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My Journey - May 2011

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My Journey - May 2011

Post  ChasingSanity on Tue May 03, 2011 3:26 pm

Sunday, May 1st, 2011
One of the guys at Hostel in the Forest, Henry, welcomed me to sleep on his couch when I got to Savannah, GA. That worked out. I arrived Monday, April 25th. I expected a night or two but things do not happen quickly in Savannah. I stayed there until Friday. Henry enjoyed having me around. He also had an old, long skateboard that was broken for riding but perfect for me to use to strengthen the top of my ExtraCycle.

One of Henry's neighbors, Jim Hendrixsen, is a rocket scientist. He designs, tests and builds model rockets. I talked with him a lot. Jim has more of an urge to tell his stories than I do to tell mine. He showed me around Savannah and told me all about the history he knows of it. Jim also helped me add Henry's old skateboard onto my ExtraCycle.

Two other people invited me to stay at their place but that did not coalesce. Savannah was the hardest town to leave. I felt so welcomed.

Henry and I said goodbye several times, I kept forgetting something and it takes a while to pack after unpacking for a week. Finally, I left and said my goodbyes to Jim too.

I rode by the local bike shop, Bike … , stopped and asked them for the best way norht on US 17 highway. They told me to take the ferry from behind the downtown Hyatt hotel. I found my way there and charmed my way into a free cup of coffee at the Hyatt.

While I was waiting for the ferry, I got to talking with a fellow biker, … who helped me find a campsite on Huntington Island, near where he lives. He just moved there the day before. He apologized for not offering me a hot meal but there was no food in the house yet. He had $20 to buy groceries.

I offered to go with him grocery shopping and cook enough food for both of us to eat dinner and have leftovers for him for a couple days. “OK, but it's got to be cooked on a campfire.” Smile We went to Brighter Days organic market, they were closed for the night. We went to Kroger grocery store. Almost every ingredient I had in mind was on sale! It was a sign. Wink So was the total the cashier gave us - $19.83; a few pennies short of his expense account.

While we were headed into town to go grocery shopping, … called a lady friend of his to see if she wanted to join him and his celebrity (me) for a dinner cooked on a campfire. Sure, she was up for that but then an obligation popped up (she is a graduate student for SCAD, as a film director) and she had to help someone else out and bail out on us.

We dropped our food off in the dark, at the campsite we selected before going shopping. Then we drove back to his house to get coffee and ride our bikes (all my camping gear and kitchen) back to the campsite. Finding the campsite in the dark was an adventure, so was cooking in the dark. Smile

We had a feast. We'd bought brown rice, onions, a portabella mushroom, squash, broccoli, califlower, carrots, pico de gallo, sour cream, good bread, cilantro... I think that's it. Oh, sharp cheddar cheese. I had some loaves of dessert bread tosnack on while we waited. He stuffed cheese and pico de gallo into a hunk of cheese. I cooked, we waited, we ate. He went back to his house and I went to my tent.

In the morning, I finished off the leftovers. I took my sweet time packing up but finally slid back onto the road at about 11:30 in the morning. I rode on into Hardeeville, SC and stopped at many of the hotels and motels looking for the perfect combination of free WIFI, free coffee and free plug-in charge up of my cell phone. Nothing in Hardeeville was perfect, I got a little bit of each from separate motels. I rode on into Ridgeland and asked the locals where I could go to get out of the weather – there was supposed to be a storm coming overnight. “The Mission” was just down the road, it is a homeless shelter for men in an old plantation house.

By the way, there are a lot of plantation sites in Georgia and South Carolina. Slavery makes a richly varied and fascinating historical study. Dare I say macabre? Some people think there are no more slaves in modern society. Food for thought.

Caught up again!
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Re: My Journey - May 2011

Post  ChasingSanity on Tue May 03, 2011 4:39 pm

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011
The guys at the... Christ Central Mission were very nice. I got food, a shower and a good night's sleep. But, the camaraderie was what I valued most. I got to interact, thanks guys.

In the morning, I applied for and got food stamps. I rode out of Ridgeland just before noon. I stopped along the way to get on the internet; update my blogs, couchsurfing in Charleson the next night, check maps, get the phone numbers of the Charleston News... forgot to update my blog. :/ I did call the Charleston news phone numbers while riding along, I got to talk with real people at each TV/radio/newspaper and told them “I am Ari Gold, riding my bicycle around the world and I am going to be in Charleston tomorrow. Do you want to interview me?” They all took my info. Smile

Towards sunset, I started looking for a place to camp. I saw a sign saying three churches that way. I often get permission to camp the night on church grounds. I went that way. A local man told me the preacher in charge of one of the churches lived next to it; nobody home, I decided to wait on the church steps. I made a peanut butter and honey tortilla. I waved at passersby. A man came over from across the street at the same time another man came from a house next to the church. I greeted them and told them about my hopes. The one man smiled and said that was not going to work, he also told me the preachers for all three churches do not live anywhere nearby. The other man and I fenced words, swapping scriptures for a while. Then they told me about a free campground a few miles away, next to Wood's grocery store. I packed up and rode off to the free campground.

