My brother Mike and I weren’t super tight growing up. Likely because I took an inordinate amount of joy in harassing him insufferably. I distinctly remember the pleasure I’d feel when my teasing made him cry. I wouldn’t be surprised if he now discusses such things with a therapist. But as they generally do, things changed as we grew older, and the beginnings of our … Continue reading Countdown Story #13: Hutto, TX
Still on the Trace, I walk past a man sitting in his parked truck on the roadside. He calls me over and I oblige. He exits the vehicle and we give each other a thorough once-over. On his t-shirt is an image of a guitar and a punny slogan that says, Pick Jesus, I Have. His black leather vest is biker style. On the left … Continue reading Countdown Story #9: Natchez Trace Parkway, AL
After crossing into Virginia, I beeline toward the nearest gas station where I’ll celebrate another state with bad coffee and a big danish. Along the way I pass a marquee at the entrance of St. Anne’s Catholic Church. It says, “In the tapestry of life, we are all connected.” I park Little Buddy on the quiet side of a station mini-mart and head inside … Continue reading Countdown Story #8: Bristol, VA
As I rest on the curb on the shady side of a gas station, a young Black man in khaki shorts, a pink polo, and tortoise shell glasses approaches. His elbows are locked with his hands in pockets. “Hey there, sir. Where you coming from?” he asks. “Los Angeles,” I say. His face tells me that wasn’t the answer he was expecting. He careens to … Continue reading Countdown Story #7: Friendship, AR
Ray and Jimmy invite me to their alley stoop then commiserate about their friendship. “You know how sometimes God puts someone in your path?” Ray says. “That’s what happened with us.” Their adoring eyes meet. Ray lets out a nervous laugh. “Yeah. It’s our energy that brought us together,” Jimmy says. They take turns telling me where to go and what to do in San … Continue reading Countdown Story #6: San Antonio, TX
As I span the two bridges across the Neches River to complete the last few of the day’s 30 miles, I imagine a flat and safe place for my tent on the opposite side. Maybe at the water’s edge. I yearn for a restful night with my body pressed against the earth. Within a quarter-mile of the bridge, there’s a sign for the Camper’s Cove … Continue reading Countdown Story #5: Flint, TX
By noon it’s pushing 95˚ and I’ve already covered more than 23 miles. Twenty-three used to be a big day, but now it’s just a typical morning. I’m fitter now than I’ve ever been. Able to pull off week-long strings of ultra distances and not feel gassed. It’s weird, sort of like I get stronger as the miles add up. Recently I’ve been ending each … Continue reading Countdown Story #4: Athens, AL
As I push Little Buddy down a smooth Winchester sidewalk, I come across a woman seated on a curb. She’s dressed in all black and is carrying a mini-AC unit still in the box. Arctic Air. I say hello, and we get to chatting. Her name is Kitty. She’s just returned from Walmart and is waiting for the bus. She asks about the Walk USA … Continue reading Countdown Story #2: Winchester, VA
I trade morning frost on my tent for a midday sunburn. Dodge angry thorns and rattlesnake carcasses, and flick a scorpion off my pant leg. Vehicles fly past at triple digits, leaving leave behind a trail of empty beer cans and Gatorade bottles of piss. All day the desert dares me to let my guard down. All day I focus on the rippling horizon and … Continue reading Countdown Story #1: Safford, AZ
After two and a half years of writing and rewriting, editing and re-editing, I am thrilled to have my two books out in the world! With a Good Heart: A Walk From LA to Brooklyn and Imagine the Sea: One Hundred Poems From a Long Walk (a companion book of poetry) are available for purchase! Please consider buying them through the publisher’s website. You can … Continue reading BUY BOOKS HERE!
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