Sunday, November 28, 2021

United States 1996-1997

Weeks 1-3

Author's Introduction:
Flying in to Jacksonville Florida to start my walk across the country. Taking the southern route across, following Interstate 10 most of the way, either on local roads or I-10 itself when necessary. About 2500 miles, at 25 miles a day, it should take me about 100 days. Walking all the way, no rides accepted. I carry all my gear in a "Gerry Zoomer" three wheel baby jogger, much easier to push along than carrying a heavy backpack. I took out the baby seat and added a plastic bin, and installed solid rubber tubes in the tires so I would not have to worry about flats. Have a bivy sack, sleeping bag, warm clothes, gas stove, food, water bottles, camera, tolietries, flashlight, cooking pot, spoon, coffee cup and a journal to document my journey. About 40 pounds worth, although I imagine I will pick up more stuff as I go.

Grew up in the Newfane area, just north of Buffalo NY about 30 miles. Guess I got my wanderlust spirt from "The Old Grey Goose" , interesting guy I spent alot of time with at the Lockport YMCA, and at Camp Kenan in the summer. Worked five summers as a counselor in Goose's Woodsman program, taking kids hiking and canoeing in the Adirondacks and Canada. Went to Clarkson Univercity for two years, but my heart was not in to it, so I took a leave of absence to travel. Hitchhiked across the country, and ended up working in the Grand Canyon National Park. Been working off and on for 19 years in seasonal resort jobs to support my travels, worked in 12 parks, 3 ski resorts, and 2 winter golf resorts so far. Started my first bicycle tour after working at Seqouia National Park and rode across country to Florida. Since then I have bicycled across the USA five times, and ridden through parts of Mexico, Canada, Europe, and Australia, about 25,000 miles in all. Deceided I wanted to do something a little simpler and unique, so I deceided to walk around the world. One continent at a time, working 6 months, then walking 6 months to support myself. USA first, then Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa, and South America. According to the "Guiness Book of World Records", about 5 people have done it, taking anywhere from 4 to 11 years. I pretty much just walk all day, getting up right before sunrise to cook my breakfast, and taking breaks to talk to people, shop for food, rest under a tree, pretty much whatever I feel like doing. Usually start looking for a place to camp around 8 or 9pm, either in the woods or under a bridge. Writing a series of weekly articles for the Lockport NY Union Son and Journal newspaper about all my adventures on the road. Write me at Gary " Walkingman" Hause PO Box 427 Olcott NY 14126 if you have any questions or comments on my walk. My mom will forward my mail to me on the road. Well till next week I am on the road in Madison Florida, headed west on route 90.

First Week
12-16-96 to 12-22-96, Jacksonville Florida, to Monticello Florida, 171 miles, 24.4 per day average.

Just landed at Jacksonville airport, was planning on taking a city bus to downtown or the beach, but it is so nice out that I deceided to assemble my jogger here and start walking. Sunny and 70 degrees out, shorts, t-shirt and sandals weather. Headed east out to route 17, and then south to downtown Jacksonville. About two hours later I ran into a police roadblock, they had some suspects surrounded, after a robbery and car chase. Helicopters buzzing around, about 20 police cars, and over the policeman's radio, I heard them say they were bringing in dogs to flush them out. I detoured around the roadblock about 6 miles, and when I got back on the main road, it looked like all the police were gone. Been planning this walk for about a year, and I did not want to just sit around and wait for somebody else to tell me whether I could go or not. Made it to downtown Jacksonville just as it was getting dark, stopped at the corner of route 90, which I will be taking about a third of the way across the USA. Sat down for a while trying to decide whether I should head west or go east to start at the Atlantic ocean. It is about 20 miles to the ocean, and I have already walked 20 miles from the airport, and since I did not want to spend 4 days coming and going through Jacksonville, I decieded to go west. Not trying to set any records, just want to have fun, adventure,and lots of exercise. My first night I spent under some trees between two old buildings. Nuts kept dropping on me, trains were roaring by about 20 feet away, and this old exhaust fan with no grease in the bearings, kept on squealing away, but I am free and on the road again. Never know whats going to happen when your traveling, you just have to be prepared and readyfor anything. Made 26 miles the first day, and I did not start till 11am, good first day. Out in the country now, mostly flat pine forests, not much traffic, quiet. Started raining the second day and rained for three straight days. Bivy sack not working to good on my third night in really heavy rain, so I got up around 11pm and walked two hours into the next town. Felt a lot better as soon as I started walking in the rain, warmed right up, your body generates alot of heat when you are walking. I had camped right across from a prison in a little rest stop, so I was surprised nobody stopped me on my midnight walk into town. Kind of curious what the people passing by were thinking when they saw me walking in the rain, late at night, pushing a baby jogger, singing Zippity Do Dah (from Song of the South), happy as can be. Found a cheap hotel, took a nice hot shower, watched some CNN, and dryed off all my gear. Snowing to the west and north of here, unusually cold weather for around here. Went looking for a tent in the morning, if I am going to walk 25 miles a day I need to get a good nights sleep. Found a good dome tent, filled up my fuel bottle with 8 cents worth of gas, and did a load of laundry, hardly enough for a full load. Lots of people stopping to talk to me and offer me rides, one lady stopped in the rain to give me a poncho. One guy who saw my sign "JAX to LA" and " WALK ACROSS USA" that I have on my jogger, said I sure was a walkingman. So since my favorite song is "Walkingman", by James Taylor, I decieded to give my self the nickname "Walkingman". Some people probably think I am a walking fool, but I enjoy what I am doing, and thats what is important. Dropped below 32 degrees last night, but I was nice and warm in my sleeping bag. While I was passing a prison, one guard came out to check me out, told me I should walk with traffic. Tryed that for a couple minutes, not very comfortable not being able to see the cars coming up behind me, so I switched back to walking facing traffic. On the Desoto Trail now, he was a Spanish explorer who went through this area about 400 years ago looking for gold, killing Indians, and taking slaves. It is interesting when you think about the roads we have now, first they were animal paths, then Indian trails, then wagon paths, dirt roads, and now paved highways. Found a piece of formica that I bent over the top of my bin, handy to stuff things underneath it, and it makes my jogger look a little like a covered wagon the pioneers used to get across America. Well till next week I am on the road in Pennsacola Florida, headed west on route 90, write me at Gary "Walkingman" Hause PO Box 427 Olcott NY 14126 if you have any questions or comments on my walk. Expenses 1st week: $16 on food, $27 on one hotel room and various items like film, stamps, postcards.

Second week
12-23-96 to 12-29-96, Monticello Florida to Harold Florida, 196 miles, 28 miles per day, 367 total miles.