In my imagination, I continued the conversation with the man I fenced words with. He told me by my age I had seen everything, what was I searching for? I can't imagine a way to express my goals and plans to someone like that. I've tried with other people that tell me religion, usually Jesus, will feed my hunger and satiate me. It makes me feel scared to think I might want to stop exploring my life, my world, myself. I do not have a good way to express those feelings either. More prose will result from putting that on the back burner in my mind.

So, I was riding down the road... a very loud squawk sounded from right behind me. A deputy sheriff was pulling me over. I wondered if the one who called was one of the people I talked with, waved at or just someone peeking out of their window. I felt sad for them. That all flashed through my head as I pulled out my identification. I waited for the deputy to get out of his car, someone was talking to him on his shoulder radio.

When the deputy sheriff did get out, he told me someone wanted me to check up on me. He ran a search for warrants for my arrest off my identification. I told him about myself; riding my bicycle across country, often getting permission to camp on church grounds, talking with one man, then two more, fencing, told about the free camping next to Wood's. The deputy said make sure to get permission before camping. I agreed, almost getting shot dead for free camping in Texas is a strong lesson. He also gave me a back-up plan; a truck stop ten miles or so up the road. It was dusk then.

Wood's grocery store was closed long before I got there, so was the gas station next door. Sigh, plan B; I continued riding to the truck stop. When I got to the truck stop, I was tired and shaky from riding so much; 40+ miles since noon. I said I was riding my bicycle cross country and asked if I could camp the night in my tent in that dark corner over there, on the edge of their parking lot. Yes. Whew, “If you are going to throw away any food tonight, will you please throw it my way? Yes, you can eat those over-cooked sausages (big hot dogs). Ahh, food and a place to sleep, every doggie knows that is true love.

In the morning, after I had ridden for a while, a trucker honked at me; he recognized me from the truck stop we both spent the night at, I recognized his 18 wheeler too.

I stopped at a Welcome Center (free maps and local info). They told me the City Marina has lots of sailboats coming and going. It was 9 miles up the road. I called the first news phone number on my phone list, telling them my location and ETA for getting to the marina. They sounded like they would do a story, meeting me at the marina. I planned on calling the next number if they were no there. I as on a bridge near the marina and saw a lot of boats. I checked my phone, saw a Charleston number called me (but I did not hear my phone ringing because of traffic) and I called them back. The photographer for WCBD was at the marina. “So, you know how to get here?” “No, I haven't got a clue but I can see the boats.” I stopped and asked for directions at a hotel how to get next door, to the marina.

I got interviewed for the story at noon, it aired on TV at 5:30PM. After the interview at noon, I wandered around asking how to get working passage on a sailboat to Europe. I met nice people at yacht sales offices in the marina. They suggested I walk the docks. I went to the dock office and asked permission first. I met several nice sailboat captains or crew. One guy said he was going north, leaving tonight, 3 days up to Chesapeake Bay. If I was around tonight, I could hop a ride. Great!

That did not work out, he wanted me to buy the groceries for the trip, to replace what they had used up on this leg of their journey. I told him I could not buy a lot of groceries, only a little but I could work. No luck, no 3 days sailing north. That was fast; yes to no took an hour.

Two of the 7 Charleston couchsurfers responded with affirmatives to my request. I called the first one right after learning I was about to be on TV any minute. Oh yeah, 5PM already? Smile Now, I am at the library half-way to their house in Mt. Pleasant, a few miles away.

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Re: My Journey - May 2011

Post  ChasingSanity on Sun May 08, 2011 6:05 am

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011
The guys at the... Christ Central Mission were very nice. I got food, a shower and a good night's sleep. But, the camaraderie was what I valued most. I got to interact, thanks guys.

In the morning, I applied for and got food stamps. I rode out of Ridgeland just before noon. I stopped along the way to get on the internet; update my blogs, couchsurfing in Charleson the next night, check maps, get the phone numbers of the Charleston News... forgot to update my blog. :/ I did call the Charleston news phone numbers while riding along, I got to talk with real people at each TV/radio/newspaper and told them “I am Ari Gold, riding my bicycle around the world and I am going to be in Charleston tomorrow. Do you want to interview me?” They all took my info. Smile

Towards sunset, I started looking for a place to camp. I saw a sign saying three churches that way. I often get permission to camp the night on church grounds. I went that way. A local man told me the preacher in charge of one of the churches lived next to it; nobody home, I decided to wait on the church steps. I made a peanut butter and honey tortilla. I waved at passersby. A man came over from across the street at the same time another man came from a house next to the church. I greeted them and told them about my hopes. The one man smiled and said that was not going to work, he also told me the preachers for all three churches do not live anywhere nearby. The other man and I fenced words, swapping scriptures for a while. Then they told me about a free campground a few miles away, next to Wood's grocery store. I packed up and rode off to the free campground.

