Blog 16 – The Freedom of Parks

The Wanderings of Kit (Do you wander or just wonder?)

By writing this blog I want to inspire you and show you that–
YES, YOU CAN > >

  • Change your life at any time to make it more magnificent!
  • Live with little money and still have an excellent life.
  • Be able to live life getting very little sleep.
  • Live ANYWHERE in the world and still make your life a fantastic event!
  • See experiences that will add to and make your life better.
  • I want to inspire you as to the wonders of the earth.
  • Perhaps this is my new “gig”, traveling the world doing the same?

Design the life you want to live, now, then live that life.

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***The freedom I am experiencing in my travels is a marvelous thing. 
***Going where I want, when I want and seeing wonderful places and people. 
***With this blog I want to help open your mind to more of the splendor of the world. 
***I will have places to show you and tales to tell. 
***I will have secrets to unfold and good news!

I’m glad to take you on my journeys with me!

When I sent my blog to you last week it came back that many of the emailings came back saying, “blocked”. I think it was some internet problem, I know you wouldn’t block me. 

Challenge yourself! Out here on the road, I welcome challenges and difficulties. It is difficult to emphasize this enough. Whether you play basketball, are a world-traveler, climb mountains, juggle, makeup tunes at the piano, or push chess pieces across a board. These are ways of exploring the limits of our abilities as we try and expand them. Don’t just make an attempt on what you do, putting in half the effort. Put your ALL into every attempt.

If you are going through a difficult life-change, it can help tremendously to join a support group with others who are going through the same sort of thing. These people can understand what you are going through and can help, as you help them.

We have to leave ourselves open to the things in life that happen. People get chances thrown at them every day, and many people don’t even know what’s happening. Grab onto the dream, make it yours!

At the time that my accident happened, I had written to my friend, Ken Benge. In my letter I said that I enjoyed very much working at the casino juggling, but I knew that I wanted to move on to something different after awhile.

We all need changes for advancement in life. If we just live our days with nothing changing, life can be boring, we don’t grow. I’m not saying that it will take something like what I went through to wake us up for a change, but we have to look forward to change. You see, change is the one thing we can’t avoid. We can avoid paying taxes by not working; we can even avoid death with the medical breakthroughs that the medical profession is making. But we have to get used to change.

By going through the accident and 37-day coma I realize how much I have lost, and how much I have gained. Every change we go through, good or bad, we learn from. That is, if we look for the learning that can be gained from the change.

I am almost glad the accident happened, I have grown and learned so much since then. Life is a series of endings and new beginnings. Many people get stuck at an ending, get depressed, and find it very difficult to let go and move on. We have to learn from what happens and then move on to better things.

We can all change, many of us (like myself) have to. It is even possible for an overweight sixty-year-old man who is not physical and doesn’t workout to change. We have to face it, change is good for advancement. Not changing or challenging yourself is a way of not growing anywhere. Each of us has to see that change is good for us.

The world is rapidly and constantly changing. Because it is changing so quickly, we have to change to keep up with it. If we don’t keep up with the changes, we can fall behind others and this can make our life difficult. When new information and new ideas come into existence and circumstances change, it’s no longer possible to solve today’s problems with yesterday’s answers. Until we can let go of what was, we can’t appreciate what is. We have to learn to find stability in a rapidly changing world. Life is like a parade. Change leads to more change. One choice leads to another choice. And growth leads to more growth.

4-20-2019—Slept well last night at a Walmart. Away from the highway, there was no noise, very nice.

As you know, there was much traffic between Austin and San Antonio. It took a while, but traffic got less and less. Much more pleasant to drive with fewer on the roads.

Del Rio

Arrived at Del Rio in Texas, then I found Amistad National Recreation Area, where I am now. A desert park, I am here for the night. As I walked out of the van barefoot, I soon discovered there were thorny things that like to poke into your foot—OUCH!

It’s the weekend, so some people here, but pretty spread out. Seems the only animals I will see out here are the humans, no birds or four-legged creatures. Yet, flies are abundant. I remember as a kid it was a game to see how you could smash flies (I used the word “smash” because I don’t know how to spell “swat”.) Now I care about life much more, no fly killin’ for me.

Very relaxing here. I wrote and told you before that I did not just want to drive from place to place and not enjoy the areas I go to. I am more relaxed now and take my time more, I like that. Mexican music playing from someone’s car in the background – perfect.

