Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Days 172-184

Miles: 407
Total: 4,205.5
140 Running Days 

Two days till I fly to Buenos Aires! 

Go check out my Facebook video! 

South America is done and getting ready to fly to Lisbon! 

Sorry that this post is really short, I had a big push to get to Buenos Aires when I did and didn’t really focus on updating the blog.
If your not following on Facebook, there’s daily updates there no matter what.

Dustin Johnson’s World Record Run

It’s ran by myself and my family, so if I can’t update it they do.

One day left in BA and tomorrow I fly to Lisbon! 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Day 170/171

Off Day and then today was 30.0 Miles.
First off day in awhile, it was pouring down rain all day and I needed to get some work done so it worked out.
3,795.5 Total Miles
129 Running Days

The off day went really well and I was able to get a lot done!
Today was great, hit 25 miles really quick then... the snake
You all will have to read the snake post! It was crazy!


Be the light in their moment of darkness!


Today, I must share a story with you. On this journey I have only had one animal encounter that truly had me worried. It was over a month ago coming down from the mountains and it was 3 very large “jungle cats”, (I don’t know exactly what kind but very big the police said probably a Jaguar since they were super common in the area at night)

Well today, I can add to the list.
I was just minding my own business running along the side of the road. The grass/weeds are tall where I am right now, in some areas,  as tall as my knees (I’m 6’3”).

Today, a very large snake, at least, 6-7 foot long and bigger round than a baseball bat tried to take me out.

As I’m running I notice small movement in a bush. I don’t think anything of it, it could be the wind, a rabbit, or many other things that occur everyday. Today was different. Out came this massive snake that was ready for a fight.

Needless to say I immediately jumped several feet into the air and my heart starts racing. He misses me and I land near the road with traffic flowing. I swiftly move around and get off the road and he’s still coming at me. He strikes again and I tried jumping over him. (At this point I also am contemplating kicking him extremely hard but talk myself out of it) I land and as I’m landing he is already striking at me again... this time his head/upper area hits my shin and I thought at that moment he got me, but he didn’t, just turned the skin red. He curls up at me and I’m now trying to just keep distance and run away but it’s hard with such tall bushes and traffic so thick I didn’t want to run into a bush with more of them. He strikes a final time and this time he lands on the ground before me and I land on top of him just behind his head. (Which freaked me out even more) luckily he didn’t want anymore of me after that and slowly slithered away into the brush but looking back at me as I ran very quickly away once I realized he was moving on. I get up to my mom (1/4 mile) with my hands on my head, face white, breathing heavy, and asked her if she seen what happen. I was still freaking out and was trying to get the words out....

After that, camping for my mom was out of the question for the night. And I’ll let her tell you all her side of the story!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Day 168/169

2 Day: 68.8
Total: 3,765.5
128 Running Days

Short post today. It’s been a long two days. Cold weather, lots of wind, and plenty of interesting animals.

The 4th largest species of spider in the world, a 6ft long snake curled up striking at me, and a greater rhea just a few feet away before taking off.

I’m in Bahia Blanca, headed up to Buenos Aires where I’ll fly out in the 31st. (That’s when my moms flight is. I have 400 miles of running left in Argentina and South America will be compete!

I’m sooo beyond ready for Europe!

Thank you to all the new followers buying shirts from Germany and Belgium! It means a lot!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Day 167

Miles: 30.0
Total: 3,696.7
126 Running

The weather was cold and windy all day. I had no pants due to finally finding a place to do some laundry, so it made for a cold day in shorts.

The first ten miles came quick and I felt great but that’s about when the wind picked up and slowed me down. Head winds that feel like razors on the face is not fun.

I did meet a friend today! I just add, this little guy was very confident. I touched him, moved stuff around him, and nevertheless he kept on doing his thing. (He’s like that quite guy of the ground that doesn’t talk because he knows what he is capable of) after getting a few pictures I let him be. I wasn’t about to let him make an example of me! What was this friend I met? A spider the size of my hand! No joke, it was literally that big! Crawled right in front of me and didn’t even care that I was touching it!

I am now just two days away from Bahia Blanca! Getting closer to a day off and to show my momma around!

15 days and I fly from Buenos Aires to Lisbon to start my European leg!

