miles down and saw that they continued so that made me relieved to know that I would have a safe place to run the next couple of days.  Ryan found a gravel road that led to a cool looking dam or water way.  The gravel path turned into a dirt path which led to a sand dune.  He drove up the sand dune and up a path where we found some beautiful landscapes.  

For dinner Ryan and I really wanted Mexican food.  Dad had fallen asleep so we decided we would just go look around for somewhere to eat.  We asked the front desk if there was any good restaurants near by and he mentioned to us that there was a good Mexican restaurant called Leo's.  We drove downtown to the restaurant and had a nice dinner. We ordered dad a grilled chicken sandwich togo since he wasn't a big fan of Mexican food.  After dinner we decided to just walk a few blocks of downtown, the weather is very nice in the evenings so Ryan and I just walked around and took neat pictures of the buildings.  

I got a total of 15 miles in today and marked off a huge part of my journey from my list, Goodbye Texas - Hello New Mexico :)

Day 92 - July 1st

Today started off normal, well kind of...  

Ryan researched what could be the problem with why carbon monoxide has been leaking into the cabin.  It turned out that there were lots of the same issues on the web referencing our RV and engine.  He called around seeing if anyone had a lift that would support our RV and found one at Midas about 10 miles down the road.  So after breakfast I drove the RV while dad and Ryan drove his rental car.  When we arrived we explained our issues, it turned out that the RV tailpipe had been crushed shut when the tire blew last week.  So not only did the blow out tear out all the wiring for the fridge, water pump and stove it now was causing carbon monoxide to enter the RV.  They said they could fix the tailpipe issue but the other problem was our Catalytic Converter had holes and pretty much rusted out.  They said they couldn't fix that, so I decided to put in some miles while Ryan and dad waited for the RV to be fixed.  After five miles I returned to Midas to find that they were gone, turns out they were driving around looking for places that might have the parts they needed.  Ryan called the Ford dealership and said they would have a miserable time finding one for our model but they could order it for $1,100.. he said thanks but no lol.. They then went to a few other places with no luck.  Midas told them a temporary fix they could use exhaust tape to cover the pipe which was a cheap fix for now.  Dad has been having issues  staying awake ever since the tire blew, and it hasn't helped that he has been driving and breathing the carbon monoxide which has made him dizzy and sleepy.  So Ryan and I decided he needed to stop by the hospital just to make sure everything was ok with him.  We took him to the emergency room where they ran tests on his blood.  While dad was getting his test done, we decided to grab some lunch.  Ryan treated me to wings and Maddie enjoyed the porch shade and her big bowel of water.  Everyone we meet loves Maddie even our waitress loved her. Dad called a little bit later saying that after being in the hospital for 4 hours they released him saying it was only heat exhaustion.. Dad doesn't believe that is the issue but how do you argue with the doctors?  

So after an exciting day of getting the RV fixed and the hospital trip we are now back at the hotel.  Dad is resting and I went back out to put in another 15 miles to make it a total of 20 miles today.  It's nice to have the RV fixed and not having to worry about getting carbon monoxide poisoning.

Day 90 & 91 - June 29th & 30th

Yesterday I got started early. The day was pleasant and it sprinkled a little which was refreshing after running in the hot sun. I got 21 miles in for the day. Dad has started walking and he got in 10 miles of walking!

In the evening, my mind was on everyone back home because it was our 20th high school reunion. I really wish I could of been there with everyone but luckily Facebook was invented and I was able to see all the pictures of all my old friends having fun. I will be at the 25th for sure!

Today I awoke to someone knocking at the door. I thought it was housekeeping at the motel so I yelled that we were ok and still sleeping.  But the knocks continued and after a little while my dad got up and opened the door. All I could hear was "Oh my God, What.. Oh my God, Chad you are not going to believe who is at the door!!" He had the door just cracked but when I looked around I saw it was my younger brother Ryan!!  I too couldn't believe it and thought that we were dreaming.  It took a few seconds for us both to grasp the fact that he was actually here. What a wonderful surprise today!!! We cleaned up the motel room, then Ryan took us out for lunch.  I wanted to show Ryan how it was to run here so I had him drive me to where I left off the day before.  But before I started my run we decided to call mom.  I told her she had to check out the picture that was posted on runchad, I told her he photoshopped himself into a picture and it looked so real.  Then a bit later in the conversation Ryan got on the phone as well, she just went with it thinking that somehow we did three way phone call.  It took her awhile for her to believe that Ryan was really here in Texas with us.  Once I started my run for the day, Ryan quickly realized that this was going to be a long day.  For awhile he just coasted in his rental car beside me, pumped up the tunes which was funny.  Eventually he just drove ahead 2 miles and waited for me then went up 2 more miles.  At the end of my run, Ryan picked me up and drove us to his hotel.  I took a nap while Ryan and dad went to CVS to pick up dad's medicine.  They came back with all kinds of treats, food, and toiletries that we desperately needed.  When they came back we decided to stay in for the evening so Ryan treated us to pizza delivered to our room.  I'm going to put a few more miles in tonight then relax the rest of the night.

Day 89 - June 28th

Last night, I went to bed super early at 7 PM . I fell asleep with my shoes on. The heat and snorkelling must have tired me out. I slept for 14 hours straight. When I awoke, it was time to leave Balmorhea State Park. We are now close to 60 miles west of the park. It is time to find a new camp.

My dad was wondering where some of our clothes were. We did laundry yesterday and forgot some of them in one of the dryers. We drove back to the laundry mat and the laundry was still there:)

We finally were able to gas up the RV after searching for the keys. The spare key that opened up the lock for the gas did not work. We searched for the keys for about an hour until we found them. Finally, we were on our way. I decided to drive the RV to the mile marker to start the day. My dad is still tired and sometimes dozes off while driving. On many occasions, I have to slap him on the arm to awake him. There is an exhaust leak in the RV that does not help matters.

I was concerned about the heat today but it was not too bad to me. I was well rested and had a nice breeze at my back. I also enjoyed being on the feeder "farm" road. I am really tired of hearing tractor trailers zooming at me just a few feet away. Yesterday, a passenger in a tractor trailer threw a drink at me. I was mad at first but it was 107 degrees!! After the water bottle exploded, the cool water felt kinda nice.

I arrived into the town of Van Horn. Finally, an actual little town. Also a McDonalds!!!! YAY back in civilization:) After lunch, I could tell my dad was really tired. It was time to stay in a motel. We got a room at the motel next door. I told my dad to rest. I was going to continue. It was still early and I wanted to take advantage of the cooler weather. As I continued, I saw a sign that said "Now entering The Mountain Time Zone." That was cool to see. I took a picture and was on my way through the Texas Mountains. It is getting less rocky but dryer here. To tell you the truth, I like it better.

This weekend is my 20th high school reunion. Today, I was thinking how I would have liked to have been there. In the evening, my buddy Ricky gave me a call. It was so nice of Ricky to call. I got to talk with him and a few of my classmates. It enjoyed catching up with a few of my old friends after so many years.

I got a lot of miles in the desert today. 24 miles and about 100 miles to El Paso. I am ready for New Mexico. Wow, in 5 days I will be out of Texas!!! Close to 900 miles in Texas. To have traveled through the whole state of Texas, may have been one of the toughest accomplishments in my life. This state tested us not only physically but so much mentally as well.

Day 88 - June 27th

I had to walk today. It is way too hot. It got up to 107 degrees. The cool breeze is gone as well.

After walking, we went back to the State park. In the late afternoon, I decided to go rent some goggles. I wanted to see all the fish that were in the pool. I walked down the road to a place called The Desert Oasis swim rental shop. I met a super nice guy named Trent. I told him I wanted to tent some goggles and he told me it was $10. We then started talking about the heat and I told him about my journey. We talked for about 20 minutes and I told him I would leave the goggles in the basket when I was done. While I was walking back to the park, I noticed I still had $10 in my hand. I forgot to pay Trent.  I walked back to the shop and knocked on the door to pay for the rental. I laughed when Trent opened the door and told him I that we got so busy talking I forgot to pay him. He smiled and told me that he told his grandmother Neta what we were doing. They thought it was great and they wanted to give me a free rental. Neta is a great person. She is very involved in preventing the slaughtering of horses. She told me that there were over 250000 slaughters of horses last year. Companies transport the horses up to Canada and ship out the meat to Europe and other markets. Neta gave me a shirt from their shop. It had a lovely message from a Native American elder on it. I really enjoyed talking with Trent and Neta. Check out their website  I was amazed and saddened to see so many horses that are tortured and killed on their way to be slaughtered.

Day 87 - June 26th

We woke up early before it got too hot. I was able to get 10 miles done in the morning and 10 in the evening. Any other way, I would have to deal with the brutal heat.

During the afternoon, my dad and I enjoyed the natural springs again. The water is so clear and refreshing.

On the way to take me to where I stopped in the morning, I noticed fire ants in the RV. I got bitten about 10 times. We had to stop at a gas station to get some spray to kill them. Those were powerful little suckers. Needless to say, I have had enough of the RV. I may have mentioned that before. Ha

The night air is even hot. It took till 10:30 to cool down. I am ready to see the Welcome To New Mexico State sign. It will be more of the same, and probably worse. However mentally, it will be nice to have Texas behind us.

Day 86 - June 25th

I am outside under the stars in my anti-gravity chair. I am going to sleep outside tonight. There is a nice breeze and the perfect temperature for a night of star gazing.

Today, was a good day. I got to enjoy swimming in the natural springs at Bakmorhea State Park. The water was so clear and refreshing.

During the day, my brother Ryan did some investigation and was able to get ahold of the owners of the lost luggage. She was so thankful that I had found it. All she really cares about is a set of keys, her checkbook, and the 50 US coin collection. She told me the coin collection was her great granddaughters. It was very special to her and she was praying that someone would find it and contact her. Wow, I sure am glad I did not buy those cokes last night when I could not find any change:)

Day 85 - June 24th

started earlier today but it did not help with the heat. I am going to try to go to bed early tonight and wake up really early. Today was brutal heat. It was at probably 100 degrees. About 12 miles into my journey, I found a suitcase in the shrubs on the side of the road. I could tell it fell off a vehicle because there was damage on the top and side. I have been dreaming of a suitcase filled with cash the whole trip. Well, I did not get lucky with a suitcase of cash but there was a collection of quarters from all the fifty US States. The rest of the suitcase was filled with clothes. I did not see any ID on the suitcase but after searching through it, I did find a check book. The check book did not have a phone number on it but it did have a name and address. I called 411 to try to get in touch with the owner. I gave the operator the name and address on the check book but information could not locate a number with the address that was provided. I even asked to do a search for the name in the city that was provided. I still had no luck. So there I was, for 5 miles pulling a suitcase in the desert heat of Texas.

My dad arrived and we decided to get some lunch. On the way, we saw a guy by a car who seemed to need help. It turned out that it wasn't the guy's car. He was hitch hiking. We picked the guy up and drove him a few miles up the road. He told us his name was Robert and he was on his way back home to El Paso. We let Robert out at an exit close to the nearby town.

My dad and I saw a sign for Balmorhea State Park. I told my dad we should check out the park before we had lunch. I mentioned to my dad we should try to camp there. When we got to the park, there was a sign that said no vacancy for campsite. We decided to go in the office anyways. It turned out that someone canceled and we are able to camp. We are going to camp for three nights here. There are not many towns close by and we spend more money on gas to run the generator. I am going to get my miles in early in the morning. I will then have time in the afternoon to relax in the cool natural springs of the state park. The water looks so clear and refreshing. I was not able to take advantage of the springs today because there was a lot of lightning. I will have to wait until tomorrow.

After my dad and I took care of the reservations, we headed into the small town for lunch. While we were waiting for our food, Robert walked in the door. Robert told us it was starting to storm and he did not want to be out in it. When we saw that Robert just got himself a fountain drink without food, my dad gave him 10 bucks to get himself something to eat.

Robert seemed like a smart guy. We invited him over to our table and we started to talk. Robert is only 24 and he has been homeless for a year. He does not talk with his parents or much to his siblings. He has been hitch hiking the last two weeks. I guess Texas requires a lot of identification to receive a Texas ID. Robert hitch hiked all the way to Oklahoma so he would have enough identification to get himself his Texas ID. Since he never sees his parents, he has no birth certificate etc. I really enjoyed Roberts company today. He seemed to like ours as well. He hopes to see us down the road since we are both heading to El Paso.

