Dapper Jay Saves the Day!

Historic Rte 66 bridge in Oklahoma.

Saves the day? That’s an exaggeration. The day wasn’t in jeopardy, but when I arrived Sunday afternoon Jay Jones – the admin for the Tulsa Moose Lodge (862) – was Cool Hand Luke. Without blinking an eye, and just moments from doing a karaoke Conway Twitty, he heard my story, twisted his jaw, and made an offer; the Tulsa Moose would put me up for the night at a local hotel and I should bring the bill to breakfast at the Lodge the next morning.

It had been a long day: from Springfield, Missouri, trying to stick to old Route 66, through a slice of southern Kansas, and into Oklahoma.

Oklahoma isn’t all sky, it just looks that way,

I had several objectives that were hard to reconcile: a relatively straight short route I could walk on the way back, small communities where I might interact with the residents, stay on the often elusive Route 66, staying off highways… and finding a place to sleep (bed, lawn, car…)

Miami, Oklahoma.

Jay’s quick decision gave me the time to consider them all.

My only regret? I should have taken a turn at the mike… maybe Ringo Star’s “Dont pass me by.”

A short segment of old Route 66 passes through Kansas, along the route of a military frontier trail.

Yeah, like these…

I’m here because of you. Here because when I put my toe in the water of the Plymouth Community I sunk up to my chest
That’s why I asked you to write on my car (Plymouth people, places and organizations that you love) and to give me tee shirts of your favorite local organizations.

Here are a few ‘t-shirt selfies’ taken in Mountain View Missouri on Saturday.

Big John, Popeye and the Chester Eagles


I made it to the Mississippi! Though it took me close to an hour to find my way out of Hindostan (the Hoosier National Forest)  and then onto a checkerboard of roads zigging and zagging around farmers fields I got to Chester on the Mississippi  (birthplace of Popeye) just around 1 pm.

I immediately went to the library hoping they had seen and acted on an email I sent earlier that morning asking them to see where I might stay (Lawn, Park, hostel?) and giving them an overview of what I am up to.

So I burst into the room and announced myself and  could see immediately they had no clue who I was.

I persevered. I told them where I had come from, where I was going and how I was walking back, 10 miles a day, and hoped to be back in Chester the next summer.

To my surprise one of the librarians knew of a club, the Chester Eagles, that had a place they let touring bicyclist use. Perhaps they would allow me to use it.

 
I’m in their little shack now, just downhill from the Eagles ‘lodge,’ where I will go later tonight for a meal and beer.
I’m glad not to have to sleep outside tonight as temps here are going to drop to 20 or so. I know I’ll have to deal with worse weather once I get going but…

So do me a favor: spread word of my effort, find other sponsors, share my posts, and let’s see if we can raise a lot of money for the Plymouth Task Force to End Homelessness.

Basket case…

A giant basket, outside of Columbus, Ohio.

I guess I am going to have to toughen up, and quickly. Though there was an abundance of beauty and interesting things to see on my drive yesterday, I had the blues most of the way. And then a series of events including the compromising of my bank account (Charges in Munic, Germany and New Zealand?) and other technical issues compounded by personal problems rendered the changing scenery and winding roads an aggravation to be endured. But then, as the night descended and my energy dissipated I had the opportunity to spend the night with a lovely family in Columbus and their son Sebby whose energy was infectious. I imagine that’s what this year will be like: physical and emotional ups and downs, beauty that is often times painful to consider or reflect upon, expectations that are simultaneously unrealized and surpassed.

It’s funny, for so many years of my adult life I longed for passionate experiences and unique encounters and just as I conceived of this long and lonely adventure I found them in Plymouth. Irony, I believe, is not something you sense in passing, not simply a judgement, but rather everywhere, at all times: it is the air we breathe.

People urged me to write an elevator speech to distill the reasons for this walk: I think now you can see the only elevator speech that I might have written would have been for an elevator that is trapped between floors with a captive audience.

I hope you will stick with me despite my long-windedness.

New York and Pennsylvania towns..

Salvy and me standing in front of a 250 year old Hemlock in Savoy, Massachusetts

These are the towns I passed through on day three, in New York and Pennsylvania: taking note of them and see if you know anyone who lives nearby.

New York

Rte 79: Enfield, Hector, Mecklenburg, Burdett, Watkins Glen

Rte414

Caitlin, Chambers,-WSKG PBS station out of Harrisburg PA

415

Corning, Elmira (Looks like it will be difficult to walk through Corning because of so many highway interchange is in the like) Painted Post, 

417

Addison, Woodhull, Jasper

Missed my turn and so went up New York 31 and then left onto a dirt Rd., Simpson Road, a sign said ‘seasonably maintained’ and then I took a pic of, I think, the Brewer residence with a sign that says “simple on Simpson”  – hope I can make it back this way when I am walking.

