UPDATE JANUARY, 2007
MR. DIABETES® WAKE UP AND WALK® TOUR
LOCATION: Fredericksburg, VA
TOTAL MILES: 8051.5
THE WALK™ for the new year has not yet begun. Still, lots has happened in the past month since I last walked.
To begin, Russ and Shirley had car trouble on their way back to Michigan (from our campground in Milford, VA) to be with family for the Christmas and New Year holidays. Actually, it was fatal for the car, as it broke down in PA never to drive another mile. They disposed of the car right then and there, called their son, Sam, who drove from Michigan to pick them up. It was inconvenient, for sure, but Russ and Shirley are perpetually at peace under all circumstances and conditions, and here again they cheerfully went with the flow.
Once home, they settled in to be with family, get re-acquainted with their farm and get scheduled medical checkups. I’m happy to report all is well on ALL fronts. Lots to be said for the healthy lifestyle ‘down on the farm’.
They will be back in the next week, or so, and we’ll be back to walking.
As for me, I haven’t been idle, either. I’ve taken this down time as an opportunity to catch up on a lot of ‘secondary’ work, which has piled up for a long time. I haven’t gotten to all of it, but I have put a dent in it.
Some of the major accomplishments include establishing internet connection. During the past several years I have subscribed to a couple of different internet providers – one in particular that will remain nameless, for now. Anyway, as soon as I was required to get their newest equipment, I lost all communication!! All efforts to get me up-and-running failed. This was a real problem since October, 2006. I then tried another similar company, which is big enough to sell time to resellers of time. That cost a lot time and money and still no internet connection. (The disputes are in process.) This continued until the end of December. But, now I’m on a new wireless program offered by one of the telephone company networks. This one seems to be working quite well. We’ll see if it continues…………..
My next communication accomplishment was to get me TV. Coincidentally, last October I lost my TV connection - for a completely different reason. It was a result of faulty equipment, which was supposed to locate the satellite signal. Anyway, Direct Digital Satellite of Fredericksburg, VA came to my rescue – 540.270.3776.
Now, just as everything seemed to be working – internet connection, TV, telephone (poor signal is always an issue, depending on proximity to towers) – I had the misfortune of hitting a deer while driving back to the campground from getting gas. The net result is the support vehicle is at the auto body shop being appraised for damages. My hope is that it won’t be ‘totaled’, but it will be close.
Deer DANGER when driving is very real and hitting them happens frequently. I have seen dozens of dead deer on the roadways as I have walked the U.S. I, also, have had a number of close calls, myself. When a deer crosses in front of a moving vehicle, it most often happens at night due to a vehicle’s headlights, which somehow affects their actions. And, when it does happen it happens VERY quickly – no warning and little or no possibility of avoiding hitting the deer. At best, it is a hugely dangerous situation and can easily result in serious personal injury, or death. Should you find yourself faced with this situation the recommended reaction (after having talked with a number of truck drivers, tow truck drivers, etc.) is NOT to swerve to try to avoid hitting the deer. But, rather, to accept the ‘no-win’ reality, remain calm and hit the deer straight on.
[AN ASIDE: In 1964, when driving eastward between Alpine and Sanderson, Texas (during a summer cross-country adventure) with my friend Lenny K., we had a similar situation that was disastrous. It was nighttime. I was driving (speed established later by police reports at 45 mph), when I encountered black-tailed deer. I swerved to avoid the deer. When I did the car hit the soft shoulder and turned over onto its roof. The net result was I took a few stitches in the head, but Lenny suffered a broken neck!! Fortunately, Lenny survived the ordeal and after much time in traction recovered completely. So, I’ve done it both ways!!]
Deer are creatures of habit, a fact acknowledged by highway departments, as they frequently post signs indicating DEER CROSSING. These signs, as all highway signs, should be taken seriously! In my case, however, there were no signs to indicate deer activity. The lesson here is that deer don’t know how to read, so be ever vigilant and drive within speed limits.
Back to THE WALK™. Even though I’m officially in the South (Virginia) you’d never know it. The weather has been as erratic here as it has been everywhere – worldwide. Seems to me that global warming is a reality that is catching up to us all!! It was beautifully warm and sunny for a few days in December, but January has been brutally cold and snow, too!! Before Russ left for Michigan he set up a system that prevents the water lines from freezing. It was warm and sunny when they left, but the farmer in him knew to prepare for all eventualities. As a result, no problems!!
I’m looking forward to getting started. From Fredericksburg we head to Richmond, Norfolk, Virginia Beach and then into North Carolina.