I’m on a flight to Newark, New Jersey, on a full 737.
It’s all starting to hit me now. I’m going to be at Ocean City on Sunday, taking the first steps, literally, to a new life. I’m keeping my old one in Cody, for there are people there I love, but for the next few months my life will be completely different than anything I’ve known before. I’ve camped, but always from a car. I’ve walked, but never one way, every day. I always ended up where I started before.
The only thing hard so far, besides dealing with airports, has been walking away from the man I love. I know he won’t wait for me, and I don’t expect him to, and that hurts. I will return to him one day, and hope he’s still single and available and will still see me. If he doesn’t, it’s the sad price I paid to attempt this walk. Around my neck as a simple necklace made from 2 horseshoe nails bent into a heart shape. Since I left my heart with him, I needed one for my trip. I hope he takes good care of it, and doesn’t break it any worse than it already is.
I have no idea what’s ahead. and I have a lot of anxiety about it, which I hope will resolve itself as I walk, or I simply walk it off. A lot of it is fear of failure. My daughter’s website will track me, I’ll keep a log, anyone “following” me will be anticipating failure (let’s face it, the Indy 500 is a lot more exciting when someone crashes…). There are people rooting for me. There are probably people hoping I fail. I can’t tell how I’ll do intil I get into the rhythm of walking. My wagon-traveling friend, and another cross-country traveler, both stressed that a good start to each day was pretty much essential for a good day of travel. Starting out early, making miles early on, get one in the mood and gets one’s rhythm down.
Finding a place to sleep, and sometimes to relieve myself, will be a challenge. But certainly can be done.
I just need to find my confidence.
I’m sitting at LAX. Cost $60 for a taxi to the airport, $50 for an extra bag, and $2.75 for a 16 oz Pepsi.
My bags are too full. It’s all here, but it’s not all on the stroller. And I don’t have food packed yet.
It’s hard to believe this is about to commence. It won’t seem real until I actually start, because the whole experience is completely new to me. I have no idea if I’ll make it to Washington, or even out of New Jersey, but I feel like a lot of people are pulling for me, so perhaps they can pull me all the way West. I’m sure there’ll be times, especially early on, when I feel like giving up. My friend, the one I had dinner and drinks with, told me if that happens, to just sit a day, take a break, it’ll pass. He also told me things he’d learned from his wagon trip, and what to expect, and offered advice.
I’m waiting to board a flight to the East Coast. My sister will be meeting me in Newark, and I’ll spend a couple days with her, finalizing my packing, buying food, visiting with her and then she’ll take me to Ocean City. A short reprieve before I start making this damn dream come true.
One week to go. It’s Sunday night, and raining here in Hollywood tonight, as it has been all day.
I had a hell of a time getting here. I left on Sunday the 18th. Cody had been enjoying balmy weather all week, no jackets necessary. I left a bit later than I wanted to. The man I was renting from was moving in as I was moving out. He was rearranging the place as I was cleaning and hauling my stuff out. A lot just got thrown in the truck and hauled to California.
So after a few hours of driving the 2-lane highways down to Rock Springs, it was around midnight or 1 AM when I finally got onto Interstate 80. I wasn’t on it but a few minutes when I apparently hit black ice. My husband’s truck, which he was kind enough to loan to me all winter, is a long bed, extra cab 2 wheel drive Silverado. With nothing in the bed, it has crappy traction. So it began fishtailing. I panicked (although I don’t remember) and probably oversteered and braked, both mistakes on ice, and the truck spun. I think I did two 360 degree turns across all the lanes of the highway, semis barreling on the ice towards me. I was POSITIVE I’d die right there; un-seat-belted, hitting the median fence, hit by a semi or other vehicle, rolling… It scared the crap out of me. The truck came to a halt, and the engine died, right in the median, on the grass, facing West, the direction I was traveling. It took me a minute to realize I was alive, unhurt, the traffic was still flowing… I managed to get off the highway and I stopped for the night.. I was shaking and crying and terrified. 2 wheel drive vehicles have no place in Wyoming.
My daughter’s website raised $800, and she bought me at Garmin etrex 30, a fantastically nerdy GPS unit. She also bought a case for it, a lanyard, rechargeable batteries, a solar battery charger, a wall-plug-in battery charger, and a software pack of maps of the lower 48. It’s an amazing device, seems to be quite accurate. I’ve been having fun playing with it but it appears I have already lost the cords to it, that connects it to my computer. I’ve been in panic mode looking for it all afternoon. My daughter said calmly that we can get another at Best Buy. It is amazing how much she has done for me. She put this blog up (I was using another site), is making me business cards to hand out, a sign for the stroller,… her friend is making a large banner that should make me visible by satellites overhead, which will be part of her project. I am flattered and touched by her attention and the hours of time she has put into websites about me and such.
I had dinner and drinks with the man who was my original inspiration for this cross country walk. I met him back in 1980 or so. He and a couple friends had left from Maryland riding horses, then bought a wagon and drove their mismatched team of horses through Memphis where I was living at the time. He later crossed the country on motorcycle and visited my ex and I again, and I believe a time or two more after that. But it has been years since I’ve seen him. He just happened to be in Los Angeles. I had a *wonderful* evening with him, catching up, talking about his trip, talking about life.
I fly out of here Wednesday morning, after I figure out how to get the stroller onto the plane. I deboard in Newark, New Jersey and will spend a couple days at my sister’s house in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania before starting my walk April 1st from ocean City, NJ.
That’s all for now. Still have my final clothes packing to do, hopefully tonight. I should get my stroller back tomorrow (my daughter has it for measuring for the aforementioned signs) and start getting it ready for the flight.
Brief note today, as I am not completely packed and NEED to be. Here’s a picture of Pandemonium as it’ll look loaded. Here, it’s NOT loaded fully, just what’s currently in it.
Still have to fit my electronics, toiletries and food in the vertical pack, and re-do packing of clothes.