Day 84 - June 23rd

Today, we tried to build the floor and the wall back up in the RV. The exploding tire caused a lot of damage. We can not have a rock or something else flying in the RV when we are moving. My dad has been working on this problem. When we lost our electrical wire we lost the fridge and water pump. However, we are making due quite fine. We bought a cooler with a lot of ice. Ha

I left Fort Stockton. I am only 220 miles to El Paso. I am so ready to get out ofTexas. I love the people here but this state will not end. It is cool that I keep in touch with a few people in Texas that I met on this journey. We are even Facebook friends:)

I got 19 miles in today. What another amazing sunset. Also, the moon was the largest it has been. Just beautiful.

While I was taking pictures of the sunset, my dad met three nice guys that are driving across country. My dad told them about our journey and they took an interest in hearing about it. Mike, Arron, and Ricky are great guys. We spent the evening talking about each others experiences. They have been traveling for 15 days now and their destination is also California. I really enjoyed talking and hanging out with them. They really thought what my dad and I are doing is great. It was great to see another group of guys traveling and creating memories in this beautiful country of ours. I wish them well on their journey. We exchanged numbers and I hope we stay in contact. They are writing a book about their experiences. I hope their next chapter is great.

Day 82 & 83 - June 21st & 22nd

Yesterday we thought we had the RV back on the road. The transmission was fixed and we were heading 25 miles east of Fort Stockton. After leaving the shop, we had an exploding tire!!! This happened only 160 miles of traveling. It ripped up all the electrical wiring. Also, we now have no fridge or water pump. We waited 5 hours until we were able to get help. Errr. We got a new tire put on, but the wheel housing was still touching the wheel!!!! While we were driving, it felt like we had the furnace on. Since there is now a hole near the rear wheel, hot air from the spinning tires is blowing straight in the RV. It was like a sauna and at 10 PM when it is cooler. We got off the next exit and saw the same crew helping someone else that was broken down. My dad explained the issue about the tire. Fred, one of the owners, told us to drive to his shop. We drove to the shop and they let us hook up the RV until they were able to look at it in the morning.

Day 83

We woke up and had brunch at the trucker restaurant. It was the best breakfast we have had. The guys still have not begun working on the RV. I really did not want to spend the day without getting some miles in. I was able to grab a ride with a super nice truck driver named Craig. Craig is awesome!!! We hit it off from the start. It seemed like we had met before because we were laughing the whole ride. I was telling him about my journey and he would tell me about some of his. He told me I should run in Alaska some day. He mentioned how beautiful it is there. Craig has driven past the arctic circle 3 times. When I got to my mile marker that I needed to be, Craig gave me a patch of Alaska. It says "I crossed the Arctic Circle. Mile 115 Dalton Highway. He told me you have to earn a patch like this and he thought I earned it. Craig did not feel right about leaving me alone in the middle if nowhere. I smiled and shook hands and told him I would be fine. It was great to laugh after so many issues with the RV.

I got into Fort Stockton in the late afternoon. I felt like a cowboy riding into town. The locals could tell i was not from around there. I got some funny looks when they saw me with my camel back when i was heading off the highway into town.

I called my dad and the RV still had not been worked on. It took them till 6:30 to start. I decided to have dinner at Pizza Hut. It was 8:15 until my dad got on the road. I decided to get some more miles in. I got some even stranger looks when the locals saw a stranger on the road in a Big Lebowski shirt with a camel back, carry a large pizza box tucked under his arm:)

Day 80 & 81 - June 19th & 20th

We are still in the rocky hills of western Texas. The rocky hills, were nice to look at the first couple of days. However, I am ready for some new scenery. There is nothing out here. i have enjoyed the amazing sunsets. Also, the breeze has been nice in this heat. I am about 270 miles to El Paso. I am ready to get out of Texas. I can not wait to swim in the Pacific Ocean. I can not focus too much on San Diego. I still have 970 miles.

Today, after running, we headed back in the rental car to Hye. The RV's transmission is fixed. We had to drive 260 miles to get back to the shop. When I was driving back, it was amazing to think I had covered all these miles by foot.

It will be funny to see the face of the rental car agent when we return the car to Enterprise tomorrow morning. We put 2400 miles on this car in 2 weeks!!! Ha ha

Day 79 - June 18th

Well, it is close to 3 AM and I can not sleep. I might as well write my blog for the day.

Today, I got to meet the amazing crew at the Holiday Inn Express this morning. Cheryl, Penny, & Jessica are great.

When we were about ready to hit the road, we thought it would be a good idea to book another night. Fort Junction is the nearest town 100 miles away. I have ran 50 of those miles but still have 50 to make it to Fort Junction. When my dad went to book the room, Cheryl gave us another free night!! She is awesome.

Well, I got 22 miles in today.on the way back to Ozona, we saw a few people broken down on the side of the road. We offered to help all of them. Like I said before, the nearest help where we are is far away. I pray when we get the RV back it does not break down in the desert.

Day 78 - June 17th

Well, we are to the area of Texas where each city gets farther apart. The RV is about 200 miles away. The transmission has been shipped out and will arrive in Hye, on Thursday. Hopefully, the RV will be fixed by Friday.

Before we checked out of the Days Inn in Sonora, I called the Holiday Inn Express in Ozona. I talked with the general manager named Cheryl. I asked if she had any discounts. I told her what we were doing and she told me she was going to give us a complimentary room. Wow, what a great surprise. We really needed it because the hotel rooms are starting to add up.

My dad drove me 10 miles past Ozona where I finished yesterday. I got 21 miles in the rocky hills. When I got done, it was nice to enjoy watching some TV before I fell asleep. Hotel rooms are the best. Maybe we should just sell the RV and stay in hotel rooms for the next 40 plus days. ha. I may be able to get 30 miles in today. Well, I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night:)

Day 77 - June 16th

woke up this morning and my dad told me he needed to go to the hospital. He has been having trouble breathing for the last week. My dad and I drove to the local hospital in Sonora. My dad told me he would be there for awhile and was going to have some tests done. He told me to take Madison back to the motel and go running while he was having the tests.

Today, was my first day of driving in 2 1/2 months. Within the first 5 miles, I got a ticket for going 95 in a 80.

After running for a couple hours, I got a call from the nurse at the hospital. My dad was taken 60 miles in an ambulance to San Angelo. They thought my dad had congestive heart failure. After many tests, it was ruled out. I drove to San Angelo to my dad. It was great to see him. He has some respiratory problems and hopefully the medicine that was prescribed will take care of it.

Day 75 & 76 - June 14th & 15th

I'm still in Hill Country and unfortunately the RV is still broken down so Dad is still having to rent a car to drive us back and forth from the RV back in Hye, TX.  Luckily we were able to get a rebuilt transmission that should be shipped out Monday from Rhode Island. Hopefully it will arrive by the end of the week so we can get it back on the road. This way we can stop driving back each day and start moving forward the end goal of San Diego.  Something that has been in our favor however has been the weather. It has been great this week considering it's summer time and I'm in Texas so yesterday I was able to get in 20 miles and 25 today.  We are currently in Ozona, TX which is 173 miles away from the RV so lately it's been cheaper to stay in motels than driving back and forth everyday.  

Tomorrow is Father's Day and I'm lucky enough to have mine with me for this journey.  So I just wanted to say Happy Father's Day to my amazing dad!  My brother Ryan treated my dad to a hotel room for Sunday night, so I get the benefit of his Father's Day present too :)

Also I wanted to Thank Kristi Lucas Grimes for throwing Benefit / Auction for me - check it out at -

Day 74 - June 13th

Well, I have been crunching some numbers. If I am able to complete 22 miles a day, I will be finished in 50 days. My dad and I have been having a good time but 50 days sounds great to us.

It is good to have a goal. It is something that really helps with so many miles. A lot of people say slow down etc but 130 days is plenty for us. After this, I never want to step foot in another RV. The novelty of RVn has run off. Ha ha

Yesterday, we started earlier and I got 24 miles in. I found a CD case with about 10 CDs in it. Even better, music I like! Pink Floyd, Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz to name a few. It was a nice find on the side of the road. All the CDs in perfect shape too.

Last night, we watched the new Hansel & Gretel movie. A pretty mindless movie that I kinda liked.

Well, getting ready to head out. Hopefully, I can get another 24-25 miles in. I am a few miles to Sonorous, TX. I think we will stay there tonight instead of having to drive back 145 miles.

Day 73 - June 12th

I have getting my miles lately late in the day. I did not get on the road until 6. This is the prime time. I guess you could say the morning, but I love my sleep.

My dad saw a couple named Steve & Renee who ran out of gas. The nearest place for them to get gas was 18 miles away. My dad saw Steve heading back to his truck in front of a sign. I guess once he saw 18 miles to Junction, he new it was to long.

Luckily, my dad saw Steve and offered to get them gas. My dad is such a nice guy. They would have been stranded until someone else would have stopped to help. Also, it was getting dark. It was close to 9.

I saw Steve & Renee in their truck on the side of the road. We talked for a couple of minutes. They wished me luck on the trip. Coincidentally, they are headed to my starting point of Jacksonville. Wow, that seemed like a long time ago.

We had to drive back to the RV which is now close to 100 miles away. We did not get "home" until midnight.

Day 72 - June 11th

Yesterday, my dad & I were hoping for some good news on the RV. We just found out this morning that the transmission is completely shot. Wow, we really got suckered buying this piece. There is no way, the previous owner did not know there were some problems. He seemed like such a great guy. Ha However, we have had problems since day 1. I bet when he was taking us for a test drive, he was holding his breath the whole time.

Yesterday, my dad drove me back close to Junction in the rental car. It takes him over an hour by car. This is from the location of the RV to where I finished yesterday. While we are driving, I look at all the scenery. The land, signs, and other land markers that I remember passing by. It is wild how long 80 miles takes by car. Pretty crazy I have gone 1235 miles by foot.

There is some great scenery in Junction. I am way on top of the Hills. Big open blue sky and not too many cars. I like the silence. When I feel like listening to music, it is quiet enough to listen to music on my iPhone without headphones. I put the phone next to my ear like a tiny boom box. Ha

Pretty frustrated with the RV. I really do not want to put another cent into it. We will see what options we have.

Day 71 - June 10th

Last night, my dad and I watched Broken City. It was an ok movie. I really like Mark Wahlburg. That was the main reason I rented it from red box.

I could not get to sleep until 6:30 AM. That was my fault because I slept 14 hours the night before. I hate it when I can not sleep. It is a terrible feeling. I do not know how my dad has been dealing with many months of insomnia.

I awoke at noon today and we got on the road. Till the RV gets fixed, my dad has rented a car. He drives me to where I finished from the previous day.

Today, I finished up 290W and got back on 10W. Little accomplishments like completing a road help me mentally. I could picture where I was on the map of Texas when I saw the 10W sign. I am halfway through the state of Texas. This week, will be the last few days I will have some descent scenery to look at. I can already notice the land getting rockier with less wildflowers. I hear once I get passed Junction, TX there won't be much to look at. I have noticed less and less cars and the speed limit has been raised to 80. Lately, the mental part of this journey has become much harder than the physical. I find myself counting the miles and googling how far each city is to San Diego. I need to try to go back to the one day at a time. The miles went much quicker then.

Tonight, I am going to watch Django and get my mind off some things.

Day 70 - June 9th

I slept in to the crack of noon, which gave me a great 14 hours of sleep. :)

I started my day at the Pizza Hut buffet. The buffet was supposed to end at 1:30 but I must have reminded the worker of someone. They put in an extra large pizza in for us and extended the buffet hours since the say I come in so often. Ha ha

After at least 12 pieces of pizza, it was time to get started. Once again, the weather was nice. Luckily I missed the rain and hail that was in the area earlier. I am still in Hill Country and enjoying each day in this beautiful country. There are limited cars and more wild animals than human beings. It is very peaceful each day and I continue running till the sun goes down. I will miss The Hill Country on 290W

15 miles for a total of 1225 miles

Day 69 - June 8th

Yesterday was a lot of fun. My dad and I toured LBJ's homes and Ranch. It was cool to go on the house where he was born. They have done a great job taking care of the property. The exact furniture is still there.