In my imagination, I continued the conversation with the man I fenced words with. He told me by my age I had seen everything, what was I searching for? I can't imagine a way to express my goals and plans to someone like that. I've tried with other people that tell me religion, usually Jesus, will feed my hunger and satiate me. It makes me feel scared to think I might want to stop exploring my life, my world, myself. I do not have a good way to express those feelings either. More prose will result from putting that on the back burner in my mind.

So, I was riding down the road... a very loud squawk sounded from right behind me. A deputy sheriff was pulling me over. I wondered if the one who called was one of the people I talked with, waved at or just someone peeking out of their window. I felt sad for them. That all flashed through my head as I pulled out my identification. I waited for the deputy to get out of his car, someone was talking to him on his shoulder radio.

When the deputy sheriff did get out, he told me someone wanted me to check up on me. He ran a search for warrants for my arrest off my identification. I told him about myself; riding my bicycle across country, often getting permission to camp on church grounds, talking with one man, then two more, fencing, told about the free camping next to Wood's. The deputy said make sure to get permission before camping. I agreed, almost getting shot dead for free camping in Texas is a strong lesson. He also gave me a back-up plan; a truck stop ten miles or so up the road. It was dusk then.

Wood's grocery store was closed long before I got there, so was the gas station next door. Sigh, plan B; I continued riding to the truck stop. When I got to the truck stop, I was tired and shaky from riding so much; 40+ miles since noon. I said I was riding my bicycle cross country and asked if I could camp the night in my tent in that dark corner over there, on the edge of their parking lot. Yes. Whew, “If you are going to throw away any food tonight, will you please throw it my way? Yes, you can eat those over-cooked sausages (big hot dogs). Ahh, food and a place to sleep, every doggie knows that is true love.

In the morning, after I had ridden for a while, a trucker honked at me; he recognized me from the truck stop we both spent the night at, I recognized his 18 wheeler too.

I stopped at a Welcome Center (free maps and local info). They told me the City Marina has lots of sailboats coming and going. It was 9 miles up the road. I called the first news phone number on my phone list, telling them my location and ETA for getting to the marina. They sounded like they would do a story, meeting me at the marina. I planned on calling the next number if they were no there. I as on a bridge near the marina and saw a lot of boats. I checked my phone, saw a Charleston number called me (but I did not hear my phone ringing because of traffic) and I called them back. The photographer for WCBD was at the marina. “So, you know how to get here?” “No, I haven't got a clue but I can see the boats.” I stopped and asked for directions at a hotel how to get next door, to the marina.

I got interviewed for the story at noon, it aired on TV at 5:30PM. After the interview at noon, I wandered around asking how to get working passage on a sailboat to Europe. I met nice people at yacht sales offices in the marina. They suggested I walk the docks. I went to the dock office and asked permission first. I met several nice sailboat captains or crew. One guy said he was going north, leaving tonight, 3 days up to Chesapeake Bay. If I was around tonight, I could hop a ride. Great!

That did not work out, he wanted me to buy the groceries for the trip, to replace what they had used up on this leg of their journey. I told him I could not buy a lot of groceries, only a little but I could work. No luck, no 3 days sailing north. That was fast; yes to no took an hour.

Two of the 7 Charleston couchsurfers responded with affirmatives to my request. I called the first one right after learning I was about to be on TV any minute. Oh yeah, 5PM already? Smile Now, I am at the library half-way to their house in Mt. Pleasant, a few miles away.

Caught up!

Thursday, May 5th, 2011
I left the library at dusk. “The Bridge” people warned me about really is big, long and tall. But, I went up the gradually sloping side and down the steep side, easier. I rode into the gathering darkness. These guys live three miles down an unlit street. I vowed not to ride that street again at night.

John and Joel have a charming, old golden retriever named Breck. Joel was interested about my adventure and enthusiastically pulled the detailed version of my story out of me. He said “Make yourself at home” several times. II ate my fill of some of their food and some of mine, sharing some of my secret recipes with Joel. I got a shower and did laundry. John came home, we talked more then went to sleep.

I woke up before the rest of the house. I wake up with the dawn, daylight is a precious resource to me. I made enough rice and oatmeal porridge for everybody. I added the last of my fresh garlic, some of their molasses and olive oil and my peanut butter and curry. I only used a little peanut butter but it still overpowered the dish. I made two of my peanut butter –cheese and honey tortillas (two corn, one flour) with nuts and dried fruit. One of them was mine, one for the other two guys. Joel left before John woke up and Joel got one tortilla sandwich all to himself. Joel told me before he left, he called a friend of his, Sully, the editor for the Moultrie News, local newspaper and gave her my contact info for her to get my story. John fried up some sausage for the both of us. I put my half of the sausage in my porridge, it got better and better and I had leftovers.