Having a great time, no problems at all. Walking a little bit farther every day now as I losen up and get into a good rythum, 35 miles my best day this week. Always finding a lot of interesting stuff on the roadside, so far I have found a swiss army knife, visegrips, Bolle sunglasses, lots of change, and lots of stuff that was to heavy or I did not need. Lots of roadkill, so far mostly armadillos, raccoons, possums, cats and dogs. Saw a whole cooked turkey on the shoulder, must have fallen out of the back of a truck, it was right after Christmas. Feet and legs holding up pretty good, had a little bit of a rash from my polypropolene sock liners. Bought some "Udderly Smooth " brand bag balm (stuff dairy farmers use on cow udders) and it cleared right up, so I use it every day. Shoulders get a little sore by the end of the day from pushing, I think it is the vibrations when the road is rough. I remember mowing the lawn when I was a kid, we had a "Yazzo" lawn mower, big bicycle wheels in the back and handle similar to my jogger, so I guess I have been training for this walk from a very early age. People are always stopping to talk and ask questions, lot of people compare me to Forest Gump. I have a yellow plastic sign on the front of my jogger with "JAX to LA" printed on it and " Walking Across USA" on the side, just so people know what I am doing, and they are more likely to talk to me. First question is usually why, and I respond, for fun, exercise, adventure and a cheap way to travel. They all think it is great I can do it and wish they could. I always tell them that they can do any thing they want, if they just put there mind to it. Saw some cows in a field by the road, they all started running over to see me, and then ran along the fence line following me, like they wanted to come along, pretty unusual, cows usually just stare at me and keep chewing their cud. I usually wave and whistle to all the animals I see, horses usually come over to the fence, and dogs bark and run up to the edge of their property line or fence. No problems with dogs yet, but I have my umbrella and water bottle handy if they come to close. A policeman stopped to talk to me, said he had some complaints about me being in the middle of the road. It was a big divided highway with two lanes going each way, but the white line was painted right on the edge of the pavement and had a grass shoulder. Usually I like to walk on the pavement, rolls a lot easier right on the very edge and then I will go on the grass if a big truck or a lot of traffic comes. He just warned me to be careful. Nice full moon the last couple of nights. Been going another couple of hours after dark, too early to go to bed, real peaceful walking after dark, less traffic, quiet, you can hear the crickets chirping and the full moon gives off a nice pale light. Had some beautiful yellow butterflies flying around me and coming back every couple of minutes. Then I realized there were some all along the road, it was not the same ones coming back to me. Listened to the Bills lose to Jacksonville on my tiny radio, which fits into my ear, stores in a 35 mm film canister. Listen to music every once in a while as I am walking. Nobody has come close to hitting me yet, although a few people have swerved close to try and scare me. Mostly it is people who honk at me real loud right when they get to me that annoys me. I do not mind a short beep-beep, but a car horn is really loud when you are outside and just walking along peacefully. Got my first cup of free coffee, I have " JAX to LA" and " Walk across USA" on my coffee cup, so sometimes when people see it they say coffee is on the house and wish me a good trip. Well till next week, I am in Bay St Louis Mississippi, headed west on route 90, write me at Gary " Walkingman" Hause PO Box 427 Olcott NY 14126 if you have any questions or comments on my walk. Expenses 2nd week: $34 on food, $33 on various items like laundry, postage, medical supplies, clothes.

Third week
12-30-96 to 1-5-97, Harold Florida to Slidell Louisiana, 202 miles, 29 per day, 569 total miles.

Crossed into three new states this week, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. It has been foggy and misty every morning, but usually clears up by noon. Had my first close call, somebody threw a plastic 32oz cup of coke and ice at me from a pickup truck. Heard a vehicle slow down, looked up and saw a guy throwing something at me, hit me in the side, and knocked me over. Rolled around on the shoulder for about 3 minutes untill the pain faded, black and blue marks lasted about 5 days, nothing broken luckily. Lucky he did not throw a bottle or can or hit me in the head. Crossed a seven mile causeway and bridge into Mobile Alabama, just as the sun was setting, beautiful colors. Had to hitch through the tunnel, no walkers allowed, about half a mile. Only had to wait 15 minutes before a guy with a pickup from Geneva NY gave me a lift. There was a truck detour around the tunnel, looked like about 15 miles and it was just getting dark, but I did not want to have to walk in the dark on a road probably filled with potholes and trucks. Met another walker coming from California, 106 days so far he said, but he said he had taken a few rides. He was 55 or 60, used a cane, had a backpack, no money. Showed me a couple of wrenches he had found on the road that he was going to trade for some food in the next town. I had one banana left, so I gave it to him, and he took of the peel and stuffed the whole thing in his mouth, real hungry. He had worked at one of the parks (Shenandoah) that I worked at and knew some of the people I worked with there, small world. Stopped in Biloxi at a dollar movie theater, a couple of the employees came out to talk to me and look at my jogger. They let me in for free, gave me a big bag of popcorn, and let me take in my jogger, so I did not have to lock it up outside. Walked along the Gulf of Mexico for a couple days, water was nice, but air temp to cold for swimming. Nice breeze coming off the gulf, lots of big old oak trees with spanish moss hanging off them, and lots of big old historic houses. This week I found some nice wind chimes with two intertwined siver butterflies at the top and three silver pipes below, attached to my handlebars it makes a nice sound as I walk along. Dogs can here me coming 100 yards away and they start of a whole chain of barking from house to house. Also found a wallet with ID and credit cards but no cash, mailed it back to owner. The most unusual thing I saw was just off the side of a bridge, a big pile of innards. Could not tell right away what it was, till I noticed a pigs snout, not a pretty sight. Found a dead armidillo on the side of the road, took a picture of it on top off my jogger, like a hood ornament. Two bicyclists stopped to talk and ask me some questions, always nice to talk to some locals for a while, usually give me some good info on local stuff. Had a real nice pizza buffet at CiCi's in Slidell. Ate lots of pizza, salad, pasta, and dessert pizza (chocolate, apple, cream filled) hit the spot real good. Mostly I eat hot cereal with two eggs stirred in and lots of sugar and dry milk powder for breakfast and dinner every day and lots of bananas, apples, oranges, yoghurt, cookies, peanut butter sandwiches, and a pint of ice cream or pizza buffet whenever I feel like it. Your body needs a lot of calories when you are exercising a lot, and I think it is important to listen to your body and eat whatever it craves, your body knows what it needs. Well till next week, I am headed west on route 190 in Livonia Louisiana, write me if you have any questions or comments on my walk at Gary "Walkingman" Hause PO Box 427 Olcott NY 14126. Expenses 3rd week: $36 on food, $10 on various items like postage, laundry, and a movie.

Weeks 4-6

Fourth week
1-6-97 to 1-12-97, Slidell Louisiana to Eunice Louisiana, 166 miles, 24 per day, 735 total miles.