We started my watching a video of LBJ and the Texas Hill Country which was interesting to watch. I really enjoyed it because they showed everything I have been seeing along the road each day. When we got to LBJ'S Ranch Home, we got tickets for a tour they showed us the spot where President Johnson would meet with his cabinet and Generals to discuss the Vietnam war etc.

I did not realize how involved LBJ'S was involved in education system, eliminating poverty etc. LBJ was the president who started the program Head Start he also signed more bills than any other president. We were shown his office and where he signed many of these bills. We learned many interesting facts on the tour. I was surprised how modest of a home it was, for the President of the U.S, I was expecting a much larger home.

After the tour, my dad and I went back into Fredericksburg to eat dinner, we decided on a restaurant called Cultures which serves meals from all different countries, we decided to go with the German meal. I had the brats with mashed potatoes and they were great. After dinner, my dad and I walked around the town enjoying the shops and everything the town had to offer. A fun day all in all.

Day 68 - June 7th

I did not get going till 2:30 today. It was nice to see all the people walking around checking out all the shops in Fredericksburg. On my way out of town, I ran into Chris who I met yesterday. I met his girlfriend or wife Paige and they gave me some food recommendations while I am in Fredericksburg. If we had to break down, I am glad it is here. This is my favorite town so far. A lot of live music, good food, great stores etc. Did you know that Fredericksburg, TX is the second most toured wine country behind Napa? I just found that out today. I compared it to Napa yesterday in my blog. I was also told that Fredericksburg is the most visited city in Texas. I will have to check on that. It is hard to believe. I would think Austin or Dallas would have that title. So I headed on my way towards Harper, TX today. It was cool and overcast. My dad was touring the city while I was putting in the miles. I was able to get 18.5 miles in for the day. My dad picked me up and we went back to Fredericksburg for dinner. I may take the day off tomorrow to really tour this German gem.

Day 67 - June 6th

I woke up today to hear that we have major transmission issues with the RV. My dad drove us back to Hye,TX and the mechanic shop said they will not be able to take a look at it till next week. The shop was super nice and supplied us with electricity and water. I decided not to wait till next week to continue so I told my dad I would continue on my own while the RV was getting fixed. My dad did not think it was the best idea but he understood. We had to backtrack a few miles to Hye. I recognized the little "town" of pop 105 from yesterday evening. I tried hitch hiking for a few minutes hoping to catch a ride to the rest stop where we parked the RV last night. I was not having any success hitch hiking and I felt a little stupid having my thumb out to passing cars. Ha. After a couple of minutes, I said the heck with it and went on my way. I liked the scenery on 290, so a few extra miles was not a huge deal.

I got some great pictures close to Lyndon B Johnson's Ranch. Texas Hill Country reminds me a little of Napa Valley. I could not believe how many vineyards there were. I highly recommend for anyone who is visiting this area to check it out. Since I decided to go out on my own today, I was carrying around 15 lbs of supplies, which turned out wasn't too bad. I finally used the camelback my brother bought me for Christmas. I was dressed in fluorescent orange with reflectors this way if I decided to continue through the night I would be prepared. I went by a state road crew and they noticed me carrying empty Gatorade bottles. The crew yelled over to me to fill up my water bottles. One of the guys asked where I was coming from. When I said Jacksonville, Fl he was shocked. We talked for a few minutes, took a few pictures with the crew, then shook hands with them. When I was almost on my way, the guy I was talking to gave me one of his personal cold Gatorades. Wow. Great guys. I met another cool guy named Chris right before I got into Fredericksburg. He had pulled over and seemed to be waiting for me to get closer. When I got closer, he told me he had seen me yesterday in The Hill country. He was curious what I was doing and where I was headed. When I told him about the cause for mental awareness, he thought it was wonderful. I told him about the website and told me he would be following my journey.

After 24 miles, I arrived in Fredericksburg which is a great town. Again, you need to visit this area. My dad texted me to tell me he decided to rent a car for the next few days. He will be getting it tomorrow morning then driving to meet me. He did not want me to sleep outside due to the snakes, scorpions, and other factors. I went on Priceline and was able to bid on room for a descent rate. I headed my way into downtown, Fredericksburg. I really like this little town of 10,000. It was time to get some dinner so I stopped at McDonalds. I met some of the nicest people today. I talked with a great couple Brian & Kari. We talked for about a half an hour and it felt like we had met before. That is how easy they were to talk to, great conversation and lovely people. They thought what we are doing is great and they will be following the site. I am really glad I met them. After Brian & Kari left, I talked with other great people. A couple of nice ladies named Melissa & Karen. Also a great family who taught me about all the different Texas wildlife.

I finally got to the hotel and enjoyed the pool and hot tub. I met another great couple, Burt and his wife. We talked about running and races and good causes. They thought mental health awareness was a wonderful cause and wished me the best.

So, today I met some amazing people on 290 on the road to Fredericksburg. I think I will come back to this town in the future.  Well I ran another 24 miles today, I'm about half way done with my journey.

Day 66 - June 5th

Thank you for all the amazing responses from yesterday. Wow.

Today was national running day:) What a beautiful day for it. I was in Texas Hill Country. What beautiful country. The weather was hot but accompanied by a nice breeze.

I saw a pretty nice size snake on my journey today. I took a picture of it. I think it was a non-venomous Rat snake. Still it was a pretty nice size snake.

I headed into Stonewall, TX. This is the birthplace of Lyndon B Johnson. I am close to his family ranch.

I called my dad and there are more RV issues. My dad had to put three quarts of transmission fluid in the RV just to make it here.  The transmission does not sound great and we hope it is nothing serious.

26 miles for the day

Day 65 - June 4th

I wake up each morning and I feel great after a good nights sleep. Within minutes, I can feel my mood changing from feeling great to depressed.

I am not going to lie, I miss my ex-wife a lot. It is over, and I have been trying to move on.

I have not written much about my ex-wife but she has been on my mind a lot of this trip. I was hoping this trip would be somewhat therapeutic, but most the time, I am hoping to awake from a nightmare. So many things I wish I could change but can not.

I wish I never drank or slept so much in the past to escape my anxiety and depression. If anyone is going through any anxiety issue, I highly recommend a more positive outlet than drinking. I know it is hard, because I still stumble from time to time. I can never have just one, no matter how many times I say I can.

I have no problem with people drinking. However, when you use it to self-medicate or to escape, it becomes a problem. It definitely is not the solution.

Again, I still stumble even though I am aware of this. I know I am going to feel ten times worse the next day when i drink. However, I still do because I just want a few hours without having to fight my OCD/anxiety. It is time to wise up Chad. It is just not worth it!

There have been some times I have wanted to quit this trip. However, I will have to say, this trip may be the first time I feel like I have made a little bit of a difference in this world. Just today, while I was heading up a hill outside Austin, a lady stopped me. She asked if I was exercising or needed a ride. I told her about my journey and she seemed shocked. She said, "this is so weird. I suffer from panic attacks and depression." She then went on to tell me how she had to call off work today because of her panic attacks. She was worried she was going to get fired. I then told her about my similar issues. We talked a few minutes, about how people meet for a reason etc and then exchanged information. I told her about the site to track my progress.

I think it meant a lot for her to hear someone open up with their story. Hearing that you are not alone, is a big part of getting better. This conversation with this lady was a big reason I could carry on today. It really made me feel like I was doing something good.

I really enjoyed the evening sky. Looking at the evening sky, has been my favorite part of the day. I took some nice pictures. Taking pictures on this trip, has been something I have really enjoyed. They will be nice to look at in the future when I finish this journey.

26.3 miles for the day 1,148 miles total

Day 62 & 63 - June 1st & 2nd

Made it to Austin.  Taking the next two days off to recuperate, explore the city and visit with friends.

Day 61 - May 31st

Well,  I slept in till 1 PM today. While I was sleeping, my dad went and hit golf balls till it wore him out.  I got on the road at 2 and today was the hottest day so far.

I got my first 8 miles done in record time. However, after lunch at Sonic I was about done for the day. I ran another 4 miles until I reached a RV park in Cedar Creek. I went in to inquire if they had any openings. The last few nights we have been sleeping without air conditioning which is not ideal with the heat in Texas. I arrived at 6 PM and it appeared they were closing for the day. The lady who was running the park her name is Kathy, I told her about my journey and she thought it was pretty cool. We then talked about how hot it was today. Kathy told me that this was the hottest day so far and that the humidity is particularly high today. Kathy then told me they had an opening. I told her that since they were closing, I would call my dad to get my credit card number. Kathy looked at me and asked "why are you going across country?" I told her it was for mental health awareness. She then said, "You know what, it is free for you tonight." I thanked her so much for her generosity. I also thanked a nice guy named Ken who was also working.

The last couple of hours, I have been relaxing at the pool. Wow how I have missed the pool and it's cool waters it was so relaxing after a hot day. Well, I am sitting in a chair drying off at the end of the day writing my blog. It is about time to head to the RV for dinner, a movie, and precious air conditioning.

Day 60 - May 30th

Today my goal was to make it to Buc-ee's truck stop. Since I left Houston I've been seeing large funny signs all along my running route. The first one I saw said Buc-ee's "Don't Stay Thirsty My Friends" 106 miles. "haha" Well, I made it to Buc-ee's and with their million signs leading up to them you would think they would have a sign with better directions once you were close. Buc-ees is a gigantic gas station, they had groceries as well and souvenirs. My dad and I got a Dr. Pepper icee and a twelve pack of Lone Star beer because you know the saying "when in Rome".

Later in the evening, my dad and I were looking for a place to stay for the night. We stumbled upon a driving range. It was great to see my dad having so much fun. He can hit the ball really well. I took a video of my dad giving a golf lesson. I enjoyed a couple beers watching my dad and admiring the Texas Sky. It was a good day.

14 miles for an even 1100 miles.

Day 59 - May 29th

My day was a lot like yesterday, I am still on 71W towards Austin. In the morning, a sweet little girl named Wendy and her sweet grandmother Mary Lou came up to the RV and donated $10 to my dad. They thought what we are doing is great.

Last night, I did not get to sleep till 5 AM but once I did I slept in till 11. During the day, I got a text message from one of my old roommates in Florida. He asked why I was running and I told him about the cause. He did not realize that I suffered from OCD. He said he would have never known and it got me thinking that a lot of people with OCD get pretty good hiding their compulsions. They become our secret rituals. After I opened up, sure enough my old roommate opened up and told me he has suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for years which I never knew about.

I think more and more people should talk about their feelings/emotions with one another. If you go out of your comfort zone just a little, I think it will help others to open up. Talking and knowledge is great therapy. Just knowing you are not alone gives you some peace as well. I used to think I was all alone when I was younger. One reason I think I started my rituals to ease my anxiety.

Later in the day, I talked with an old friend Jason Wyne that I have known since kindergarten. Jason thinks what we are doing is great and wanted to buy me a new pair if Brooks. He also knew I liked listening to music while running so he wanted to get me a Bluetooth headset. All I could say was "wow thanks." We had a great talk about Clarksburg and reminisced about old times. It was great to talk with an old friend.

At night, I arrived in Smithville. I saw my dad ahead walking Maddie. Once I caught up to them we started to walk back to the RV. My dad tumbled when he went from the highway to the low shoulder. I tried to catch him but he was down before I realized it. My dad did a 3 point landing. ( forehead, nose, and chin) Luckily, he landed on the grass as opposed to the pavement. I helped my dad up and he walked it off. He was luckily ok and didn't get any breaks, scrapes or bruises. He is just a little sore.

I am 42 miles from Austin.23 miles for the day. Total miles 1086.

Day 58 - May 28th

Today I started on a new interstate,  I-71W. A few miles into the day, I stopped at a gas station to get some Gatorade. I asked him where the closest place around to get a meal. I was informed that there was a Peter's BBQ 11 miles west. I kinda laughed to myself knowing it was going to one of those long days

There seriously was nothing for miles but, there was nice scenery which I enjoyed. The weather was not as hot as yesterday which was good. I caught up to my dad about six miles west. I sat in the RV resting and enjoying the breeze. Unfortunately you do not feel the breeze as much when you are directly in the sun and on hot asphalt. So I decided to head out and told my dad to meet me up the road at Peter's BBQ. My dad and I really enjoyed out meal, I had the ribs while my dad had the brisket.

