Monday, August 19, 2019

Days 108/109/110

3 Day Milage: 38.2, Supplies Day, 36.7
Total Miles: 2,204.7
74 Running Days

I will unfortunately be brief, my service is not the best and it’s in the 40s with a cold wind; so my hands won’t last to long trying to type.

Saturday was a struggle. 4,500ft to 12,000 ft to 9,000 to end up in the city. The whole day was up the mountain side until mile 33 when the final 5 miles went down. I almost stopped at around 26 miles because my feet were killing me (I put the shoes back on after running only in socks for a day and a half. But man... the shoes made it worse. My legs also were getting tired, but after stopping for 30 minutes I realized I couldn’t give up on myself like that. I got up, packed, and carried on. Relentless Forward Progression

Sunday I got supplies including food, a cold weather mask, and a few other things I needed like hygiene supplies. (No such thing as anti-biotic ointment)

Today I started about 830 and covered some ground when I met two woman who were extremely nice and kind that rode up on a bike. They too started in Lima and have traveled around and heading the same direction as I am. They even biked a 16,000fter that made them sick with such quick elevation gain. They are very impressive traveling  the world (which is very safe) when the media portrays it is unsafe. I wish them the absolute best and hope they never lose the will to travel! Good luck in medical school and keep enjoying working for Google you two! The world is a great place when you go see it!

I’m ending the day feeling good and ready to be at the top. My legs don’t like this many miles without some break!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Day 108

Miles: 30.1
Total Miles: 2,159.9
73 Running Days

Today, overall great! Mostly due to the people.

Early this morning was a couple from France that just stopped to check on me and make sure I was okay. They gave me a juice box and some cookies. For those of you that know me I don’t like chocolate, so when given chocolate I usually give it to others. Well you know this guy is hungry when he chokes down chocolate cookies while drinking water the whole time washing the flavor away.

Midday, I found a old “taco truck”. This truck had walls built around two sides leaving one side open for people to come and go. No food but I bought some drinks. I also was able to pay a little and charge my devices for a hour. Leaving a very kind gentlemen approached me and we talked for a few minutes. I told him what I was doing and he told me he seen me a few days ago also. If was a great conversation and he seemed very genuine.

About ten miles down the road was a old late 50s model VW microbus parked on the side of the road. 4 Argentinians just living life, traveling the continent with no route planned just free as a bird. They seemed pretty cool, Just living day by day, moment by moment, without a care in the world.

I finally made my turn dead East. It’s time to fully tackle the mountains and not just go in and out of them. One week approximately to the border, and 13k, 15k, 19.5k, 15k feet elevation to get there. Volcanoes, mountain peaks, and winter weather. It’s going to be quite the run!
Desert to Rain Forest; Chile to Argentina, an experience to last a lifetime and change outlook on physical challenges. 19.5k feet elevation with 75lbs in a cart is difficult but if anyone has the mentality to keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter the speed it’s me.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Day 107

Miles: 30.2
Total Miles: 2,129.8
72 Running Days

Today was nothing special and not a lot happened. It was chilly in the morning and laying here at night. During the day it was hot with direct sunlight.

My current body status overall is well. I feel good, my legs are doing well, but I have a few blisters, my neck has a bad sunburn from getting my haircut, and I ran out of Carmex, so, my lips are pretty cracked.

I still have three days to the next town and I’m about 9 days estimate from entering Argentina.

The shoes I had to get in Arica are nothing like my Altras... these things are already killing my feet. With about 350 miles on them, I would gladly trash them if I could. Both my Altras had almost a thousand miles and we’re  better than these are now.... but I shall continue.

Nights like these are the worst. These kinds of nights... when the loneliness kicks in. The scanning the horizon and you see nothing but sand for many days and many nights. Semis and trucks pass by during the day and gives you something to see but at night it’s calm, a soft breeze, and with a sharpie I could make “Wilson” from castaway out of a rock.
These nights are the ones that get in your head. It’s been a week since I got a shower virtually. I’ve had one cold drink in a week. And I’ve been in and out of service miserably so even if I wanted to talk to someone I couldn’t. I’m not a music fan when I run but nights like this; the  music could keep me company. But the service out here won’t let it play. It takes me trying to write this a couple hours to post. Anyway I don’t mean to rant, but if your reading this don’t take a single second spent with a loved one for granted. I may not have a woman in my life currently but right now I’d kick this Wilson rock across the sandy desert floor to talk to my mom, dad, brother, grandma...

