Date: 8/26/03 6:14:34 PM !!!First Boot!!!
SHALLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA AUG 2, '03
I stayed at the Fire Station in North Myrtle Beach, SC and again in Little River, SC before I crossed the line into North Carolina and headed for Shallotte (Shuh-LOAT). The Fire Station in Little River had called up the station in Shallotte, but they said they didn't have the facilities, so they called up the EMS. They said "sure," that I could stay, so that's where I headed for.
This was the first time I had stayed at an EMS place, and the one's here are REALLY BUSY. Their radio was a LOT busier than what I was use to at the fire stations. In fact, I was the only one there most of the time. While I was sitting there watching TV, there was a knock at the door. It was an elderly gentleman who was travelig through and wanted to have his blood-sugar level checked. I wasn't sure what to do, so I called the police station (they knew I was staying there.) They said they would try to find out where the EMT's were, and then call me back. All the EMT's were busy, so she visited with him on the phone, and then he left.
The next day I headed out early, and shortly after that I saw my crew pass me on the road out on an ambulance call. They honked at me as they drove by. A few hours later, I got pulled over by a sherrif. He didn't like the fact that I was walking on the shoulder of the road and that the back heel of my cart was hanging over into the lane by about 6 inches. He told me to push my cart clear off in the grass and not to use any shoulder at all. He seemed kindof grumpy. I tried visiting with him, but he was adament about me not using any of the shoulder at all. Then I found out why. He was on his way to the hospital to check on a lady who had just been hit by a vehicle while she was walking on the side of the road. I am sure that when that call came over the radio that the EMT's thought it was me. So I pushed my cart in the grass after that.
I headed on up Hwy 17 to Town Creek, and stayed at that EMS Unit. This was a volunteer unit, so I had the building all to myself.
WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA AUG 7-8
For the last week or so, everyone's been telling me that I won't be able to cross the bridge that goes over Cape Fear, because there wasn't any shoulder to walk on. So as I was fast approaching the bridge, I wondered how I'd get across it. Well, I stopped at a convenient store and had some lunch, then asked the two ladies how far away the bridge was. Two miles, they said. I asked them how was I going to get across it, and one of them called up the local radio station and told them what I was doing. That radio station said -- on the air -- that someone in pickup needed to stop and haul me over the bridge so I could get into town. They no sooner aired that
when their phone rang and someone said "forget about the bridge, I'll take her
across on my boat!" So the DJ informed everyone that it was all taken are of, and I headed down to the waterfront.
By the time I got there, Channel 5 was there, and so was the DJ. They both nterviewed me right on the spot, and the radio station did a live interview. When we were through visiting, the DJ said, on the air, that if there was a motel along Hwy 17 that would let me stay for free, to just call in. The Hampton Inn immediately responded and said I could stay there. So we loaded my cart into the boat and headed across. So y'see, I didn't go over the bridge, I went under it!
They dropped me off at the downtown harbor area, and I headed 14 blocks down to the Methodist Church, whom I had contacted and was planning on staying at. I mentioned to them that the Hampton Inn was going to let me stay that night, but asked if I could take the next day off and still stay at the church then. They said sure.
The next day I was a tourist in Wilmington, NC. I went to a couple museums, then headed back to the harbor and took the boat taxi back across to tour the North Carolina Battleship. They let me tour it for free, and even gave me a t-shirt. It was an awesome battleship that has fought in every major naval war in the Pacific area of operations during WWII. The ship was built in 1937 and launched out on June 13, 1940. It was decommissioned in 1947. It's 728 feetlong and 108 feet wide. href="http://www.battleshipnc.com">www.battleshipnc.com
That evening I headed back to the church, but ended up going to the preachers house instead. Pastor Bill & Jana Cottingham hosted me for the night, and that evening Jana drove me down to Carolina Beach to do some sight-seeing. I had a great time in Wilmington.
HAMPSTEAD, NORTH CAROLINA Aug 9-10
I headed out of Wilmington on saturday morning, and it was a cloudy, overcast day. It didn't take long after I left for the clouds to open up and it started raining hard. I continued on. If it was cold out, I would've put on my rain gear. But since it was hot out, I just enjoyed getting wet. It didn't take long though, before I was totally drenched and it didn't look like there was an end in sight. Finally, after walking in the rain for a couple hours, I decided it was time to take a break and pulled into Cardinal Lanes Bowling Alley. I was totally and completely soaked, and I sheepishly asked the guy at the counter if I could wait here till the storm passed by. He recognized me from being on TV and said "sure!" and told me to bring my cart inside, too. So I did that, and after changing into some clean, dry clothes I was in a better mood already. He handed me a pair of bowling shoes, and told me to bowl a few games in lane 15, so I found a ball and did. My first game I got a 95, my 2nd game I scored 103, and my 3rd game I scored 140. Then I ordered hamburger & fries, and they wouldn't let me pay for anything. After being there for a couple hours, the storm
passed by and the sun was out, so I headed on down the road. When I had arrived
at the bowling alley, I was kindof in a bad mood. When I left I had a smile on my face. My hat is off to the crew at Cardinal Lanes Bowling Alley just outside of Wilmington, NC.
