Walk Update Happy Holidays From Roswell

Alien christmas tree

The days come and go.  One step after another leads to slow and methodical progress.  We are now approaching 900 miles since we started our journey in Oceanside, California, with the border of Texas in our sights.  It is hard to imagine that we have come so far, yet there is so much farther to go.

It has become routine now.  There is still the issue of logistics, finding a good route in each area we are camping.  Some walking spots are alongside roads with cars and trucks whizzing by.  In many cases the shoulders are large enough to feel comfortable, yet we are always cautious not to get too close.  Some walking spots are through towns, and others off the beaten track.  They all provide interesting experiences along with various challenges.

As the holidays approach, we are thankful for the ability to get up each and every morning and experience all this great land has to offer.  That includes the people, the cultures, the landscape, oh and in some cases the local cuisine.  Although we mainly eat in the RV and bring our lunches with us, every now and then, you have to experience the local fare, like the Laguna Burger in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  It said it was world-famous after all and it didn’t disappoint.

Walking as much as we do, it is hard to out eat the calories we are burning each day.  Fitbit tells me that I am burning on average, 4,000 calories per day.  That is double what is typically considered the standard intake of calories I should be consuming, and therefore I have lost a few pounds.  Weight loss for me was not wanted as I am virtually down to my high school weight.  However, with help from our resident Registered Dietitian and good friend, Ann Klauke, I have been able to level out and hope to add those few pounds back on over time.  Plus, peanut butter and honey sandwiches are delicious.

Most everything is holding up well.  I have to battle calluses on my feet no matter how often I switch out my shoes.  That’s not a new problem however, but it adds to the pain when walking.  I also still get some cramping, especially walking uphill for long stretches, and have to battle numb feet from the decreased circulation.  Some of that has improved as we put more miles behind us.

Kate has recently been experiencing some back pain as well, which is interesting, I mean who knew that Robo-Kate would get aches and pains.  At one point along our journey, I entertained the thought that the girl wasn’t human.  I had a hard time keeping up with her.  She has more energy than the Energizer bunny.  Still, we are able to manage these issues and keep moving forward each day regardless of how we feel.  A few well-timed breaks have helped.  Sometimes we have to tell ourselves that we aren’t spring chickens anymore, although I’m not sure even spring chickens could keep up with us.

Upon arriving at our new location in Roswell, we chatted with the owner of the RV park.  It turns out that her husband had a heart transplant in his mid-50’s.  This all culminated from an injury he experienced in his 20’s.  After the injury, the doctors told him he would have to take it easy and most likely wouldn’t be able to go back to work.  He decided to start walking.  Yep, walking, simple as that, everyday.  Six months later he was back to work.

Eventually, almost 30 years later, the heart transplant was necessary, however the walking helped get him back on his feet, no pun intended (OK, it was intended), and back to a somewhat normal life.  No matter what your age, or what your fitness goals are, whether it be weight loss, general good health, or toning up your muscles, never underestimate the value of simple walking.  After all, our bodies were designed to move.

With that said, I wish everyone peace, love, and joy for the holiday season and into 2018.  Start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions and make sure you add a walking routine to your list.  In the meantime, we will be spending Christmas with the aliens here in Roswell and will send along your best wishes.

Walk Across America Update

Trail 2


When deciding to walk across America, the main goal was to inspire people to get moving.  It is so important to stay active in order to attempt to avoid heart disease.  Sure there are a lot of factors that contribute to the disease, however staying active is a simple way to help maintain a healthy heart.  That goal remains the top priority of the walk.

Other goals have become evident as we continue across the country.  We are now over 700 miles into “the walk”, and I have realized that there is more to it from a personal level than just the original goal.

