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Journal

big congrats to dave and stu!!!!!!

Added: 3-11-2007

day 14 of walk:

last day!  rodders, dave's friend from uni (college), joined us for the final miles.  we started celebrating the evening before by camping by a great fire and having a nice dinner with wine and champagne.  in the middle of the night a pack of coyotes joined in the festivities with a full symphony of howls.  it was beatiful.  in the morning, a last breakfast; bacon sandwiches!  the day started up and into the point reyes forest.  the vistas were stunning once we reached the coast in the afternoon.  rodders did a great job of keeping with our torrid pace.  we took a nice long break for lunch and stopped several times to take footage.  because we were feeling reckless, we  hooked up speakers to the back of my pack for a little while in the afternoon; i felt like the pied-piper.   it was a great day.  we were all in great spirits and looking forward to reaching the finish line.  it was great to be there to see stu and dave reach the end.  the huge weight of the walk was finally over and  it was time to celebrate in style.  families and friends and onlookers  helped welcome the boys as they drank champagne, jumped around in the frigid waters of the pacific and reflected on a fantastic journey.  from the beach we carried the party to san francisco to cote sud (a great french restaurant in the castro) and then to their swanky pad on upper market.   good time.  great time.  congratulations stu and dave! 
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nearing the end.... and an early celebration!

Added: 1-11-2007

day #12 of walk
started the day with a breakfast at a genuine american diner.  mel's diner.  "when pigs fly" and "kiss my grits" are unknown to dave and stu.  camera zoom no longer works on video camera.  great.  just great.  i did manage a good interview  with the golden gate bridge in the background.  we crossed the golden gate bridge after weaving our way through the presidio. we connected with ken and marcia (a couple of ADT, AT, PCT and CDT through walkers) who stu and dave got lots of good info about the ADT before the start of their trip.  they drove us to get some provisions and let us "slackpack" for about  8 or so miles.  good people. (we "slackpacked" on day 11 too).  they even gave us day packs to carry our water and supplies for the afternoon.  talked about what it would be like to walk the US with no pack on (more on that in  later entry).  our goal for the day was to knock out some miles and divide the remaining portion (of miles) into 2.  we walked a variety of trails that took us up and down the foothills of mt tamalpius; mostly uphill.  when we reached the point that we would start looking for a camping area, we crossed a road where tomasz, got out of his vehicle and asked us where we were going.  when dave and stu gave their spiel, he asked if we knew about the british pub 2 kilometers down the road.  we stuffed our bodies and packs into his vehicle and proceded to a genuine british pub, complete with all the trimmings including a british flag.  bangers and mash, shepards pie and ale was flowing all night with some great conversations with tomasz, george, leah, ed and son, and a host of other very friendly patrons.   at niht's end, i treated with a round of port and we were driven to the spot that we would camp. we built a fire (thanks to the group that left firewood behind) and played some tunes on the speakers stu picked up in jackson. took pictures and talked music.  was a lovely evening and a bit surreal.  we joked that the pub and all the pictures and people were all fantasy and that nothing from the pelican inn would exist in the morning; pictures, receipts, people, the pub.  dave and i slept in the open air on picnic tables.  stu and dave were noticable happy about reaching the end and running across the pub. 

day # 13 of walk
4 miles or so of straight up a no frills incline from hell.  great workout.  time does compress though when you are trekking up a hill with 40 plus pounds on your back.  the day was gorgeous.  hills and trees and clouds and fog and lots of pictures for 17 miles (to be posted soon).  lots of great conversation about the project.  first day for me of subsisting on trail bars.  got stung by a hornet or something similar while waiting for dave's parents to pick us up.  pain shot up from my left wrist to my middle finger.  pain in the wrist.  dave's parents showed up on schedule.  nice to hear a female brit voice for a change!  got a tad motion sick in the back seat along the 1 to sausalito.  no suprise.  not looking forward to tomorrow and friday's journeys along the same route.  i am looking forward to walking with dave and stu (and rodders) for walking the states' last day on the adt.  about 17 miles to the coast.  tonight after we got back, dave and rodders took off to hallowwen celebrations in the city while stu and i kept it domestic by doing laundry and catching up on the journal entries.  earlier i put the change for the wash in the wrong washer.  some woman got her clothes washed twice.  we drank beers and ate crackers stuffed with chocolate creme while waiting.  now we are at a cafe about to close while i spit out the last few words of this entry.  more soon.  
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worst entry ever

Added: 30-10-2007

so what about this weekend? 

i shaved.  i discovered that my left foot little toe will lose it's nail.  i watched the red sox win a world series.  not very different than any other weekend.

