Saturday, November 29, 2008

What the H@#$ are you doing in: Gainesville, FL?

Days until next blog: ?

I had been planning on doing a blog on Thanksgiving, past, present and future, being on the road, all that junk. But with rest my mind comes back as well as all the creeping problems that I can nearly outrun on the road.

Yes, I am waaaaaaay off track. I came to visit my friend and see someone I know for Thanksgiving, now I am here until sometime in the future which is unspecified. The problem is, I am down to my last few bucks, well, last few hundred bucks. I need to figure out how I can keep going, I need to find some cash or earn it. The plan is to take a few days and plan out the media and Ed. Program contacts for the route ahead, but really to take the next few weeks with a slight gin buzz trying to write the better part of a book in my friends spare bedroom.

I'm fine with having no money, but I need the promise of some sometime in the future or I won't be able to finish without an extend stay en route for work and saving cash. Of course with each month I wait somewhere saving money, the time where my 0% APR cash advance on my credit card comes to an end nears as well. It's a fine balance.

After a week or two of a head start on this writing I'll head back to where I left off, on my own again, with an uncertain future but knowing I need to move before I become a burden on my friend or settle in. It's not so much cash I need, I can stretch things out for a bit, but I need to know that there will be something in the future.

Stopping is a risk, I'll be using more cash sitting, on a bet that I could get published when I know it is certainly not a guarantee. Come on publishers, Daddy needs a new pair of shoes.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Brantley, AL: Disaster!!!

Miles since last blog: 5


Today was nearly the worst thing that could happen for a walk and at nearly the worst time. Although my mileage for the day is 5, I actually walked about 22 miles, I just did it in the wrong direction. The problem is that a lot of roads in Alabama aren't labeled if they are outside of a city, another problem is that it was cloudy. If it's cloudy I can't tell what direction North is, or any other direction for that matter.

The plan was to do between 40 and 50 miles today, 10 or 15 Thanksgiving morning, a few Saturday night. Then good mileage Sunday through Tuesday. That would get me to Mobile still with the Back up of having Free to help with my stuff should I get into any tough spots on the road. When I figured out that I had been going the wrong direction, due West instead of South, and that I was only 5 miles closer, I wanted to throw a fit. I wanted to throw things and try to tear the car door off Free's VW golf which my laptop was sitting on. Instead I called my friend in Florida and went to McDonald's. No point in feeling stupid later too.

So I won't make it to Mobile with Free, I had nearly written it off anyway but now hope is gone. The tunnel worries me more than the bridge and I don't want to go 50+ miles around it all into the middle of nowhere.

Some fast food, a beer and a few sandwiches and I've let it go mostly. No use worrying about what I can't change. Enjoy Thanksgiving y'all, I will here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Troy, AL: Thank you Holiday Inn Express!

Miles since last blog: 34.9


Sleeping indoors on this cold night is enough to make me happy, but I've been lucky enough to have a visitor I met from earlier in the trip (Chapel Hill, NC) catch up with me on her way to California. It was great to see a friend and maybe I will get to see her again in Cali, also I will be heading out to an old friend's house for a few days for T-Day and some much needed R & R. When I return I'll be finishing my trek South to Pensacola, FL and the Gulf where Free and I will part ways.

From the Gulf I will be heading West until California and starting a new chapter in my journey, alone once more. Hopefully the next chapter will be literally starting as I will try to take a few weeks off over the duration of Louisiana to try and catch up on writing and possibly even editing film.

Going South . . .

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Matthews, AL: The Road Ahead

Miles since last blog: 17.0


Yesterday's unscheduled day off to visit the Civil Rights Memorial was fulfilling but left me a day behind. Last night we stayed a t a new CS place and while Free slept, we drank wine and walked to visit Hank Williams grave which was up the street. I met some great people in Montgomery, had a few great experiences and ate some excellent food.

Tonight we lay in a log cabin with our own rooms courtesy of a Troy University Hammer thrower. I have 10 days left with Free before he heads off to London and I am on my journey alone again. Hopefully I can get to Mobile, AL by then because there is a series of tough parts ahead with bridges and tunnels and making my way through with Cherry and without help may prove to be impossible.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tallassee & Montgomery, AL: Alligators are the new bears

Miles since last blog: 33.1


Today I was noticing that the area around me was turning more southland swampy and I was surrounded by 'gator' influenced signs. I was thinking about alligators and there was a rustle in the water along the roadside. My legs spontaneously, and without my permission, shot me into the road leaving my head wondering how I got there and just what was in the water behind me.