Love you all!

To my Vets
: if you get lonely out there, please reach out to someone. It can be anyone, and if you have no one Stop Solider Suicide would be more than happy to chat with you!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Day 105/106

Miles: 60.4
Total Miles: 2,099.6
71 Running Days

Yesterday was a average running day but an amazing day due to the continued generosity and kind hearts of the Chilean people. (Keep in mind these are working class people going out of their way, not the ones driving by in a Mercedes; these guys/woman are in dump truck, on mining vehicles, in semis, and working along the roadside.)

It started generosity started yesterday around 9 when a gentlemen on the roadside working stopped shoveling concrete mix into a 5 gallon bucket and proceeded to his lunch pail where he grabbed a 20oz water and two bananas. Walked up to me and told me I probably needed it more. (I guarantee him shoveling concrete in the same weather I’m running he needed more than me but he wouldn’t take no for an answer.) All his buddies slapped him on the back and gave me thumbs up and best wishes.

Around 1300 a man pulled his dusty dump truck off the road and I figured he was looking or fixing something. I pass the truck and kept running when he called,”Amigo Amigo”. I turned around and he tossed down a water and a chicken sandwich that was still warm. I felt bad for him giving me his lunch but I was really appreciative.

The biggest heart stopper of them all came around 1500 right before I was going to stop to set up camp. I was looking for a good place when I heard squeaking brakes coming to a stop across the road in a little emergency pull off spot. I thought first I hoped his breaks would stop if that was the problem and they stopped. But what I didn’t think would happen was how fast he got out of his semi and jogged over to me not with 20oz water but with a gallon. He said,” you need this” I smiled thanked him strapped it down and was about to carry on when I see him jogging back over. The entire time with this big grin on his face like he was enjoying ever second. He gets back to me and hands me 3 oranges and a package of oatmeal cookies. (I’m  smiling head to toe at this point and I even offer to pay him but he refused) not able to control my happiness I ask for a picture which he gladly accepted and then took one for himself. He asked what I was doing way out here alone. I told him I was running the world to stop military suicides. He didn’t look at me but turned and started to undo hatches on his truck. Pulls out two gallons of water, jogs  over puts it on my cart with the gallon, comes back grabs a Gatorade bottle and a bottle of honey and pours half into the Gatorade bottle. Looks at me while doing spirit fingers across his stomach while saying Miel and gives to two thumbs up indicating it was good for me. I thanked him 100 times over and what he did next touched my heart forever.

He pats his heart, pats my heart with his hand and looks up
Then when I say thank you he puts his arm around me and says,” from my family to your family I have lots of love. (Mucho Amor)

It was such a sweet moment between to people who have never met, in the middle of a desert hundreds of miles from towns, acting like he was just an old friend of mine catching up on what’s new. It was so casual to him, but it meant so much to me.

His name was Fernando and I’ll always remember him for his generosity and selflessness.

Today

More desert running, tempts still cold at night and in the morning. Hot with direct sunlight during the day.

I passed through a internal customs checkpoint today. Had all my belongings searched again and put through machines. Took about an hour.

The few good things continue to be Chilean kindness. Three different bottles of water, a can of coke, and a sandwich! All from road workers.

The one thing I’ve really been craving is something extremely cold to drink. At the customs checkpoint I was able to buy a few drinks and one had ice in it. I offered to buy as many as they had like that but it was the only one. Drinking room temperature water gets very old very fast but gotta stay hydrated.

Camping tonight I came to a spot and climbed a little hill off the road and it has some amazing views. No tent tonight, I wanna sleep under the stars and let the moon light the night. The sky’s were blue, slowly turned red, orange, pink, cotton candy pink before going dark blue for the night. Can’t beat falling asleep in a place with very few people even go. The road less traveled leads to a beautiful camping area for anyone who wants to know.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Day 104

Miles: 34.5
Total Miles: 2,039.2
69 Running Days

Today I woke up during the morning hours to a earthquake. Later found out it was a 4.9 or 5.0 depending on the source. I just laid there with my eyes closed spread out like a starfish and just enjoyed it honestly. After about a minute it was done and I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Later in the day there was a really small quake that caused some gases in the surrounding desert to act funny and make popping noises for miles and miles.

