Monday, July 29, 2019

Day 88/89/90

Saturday Miles: 35.9
Total Miles: 1,821.5
62 Running Days

Saturday, unfortunately I was in an accident. I was running down a mountain side and was struck by a truck which put me into a sand pile and over my hand bars. I am okay with the exception of a few minor scratches and bruises. My cart on the other hand will not make it. The handle bars broke off completely. Structurally it broke the Varanasi in half in three places and cracked in many more. On impact the front wheel also was roped off the frame. (To keep everything very simple and straight forward)

I stood on the sidebar of the road for over a hour and a half before someone stopped to help me the extra 3 miles to a hotel. I had just entered the country and didn’t have Chilean pesos yet and he didn’t want to help at first. Eventually (15 minutes) he decided to help and accepted Soles.

At the hotel I threw everything in a room, showered, and crashed. I was exhausted.

Sunday I woke up and everything was closed. Everything! I found very few restaurants open (the mall) and that’s about it. All the smal shops were closed but there was a pop up little thrift market about 10 blocks long. So I spent the day walking up and down it just looking at stuff and wasting time honestly. Monday couldn’t come fast enough at this point.

I met a gentleman my age that works at the hotel that was very nice. He signed my book and we talked for a long time that night. He didn’t speak English but he tried very hard. He typed in his phone, would glance at the words and then try and say them to me. Not terrible but not amazing. I helped with words he didn’t know and he appreciates it. He invited me back anytime and I could stay with him  and his family. He also wants to come to the states some time he said. He wants to go to a music festival and his favorite band is Pearl Jam.

Monday I left bright and early and went to every bike store to leave empty handed. No carts.
I jogged around th whole city trying to find something. I ended up with a baby strolller in a sense. It has hard rubber wheels that don’t air up so that is a positive but it holds much less and much less weight. I will make it work and get it done till I can get something better.

My original route for South America has changed and I have got a confirmation that I can add some miles and change my route up. I’m adding a few hundred more miles than originally.

Tomorrow morning I hit the road again and get back at it.
Is it weird that I miss being in the middle of no where at times? I miss the camping and just being out in the world? The city feels lonely and the mountains feel like home.

To my Vets:
Sometimes life hits us hard. Literally. It makes us feel sore and tired but that just means you are alive.
You woke up today. The rest is a work in progress.
But one thing is for certain....
No great warrior ever won his fight by quitting. You can’t make your life better by giving up. If it’s help you need then reach it to Stop Solider Suicide. If it’s a friend you need then reach out to me. If it’s time you need then don’t rush things and let the pieces fall where they need to. But DON’T  ever EVER GIVE UP! You can not win by giving up and you won’t be the only one to lose but those around you will to.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Day 86/87

Two Day Total: 55.7 (33.5+22.2)
Total Trip Miles: 1,785.6
61 Running Days

Yesterday was a cold day. I don’t listen to music very often. Even though it is extremely lonely I still prefer my surroundings over music, but yesterday was a music day. The wind was blowing hard as a head wind and it was slow rolling hills. My energy level was not the highest and each step felt heavier than the last. So after a few hours of what felt like running with ankle weights I took out my phone and loaded pandora. (Fun fact: Pandora does not exist down here in Peru, but since my service is in America I will get it.) I stopped running and thought about what to put on. Normally my mind goes straight to the only two options I ever really listen to. Kenny G or The Lumineers. Everyone and then I go with a few others but I ultimately decided on my favorite and put it on Kenny G. I was hoping my favorite song would come on but it took over an hour before it did. 

The run yesterday was nothing but sand and a Coca Cola sign (which I set my tent up behind.) 
With the wind blowing, my face getting cold, and music playing I just kept pushing. After 33 miles I was to cold to really wanna continue and that’s when I seen the cola sign and figured it could help with the wind. (It didn’t) once my tent was set up the wind threatened to rip it down. I got inside, hands freezing, face frozen, and my stomach was begging for food. I couldn’t keep a fire lit because of the wind and i was getting to cold to build a wind block so I just rolled over and tried to sleep. 