I packed up, said my goodbyes to John and Breck.

I rode around town in search of the specific kind of squeeze bottles I use. The bottles do not leak when packed up and compressed tightly. They only release their contents when I open a hard to reach flip-top. AND, the bottles are silicone, so the contents do not stick to the inside of the bottle, nor do they contents react chemically with the bottle. Silgan is one source for my “white top” bottles but who sells them? The lids are especially hard to find. And, I want bottles bigger than the 3 ounce size allowed on airplanes that are commonly sold. I want enough bottles to store the oil from a small bottle of olive oil in, local, raw honey and Doctor Bronnor's peppermint soap (Dr. Bronner's does everything – shampoo, body wash, dish washing and clothes washing, tootthpaste and bunch of other things too!). I want the biggest size bottles that will still fit, standing up, in my RubberMaid RoughNeck kitchen container. I know what I want, how to get it, that – I don't know.

No luck with the bottles. Same problem with collapsible silicone bowls (Progressive makes them; CB-6 is what Progressive calls them. WalMart and Target sell Progressive's collapsible silicone collanders.)

OK, where was I? John gave me some coins to buy the bottles, they are cheap, I was in a town that probably had them. I did not find my silicone toys. You have your kind of silicone toys, I have mine. Razz While I was riding around searching, I called John, got him to call Joel, who called Sully, the editor of the Moultrie News. John called me back with her number. I called her, left a message; she called me, left a message; I called her back when she got back to the office. THEN, we talked, doing the interview for the story over the phone while I rode to the shopping center on the far north end of town on US highway 17 chasing after my toys. The interview went fabulously, I really look forward to reading Sully's story. We commiserated at not actually meeting each other in person and hugged over the phone. :hugs:

I rode through a shopping center to avoid getting on US highway 17. The highway is sometimes two lanes, sometimes one lane each way and the shoulder is 4 inches wide; just as thick as the white line telling drivers 'this is the edge of the road.” The places with only one lane each way make me a foreign object and an obstacle. The leader of the Charleston bicycle group was recently hit by a car while riding his bicycle. He died. I am nervous enough already.

So, this shopping center is proud home of the Mt. Pleasant Trek Bike shop. I stopped in to share my story with fellow bicyclists (the employees) and buy spare spokes. The bike mechanic (Chris? is a Portorican and very competent.) told me I needed a new front wheel. My brake pad had worn a groove in the rim. Several spokes on my front wheel were badly rusted, Chris thought several spokes would break at once. That would hurt. They, the bike shop, gave me a replacement wheel from a used bike they had. What a relief. But, my “V” brakes needed to be replaced too – the tiny screws that adjust the position of the brakes was rusted to their nuts (guys, be warned, don't let this happen to you Wink ). I planned to go back the next day, in the evening into Charleston to the Holy City Co-op community bike shop, oh yeah forgot to stop there, so much to do in Charleston.

I rode on, with directions to the national forest just north of the bike shop. I heard voices, on the road. Where were the people I heard? I could not make out the words. I rode for more than a mile before I realized there was a band playing music outside. This was where I was camping for the night? I pulled in at the Suwee Outpost gas station and shop to ask about this event going on.

A local lady shopping in the store told me I should go check it out. I was tempted before I pulled into the shop. Smile I wandered around. People greeted me, they saw me riding my bike on the side of the road, going their way, now I was in front of them. Smile I told them I camp out most nights. They told me to ask Eddie, over there about camping on his land, he's the one running this show every Wednesday night.

Eddie said “Sure, you can camp here or on my land two doors down” Then, he took me around and introduced meto a few people - “He's riding his bicycle around the world”. The last person I was introduced to was Ben, the owner of the Mt. Pleasant Trek Bike Shop. Smile I told him about my adventures in his shop and my plans to go to Holy City Co-op for V brake replacements. Ben said stop by his shop instead of going all the way back into town and then waiting until evening and then leaving town. Great stuff!

The “Barn Dance” party died down about 10PM. I walked my bike on the grass in the dark over to Eddie's house to camp out. Eddie's house is an indoor stage and dormitory for the band that plays every Wednesday night. Wow, Eddie makes everything about the “Barn Dance” possible. My camp was mostly set up when the band members drove in. I met them some more. The band members and I talked into the night, mostly them talking with each other, planning their lives. They showed me the road house where guests or visitors usually crash. I chose my tent; it is my home, my private space.

Danielle, the band leader, singer and manager, showed me food resources and chocolates in her living space I was welcome to in the morning. When I got up at 7:30AM, nobody else was awake. I thought about Danielle, packed up first, then made a couple cups of my favorite tea (Good Earth Original), grabbed my fresh ground peanut butter and fig bars and took them to her house to greet her and start her day. I had hopes. I knocked, walked into the common space, spoke her name, put my treats down and went back to my bike to get my netbook. I mentioned the night before, I am a poet, some of my stuff might be inspiration for them to make more music.