Oh hey! For any of you who haven’t thought about this.
You only have 3 months left in this decade, go make them count!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Day 165/166

Two Day Total: 65.5
Trip Total: 3,666.7
125 Running Days

The last two days have been really interesting for weather!
One day at 80 and a little hot then the night tempt at 35 the next day at 50 with strong cool winds.

Some cool animals that have been seen the last two days.
A huge rabbit!? Super long ears, legs way longer than normal, and much skinnier!
We seen a Greater Rhea! The cousin of an ostrich! Super cool, they are ridiculously fast and spook very easy. Hard to get a picture of but I think we got a few. They lift their heads and look at you and next thing you know they take off and don’t look back. Dust flying and they cover ground so fast.

Okay, funny story, it happened a few days ago but I forgot to tell everyone!
(It’s stormy outside)
I’m running down the side of the road in the grass and burrs and a police truck passes me and hits a U-Turn quick. The driver jumps out fast but his partner is very slow to get out and walk around the back of the truck. The guy asked my name and out of my adrenaline kicking in because of how fast they turned around and got out I yelled No Habla Espanol, (I don’t speak Spanish) the guy laughs and looks at his partner who by now was just making his way to my side of the truck. I look up at him and I’m not kidding. Thumbs tucked in belt with a cigar sitting above his ear with a HUGE mustache.. The police officer I was talking to looks at him and says Ingles. I was about to tell them I do speak Spanish but before I could the officer with his thumbs in his belt looks me dead in the eye sticks out his hand and says, “Hooowdy Frrriend” with a slow drawl. I laughed so hard they both started laughing with me.
I told them what I was doing and where I was headed and they took a picture of my ID and sent me on my way. As they were leaving, I assume to just get another laugh, they both said Howdy Friend as they drive off! Talk about hilarious! I couldn’t stop laughing. Every time I got bored the rest of the day and even today I would run past my mom and just wave and say howdy friend to her. She was confused till I told her the story now she thinks it’s hilarious!

I am 3 days from Bahia Blanca and looking forward to showing my mom some Argentinian culture! Hopefully!

If anyone has had some experience with European Christmas message me!
I’m really eager to see what it is going to be like!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Days 161-164

4 Day Total: 112.1 (The day leaving Santa Rosa, we left at noon and only ran till 4)
Total Miles: 3,601.2
123 Running Days

The last few days have been good!

Santa Rosa unfortunately wasn’t the tourist place I was hoping for so I could show my mother around, really it was a normal small town with very little going on and the artisanal shop was very small.

Down here there is a mid day siesta where everything closes between 2-6. So there was nothing to do during that time and restaurants don’t open till 9, which we didn’t want to stay up for. So, really it was a stop to get her a new phone cord and to try a little food. I really hope Bahia Blanca is better! Salta, Jujuy, and Purmacana was so cool.... she would have loved it! The 7 colored mountains, the arts and crafts, the foods, the people and culture, the kids marching the streets playing music, it was awesome!

Today will be a short post, as I did the live yesterday there isn’t a whole lot to talk about and I really need to finalize this video content so we can shoot it!

Thanks for everyone’s support and continued effort! Mucho Amor!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Day 160

Miles: 35.1
Total Miles: 3,489.1
119 Running Days

Today was a great day, it was beautiful outside and stayed near 65°F all day. If it wasn’t for a slight head wind it would have been perfect!

Headed out around 9, got some really good miles in when I thought something was following me but I really wasn’t sure. So, when I caught up to the car for refreshments my mom quickly rolled down the window and told me a dog had been following me for several miles. The dog was staying in the tall grass and moving from one side of the road to the other apparently. After I got some pineapple juice I started off again and so did the dog. I was getting a kick out of it at this point and just stopped running. Turned around and gave the ole high pitch voice saying come here boy and a good whistle a shot and sure enough he came running quick! He loved me! I named him Oso (bear in Spanish). He ran several more miles before I felt bad and didn’t want him to get lost or to far from home. So, I gave him some treats on the ground and took off running fast. By the time he was done (I assume) I was out of sight and I didn’t see him anymore. But it sure was fun to watch him run with me and see him jumping bushes and running in and out of the tall grass. It was like he was in a doggy running dream.

