I almost used this picture for the cover of my book. Didn't quite work but its still one of my favorite shots and unknown places of the trip.
3/13 I stayed with Kent and Irene Orr in Red Lake. They proved to be very helpful on a stretch I had anticipated to be incredibly difficult. Kent helped me patch up Ruby’s right tire and for the time being it seems to be as good as new. It was 49 miles to Kayenta and I had every intention of covering the distance in one day. Unfortunately my body disagreed with me. The stories I will wait to share later in life seem to be adding up. However, I will say that the constant mix of different foods and the extreme mileage leaves certain pastimes uncomfortable and messy. If you are ever traveling up highway 160 through Red Lake do me a favor and don’t look behind the left foot of the elephant feet rock formation. By my fifth stop I was getting good at anticipating the sudden eruptions and took a small amount of joy and satisfaction in the fact that I was no longer completely ruining my running gear. Despite my muscles and insides completely hating the days activities my eyes were fascinated on the extraordinary new landscape. Patches of pure white snow lay on the cliffs equally revealing the vibrant red rocks.
I reached Tsegi Canyon an hour before sunset and was able to enjoy the suns rays finding holes in the breaking clouds as they shone down on the truly beautiful painted canyon. An old sheep dog slowly walked up and sat down next to me. I found comfort in his innocent approach and enjoyed the company. We sat together appreciating the unique moment when you can watch God’s beauty unfold.
I awoke to the sound of semi-trucks rumbling over the bridge at 4 a.m. Slightly board and a bit cold, I crawled out of the hammock to rebuild the fire. After watching the sunrise I packed up Ruby and hit the road. The camping site worked well and if the opportunity presents itself I’ll try the method again. It has been cold in the mornings, and I usually leave night gear on for the first few miles before slowly shedding layers as the day goes on. I occupy my time by playing games like trying to keep Ruby’s front wheel on the white line.
I had never been more excited to make it to a town where the population sign read 100 (I think they rounded up). I walked to the only place open, JB tire. The guy built the place himself in 1961, and I’m sure at one point the business had its glory years. Our dialogue went something like this, “do you have an outlet I can plug my phone into?” His reply, “right over there in the wall.” My response, “thanks.” His annoyed statement, “don’t park your buggy there I might get a customer.” The other 10 citizens of Essex may have been loyal customers of the old tire garage but I had my doubts that there was a customer within 100 miles.
The next 10 miles felt like the earth had doubled its gravitational pull and my legs were heavier than logs. I kept thinking there were Ninjas hiding on the side of the road throwing knives into my legs. I don’t know where these shooting pains were coming from, but they had no rhyme or reason and usually left as quickly as they came. However, I had housing in Goffs and was determined not to spend another lonely night in the desert. When I got to interstate 40 there was a slightly normal gas station where I sat in the shade and stared out over the Mojave Desert for who knows how long. Before I left I bought a hot dog and snickers bar. It made for a good lunch when combined with a power bar and energy gel. A few minutes later I was flying down the road to Goffs and throwing my fists in the air to get a toot toot from the train conductor. I’m not sure what they put in those energy gels, but it was awfully powerful for 3 or 4 miles. I could see Goffs in the distance and was thrilled when two older men came out to meet me in their golf carts.
15th person to run across America solo and unsupported. (15 states)
8,840 mile bicycle tour on the outer edges of the continental 48. (36 states)
For Schools, Churches, Book and Running Stores – A presentation about living to a higher standard, acting on dreams, using your passions to help others, the water crises, high adventure and taking it all one step at a time. With a multi media presentation including video and pictures of compelling stories and high adventures. The presentation opens minds to realize the impossible is possible one step at a time. Following the presentation will be a short question and answer segment.
Requested fee for presentation $300 (+ travel)
My book “Running Water” will also be available for purchase ($15)