I have found that it is a battle of attrition.  By that I mean walking 10 to 20 miles everyday can become tiring.  Beyond that, it is a test of living a more difficult life.  I realized that more today when reading about settlers that ventured into the Albuquerque region in 1598.  I began to think about what life must have been like back then, compared to our lives today.  Nothing was easy, from the physical demands, right down to procuring and preparing of food.  Everything we take for granted today, like the ease of bathing and eating, was a chore.

Admittedly, we are not exactly “roughing it”, however, it is a long way from living in a house with all the conveniences that life in the 21st century provides.  I want to prove to myself that I can persevere.  This includes all the logistics that goes into planning routes on a daily basis, living with less stuff, the physical demands, and dealing with all the challenges that come our way during this journey.  It hasn’t been overly easy, but then again, we have heat, running water (if it doesn’t freeze), and grocery stores (at least in most places we stay).

It is a test to some degree, and I know I have led a pretty easy life thus far.  However, challenging  yourself now and then is a good thing.  Knowing that you can rise above the inconveniences can prove a lot, not to others, but to yourself.  That is what is truly important.

As for the walk itself, it hasn’t gone completely as expected, however, we get up every  morning and have been able to meet the physical demands that each day has laid in front of us, at least, thus far, fingers crossed.  It has also brought a bevy of memories that we will never forget.  This includes the beauty our country offers, stuff you don’t see from the freeway.  The landscape, the wildlife, the sunsets, terrain, and all the different cultures we have experienced thus far.

America is truly an amazing place.  We have seen folks living the California dream near the ocean, and those struggling to exist as we moved inland.  We have walked through Hispanic, Asian, as well as Native American communities.  One thing remains consistent, all the people we have met have been friendly and accommodating.

As we walked through Navajo country in eastern Arizona, I wasn’t sure exactly what to make of it.  That included the laws of the area, there are signs telling you that you that you are no longer under US jurisdiction, as well as whether or not you are welcomed in the area.  I’ll admit, this was all new to us.  I am glad to say that we have been welcomed and treated extremely well.  We have been offered water and given advice.  it has truly warmed our hearts.

We have walked on busy roads, desolate trails, up mountains, through rough terrain, through busy city streets, and in off the beaten path residential areas.  With virtually every step, we attempt to take in all that is around us including the beauty, the people, the wildlife (have to be careful there), and of course the hazards.

We have encountered some ares that we simply couldn’t walk.  Our planned route took us up mountain roads that seems unsafe to drive let alone walk.  Fortunately, there have only been a few of those.  In cases like that, we find alternate paths, some of which have come in state and national parks.  Those to me have been the most enjoyable to walk for various reasons.  One thing I have enjoyed is the challenge of navigating a course through the park.  It’s not always straight forward, and the trails are not always marked.  Additionally, there have been areas that truly test your conditioning.  This includes elevation changes, along with the ability to overcome various obstacles (cactus, rocks, snakes, and more).  At the end of the day, it is these “parks” that have provided the most beauty from an aesthetic standpoint.  Here are the parks that we have walked through:

  • The Painted Desert and Petrified Forest – Arizona
  • Bright Angel Trail – Grand Canyon, Arizona
  • Coachella Valley Preserve – Thousand Palms, California
  • Indian Canyon – Palm Springs, California
  • Joshua Tree National Park – So Cal
  • Prescott National Forest – Prescott, Arizona
  • Willow Lake Trail – Prescott, Arizona
  • Bell Rock Path – Sedona, Arizona
  • Red Rock State Park, Gallup, New Mexico
  • Cibola National Forest – Wingate, New Mexico
  • Three Gun Spring Trail Head, Albuquerque, New Mexico

I can’t wait to see what is next and yet try not to look too far ahead in our journey.  It’s tough enough to plan for the day ahead without having to look at what will be awaiting us as we move into Texas and beyond.  In that regard, the old live everyday to the fullest philosophy applies, which is exactly what we are doing.  That is a philosophy that is truly good for the heart!

700 miles down, and 1800 to go.  To be honest, I am looking forward to North Myrtle beach.