Waking up I was slow to get up. My body needed food but the wind was still strong. I ate some peanut butter and just figured I’d get on the road and get to Tacna as fast as I could. 

Along the way cars and trucks still honked to see if I needed a ride. A few cars stopping and offering water. As I ran the stretch I just kind of blacked out. I don’t remember much. I remember starting and I remember coming over a hilltop and seeing the town down in the valley. I must have just been in a zone. But toping  the hill and seeing the town made me smile. A warm meal was just a couple miles away. I picked up my pace as fast as I could without letting the cart get out of reach and go speeding down the hill without me. At the bottom I seen a small hostal and across the road from it a farmers market. So I decided it wa a good place to stop. Heading into Chile within the next few days I knew I couldn’t take much fresh stuff but I did end up getting a few potatoes and eggs. 

By Sunday/ Monday I’ll be in Chile. I’ll go through the border crossing and border agency will probably search everything. I’ll have to find a place to exchange my money into Chilean pescos. Last time while in the Navy I was in Chile the prices are fairly close to Peru but a little more expensive: still cheaper than the states. 

I’ll be heading towards the town of Arica in Chile. The hopes of finding a new water jug (my broke) and maybe a new pair of shoes. Mine have almost 1000 miles on them and I’m starting to feel it. 

Tacna seems to be a nice little town but I won’t spend much time here. I ordered some Peruvian pizza and that’s about it. Just a shower (first time in over a week) and then just rest up for tomorrow.

To my vets: 
Love- the reason you do something. 
Passion- the fuel for what you do. 
If you do something you live with no passion your flame can slowly go out, if you do something you love and have a passion for your work will forever have a source of fuel and will always burn. 
Don’t do something just because you like it, find something you enjoy but have a few passion for. Then and only then will it last a lifetime. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Day 85

Today’s Miles: 30.3
Total Miles: 1,729.9
59 Running Days

Today started out with thick fog and strong cold winds. Very quickly into my day it turned into strong cold winds and rain. The fog stayed but fog doesn’t really affect anything. I got out my cold weather coat since it’s waterproof (rain gear was in the box I didn’t get). The coat made it really hot but it kept me dry for the most part. My pants and shoes got soaked but as long as my hands and head stay dry and warm I’m usually good. It rained for about 4 hours before turning into a mist for the remainder of the day.

I was able to keep my cart fairly dry once I pulled my tarp out and bungeed it around. Nothing in my cart got wet.

Running with wet shoes and socks is not the ideal thing. The first thing that comes to mind is blisters but actually my feet are fine. I pushed to make today a quicker day and it paid off. I came up a large incline (a few miles) and at the top was a tiny little village with just a few houses and one little grocery shop. I had camped the last 6 days (which I actually really enjoy) but tonight the grocery lady is giving me a small room to get out of the rain and cold tonight and let me charge my devices. She charged me 30 soles for the night. She also made me some fish and rice for an additional 8 soles.

As I was walking around outside just looking around to see if I could find a little place to get a few waters I man came to me with a hot corn on the cob and a large slice of cheese and asked for two soles for the food. I gave it to him just out of curiosity how the two tastes together: it wasn’t bad. Not what you would except (mostly because the cheese isn’t an american cheese).

Another cool thing that happened. As it is raining I hear a little girls voice yell Americano Americano   And then a few words I couldn’t make out. I slow to a stop trying not to flip the cart mid stride. I see a car driving backwards with a girl half sticking out of the window holding a small bag in her hand. She is getting wet but didn’t seem to mind. She hands it to me and just giggles while she gets back in the car. My first though was a drink. They have drinks in bags down here. But it was hard to the touch so not a drink. As the car drove off I waved and said thank you and opened the bag. It was three apples, one banana, and a piece of pan (bread but not like sliced bread)

I smiled and stopped for lunch once I got the food. I took out a knife and some peanut butter and took a little water to wash the apple off. It hit the spot and I put the others up in my box for later.