The weather has become a lot colder and rainy this week, slowed me down a bit, had to pick up some extra warm clothes in a thrift store, wool sweater, wool hat, wool socks, and rain pants, only $8.50. Wool works best when it is cold and wet out, keeps you warm even if it gets wet. If you are prepared, you can go just about anywhere, anytime, and do anything you want to. Learned that when I was in Boy Scouts, troop 22, Newfane, Roger Phillips was scoutmaster. On the 12th the rain turned to sleet and formed a layer of ice on my stroller and hood of my jacket, but as long as I kept walking and eating I stayed warm. Found a polypropalene coverall, like they wear in computer clean rooms, on the side of the road, the day before the ice storm. Had to sew up a few holes, worked real good in cold rainy weather, kept my inner layer dryer, and did not ice up as much as my goretex jacket. Kind of makes me look like a spaceman or alien, I wonder sometimes what people think when they see me walking in the rain and sleet, coldest day of the year in these parts, singing Zippidy Do Dah, happy as can be. Do they think I am crazy, or do they wish they were out there with me. A lot of people offered me rides that day, I guess because of the cold and rain and sleet. Found a Nokia cell phone, no battery pack, and screen is cracked, so it does not work. But I figured I could still use it, if anybody ties to rob me, I will pretend I am calling the police. Had one lady stop to talk to me, but she was actually trying to convert me to her religion, I told her I was happy with my beliefs and I would appriecate it if she would respect mine, as I was willing to respect hers. Almost caused an accident, one car slowed down to look at me, and the one behind was going so fast and tailgaiting, that he had to slam on the brakes and swerve to avoid backending him. He swerved right at me on the shoulder so I jumped about 6 feet real fast, almost got hit. Stopped for a cup of coffee, sat outside the mini-mart drinking and writing in my journal. Had about 10 teenagers around me asking questions and they invited me over to party. But I said no thanks, never have been much into partying, I would rather read a book or write. Crossed the Mississippi river, no walkers allowed, on the bridge, so I had to hitch across about a mile. About a third of the way across the USA now. Interviewed by a newspaper reporter I met in a Taco Bell in Hammond Louisiana. She saw my stroller outside the window and started asking questions, sent a photographer after me down the road later for some pictures. Said she would send me a copy, be interesting to see how I come across to somebody else. Stayed in a campground one night, had bought some seam sealer for my tent and wanted to camp under their picnic shelter so I could seal the seams in the morning. Also got some rustoleum spray to touch up my frame and rims, all this rain is starting a little rust. Had a nice cup of coffee in a rocking chair in front of the fire in campground office. Read a little, first time in a while, usually I am either walking, sleeping, eating, or writing. Felt real good to take a hot shower, I keep pretty clean with a quick sponge bath twice a day in a store or gas station rest room. Only takes 5 minutes and I rinse out my bike shorts and shirt. Americans take so many things for granted, clean water, good food, good roads, honest police, go to a poor country and you will see how good we have it here. Just found out my first article was published, felt pretty good. Next goal is to get a book published. Had my first day where I actually felt tired, kept stopping to read a little. I think it was because I could not find any bananas or oranges for two days, still made 29 miles though. Dried my tent out at noon, it was pretty windy, and I found I can actually fly my tent like a kite, dries it out in about five minutes. Have to get a long piece of strong cord and see how high I can fly it. Lost my Rand McNally road atlas, I had it in a three foot long plastic candy cane tube I found. Keeps it dry and I can read it through the plastic. Must of fell off while I was on the shoulder, avoiding an oversized mobile home, walked back about five minutes to find it. No soreness in my shoulders today, whenever I have a good smooth wide shoulder to walk on with no bumps it goes much better. Woke up to frost on the grass and a beautiful sunrise in Baton Rouge, could hear a mockingbird singing " pretty, pretty ". Well till next week, I am on the road in Eunice Louisiana, headed west on route 190, write me at Gary " Walkingman" Hause PO Box 427 Olcott NY 14126 if you have any questions or comments on my walk. Expenses 4th week: $38 on food, $52 on misc. like camera, movie, campground, spray paint, seam sealer, wool clothes.

Fifth week
1-13-97 to 1-19-97, Eunice Louisiana to Tomball Texas, 203 miles, 26.8 per day, 938 total miles.

Everything is still covered with ice, trees, grass, bridges, warming up slowly and melting. Cold, but not raining anymore, tailwind of 15 to 20 miles per hour pushes my stroller right along with just a little guiding by me. Stopped in for some coffee at a mini-mart in Basile Louisiana, talked for a while with some local Cajuns, then had a big bowl of rice and cajun gumbo (chicken, squirrel, shrimp, sausage, egg) dished up for me by Kenneth Bushnell. Delicious, kept me going all day. In the next town of Elton, I stopped at a couple of stores asking for coffee just as it was getting dark, but no luck. About 20 minutes later, down the road a ways, a car pulled over and 4 local youths, Robert, JR, Casey and Leia got out with a whole pot of coffee, they poured me some and even had cream and sugar with them. They gave me their address and a dollar to send them some postcards on my progress across the country. Amazing sometimes the things people will do for you, I was grinning and laughing for the next hour thinking of them hearing me ask for coffee in the store, then running home to brew a pot of coffee and driving down the road to find me. Just a little bit later a car went by, turned around and slowed down as they came up to me, the headlights blinded me, and then I heard a sweet voice say,"reach out and touch my hand", so I did and she squeezed my hand, I squeezed back, and it felt like she put something in it. Took my gloves off and found a dollar. A lot of people have been trying to give me money, I usually tell them I work hard in the summer saving up money to travel and that I do not need it. But sometimes people are really insistent, they are fascinated by my walk and want to be part of it by helping me out a little, so I accept their money so as not to dissapoint them. Actually I prefer it when they give me food, I have gotten a pecan pie, coffee, hot chocalate, catfish dinner, bannanas, yogurt, whatever people have had with them when they see me, the variety and surprise are always welcome as I eat pretty much the same thing every day. Crossed in to Texas on the 15th, some girls asked me for my autograph at a mini-mart, well I guess I am famous now, my first autograph (just joking). Finally warmed up to t-shirt and shorts weather after a week of cold weather. Going through Beumont Texas I had one guy who said he saw me on TV, but he must of saw someone else, some other guys said they had read a newspaper article about me back in Hammond. Trucker stopped and offered me a ride all the way to California, I told him no thanks I want this journey to last as long as possible, so he wished me good luck and gave me some cookies and Yoo-Hoo. Was picking out a donut in a grocery store when I saw a bug crawling along the edge of a tray of cookies, lady was going to throw them all out, so I asked if I could have them, free bag of cookies. With all my traveling in all kinds of conditions and different cultures, I hate to see good food thrown away. Nice guy in mini-mart gave me free egg rolls and a big bag of sweet rolls. Usually I ask before I fill up my coffee refill cup, how much for a cup, I do not mind paying up to 50 cents for a cup, but anything more I think is to much. So I guess he thought I was almost out of money, he could see my stroller outside with my signs saying "Walk Across USA". Alot of people just like to help me out. One guy stopped to take my picture and then I saw him pull out some change, looked like he was about to throw a couple quarters at me, I had stopped to see if he wanted to talk to me, but I just waved and kept walking, kind of insulting to have somebody throw change at you. Sad day today, dog ran out to bark at me and got ran over by a car, yelled at him to get back, but it happened real fast, lucky the car did not swerve to avoid the dog and hit me. Can not believe these people that do not tie up their dogs by a busy highway. Skirting the edge of Houston I stopped at a bike store for advice and one biker walked with me for a while and showed me a good way around road construction and traffic. We stopped outside a home brew pub to talk to some of his friends and they gave me a chocalate beer, I usually do not drink, but since it had chocalate in it I tryed it, good stuff. Finding so many silk flowers on the road side, that I have started a collection on top of my stroller. They blow out of the graveyards in this area, I have never seen so many silk flowers before in one place, all the graveyards are chock full. Well till next week, I am on the road in Waller Texas, headed west on route 290, write me at Gary " Walkingman Hause" PO Box 427 Olcott NY 14126, if you have any questions or comments on my walk. Expenses 5th week: $24 on food, $30 on various items like film, laundry, motel room.

