Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hello again from SLO!!!! Tuesday, Nov 30, 2010

Hi there!

I guess I have some catch-up blogging to do, huh?!?  Before I tell you about Thanksgiving and what has happened since, I will continue my last blog......  Yesterday evening I completed The Walk at about 6 pm.  My daughter Kate is busy with school and with work, so I am working around her schedule.  She got home at about 5:45 pm last night, so I walked from my friend Erik's house so that I could meet her at home when she got there.  I did!!!!  It was great to see her.  I haven't seen her in about 3 months.  We went out to dinner and after that she got to meet Erik and his friends and roommates.  I don't know if you know or not, but the destination from the beginning was to be at my daughter's doorstep.  It is interesting to walk around here and to remember that I drove down here not quite 30 years ago to visit my girlfriend, Kate's mother, who also went to Cal Poly.  Now all these years later, I have a daughter who goes to the same college her mom went to!  It is a nice place with nice people.  This Thursday Kate will have more time, so we will be able to spend some quality time together then.  Maybe we'll go for a hike!!!

Sooooooo, back up the coast we go!.......  Before I left my motel in San Simeon, a nice young lady at the front desk named Alex told me about a community Thanksgiving dinner being offered in Cambria.  I thought that that sounded great.  We have something similar back home in Fortuna.  I walked on, enjoying the sunny day with the rain having left us.  I made my way down the coast until I got to San Simeon State Park.  It was still fairly early in the day as I paid my fee to camp there.  It is a beautiful campground and I was surprised to see how many people were camping there the day before Thanksgiving.  I walked down a hill and entered the campground, and as I came around a corner, there was a couple with two young daughters- one in a stroller!  I saw them and said, "Hey, a stroller with a real kid!"  We started talking and they got excited about what I was doing!  We hadn't talked that long when they said, "Would you like to have Thanksgiving with us tomorrow?"  I said, "You bet!!!"  Isn't that great?  They told me what site number they were in.  I told them about the dinner in Cambria and they said that someone had just told them about the same thing.  I told them that I would like to take them up on their offer, but that I would also like to go into town and see if they needed help with the preparation or serving of the dinner.  I said goodbye for now, then found my campsite and set up my tent.  After that I walked into Cambria and found the Veterans Hall where the dinner was to be held the next day.  I was lucky enough to find the couple there who organized the whole thing.  I asked if I could help and they said no!  They said that they had plenty of help already, so they told me to just come and enjoy the fellowship and food.  Sounded good!  When I got back to camp I went to my new friend's campsite and told them that I would indeed like to have Thanksgiving with them.  Their names are Aylon and Joanna, and their daughters are Ayla and Maya.  I went back to my tent, thankful for the fact that earlier this morning I didn't know what I was going to do for Thanksgiving, and now I had two Thanksgivings to enjoy!  God is good!  That night it was very cold!  It froze!  Guess what?  My sleeping bag is not that good!  Time for a new bag......

Good Thanksgiving morning!.......  I got up, enjoyed a coin-operated shower in the campground, then took off walking for Cambria.  I got there 45 minutes later and the Vet's Hall was full!  There were a lot of people there eating and enjoying themselves.  I got some food and the people were very friendly.  I got to talking to a number of people and made some new friends.  I like Cambria.  It is a cute little town and it reminds me a lot of my hometown of Ferndale, California.  The people are very nice too.  I finished my food (I didn't eat a lot- I had to save room!) and my new friend Janet introduced me to a couple who are friends of hers.  They offered me a ride back to the campground, so I accepted it.  We had a great visit, and they took me right to my campsite.  I thanked them, then ran to site 64, where the family was waiting for me.   They were staying in their RV, and I think Joanna cooked a lot of the day in the RV.  She had done a lot of prep at home, but she put together a large and amazing spread!  We had everything!  Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, yams, greenbean casserole, dressing........  you know, everything!  And two kinds of pies!  We sat outside at the picnic table by a campfire and shared Thanksgiving together.  It was great.  I thought about how blessed I was just to have had the kind of day I had had!  Thank you!  They were thankful for my company, and I was very thankful for theirs.  We shared- we blessed eachother.  That's what it's all about, isn't it?  So thank you, Aylon, Joanna, Maya, and Ayla- thank you for making this day special.  Once again, the greatest blessing on this journey has been the people.  God provides, and He often does it through people.  WE are His hands, His arms, His feet.......WE are the conduit that He flows through.  What an honor and a privilege.................

Brrrrrr!!!!!!  Another freezing night!  But the morning was bright and sunny.  I packed up, went and said goodbye to the family, and headed out.  Today I was headed to Cayucos.  Cayucos is about halfway between San Simeon and Morro Bay State Park campground, and I knew that I was going to have to stay at a motel there.  I spent the night at an economical motel there, then left in the morning. 