I read my poetry, nibbled on Danielle's bon bons, ate her cookies... she slept through the whole thing. Was she even sleeping behind that door like I thought? Anyways, I finished my breakfast and rode back to the bike shop. I was coming back this way and would stop back in.

Maybe Ben, the owner was still there; he is driving to his grandmother's birthday party in Pennsylvania. Nope, no Ben but the guys working there knew I was coming. They replaced the front V brakes and gave me the cable I needed too. Got to friend them on Facebook and thank them in an email.

Now, I am at the McDonald's in the same shopping center as the bike shop. But, I can't get on the internet here, too slow. Try at Eddie's house.

Saturday, May 7th, 2011
Eddie and I traded waves as I rode into the driveway to his house. Two of the guys in the band were working next to the barn / shed / building I slept net to last night. I asked if Danielle was around. The guy that I think is the technician replied. “No, she just left.” “Well...how about I make some breakfast with the stuff I just bought at the grocery store?” “Outside?” “No, on your stove.” “No, we can't leave you unsupervised.” He was the only rude person I met in days. Did they / he think I was 'supervised' last night, in the dark, when they were partying or sleeping and what about in the morning when I was the only one awake on Eddie's property before I left to go to the bike shop?

Anyways, I talked for a bit with the other guy, Alex Serrano, a new comer to the band then left, back on the road. It was about 3PM. I worked at putting the unpleasantness behind me. That was not how I imagined things would go. Wink

I rode through Awendaw, SC. For what seems like a small town, it sure takes a long time to ride through. I accepted an invitation to talk with a guy in the shade in front of his house. He told me I could camp at Buck Hall, north on highway 17 a couple miles.

I found Buck hall, part of the Francis Marion National Forest. I looked around; 'Fee Area' signs were posted around. Were some areas free? I still don't know, but I suspect not. But, this one was not supervised... The end of the road was a parking lot with several people and at least three barking dogs. That was not going to work; to urban for my tastes.

I turned around and considered continuing on north on the highway or ducking into the woods off this road. The highway was noisy... There was a telephone or power line crossing the road, wasn't that ground owned by another part of the government? Wink I followed the telephone or power lines into the woods and around a bend. There was a break in the trees, I ducked in and found a clearing big enough to set up my tent.

There were a lot of leaves on the ground. I set up camp as quickly as possible, before the mosquito squadrons got organized. I still had the groceries I bought that morning but I had an open bag of... mozzarella cheese that was not bad yet. I threw my tortillas, peanut butter, cheese, honey, dried fruit and nuts into the tent with my butter knife and dived in after them. Roll, zip up the tent fly, take off my shoes, kill mosquitoes... ahh, safe.

It started to rain lightly, off and on. Then it rained more heavily and more steadily. I did a mental inventory of my gear; everything was safe (enough?) from rain. I called NOAA toll free weather. The predictions were “isolated showers”. I slept and ate my peanut butter, cheese, honey, dried fruit and nuts on corn tortillas, no flour tortillas. :/ Nothing is perfect. It was cold that night, so was I. I could have gotten my sleeping bag out but it might have gotten wet.

In the morning, I felt exhausted. Why, too cold, allergies, sick? I don't know but I feel lucky that I do not have to get out of bed; I can go back to sleep when I don't feel rested. I slept and ate, slept and ate, only getting up to pee. I still had to be quick about it to avoid getting sucked dry by the mosquitoes. About noon, I woke up and felt rested. If I packed up and left now, what point? I would get a few miles down the road and immediately have to start looking for a place to camp. Being too cold that night was not enough of a reason to feel that tired; I was sick or having an allergic reaction. It kept on raining lightly. The “isolated showers” must have all lined up and taken their turn to rain heavily on me for all those hours.

I called Carole, my ex-wife and talked for a bit. I noticed a section of my tent floor was acting like water. There was a puddle under my tent, in a depression. We said our goodbyes. I planned what to do. I gathered my things together, stuffed most of it into the duffel bag that holds my tent, sleeping pad and (warm weather) night clothes. I rolled out of the tent, swung my bag and backpack out, grabbed the other stuff and put that on top the bags, pushed my tent over and dumped water out of the ground cover / footprint.

Then, I took my folded up tarp which I was using as a second ground cover, and unfurled it; full-size, 12' x 16' and strung the tarp up between trees above my tent. One side or corner almost has to be lower than the other(s), that is runoff. I've gotten pretty good at using Something to string up my tarp, depending on how far apart the trees are. I resolved, from now on, to set up my camp expecting an extended downpour.