At 330 I stopped today and called it at 35. I am now 65 from Santa Rosa and really hoping to finally be able to show my mom some authentic Argentinian foods and crafts. It shows a Craft Market so I hope it’s a good one. Then off to Bahia Blanca down by the sea (the ocean is my mother’s favorite place to be)

I was able to confirm with the World Runners Association and we finalized a European route! 17 countries and almost 4,450 miles! It’s going to be amazing! If anyone lives there or knows anyone who does feel free to reach out! My route is posted on all forms of social media! Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Tonight will be a late night for me. Much later than normal. I am staying up because I have some pretty great ideas I’m working on and I really wanna get them ready to be put to work and let the world see it! It’s going to be great I can’t wait to share! #videocomingaoon

I just want to give a few quick shout outs to some people (if I leave you out I apologize!)

I want to say thank you to Nikki and Clare back home holding down the fort while my mother is away. Also, thank you for the gummy candy. Anyone that knows me knows I don’t eat much sweets at all and I don’t like chocolate. So that was very thoughtful to get one of my favorites! I appreciate it!

I want to say thank you to my father, Mike Johnson. Dad, without you I don’t know where I would be. To this day I still keep the very first letter you ever wrote me in boot camp. It’s been folded up and placed in my wallet and been everywhere I’ve ever been. I’ve never been without it. And when the going gets tough, I’ll unfold it and give it a quick read. It’s  not a long letter, but it sure is heavy.

I also want to give Stop Solider Suicide a shout out. The men and woman at SSS care so much. They are the lighthouse in the face of a very ugly storm. They shine bright in the moment of darkness. They give Hope to all our veterans and their families! Thank you for what you do, and thank you for being the hero we all need right now! The veteran community thanks you with all our hearts!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Day 159

Miles: 28.3
Total Miles: 3,454
118 Running Days

Today was quite different than any other day since my mother has come down. I started a few hours late due to the hospitality of our hotel owners and staff. So, we sat, had coffee together and some croissants baked with honey glaze. We chatted till close to ten and then I decided to take off.

At around 15 miles in we found a little cafe and decided to not rush the day since I already had a late start and enjoyed some lunch together. We sat there for about a hour and a half and just talked about this crazy journey and a little about my ideas when I come home. It was nice to just relax for a little bit and not worry about the miles or the road. I have such a strong pull to two things that I believe I will love to do when I get home!

Today proved to me that even when you slow down, even when you stop and enjoy the little things, you can still get some good miles in and turn a few bad days into a good week.

I stopped running at 430 and called it a day. I was getting hungry and no one likes a hungry Dustin...
We found a little cafe that had a stone oven. I ordered a pizza topped with mozzarella cheese, three eggs, and French fries on top. Mom had a steak burger with egg, cheese, and some fries. Both came with a Argentinian founded sauce called salsa golf. For anyone unfamiliar Salsa Golf is Ketchup mixed with Mayo, pimento, and oregano. It was founded in Mar Del Plata is the 1920s at a country club which is how it gots its name. Since then plenty of restaurants and fast food joints around the world have used it.

Today I crossed into a new region called La Pampa which is connected to the Patagonia!

There were lots of birds in the sky today. I seen many little flicks of these small light green almost lime green birds flying everywhere! So difficult to get any good photos they fly so fast.
I seen some rabbits and many farm animals. They have a huge Agriculture University that I passed today where the students tend the land and all the animals. It was really nice and the land looked very well taken care of. The animals had hundreds of not thousands of acres to roam. No gates or fences. No pens and kennels. Just a ton of animals to roam wherever they want.

Just about 700 miles left here in Argentina then it’s up to Portugal where I will tackle Europe in the up coming winter... yuck.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Day 158

Miles: 34.0
Total Miles: 3,425.7
117 Runnings Days

Today... it started out cold with strong winds. Starting the day with head wind always makes for an interesting start. Luckily, for me, by about 11 the wind stopped and by noon it started warming up. Around two it was in the low sixties and stayed that way for the rest of the day.

Nothing quite describes the feeling of freedom I get when I can take my hoodie off, put some shorts on, and regardless of the surrounding get into a groove. At two, I didn’t have music (no service) but a mellow rhythm took over my body to the tune of Silhouette and Song Bird. A soft sweet movement that had me moving my hands, swaying back and forth, and moving about the grass like I was the only one there. No care, no worry; just me, the road, and sweet Kenny G playing is sax in my head.