This is to say that my mild fear of bears has been replaced by a mild fear of alligators, although I would still be happy to see either.

Also, here is the first TV spot we have been able to get online:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Notasulga, AL: Cold and Cold

Miles since last blog: 23.2


I took a day off yesterday to force myself to drink massive amounts of liquid in the hopes that sickness would be drowned by this morning. It largely worked, my cold is minimal now. Also in part thanks to my Couch host in Auburn who gave me various natural pills and teas and the like.

For my part today, I took several hours off to drink hot tea. First at a coffee shop and then later at a "tea time" organized by one of the roommates we were staying with. Nine lovely girls who go absolutely berzerk when you mention Chic-Fil-A, they were so convincing that we immediately went there after tea. We were left wondering.

Also, under the "In the South Football is Religion" heading, we have the question: If Auburn is the Tigers, what is "War Eagle?"

Why is this religion? Well, much like the biblical flood recounted in various religions in different ways only agreeing that there was a huge flood, the story of "War Eagle" (which is the battle cry of the Auburn Tigers) has many different tellings agreeing only that it was Georgia that they were playing and that an eagle circled the field before something crucial happened.

After that hey diverge. In one story the bird was a veterans pet who had fought in wars with him then circled the field, landed and died. In another it was a random eagle who circle, left and was later eaten by a local who shot it. The final is the no frills simplicity of good timing. Now they have a trained eagle that circles above the games. Signs, miracles, twisted tales and legends. If this isn't religion I don't know what qualifies.

After the few hours of tea break and Chick-Fil-A I scooted on down the tracks (literally the railroad tracks during the dusk hour when it is dangerous to be on the road). Tonight it is cold, I'm in a tent in the yard of a church, which has internet apparently, and I can't feel my fingers while I am typing. Time to get wrapped up in my sleeping bag and keep warm and hopefully well.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Opelika, AL: Change for a Time

Miles since last blog: 16


Unbeknownst to my travel partner or I, we, in addition to crossing a state line last night, crossed into a new time zone. Had I known I would surely have done a small jig at least, it's a pretty exciting thing to have traversed a time zone on foot. Not to mention the practical value of this. My parents and friends in places to the west are now an hour closer to my time which makes phone calls easier. I also have gained back the hour of light that I had lost during the time change a few weeks back which is excellent. And something else very important I'm sure to remember just after I turn off my computer.

This is not the only change however. As I felt when I entered Georgia, entering Alabama seems to be a shade more Southern. People talk just a little bit slower, are just a tad more friendly, and the land is a bit more sparsely populated leaving my walks just to me in ways that are usually reserved for night walks.

Today in the morning I passed by a school where someone had apparently seen me up the road. They asked me to come up and take pictures with the children. About thirty little kids crowded around me and I felt a little bit like Indiana Jones in the beginning of Temple of Doom. They offered me water and gave me delicious snack cakes and the kids jumped up and down and cheered at everything, even planes flying in the sky. I wondered if I could remember a time of such pure and simple joy.

It made me think of my high school biology teacher talking about throwing his jacket in the air and catching it on the way home from the bus after the rain. He said he felt sorry for us because we lived in a world where we would never experience those carefree moments, we already knew too much and had too many worries. These kids didn't and it made me smile to see them. On a good day walking I can get those moments back for a few seconds, today was one of those days.

Lanett, AL: The Buddy System

Miles since last blog: 31.7


First off, thanks Econo Lodge of Lanett, you rock for donating a room for the night.

High point of the day: Receiving a phone call from "Buddy," my pal on the survival course I took this Summer. He sounds like he's doing really well and gave me a great compliment. For those of you who don't know, this school was a huge deal for me and really helped me get some peace and a better grip on what I was doing with my life. Buddy was a big part of that along with the rest of the crew there.

In particular though, I think of Buddy when I am having a bad day. During the first few days of the course Buddy got sick but just kept going, I think he would have kept going until it killed him but we stopped and rested. Now he was tough and that may have been good or bad, but what I always think of him for is his incredible willpower and determination. If I have even a fraction of this I can finish this walk. I admire this and his personal life, a wife he loves and has loved since High School if I remember correctly, something I hope to find someday but find hard to imagine right now.