it was great to spend time with simon, andrea, porter and rose.  it was the respite from the walk at the same time a vacation, er holiday, er vacation that i've been meaning to take for some time.  started the weekend at porter's soccer, er, football, er soccer match.  he scored his team's only goal - nice job porter!  drank lots of peet's coffee.  went to a 3-d flic from the 50s - it came from outer space.   lots of screeming and camp.  sox and beer on saturday night.  and a win.

on sunday porter made me waffles (from scratch) while i spent time online.  played a pickup game of soccer on a small field with small goals.  it was a bunch of parents about my age and some of the soccer players from porter's game (around the age of 8).   simon pulled a muscle running and could barely walk the rest of the weekend.  i managed to go uninjured but was a bit sore the next morning.  all was ok though because the sox won world series number 2 in 4 years.  we celebrated while eating pizza and drinking beer and wine.  we were happy.  rose celebrated by taking pictures all night with my cell phone.  she's so adorable.  simon and andrea have been amazing hosts. 

we were on the road again on monday morning.

day 11 of walk:
to oakland and the ferry to san francisco.  took us a long time to find a bathroom in oakland and sf.  no cafes or fast food places had them; weird.  ended up at a baby convension in a marriot to use the loo in oakland and had to buy a soda at an unnamed coffee shop in san fran to get access to the bathroom.  walked to post office to find the general delivery office closed.  made it to melissa's empty pad by the afternoon (again many thanks melissa) and had a great evening with mick, allison and rodders eating indian and playing pool (with soccer on the telly).   having quite a time and i mean quite a time figuring out how to tackle the rest of the walk.  more on that later.

also, stay tuned for using the bathroom coast to coast, and some of my impressions of walkingthe states (stu and dave).

i also want to say a quick word to a good friend to wts and myself who lost a father yesterday;  john, you are a strong person and we send our thoughts to you and your family.

tomorrow we conquer the golden gate bridge.  i think.

david


oh yeah...  see my pictures and write in the guestbook!

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getting it together

Added: 29-10-2007

ok, been a long time since i've updated my daily progress.... so here is a catch up entry.

day 5 of walk:
slept the night before day 5 next to a porta-potty in an ally behind a bar.  roosters, some sort of heavy machinery and dave's snoring were all in competition for loudest sounds at 5am.  couldn't sleep and had sore feet.  packed up and made it to a diner across the main road when i had brakfast and contemplated having andrea  (friend in berkeley) pick me up.  after putting sme sort of ice/heat wrap around my left foot and downing a handful of pills i conferred with the boys and decided to give the day to chance.  i set out before them to digest the decision and the delicious omlette i had just eaten.  somewhere in lockford where i took my first break, i decided to adjust my pack (as i was walking in pain, i realized that little weight was hanging from my shoulders and most of the pack was resting on my hips and consequently my lower body).  an immediate improvement.  i felt like any of those characters from the red bull ads.  i set out toward lodi with a renewed spirit.  while getting a snack i ran into claire and noel who were in rapture at my story and told me lodi, pronounced load-i, not load-e, was in a creedance clearwater revival song.  i called my dad to sing me a few measures and forced the tune upon the boys when we met shortly after.  onto lodi.  learned there that the lodi from the song was from some other town.  ate taco bell for the first time in 15 years while we charged various items that needed charging.  dave laughed at the way i asked if they had soft corn ortillas instead of flour (a side story that will need it's own entry).  had to make it to the junction of the 5 and the 12 to get a room for the night so we could watch the sox.  along the way we tasted some wine and picked up a good zin for the game.  had perhaps the worst chinese food of my life at a truck stop (ok, probably not the place to order chinese - but we get sick of the same thing over and over again).  popped blisters and went to bed.  (not to be disgusting here, but i had a blister that when relieved, resembled a citrus fruit being ripped apart, spraying it's victim.  fortunately the victim wasn't me but dave's forehead.  sorry dave).

day 6 of walk:
more confident.  level roads.  great weather.  started the day at a diner.  again more laughs from wts when i asked for real maple syrup.  stu asked if i had ever been to america.  apparently they are not allowed to make adjustments to menu items in england/europe.  blister areas throbbed after stopping for a snack; i intended to push it out of my mind.  also developed a pain in the tendons on the tops of my feet.  we got directions that took us off the major road and put us along some delta canals during sunset.  beautiful.  another adventure that took us through fields and by lots of boat houses/stores/restaurants.bars.  we ended the day at sunset in a park near a canal.  some stoners that were jumping into the water asked our story and didn't belive stu when he delivered.  later at the camp site they came around and we chatted a bit.  nice kids from concord.  one of the girls told us she loved us.  a policeman came around after that and let us stay put although we weren't supossed to be camping there.  he was hoping not to get called to help with the wildfires in southern california as he was hoping to visit his family in seattle.  i hope he got to see his family.