Sixth week
1-20-97 to 1-26-97, Tomball Texas to Johnson City Texas, 201 miles, 29 per day, 1139 total miles.

Texas has some very extreme weather, one guy told me if you do not like the weather in Texas, wait a while and it will get worse. One day it was pretty hot, 85 degrees, when all of a sudden the wind picked up from the north and temperature dropped about ten degrees. Local guy I was talking to said it was a blue norther blowing in. Five hours later it had dropped down to 30 degrees, I just kept on adding layers as I walked till I had all my clothes on. Kept warm, no problem, your body generates a lot of heat as long as you keep moving. In Texas hill country now, once you get west of Austin it gets drier and hillier. Towns are further apart, 25 to 30 miles usually, people always nicer in small towns. People in the cities tend to ignore me, throw stuff or honk at me. In big cities you see so many people you tend to ignore them and watch out for trouble. People in small towns tend to be friendlier and curious about what I am doing. One guy stopped and actually got out of his truck to walk with me and ask questions for about 15 minutes. Always nice to have someone walk with me. Had my first blister that actually bothered me, I have had a couple small ones between my toes that did not bother me. This one forced me to stop, burst it, bandage it, and switch to my boots , which are one size bigger, so they have more room for the toes. That solved the problem, back on the road again. Been stopping at picnic areas a lot, nice place to stop for a break. Texas has more picnic areas than any other state, if you look at a road map you will be amazed, there is one between practically every town. As the towns get fewer and farther apart I always ask about the next town, whether it has a store or gas station where I can get food and water. Usually I ask two or three people, because some people are not to sure whats in the next town. I have been buying a loaf of bread (2000 calories) and a 2 liter bottle of pop (1200 calories) every day now to get me over these long stretches between towns. Still eating oats and eggs and lots of fruit. Missed the Super Bowl, between towns and my radio could not pick it up. Bent my jogger frame on some bumpy ground under a bridge. When I got it back on the road it was pulling to the right pretty badly, luckily I was able to bend it back. Picked up a copy of my first article at the post office, felt pretty good seeing it in the paper. Having some coffee outside a store-bar, when a guy came out with a cup of homemade turkey chili and crackers for me, real tasty stuff. Some of these small towns have an old general store with lots of old farm stuff hanging from the ceiling, pails, rope, chairs, and big old wooden display cases. They mostly have been replaced by new mini-marts. A lady stopped to talk, gave me her card, wanted me to send her copies of my articles for her bulletin board at work. She works at a travel-book superstore in Austin and she thought my method of travel was pretty unique. Hoping that a book publisher will see them and sign me up for a book deal. Found some swimming goggles, it was raining so hard and the trucks going by at 80 mph were really drenching me, so I wore them for a while to keep the rain out of my eyes. After a while I switched to walking with traffic on the shoulder instead of against the flow, trucks going by at 80mph give me a little push instead of stopping me in my tracks, not as much water in my face either. Beautiful full moon came up behind me, lights the way pretty nice. Had to throw away my eggs, getting to hot during the day to keep for very long, have to add more dry milk powder to my oatmeal. Picked up a new tire in Austin, one of my rear tires is wearing thin, see how long it will last , with the solid rubber tubes in I can run the tire right down to the casing before changing with out worrying about flats. Saw a nice big herd of buffalo at the LBJ ranch just outside of Johnson City, always been fascinated by them, almost ran into one on my bicycle when I was working at Yellowstone National Park. Riding back to dorms from work on a trail, coming around a corner a huge buffalo was standing right in the middle of the trail, luckily I was able to swerve behind him, because he snorted and jumped forward. Well till next week, I am in Harper Texas, headed west on route 290, write me at Gary " Walkingman" Hause PO Box 427 Olcott NY 14126 if you have any questions or comments on my walk. Expenses 6th week: $40 on food, $16 on various items like a tire, and contact lense solution.

Weeks 7-9

Seventh week
1-27-97 to 2-2-97, Johnson City Texas to the middle of nowhere Texas, 210 miles, 30 per day, 1349 total miles.

Halfway across the USA now, 1200 miles down, 1200 more to go to San Diego. Then maybe another 500 up to L.A., Las Vegas, Brianhead, Bryce Canyon, and Lake Powell, where I start work May 1st. Feeling pretty good, shoulders still a little sore when the road is rough, but legs and feet are fine. Getting into the desert southwest now, hotter, drier, and farther between towns. This week I had distances between towns of 24, 30, 26, 35, 40, 38, and 36 miles. Sometimes all there is, is a gas station-store. As long as I can get some food and water I am okay. Increased my water supply to 7 liters of water and 2 liters of soda or sun tea. Buying more fruit when I can find it. On a typical day I eat two pots of oatmeal with sugar and dry milk powder, 5 bananas, 3 oranges, 2 apples, 2 cups of coffee, half a loaf of bread, half a jar of peanut butter, 2 liter bottle of soda, one cup of yogurt, half a pound of cookies, one chocalate covered cream filled donut, a handful of hard candies, and a vitamin pill, plus whatever people give me. When I was in grade school the cafeteria ladies used to call me the peanut butter kid because I had peanut butter sandwiches and soup every day. Got a little sunstroke, from just having my lower legs and lower arms exposed all day. Pretty hot that night, had to lie on top of my sleeping bag and sponge off my face with water. Took two aspirin and felt fine in the morning. That day I found a white bedsheet on the roadside, so I cut a whole in the middle for my head, and now I wear it whenever it is real hot and sunny out. Works real good, and with my white dress shirt wrapped around my head I keep completely covered up, and look like a cross between Laurence of Arabia and the Flying Nun. People are probably wondering about me as they drive by. Had an empty beer can thrown at me, missed by quite a bit. Gave them the peace sign, always try to react positively to any negative situation. Hard to do sometimes, usually my first reaction is to yell or gesture rudely, but it is always better to be nice to everybody than to be mean. Besides the fact that they are driving a very heavy and fast machine that could easily turn around and run me over. I have had that happen when I was bicycling, with truckers and some young kids, luckily I was able to get away both times. Saw a guy off in the distance, could not tell if he was walking, bicycling or using a wheelchair. Finally as he got closer, I could see that he was pushing a fully loaded bicycle. Stopped to say hello, but he ignored me and just kept on walking, to bad, would have been nice to find out what he was up to. Had three nights below freezing, kept warm in my sleeping bag, with all my clothes on. I had to fill up my cooking pot with water the night before, because I knew my water bottles would freeze up. It only takes about 2 minutes longer to cook my oats. Found a deer stuck in a barbed wire fence, leg pretty torn up from struggling, but I was able to twist back the wires and free him. The wire snapped back and broke his leg, took off running pretty fast, he will have a little better chance now on three legs than stuck on a fence.