I cooked the eggs, shredded cabbage, onion and jalapeño pepper I had bought from the grocery store. My dried minced garlic was missing?! I left it with John and Joel and Breck. Use it well. I would have to make do with curry, dried minced onions, fresh ground peppercorns, italian seasonings and olive oil.
Something was missing, what could I do? I added some of the raw honey I still had a bit of. Not bad, but garlic would make it better. Razz

I ate and slept more. I was bored and felt pinned down by the rain and mosquitoes. I called a few friends then went back sleep. I I had slept from dusk to noon the next day (17 hours?) then from 3PM until 8AM (17 more hours)?! Slept a normal amount of time at night, felt exhausted, slept from 7AM until noon, then slept to pass the time in the rain. Oof, there has to be a better way to spend time when you're pinned down by weather. I need a girlfriend.

The rain stopped, well, it only sputtered for a minute every few minutes. I decided to pack up and get someplace dry or drier. The ground under my tarp had dried out some while it was sheltered from the rain. The ground under my tent was very dry, even the depression; my tarp was waterproof?! Cool. My tent was mostly dry, my tarp was still very wet even after I shook off as many rain drops as I could. My stuff needed to get dried out ASAP.

I was on the road, out of the national park without having to pay for the night. <.< There was a pleasant breeze, mist and it was cool, refreshing, like a cool, tall glass of water. I rode on

I got to a thrift store, had a fine time talking with the proprietor, bought a half silk, half cotton pullover shirt and a colorful childs bag. My colorful, homemade cell phone holder is finally falling apart. I went next door to the Dollar General store and bought a can of soup and a can of corn to make for dinner. Then, I rode on. I stopped at a road side farmer's stand. I bought a cucumber and an onion to throw in the dinner pot. The lady farmer working the stand said “Your friend arrived.”

My friend? “Hi! Who are you, where did you come from and where are you going?” I said. This guy was wearing typical 'serious bicyclist' clothing and had 'serious bike tourist' gear. Michael came from Fort Lauderdale and was riding to upstate New York. I said, “Let's ride together.” Away we went. He was a day behind schedule, I needed to charge my cell phone, update my blog and get still more groceries. He rode 50 miles so far today and was going another 50 before the day was done. Riding with someone was like having a turbobooster. We would be parting ways soon.

I saw Food Lion grocery store ahead, pulled out one of my calling cards and got ready. I handed Michael my card and we said our goodbyes. I bought whole wheat tortillas and a bulb of garlic, real garlic. I bought two bananas and a powerade electrolyte drink and a peppercorn grinder.

A lady customer at the grocery store told me there was a marina or two en route. I followed directions and asked at a bar about “working passage on a sailboat to Europe.” That and the sign on my back got the conversation going. I gave three cards to the bar sitters. They said I should talk with 'that guy', a local bar keep. He said he had no clue but if he heard anything... I gave him a card too. We all wished each other well as I walked out. Then, I talked with the crowd talking to each other next to my bike. A young couple were talking with an older couple. The young ones were from Canada and they had all talked together over the radio a year ago when they were all planning their sailboating adventures for that year, things did not work as planned. But, here, now, they happened to meet by chance, next to my bike. Smile

I rode on; back onto highway 17. there across the street was a fire station. They are an excellent source of information about free camping in the area. Police have the duty of telling people they can not do that, firemen do not have that duty. Smile And, they have an excellent rapport with the police. Very Happy So, the firemen called the police nd asked if an officer would come by and tell me about free camping in the area. He told me about 4 places within a couple miles.

Now, it is dark. McDonald's WIFI is unworkably slow. Maye the hotels in the morning will be better. If not, I will suspect my netbook needs a firmware upgrade. If the hotels are good enough then I will suspect McDonald's WIFI is under attack. Either way, I am healthy, life is good. Time to find that campsite.

Sunday, May 8th, 2011
Time to call my mom and wish her a Happy Mother's Day. Best wishes to all of you too.
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Re: My Journey - May 2011

Post  ChasingSanity on Wed May 11, 2011 11:28 am

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
Rode into Myrtle Beach. Went to Food Lion grocery store asking if there was a health food store in Myrtle Beach – No. Where else might my silicone whitecap bottles be? Custom lotion stores, container stores, outfitters, camping goods stores... No luck for a while now, especially regarding the no leak white cap tops. I should take a picture and add a link to the pic so you all have a clue what I mean.

I went to Camping World store, here in Myrtle Beach. I wanted to find one of these and check them out for so long. Finally! AND, they sell the coveted Progressive CB-6 collapsible silicone bowls! I bought a set for $13. Before I left Las Vegas, I wanted to get a packable, durable bowl I could somehow heat up food with or put hot food in (insulated bowl?). Finally! But... I now have 3 bowls, a 1.5 cup, a 3 cup and a 5 cup set of bowls... I... guess I am blessed?