I continued on and made it to the Methodist Church in Hampstead, NC. There I stayed with Pastor Jim & Melody Bell. On sunday I attended church with them, and that afternoon the church had a hamburger fry/potluck. While there I met people who were able to make some connection for me on down the road.
SNEADS FERRY, NORTH CAROLINA Aug 11
At the hamburger fry on sunday, I met up with a teacher from Eaton Elementary School. She asked me to give a talk at her school, so on monday morning I rode back to Wilmington with her. For the first hour I visited with a bunch of 3rd graders, then the next hour was with 4th graders, and the third hour was with 5th graders. I had a really neat experience while I was visiting with the 3rd graders. I was telling them that sometimes people who have epilepsy have a very low self-esteem, and that they don't feel good about themselves. I was trying to bring this down to a 3rd grade level, when a little girl in the front row piped up and said "like a turtle that hides inside it's shell!" What a PERFECT example! I've given this talk a hundred times, but it took a 3rd grader who's never heard of epilepsy before to explain it the best!
From Hampstead I headed out to Sneads Ferry, where I stayed with Pastor Ira Smith and his wife. Pastor mentioned that he didn't like it that there were white Methodist Churches and Black Methodist Churches -- he thought they should all be together. He then said that the Black Methodist Church was having revival meetings that week, and asked if I'd be willing to attend one with him and his wife. I said sure, that a revival meeting would probably be good for me.
So that evening at 7pm we drove to Little Zion African Methodist Episcopalian Zion Church. The church was fairly small, and when we got there at 7pm we were the only ones there. We thought maybe we had the wrong date, but by 10 after they all began piling in. As soon as Pastor Roscoe saw Pastor Ira there, he invited him to sit up front at he pulpit with him. For the first hour we sang hymns. Someone sitting in a pew would just start singing a song, then the pianist would join in and then the rest of us would find the song and join in. It was really neat. After doing that for an hour, Pastor Roscoe was just introducing the visiting Minister when a choir from another black church came marching down the aisle and up to the front. They asked the pastor if they could sing a few songs yet, so Pastor Roscoe sat back down and we had some more singing. After we'd been there for an hour and a half, the visiting pastor was just beginning his sermon.
He preached about how the seeds are planted in the rocky soil, the shallow ground, the soil choked with weeds, and the fertile soil. He was away from the pulpit and was down in front, marching back and forth. Sometimes he talked REALLY LOUD and the next time he was barely whispering. At one point he informed us that every one of us has a train ticket, and if we look at that ticket, it say's HELL BOUND. (Say that REALLY LOUD.) It was a great sermon, and I guarentee you, there was NO SLEEPIN' during his talk! We were all wide awake! By 10pm he started winding things down, and by 10:30 the church service was over. We really enjoyed being there, and afterwards Pastor Ira and his wife said they planned on attending again
the next night.
The next day I was back on the road again, heading for Camp Lejeune Marine Base. I had called up a few days ago to make sure I could walk through their base, and she said yes. While I was visiting with her, I asked her if I could get a t-shirt that said Camp Lejeune on it, and she said there'd be one waiting for me at the guard shack when I entered the base. Sure enough, when I got there, he handed me a large envelope that had a t-shirt in it, plus some stickers, and a bumper sticker that says "It's God's job to judge the terrorists...It's our job to arrange the meeting!" U.S. Marines
Walking acros the base was 18 miles long, and several people stopped and offered me rides. At one point, Corporal Mora stopped and visited with me. He gave me a little 6" American flag that he had taken with him to Iraq and back again. Camp Lejeune started out as a camp in the middle of a sandy pine forest. What use to be a tobacco barn, farm house and temporary tent cities has since grown into a 246-sq.mile military training center. Today, the base is home to an active duty, dependent, retiree and civilian employee population of nearly 150,000 people.
BEAUFORT, NORTH CAROLINA Aug 15
When I got to Beaufort (BO-furd), Mayor Tom Steepy welcomed me into the Delamar Inn, a beautiful B&B that he & his wife own. He drove me down to the waterfront, and showed me around town. Across the harbor you could look over to Carrott Island and see the wild ponies gazing. He also showed me the monument they have for Astronaut Michael J. Smith, who died aboard the Challenger on January 28, 1986. He is from Beaufort.
He also told me that in the early 1700's Blackbeard the Pirate use to travel in this area. That evening I visited with a lady who has been involved with the Peace Corp for many years. I really enjoyed meeting with her, and we had a great talk.
OTWAY, NORTH CAROLINA Aug 16-17
As I was walking to Otway, I wandered down by a river and sarted walking along the waters edge. After a mile or so I wound up in someone's backyard, and quickly realized that I probably shouldn't be there. There was a private pier that went out over the water, and there was a lady sitting there watching my every step. I walked out there to apologize to her for being on her property, and ended up staying there for an hour visiting with her!
After that I headed on out and made it into the little town of Otway. I found the fire station and EMS building, and the door had been left open for me. It's all volunteer, but they knew I was coming and had left the place open for me. Before long I met Margaret, the Fire Chief. She's about my age, and I had a great time there with her!