day 7 of walk:
woke to a gorgeous sunrise.  my left little toe was killing me.  walking out of the campsite had me thinking about how i'd make it through the day.  a couple of hours later i was in my foam shoes (crocs) and looking for a post office from which to mail my boots home).  made it to antioche and to a roach motel by the afternoon.  had a turkeyburger for lunch and a chocolate milkshake.  then dq a few miles later.  i like being able to consume anything.   dave and stu found barbers and i found some extra wide trail runners for the low low price of $39.  and a tripod and a 2 gig sd card for my camera.  had much better chinese for dinner (delivered).  the office and family guy.

day 8 of walk:
so we could meet with the daughter of a cyclist wts had met a few months earlier (to stay at his place which was nearby while he was out of town) we had to deviate from the path a little.  and by a little i mean a lot.  more gps issues led us to dead ends up giant hills and private properties that if tresspassed upon was punishable by death (or so it seemed).  we managed to get somewhere - concord - where we waited for the lovely and most hospitable melissa to retrieve us from the oddities of the previous town of pittsburg (see stu's entry).  we had a great dinner, some pool at the round up, and a great night's sleep in lafayette.  (while playing pool, an old man with ear plugs wouldn't move from where he was so that i could attempt a shot and told me to "figure it out").  had the best night's sleep so far on the trip.  we had dave sleep in the seperate room.

day 9 of walk:
got dropped off where we were picked up and headed for the hills.  needed passes so we had to pick some up for the low low dailey rate of 2.50/day/person.   more gp issues.  tresspassed only to end up making a circle through a cemetery.  we walked by some street cleaners twice prompting one of them to say, "your brothers just walked by".  after chatting for a few moments and talking about not working, one of them said "looks like i'm the richest man in the cemetary".  found the entrance to briones park and hiked through.  a man walking 7 dogs gave us some directions.  it was un uphill battle that was easily the best workout i'd had so far.  legs and feet working in unison.  beautiful view at the top.  on the other side of the park we took a break to discuss the rest of the day.  the sun was descending and we thought about hiking the rest of the way to berkeley.  it was a full moon afterall.  chris pulled up and offered us information and we ended up putting our bags at his place just a mile away and joining him in berkeley while he played ultimate frisbee.  andrea, porter and rose met with us and brought us dinner and wine.  thank you andrea!  you are awesome!  made it back to chris's place where we talked about all sorts of things including school systems and soccer.  chris happens to be from chevy chase md, a few miles from where i live.  small world.

day 10 of walk:
walked from chris's place through another park (more passes at 2.50 per/day/person) toward berkely.  walked the inspiration point trail.  ran across a snake then walked in perfect time to get it together by the bestie boys.  one two one two keep it on......  lots of uphill until we reached berkeley labs (uc berkeley).  the hike down from the berkeley hills was intense.  we were all sore in the feet at the bottom (of the hills) and extremely hungry.  ate lunch and waited for andrea.  at simon and andreas, we waited for simon (friend from way back, andrea is his wife and porter and rose are their children) and dave's mates from UK.  showered and drank beer.  when we were all together we made it out for pizza and beer.  good times catching up and meeting new folks.  tomorrow stu's birthday - happy birthday stu!
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to those who cant walk

Added: 27-10-2007

before i check in about the last several days - which have been spectacular - i wanted to dedicate an entry to a few people who have been on my mind. 

suffering through the pain of blisters and bruised body parts have put life and health into perspective.  sometimes i forget that others are not able to take the same steps that have been causing me such pain because they are either unable to or no longer with us.

a few people who have been in my thoughts:

my friend carrie's dad has recenty suffered a traumatic injury which has left him paralyzed from the neck down.  some of his favorite activities included hiking and yoga.  we hiked a mountain a couple winters ago and told me he wanted to hike the appalacian trail one day.  since he, frank, can no long do this, i want to  acknowledge his love of the outdoors and send my thoughts and the thoughts of walkingthestates.com his and his family's way.

my friend john's dad has cancer and he is unfortunately not doing well.  john has been very strong for his family and been helping take care of him.  his dad has recently broke a bone and is no longer able to walk easily.  since walking is what i've (we've) been doing a lot of lately, i and wts will walk some walk in his honor.

stu's and my grandmother have recently passed away.  they are our family and our history and we love them.  as i walk i think about them. 

david
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let me introduce myself

