Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grand Canyon


















































Milepost: 6,715
GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Meet Michael

This is Michael, but he prefers to go by “Road Dog”. He is a full time tramp. When we picked him up in Oklahoma City, he told Amanda that all he had with him was booze and his Bible.

In the car, Road Dog pulled out of his backpack a beer; he said that it helped him relaxed. I asked him what kinds of people normally pick him up? He said, “People like you or people that do drugs.” I am not really sure what that means but I found it to be interesting.

Michael was very confident. If I didn’t know better, I would believe him. He said that the Florida had more cattle then Texas. He believed that ranchers were super rich and to fix this problem he suggested that they sell their land to commercial developers.

Road Dog explicitly described to us, his experience with LSD. He said that the telephone poles would be wavy and bend over as we passed them by, while the mountains in the horizon would melt. He also said that there would be busts of colors in the sky and that it would be completely shagadelic.

He stopped using LSD after he had a bad trip. He went to hell and all that he remembers is that it was really hot!

An interesting background fact is that his father was a pastor, a blueberry farmer, and a bootlegger.

These are just some of the highlights of our conversation that ended 543 miles later in Albuquerque. In the words of Amanda, “it is a shame we didn’t have a tape recorder.”

MILEPOST: 6,056

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fisher Farms









“Discover the excellence,” is what the Oklahoma welcome sign suggest to its visitors. When I read that, I thought to myself what a joke.
My grandparents live in Northwest Arkansas, right by the boarder of OK. As long as I can remember, there has been some kind of unspoken stigma against the state, with my relatives. I am not really sure where it stems from but I will admit that they did pass it on to me.
Visiting the Fisher Farm changed that perspective forever. The Fishers are very proud of their state. After they took me to the musical Oklahoma and I shucked corn with the family, I too am proud of OK.
The Fishers are really great; I had such a good time with them. I feel like their family really is a reflection of Heaven. They work really hard with their hands. There is something to be said about working with dirt and plants-that was the Gods original plan for man. They are really close to each other and offer hospitality to everyone that visits them.
Ooook-lahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain!!!

MILEPOST: 5,508
SLICK, OKLAHOMA

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Trade
































This weekend I dropped Lance off in Atlanta, ending our 1,965 mile journey from Bozeman. In return, I gained Chris Mateo, for the short segment between Atlanta and Chattanooga. In Chattanooga, I picked up two new passengers, Amanda and Brittany Graves.


Milepost: 4,825
COLLEGEDALE, TENNESSEE

Saturday, June 26, 2010

ATL Breakdown

















































The dirty south is alive and well in Atlanta. The heat and humidity is suffocating. The charters on Peach Street look like they just got off the set of a BET music video. The traffic is very aggressive, when it is moving. But more importantly, Atlanta is the home of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. As many of you know, MLK Day is one of my favorite holidays. So of course I wanted to pay tribute to the King.

After visiting the exhibits at the General Conference. We were all excited to visit the King but unfortunately we found ourselves stranded in the parking lot of the Georgia Dome. This turned into an ordeal. We spent at least four hours trying to get the car started, (thankfully the car wasn’t mine). By the time we got the car started it was too late.


Milepost: 4,705
ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Thursday, June 24, 2010

California Smiley Face


It is important to remember memories from the past, else we will forget them. St. Louis is a place for memories. I lived here for a summer. I even got in a car wreck here. However, my favorite St. Louis memory is when Israel and I took turns giving each other California Smiley Faces at the steps of the Arch. I feel like these pictures capture injustice in the face of liberty.


Milepost: 4,111
SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Team Depot


I feel like the people at Home Depot are extremely proud of me. Darren, the department head of paint, told me that his entire Bible study group, thought what I was doing was really cool and that they were praying for me. Jesse in flooring made me a lightweight stove. Brian, the master electrician, told me that he wished that he could do something like this. His girlfriend had been doing some research on travel so he shared with me her findings. Even my boss, Xee has been very supportive and encouraging.

My last day at Home Depot was sad and sober, not how I imagined it was going to be. I liked the people I worked with.

Right now, I am cold and wet. There is a hole in my tent. It has been raining all night and isn’t expected to stop raining for the next three days. The closest shelter is 6.4 miles away and I am lacking motivation.

I wish Cole, my best work friend, would just bring me a fresh apple turnover and I could just sit in the comfort of my office, with the space heater on, while reading my e-mails.

But that is not reality! I am going to get up and do this for Tony Pella (one of my best supporters) and all my other friends at Home Depot. Bon voyage, I will see you on the other side.