One couple stopped to talk and asked me what the most important thing I had with me. At first I said my shoes and pen, but then I changed my mind to my health, if you have your health, you can do just about anything. On Interstate 10 now, no local roads going my way except for around big cities. Actually I like the interstate better, big wide shoulder is actually safer than the local roads, nice mile marker signs, and exit signs telling you what is at each exit.

Well till next week, I am on the road, in the middle of nowhere Texas, headed west on Interstate 10, write me at Gary "Walkingman" Hause PO Box 427 Olcott NY 14126 if you have any questions or comments. Expenses 7th week: $41 on food, $27 on laundry, postage, and one hotel room.

Eighth week
2-3-97 to 2-9-97, from near Ozona Texas to Sierra Blanca Texas, 226 miles, 32 per day, 1585 total miles.

Another week of long distances between towns, 40, 31, 36, 43, 37, and 33 miles. Had two days when I did not spend any money, no stores at all. Putting a spoonful of instant coffee in my oatmeal in the morning, since I can not get a real cup of coffee till the next town, tastes good. Started making sun tea instead of buying a two liter bottle of soda, three tea bags and half a cup of sugar, in a two liter plastic soda bottle. Tastes good and only costs ten cents to make. No wonder Coke, Pepsi, and Snapple spend millions of dollars trying to convince us to buy their product for a dollar or two, when we can make a similar one for ten cents.

Wore through my Nike running shoes in the ball of foot area, 1500 miles on them. Bought some shoe goo (clear rubber stuff in toothpaste tube ) to fix them up. Found a nice pair of Nike's for half price, left my Nike boots behind, nice boots, but they weighed twice as much and had half as much cushioning as a running shoe. Only paid three dollars for them at St. Andrews thrift store in Newfane, good place to pick up cheap clothes, books, shoes, and other neat stuff. Had a visitor last night while I was asleep, mouse licked clean my cooking pot and left some droppings behind. Cleaned it out good and boiled water in it for an extra two minutes before adding my oats. Have to leave my pot where the mice can not get at it. Not as many people stopping to talk to me now that I am on the interstate, still talk to people at rest areas and stores. Slowly getting higher in elavation, at about 3500 feet now along the Rio Grande river. Stars are getting brighter now as the air gets cleaner and there is less light from cities out here, I like lying back in my sleeping bag after dinner and watching the stars. Best time of day is sunset, it starts to cool down, and you get really beautiful colors. The wind usually dies down and I usually get my best walking in, no distractions when it gets dark, I usually keep on walking to 9pm. Staying under bridges mostly in Texas, nights have been real cold, and you get a little extra protection from the wind, rain and cold. Saw a guy coming up from under a bridge about one mile from where I had slept, he was hitching to the Madi Gras in New Orleans.

One guy stopped to offer me a ride, he had on a leather jacket and a Harley shirt. He was holding one hand under his jacket, like he had his hand on his holstered gun. Was not sure if he was going to rob me, or was just being ready if I acted strange. No problem, just said no thanks and kept on walking. Stopped for a pizza buffet in Van Horn, ate a little to much, a big hill with a stiff head wind took me a long time to get over. Buffets only at the end of day from now on, never at lunch again.

Well till next week, I am headed west on Interstate 10, in Fort Hancock Texas, write me at Gary Walkingman Hause PO Box 427 Olcott NY 14126 if you have any questions or comments on my walk. Expenses 8th week: $40 on food, $50 on new sneakers, shoe goo, and a haircut.

Ninth week
2-10-97 to 2-16-97, Sierra Blanca Texas to Deming New Mexico, 217 miles, 31 per day, 1802 total miles.

Made it through Texas this week, 870 miles, 28 days, hottest day, 85 degrees, coldest night, 18 degrees, 30 mph winds, and longest stretch between towns, 40 miles. Beautiful state, friendly people and lots of wide open country. Starting to get some mail now, first question from my nephews Nick and Curtis Hause, they want to know how I get my mail. Every week I call my mom and tell her where I will be in about 10 days, she mails it care of general delivery, and I just pick it up at the post office counter. Mr. Michael McCartneys first grade class in Amherst has been following my walk and sent me a letter from each student. Lisa asks if I am afraid? Not usually, most people are real nice as long as you treat them nice. There are a few bad ones, but as long as you have confidence in yourself , you can usually get yourself out of just about any trouble you run into, thats one thing that makes life interesting. What time do you stop walking? Usually between 8 and 9pm I start looking for a place to pitch my tent. I could walk longer but I like to get a good nights sleep and get up just before the sun rises so I can watch the beautiful colors as the sky lights up. When you get to San Diego are you coming back? From San Diego I will probably be walking on to LA, Las Vegas, Brianhead Ski Resort, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Lake Powell Arizona, where I will be working this summer. Back to the Newfane area at the end of October to visit family and friends, before starting my next walk. Answer more questions next week. Saw my first snow since New York, light dusting on top of the Florida Mountains south of Deming New Mexico, 7295 feet at the top. At about 4500 feet right now, slowly climbing as I approach the Continental Divide. As I was coming out of Las Cruces the frontage road turned to dirt, so I stayed with it for a while, it was paralleling Interstate 10, angling off just a bit. It gradually petered out and turned into a dry wash, could still see the interstate about 100 yards away. Stopped to sit down for a break, hard going through soft sand, when I heard a squawk above me. Up above me were two vultures circling, I stood up and squawked back at them, letting them know I was still alive and kicking. Had to bushwack across the desert to get back to the main road, barbed wire fence I had to cross, took all my gear out of stroller and lifted across the fence separtly.