I ran feeing pretty good today and found a smal diner outside a mining camp. The only building for as far as your eyes could see so clearly it was put up to feed the miners.
The miners were very curious about me and we stood and talked for awhile but they didn’t want their pictures taken unfortunately. I ordered some chicken and rice and ate it fairly quick before taking off again. Was a little uneasy with the questions and the admiration for things in my cart. I was outmanned 50/1. On a. Side note if anyone wants to lose weight, gain massive muscles, while eating whatever you want come work with those guys. All 50 were huge.. their arms showed every vein in them. In was impressive. No protein shakes, no special diets, just hard work in the mines and lots of chicken.

I had a few gentlemen stop as they left the diner many miles down the road and give me waters. It was very appreciated but I’ll have to use my filter or boil it seeing the seals were all broken and clearly refilled by the looks of the bottle being worn.

I came to an interesting situation today. It’s one I’ve had many times and every time I come to the same conclusion. So I will ask you all the same thing that runs through my mind out here at the ensuing if the day. The sun is beating down, it’s been 30+ miles, your looking for a good place for camp and you go around a corner and BAM you see a huge climb. At least two miles and probably a good hour with the slope. Do you call it a day because your tired and ready for food and climb it in the morning or do you slowly push the cart up the mountain side now? Also keep in mind the climb could also lead to much more climbing. I’ve spent days where the whole day was up.
Some of you I’m sure say climb and some say climb it when your fresh.
My philosophy out here has been simple. Climb the mountain side and if it keeps going I keep going. There is no such thing as ending on a bad note. There is no making the day worse. Sure it make suck during it but at the end you can cook food and get sleep. If I were to do it in the morning I could set my whole day to be a slow paced sluggish day. So today I choose to climb and I’m camping at the top. Looking out thinking how in the morning I’ll have a flat running surface for as far as I can see from here. It’s a beautiful sight.

To My Vets:
Don’t put things off. Do it know. Don’t wait. Your dreams are a priority and needs to happen accordingly. When you “procrastinate” you risk never doing it. If it’s the end of a hard day at work and you wish you could work on that business plan you’ve always wanted but you’ve had a long day. Do it anyways. Force yourself to set that priority and get it done. Build the habit. Procrastination to me is not a real word. Or if it is, it means not having the ability to set priorities. Don’t procrastinate reach out and get what is yours!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Day 103

Miles: 32.1
Total Miles: 2,004.7
68 Running Days

Today was overall a good day. I left out a little later than normal but was making pretty good time due to it being relatively flatter than normal. I passed a military base and some really cool old mounds with multiple levels and a few different doors for entry that looked like they had fallen apart or down. If I wasn’t on the run I would have put on my head lamp ran a quarter mile across the desert and up into the mystery.

About noon I came to a small village that didn’t have many houses but it did have a “popping” Main Street. There were several tents set up selling foods. I was able to get two dozen fresh farm eggs that should last a little while and some tuna cans. Which made me happy.

For some reason having tuna cans in my cart makes me feel a lot better about these hundred mile stretches of nothing. Which Google can be wrong and I come across a village not on the maps like today which is always a blessing.

I went into a gas station (which actually had a small convenience store attached unlike Peru) and got some water and a pear juice since it’s been so long since I had fruit i get my body needed it. They also had pulled pork sandwiches which they called “American Meat Sandwich” as the name of it. It was a little more expensive than the others but I got one and I am very glad I did! It was super good or I was super hungry.

The desert I’m in is really tricky with tempts. It’s low 30’s high 20’s at night and in the morning and something midday if clouds cast over but the usual temperature during the days are high 70s with a blazing heat. No shade, the back of my neck is burnt and so are my legs. It’s weird, it’s  not super hot compared to the states (it’s winter) but the temperature fluctuates so rapidly that high 70s feels incredible hot.

I made camp in a National Reserve. It’s the only trees I’ve seen in days. But they were planted here and are not natural to the area.

The generosity continues with a family stopping to offer me a 3L water but I had just filled my cart up with a weeks worth of supplies and couldn’t fit it. I thanked them greatly.
I am headed towards a city at the bottom of the 20,000 ft mountain I’ll be passing over and it looks like I’m about 6-7 days away. After that I’ll be in the mountains climbing to 20,000 feet and come out in the Amazon Rainforest on the other side in Argentina. Looking forward greatly to being out of the desert. I feel like it all I’ve seen since Lima.