Milepost: 1,777

POIA LAKE, MONTANA

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Remember Surrender



Here in the wilderness, I have been forced to face God and myself. I think that most of us are afraid of this reality, which is why we subliminally keep ourselves so busy.

I don’t like myself. That doesn’t mean that I have a low self-worth. Unfortunately that doesn’t even mean I have a low self-esteem, most of the time.

I esteem myself too highly, when in reality I should be esteeming Christ. The trouble with a high self-esteem is that it leaves no room for God. We swindle ourselves, when we buy into this high self-esteem ideology. When I am empty of myself that means that God can fill me and that is where I want to be.

I have a problem with surrendering.

God does not require us to give up anything that is for our best interest to retain. In all that He does, He has the well-being of His children in view. Would that all who have not chosen Christ might realize that He has something vastly better to offer them than they are seeking for themselves. Man is doing the greatest injury and injustice to his own soul when he thinks and acts contrary to the will of God. No real joy can be found in the path forbidden by Him who knows what is best and who plans for the good of His creatures. The path of transgression is the path of misery and destruction.

Steps to Christ, page 46

I make the error in thinking that God doesn’t care about my happiness. The idea that the path of righteousness is only found by those dull, lifeless, and cheerless individuals, is a lie. God created happiness and he wants us to live vibrant and joyful lives.

Honestly, I don’t know what is best for me. Many times I believe something will bring me satisfaction and it has only leaves me with sorrow and regret. This is why I don’t like myself because apart from Christ, I am senseless and foolish. I hoax myself, when I think that I know what is best for me. This is where the struggle is, weather or not I know what is best or God knows what is best. If I choose to remember to surrender, Christ will never lead me down a path that I might regret.

Milepost: 1,527

POLEBRIDGE, MONTANA

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lonely Loon

The lonely loon wails in the distance, as the sunsets on another day in the backwoods. I feel like the lonely Loon.

The days are really long and the nights are really dark. There are a lot of strange sounds that I have never heard before. It is e

asy to scare yourself at night, if you think too much about it.

Time is slow and I am impatient. I came out here telling myself that I had no agenda. I am realizing that I was lying.

I am here to know God more. Somewhere in my subconscious, I clearly translated that into, God is going to tell me everrrrything!

Well, we are not in Heaven yet and everrrything might be a little too overwhelming, especially for the slimly squid, I am.

I am really slimly! I have the privilege of spending all this time with the Creator of the universe. Yet, I find myself secretly wishing this were over. Sovereign and majestic is our Lord and He wants to spend this time with me, a slimy squid? This is incomprehensible to me. I don’t have to be like the lonely loon. I am in the presence of my Savoir, in His natural sanctuary, surrounded with angelic host, beckoning me into God’s embrace. What a fool, I have been.

Milepost: 1,503

WEST GLACIER, MONTANA

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Embrace the Gloom!

This morning, it was raining again. I prepared my food in the rain. I grumbled a bit about it and then I realize that I need to embrace this.

I ran into the rain, streaming! It felt really good, like I had just conquered the rain.

Milepost: 1,423

TWO MEDICINE, MONTANA

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gloom

It won’t stop raining! I have been cold and wet for the last two days. In an effort to escape the rain, at no avail, I visited the Canadian side of the park.

Many of the trails are still snowed in, which is unbelievable to me. This has limited my experience. Last night, something ate my shoestrings. I am not really sure what kind of animal eats shoestrings? But they are most definitely gone.

Long suffering, long suffering, long suffering. We don’t need a lot, so don’t give us what you got! Long suffering, long suffering.

Milepost: 1,357

WATERTON, CANADA

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Glacier Cold


I took a bath in the river, this afternoon. The water is freezing cold! There is still snow on the ground in some areas. I am seriously thinking about not bathing for the rest of my stay here. The water is so unbearable!

Milepost: 1,289

TWO MEDICINE, MONTANA

Driving

I woke up in my car at a rest stop, this morning. It was cold. I wanted to eat a baguette.

Nothing too eventful happened the day before. I got so board in the car. I found myself looking in the rearview mirror every now and then; just see if my beard had grown any since the last time I had looked.

Western Nebraska had a lot of storms on the way here. There is nothing better then a Midwest thunderstorm.

Milepost: 759

SHERIDAN, WYOMING

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Great Escape!

Today, my life changes.





























Milepost: 0
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Expect Delays

I am five days late and I don’t know if I can take it! I should be in Montana.

First, there was jury duty. Jumped over that pothole. Then there was the home inspection on the house we are selling. Still trying to put that one to death.

The great escape hasn’t materialized yet and it is making me mad!!!