While I was doing laundry in Deming I had the cops called on me. The attendant got scared when she saw me taking my sheet off to put in washer, apparently she thought I was naked underneath, but I had some bicycle shorts on and a orange saftey vest. Police just talked to me for a couple minutes, asking me what I was doing. One evening the wind picked up to about 30mph, dust blowing from the fields cut visibility down a lot. Having touble finding a protected place to pitch my tent, finally found old boarded up house with a shed in back. Set up my tent inside shed, wind still blowing in open doorway almost blowing my tent over. All night a dog was barking every time I made a noise, he was across the road, about 100 yards away, outside a house. Dogs have really keen senses, amazing how far away they can sense me. I was afraid the dog owner would call the police, but he was probably used to a lot of illegal aliens coming across the border at night, dog probably barked a lot. Going through a lot of pecan orchards now, lots of pecans on the shoulder to pick up and eat, kind of hard to crack them open and pick out the meat as I am pushing my stroller, plus there are alot of signs warning arrest for picking them up, so I just had a couple. Construction on I-10 had diverted traffic on to narrow frontage roads, so I walked on I-10 all by myself, almost finished with road, looks like they just needed to paint on lines. Saw a lot of homeless people going through El Paso, a lot of them on corners with signs for work, food or any help. I guess you could say I am homeless right now, although I have a nice tent and sleeping bag, plus something fun and interesting to do. Coming in to Las Cruces I found a $14 hotel room, it was so cheap I deceided to splurge and take a nice hot shower and watch some CNN. Amazing how good a hot shower feels, if you have not had one in a long time. Nice thing about this walk, it makes me apriecieate lifes little pleasures and take less for granted. The trick is to enjoy whatever you are doing, live life to its fullest. One guy stopped to talk to me, nice guy, overweight and out of shape though, and he was trying to tell me what to eat. He said sugar was bad for you and he only used Equal. I told him sugar was good for you as long as you eat a balanced diet and get lots of exercise. He could not walk more than 50 feet without getting winded, I told him to cut out the Equal, eat more fruits and vegtables, and walk every day as far as he could, increasing the distance and time every day, and eventually he would lose weight, feel better about himself, and be a lot healthier. I believe if you want to do something, all you have to do is but your mind to it, work hard, do not give up, and eventually you will succede. Its funny now a days, everybody wants to blame somebody else, or genetics, or the goverment, or their parents, or teachers, nobody wants to take personnel responsibility. Well it is up to you on how you live your life, you get out of it what you put in to it. Well till next week, I am on the road in Deming, headed west on I-10, write me at Gary "Walkingman" Hause PO Box 427 Olcott NY 14126, if you have any questions or comments on my walk. Expenses 9th week: $38 on food, $21 on laundry, stamps, and one motel room.

Weeks 10-13

Tenth week
2-17-97 to 2-23-97, Deming New Mexico to Tucson Arizona, 221 miles, 31 per day, 2023 total miles.

Hit by a car in Tucson, had stopped at a gas station to fill up my water bottle. Another guy was filling his tires, while he was moving his car, his foot must have slipped on the gas, because I heard a roar of accelaration, and then a big crash, and I felt something touch my leg. Looked down to see a car bumper near my leg, he had hit the steel post in front of the air hose and my leg at about the same time, bounced off without doing any damage. After 2000 miles my legs are pretty tough, but I think the steel post took most of the force. Looked up John Monagans ( not sure on the spelling of his last name ) phone number in Tucson. We worked together at Camp Kenan with Goose in the woodsman program. I had visited him here about 15 years ago when he was in the Air Force. Probably not here still, but I found a similar name, turned out not to be him though. Called Bill Neidlinger back in Newfane, he gave me Goose's new cell phone number, can not believe he has a cell phone. Goose is planning on walking the Appalacian Trail and they wanted some advice from me.

Crossed into Arizona through the mountains, lots of mountains all around, but the road manages to snake through them without having to climb very much. A lot of headwinds lately, combined with the hot sun, it really saps the strength out of me. Been taking more breaks during the day in the shade and then when it cools down in the evening I pick up the pace. Had to put on a new tire, wore it down right through to the tube (2000 miles). It was the only original tire I still had on the stroller. The front one I replaced with a bigger 16 inch wheel so I could put in a solid rubber tube, and the other one I ruined trying to install the tube. They are pretty hard to install until you get the hang of it, but you do not have to worry about flats. The new tires I installed seem to be thicker, with a mountain bike tread, hoping they will last longer.

While I was taking a break at a rest area, a lady stopped to talk, said she was relieved to see me. She had seen me walking yesterday out in the desert on the frontage road. Said I Iooked like a blond girl wearing a billowing white dress, pushing a cart of pumpkins, and she was worried about me. From a distance with my white bedsheet, yellow shirt wrapped around my head, and bananas and apples on top of my stroller, her vision is easily explained. Layed out all my gear to dry, tent, sleeping bag, clothes. Quite a few people came by to talk, one guy gave me 20 dollars, said he was really impressed by what I was doing and wanted to buy me a nice dinner. Developing a blister on the ball of my foot from new Nikes, not quite as much cushioning as first pair. Patched up old pair with shoe goo, piece of rubber tube and some duct tape wound around, they feel good as new, but have to keep on adding more tape once or twice a day. Jumped a couple feet when a cop turned on his siren about 5 feet away from me, just stopped to see if I was alright, he asked me if I had got into any trouble for walking on the interstate, it seemed like he was not sure whether he should give me a ticket or not.

Getting more mail now, a letter from Bob and Roxanne Pool has not caught up with me yet, no mail at my last mail drop, so I left a fowarding card. One from Daniel Boles, in Las Vegas, formerly of Newfane, offering a place to stay when I come through his area. More questions from Mr. Michael McCartneys class, favorite state has been Louisiana, really nice people. I usually sleep in the woods or under a bridge, gives a little extra protection from the rain, wind and cold. Definetly like walking, good exercise, makes me feel good, think better when I am walking, the increased oxygen and blood supply do it. Always tired at the end of the day, but not exhausted, always glad to set up my tent and get in my sleeping bag. Picking up the whole batch of letters from the class in Gila Bend in a couple days. Thanks for writing, good to hear from you all. Also got a letter from Helene Oosthuizen in South Africa, my mom has been sending her the articles. Met her in Death Valley and we traveled and worked together for a while. She wanted to know if I would meet her in India next year and travel together, I will see if she wants to walk across India with me. Beate Gerhausser from Germany, who I visited in November with Helene, offered a place to stay and good luck when I walk across Europe.

Only 400 miles to San Diego, well till next week, I am on the road at Picacho Peak, headed west on the frontage road next to I-10, write me at Gary "Walkingman" Hause PO Box 427 Olcott NY 14126 if you have any questions or comments on my walk. Expenses 10th week: $34 on food, $25 on batteries and one motel room.

Eleventh week
2-24-97 to 3-1-97, Tucson Arizona to Tacna Arizona, 202 miles, 29 per day, 2225 total miles.