I told her that people in Beaufort said that when I got to this area that I should find someone to take me out to see Cape Lookout Lighthouse, and she said "Jump in and let's go!" So not only did she take me out to see the lighthouse, but she took me in the big fire truck! Margaret, Sunny and I all jumped in and away we went! She drove us down to Harker's Island, and on the way to the lighthouse I saw a couple of souvenier shops, and asked her to stop at one on the way back out so I could try to talk them out of a free t-shirt. So we got to the light house and checked that out.
Margaret knows everyone around, so when we piled back into the fire truck and
headed for the souvenier shop. When we got there, she layed on the horn and
pert near scared the life out of everyone. Then when the 3 of us came flying
out of that truck, the people pumping gas were staring at us in disbelief!! We all RAN into the store, and I said "mister, I'm walking across America. May I have a shirt that says 'Harker's Island' on it?" He looked at the 3 of us and was stuttering around, when finally he said "Well I guess the 3 of you could put a fire out if you had to!" He told me to pick out any shirt I wanted, so I thanked him and we ran back out. We couldn't figure out if he gave me a shirt becaus I'm walking across America, or if it was because 3 ladies were in the fire truck, but I'm willing to bet it was the latter.
On sunday I went to the Community Church, and there I met up with Miss Iris. She works for the ferry company that I'd be taking from Cedar Island out to the Outer Banks. I visited with her and told her my schedule, and she said she'd have it all worked out when I got there. That evening at church I gave a talk about epilepsy and my walk.
CEDAR ISLAND, NORTH CAROLINA Aug 19
From Otway I walked to Stacy and was planning on staying at the fire station, but instead ended up at one of their houses. That night Ray fixed fried shrimp -- shrimp that was swimming in the ocean that morning, and that he had just caught that day. It sure was good!
From there I headed for Cedar Island, where I'd catch the ferry and ride it out to Ocracoke and the Outer Banks. Right next to where you catch the ferry is a motel and a couple restaurants. Miss Iris had visited with the motel and they let me stay for free, so after walking 17 miles I spent the night there.
The next morning Miss Iris gave me a t-shirt, hat, cup, and some stickers before sending me across to Ocracoke. The ferry ride was 2.5 hrs long, and it was a beautiful day out and an enjoyable ride. As I was riding the ferry, I couln't help but think that when I started this trip, my friends thought I was crazy. But now here I was, on a beautiful summer day, riding a ferry out to the Outer Banks of North Carolina -- and they thought I was crazy!!
Several people recognized me from being in the paper, and gave me some money to help out with the trip. By the time the ferry landed at Ocracoke, I had an extra $125 in my pocket.
THE OUTER BANKS OF NORTH CAROLINA
The ferry landed in Ocracoke, and I headed for the Assembly of God church. Pastor John White said I could stay there, and he also called up the Assembly of God church in Hatteras. Ocracoke is a big tourist town, so I had fun there. But I quickly decided after paying $12 for a hamburger & fries that it's also a very expensive town.
When I left Ocracoke, Pastor John hauled my cart to the Hatteras ferry 4 miles away and left it there. Then I walked 14 miles barefooted on the beach, wading in the ocean. It was a beautiful day and I really enjoyed walking on the beach, but man was I tired afterward! I walked to the ferry, found my cart, and then headed on over to Hatteras, were I stayed at that church. The church is currently without a pastor, so they let me stay in the parsonage. I had the whole house to myself. The church was set off the road a ways, kindof back in the woods, and I saw several raccoons out and about that evening.
The next day I headed to Buxton, where the Cape Hatteras Light House is located. I was planning on staying at the church, but instead the church secretary took me home with her. The next day they hauled my cart to Avon, only 8 miles away, while I walked along the beach in the sand and water.
Again, in Avon I was plannig on stayig at the church, but once again I ended up staying with Kerry & Tabatha. It's great meeting local's out there, because they know all the ropes, who to contact, and all the ins & outs. On sunday I went to church with them at the Assembly of God, and afterwards they took me out to eat for some seafood. After that I headed on out to Waves, where I stayed at a KOA campground inside a cabin for free. From there I headed out to the Oregon Inlet and on over to Whalebone Jct. After knocking on the door of a bunch of motels, Manor Motel let me stay for $40. Prior to that, my lowest offer was $89. I'm telling you, it aint cheap out here!
ONE MORE MONTH!
It's hard to believe that in another month this trip will be over. It's all going to happen so fast. I'm sure I'm going to jump for joy when I get there, and then promptly bawl my head off.
On Sept 26th I plan on arriving in Arlington, VA. Then on the 27th I plan on walking from Arlington Cemetary to our nation's Capitol, where my trip will end. It's only a mile and a half, or 2 miles long. And that's it.
Here's my walking schedule and mailing schedule for the remainder of
this trip. Throw any other schdule away.
Sept 1 Great Bridge VA
4-5 10-Newport News
18 13-Port Royal
19 10-King George
27 2-The Capitol
Sept 10 Williamsburg, VA 23185
Sept 26 Arlington VA 22210
That's it for now. I'll try not to wait 3 wks before write again. Have a great day! KB
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