Andover, though I am not sure if I am in Pennsylvania yet. I don’t think so though I haven’t seen any signs.

Elm Valley, Wellsville  (lions club), Allentown, Alma Town, Bolivar,  Genesee and Little Genesee with its own little post office.

305

Mill Grove,

Pennsylvania 

446

Eldred (Steve Appleby, Jesse Case at the Eldred WW2 Museum,)Coryville, Farmers Valley, 

46 and 6

Smethport, Keating

6

Hazelhurst, Mount Jewett, (Post office in Mount Jewett) Hamlin, Lantz Corners

 

 

Day 3: Ithaca to…

Here’s day three.. from Ithaca, NY to someplace shy of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (I’m still driving).

Ithaca, By the way, is an amazing city: as steep as San Francisco, as modern as Palo Alto… it’s seems as if I drove halfway across upstate NY on the same high plateau. Then there is a steep dissent into Ithaca. I don’t want to think about it, but if I come back this way it won’t be easy to walk.

I passed through Corning, an industrial city, host to the famous company of the same name and a wonderful glass museum right off the road.

Just outside of Corning in a town called Painted Post, My dashboard lit up with a warning about a need for an oil change. I asked Siri, “oil change services near me“ and she responded that there was one 100 feet away. I didn’t believe it. But I wiped off my side window with my hand and looked across the street and there it was.

The crew posed for a picture with me.

I had several other pleasant encounters as I tried to distribute my posters but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Remember, don’t just look at the pictures, don’t just share them. Think about my path and whether you know anyone along it (I can already use a bed and a shower. Donate (on this site) if you have not already done so. If you can’t afford to donate try to convince a business to donate or to hold a fundraiser or put out a jar.  And let me know what is going on in town so I can talk about it. I know today here and across the country there is an election: I hope you voted.

 And let me know what is going on in town so I can talk about it. I know to do here and across the country there is an election: I hope you voted.

You can email me at Frankiswalkinghome@Gmail.com

You can call me at 774–454–0856.

Day 2: Savoy to Ithaca

This was really the first day of my adventure: I drove  to a friends yesterday – Salvy – and had a bed, dinner, breakfast and words of advice.  Today I drove into a mist: some of what came out of the mist was beautiful, some disheartening, some I have yet to figure out. 

I decided to write down the names of all the towns I passed through: I‘m sure i missed a few but, starting  in Western Mass there was …

Savoy, Florida, N Adams Massachusetts (all on Rote 2) and then, in New York, on 2 and then Route 20…

Petersburg, Grafton, Brunswick, Cropseyville, Erie canal weigh national heritage Corredor, Troy,  Troy masonic community center, Watervliet, and Colonie.

I spent some of the gas money you so generously donated , $20, at Cumberland Farms in Colonie New York.

Guilderland, Duanesburg, Esperance, Sloansville, Carlisle… Sharon, Sharon Springs, Leesville, Springfield, Richmond Springs, Winfield, Bridgewater, Sangerfield, Waterville, Madison, Bouckville, Morrisville, and Nelson.

On Rte 13 there was Tioughnioga and the DeNuyter PO, Cuyler, Tructon, East Homer, Courtlandville, Dryden and then in the rain and darkness – with the streets crowded with students, Ithaca for the night. 

Do you know anyone that lives in one of those towns?

I may end up in my car tonight but a young lady at the Student Center suggested the Martha Van Rensselaer building where they lock the doors at 8 but if you’re in they don’t throw you out..

I walked in here with my sleeping bag just before 7 and, we’ll, we’ll see.

Please follow me through this year so that I can raise a lot of money for the Plymouth Task Force to End Homelessness and so that word spreads… Don’t forget to telll me what’s going at home: 

I feel a bit bluesy, not because of regrets, but because I’m leaving a lot of love behind.

Frank

First day, heading west: Savoy, Massachusetts

It was a beautiful day and a  lovely turn out in town square for the takeoff event. I am now in Savoy Massachusetts spending the night with ‘Salvy’, as we refer to him, a  wonderful photographer and aficionado of the forest. My plan tomorrow is to travel along Route 2 into New York and through Troy, avoiding highways and making my way in six hours or so to Corning, New York and perhaps a bit further.

Respect the tee shirt!

If you’re coming to my “takeoff“ event Sunday bring a T-shirt, size large, of your favorite community organization. I’ll take it with me on my cross-country trip and take a picture wearing it somewhere along the way. It’s a reminder of my inspiration, the community itself, and a little free publicity for that organization.

Show me what you love about your hometown…

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