To my Vets:
A wise man once told me,” take a moment to look up into the stars, try to see where you have been and where you need to go, there are many people up there in them stars that are looking down at you wanting you to succeed and watching over you. You have the best support crew anyone could ask for up there, don’t think for a second you are alone in this.”

Don’t think for a second you are alone, you have all your veteran brothers and sisters for generations and generations up there watching over you wanting you to succeed.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Days 100 - 102

Three Day Total: 91.1
Total Miles: 1,972.6
67 Running Days

Finally have some service.
Not a lot has happened honestly, a few Good Samaritans I will tell you about but overall it’s the desert. Not a house in sight. Not a animal in sight. Every hour or so I will see a car. I have not seen a village since I left the city till tonight. I came crossed a really small village that has a huge history behind it. The worlds largest geoglyphic (hand made sculpture out of rocks and carved lines into the mountain side) it depicts a weather God. It was said to be able to be used to predict the weather.
This one is massive but a few miles from where I’ll be able to see it. It took hundreds of years to complete and was sculpted by several different groups of people the more known group being the Incas. I have seen hundreds of these types of sculptures along my route these last few days.

I have also seen statue of mummies. Three of them. Come to find out Chile has the oldest mummies in the world and not Egypt. Chile has mummies that pre date Egypt by thousands of years. The statues I seen where depictions of the area to mummify someone. The cool thing about the Chinchorro people were they mummified every person in their civilization regardless of social status. Whereas the Egyptians only mummified their higher ranking members.

So every single day I have been in Chile running on the road someone has stopped and gave me food and water. Three days ago it was a big bowl of soup and some water that looked like he went and got it out of his lunch pail. . Yesterday was two chicken sandwiches and a juice box in the morning given to me by a little girl out the back window of her car, as she smiled and said “this is for you enjoy”  and around midday someone gave me a roast beef sandwich with avocado and a Gatorade. Today was a big bottle of a fruit juice I was unfamiliar with and some peanuts. (This is just to name a few) I have had the most help from construction workers or road workers. One day I had two gentlemen that wouldn’t take no for a answer and filled my water canteens and gave me two liter bottles full to take with me. I’m sure they relived I wasn’t hundred miles from any town so they knew best right? There have been people who didn’t want to confront me in the sense but they would stop 15-20 ft ahead sit out of coke and some fruit and yell that it wasn’t for me.

Having come across this village it was a nice treat for some food and restock my liquids. Nothing to for food to take with me except one box of mash potato mix where you just add water.

The generosity of these people have been nothing but top notch. More than I could have ever asked for. I want you all reading this to think of something simple. ( if a man who didn’t belong where I lived was looking homeless and randomly running by my car would I stop and offer help and if you say you would stop what happens when that man speaks only basic of your language?)
That’s what these people have with me. A strange man running with a cart who is dirty and only speaks basics. Every single of them try their best to communicate with me. If I can’t use a translator they try there best to make me understand. Nothing short of nosies or gestures, hand signs, or pictures. They truly have been a blessing.

With the way Chile has been going I could say nothing more than this has to be my grandpa up stairs watching me from the bleachers as I run my track meet making sure I have snacks and keeping me safe. I know God and my Grandpa are up there planning this out like as if each car passing was a possible aid station on this long journey.

I want to thank everyone who has been following, anyone who has donated to Stop Solider Suicide, and those that are planning on running the race coming up in Sept.
because of all of you, veterans lives are being saved.
Just remember for $400 dollars, that’s 10 people who signed up for the race. You just provided a veteran with TWO YEARS worth of help! TWO YEARS!

To My Vets:

Do something tomorrow that you wouldn’t have done today.
Picture your goal, and take that step.
Want to be a history teacher? Imagine if you studied up on history for 1 hour a day how much you could learn in 365 hours in 1 year.
Wanna own a business imagine how much you could get done with your portfolio, logo, design, slogan, etc. with one hour a day.
Tomorrow take one hour and do something you didn’t do today.
The greatest things in life are not one huge moment, but a collection of small little moments that create a huge impact.
Love life, live life, and if you need help Stop Solider Suicide will save your life!