Thanks for the call Buddy, you're always there when I need you.

Low point of the day: About 30 minutes later, after I crossed the Georgia-Alabama border, when Free told me he probably wasn't coming back after he leaves at the beginning of December. This makes my life a lot harder as well as lonelier and I will miss my new Buddy.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hogansville, GA: Sick and Tired

Miles since last blog: 21.3


Well, I am still enjoying myself walking, I did shake off that bear. Part of what built that wall for me though was the nagging sense that I have been fighting off something, and this time it isn't feral dogs in Virginia.

When I came into Georgia I started sneezing, when I got to Athens I was coughing, by the time I hit Atlanta my normal walking day proved to be too long and difficult for me and I wasn't recovering like I had been.

It was the wall, it was not enough food or too many drinks, anything but being a bit sick. I'm not that sick, if I had a normal job I wouldn't even notice, but when you want to walk 30 miles and you are exhausted by 20 what do you do? If you make 30 miles you can sleep inside, or you can get rest and sleep in a cold tent. How do you balance in this situation? It's not as if I have a place to stay, rest and get better. And not having health insurance, while a calculated risk I stand by, still doesn't make the dilemma any easier. So I'll try to go the same distance but with more breaks, camp tomorrow and couchsurf the next, after that . . . ?

If I can make it to when Free leaves I was planning on taking a bit of time in one place then. Maybe hop around New Orleans from couch to couch for a bit, resting, writing and recuperating. Even earlier today I hadn't admitted the sickness, but just after I quit for the day I coughed, no big deal I had been coughing, this time though was different. As a child I was sick a lot and after that cough I recalled the sickly sweet taste/smell combination that hinted a real sickness might be in the works.

Tomorrow's gonna be a long day.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Newnan, GA: Biyah!!! or 'How Skippy Got his Groove Back'

Miles since last blog: 14.8


What is Biyah!!!? It's a power cry. One that will insure you won't be elected president true, but a power cry nonetheless. It's more though, it's a mantra. The Dirty Dirty had stolen from me, but I got it back. It wasn't a long walk today but it felt good. I had no iPod so I sang, I had a harmonica so I practiced playing and I enjoyed walking and seeing the country again.

Next time you feel down or powerless, let out a Biyah!!! It'll do a body good, way better than milk.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fairburn, GA: From Soul to Solace

Miles since last blog: 24.1


I'm a little late, I know, but the Dirty dirty struck again. Although I walked out yesterday, we were beckoned back by the promising soul of the New Mastersounds. Needless to say it was a late and great night with the only disappointment coming at the end when we found out McDonald's was closed for the night.

The day itself was trudging. Typically after an hour or so, I fall into my groove and just coast through the day in thought, this was not the case yesterday. I never found my groove, I suspect that the New Mastersounds created a soul vortex which sucked up any excess souls hanging around for the show last night.

Today's agenda is simple: walk, movie, camp.

As a term of Free's accompaniment on this journey, we had to keep today, the 14th of November open to watch the new Bond Movie. This is a term I willingly acquiesced to. So, later today in some back water town in Georgia, with the Dirty dirty long shrunken and disappeared from Free's rearview mirror, we will watch the new Blonde Bond Bombshell kick some bad guy butt and deliver witty repartee.

signing out, Potts, Skip Potts.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Atlanta, GA: Dirty dirty walls and 12 dollar socks

Miles since last blog: 19.0


Well, those of you who have run marathons, or seen the movie 'run fatboy run,' know about the wall. Well, for some reason, the Dirty dirty, Atlanta, was a wall for me. Apparently long treks have walls too. Atlanta has for some reason been a checkpoint in my mind since the beginning of this trip and that may have been a factor for me. Also was a series of great hosts on Couchsurfing which led me to want to slow my momentum to hang out more and finally, I may have been just a touch burnt out.

After aborted runs, busy days filled with interviews and errands, getting hit by a car, heading down the wrong road for miles and general fatigue, I finally walked to a destination in Atlanta and hopefully took down my wall brick by painstaking brick, step by painstaking step.

Today the painstaking steps were a little less painful though. All day I couldn't help but think about Vincent Vega, John Travolta's character from 'Pulp Fiction.' At one point during the movie he lambasts a shake for being $5 then tastes it and decides, "it's pretty good, I don't know if it's worth $5, but it's pretty good" or something like that.