All in all I had about 15 people try and help me today. Most days there are a few people stop and ask if I need a ride. A few stick out there hands and give a thumbs up or down signal. Some honk and wait for a gesture from me. But today was different. People seen the rain and felt bad for me. People offering me more water than I could drink. Offering me little juices or I even had a guy offer me half is sandwich he was eating in his work trailer out of the rain. Today the Peruvian people showed me once again why I love this country.

Even though it rained Peru made it a great day. People are very geniuses and understanding.

Another thing I want to say is this. If someone came to America and didn’t speak much English we would judge them, may even say we can’t help them, we may ask them to leave our stores or tell them they need to learn English if they are going to be there. During my time in Peru not once did someone make me feel unwanted or even if I was having a hard time understanding their Spanish they took their time and figured out what I needed or how to help. It’s something we may think about in America. Whether it’s someone living there or someone visiting. It doesn’t take much time to slow down and try and figure out what people may need. ❤️ love all people regardless of the languages they speak.

To my vets:
I am also out of Peru. Not very long left and I’ll be in Chile. A next chapter in my adventure.
Shoot me a message about steps you have taken towards a goal while I’ve been down here. What is your next chapter?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Day 84

Todays Miles: 30.6
Total Miles: 1699.6
58 Running Days

My GPS went crazy today. I charged it last night  and woke up ready to hit the day. It had a full battery and should last the next three days. At mile 11 it showed 1 percent so I quickly grab the charger to pull it in thinking I missed read the battery this morning. Even plugged in it died 5 minutes later. (Unfortunate didn’t get a picture of the mileage for my backup data) I was frustrated but turned it back in and it showed 100 percent battery and didn’t have any problems the rest of the day... Anyone else had similar problems?

Today was like the last few. Morning was extremely foggy and chilly by 10 the sun started to shine through and the fog lifted.
It was another day of ups and downs, left and rights, twists and curves.

I didn’t really see anything else today, no food, no water to buy.
I passed fairly close to a town (2km) but I didn’t trek up the mountain side over to it.

The wind is blowing really hard right now and it’s shaking the tarp and tent like crazy.

I set up camp and decided on some tuna I have in a can and some crackers with peanut butter.

Fun facts about Dustin’s journey: ......

The things he has mixed with peanut butter to give it more flavor..... (sorry if I offend your taste buds)
1. Tuna
2. Quinoa
3. Rice
4. Eggs
5. Potatoes
And the list can go on... and by the way before I even left for this run I put peanut butter on my eggs.

To my vets:

I’m not full of inspirational quotes. I don’t have my mind wandering and thinking of the right thing to say today. I can’t think of a perfect message to send you. For that I’m sorry but do know I care for you and I am here if anyone needs someone to talk to. May life present you your door with opportunity and ignore it doesn’t open you kick it down and enter anyways.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Day 82-83

Miles Both Days: 60.3
Total Trip Miles: 1,669.0
56-57 Running Days

Yesterday was an up hill - down hill game, literally. The first 12.3 miles were down hill, the last 17.9 miles were all up hill. It made for a very interesting day. 

As I got to the bottom of the mountain there was a tiny little village and cars were backed up for miles. Curious I eagerly sped up. I got there and didn’t see anything special at first. Truck drivers eating at the one restaurant and people getting supplies from a tiny little grocery (fresh food only) store. With my new camping gear I decided to go in and I got 3 eggs and two potatoes and two ears of corn for food and for drinks I got two 1L waters and a 3L Tampico (Orange Jucie in a way) and I paid 8.20 soles. So pretty dang cheap. 

After I loaded the food and drinks I pushed on a ran around the corner where I then saw why things were backed up. Two tractors were using there buckets to push large rocks from the cliff edge into the road as they banged them into the walls. And smal groups of people had big tires in the road and were setting them on fire. The smoke stunk. I was worried they wouldn’t let me by seeing they were mad about something but as I approached they were nice and didn’t say a word to me and made room for my cart to get thriough. I later seen a yellow flag with the words Agro yes Mina No. on the other side as I start my climb traffic is backed up the same as before but this time it went on for nearly 6 miles. Truck drivers kept asking me what was going on.  All I could really tell them was there were people that didn’t seem happy and they were putting large rocks in the road while lighting tires on fire so people wouldn’t drive around till all the rocks were in place. Needless to say they were not happy to have to wait some seemed to have been waiting for ever as they were asked in their trucks. 