For dinner was two shrimp tacos, and I used cilantro from my on-board garden. Quite tasty, I must say. Have you ever eaten an ear of corn that was cooked directly on the fire with the husk on? The word that comes to mind is “exquisite”. So much better than boiled corn, you’ve must try it. After, I tossed the ear out into the bushes for animals to finish.

Can’t believe I already have one page typed of this. Like I wrote before, the experiences and the words simply come to me, then my fingers fly on the keyboard.

AGAIN – I AM HAVING A FANTASTIC TIME ON THE ROAD!

Have to tell you of Sue. When I was performing in Atlantic City in 1981-82 we had Tuesdays off. Most often I would go to New York city and have fun and spend the night in Sue’s spare bedroom. I desired Sue so much, but we never did .

In March of 1982 I flew my friend Melodye out to see me and the show I was in at Ballys. Melodye and I were great friends, but never had a romance. Melodye and I went to New York City so I could show her around. We stayed at Sue’s, Melodye taking the spare bedroom.

Sue said to me, “Why don’t you be with me tonight, Kit”? I was overjoyed. Then, the following week, she came down to spend a few days “with” me in Atlantic City. Much love between us.

The thing is, my accident and 37-day coma was April 3, 1982. Sue and I were together in March, I guess the memories of being with Sue were not yet put into long term memory because I had forgotten my love time with Sue.

We made up for it after the accident, being together again.

I bring this up because I am looking at the collage I keep on the ceiling of my van that Sue put together for me. I see it each time I am going to sleep. This has many of the places we went to in NYC and the strong love between us.

Sue went on to marry Avi Kendi, a wonderful man, they have two grown sons who are doing great in the world, Daniel and Matthew Kendi.

A few years ago Sue developed cancer and died.
As you would know, it was devastating for me.

I miss Sue, much.

Writing these words right now remind me of my loneliness. I would love to be with someone who will take care of me as I take care of them. We would have pleasure and happiness in the world and bring joy to each other. I’ve not given up, but it has been hard. Then again, who would want to be with a man who lives in a van and travels the world?

Chris and Dena, do you have a lovely and lonely friend I could connect with?

Drinking wine while I type this right now. Hope what I wrote is not inappropriate.

4/21—Being in Del Rio, Texas, and Mexico being so close, I had to go. So, I paid the four dollar toll to get over the Rio Grande River and drove into Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.

I had forgotten that it was Easter Sunday, so there were hardly any people out on the streets. I drove around for a bit, then paid the $1.65 Mexico toll to get back over the river. Hope you had a happy Easter Bunny Day, by the way.

Back in a Walmart now, typing and also, since they have an outlet available, along with the computer, I am charging a few other things. Big Bend National Park is about four miles away. I don’t know when I will have another chance to charge things. But, I do have my portable charger, that is a relief.

As I wrote before, I don’t want to rush my drive, as I have done in the past, so I might find somewhere I can juggle for a while and/or ride my unicycle.

While on my way to Big Bend National Park, I drove through the town of Dryden, and boy was it dry. It looked as though no one lived in this town, deserted it was. The next town, Sanderson, looked like there were a few inhabitants, but much the same. I guess towns in the desert end up like this at times.

HARD TO KEEP UP WITH ALL I AM DOING.

Today I drove about 250 miles to get to Big Bend National Park. It is called big bend because the Rio Grande River makes a big bend in the area. At about 200 miles to go, I guessed I would arrive at about 3:00 – I got there at 2:58. Is it luck or skill?

What a change in scenery from what I had been viewing. The mountains are huge compared to the desert. Much more foliage up here, too. Yet, the earth is dry.

From an elevation of fewer than 1,800 feet along the Rio Grande River to nearly 8,000 in the Chisos Mountains (which I loved), Big Bend includes massive canyons, vast desert expanses, forested mountains, and an ever changing river. Over 1,500 plant species thrive in the park, so many to see.

Arriving on a Sunday, many people have left from the weekend. Yet, people still here, that’s OK, though, making friends.

I choose Chios Basin Campground for my first night. Down in the mountains, there are magnificent scenes. I get half off with my pass, so seven bucks is not a bad price to pay to stay under the stars in paradise. Two thousand feet above the desert, we are way up here.

Shrimp we left over from tacos last night, so, of course, it was angel hair pasta with Alfredo sauce, shrimp and fresh parmesan. Yes, I am eating quite well.