I was finally convinced to buy some new socks. $12 socks. It pains me even now to type this it seems so ludicrous to pay that much for socks, I mean, they're socks. Nevertheless, I tried them, and they are sort of, well, heavenly-ish. It helps that my 'trade-in' shoes were size double E (which is for extra width), even my weak left foot was fine today as far as blisters go. The shoes weren't all of it though, the socks seem durable.

Normally I get a hole in a sock after one or two outings. Even the most durable cotton or performance sock in the past has shed little bits of itself which under repeated motion and pressure ball up into little pebbles of cotton which tear at your foot during a long day and create blisters.

These socks seemed unphased by my journeys, as if because they were new and this was their first outing I was only letting them know what was in store for a normal day. They shrugged it off, thinking, "this is what we do, we're socks, we can't just fall apart now." I was impressed. It's only been one day, but I have 3 pairs now and I think this could be the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship. Is it too early to name them?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lilburn, GA: And the hits just keep on coming

Miles since last blog: 19.9


Well, I was hit by a car today. Not so much hit, as bumped and the riding on the hood for a few feet, but still. I'm okay, just thought I'd let you know I'm broken in, it had to happen sometime I guess.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Auburn, GA: Blues skies in Georgia

Miles since last blog: 32.5


After loosening up, I decided that at the end of my walk today it would be fine to drive into Atlanta and couchsurf for the night, then return to where I had left off tonight in the morning. This way I still walk it all, I get to sleep inside, and I get to spend a bit more time in Atlanta. This was a very good decision.

After settling in at our CS destination we got directions to a local Tex-Mex place. We never made it there. Along the way while looking for it we stopped dead center of the street looking at a restaurant so dark we sat an extra half minute trying to figure out if it was even open. It turns out it was. It also turns out that Heaven is in Atlanta, GA, but here it's called Fat Matt's Rib Shack. It was too attractive and southern for us to pass up.

The first thing that you notice when entering FMRS is that the windows are not tinted, it's actually that dark inside. Which draws your attention even more to the glowing hole in the wall that was the gateway to the kitchen. In it stood a portly good natured woman with one tooth and a big welcoming smile.

The second thing you notice is that the food comes in portions like 1/2 slab, full slab, 1/4 or half bird.

The room is pasted with Blues magazine pictures, framed with posters and on the far wall under a banner which states "live music nightly" is a mural of Mount Rushmore with the Presidents replaced by Muddy Waters, Rob Johnson, B.B. King and one other man who not even the employee knew. Blues piped through speakers is the dim light and the smell washes over you when the door opens. Barbeque.

All the ambiance was nice, but the real business was the BBQ. I ordered a half slab of ribs and Free got a half bird. We sat down with a picture of Marvin Gaye who was to serve as the sign for which table to bring the food to, this would not have been hard to discern since we were the only people sitting in the restaurant that didn't work there or already have food.

The food came quickly and when I picked up my first rib by the bone the meat stayed on the plate simply letting the bone slide out. It was just that tender and that moist. I took the meat and dipped it in the trough of BBQ sauce they had provided. Then followed pure bliss. I'm sorry Dad, but this was amazing. The flavor and texture would be impossible to describe, we just sat for a moment wide eyed at each other and then reached across to get a taste of the others food. I can't remember ever making that much noise while eating food in my life. Moans and deep almost meditative breathes were the only things besides occasional outbursts at the incredulous deliciousness to interrupt the complete devastation of our meals. Suddenly at the end of the ribs the two slices of wonder bread made sense as we sopped up any trace amount of rib or chicken on our plates and dipped the bread n the last glorious bit of sauce.

Immediately I knew I could eat another slab but realized that his was a taste so good that I would have to visit again and the taste would be better spread out. Even now I could easily go back for more. Although I am a voracious eater, food rarely effects me this way. As we drove away we smacked our lips still miles down the road. We both agreed that it was worthy of being written about and neither of us had a second thought about covering the same territory literarally, it seemed the least we could do.

it's a good thing Fat Matt wasn't there, I don't know if I could be held responsible for what I might have done in tribute.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

?, GA: And now for something we hope you'll really like

Miles RAN since last blog: ?