I went to the Coleman store. They have so much stuff, I was tired from looking. I picked up the paperwork to apply for sponsorship! Went to Street Reach homeless shelter for the night. “You have to takke a shower before sleeping.” Threaten me with a good time! I love bathing in hot water. I make funny noises when getting into cold water. Wink

Great, homemade food was served for dinner. The newest Narnia movie was on big screen TV that night. I could not hear it but the pictures were pretty. At 4 in the morning they had a bomb scare. There was a really bad storm outside. Not only was all my gear soaking wet, but so was I and everybody else, staff, residents and guests. We all tried to squeeze in under the limited cover available and waited out the bomb squad search.

I got an appointment with a free doctor through Street Reach. I have hammer toes and my bike shoes are clashing with my toe knuckles. If there is an easy fix... I just met a man that offered me his home to sleep at for the night, Beats homeless shelters hands down! Maybe I get to wash my moldy, soaking wet synthetic, silk and wool clothing as well?

I called up Tidal Creek Co-op in Wilmington and talked with Loren about my silicone bottle fantasies. She is planning a trip herself and is all excited to know such a product exists. Smile

Time to go to the appointment. Y'all be good while I'm gone!
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Re: My Journey - May 2011

Post  ChasingSanity on Fri May 20, 2011 11:52 am


Tuesday, May 17th, 2011
OK then! I told the free clinic about two issues / wishes; parasites and chiropractic treatment. They said I got to stick to one issue per visit. Parasites it is. They gave me bendryl (diphenhydramine HCI) antihistamine pills and lidocaine gel for tick and deer fly bites. I still have itchy bumps from... was it two months ago? I scratched tick bites, they became more irritated, developed scar tissue that still itched...

I have not taken the bendryl yet because it makes you tired. I am supposed to take it before I got to sleep but I forget. So, anyways, I went to Peter's house and met with him. We talked about all kinds of things; sustainability, living responsibly, religious, spiritual and scientific belief systems, his and my artistic endeavors, how our individual pasts molded us into who we are today... 'life, the universe and everything'. Peter invited me to come with him to Pottsville, PA. He was driving there the next day. Hmm, 10 hours drive north-ish, 2 hours drive from the east coast. Meet lots of people in a new state, trade lasting impressions with Peter, his family and friends AND make some time in my travels north, along the eastern seaboard. “OK.” I called the post office in Hampstead, NC and asked them to forward the package waiting for me, sent general delivery, to Pottsville, NC because my plans changed. Done and done.

Peter had a piece of art, a picture frame, mostly done, commissioned by a local guy. He wanted to finish that project and deliver it to the guy before leaving. I helped Peter, giving him an extra set of hands. We worked at least 8 hours. (I am not sure I got the story right.) The picture frame was made from glass used to make the stained glass windows in the church the family goes to. The father died, The mother / wife commissioned a piece of glass artwork for each of her 3 children. One of the sons commissioned a piece of glass artwork for his mother. The glass Peter used for all the aieces came from the same source, I think it's the glass used to make stained glass windows for the church they all go to. The father was adored within the churchand the community at large. So, an interesting and intertwined story about the significance of the glass artwork. Smile

Peter was paid. The money would make his trip to his home base in Pottsville less stressful. The next day. I woke up early and packed for a couple hours. I was ready and would not be holding Peter back from being ready to leave. Peter said good bye to many friends in the morning and packed stuff into his 30 foot long Airstream trailer or van all day until 9PM, when we left. I helped him pack from about noon to dusk. The last of the packing was stuff Peter had to do himself. I took naps in the van to pass the time. Every so often, I poked an eye out from my slumber to check progress or get out of his way.

Peter did all the driving. I have epilepsy and very little driving experience. I kept on falling asleep. He stopped in a rest stop area in Virginia at 6AM and went to sleep. We got back on the road at noon. We finally got into Pottsville at 8PM. I met Stephanie, his girlfriend, her son, Dylan and Peter's grandson, Tristan. We all worked together to unload everything from the trailer and van then Peter and I parked moved the vehicle to a vacant lot because the Mayfair was tomorrow, in front of his place.

My alarm went off at 5AM, I wobbled to the toilet then back to sleep. I woke up to daylight and construction work outside. I went to sleep again. After I actually got out of bed and took a shower, I went outside to see how far along the Mayfair contruction had gotten. Tristan, Peter's grandson (5 years old) was coming down to check on my progress. Wink He wanted to play, with all kinds of things on his bucket list with me. I was doing good to just sit outside and watch the Mayfair grow into being. Stephanie came down. We talked a bit. I think I took yet another nap.

The Mayfair was ready. I packed up my bike; fully loaded, changed into my bike clothes and walked my bike once around the 4 block long fair. A couple people asked me about my adventures. Peter, Stephanie and the kids were walking through the fair. I parked my bike in front of Peter and Stephanie's art gallery. Then, I caught up with them and we all went through the fair. Several people begged me for money, odd for a town this small. After dancing to the music from the live band, it was time for another nap!?

