NOTE TO JOURNAL READERS: I am horribly behind, and I am a little stressed about how uninspired some of this is compared to the first days. To write something that I am happy with is difficult, to write something I feel I can share with the world is beyond difficult. These are my journals, notes, of which great percentages will be cut, but for now they will be left to jog my mind back to these places. I want to inspire you with everyday, but not everyday is inspiring. Some days are just work. Some days are just 25 miles of one foot after the other.
VIVA LA FRANCE
Day 16 Blythe to Quartzsite
today: 22 cumulative: 301
Leaving the Blue Line Motel. It has only been one day but I feel like I have been hiding. I'm sure it was the TV, nothing to take the epic out of an epic journey like hours of escapism and commercials. I don't think this is what the Buddhists mean by non-action. It purrs into my ear, don't think, dont do, just watch, blinking lights. Forgetting who you are. It can dislodge your very soul and send it to someone elses satellite dish. Good god man, wake up! get out side! the journey lies ahead, remember the journey, the hero does not watch TV! High Ho Silver and away! 5 blocks later I stop for a 2 hour breakfast, still hiding from a hot highway, from hurting feet, from impossible miles.
An old man named Earl, who has biked across America several times, tells me that I will most certainly be hurt in Kentucky, theyll stone you to death in you tent at night. I tell him I will carry 2 machetes and will swing them wildly through the whole states and I will never sleep. He tells me to buy a gun. He also reminds me how much it is going to hurt and how far I have to go. I didn't need to hear that.
Other people I meet are more optimistic. Three people at the restaurant hug me today, and one man tells me that he loves me. An openness unheard of in America. A solo adventure is not an efficient project, but it has an efficiency of its own, be flexible, dont get discouraged. Thank you Cal. A woman from the restaurant, who I had seen all day and hadn't thought to talk to, finds me 2 miles down the road and runs up to me with a gift from the girls at the restaurant, from Renee my waitress, and Lisa. As optimistic as I am, I am still shocked at the generosity I have encountered. I'm sure it helps that I look 18 and have a beautiful dog.
Walking down old route 66, parallel to the interstate, delaying the inevitable entrance onto I-10, I start singing, writing songs in my head. Singing songs about the ocean and Alissa and the highway, the things I think about most out here. Most of them dont rhyme. They are all either too simple or too crazy. These are the hours I should be in the shade, Cosmo is too hot. I soak her head in water to keep her cool. At a gas station I buy 20 OItter Pops, purple, green, blue, and orange ice. Artificial bliss. This is all they eat in heaven in the summers.
Heaven and Wyoming. Swimming in canals, and building tree houses at the end of the dirt road and eating colored ice. Smell the fresh cut grass.
The Arizona border. A small milestone, a small victory. I stand triumphant with my fist in the air, like a propaganda poster for Socialism; clenched square jaw, chest out, wide stance, workers gather to hear the message. Brothers and sisters of Arizona, the revolution begins here! The revolution begins today! Our live will be the revolution! Viva La France! The people are not interested, revolutionaries dont have good health plans, or leather couches. I dont really have a plan for this revolution, I just know I want to live it. Now if there was a good revolution with health and dental, that would be something.
Cosmo and I are forced to walk Interstate 10 today, there is a very wide shoulder, but also a NO PEDESTRIAN sign. We have to try it, there is no other route. Cosmo and I are fighting, it is too hot for her, she only wants to walk at night, which, without a moon, is torture to me. Pitch black treadmill with mile markers spaced 10 years apart. We will have to rotate days, tomorrow we will rest and then walk all night. This is the first day Cosmos tail has been down. One hour after sunset it is up again, I am tired, but she is ready to walk, I struggle to keep up. Ahead, at he bottom of the hill is Quartzsite, tens of thousands of RVs in these winter months, legal squatters, public lands.
At the edge of town Mike sells barbecue. Calls himself Billy Bob to sell more ribs, I can call him by either name he says. A BBQ sandwich with beans and corn on the cob, two . steaks and a plate of ribs for Cosmo. Screw the National Scenic trails, I want my BBQ and greasy burgers. Mike/Billy Bob has two white German Shepherds, Hawkeye and Margaret II. I am going to name my first son Hawkeye. Merle Haggard is playing on outdoor speakers. I am tempted to like the plate. Mike/Billy Bob and I talk about dogs, how Margaret I died in his arms, we talk about veterans rights and whether or not I will be beaten to death in Kentucky. Mike/Billy Bob is good company. Being homeless now I am lucky to be able to stay at places after they close to talk to people like Mike/Billy Bob, people I would normally pay and walk away from. Cosmo lies on her back on a piece of Astro turf under the table, licking around the edges of her mouth, looking for more BBQ sauce. Keep er in the tent, we got coyotes. Its a one man tent, but she lays half on my sleeping bag.
The PT-80 is loaded, safety off. Im more worried about bums than coyotes tonight. I have seen several (other) vagrants today, some of them even have carts. The only thing that separates us that I have a piece of plastic in my pocket that says that I will eventually pay for what I buy. I have also seen 5 or 6 drainbows, rainbows gone bad, they are more scary than the mumbling cart pullers. The drainbows are the vampires of the homeless world, wandering gatherings of any kind to take as much as they can and give as little as possible. And they cannot smile.