After dinner, I continued on my way. This is usually my favorite part of my day because the weather is starting to get cooler. I began to mess with my phone, taking pictures of the scenery. Taking pictures has become quite enjoyable and seeing the results of them has been even better. When I was at 21 miles, I saw the RV. There still was no gas stations etc where we could stay the night but I saw a sign that said Shell station 4 miles ahead. I decided to put in some extra miles and met my dad there. There was a nice parking lot for us to stay the night.

I am excited for Austin. I will be able to see my good friends John & Melissa. It has been a few years since I have seen them and it will be great to meet their kids.

We should arrive in Austin on Friday night. We will be staying Saturday & Sunday in hotels. I was able to get a 3 1/2 star hotel on Hotwire for Saturday for 50 percent off. Also, as I mentioned before my great friend Noël got us the Hyatt for Sunday as well:) It should be a good weekend to relax and visit with friends.

Total 25 miles for day. Total miles 1063.

Day 57 - May 27th

It got up to 94 degrees today. To tell you the truth, the heat does not bother me so much. I have always loved the sun. However I am unable to run near as long now. I am sweating much more and taking in twice the amount of liquids.

This afternoon, a nice lady named Ellen Jones and her friend stopped in their car next to me. Ellen wanted to make sure I had enough water. She also gave me an ice cold neck wrap to keep me cool. It lasts for a few hours. It really made a difference today. Such great people once again.

I accomplished my goal of arriving in Columbus, TX. I will be taking a new interstate towards Austin tomorrow. I hear interstate 71 has a lot of nice scenery. I walked a good portion of my 20 miles today. It is getting much hotter and there are more and more hills. I want to keep my 20 mile a day pace. I will be in Austin on Saturday and I will be staying for 2 days. I will be close to half way done with my journey when I arrive.

The heat is starting to be an issue for my dad. It is just as hot or hotter in the RV. The RV takes a lot of gas when he has the compressor on. Usually, he goes up ahead in a McDonalds for air conditioning and wi-fi. We are going to have to find a way to keep my dad and Maddie cool before we hit the desert.

Pretty cool to think, I could be done with this journey in 65 days!

Day 56 - May 26th

Happy Memorial Day! I want to thank all the veterans and active military for their service.

Today was a good day. I knew I had only a couple of miles to make it to 1000 miles. I have been excited for this day for a couple of weeks. I called my dad when I ran a couple of miles. We had done it! 1000 miles. I wanted my dad to be the first to know. I then shared a post on FB letting everyone know.

Thanks for all the love everyone. You all really made today great.

My dad and I celebrated in the evening at Tony's Family Restaurant. I had some wings and potato skins. We both had a celebratory beer. After dinner, I got a few more miles in to keep my 20 miles a day average.

My amazing friend Noël, hooked my dad and I up with a hotel in Austin. She has been an amazing friend on this journey.

We will be staying in the Hyatt Regency next Sunday. We should arrive in Austin on Saturday if I keep up this pace. I am excited to spend a few days in this city I hear so much about.

Today, I finished 20 miles for a total of 1018.

Day 55 - May 25th

We stayed last night in a parking lot right outside Minute Maid Park. We left early in the morning before someone questioned why we were still there.

It was laundry day today. What fun. To tell you the truth, my dad is always kind and does the laundry. He usually does it while I am running. However, today he went early and I slept while he did the laundry. I did wake up to help fold. Ha ha

I started running later in the day. It was a great run once I got out of the heart of Houston. I was able to run for 20 miles on the sidewalk. While I ran, my dad went to the driving range. A guy named Tony invited my dad to hit some balls with him. Tony really liked Madison. Madison has been a magnet for meeting people on this trip. I arrived in Katy, Texas in the evening. I called my dad that I had passed exit 741 and I would be continuing on the feeder roads. I told him to head up when he was finished hitting balls. He told me he was done and on the way.

Today was our first day of miscommunication. My dad thought I said I would meet him at exit 741 when I said I just passed exit 741 and I would continue till he caught up with me on the feeder road. Well, my battery of my phone had died and I was starting to wonder where my dad was. Close to an hour went by and I was starting to get concerned. I decided to start walking back thinking he was at exit 741. About a mile heading back, a nice policeman named Fred pulled up behind me and put on his lights. He told me that my dad had called in concerned where I was. Fred was able to have the dispatch get in touch with my dad and tell him where I was. While waiting, I told Fred about my run and he thought it was really cool. He could not believe i was close to 1000 miles. About twenty minutes of talking with Fred, my dad found me. I thanked Fred for his help and he wished me luck. When I saw my dad, he was not pleased. He thought I was dead. I explained that I was continuing on the feeder roads and he said that I told him I would meet him at exit 741. We argued for awhile but we finally calmed down. All is good now. We agreed to disagree. However, we all know I am right:)

23 miles for the day at 998 miles. I will hit 1000 miles on Memorial Day!

Day 54 - May 24th

Another hot Texas day. There was a nice breeze because of all the tractor trailers that were zooming by me. Ha

Today was definitely the most dangerous day of running. I was running into downtown Houston. Sometimes when I would be running on the shoulder, it would merge into another 3 lanes of interstate road. There were a few times when I would get stuck in the middle with six lanes of oncoming traffic. I did get a pretty cool video of the traffic for all of you to see.

I got some nice pictures of the Houston skyline today. While I was running into Houston, I had a great talk with a great pal Ricky Rock. Ricky has been a friend since childhood. I love talking with Ricky. We may only talk a few times a year but we always pick it up where we left off. Great guy. He was telling me he is now coaching baseball for his son and he named the Tball team "The Redsox." This was the same name of the team my dad coached when Ricky and I were kids.

I finally made it into downtown Houston. I had to run across a bridge into downtown. I could see the Minute Maid baseball park and I knew the Astros were playing. I decided to head over to the stadium. I had a good time sitting outside of the stadium looking at the high rise buildings and listening to the game. I saw a ticket scalper who was trying to sell some tickets. I only had a few dollars on me and I did not want to spend much money on a ticket. I asked him if he did not sell a ticket if he would sell one to me for $3 dollars. I was just hoping for any ticket to get me in the door. About a half hour later, we started talking and he asked me where I was from. I talked about my run and he could not believe it. He gave me a front row dug out seat!! It was cool to enjoy the rest of the game inside. My dad called me about twenty minutes later. He was able to get inside free as well. A couple of the Astros ticket guys had an extra ticket. I guess a fan had an extra one he/she left with them at the gate.

The game was a lot of fun. Once again, I was talking with great people that were sitting next to me. The Astros were playing the Oakland A's and I really do not like either team. So  you have to root, root, root for the home team. It was a SHAME the Astros lost. Chris Young from the A's hit a 3 run home run in the 9th. I guess it sums it up to the type if season the Astros are having this year. After the game, they retracted the roof and had a great Friday night fireworks show!

Day 53 - May 23rd

Well, I got close to two months of good running in before the heat has become a factor. It was 91 degrees today and I can look forward to 100 plus degree weather in the near future.

I broke up my miles today. I ran 16 miles this afternoon in the Texas heat. I sweat through my shirt within minutes !! I had to go without a shirt the rest of the afternoon. It was just too hot!!

I got a lot of sun today. I am glad to finally get rid of part my farmers tan.Ha However, around mile 14 I felt like a vampire trying to avoid the sun. I would try to run under any shade I could find. At mile 16, I found shade underneath a bridge. I decided that I had enough of the sun for the day. I called my dad to see if he would bring me a milkshake from McDonalds.

My dad and I decided to go to the movies a few miles up the road. I was hoping the theater would be showing The Hangover 3. We were in luck. However, I have to say I was expecting much more from the film. It was ok but nothing close to the first.

After the movie, I decided to get some more miles in. My dad dropped me off at the exit where he had picked me up earlier in the day. I got another 14 miles in. I could see the Houston lights in the distance. It appears we are bypassing the city.

30 miles for the day. I am excited to reach 1000 miles in the next couple of days. I think my dad and I will have a celebration this weekend once we hit that special mile marker:)

Day 52 - May 22nd

I woke up this morning at 4:30 AM to a wicked storm brewing outside. There were some gusty winds & hail which awoke me. Moreover if you know me takes a lot to wake me up, so I was a little concerned. I grabbed my phone to check the weather channel and there was a severe storm advisory in our area. I looked outside and noticed about eight to ten tractor trailers got off the interstate and parked where we were. After 45 minutes, things calmed down and I was able to go back to sleep.

Because of the storm I slept a little longer which got on the road a little later.. During my run, I ran by herds of deer. I have never seen so many deer at one time. I was wondering if there was such thing as a deer farm so I googled it on my phone and it appears Texas does have deer farms. It was strange to see so many bucks together at the same time. I also saw a white deer which I have never seen before.

I ran through the evening and got some really cool pictures of the Texas sky. I was able to get 22.4 miles in for the day.

Day 50 & 51 - May 20th & 21st

Yesterday, we received a free night at the Holiday Inn because they did not have any water on Sunday. It was good we got an extra day because we had a lot of mechanical problems with the RV.

Last night, my dad called me to tell me that the transmission was skipping and that the accelerator was stuck. I have to say, I have been really frustrated with this RV. We just put another $400 dollars on repairs. If it was a major problem, I really contemplated driving the RV off a cliff and calling it a day.Ha I am not going to put another dime into this RV.

I walked a couple of miles with Maddie to meet up with my dad. He was trying to fix the accelerator. Every time he started the engine, it would red line. After an hour of trying to figure out the problem, we decided to have the RV towed back to the Holiday Inn. It is good that my dad has AAA. We did not arrive back to the hotel till 2:09 AM:(

This morning, Randy came back to work on the RV. Randy has been great. He fixed the problem:) There were plastic grocery bags stuck in the throttle body which does the same function as a carburetor. The bags prevented the flapper from closing causing the high RPMs. Luckily, this was a minor issue and I did not have to drive the RV off a cliff.

We got a 2 PM checkout at the hotel. I have slept so much the last few days, a ridiculous amount really. I slept 16 hours each day on Sunday and Monday. Running has become my drug and if I do not do it on a daily basis, I can feel my mood change. I turn to sleep. I could give Rip Van Winkle a run for the money when it comes to sleep.

I started my day today with my daily milkshake. Sonic has great shakes. After lunch, my dad and I decided we needed to get a map of Texas. We stopped at the local Tourist center. We met the nicest people once again. Jessie, Kathy, Joe, and La Rue are awesome! We had so much fun talking. I had a question about running on the major interstates in Texas. La Rue was nice enough to call a state trooper to find out the Texas laws. I found out it is not against the law to run on the shoulder on I10. However, they advised me not to run on it due to the heavy traffic. We spent a good hour going over the different routes.

La Rue told me all about Austin and how much I am going to love it. When I listened to La Rue describe Austin, it really sounds like the city would suit me. I am excited to visit. If I like Austin, this may be my future destination to live. I have heard so many good things about this city. Why not give it a try?

Kathy gave my dad and I some really nice Texas Tshirts before we left. We had our pictures taken together and they gave us their cards to stay in touch. Meeting great people has been the highlight of the trip. Everywhere we go we have been blessed.

I reviewed the map with my dad when we got back in the RV. I decided to change my route and take I10. I am going to shave off close to 200 miles by taking I10. Yes it is a major interstate, but the shoulders are nice and wide.

I got 16 miles in for the day and this takes me to 906 miles. We are in Hampshire, Texas.

Day 49 - May 19th

A super nice guy named Randy came to the hotel to work on the RV, it was so nice of him to come on a Sunday.

Well, we were able to get the two fan belts replaced. However, the transmission is now skipping so hopefully it will be something small and easy to fix.  We will just have to wait and see tomorrow morning when Randy comes to finish.

I have been picking up galvanized bolts on the road the last few days. Ha. I brought one to my dad and he asked if I saw any more to pick them up since they are expensive. My dad started doing the same and now we have a nice collection. My dad showed the collection to Randy. Randy was impressed and said those bolts are expensive! So my dad asked if he would have a use for them. Randy was excited when we gave him a dozen from our collection.