This is a rather large park, so tomorrow I will be exploring. You will hear more from my writings then.

I’ve not seen any, they say there are Jack Rabbits, Kangaroo Rats, Roadrunners, Golden Eagles and Coyotes in the area. Then, of course, don’t forget about the bears. I’ve told Tina, I would love to play patty-cake with a bear. I will let you know when I see one.

Yesterday I saw a deer at the side of the road eating some succulent plants. I was driving too fast to grab my camera. Today I saw a wild pig on the road, he ran off too fast for me to get my camera out. I do think of you often and want photos for you to see.

And, today I saw a roadrunner within five feet of me – and he was walking. A roadwalker?

ARE YOU LOVING THIS JOURNEY AS MUCH AS I AM?

Last night was spent at Chisos Basin Campground, what an excellent place to see. Dinner was fettuccini with shrimp and parmesan – delicious. Looking around I saw desert views, looking another way there were mountainous views, very nice.

This morning I fried up some potatoes and onions; tasty. While slicing up the potato with the very sharp knife I guess I thought my thumb was a potato, sliced it pretty well. A ranger happened to be driving by and I asked him for some band-aids, which he had, of course, now to let it heal.

I ILLEGALLY WENT TO MEXICO!
Where I am now, in Santa Elena Canyon, the water level is so low that I walked across. Yes, I am an illegal!

In Mexico, you can’t cross a border illegally going into their country, as people can’t to ours. There are cliffs on the Mexico side that go way up, you can see from the photos, no one could climb them.

When I was walking on the long trail to get to the river, there were two people, twice, who would have simply walked by me, not making eye contact and not saying a word. I try and be friendly with every person I get near, is this wrong?

So, when people do not make contact, I simply say to them, “Really.” One guy said,
“Oh, hi”, I said, “To late.” The other looked all flustered and passed by me. Am I rude to try and be friendly? How about you, do you make eye contact with strangers and be friendly?

What a better world this would be if people were more friendly.

This the afternoon I worked on some projects on the van that I meant to get to, which I did.

WOW – What a strange day. I loved the morning at Santa Elena Canyon, yet, I saw I was down to one quarter tank of gas. There was enough, but, enough for what? I did not want to be bogged down with thoughts of low fuel, so I checked on GPS and saw I could reach gas in about 15 miles.

So, off I went. GPS did not show that 12 miles of the trip was on a dirt road. A lot of it was alright, but much of it was like driving on a washboard. There was just one hairy-scary part. Water in the past destroyed part of the road, but I saw where people drove through, which I did, made it, too? The twelve mile trip took about an hour, so much at or below 12 mph.

The whole way I knew that there would be no one who would be coming by to help if I came upon a problem. I would have to walk many miles for help. But, you know me, I am the adventuresome type.

On the van I have enough food and water to last me at least a week or two. After I consumed that, I could live on eating plants, bugs and small animals. I would suck on the insides of cactus for my water intake.

Actually, I kind of like that idea, perhaps I will head back to that road and have an “accident” or something. But, I have to continue this dialog for you, so that ruins that idea. Now, how do you feel about yourself, squashing my idea?

Finally arrived. A quaint little town, gas was expensive. I was going to park somewhere and stay there for the night, but, with a national park so close, I had to get back to it. It was about 5:33 to start my trip back, arrival at the park office in about an hour. There is no one here now, I will be sleeping overnight in their parking lot (don’t tell them.)

They have free wifi in the visitor center, I walked over and could connect sitting on a bench by the front door. I checked, I am quite surprised I did not hear from you. Good night now, hope you sleep well.

Last night was warm, I went to bed uncovered (should have seen it.) About 2am I awoke quite cold, so I pulled my sleepy bag down and slid into it. Surprised at myself, I stayed in bed until after the sun was just coming up. My normal wake time is 2am, as you know.

(Did I tell you how happy I am right now?)
Living the life that “I” want, I love it.
No worries, no concerns, always having a smile on my face.
Sort of like Daniel Powell is living his life, yes?

I lasted a couple hours at the visitor center. A few rangers came by to check on the building. I did not want to be awoken at 2am by some ranger, so I heading down the road a superb place, should sleep well tonight.

