ROYAL GORGE, COLORADO 8-27-01
Today is August 27th. Today is the actual day that I had brain surgery 20 yrs ago. Today marks 20 yrs since I've been seizure free.
Today is my 20th anniversary.
Yesterday was a beautiful day to be walking. I really enjoyed going through the canyon and following the river as it winds around. I saw about a dozen people out fly fishing as I was walking.
The fellow at the KOA Campground said he'd haul my cart today. He said that 8 miles down the road was a cafe, so when I got there I stopped for breakfast. I only had five dollars in my pocket so I ended up using a credit card to pay for my breakfast.
I continued on and was thoroughly enjoying the spectacular scenery. At one point I came around a corner and there was a little red pickup parked off the road. A lady got out and started walking toward me. She introduced herself and said she worked for the photo company that takes and develops all the pictures of the people river rafting. She said she saw the newspaper article and noticed it mentioned I was low on film. She then handed me a package of 10 rolls of 35mm 400 36ct film! Boy was I surprised! She said she'd been watching for me for a couple of days. We visited for quite awhile and before she left she handed me $20 "for lunch."
When I got to the intersection where you turn off to go see Royal Gorge, there are some gift shops, restaurants, and river rafting shops right there. The KOA Campground was just down the road. First I went to the 2 rafting places, hoping to get a good deal on a rafting trip. The first place said $59, but the 2nd place said they'd give me half price and only charge me $25, so I took it.
So today at noon I'm going rafting down the Arkansas River through the Royal Gorge. It'll have class 3 & 4 rapids and will be 7 miles of continuous whitewater. They say this is considered the premier trip to do in Colorado. I'm looking forward to it.
After I got my rafting trip I went next door to a gift shop. I walked in and the lady said "So how far did you walk today?" I told her I came from Cotopaxi and mentioned that I was going next door to eat lunch and that I'd probably sit there for a couple hours because my feet hurt! She then opened up her till and handed me $10 and said "Lunch is on me."
So I had a very leisurely lunch and then hobbled down to the KOA Campground and set up camp. The hot shower afterward was wonderful.
Today (mon) I'm going rafting and then will check out Buckskin Joe Frontier Town & Railway. It's just down the road from here.
Y'all take care and have a great day! KB
HOLY CROSS ABBY, CANON CITY, COLORADO 8-27-01
When I got to Canon City the lady at the Chamber of Commerce gave me directions to the Holy Cross Abbey at the east edge of town. She also called the Abbey to let them know I was on my way.
The Holy Cross Abbey is the home of 25 Benedictine Monks (priests and brothers.) St. Benedict of Italy was born over 1,500 yrs ago. He wrote a Rule of Life for Monks that greatly influenced western civilization. The Rule Of Benedict has been exceeded only by the Bible as being the most frequently copied & published book in Chrisian history. The Benedictine Order is the 2nd oldest religious institution in the western hemisphere -- the oldest being the Catholic Church itself.
A Monastery is many things: a chapel, business office, library, visiting parlors, utility rooms, guest rooms, residential rooms for monks, and much more. An Abbey is a monastery that has an Abbot, usually elected by the religious community, as its Superior.
I spent 2 nights at the Abbey and ate most meals there. The setting was back off the road with trees all around. It was quiet and peaceful and very refreshing. The people were all extremely nice to me. I thoroughly enjoyed staying there.
On Wednesday the TV News Station from Pueblo came to the Abbey and did a story about me. They ran it on the 5:00 News and told everyone if they saw me walking to honk.
Veronica Valdez of the Epilepsy Foundation in Pueblo arranged the interviews for the newspaper & TV, so she was there also. Veronica has been a great help during much of my trip, so it was nice to finally meet her.
On Thursday (today) I walked 12 miles to Penrose. Many cars & trucks honked & waved at me. One car stopped and the lady handed me $10. Another fellow on a Harley slowed way down and rode right up beside me and gave me a high-five as he passed by. And when I got to Penrose, another fellow on a motorcycle stopped and gave me 3 energy-bars and then gave me a ride out to Shirleys house 2 miles north of town. Shirley works at the Abbey and said I could stay at her house tonight.
This weekend I plan on being in Pueblo. I'll be staying at the Holiday Inn for 2 nights for free. The State Fair is going on, so maybe I'll be able to see that.
Y'all take care and have a great day! KB
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