Got a gun pulled on me outside Gila Bend. It was a windy rainy day, and I had just stopped by a bridge as it started to get dark. There was a barb wire fence right up a against the bridge, so I crossed over to the other side of I-8, and was able to get under the bridge. Started to set up my tent, when I heard somebody above and behind me, I turned around and there was a guy wearing a big hat pointing a gun at me. Scared me for a moment before I realized it was a cop. He told me to freeze, hands up, and come out from under the bridge. He asked for ID, asked me if I had any weapons, took a look at my gear, and ran a check on me. He gave me a warning ticket for walking on the interstate, said he would give me a real ticket if he saw me out there again. I asked if I could walk into Gila Bend on I-8, because there was no other way, he said no. So I asked him what I was supposed to do, just sit out here and die? He would not give me an answer, said he was only thinking of my safety. I guess he thought I was trying to hide from him, as he said he had seen me from the other side of I-8 and had to turn around to come back and find me gone. So when he found me under the bridge he probably thought I was a fugative or something. Thought I might have to buy a bike and push that with all my gear strapped on, bikes are allowed on I-8 , but not walkers. So I just went to bed, figured I would decide what to do in the morning. Got up and walked into Gila Bend, nobody stopped me.

Saw a nice rainbow as I was coming into Gila Bend, and heard and saw some coyotes yipping in the desert, about 100 feet away, so I yipped back at them. Stopped at the State Police office and talked to the cops about my problem, when you are in the southwest, the interstate is basically the only feasible road to take. Usually there are no services on the local roads, when the interstate came through they all migrated out to be where the traffic was and left behind ghost towns. The cops were very nice and pulled out there law book to consult. They deceided that it would be okay as long as I used the frontage road when available, walked facing traffic, did not solicit any rides, and walked in a safe manner. Had some cake and punch at the post office for a lady's retirement party, they even had the high school band there to play. Got my first dog bite, only a little puppy though, did not even break my skin. Squirted him with my water bottle to keep him and two other puppies from following me, luckily the big dogs were chained up. Near Dateland Arizona a nice lady stopped to talk to me, showed me some of the seeds she was collecting in the desert that she sold to companies doing natural reseeding of old mines and construction projects. She gave me a nice crystal necklace she had made and a hug. Picked up some dates and grapefruit in Dateland, my favorite fruit, natures perfect candy bar. I remember reading that Bedouin tribesman in the middle east can practilly live off dates and camel milk.

Talked to three band members stranded by their broken down van waiting for help, I sympathized with them, as I used to travel with a van sometimes, and I am glad I sold it, no more worries about breaking down and expensive repairs and gas. Bought some socks and a white dress shirt at the thrift store, threw out the old ones, pretty worn out. Just picked up some letters from my old Cub Scout Pack 44, Mrs Talladay and Mrs Soulvie were the leaders then. One question was if I was afraid of snakes. No, as long as you walk slow when you are in the desert and scan the area ahead of you, most animals will get out of your way. Snakes can sense vibrations through the ground and will move away. Mankind is the most dangerous animal on earth, and most animals know it. Frontage road turned to dirt again on me, and then angled out in to some cotton fields, it was about time to go to bed anyway, so I set up my tent, and the next morning had to jump the barb wire fence to get back on I-8. Really windy day, lots of dust blowing off of fields, got hit by a huge tumbleweed. Had my shirt wrapped around my head to keep the dust out of my eyes, so it really surprised me. It was about 5 feet high and rolling along at about 15 miles per hour when it hit me in the side, no harm done, I jumped a little bit in surprise.

Called Tom Oliver up in Phoenix, grew up with him in Newfane, said he might come down and look for me tomorrow on the road. We took our first big trip together when we were about 9 or 10 years old, we rode our stingray bikes to Fort Niagara, about 25 miles from Newfane. Had to call Tom's mom to come pick us up, we were tired and ran out of money, could not go into the fort, but the guys at the Coast Guard station gave us something to eat and let us use the phone. Rained really hard one evening, real strong headwind against me. I could just see a bridge up ahead where the cars were just barely rising up a little, so I kept on pushing along slowly, felt really good to get under the bridge finaly where it was dry and set up my tent and cook my oatmeal. Could see Oatman mountain off in the distance where I used to hang glide when I lived in Phoenix. Brad Pixley sent me a nice letter, he lived down the street from me when I was growing up in Newfane. Gave me condolences on the death of my father, Bert Hause, who he had worked with at Peterson's Drug Store. Said he got some good advice from him on work and life, and admired him. Good man, good father, hope he gets to read my articles in heaven.

Well till next week, this was the best week of my life, headed west on I-8 near Yuma Arizona, write me if you have any questions or comments on my walk at Gary "Walkingman" Hause PO Box 427 Olcott NY 14126. Expenses 11th week: $51 on food, $13 on laundry, stamps, copying, clothes.

Twelfth week
3-2-97 to 3-8-97, Tacna Arizona to Boulder Oaks California, 178 miles, 25 per day, 2383 total miles.

Only 90 more miles to San Diego, knew I could do it, but you never know for sure till you try. Of course I have been pretty lucky, and a lot of nice people have helped me out along the way. Amazing how many nice people there are and how few mean ones, probably 99.99% nice and .01% mean. Climbed up my first really steep pass just outside Yuma Arizona, 1000 feet up in about 2 miles. Walked up it pretty fast, only 40 minutes, just after the sun had set and it had cooled down. Found a couple heads of lettuce on the shoulder, lettuce trucks were going by about 10 mph, almost started running to see if I could pass one. Crossed into California, had to go through a checkpoint, was worried that they would take away my fruit. Fifty miles to next grocery store, but they just waved me through. Met a couple of bicycle tourers who were calling in to their hometown radio station once a week and doing the Kathy and Toad roadshow report on their journey. Another biker I talked to had an old moped with no motor and a trailer he was hauling behind. Must have been pretty heavy, because he was walking when I saw him. He said his bicycle had been stolen and this was all he could afford. As I was coming out of Yuma a Border Patrol agent stopped to check me out. Then about 5 minutes later about 8 illegal aliens ran across the road about 50 feet in front of me. The border with Mexico was just about 100 yards south of me across the river. Passed through the Imperial sand dune area, talked to an old guy sitting outside his camper. He brought out an extra chair for me and a bowl of homemade clam chowder, my favorite soup. The frontage road turned to sand again, luckily I found a place where the barbed wire fence was cut, so I could get back on I-8. Stopped at a really nice hot springs near Holtville, lots of retired people stay there all winter in the campground, 50 dollars for a seven month permit. There is a hot pool, around 105 degrees, a cooler pool, around 100 degrees, and a fountain that sprays hot water on some benches you can sit on. Stayed two hours soaking, felt great, wish they had these every 30 miles across the country.