The heat is here in Texas. I spent the rest of the day napping and watching Moonrise Kingdom in a nice air conditioned room. I might even catch up on a couple of my favorite television shows:)

Day 48 - May 18th

I started my day having an interview with Channel 12 news. The interview was not till around noon and the Texas heat is coming/here. Interstate 90 and I10 became one interstate about 10 miles into my run. I was running on the shoulder of a major interstate for a few miles. Running here was not ideal with the hundreds of cars and tractor trailers zooming by. I finally realized there was a side road I could take. That made the run much better.

I ran across a bridge that was not completed into Beaumont, TX. When u crossed I called my dad and told him where I was. I was informed there was some bad news with the RV. The power steering was out and my dad had to make his way to Auto Zone. I decided to head into downtown Beaumont since it was a nice and I stopped to listen to the jazz/blues fest on Crocker St.

After an hour, I called dad again to find out what was going to have to replace and he said two fan belts and a radiator hose. He was not sure if he would be able to get the work done tonight. I decided to go on my way west. Since we were not sure if the work on the RV would be done, I bid on a room on Priceline. I was able to get a room for 60 percent off!! However, when I called to find out the location of the hotel it was another six miles west so I called my dad to tell him I had gotten a room and the address. About an hour later, I noticed my phone's battery had died. I did not have my wallet on me so I couldn't even get a drink. However, a couple gas stations were nice enough to give me a couple of glasses of tap water. When I was almost to The Holiday Inn & Suites, a man and his wife honked at me and waved me over. They wanted to make sure I was ok or needed help because the man saw me earlier in the day 20 something miles east. I told them about my journey and they were very kind. They asked where my destination was I said San Diego. They told me to say hello to their son when I got there.

When I arrived to the hotel, my dad was already there waiting on me. It was a long day in the Texas heat and I finished 27 miles for the day.

Day 47 - May 17th

I decided to take the day off and rest up. I've been relaxing, napping and sleeping all day. The family we met last night contacted the Beaumont news and I have an interview with them tomorrow. Great that they want to cover a story on mental awareness. May us mental awareness month;)

Day 46 - May 16th

Started running on the railroad tracks today. It was pretty cool because there were a couple of trains I walked between. However, apparently train tracks are private property now a days. I learned that when the train conductor thought I was a terrorist and reported me for being on the tracks. When I was back in the road I had the pleasure of meeting railroad officials who pulled up beside me. Apparently I'm in need of a shave. I was not mad when I got questioned, especially now a days. I was not caring any ID and I thought they were going to take me in. I had to answer a few questions and told them I just thought it would be cool to take a video of the trains. I guess when a train conductor sees a really tan guy with a week of growth, waving and filming them on the tracks they get a little worried in Starks LA. The funny thing was my dad was up ahead filming the trains and he got questioned by the local sheriff. It made for a good laugh and the rest of the day was cool. I headed into Texas where we met a woman named Crystal at the local Sonic in Mauriceville. She saw the runchad sign on the RV and she thought that was really cool. Crystal is great and we had a great time talking for at least an hour, when she asked us where we were staying the night. We told her that we usually find a parking lot etc. she then called her husband James. They invited us to stay on her property so we could hookup electricity for the evening. It was great to meet Crystal's husband James and her sons Nathaniel and Daniel. Once again, blessed to have met great people.

Day 45 - May 15th

Again, a problem with the RV.  We ran out of propane so we woke up to the fridge not working, it was already up to 60 degrees before we noticed.  When I woke up my dad starting telling me that he had met some nice people who had given us propane and was going to feed us breakfast. They were some of the nicest and fun people I had the pleasure to spend the morning with. I instantly got along with everyone at Atkinson Propane.

I have never had catfish before, they made fried catfish with homemade potato chips which I found to be awesome. Not your typical breakfast, but I liked it so much I had two huge plates full. I had so much fun talking with everyone at Atkinson Propane. Fred, Michael, Mark, Olin, Violet, and the rest of the gang were great.

I guess I did not realize that Louisiana used to be Native American country. Mark showed me the thousands of arrowheads that he and his brothers had found on their land. He even gave a couple of arrowheads to us.  My dad and I were having so much fun we did not want to leave. I really felt at home there. They were all great, genuine, good hearted and down to earth people. They were so nice they did not even charge us for the propane. They took a real interest in our journey.

After lunch, it was back to the road. My dad took me back where I finished running yesterday. I started running for a few miles but I am so tired. I was not in the mood to be on the road by myself. I just did not have the energy to run the rest of the day. I decided to walk some miles. This was run 41 out if 45 days I have spent running by myself. I think this morning showed how nice a social setting can be. I have not been in contact with many people during my journey. Luckily I have my amazing father with me and he's been amazing.  Most evenings we try and save gas by not running the generator much so that means we can't watch TV to entertain ourselves.  So it's nice to have dad there to talk to, we find ourselves people watching sometimes to entertain us in the evenings. I have also had great conversations with a lost friend Robbie from many years ago. I really enjoy our talks, he is a character and makes me laugh.

A friend who really gets me through tough days is my friend Noël. I am not sure if I would have made it this far without her. She really knows what to say and I really enjoy our emails. I feels nice to have a good friend to share your day with. She is someone who can always make me smile and I have missed that.  Today I only ran 15 miles but that is a huge total of 849 miles to date.

Day 44 - May 14th

Seeing more and more Texas license plates. I am about a day away from Texas. The days are getting hotter and I am running in a remote part of LA.

Yesterday, i was thinking how nice it would be if i did not have to run by a dead armadillo. Sure enough, no dead armadillos today!!!!  Plenty of dead snakes but I will take it. Ha ha. Once again, it is the little things that help with the day:)  Another 20 miles added to the tally making it 834 miles to date.

Day 43 - May 13th

Started my day by helping a guy pick up a V8 engine and put onto the back of his truck. I have run many miles but lifting this engine was the first time I got light headed and saw lights. But It felt great when we got it into a truck and I saw a big smile on the guys face after we succeeded.

Great day on my journey. I can almost smell Texas. I am about 40 miles away now that I got 22 more miles in today.  Today was a great day re-living memories of the times in college. I talked with my buddy Robbie and we laughed and laughed about the memories. Laughter is the best medicine for anything.

Passed the 800 mile marker today at 814 miles

Day 42 - May 12th

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there, especially mine!  I wish we could of been there with you today to share your special day!

Today was a good day! I met a few nice people early in the morning, I met Guy and Sarah. Sarah thought what we were doing was great. She told me her son suffers from schizophrenia. Her son Jeremy is getting much better now but it took her ten years on a waiting list to get the help he needed. This is a perfect example why we need to put more money and resources into mental health.

Later in the day, I stopped at McDonalds to get a chocolate shake. Everyone there could tell from my tan that I have been outdoors a lot. When I told them about my run and that I was heading to California they could not believe it. It was funny because they all wanted to get their picture taken with me. Later in the day my dad stopped at the same McDonalds, immediately people were asking him if he was my dad. He did not even have to mention me because they thought we looked a lot alike.  Ran a total of 22 miles to end a good day.  Happy Mothers Day!

Day 41 - May 11th

They say you see your life flash before your eyes before you die. If that is the case, I decided to go back as far as I could in my life today. I don't want to have to wait till I am about dead to think of the mistakes I made. I think this is a good idea for everyone to do. It was a good day of reflecting on the past 38 years of my life. I thought about all the good times, bad times, and mistakes. I reflected on my mistakes. I tried not to dwell on them, but to learn from them.  I realized I still have a long way to grow and become the man I want to be. It is good to acknowledge this I think. Everyone can learn from their past. The key is not making the same mistakes if you are given a second chance.

Today, I realized I still have a long way to go with my anxiety.  My dad texted me that he had found a place to stay the night at a local church. He said the church was having a festival of sorts. When I read the text,  I started to get anxious, I really do not like crowds. When I got up to the church, I told my dad I was not tired and that it was still early in the day. I continued west and I could see my dad was frustrated. The farther I got away from the people, the more at ease I became. I chose not to fight my anxiety today. There is fight or flight, and today I chose flight. While I continued, I realized how many times I did this when I was married. Instead of going to parties and other social events, I would make excuses that I was sick. To quote Ferris Beuller, I had made so many excuses to get out of a social events, I think my friends at the time had expected me to see me barf up a lung.

Again today, I chose flight from my anxiety. At least I acknowledge it. You are going to have your good days and your bad. Tomorrow is a new day. Another chance to fight my anxiety in the crowd.  28.3 miles for the day for a total of 769.3 miles so far.

Day 40 - May 10th

Not much to say today, it rained all night and day. I had an interview with KATC news at 2 PM. It was nice to say why I was running and to get more people informed. The rain continued throughout the day and began to leak in the RV. I decided to take the day off from running because of the weather and the situation with the RV. Well, at least the fridge is fixed. Ha

Day 39 - May 9th

Mitch & Venida started us off with an amazing breakfast to start the day. I felt like I was in a movie. I slept in till 9:30 and did not arrive for breakfast at the Buckhorn Cafe till 9:50. When I came in, they joked that here in Lottie, no one sleeps past nine. Mitch, Venida, and everyone at the Buckhorn Cafe will always make me think of fond memories of Lottie,LA.

Before I started my run, it appeared that the fridge was not working. It has been one thing after another with the RV. However, my dad always figures out each problem by the end of each day. We will see about the fridge.

Half way through my run, I met a really nice conservation officer named Ryan. Ryan called the LaFayette news and someone is supposed to interview me about my journey for Mental Health Awareness. It makes me feel good that so many people are responding so positively to the cause. It made the next few miles much easier to run. I even had a guy in a truck stop and give me a bottle of ice water when he saw me running. There is still a lot of good hearted people in this world!

I end my day in Pore Barre, LA. after another 20 mile run.

Day 38 - May 8th

I think I may have had a little preview of Texas today. I ran for 21 miles on a straight highway. No turns or anything just straight with a slight incline. The heat was here today. However, this heat is nothing what Texas will be like in a couple of months. So, you would say this was a preparation day. Good to get myself mentally prepared.

What helped me today was texting back and forth with a good friend. It is amazing how a friend's words can help you get through some tough miles. I think Christopher McCandless found the definition of happiness on his journey when he wrote the words "Happiness Only Real When Shared." I am so lucky to have my dad and Maddie here with me. However the days are long and lonely on the road.

Another thing that helped was singing as loud as I could while listening to songs on Spotify. There was no one around for miles, only cars and trucks passing me by. Today, I started with The Doors "People Are Strange." I am sure if anyone could here me, they would think I was the strange one. Ha. It felt very free to sing outside without the worry of embarrassment.

At the end of the day, I arrived in Lottie, LA were a nice lady named Venida owns a Shell Station/ grocery store and restaurant called The Buckhorn Cafe. Venida was kind enough not only to let us stay and hookup, she also fed us! A nice cook named Cherry made us Hamburger Steak with onions and brown gravy. It was absolutely delicious. Venida also told me that Tabasco hot sauce is made right here in Avery Island, Louisiana. I put a little bit of Tabasco on my French fries. My lips are still burning after 20 minutes of eating. Ha ha  So, it is time to relax tonight. Having electricity will be a treat tonight. It feels wonderful being out of the heat in an air conditioned RV.

Day 37 - May 7th

I slept in today. I slept for 12 hours straight while my dad went golfing outside Erin's home. I did not get started running until 1 PM.

I really enjoyed downtown Baton Rouge. I got to see USS Kidd which was cool. I also enjoyed seeing the old Louisiana state capital building. There was a sign that said it was haunted by a ghost. I will have to read about that tonight. With the larger cities, it seems like I get the full scenic views. I thought I was going to cross a nearby bridge in the distance but as I came upon it I realized it was the wrong bridge. I finally made it to the Henry P Long Bridge. It was a little intimidating to cross because it was very narrow. I only had about a foot of room from the white line on the road. I took a couple of videos of me crossing the Mississippi River which was pretty cool.