After I passed all the trucks  it got really quite. I didn’t see another vehicle the entire time I was on the road. I set camp and started to cook my food before I even seen one car and that’s al I even ended up seeing till I went to bed. 

As I was setting up camp some dark clouds rolled in and I made a nice fort with my tarp and everything under it. 

Woke up and there was thick heavy fog for the first 4 hour and of the day. At the worst 50meters visibility and at the best a quarter mile. 

Didn’t see many cars today, did t really see much of anything at all. I was still in the middle of no where. I seen one a few dogs and one tiny village with a few huts no electricity and no water. 

I was getting low on water and a construction worker let me buy two off of him. He charged more than they were worth but it was worth it for me! 

Yesterday I ate eggs and potatoes
Tonight I’ll have potatoes and tuna 

I was very lucky yesterday during that protest to stop at the fresh food store and get a few eggs and two potatoes. I should have gotten more! 

Overal today was very uneventful and pretty much a straight road that went up and down in the middle of the desert with winds would give you an exact outline of it. 

To my vets: 

There may be days that are boring and slow. They seem to stretch forever. Days that are mundane and seem pointless but remember this; days like those are what makes the good days good. You couldn’t have an amazing day if you didn’t have a boring one. So keep going and your amazing day is coming! 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Day 81

Todays Miles: 30.2
Total Trip Miles: 1608.7
55 Running Days (All then days off and didn’t get the gear I needed)

Today was overall a 7 out of 10. If it wasn’t for the tire needing air so often it wouldn’t have been a bad day all.

The scenery never changed. Small mountains on one side, military desert on the other for the whole 30 miles. I even seen a few signs with pictures of fighter jets dropping bombs and came to the conclusion this was where they tested their equipment. Makes sense way out here in the middle of no where.
You ever play the game: guess how long it’ll take to get to that point/hill/sign when your in the car? Well I did that today. I figured it would take  few hours to get the big hill I seen. 30 miles later and it still looks the same distance away. Some hill....

I had an interesting incident with a random guy in he middle of nowhere. He came at me yelling hands closed into fists and he wouldn’t leave me alone. Kept grabbing at my cart and blanket and throwing his hands around at me. I had enough and showed him my protection and my closed fist before anything could escalate and he slowly walked away. No one harmed and nothing happened more than some yelling.

I was in a weird electronic interference zone. GPS was all out of control and so was my phone for a good amount of time. I figured it had to do with the military but I’m still not sure.

Today for dinner I will cook some rice in my little tiny pot and have a nice cup of hot tea. Yum! Oh and can’t forget peanut butter for desert!

All in all I’m glad to be back on the road, it feels great, once my tire is fixed I’ll be at the top of the world again. Till then I shall endure and overcome!

To my vets:
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”
Start with yourself and if you like where your at then step forward and help another vet.
If you don’t like where your at then contact Stop  Solider Suicide and let them get you where you need to be! No shame in bettering yourself.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Day 80

Today’s Miles: 30.1
Total Miles: 1578.5
54 Running Days (The off days are so unneeded..)

Today I woke up ready to hit the road. I was unable to get my two new pairs of shoes, new tubes for my cart, and a few other small things. I was able to go get gloves and wool socks and some other things that were in the box I was waiting on but the shoes and tubes were the biggest things.

I hit the road once he sun cane up and felt great. It was like a child who learned to walk for the first time kind of giddy. Leaving the city was crowded but I got it done just slower than I would have liked I was ready to stretch the legs.

Once out of town I took off. The cart weighs more now than ever but once I got it going it wasn’t bad: I had just as many down hills as up hills and the up hills are much better.