Ok, not as prepared with town and mileage as normal, but what can I do with a midday blog?

As I am running on time according to my month's schedule, but a day behind for couchsurfing request, it was decided by me last night that I would attempt to run the entire 66+ miles to my next host today. It deserves to be said that my companion, Free, and I, are very different in numerous ways. For instance, I like to push my own limits and Free likes to push other people's limits. The line of reasoning was more or less similar last night, "well, it'll at least be an interesting story." This seems to be a main argument when I decide on a course of action.

I knew I would need a good night's rest if I was to attempt this. Free went to bed, then C. (the girl we were staying with), and finally I headed into my room where I spent my time editing footage until about 2 a.m. My inner sadist decided that this was probably enough of a challenge for the next day and I headed off to dreamland.

I dreamt of flying, that would make this easier. It's possible that this was spurred on by Free and I wishing to skydive, but it's expensive so we decided to use it as a celebration when we arrive in Cali. In a theoretical universe, Free and I would have some of our dichotomy sharply illustrated with this adventure.

Upon Free's arrival at the Skydive takeoff point, the conversation might go something like this:

Insturctor: "I think that's one of those parachutes they use for dropping tanks off in the desert."

Free: "Uh huh,"

Ins: "Well, I don't think you need all of that. And are those a few extra parachutes strapped to your side?"

Free: "Yeah, I had room so I thought I'd bring them."

Ins: "Is that a french press hooked to your belt?"

Upon my arrival I would however rush onto the plane and jump out at altitude without a parachute thinking, "Surely if I had really needed a parachute someone would have given one to me by now."

The instructor would then jump out of the plane to catch and save me, when he caught up to me I would probably invite him along and offer to buy him lunch since he brought the parachute.

In any case, I forgot to set my alarm and got up at 9:30. Being late there seemed no reason to hurry. I wandered about the house eating pop tarts and slowly packing up. Our host assumed I wouldn't run since there was no temporal possibility for me to arrive in Atlanta today. This did not deter me however, it just made me relaxed and slow. I headed out at a slow jog. before two miles were up I was thinking that I had had a very bad idea. As is often the case though, after the first hour things seemed to fall in line. I ran on the flat and downhills and walked fast uphill. I picked a very cold and windy day to try this out. I had under 60 miles to go when hunger drove me indoors, after a meal I'd be ready to head out and destroy my body even further.

I was however, saved by the bell, or rather the Austin Powers theme song on Free's phone, courtesy of E., Free's friend in Greenville who had set up the TV interviews for me. The sign and business cards had arrived and she could drive halfway to meet Free and hand them off. While I was waiting for Free for lunch I begin to slowly freeze. Having sweat soaked through my shirt and being in an air conditioned restaurant was doing me no favors but giving me plenty of time to think about the way I was going about things. As often happens, I decided I was stupid and that I was now much more intelligent than I had been seconds before. When Free arrived I decided to go with him because it sounded more fun.

It was, probably, I suppose we'll never really know. The thing that I have noticed is that I expect this trip to be a wonderful and life changing experience, but then find myself desperately trying to remain rigidly the same in some aspects. I want to walk the USA, that much is true, but all the limits and time constraints and rules that exist around it are self inflicted. I started this venture with an aspiration to set myself outside of the normal world in a permanent way, to never return to the life that society carves out for us and we complacently accept, but things aren't always what you think they'll be, sometimes they are much more.

I got a tattoo of the world map on my leg this summer (even though Antarctica is suspiciously absent I consider this future planning with the Greenhouse effect). Tattoos, I think, are a lot like children. They are rarely exactly what you imagined but you grow to love them anyway. Originally, I got my tattoo as a commitment to see the world and continue traveling, but this summer during my survival school I looked down and realized that it was something much more to me suddenly, even if the old meaning was still there too. When I look down at that tattoo now I notice I always look for the spot that I am on within it, and that the whole rest of the world is still there silently putting me into context as tiny and knowing that any waves I feel don't even appear in the world view. From here, we all look peaceful and serene, and that's enough to make you feel that way as well.

Walking out of my old life I expected a change, and I got it. I wanted to escape the regular world and then created it around me and had to remove myself again. Even now when I get down to the core personal meaning of this walk I realize it was always about living my life as I wanted to and that the only person left keeping me from that was me. So, in the place where so many epiphanies have surely taken place, a KFC in Georgia, I decided that i would let go of a few of my rules and take down a few more of the bars I had set up to jump over. I wanted to walk across the USA and that is what I'll do, my way. I'll walk when I want to walk, as far as I want to walk. I'll stop when i want and stay an extra day somewhere if I like.