4/23—And, did sleep well. I am in the Visitor Center area today. I heard that you could cross the Rio Grange into Mexico, legally, at a certain place called “Boquillas Crossing.” Yet, today is Tuesday and the crossing is not open on Mon or Tue. So, spending the day around here. I felt like doing some hiking, so I did.

Departing from “Daniels Ranch”, there was a hike from there to the Hot Springs. Three miles each way, I thought, no problem. Yet, the trail was narrow and rocky and went up diagonally up a mountain. With balance and vision issues, after a mile, I said to myself, “You could drive this tomorrow, why don’t you?

At one point I reached out to help balance and grabbed a cactus, ouch. Back down I went. But, I found a nicer trail near the visitor center. This hike went right up into the “big bend” that the park is named for. Looking over at Mexico, I saw some wild donkeys running. Hoping the photos came out clear.

There was a trail later toward the river that was much safer, so I went for a stroll. More spectacular scenery awaited me. You will see photos of the Boquillas Canyon area, liked it much. On the trail at the end there were some cliffs with hieroglyphics. I heard they were 150,000 years old, boy, I can’t even think back that far.

On this hike I came upon four wild mules (or were they donkeys?), it was great. I got within about five feet of them, I guess they are used to humans (hmm, am I a human?) It was great to see wild animals, I’ve seen so few.

Remember the hot springs I was going to walk the 3 miles to, but the path was too scary. Well, I drove to it instead. There were parts of this road that gave one to two foot until the drop-off, scary it was. I did make it there, and back, an OK Kit I am.

I walked into the natural hot springs, and yes, they were hot. I heard 120 degrees, that could fry your nose. I walked through it for a bit and then said, “OK, what’s next.” There were about 8 people at this small pool, so, once again, I said, “So, what’s next?”

Remember I had told you about there was a place on the river you could walk to Mexico (or pay five bucks round trip on a rowboat.) Well, I was told they don’t check passports on Mon and Tue. Well, it turns out they only do it on Fri, Sat, and Sun, so, not this time.

SO, I HIT IT OUT OF THE PARK, well, I just drove out of the park. What a great visit I had. If you ever have a chance to go to Big Bend National Park in Texas – you must do it.

So, it’s back to, “Where to next”? Taking 118 north to I-10, I will head east from there to New Orleans. If you are anywhere along that part of I-10 let me know, I would love to visit you.

For tonight, I saw a dirt road off of 118, so I went down that a bit, found a turn-off, I am here for the night. Wish you were with me.

A surprise rain tonight at about 8 o’clock. (What does “o’clock” mean, anyway?) So, I took a brush and brushed the whole outside of the van, the rain will rinse it and make it clean. Then, they are thirsty, so I put the lettuce, cilantro, and spinach outside to soak up some rainwater, they like that water best, by the way.

TIME DOES NOT MATTER. Right now it could be 7:23 or 8:23pm. Traveling between time zones I don’t keep track. When it gets very dark I sleep, usually waking before the light of day. I make myself stay in bed until the sun peaks his tiny head up, then I am up for the day.

Drove out of Big Bend this morning. I had entered a McDonalds, 67 miles to the north to aim for. At first, the drive was alright, but then the thunderstorm hit. I was driving over the mountains in the evening and at one point I could not see the center line on the road, I came to a stop and just waited for a bit. At this point I was in a town and I had seen no traffic on this road, so I thought it safer. Boy was I scared.

4/24—Went to the Walmart and got some stuff, then popped over to McDonald’s and got some internet stuff done. Then I found a park where I am parked. Grass and trees, nice, but there is a busy road right next to the park, so it looks like I will be returning to Walmart for the sleep tonight. While at the park, though, the beer and leftover Fettuccine Alfredo and tasty good.

Then, in the late afternoon, I noticed on the map the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, I had to go. A two-hour drive, that afternoon I drove up to Pecos, here I will bed down for the night. But, before that, there is a McDonalds (no, not another one) and so I can get online, then I will drive to the residential area to sleep, where it is quiet.

A strange thing I noticed, there are SO MANY trucks in Texas, and most of them colored white.

Tonight I was going to park at a small Walmart for the night, but too noisy and not very nice. So I looked on GPS and found a park, but it was a golf course, so not somewhere to park for the night, Near it was a small golf course, here I am for the night.

Slept well, feel great today.

I will be telling you about Guadalupe Mountains National Park in the next blog. In the meantime, get much done this week to advance your life.

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