Hit my first really big pass just outside Ocitillo California, 13 miles and 4000 feet up. Did two hours just after sunset when it cooled down and the rest in the morning before it got hot, four and a half hours for 13 miles up. Stopped at the Oasis Bed and Breakfast at the top of the pass. Nice couple came out to talk, brought out some chairs and table, and a cup of coffee for me. Told me a little about the area, and let me fill up my water bottles from their mountain spring. She said the locals called her the lost pork chop lady untill they got to know her, because she left behind some pork chops at a store when she first moved into the area, and then picked them up a month later. Glad to be in the mountains, that last stretch through the desert was really hot and the road was terrible, road was all cracked up and bumpy. Wore out another tire (2350 miles) and also the one I just replaced 500 miles back is starting to get real thin. No towns nearby, so when the tire split down to the tube, I wrapped duct tape around it to hold it to the next town. Found one tire in the next town, but I needed two, and hardware guy said it was 50 miles to next store.

Met a local guy in a cafe and he invited me to his house for a shower and a place to pitch my tent. While installing the new tire the next morning, I noticed a big crack in the frame up by the front wheel, it had been turning to one side pretty bad at the end of yesterday so I knew something was wrong. Might have been able to patch it temporarily with a coat hanger and duct tape, but they had a backpack I could borrow, so I gave the jogger to them for their kids to play with in the yard. My brother Dave was going to give me his three wheel baby jogger for my next trip anyway, his kids are getting bigger and they hardly use it anymore. It is bigger and stronger and should last longer. I thought it would be interesting to try a backpack for a couple days just to see how it would work out. So I got rid of everything I did not absolutely need for the next three days into San Diego. Went from 65 pounds in my jogger, to 30 pounds in an old army rucksack, not very comfortable , and a lot harder carrying then pushing my jogger. Called my sister, Maureen Mathewson, and she is going to mail my backpack out to some of her friends that I was going to stop and visit for a couple days, in San Diego. Might take a bus up to Brianhead Ski Resort in southern Utah, where I worked part of last winter, and do some snowboarding and work for a month till my Lake Powell summer job starts. I am not sure I could make it up to Utah through the desert again without a jogger to carry extra water and food. There is a long stretch between L.A. and Las Vegas through the desert with few towns and very hot weather.

One question from my nephew Evan Mathewson in Olcott, he wants to know what my favorite food is. Up to now it has always been pizza, but on this trip I would have to say oatmeal, with lots of sugar and dry milk powder, good stuff, kept me going every day. Found a nice pair of Oakly sunglasses, just what I needed, the Bolle sunglasses I found earlier were pretty scratched up. Had to add some foam padding from my sleeping pad on to my backpack straps, they were digging into my shoulders. Stopped at a cafe and the waitress was asking me some questions about my walk, so I gave her some copies of my articles, and she had me autograph one, I think she was going to frame it and put it on the wall with other stuff of famous people that had visited this cafe.

Well till next week, I am on the road in Boulder Oaks California, headed west on old highway 80, write me at Gary "Walkingman" Hause PO Box 427 Olcott NY 14126 if you have any questions or comments on my walk. Expenses 12th week: $51 on food, $20 on film, tire, laundry, notebook, lotion, cooler collar, postage.

Thirteenth Week
3-10-97 to 3-12-97, Boulder Oaks California to San Diego, 70 miles for a total of 2473 miles in 87 days, 28.4 miles per day average.

Nice to be in the mountains now, finding some nice cold streams to take a dip in and cool off. Developed a big blister on the ball of my left foot because of my new Nike's, they are a lighter weight shoe then my first pair, not as much cushioning, plus I am carrying a heavy backpack now. Had to pop it and put some moleskin on it. Should of kept my old Nike's, but I did not have room. Finally can see the Pacific ocean now, nice sunset over the ocean as I come into the outskirts of San Diego. Ran out of sugar on my last night, oatmeal kind of bland, but still good. Stopped in Chula Vista to visit Bear and Carol, friends of my sister. Real nice to take a shower any time I want, and take it easy for a couple days till my backpack arrives in the mail. Walked down to the bay in the evening and then the ocean the next day. Too cold for swimming, windy and cloudy, so I just waded in a couple of feet. Got a postcard from the Callahans who were staying in a trailer park about a mile away from Bear an Carols house. They took me out to lunch at a nice Greek resturant, just happened to be my 40th birthday. Mr Callahan used to play cards with my dad at the Olcott fire hall, and they had been reading my articles in the newspaper all winter as they traveled around the country in their mobile home.

Had a great time walking across the USA, met a lot of really nice people, saw a lot of interesting places and things. Looking forward to my next walk, next fall, after I get done working at Lake Powell for the summer. Either across southern Europe, from Lisbon Portugal to Istanbul Turkey, or down the east coast, from Olcott to Key West Florida. Deceided to end my walk here in San Diego, miss my jogger, and do not feel like going on without it, so I will be taking the bus up to Brianhead Ski Resort, to snowboard and work for a month. Got some nice letters from Miss Stein's third grade class in Lockport. Pamela asked how I could run across the country, I am just walking, not running, I just take it one day at a time and only go as far as my body feels like going, slow and steady like the tortise in Aesops fables. Brad Pixley asked if I had any advice for somebody who wants to go on a walkabout like mine. Exercise, simplify, save, and just do it is my advice. Exercise everyday, whatever you enjoy doing, walking, biking, whatever as long as you keep moving and increase time and distance everyday as you get in better condition. Simplify your life by getting rid of theings you do not really need, I sold my van, two bikes, a hang glider and a few other things. Save as much of your income as you can and invest it either in a money market fund and or a no load mutual fund, I usually save 50 to 90 percent of my income and invest it so I can travel anywhere, anytime I want. Just do it, set a date, plan a route or not, get all your gear together and then go for it, have fun, overcome problems, keep a journal of what happens to you. It is amazing what you can do if you just try and do not give up. Life is a journey, it is not really about reaching the end, it is about having fun along the way, meeting people, running into trouble, solving problems, learning about life and people. It is all out there, all you have to do is turn off the television, open the front door, and walk outside. Hope you have fun, well till next fall when I start my next walk, write me at Gary "Walkingman" Hause PO Box 427 Olcott NY 14126 if you have any questions or comments on my walk. Aloha. P.S. Thanks to my mom, Lindy Hause and Janet McClay for typing up my articles and thanks to all the people who wrote me letters or helped me on my walk. Expenses final half week: $17 on food, $6 on moleskin and a magazine.

Total cost of Walk Across USA

For the whole walk I spent $459 on food which comes out to $5.27 per day average. I also spent $330 on various items like laundry, motels, film, stamps, toiletries. Total cost of $789, $9 dollars a day average, not counting some camping supplies I bought for the walk or already had. The only things I had to buy were a jogger for $99, gas stove for $60, and a tent for $20. So that brings the cost of the walk to $968. Pretty good for a walk all the way across country. I did not really have a budget, if I needed something I bought it. Being thrifty is a hard habit to break, ever since I first started bicycle touring I have always had to watch my expenses very carefully. Now a days I have enough saved up to where I can afford pretty much anything I want, but I still weigh the pros and cons of buying anything very carefully.

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