I don't know if I am looking for enlightenment, trying to save the world or become the man I always believed I was, but I suppose I'll figure that out at a McDonald's.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hartwell & Athens, GA: The Deep South

Miles since last blog: 68.1

Yesterday's Route

Today's Route

The thing about Georgia is that I have always heard of it. That's not the case with a lot of states, but Georgia is different. Savannah, Atlanta, these are some of the quintessential cities that come to mind when I think of the Deep South. Crossing the Savannah river at the border into Georgia lived up to all my expectations. The beauty of the surroundings, the peach and song riff on the sign and the already dropped famous name of Savannah enveloped me. I felt deep fried and seasoned with southern flavors not one mile in.

Even the kindness has been amplified with the border crossing, as well as the appearance of a curious thing called to go drinks which you can take when you leave a restaurant. Yesterday I met two people on the road in Georgia, a deputy (I get stopped about every other day) and a man in his front yard just down the street from where I met the deputy. I gave them both my card and both contact me today via email or phone. One to tell me he thought I was crazy but after visiting the site was inspired (although he may still think I am crazy) and the other to find out how far I went and where I was going next, he had been impressed by me it seems.

It's nice to be in a place where people are effected by this so openly, to see that there is some outcome to this trip even before it is over. I feels good here, and very friendly.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Anderson, SC: A Day with Skip

Miles since last blog: 36.3


Today we have a new President!

Also, I recorded a bit of my walk today, I'll try to post it here sometime tomorrow. Oh yeah, my hair is dyed black from Halloween.

Video Update Click Here

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Greenville II: Growing Pains

As always when I am in a place for a few days I am starting to go a bit stir crazy. This is no doubt fueled a bit extra by the massive amounts of Halloween candy I've been eating.

I've been really enjoying Greenville. Some of the things we've done here include: finding bronze mice, walking the largest-curved-pedestrian-suspension bridge in the world (and possibly the one with the most qualifiers as well), listening to street jazz, eating at a BBQ place which hands out towels instead of napkins, learning my blues name (Pretty Liver Bradley), and of course going out for Halloween.

Tomorrow I'll be on "Your Carolina" so that's pretty cool. Things seem to be moving along as they will and I'm relaxing a bit and loosening my control. A friend of mine wrote me (actually several did, thanks all) and told me a Dutch saying, "Some people feel the rain, others only get wet."

As for people who called or wrote asking how they could help, please send the website to your friends and ask them to donate, even if it's only $5 or $10 that's enough to help a bit. I'd like to make sure it's clear that all the money goes to the non-profit, I am completely funding this walk and it's costs (or rather me and Visa) because I think that this is important. Second, if you know of any great educational programs that are doing great things or schools that need help, email me and let me know, we'd love to promote these programs and help them if we can raise funds.

I've gotta get my beauty sleep for the interview ;) Goodnight and keep on moving, I will.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Greenville, SC: The Month in Math

Miles since last blog: 23.5

Route to Greenville

549.5 Miles walked
17.73 Miles per day average (w/days off)
27.45 Miles per walking day average
0 Hours in the rain (The sun shines on Skip)
2 Flat Tires
30+ Forest Gump references
1 Not-so-evil twin
1 TV spot
1 Radio interview
3 Newspaper Articles
4 States
1 District
2,753 miles left (roughly)
5 Months to go (about)

Hmmm . . . I guess I opened a 7 or an 8 pack of adventure (see Catonsville, MD blog)

Also, thanks for all the calls and emails. The night walk helped me clear my head and get perspective and the response has been nice seeing that people care out there. The whole thing has pushed me back to gain the perspective I had lost. I need help on the road, but the important thing for me to remember is that only get one chance at this so I need to do it right, and for me, at the heart of this, "doing it right" means doing it my way. In the rush to create a new and different life where I could help people and live as I wish, I went and created the very thing I was trying to escape from. I can't say it won't happen again, but I am getting better at recognizing my mistakes and correcting them. I want to show people that if they are strong and have courage they can live the life they want, not the life they think they should or the life they can get safely.