We found a hotel to stay at and the people are amazing. They have such thick accents. I would compare it to Cajun in America as far as how they pronounce their words. The room was 17 dollars, has a queen bed, and two teen beds, a nice bathroom and shower. They sell drinks and don’t rip you off, when we went to the store the hotel only charges 15 pesos more for their drinks. That’s about 25 cents. I was able to have them sign my journey book and I’ll actually get to start out in the morning with some fresh coffee.

The kindness continues daily down here in South America. People stopping asking if I need a ride, offering water, and just checking on me. Even the police are willing to help me get water or offer a ride.

Unfortunately for my mother she came down and within a day we were in the middle of nothing but farm lands. I really look forward to showing her the local foods, customs, and tradition. The one I have gotten to show her I’m not sure how she feels about trying it.
Yerba Mate, a local Argentinian drink shared amongst friends, family, and sometimes for and energy drink. It’s a green leaf that gets put in a cup with a straw and sugar added and passed around.
Go check it out! Empanadas are really big down here and she has seen those too, but I look forward to the really traditional stuff!!

Dogs are still finding me and sticking with me for miles at a time. I absolutely love it but sometimes it rips my heart open when I have to part ways with them. They seemed so happy to be by me, and bam they are on their own again. I bet these dogs if they were to get adopted would be the mostly loyal loving dogs!

So, I have a title idea for my book. Let me know what everyone thinks.

The Long Way Home: A Journey to Save Veteran Lives


The Long Way Home

Friday, October 4, 2019

Day 157

Miles: 30.1
Total Miles: 3,391.7
116 Running Days

Today was sluggish. 
It started out cold and windy, a few hours in it became misty with a slight sprinkle. 

My body was tired from yesterday and really just didn’t want to get up and move quick today. I luckily had my mother there who placed a hand on my shoulder and told me I didn’t have to do it alone. That she would stop whenever I needed a break and we would get where we were going no matter how long it took. So, with that a slowed down and took my time. 
I didn’t rush anything and really just zoned out and put one foot in front of the other. 

I don’t listen to music most days, but today I put some Kenny G on and let that saxophone put a fire back in my soul. I let it guide me and pace me. I needed it. 

There really wasn’t much scenery today, farm land and lots of it. A few cows, some land with tea growing, and some corn. 

Tonight I really hope I get a good nights rest and wake up ready to run. Tomorrow will be 35 miles no matter what. 

The post from here on out should start getting more detailed and descriptive. Tonight I’m just tired, but I’ll try my best most days to write them like I did yesterday. 

I created a Twitter and an Instagram if you want to follow me for pictures and details and what’s coming up in the future. 

Running For Vets in both of them is the name 
On Twitter you can also tag me with @runningvets 

Stay tune for an amazing video features some heroes all across the nation! 
Really trying my best to reach as many people as possible. 
If I can reach 1 million people that’s still less than 1% of the entire United States. 

Love you all! Stay strong, stay true, and in the morning wake up and pursue the day like you woke up in purpose! 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Day 156

Miles: 29.5
Total Miles: 3,361.6
115 Running Days

Today the weather forecast felt like I was in Missouri again.
Woke up and it looked like the forecast had 47-65 all day with it being cloudy  and a 0% chance of rain all day.

A hour into my run I felt great, got my normal 6-7 miles in and then everything went south quick.
Clouds rolled in fast and dark. The wind picked up. Next thing you know it’s raining, the wind made me feel  like i had a parachute on trying to move forward, and it began to hail (about BB size). The weather stayed this way all day. My face became irritated having the wind blow on it for hours, it began to feel like small razor blades were cutting me.. The temperate dropped down to high 30s, and the hail made for a very sore head and some beat up legs. The only real thing that kept me wanting more miles was coffee and the occasional ability to sit in the car and out of the weather. At times I wanted to sit there all day, but I knew inside that car I was wasting time and miles.