I went to the grocery store, Giant, a few blocks away once a day for each day I was there. I bought all the things I craved; ice cream, salad, fresh vegetables and fig bars. I bought a few supplies; peanut butter, cheese and olive oil. I helped Stephanie cook a meal, that's a treat for me; helping AND cooking in a kitchen.

I walked to Peace Frog, the local health food store, in search of the squeeze bottles I want. On the way, I searched through Weis grocery and Amelia's Grocery Outlet for hidden treasures. Who knows what secrets lay orphaned in stores unvisited? Amelia's has great prices on olive oil, that's where I got mine. Peace Frog was only a mile from Peter's place but, I was looking for a shortcut and ran into dead ends because of the hilly terrain. So, half-way to the store, I was tired and my feet hurt. I don't walk much.

The next morning, I was so tired. “Why so tired?” I asked myself. Thinking back – packing, driving, unpacking, Mayfair, kids, new people, new place, walking... Just thinking about it was work enough to justify going back to sleep. I was still waking up, showered and out the door before the rest of the house was making noise. And, I as going to sleep before them too. My biological clocks are set to daylight; I wake up at first light and am in bed soon after sunset when I am camping.

The next day is today, Tuesday. I found out the care package Monday (lady friend I met in Key West) sent me general delivery did NOT get forwarded to Pottsville as per my arrangements. The post office needs to get paid for shipping before they ship, no COD. They need a check mailed to them for postage. They do not take credit or debit cards over the phone. That changed my plans, what do I do now? I want that stuff, I know part of the package is a new set of calling cards with an updated set of email and website addresses. Tomorrow, I will mail a money order to the Hampstead post office paying for postage to forward the package to... some post office along my path. Lesson learned; if something is sent to me someplace official along my route, pick it up or expect trouble getting it forwarded to me.

I was in the gallery by myself when a lady walked in. Victoria is a wild herbalist – she picks the herbs she uses by finding them growing wild. She was told by her customers she should meet Stephanie and Peter, who are on the brink of starting a cottage industry selling handmade herbal soaps, lotions and candles. Victoria has been a herbalist for... did she say 30 years? Her son, Elijah, is a glass blower. I gave her Peter's phone number and website info.

OK, caught up? (mentally looking around my memories)

Oh, Peter is cooking a stir fry Wednesday night, the night before I leave. I am inviting a few of Peter's friends that became mine.
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Re: My Journey - May 2011

Post  ChasingSanity on Fri May 20, 2011 12:02 pm

Friday, May 20th, 2011
Meant to leave Pottsville in the morning. I was packed, I made breakfast.. Gina showed up, we talked and ate until I finally dragged myself away after noon. It was raining. It's been raining for days. I left anyways. the rain is expected to stop for a little bit several days from now, stop briefly, that is. "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." I wave at postal delivery trucks now (in the rain).

I am outside Allentown, PA now, on my way in, searching for an organic market that might grind their own peanut butter. They might even have the squeeze bottles I covet. And then there's the hunt for a local bee keeper's raw honey. And a replacement tent pole... And thrift stores for wool socks and a really thick wool sweater. But, at least I found my collapsible silicone bowls.
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Finally found your card!

Post  wohdee on Fri May 20, 2011 11:08 pm

Glad to hear you're still moving along! It was a great experience to meet and talk with you during your time here at the Bechet House in Carencro, LA. Hope you continue to have an interesting journey!!

- Like a Star @ heaven Wohdee Like a Star @ heaven

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Honey for the ride.

Post  Billzbeez on Sat May 21, 2011 3:14 pm

I'm glad you found me in search of a local beekeeper with raw honey. Good to meet you Ari and I wish you well.

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The distracted shift manager of Arby's, Easton

Post  David on Mon May 23, 2011 9:00 pm

It was neat to meet you, as briefly as it was. Hope you managed to find the police station down the road alright this evening and didn't get too wet during our tornado warning. There is so much more I would of liked to ask and talk about, but i was more focused on getting off my shift to study for college and wondering if this guy in his rain gear knocking on my drivethrough window is gonna rob me or not. But anywho, best of luck. Heard Finland is supposed to be an interesting country...

-Sincerely David Strawn

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Re: My Journey - May 2011

Post  ChasingSanity on Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:03 am

David, Thank You. It makes me cry to imagine you faced with a life-threatening situation so often AND being so polite to me?! I told the woman across from me on this tiny table in a coffee shop what you said and how moving it is. She said "Working the cash register at night in a fast food restaurant is one of the most dangerous jobs everywhere in the world. How much are you guys getting paid around the world?

Why is it saints are denied life insurance?

***

Bechet House?! Wow, my card was lost a long time. Wink How are you all? Thanks again for hosting me and getting the radio station and I together.

***

Bill, the ONLY bee keeper (apiary) in the Allentown, PA area is a pretty special calling. AND you are the keeper of bees making award winning honey. Well! Honored and charmed, I am sure.Wink
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