Today I got a text from my brother Ryan that Brooks sent me a lot of apparel to wear. My brother has been amazing contacting various companies to see if they would like to be involved. If it was not for Ryan, none of the mental health awareness would be possible. He has been amazing each day uploading different emails and videos to put in the RunChad FB page and pages he created.

Another goal was reached today. I ran 24 miles which takes me right over 700 miles at 701.

Day 36 - May 6th

Today was a great day,  I was excited to get some miles in so I would be able to see a good friend who lives in Baton Rouge. I ended up running 22 miles and it worked out perfectly. When I was done running for the day, I was only 2 miles from Erin's home. It has been way too long since I have seen Erin. I can not believe it has been 17 years since I last saw her. Erin was an exchange student in Sweden while I was an exchange student in Finland. We met up in Stockholm while we were there. Now Erin is married with a lovely family. It was so great to spend time with her and her family. Erin looks the same as she did so many years ago and is just as sweet. It was really nice to meet her husband Micah who is an architect like Erin. They have a beautiful home close to the LSU campus. You could not ask for a better view because there front porch faces a golf course. It was great to see Erin with two beautiful children.  I really enjoyed meeting Ian and Amelia. Ian gave me a big high five right when I walked into the house. Amelia was so cute and had the biggest smile. She would even give my dad hugs which was so cute to see, both of them are great kids. It was fun to listen to them sing Queen's We Will Rock You in the playroom while we were finishing dinner. Ian had a homework assignment tonight, Mac the monkey which is a stuffed animal was staying with Ian for the night. Ian was supposed to write about something while Mac was visiting. I felt honored he wrote about me in my journey. Today was an amazing day and I feel blessed to spend with amazing people.  Thanks Morgan family!

Day 35 - May 5th

The weather has been surprisingly cool in Louisiana. Today I woke up to a cool breeze and when the weather is this nice I try to get as many miles in as possible. I was able to finish a marathon today. This gets me under 2000 miles, now I'm at 1994.8 miles to make it to San Diego.

Once again my dad was Mr. Social :) When I was about done running for the day, I met a very friendly girl named Shelby. My dad had met her and her boyfriend earlier while he was waiting for me. We spent a few minutes talking about my run. I asked if there was anywhere to go in Livingston. She smiled and explained that we are in a small town that only has one restaurant. It looks like my dad and I are eating in tonight. Everyone has been so friendly so far on this journey. I have really enjoyed meeting people from small towns to larger cities that I have run through.

Day 34 - May 4th

I was so happy to wake up to a beautiful day and no rain:) I finished up the Tammany Trail and headed my way into Covington, LA. I was supposed to get off the trail a couple of miles earlier but I missed it somehow which was fine, really what is a couple of extra miles. My dad caught up to me when I got back on 190 west. My dad hasn't been sleeping well on this journey and once again he was really tired. I told him to drive up 12 miles and park and get some rest and I would catch up to him in a couple hours. On the way, I had my first real Louisiana snoball. I saw Chubba's snoballs and I had to make a stop. Chubba was a really cool guy around my age. Chubba told me the history behind snoballs which are different than snow cones. They shave the ice super thin so it melts right in your mouth. He told me that they became popular during the depression because they were cheap and a fun place to go on a hot afternoon. I had my picture taken with Chubba. You can check out his Facebook at Chubba's snoballs.

The last part of the run, I met a super nice guy named PJ. He asked if that was my RV up the road, I was happy to hear him ask because that meant I was close. PJ asked what I was running for and I explained it was for mental health awareness. He thought that was great and was very generous to offer a donation. We talked about how far I've have ran and how much further I have to go. I said the key with running distances that far is to treat it like anything else. All you can do is take it one day at a time. PJ agreed and we shook hands and I was on my way again. At the end of the day I caught up to dad who was talking with a rancher. The rancher was there with his son and his son's friend, the boys were helping their dad take trash away. A little while later the rancher drove away in his truck but what made my day is to see the other two 11 year olds get in another truck and drive away.

Day 33 - May 3rd

I did not feel like starting my run in the rain today but I made the best of it. Today was one of my best running days. Music really helped me early in my day. I was in a funky mood in the early morning, but after sprinting nine miles and listening to Explosions In The Sky it faded away. I listened to the same song Last Known Surroundings at least 10 times in a row at 8 minutes and 24 seconds each time ha ha. This song really puts me in the zone or you could say a trance would probably be a better word to describe it. I was somewhere else for those miles. When I was done sprinting, I felt good again. Running has become like a drug to me. My mind needs it's daily dose

After sprinting, I found myself in the city of LaCombe. I had my first haircut at "The Barbershop" I had a lot of fun there listening and talking with the guys about my run. Kneal the owner could not believe I was running so far. I think all of them were thinking "This is one crazy white boy." Ha ha. A guy named G who was drinking a large Coors Light bottle looked up my website and told me he would be following me. The guys were cool and wished me luck. Then I went on my way.

I ran a few more miles until my dad told me where we were going to be staying for the night. We were going to stay at a state park however, when he got there it was way too muddy so he decided to leave. On the way in, I noticed the Tammany Trace trail which my friend Michael had told me about. I had been looking for it earlier in Slidell but I didn't see it while I was running. I ran about 10 miles on this amazing trail. I saw many rabbits, birds, and wild flowers. This trail was very impressive and Louisiana should be proud and I think more states should have trails like this one. I think a lot more people would be active. I could not have asked for a better running afternoon. Though it was chilly, it was perfect running weather and a great nature afternoon without the rain:)  I ran a total of 24 miles today for a total of 601 miles.

Day 32 - May 2nd

Today started with running in the rain, however it was fine because I was in a new state and was ready to check out LA. Early in the morning, I met a guy named Doug at his fishing hole and I spent a few minutes talking with him. He told me the river has been high from all the rain and he told me about all the fish he had caught at this particular fishing hole. The previous Saturday he had caught 40 fish everything from catfish to bluegill and he loved to fillet bluegill. Doug said he was a cancer survivor and has been cancer free from 2004.

Later in the day I took a break to eat lunch where I met a man named Joe who worked there. Joe was nice enough to let us fill up the RV with water. While I was filling up the RV with water, Joe brought out our pizza we had ordered. He saw the sign on the RV about running for Mental Health Awareness so I told him about how I've suffered with depression and OCD in my life. Then told him about the cause. Joe thought what we were doing was wonderful and opened up to me by telling me he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. His mother also suffers from OCD and depression. We shook hands then he looked up my website and he said he would be following me.

It is amazing how many people that suffer from some kind of mental illness. We meet them every day. I now know it is not a coincidence that we are meeting these people. We are meeting so many amazing people on this journey.  Today I ran 17 miles for a total of 577 miles.

Day 31 - May 1st  

Last night we parked the RV next to the gulf, it was a perfect location.  We slept great last night listening to the strong gulf breeze and waves crashing on the short.  I woke up around 9:30 the morning, we took Maddie on the beach which luckily she has conquered her fears of the water.  It was nice to see her run into the water having the time of her life.

While my dad was waiting for me to get back from my run, he had accidentally backed into a ditch. When I caught up to him, I saw that a nice truck driver named James who was helping my dad. They hooked a chain around the front bumper of the RV and was able to pull the rv out of the ditch. We've met so many nice people along the way.  James Weathersby is the newest addition to folks who've helped us out.

As I continued on my run on down highway 90 west, the weather was mixed with rain and sunshine. It would pour for a few minutes and a few minutes later there would be sunshine. With each let up of the rain I could see steam coming off the hot pavement in the sunlight. I was looking for a rainbow after it stopped each time, but I did not see any. As I passed the welcome to Mississippi sign and I could see my dad up ahead. He was talking with two nice women named Tammy & Dawn. Tammy & Dawn were super nice. Luckily, they told me that if I continued on 90W I would arrive in New Orleans which would have taken us off course. It appears I will finally be traveling on a new road tomorrow highway 190 west. I was able to cross the bridge into Louisiana before a massive storm appeared appeared.

Day 30 - April 30th

I've been running the boardwalk the past two days and it's been great.  It's been nice not having to worry about cars while running. Now that the boardwalk is over I'm going to miss having the stress free running. In the early afternoon, the easy running had been completed. It is back to running against traffic and being aware of cars once again. After running on the boardwalk, I realized there is an added stress factor with having to be aware of my surroundings. It's funny how stress plays a role in how tired you get.  Whether you are running against traffic, going to work, raising a family or whatever your case maybe, it all takes a tole on you.

Well, I got 17.5 miles in before the rain hit. I was able to run to a nearby Wendy's for shelter and was hoping while I ate lunch that the rain would subside. When it did not stop I decided call my dad and tell him where I was. I would usually just run in the rain but I did not feel it today. So here I am in the RV writing an early blog while my dad is getting some well needed sleep. He did not get any sleep last night, poor guy so it's good he's getting some rest now. After 3 hours the rain has finally stopped. I am going to wait till my dad wakes up then I'm going to try and get a few more miles in. I am only 13 miles from the LA border and I might get another 6 miles in tonight. I will wait till tomorrow to run into LA. This way, I will have something to look forward to tomorrow. I am close to 550 miles on my journey. Tomorrow a new state and a new month.  

Day 29 - April 29th

After yesterdays run it was hard for me to get up. I had a great time in Biloxi the night before but I woke up in one of my moods. My dreams have been pretty vivid lately and last nights dream was a nightmare. It's funny how dreams affect me, for a few hours of the day I was still thinking about them. Especially, during this journey, my dreams have been too vivid. I do not know if it is exhaustion or that I have had too much time to think. It took me till around 1 PM to start feeling better. Luckily for me i had a couple of friends to talk to this afternoon, thanks Randy and Robbie.

Todays run was easier and more enjoyable because I got to run on the Biloxi boardwalk. I had a great view of the Gulf and saw Jefferson Davis's home where he had once resided. As I was running it was sad to see all the devastation of Katrina's aftermath still present so many years later.  Today I ran a total of 16 miles on flat boardwalk right next to the ocean. I didn't have to worry about the cars today which was a nice change, I just got to enjoy beautiful scenery. After my run, I had a wonderful talk from a friend that I have been wanting to talk to for a month. It really made my day.

This evening was wonderful. My buddy from high school Kenny Runyan invited my dad and I for dinner. It was so wonderful to see Kenny again. He looked the same as he did in high school even though it's been 20 years. Kenny introduced us to his lovely wife Jaime and adorable daughter Jocelyn. We had our first home cooked meal for over a month. It was amazing steak tips, mashed potatoes, gravy, salad, and vegetables. I could not get enough. Even Maddie got a little treat from Jocelyn who gave her some raw hide to enjoy. All of us were well taken care of and it was great to be in a home again. Jaime offered for us to stay the night but I was afraid I wouldn't want to leave in the morning. I almost forgot how nice real carpet feels on one's feet, it's the little things that you find yourself missing. Ha ha. Their home was amazing. It made me wonder how my dad and I have lived in a RV for a month. I really enjoyed my night with an old friend and gained two new friends as well.

Day 28 - April 28th

I had a great day today it started off nicely.  As I was running I heard a church service going on so I began to just walk and listen to the preacher talk, it turns out you can find church even on the road :)  I continued on my journey for 23.7 miles into Biloxi, MS  where I met my dad at the Grand Casino.

All day it seemed like it was going to rain. Luckily I timed it perfectly because right when I got in the RV it started to downpour. I missed it by two minutes. The rain was meant to miss me today. My legs are feeling much better but now I am suffering from blisters on my feet which aren't fun.

My dad and I had a great time today. We went in the Grand Casino and I registered as a new player. They had a promotion if you played 30 minutes you would received 30 pts, which would get a free buffet. My dad and I played until we got our points. I had fun on a CHEERS slot machine. Wow, those games are fun. Nothing beats the adrenaline rush when you hit for $50 on the penny slots. I should have quit when I was ahead but I was having fun. We broke even for the day plus we got to eat at the buffet. I had three prices of prime rib, mashed potatoes and rolls. I also had a lot of ice cream. Tonight was really our first big meal of the trip and I made the most of it. I am really tired now and about to fall asleep from our exciting day of running and eating. So goodnight everyone and I will see you in the morning. Today I ran 23.7 miles for a total of 510.

