I’m Walking Across the USA

During the first week of January 2018 I am beginning a walk across the United States. I’m starting in Santa Monica, California and ending with a belly flop in the Atlantic ocean – the exact finish location will be determined by the ordeal’s six-ish months of unknown variables. But if I had to predict it, I’d guess somewhere in New England. Maine, maybe. My why is simple. I’m walking from coast to coast because it’s a unique sort of challenge sure to be filled with daily adventures. And though such endeavors are always at the top of my to-do list,…

Walking to RDU – Well, Almost

The previous night I stuffed my backpack with items I plan to lug across the country between January and June 2018. And though the contents added up to nearly 30 pounds, they mostly resembled what I’d haul on a two night, no-frills camping trip. The basic essentials including a day’s worth of high-calorie snacks and 6 total liters of water. Turns out one liter of water weighs 2.2 lbs—which means nearly half my pack’s total weight is water. Hopefully, once I get on the road, I never go too long without this much water on my person. I can already…

Leave Home to Get Home

I wrap up my brief, impromptu México City visit with a blog written in the same format as part 1. Once again, I leave feeling super humbled by all the city offers. This time around, not only did I write months of new material in a week, I also sought out moments of purposeful vulnerability. Now it’s time to leave, but I’m not ready to go. I never am. ****************************************************** I never know which direction I’ll go until the time comes to decide. If I’ve listened to my gut I always find signs, like an Oración al Coyote, reminding me…

D.F. Poetry of Sensibility

Inspired by Kenneth Rexroth’s One Hundred Poems From the Japanese, I’ll tell part one of my México City visit in a similar form. I begin, however, with one from the Rexroth collection: I have always known That at last I would Take this road, but yesterday I did not know that it would be today.                                       -Narihira (9th century)  ***************************************** The Houston sunset from 10,000 feet and I’m thinking about California fires hoping my family out west is not in harm’s way….

Ain’t No Drag

I stood beneath the tattered awning of a llantería and waited for the rain to let up. But it just came down harder. Streets turned into ankle-deep rivers as thunder rocked buildings. I didn’t have an umbrella, but I was wearing a parka. And though my torso was dry, five minutes in the rain had soaked my pants straight through. I pulled out my phone and started to send a text. Canceling. But I backspaced my words, knowing I’d regret chickening out. So I locked down my hood and stepped back into the downpour, taking a beeline to the Metro…

Carrboro to Hillsborough

Love, Not Hate When I was a kid, I was pissed off. Red-faced most of the time. Anger was my default emotion and served as the stand-in for most other feelings. Frustration, sadness, embarrassment, intimidation, even happiness or appreciation were all expressed through anger in some weird way or another. Safe to say that years of therapy have helped me manage this tendency. Which doesn’t mean I’m ‘fixed’. No way. But I am able to healthily recognize when less-experienced emotions get the shove from the more comfortable feeling of anger or rage. But I’d be lying if I said anger…

Carrboro to Pittsboro

After barely one mile, my left knee started to buckle. Blame it on a tight IT band, the 6 hours of yard work I did the day before, or last September’s shoddy surgery meant to get me running again (it didn’t). Whatever the case, all I could think about was failure. I freaked out, a hitch in each step. I wasn’t as concerned about turning around and limping home as I was about the big picture. What if my knee says no? Merely glancing at this prospect devastates me. I stopped on a wide and shady shoulder to reassess. In my…

Carrboro to Saxapahaw

Today I knocked out a nearly 20-mile walk, following a standard local bike route from my house in Carrboro to the Saxapahaw General Store. I figured it would take a bit more than 5 hours, so to beat the heat I left at 6:45am. Scores of cyclists seemed to have adjusted their Sunday rides for similar reasons. But maybe so many out on a Sunday morning is normal? Last week I learned what not to wear on a long walk in North Carolina humidity. So today I confidently rocked a pair of running shorts, a snap-up cowboy shirt, and a…