At about 20 miles in my front tire takes a small rock and puts a hole in it...... if only I would have gotten my box so I had more tubes. (Arequipa has 8 cycling stores and they all told me the front tire was to small to order through them.)
I spent the next 10 miles pumping up the front tire every quarter mile or so.
Not sure what to do at this point but I’ll make it work.
Just a big kick to me while I felt down is all.
All that time waiting for a box that didn’t come and then a flat.
(No fix a flat or tube patches down here from what I have been told and seen)
Anyone else has ideas let me know.

I set up camp around 3 and put up the new tent. Easier than the last one and has a better entrance for a single man mountaineering tent. Couldn’t have asked for a better set up.

I set up my tiny propane tanks and am cooking quinoa as I write this. It’ll be nice to be able to cook some. Even if it’s just potatoes or carrots I buy off locals.

I sit here writing this staring off into the distance. All I can see are these beautiful snow capped mountain tops. My body longs to be there already. My mind wants to wonder into what it’s going to be like. The sting in my lungs with the first cold morning breathe. The sound of the snow crunching under my feet. The animals and birds making noises as I run by. It’s going to be wonderful.

To my vets:

Never give up. Because you are never out of the fight. It doesn’t matter if you wait and things never show. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been kicked while your down and something else goes wrong: you are a veteran. You are stronger than most can comprehend. You are able to see things differently than 99 percent of the population because you are the 1 percent that served. So use It to your advantage.
Be strong, be courageous, and be humble. I love you all and I’m not quitting on any of you no matter what life throws at me out here.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Day 77-79

Well, in the morning I leave out again to run. Way to many days off and I am very disappointed in the fact my gear was suppose to be here on the 5th at the latest. So I will continue on without it.
1000+ miles on these shoes and I had two pair in my box. So I will suck it up and continue with these shoes. Just so much I won’t have but it’s okay, I have an mentally strong will push through this.

I will do a 50k like I have been tomorrow but I will be taking the mileage up to try and make up for some of this off time. It would be way easier to run more if I had a crew member but I’ll get it done. My cart will weigh in around 80lbs and it will only make me stronger.

Thank you for everyone who hasn’t given up on me, daily updates will begin again tomorrow.

I want to him a huge shout out to my mom for everything she has done while I’ve been trapped in this city. You are an amazing woman and mom! Thank you!!

Thank you to Stop a Solider Suicide for staying true and strong behind me as well.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Day 73-76

Just wanting to give a short update.
I thought I would be gone by now.
If it takes to much longer I will just have to buy what I am able to down here and just leave.
I still don’t have my two boxes with gear.
I am highly disappointed and upset with Cabellas, FedEx, The Postal Service,  and the company down here.
This is just unacceptable. They delivered a small package which only contained a knife. Why would they not delivery everything at the same time.
Rant over:

As for me, I am doing well. Spending more money than I need to but I am eating good food and have a bed to sleep in. I feel like I have ran/walked this whole city twice.
I am getting unbelievably stir crazy. I am ready to hit the road. My legs tell me everyday they are ready to leave.

As crowded and busy as the city is I miss my alone time out in the nature with nothing around. It was peaceful and relaxing.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Day 62-72

I arrived in the city during this time and was suppose to get my cold weather gear on the 3rd. It’s now the 10th and it’s been a real struggle fighting the company I bought the gear from and the Peruvian government.
Still no packages as of today.
Tomorrow I’ll be doing a full update on here for everyone.
I’ll also be doing a Facebook live video for my veterans.

As of right now, I’m still in the fight. I few great and I’ve been ready to get back on the road for several days now.

I love each and everyone one of my vet brothers and sisters! Stay strong talk to you all tomorrow.
To everyone else thank you for following during my journey and during this past week or so of no service and me at the mercy of my packages.

We bought the gear and had it mailed 12 days before I was to arrive in the city. It’s now 7 days pst when I was suppose to get it.

I’ll be headed southeast to Chile and over the mountains very soon.
15-18,000 ft elevation gain at the highest point depending on my exact path. Each day brings 10,000+ elevation gain and loss as I go up and down to get over them.

Tomorrow I’ll go back to my daily updates and give a full update of this last week