Day 27 - April 27th

Today was a great run. I knew I was not too far from Mississippi. I thought it was 13 miles to the border but I was actually 15. During my run, a nice Chevron manager named Willie gave me free cookies and Powerade. As I was running a today I saw a nice woman who noticed how much I was running and I told her that I am running across the country. Willie overheard her and asked what I was running for, I told him I was running for Mental Health Awareness which he thought was great. When I went to pay he told me that the drink and cookies were on him. He offered me to get more but I said that this was all I needed and shook his hand and thanked him. It was really nice of him.

It was great to get into Mississippi. I took a short video when I was crossing the state line.

My dad and Maddie went golfing while I was doing my run, today my legs were feeling pretty good. I had minimum pain so I made it a longer run and I completed 26 miles before my dad caught up to me.  He had just finished his day of golfing. Total 488 miles.

Day 26 - April 26th

Today has been a lazy day. I was so glad my dad finally got some sleep last night. He was been averaging 2-3 hours of sleep each night during this journey. It was good to see him get 6 hours of quality sleep, he looks well rested today.

This morning I took Madison to this big field where she could run and play. My dad as spent a lot of time training her and today I spent some time training with her. Madison is so smart, she picks up things so quickly. Madison has loved being on this trip with us, she's getting lots of love and attention.  She especially loves Alabama because there is so much open land for her to run and play in.

In the afternoon I enjoyed the pool. The water was in the 60s but it felt refreshing with the Alabama heat. I stayed in the pool for about an hour holding onto the wall and kicking my feet trying to exercise my shins hoping it will help them. We will see, I still have pain but it is much better than previous days. It was weird not running today especially since I am so close to Mississippi. I am only 13 miles from the border which will knock another state off my journey. I don't want to rush Alabama, I have really enjoyed my stay here. I could even see myself maybe living here one day. Tomorrow will be a new adventure when I cross over into the third state of the journey.

Day 25 - April 25th

Today was a beautiful day and I was so glad it was not raining. As you know from the video I posted I was not thrilled having to backtrack some miles back into the heart of the city. It turned out I was right. It was a big loop that the brilliant engineers built:) It is called Hank Aaron Loop. I was glad I got to run through the historical part of the city. Many beautiful southern mansions. I traveled through Mobile and Tillman's corner. I have to say the citizens of Mobile LOVE their Crimson Tide. Almost every car has something related to the University Of Alabama. When I stopped for some lunch I would have to say half the people were wearing Alabama t-shirts. It is like back home in WV where we are very proud of our teams. Go WVU!

I finished my run in a little town called Theodore. I am only 13 miles away from the Mississippi border. My dad needs some much needed rest so we are going to stay here a couple of days. The RV park is great and a cool office manager named Gary, hooked me up with cable. I will be able to watch the draft which will be a nice treat. I have only watched a few hours if TV this month.  Let's Go Steelers. The park has a pool which I will also enjoy relaxing in. As I am updating my blog entry for the evening it feels amazing.  I am sitting here by shaded oak trees with my feet in the cool pool water. My shins are thanking the pool tonight.  Today I ran a total of 17 miles for a total of 462 miles.

Day 24 - April 24th

Today started off wonderful it was a great for running. I ran the Spanish Trail which was between Loxley and Daphnie AL.  Out of all my runs so far this might have been my favorite. It was about 7.5 miles of my 23.4 journey today.  When I got close to Daphnie the rain started coming down for a little bit but luckily cleared up. The weather was nice all the way up to a town called Spanish Fort. Once I ran through Spanish Fort, I was on my way to Mobile. I ran across.Mobile Bay which used to be called The Bay Of The Holy Spirit. Rain was pouring down until I crossed the bridge. I could see three big buildings in the distance of Mobile. One of them reminded me of the Empire State Building by appearance but not near as tall. As I was running through Mobile. I saw the USS Alabama Battleship to my left. The last part of my run was not as fun. Rain started to pour on me while I ran by the industrial part if the city. I ended my day by walking over the Alabama Cochrane Bridge. It was quite impressive. I took a video while I went over the bridge. Today I put another dent into my 2650 mile journey, I knocked off another 23.4 miles for a total of 445 miles so far.

Day 23 - April 23rd

Today my dad woke up early and we left Foley, AL. When I awoke, I was back at the Alabama border sign where I finished on Sunday.

Today, was not about time, speed, or distance. Today was about getting rid of Mr. Shin Pain. He has been hanging out with me the last few days and it is time for him to leave. I thought I outran him for the first 8 miles but he caught up with me and ran with me for 6 miles. I took a rest for about an hour hoping that would help, then started running again. I was getting annoyed with Mr. Shin Pain. It was such a gorgeous day and the scenery was beautiful, however it was hard to enjoy it all with the pain in my shins.  After a couple more miles, I decided to clear my mind and not concentrate on the pain. Surprisingly it worked, I had outran him today. I left him at mile 16 and I continued on by myself for another 5.6 miles to finish in Loxley, Alabama with 21.6 miles added to my journey.  A total of 421.6 miles subtracted from my 2650 mile total.

Day 22 - April 22nd

Since I've been dreaming so much about making it to Alabama so badly, I decided to take the day off and enjoy this beautiful state.

After taking the advice from some friends, last night I had to soak my right shin in a bucket of hot water with Epson salt. This seemed to help the ache and pain.

My mom was generous enough to buy me a new pair of Brooks running shoes. I needed them badly, and I'm hoping this also helps with my shins. These Brooks have more of a curved arch compared to my previous pair and I'm excited to test them out with a run. They are super light and feel so much better on my feet. The last couple of days I have developed blisters on my heals. I am hoping these new shoes will help with that as well.

I had a great talk with the sales rep at the store and after awhile we got started talking. I told her about my journey and why I was running. She looked at me and thanked me. She has suffered from depression for many years. She told me that she does not tell many people about her depression. I thanked her for sharing and told her that one reason I am running is to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness. It was like it was our destiny to meet today and talk.  I'm finding more and more people on my journey that are also suffering and I think it was meant to be for me to be on this journey.

The rest of the day we enjoyed the beautiful beach at Gulfshore, AL

Day 21 - April 21th

Sweet Home Alabama

Today is the day I've been waiting for I finally reached the border of FL & AL. As cars passed me I could not help but look back to check the license plates to see if I was getting closer to the state line. It started off FL, FL, FL but, after about ten miles I saw a truck with an Alabama plate. I was thinking I may be getting close but car after car was more Floridian plates. I thought I would see more AL plates since these cars were heading towards me from the west. After another hour, I began to see more Alabama plates which got me excited. As I was running I saw the back of a hugh sign. When I passed it I looked back to see the words "Welcome To Florida", this made me smile. I was still looking for the Alabama sign on the other side but didn't see it. I was thinking to myself Alabama better have a sign to welcome me. Ha ha

After running another mile and crossing a bridge I saw the "Welcome to Alabama" sign. When I saw it I ran as quickly as I could towards it. Once I arrived at the sign I gave it a huge hug :) lol. I spent the next half hour enjoying the moment sitting on the guard rail in Alabama country. I did not have my phone on me so I waited for my dad so we could enjoy this moment together. It feels good to have run across the entire State of Florida. Now I'm in Alabama for the next 75 miles.  So far I've ran 400 miles in 21 days.

Day 20 - April 20th

Today was kinda disappointing I was only able to run 4.5 miles.  However 4.5 miles was enough to cross into another county and am only a couple of miles from Pensacola. I wanted to get into Alabama so badly today. I was experiencing pain from the start of todays run. After mile 3 I had to sit down and try to massage my right shin. A few days ago it was my left shin that hurt. I have no pain in my left but my right shin hurts immensely. I tried to walk the pain off but it hurt more and more so much so I could barely walk. I had to call my dad after only 40 minutes of running to pick me up. I took the advice from a friend and tried to focus on the ultimate goal of California. My stubbornness of running in pain could have messed up the trip and I knew I had to think long term instead of just making it to Alabama today. I have to quit thinking about 20+ miles a day average and not get down if I need to take a day off. I need to learn to enjoy each day, both the good and the bad. I received some wise words today to enjoy the overall journey so that is what I'm going to do.

My dad wrapped my shin. It feels so much better in the wrap. It almost looks like a cast. I have been resting all day in the RV. We drove back to Oops Alley, they were nice enough to let us stay another night. Tomorrow is a new day and I will get some miles put in. However I am going to take it a little easier for now on, it's not a race it's a journey. I still have over 2000 miles to California so no sense on pushing it so hard now and getting hurt.

Day 19 - April 19th

Today once again I started early in the morning.  I ran about 14 miles into the town of Pace. My brother Ryan had contacted some businesses along our route and told them about my run. Two responded to his emails and offered us meals at their establishments.  The first one was Firehouse Subs.  They not only fed us lunch but also gave us some gift cards and a t-shirt, everyone was so nice and I enjoyed talking with them all.  The second one he contacted was a local bowling alley entertainment center called Oops Alley.  It was nice to just have a place to enjoy for the evening.  Oops let us bowl as many games as we wanted, plus they fed us "my favorites" wings and pizza.  I am very thankful to both businesses who helped us out.  Oops not only fed us and entertained us but allowed us to hook our RV up to their electricity for the night.  I'm thankful to meet so many wonderful people on my journey.  The past 19 days I've ran a total of 376.4 miles, only a few more and I'll be in Alabama :)

Day 18 - April 18th

Today I started early around 8:30. After yesterday of just laying in bed resting my legs it was good to be out and about. It seemed as if the day went on forever. So today I'm ready to get out of Crestview and put some more miles on the pavement.

I think I'm developing shins splints. I need to soak my feet in a warm bath with Epson salts. However, I have not had the luxury yet but, I dud take two Tylenol's for pain. I know that I am just masking the pain but all I can think about is Alabama. So close yet so far away. It is like the last mile of a marathon. You can almost see the finish line but your not quite there yet. In my case it's the "Welcome to Alabama" sign.

Today I met a few bikers. They were heading back from San Diego, they could not believe I was going by foot. It is a small world they are from Marietta, OH. Marietta is only about an hour and a half from my hometown of Clarksburg, WV. I met another nice guy named Tom who is from Tampa. We talked for a couple of minutes and he said he was going to follow my travels on my website.

I ran by some Florida State prisoners who were clearing out brush. When I saw them it made me appreciate my freedom even more. They seemed friendly enough one of them even gave me a nod. I nodded back and started wondering what the guy did to get himself locked up in the first place.

Later in the day, I was noticing the fresh black pavement and the newly painted yellow and white yellow lines. This reminded me of my Pittsburgh Steelers and Super Bowl XLIII. I had my Gatorade bottle and tucked it under my arm pretending to be James Harrison returning an interception for a long 4 mile TD:) It is funny what games you create to pass the time.

I finished 29.6 miles for the day. When I returned to the RV my dad told me he talked with a nice minister who is letting us park our Rv for the night. We have water and electricity which means I get a hot shower, which we both need. I only have 27 miles to Pensacola then onto Alabama.  So far I've ran a total of 362.4 miles

Day 17 - April 17th

Giving my legs a days rest.  I am still hurting and sore from yesterdays run.  So i'm spending the day relaxing my muscles and listening to Wilco on a nice sunny day.  I'm going to hit the Steelers bar later tonight for some hot wings.  Then tomorrow, I will once again be hitting the pavement to continue my run.

Day 16 - April 16th

I just finished 16 miles. Believe it or not this was my toughest day. The 41 mile run on Dru's birthday was much easier than this. I don't know if my adrenaline high is wearing off or this was the first day I ran in pain. My tendons on my left ankle really hurt when hitting the pavement. I was running through 16 miles of nothing, just flat pavement that I could see for miles. Occasionally, I would see a radio tower in the distance to have something to give myself a goal to reach. Yet still my mind was focusing on the pain which brought back memories when I was growing up. My brothers and I would slug each other on the arm. It was a childish game where we would hit one another on the arm for flinching. I wish my brothers were here with me today, I could use a big hit on the arm to think about something else.

I am so close to one of my goals. I am just a few days run out of Florida. I may be pushing myself too hard to get out of the state. It will be pretty cool once I see the now leaving Florida sign and ready for a new adventure in Alabama. Florida has been very good to me on my journey. I love Florida and have enjoyed living here. However, I just need some months away.  Just about 50 or so miles till I reach the Alabama border where I'll complete another goal.