Added: 22-10-2007

sorry for not introducing myself earlier.  i am david, aka"the malouin".  if you've followed stu and dave from the early days you may know who i am. for those of you who don't know me, i'm a friend of stu and dave; we met a few days before the start of their trip in june 2006; i was asked to help facilitate an interview before the start of the walk.  after meeting them i discovered their route was to take them through my backyard and invited them to stay with me if they so desired.  it turned out that dave hurt himself shortly after they started and the 2 of them ended up at my place for 3 weeks.  and then for another 3 weeks at the end of the first year after stu's surgery.  fast forward to today and you will find me now joining them in pain.  my plan is to walk the last few weeks of the walking the states journey to discover things about my country that i have only read about through their discoveries and to help with any needs filming . 

so for those of you who know me or are meeting me for the first time, please respond by writing a comment in the guestbook (http://www.walkingthestates.com/guestbook.asp). 
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light as a feather, light as a license plate

Added: 21-10-2007

jd drew (#7) just hit a home run, i can barely walk and i have no idea where to begin.  i want to keep this relatively short so the brits can do what the need to do (same computer).  i will  run through a short list of my experiences and post a few photos for now:

arrived in reno on tuesday, shuttled to s. lake tahoe and spent the night at a snowboard hotel where one could find both the holy bible and a book of buddha.  i was lured in by the free internet/computers and greeted with a PBR (so far so good).  the following day, my birthday, i was treated to a free breakfast by lorraine at the driftwood cafe  while she tried to find me  a ride about 70 miles south west through snowy mountainous passes to my friends stu and dave.  no luck. had to hitchhike for the first time in my life.  was picked up about a mile from the nevada/california border by the wonderful gary and tracy who took me all the way to dave and stu.  the aspens were gold and vistas rich.  reunited and it felt so good. 

start day1of walk:
about 9 miles and stopped at 3 roadside bars.  great to see the boys again.  was given a complementary beer at gallaghers before we retired for the evening.  nothing hurt.  yay!  i had to remove about 12 lbs of "stuff" to send back home as my pack was too heavy. 

day 2 of walk:
shipped "stuff" back.  found a license plate on the side of the road and fixed it to the back of stu's pack.  am suprised it's still there as he and dave are obsessed with weight.  recorded stu in the hospital in jackson during is last tests (cancer surveilance).  had enough of the 10-12 miles and we looked for a place to stay.  the national was both a bar and hotel.  very cool town, jackson, and suprisingly we had decent mexican (soft corn tortillas!).  my hips hurt and i had a few blisters.  managable.  a doctor who read stu's chest x-ray (but had'nt actually met) called and invited all of us to dinner the following night (more on that later).  uncomfortable sleep but ok.  dave snores loudly.  he can resemble someone choking at times, a runaway train and sometimes a chainsaw.   all in the same evening. 

day 3 of walk:
best day yet.  only about 10 miles but it was though private property and we had to rely on the gps to get us out (unplanned; didn't want to back-track.  gps has a hard time distinguishing between roads and private roads).  we walked through a pen of horses which was very amusing as none of us knew what to expect.   we climbed fences, made some wrong turns and evaded meth addicts.  we had a fantastic dinner with lincoln (doctor) and suzie and their friends joyce and kevin.  did i say fantastic?  wonderful folks.  they put us in touch with their daughters who we may connect with in the big city.  linc made some great sounds with his mandolin and suzie crafted wonderful dishes and even cleaned our clothes.  i am now discovering just how amazing people are in this county while on the road (have read about them in the journal entries).  snapped some shots of the hosts in the early am light with patagonia gear for a photo contest for which the winner gets a bike trip through vietnam.  trying to keep this short... sorry.  we spent the night with linc and suzie and set out the next day from where linc picked us up the night before.  same pains..  knees seems to be holding up but hips and feet hurt.  blisters seem the same.  great time.

day 4 of walk:
we set out to walk about 17 miles to clements.  dave and stu are fit.  i am not.  made it through a few breaks but generally have been in a lot of pain today.  hips and feet mostly.  can barely walk as i write this but i know (hope) it will pass.  we stop about every 90 minutes which helps but toward the end of the day putting the pack on is a challenge.  mostly sinching the waist strap.  one foot in front of the other.  found a feather today after finding a roll of duct tape.  taped the feather to the top of my pack.  have been eating a lot of things i usually don't eat but need the fuel.  lots of road kill and loads of trash along the way so far in california.  we are trying to come up with as many california themed songs as possible.  at a bar enjoying the sox winning.  will play pool in a bit.  was horrid day 1 but on fire day 2.  we'll see if i can stand for long enough to make a shot.


i'm forgetting loads but am rambling into stu and dave time (on the computer).  if you've made it this far please write a comment on the website.  will try to get some photos up soon. 

david (not dave)

did i mention dave and stu are fit and are very kind to take it easy on me and carry some of my provisions?  dave also wants me to mention how dashing he is. 
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