I was headed to Morro Bay State Campground that night.  Before I left town I bought a sandwich and some other stuff for lunch that day.  I walked along, enjoying the sights along the way.  It wasn't long before I could see Morro Rock off in the distance.  Morro Rock is a huge chunk of rock that sits all by itself just off the shore of the community of Morro Bay- you can see it for miles.  I had put my rain gear on today, as it was sprinkling a bit.  I walked along the highway here, which is more like a freeway here than the two-lane Highway 1 that I am used to.  You don't realize it until you are out there walking- how noisy it is!  All the sounds of the tires, the vehicles, everything... is quite loud.  You don't really notice it until all the traffic momentarily clears, then you relish and enjoy the quiet.  It usually doesn't last long!  I made my way into Morro Bay and got off on Main Street.  I got onto a bike path and found a place to sit to enjoy my lunch.  I finished about half of the food that I had bought, then packed up and hit the trail again.  A short ways down the path I encountered a man coming my direction.  I met up with him and greeted him.  He returned my greeting.  His name is Kevin.  I gathered from our conversation that he was in need, so I gave him the rest of my lunch.  He was very grateful!  Then I got to thinking about all the food I still had in my food bag so I told him, "Wait a minute, I've got more."  I got out the bag and dumped it all out on the sidewalk.  I kept what I needed for a couple meals, then gave him the rest.  It turns out that he was out of propane, so he had no way to cook.  But guess what I found yesterday?  Alongside the road was a $20 bill!  I told Kevin, "Hey, I found something yesterday, and I think it has your name on it to buy some propane with!"  So I gave it to him to use to buy some propane.  We were both blessed, and we both made a new friend.  Thanks Kevin.........  We said goodbye and I headed back down the road.  Then guess what it started to do?  Yep.  Rain again!  Then it started to get heavy.  So I have to confess that this weather changed my plans...I was headed to a campground, but now it was to a motel instead!  I priced a few right when I got into town, and ended up selecting the Villager Motel.  The owner/desk clerk who met me is named Dan.  We got to talking and he shared all kinds of things about himself and his family with me.  His family was out of town for the night, so he was here by himself.  He told me about his mother and father, and how he had just taken his father back to India, where he wanted to go for his last days.  Dan misses his parents very much.  Dan also told me about how he is also an engineer, and how his company from Paso Robles is the one that designed and built the cap that stopped the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico!  He also told me about how his father had put his own brothers through college, and how his father had made it a lifelong commitment to help the poor.  I made a good friend in Dan.  I checked into my room and then later went across the street for dinner.  I had some comfort food- a hot roast beef sandwich with gravy and mashed potatoes- just right for cold, rainy weather.  I even took a picture of it!  After eating I had an idea.  I selected two pieces of different kinds of pie, then asked the waitress to box them up separately to go.  I paid, then headed out the door.  I went into the motel office and Dan came to the counter.  I asked him if he had had desert yet and he said no- so I let him pick which piece of pie he wanted.  Dang!  He chose the chocolate!  Oh well.  Maybe I should have gotten two pieces of chocolate cream pie......  We enjoyed our deserts while he told me more about India and his visits there.  He told me how his father had told him about Mahatma Gandhi.  They called him Bapoo Mahatma Gandhi.  "Bapoo" means "grandfather" in India.  I shared with Dan that I had called my own grandfather "Bapoo"!!!!  Isn't that interesting?  I don't know how I or my family came up with that pet name for my grandpa, but we did.  I thanked Dan for sharing with me, then said good night and went to bed.

In the morning I stopped by to say goodbye to Dan.  He told me to stop by anytime and stay and visit.  He is a good man.  Once again, I consider it a privilege, and an honor, to listen to someone and the things that they have to share with me. 

Well, today was THE DAY!!  Today was the day that I knew I was going to walk into San Luis Obispo!  It is rather hard to believe- two months and about 550 miles of walking!  I walked out of Morro Bay and enjoyed the beautiful sights and the beautiful weather.  Along the way KSBY TV found me and interviewed me.  You already know the rest of the story, as I wrote it yesterday............

So now what?  First of all, I'm a bit tired right now......and a bit tired of writing.  But I like writing.  I have had mixed thoughts and feelings these last few days- as I think you can probably well imagine.  I am sad that the walking is over- for now!  I am happy with this accomplishment.  Mostly I am very thankful for the privilege of meeting all the people that I met.  Right now I am thankful for Erik and his friends taking me in and giving me a place to stay.  I'm not sure just what all to think right now.  I want to stick around a while so that I can spend some time with Kate.  Then I will look into taking the bus and/or train home.  Then what?  I don't know.  I want to keep writing.  Do you want me to keep writing?  Please let me know by writing me an email at craiggmesman@gmail.com   Is there anything you'd like me to write about?  Tell me.  Right now I have to go because I am tired.  I am done walking- at least for now.  What does this all mean?  Not sure exactly- I just hope that what I have done has touched people and that somehow people will be moved however they are supposed to to help the children in Honduras.  May God's will be done............

Good night,
God bless,

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Craig. The Walk has changed your life. I can tell from your final posts you have opened up, experienced and learned much. I hope you continue being open to the world around you. As the Inuit say, "Walk well, my Brother".

    Continue writing if you enjoy it. A writer must write everyday, if only one sentence. A few words can convey so much.

    I am reminded they asked Hemingway if he could write the shortest story. (Hemingway was known for his terse style.)

    He said, "For sale, baby shoes , never worn."

    Six words, yet a world of meaning.

    All the best to you in your continuing "walk" of life.