The funny thing is this morning I asked my mom if she could drive ahead and find some coffee for my Stanley. She of course went knowing that I would need some kind of pick me up with conditions like this. My mom is a huge coffee drinker and she just can’t get the hang of it here. “It’s so strong” she warms me as she hands me my Stanley. What she calls strong, I call savory and a life saver. Cafe de leche with a small amount of sugar. Each sip slowly warmed my body and helped keep the fire burning inside me.

Today was a huge representation as to what getting rid of that cart meant for me. It was more than just flat tires and rough terrain. It was more than slowing me down and only allowing few supplies.
That cart was also something that was dragging my spirit. It was sitting on the side of the road with my stuff getting wet, it was pushing it in mud with no way of getting anything hot to drink. It was lonely roads when I needed someone the most. A smile, a laugh, a compliment, something that keeps you going when the road gets tough. Me having a crew (my mother right now) provides me with the ability to keep loving forward when otherwise would have been near impossible. It’s relentless forward process when nature throws you a curve ball.

I also had two federal police officers pull off and ID check me and ask lots of questions. For anyone not familiar with Argentinas police they really only have two. What I would call local and federal. Local look like normal police officers, drive normal police trucks (mostly) and the federal ones wear Kevlar vets and drive nicer vehicles and look more business oriented. The first one stopped me and it’s pouring down rain, he gets out (no umbrella) and proceeded to put himself in the elements just like I was. He asked where I was coming from and where I was headed. My Spanish is getting much better but there are still things I don’t understand or can’t communicate just yet without my translator (my mom had my phone) but you should have seen his face when I told him my mom left to get coffee and is coming back. All he could do was laugh and ask why she didn’t take me with her and he asked what I did wrong. He took a picture of my passport and let me go on my way thankfully after I kept telling him I couldn’t get in his truck for him to take me to the place where my mom was. The second one I luckily had my translator and let him know everything I was doing and he was very happy to hear of an American enjoying Argentina even though it was freezing and raining. He said he wished people looked at his home country with more light and openness.

Today showed me so much more that a crew is good for me whether I feel like I can do it alone or not. I’ll be looking for anyone interested in crewing for Europe soon. If your interested let me know and we can exchange details.

During the rain and hail I didn’t see much. Traffic going by splashing water on me getting my shoes even more wet. A few cows in the pasture hiding under a tree and a small green lizard that seemed to be taking a bath. Today was full of nothing but mental fortitude and thankfulness for my mother.

I do want to give a huge shout out to XOSkin for some killer socks. My shoes and socks got soaked yes. I have knit uppers on my shoes, but with my feet being so wet and so cold I came out with no blisters and my feet never got to cold. And thank you to Orange Mud for an amazing bag that allowed for me to have all my stuff with me without any of it getting wet! Crucial!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Day 152-155

4 Day Total: 110.47
Total Miles: 3,332.1

Had a short 15 mile day a few days ago due to some issues, but other than that hitting 32 daily which is now the plan because of my mother’s flight. Was wishing for some time to really put some miles in  (38-42 daily), but that’ll have to wait to Europe.

Europe is coming quick. I’ll fly to Lisbon October 31st and be there mid day November 1st.
The route will be posted soon.
Also stay tune for Twitter and Instagram as well.

The blog is difficult to keep up with in these low service zones so I apologize. It needs so much data to even load the page let alone post something.

I have a few ideas for book names if anyone is interested in helping me choose let me know!

The last few days have been alright. Nothing special as far as scenery. My mother know understandably the side of the road conditions much better too. I pulled several huge thorns from my shoe at least a inch long that were stabbing my feet. The unevenness and gravel/brush make it hard too but much easier now that there isn’t a cart.

The heat has been a factor trying to get used to it again, and the wind has been really strong. Unfortunately mostly head winds.

This is all just one more thing that makes this world run so much more unique. The everyday challenges.

Thanks to everyone still following along and again, there will soon be a Twitter and Instagram for easier following for those that don’t get on here much or just use those social outlets more often.

My birthday is coming up soon so we will be doing a fundraiser for that. And if anyone else has any good ideas for fundraisers feel free to reach out and let me know! Thank you! (If anyone is interested in preordering a book let me know also, the book won’t come out till a few months after I’m home so quite sometime but it would be easy to go ahead and set some stuff up and preorder so you already have one paid for and ordered)

Goodnight and stay strong!