Day 15 - April 15th

Today I ran another marathon 26.2 miles.  When I got back to the RV I heard the horrific news about Boston.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those hurt, injured or who lost their lives due the sick person who did this. It's so sad that someone would do this and take innocent lives.

Day 14 - April 14th

Today I started my run at 9:30  AM Central time. The day was cool and cloudy, a perfect day for a long run. After a few miles, it started to rain.  Thank  goodness I brought a zip lock bag to protect my iPhone as I depend on it to listen to my music and stay in contact with my Dad.

I must be in the Deep South because there are no gas stations or stores open on a Sunday morning.  I finally found a porta potty which saved the day.  Continued  on my run, listened to Flightless Bird by Iron and Wine what an great song. After an hour, I was in a torrential downpour. Dad tried to get me to stop running due to lightning, but I told him I would have a better chance getting hit by a car than lightening. I smiled at him and kept running. A few miles later it started raining harder and I was soaked to the skin and cold, I felt like Forest Gump who said "We've been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stingin' rain... and big ol' fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath." I could feel my feet squishing in my shoes. At that point, I saw my Dad in the distance and decided to call it a day after running 20 miles.

We had our second dinner in the RV tonight. Had some leftovers. MY Dad will always be a Dad. He insisted that I eat my vegetables and I did, but i have never liked vegetables. We have a small leak in the RV. We discovered it when the rain began falling so we are catching the rain with the pots that we have put on the floor.  Sometimes I feel lonely while I am running, but gives me many hours to think. What keeps me going is knowing that I am running for a great cause. Started today at mile 273.2, ran 20 miles, and 7.8 more for my 300 mile goal! Now to watch a movie with Dad in the RV and then to bed. Goodnite friends, I will see you in the morning :)

Day 13 - April 13th

Today I slept in. I had a great birthday yesterday and it was great to wake up to a Facebook video of an old friend Rusty singing Happy Birthday to me. It truly made my day.

I didn't start my run until late in the day around 1pm. The weather was beautiful but much hotter than previous days. The roads were empty as I ran along them, I could see ahead for miles. There were times I could not see a single car in the horizon. Just for fun and to wake myself up for adrenaline, I would occasionally run with my eyes closed for 10 to 15 seconds. I knew no cars were close but 10 seconds feels like minutes when you are running blind trying to feel the white line of the shoulder on your feet. Once or twice when I opened my eyes I found myself drifting so I told myself that was enough of playing that game.

Hitting the back roads means there aren't many stores to get drinks and I can only carry two water bottles with me so today I should have used the camel back my brother Ryan bought me for Christmas. I will know this for next time because today I made sure I drank the last drop of water in my bottles.

I had a great dinner at a little restaurant in Bonifay called The Holiday. Our waitress Chistiana was so nice, she made small talk with us and you know your in a small town when she called everyone by name. It was a good day and I am about ready yo call it a night. 20.3 miles for the day:) I will see you all in the morning.

Day 12 - April 12th

I would like to thank everyone for all the wonderful birthday wishes and words of encouragement that I received today. What a nice birthday to wake up and hear from friends near and far. It has meant so much to me this past few weeks and gives me the incentive to keep on going..

I ran 22.6 miles today..  Decided not to do my birthday age in miles, and gave  myself a rest. Dad worked in the RV all last night and into the early morning working on setting up the tv, computer, and rest of the electrical equipment. He met a nice guy who helped him which was a present to both of us..

Dad has been walking Maddie several miles a day, and they have become great pals. It has been so nice for me to have both of them with me.  Hate that my Mom is home alone, but know how much she believes in my run.

We are in Marianna, FL tonight and found a great state park to stay in..That means we have had hot showers, a place to wash our clothes, and free electricity..the best birthday present ever!  My dad and I went to Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner and plan to watch a movie in the RV tonight..  Then off to visit some caverns that are nearby tomorrow.

Thanks again for all of your birthday wishes. I feel blessed to have such great friends!

Day 11 - April 11th

28 miles today, it has been a good but strange day. I woke up early but felt down in the dumps for no reason at all. I recognized I was in one of my moods. I am so glad I am able to recognize when I get moody because I used to not be able to. Last night I could not get to sleep which may have been one of my issues. I thought after running a marathon I would be very tired but I was not.

My mind is telling me one thing while my body is telling another for example a lot of the time I do not feel hungry even though I should be. My dad asks do you want some food and I am like that is ok, I am fine. However, my dad made spaghetti in the RV for dinner anyways. He was being so funny singing like an Italian chef. OCD is such a selfish disease. While my dad is making jokes my mind is somewhere else. I get stuck in thought. I am at about a 50/50 listening to my dad and the other half stuck in OCD world. I feel badly because when he makes jokes I don't respond. It gets frustrating when my mind gets stuck obsessing on a thought for hours.

Today was good and after I started running I felt good again. I did not listen to much of my music today because I prefer the sound of windchimes while the breeze was blowing through them. The temperature was perfect. I was only going to run 15 miles today but once I get going it was hard for me to stop. I ran into the Central time zone today at mile 20 YAY! I told my dad we have an extra hour now so I kept going. We are at the end of the town Snead and while we were there my dad met a nice man to get our Tv working and computers etc. They are working on it now while I am sitting outside typing this note. Maddie is with me happy as can be and she sends her love as well.

Day 10 - April 10th

After I much needed rest, I started my day 10 journey.  Today is the first time I have ever run with music. I usually enjoy the sounds of nature. However since I was starting in Tallahassee, I decided to use my iPhone.   A couple of days ago I downloaded my first app which were Pandora and Spotify, they are awesome. I listened to a station called chillwave, it was great to hear Sigur Ros, Explosions In The Sky, and A Band Of Horses just to name a few. If not for my music today I would have had to listen to frustrated drivers beeping their horns at one another but luckily I had the luxury of music. Why are people in such a hurry these days? What are a couple extra seconds, if the car in front of you does not see the red light turn green. There's a difference between a courtesy beep and holding down your horn. Today it was 86 degrees sunny with a beautiful sky. I just got done running my 26.2 miles for today "a marathon" :~)  So it was so great to see my dad in the distance waiting for me to end today's run.

Day 9 - April 9th

After running 41 miles yesterday today I decided to rest.  The campsite we stayed at offered hot showers which we both needed.  The campsite is beautiful and today has been a relaxing day. We woke up around 8:30 and went over to get some breakfast. A nice guy named Rick who's dad owns the camping site made us waffles yum. Rick is in his mid 50s very thin with a ponytail to the middle of his back. He asked us where we were from so we talked about WV for awhile. During breakfast the nice couple that I had my picture taken with earlier Ken and Laura walked in the door. It appeared they had been hiking in the early morning. When Ken walked in the door his words were "I just came in to see what kind of condition I'm in." Rick replied "ok Lewbowski" That made my morning. For the next hour we all talked about the Big Lewbowski until we were all out of quotes. The Dude Abides:)

Day 8 - April 8th

In honor of my older brothers birthday today I ran a mile for every year he's been alive.  So 41 miles later I'm done. About 30 miles into my run I wished he had been a little younger but it was worth every step.  I finished strong Happy Birthday Dru!  That makes 170 miles in 8 days and I'm just outside the city of Tallahassee.

Day 7 - April 7th

I met this nice guy Shane who is biking to CA. This was today when I was running. He lost his iPhone My phone was not getting Internet service but. I was able to call my dad and he helped Shane.

He drove Shane to the nearest McDonald's and used an app called iPhone search. Shane was so happy when they found his phone. Shane helped us hook up the tv and DVD player. It has been a fun day. 15 miles running for the day. 130 for the week. Shane and I are going to stay in touch. While he bikes ahead, he is going to us know about places to stay. He also let me know about and couch surfing

Day 6 - April 6th

Had a great night camping with dad last night after my 23 mile run. I was not going to run as far but had to take advantage of the 50 degree weather. It got cold last night. My dad started a fire early in the evening. When I woke up we were at this amazing secret camp ground. We tried to stay at the state park but it was all filled up. We found a dead end road and I thought that was where we we were parking for the evening. A big guy named alligator Joe I think told my dad we were not allowed to park where we were. We were at the back of the state park that was filled up, Alligator was so nice to give us directions to our personal camp ground for the night. We were sleeping under the stars till 3 am. I did not sleep I was mesmerized by the fire and kept busy finding wood. It got down to 41 so we decided to sleep the morning in the Rv.

Today I finished 15 miles. I am very sore. It was much sunnier and I had to fight off gnats for a couple of hours. That was terrible. The buzzing by my ears was hard to ignore. We are presently in the city of Madison for the night.

Day 5 - April 5th

23 miles for the day I just went over 100 miles in 5 days. Going to sleep. I wish I could write more my battery is about dead. Thanks to all that have donated. Also thanks for all the nice comments.

Day 4- April 4th

Today I ran 23.4 miles into Lake City. I was back in an actual city again not just a small town. I have not been hungry the last few days but the smell of chicken wings was in the air. My dad caught up to me and we ate ate at Sonnys BBQ. I got the all you can eat pulled pork. I had three plates with French fries and corn bread. I took another navy shower in the handicap stall that no one needed. It was like a Hilton.

It started to rain after lunch. I took a 2 hr siesta and decided to run some more. I had to battle some unwanted OCD thoughts. I have been pretty good the last few days but some unwanted thoughts got stuck in my mind. This happens to me when I am in social situations often. I battled with the OCD for about an hour while I was running. Now I am sitting on the country grass enjoying nature. My goal someday is to come to peace with the city. One step at a time. Well, off to run some more. God bless.

Day 3 - April 3rd

Today started off funny. Dad bought a longer walking leash for maddie. He tied her leash on the Rv while she ate. This leash was much thinner. I went in the Rv to get some stuff for today's run. Within a few minutes Madison chewed through her leash and was heading to the Walmart doors. I sprinted out after her. Luckily I got to her before she got in the store. The opening sliding glass doors are the only reason I was able to get to her in time. She found those doors strange and was hesitate about entering lol. What a way to start the morning.

Had a long day running I just finished 23.4 miles I was going to continue to 26.2 marathon but this is going to be a long journey. No reason to go the extra miles. My body is telling me enough for the day.

Day 2: April 2nd

Today great running weather.  I ran 18 miles this morning, during the first 9 miles there was not much of a shoulder for me to run on.  It was a little intimidating when tractor trailers are driving towards you only to be a few feet from them when they pass by.  A HUGE gush of wind hits me with each passing vehicle.  There are some really nice drivers that move and give me extra space while I pass them.  Although there are others that don't, I had one driver a pickup truck that seemed to want to play chicken with me and came into my running area.  I need to be less stubborn and move away from drivers like this because he was only about a foot from me.  I'm back in the RV now, about to take Maddie on a nice 4 mile walk with my dad :-)

After my 18 mile run this morning I had myself a little siesta.  When I woke up I noticed my dad was working on the RV, he was fixing one of the steps. Many people stopped and offered us assistance.  A state trooper who had seen my running earlier and walking Madison even stopped to see if we needed any help.  He was very friendly and said he had seen us parked there for hours, so we took it as a hint he didn't want us parking there. So we decided to move on up interstate 90 west.  I ran another 3 miles until we found a Walmart near by to park at for the night.  After a 21 mile day I'm ready to have some dinner with my dad and maybe even watch the Rays game on TV.

Day 1:  April 1st

I started my journey last night at 8:20 PM.  I ran through downtown Jacksonville on state road 90 west. It was so nice to hear the sounds of trains nearby and many manufacturing & industrial plants working at night.  I had the road to myself other than a few walking strangers of the night. At one point I was not sure if I was still on highway 90, the signs said junction 103 I was hoping I did not miss a turn lol.  My dad caught up to me after mile 10 of my run.  I was going to run farther but the RV needed things put away.  Many items had fallen down on the drive up from Tampa.  I decided I would call it for the night and spend a couple of hours on the RV with my dad helping organize the RV.  I slept well on the top bunk right above the drivers seat.  I woke up to roosters instead of an alarm clock at 5 AM. lol  So many sounds I had almost forgotten about they are nice to hear. I'm now getting ready this morning for a longer run.

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