Friday, November 5, 2010

Hello from Santa Cruz!! Nov 5, 2010

Hello everybody!!

I have had a tough time lately getting on line.  The last time I wrote was to briefly tell you about riding in the back of a police car!  That was an interesting experience- like I said, not much leg room!

I am at another hostel in Santa Cruz.  The last two have been spectacular!  Both have been in (well, not really actually in) lighthouses.  The settings are just gorgeous- right out on a rocky point with crashing surf and spectacular sunsets!  It all makes you appreciate the creation even more.  The hostel here is right by the boardwalk- not by a lighthouse, but still quaint with many small cottages.

I continue to meet truly nice people.  When I was at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse hostel a young man came into my room later on in the evening.  We introduced ourselves and he said his name was Sasha.  He was from Russia, but now lives in Chicago where he studies at the University of Chicago.  I asked him what he was doing out here and he said that he had flown out here to give some talks- one at the University of California Santa Cruz, and the other at Stanford University.  The subject?  Theoretical astrophysics!!!  We sat there on the floor of our little dorm room and talked about astrophysics!  Well, I mostly listened!  Mostly I tried to listen- and tried to comprehend.  I did grasp some of it.  He explained his interest and research into "dark matter" and "dark energy."  He will be a great professor some day.  He said he will get his PhD in the next year.  I got to talking to him and shared some of my own thoughts on science.  I studied a lot of science in college (not astrophysics) and so I have some opinions on the subject.  I recalled that Einstein said that, "God does not play dice with the universe."  I said that this statement implies two things- that Einstein believed in God, and that the universe is an orderly place.  We talked about science and God, and I expressed that I don't believe that God and science are mutually exclusive.  I think that some scientists (and people) use science as their "religion"- a belief system that, in their eyes, explains everything that is without acknowledging the creative hand of God being a part of it.  We talked a lot about this subject, and he seemed to be nodding his head in agreement.  I was encouraged to find this brilliant and sensitive young man to be so open and receptive- it was truly a privilege to meet him.  We gained much through our sharing.  In the morning (I slept in because I got sick- an extra day layover on the couch!) I woke up and there was a note on my bed left by the earlier-departing Sasha.  It read, "Good luck on your journey Craig.  It was a delight to talk with you."  Isn't that great?  I will keep that note...............  Thank you Sasha, may God reveal the secrets of His universe to someone like you.................

Yesterday on the road a woman on a bike passed me on the other side of the highway.  I looked back, and sure enough, here came another rider.  When he got up next to me we said hello, and he came across the highway to talk to me!  I have had a great time getting to know these touring cyclists, but they often just buzz by- intent on getting to where they are going (plus they don't really suspect that the crazy guy pushing a stroller is a kindred traveler!).  So he comes up to me and we start talking.  His name is Mete, and he and his wife (up ahead) are from Germany.  They are number 6 and 7 of the cyclists I have so far met who are doing the Pan-American tour.  Remember that one?  Starts in Anchorage Alaska and goes to the southern tip of Argentina!!!!  Except these two have thrown in an extra goody- they are going to bike around the world!!  How about that!  Like I've said, I'm the baby traveler!  We both got excited- I was excited by his trip and he was truly excited by mine!  He got out his videocamera and shot a video of me telling my story of The Walk.  He said he will post it on his blog in the next 10 days or so.  He also said they were going to be interviewed when they arrived in Lompoc and that they would share my story there as well!  These people (his wife's name is Dagmar- she turned around and came back when he didn't show) are also trying to raise money and awareness for children as they travel the world.  They are supporting World Vision- some of you may be familiar with this organization.  I remember sponsoring a boy in WV years ago.  You might wish to tune in to Mete's and Dagmar's blog at (however, I think it is in German!).  These were truly wonderful people also.  Thank you Mete and Dagmar!!!!!!!!!!!

Today I got my earliest start yet!  I left Davenport while it was still dark.  I wanted to get to Santa Cruz before 11 so that I could check into the hostel.  I made it at about 10:50!  I felt a little anxious in Santa Cruz this morning.  I find that I am more comfortable all by myself walking alone along the highway.  All the people in the cities seem to throw me off center a bit.  However, that did not last.  I went into a thrift shop to get a new shirt (non-white, white shows the dirt no matter how hard you wash it!) and a young woman in line ahead of me asked how I was doing.  I hemmed and hawed a bit, but said that actually I was doing okay.  In reality, her asking how I was doing helped my spirits right then and there.  I asked her how she was doing and she replied that she was having a good day.  Before she left, I thanked her for asking me how I was doing.  Later, I sat in Subway and called a local newspaper and radio station.  Both were gracious and recorded my interview with the intention of running it.  I also called a pastor of a church, a "cold call" and told him what I was up to.  He liked the idea and said he would share it with his church!  Later I walked along the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, which is quite dead right now because it is the off-season, and checked it out.  Then I walked down to the end of the wharf that is just north of the Boardwalk.  There was a guy fishing there, and so I stopped to ask him what he was fishing for.  He told me,"Whatever is biting!"  He promptly told me about an ugly crab he had caught earlier and showed me a picture of it.  We got to talking and he is a fellow believer.  He shared his faith with me, and once again, it was my turn to listen.  We talked about a lot of things, but left as friends and with feeling and knowledge that we had both "made the other's day."  When he and his wife left, they offered me a ride, and delivered me right back to the hostel just in time to get in by the 5 o'clock check in time (they are closed from 11 to 5 every day).  So thank you Mark for sharing your time and your faith with me........

Now I am getting ready to send an e-mail to the local newspaper.  This publicity stuff is not my forte, but I am learning.  Please keep that aspect of this walk in your prayers as well.  I don't really know just what I am doing!.............

Any last words of wisdom?  Hmmmmmmmm, let me see.......................
We have two ears and one mouth- they should be used accordingly!!
Many people live by faith, some more than others................. faith comes easily to some, harder to others...
It is our fear that keeps us separate.  If we push our fear aside we find out how much more we have in common than what separates us.
Truth and wisdom is out there- it has to be valued, then you find it.
Love is out there.  It has to be given, then it comes to you.
Peace is not necessarily "out there" as much as it has to start to "be" in our own hearts first.  If we have peace in our hearts, then we can have peace in the world.  If there is anything I have learned on this trip it is this, and that is that God made it possible for us to have peace on this earth.  My hope in peace and humanity has been tremendously boosted by my experience!

Good night,
Thanks for reading,
God bless,

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