Day 1 // Lewes, Delaware to Milton, DE // 18 miles // total: 18m Day 2 // Milton, DE to Bridgeville, DE // 15 miles // total: 33m Day 3 // Bridgeville, DE to Denton, MD // 22 miles // total: 55m Day 4 // Denton, MD to Tuckahoe State Park // 11 miles // total: 66m Day 5-6 // 0m // God Damned Knee Problems
Day 7 // 0m // Was picked up by trail angel Serenda, she brought me to her wonderful home so I could rest and heal my knee.
And there we were, New York City, April 13th, 2014, it was time to hit the road, and start might walk across America. The morning we left the apartment was filled with excitement, no one knew what to expect. It was as if we were in a dream. I had been planning this moment in my head for months, years even, my journey, was just beginning.
My partner Alejandro, Burning Daylight co-creator Lorena, good friends Sam, Humberto, Layla, Juliana, Andrianna, Evan, Bryk , Erik, me, and a couple dogs drove down to Delaware in Harvey the RV. Harvey is this big hippy bus, the only vehicle suitable to send a friend on a walk across America. We did a farewell show at a local favorite bar, Irish eyes, featuring my dear comedy friends Erik Bergstrom, and Alex Grubarb. It was a wonderful show and we all partied the night away. The next morning we played on the beach and then we drove to my first campground of the trip in State Henlopen Park. It was actually my first campsite I had ever set up. I mean, I have been camping, but the kind where you drive your car up and unload your huge tent and lounge chairs. This was the real deal. I was about to say goodbye to my partner, my dog, my friends, my life as I knew it. I was going to live out of a cart. And I would travel on foot, making my way 3,000 miles to the West Coast.
The R.V. drove away and I was there with my thoughts, and my cart. I built a fire right after they left, not realizing in my excitement it would still be daylight for some hours to come. I sat with my fire, in the daylight, looked at my maps, drank a few beers, and waited, for the reality to sink in.
The weather was chilly and windy, and after further review realized it would be storming most of the following day. Instead of a possible day one walk in the rain, I decided I would wait out the 14th, and start on the morning of the 15th when weather was supposed to clear to blue skys.
I went to bed that night, knowing, I had stayed off the inevitable for a few more hours at least.
The morning of the 14th the weather was damp and cool, the storm was to move in mid-day and I decided to get out and explore the park and nearby surrounding places. I found a small diner to grab breakfast and my meal cost $7, I was in God’s country now, God… was cheeeap.
Walking back to camp the wind started to pick up and a light rainfall fell. I zipped myself in the tent and prepared for a long day in my sleeping bag. I had everything I needed, a few beers, 2 gallons of water, snacks, and maybe a Real Housewives episode I had uploaded to my computer;)
As the day wore on the wind got more and more intense, by night fall, the temperature dropped 30 degrees, the rain turned to snow, snow turned to hale, and my tent and I were holding on for dear life. It wasn't until the next day I realized, it had actually been a really bad storm, locals were shocked I had made it through without an issue. We had made it over our first hurtle, knowing, there would be many more to come.
I started April 15th, 2014 on a beach in Henlopen State Park - Lewes, DE. The first few steps with my cart were.... weird. I had walked, and trained, but nothing prepares you for the moment you take those first steps.
The Delaware beach was the perfect backdrop to start my adventure. From that moment on, my eyes were set west. 18 miles in the first day and it was a breeze. I made it to the farmhouse that was keeping me for the night and the farm hand gave me a ride to the Dogfish Head Brewery. It couldn't have been a better end to a long first day! I had some nice cold brews and also there were two old hippie guys that we started talking to. One of the men had a corporate job but traded it all in for an RV and travels the country. He was in love with what I was doing and ironically had just been at the State Park that morning and thought to himself... "That person must be crazy camping in that storm". Hhaha, that was me!
Next up was Mack's place. He is an 80 year old folk musician who gave me moonshine. We stayed up well into the night drinking, telling stories and picking the guitar. Growing up I would pick the guitar with my Papaw and the song we would always sing was "Blue Moon of Kentucky". Mack and I gave it a try.
The morning I left Denton, MD my left knee was hurting. I had walked 55 miles in 3 days and until I started walking I had never really practiced walking while pushing the cart full of equipment, so I figured it was just sore and I decided to push through. After all, the walk from Denton to Tuckahoe was only 11 miles, that would be a breeze compared to my first couple days. I was about half way to my campground when the pain began to get worse and worse. Any time I would bend my knee the pain was excruciating. I had never been in pain like this before and I was beginning to walk with a limp.
I pushed through like a war hero and limped into camp. It was Easter weekend and the campground was almost full. I began to unload my cart and set up my tent when a woman approached. "There is not a baby in there is it? No, I answered. I explained what I was doing, she was thrilled, and invited me over after I settled in.
Beth and Geoff gave me food, booze and friendship after I hobbled into camp. They were Angels!! The next day everyone left camp and I was the only one still camping. I was hoping my knee would magically feel better.... it didn't.
I had met Serinda months before. She lived near the coast in Delaware and a lot of cross country hiker's and biker's would stay with her at the beginning or ends of their trips. She had been keeping up with me and offered I come stay with the family for a few days until I got to feeling better. Her family was the best and I got to hang out with this Kitten for 3 days while my knee healed!