Arizona!

On Saturday, December 3, Jesse said good-bye to California and hello to Arizona as he walked over the state line into Parker, Arizona! Jesse was doubly glad to see Parker, because he had been out in the desert in California about a week–and for 1 1/2 days he had been in the Santa Ana wind storm. Unfortunately, the storm was so fierce that Jesse had to leave his cart behind–he couldn’t control it in the tremendous gusts of wind, so he had no choice but to leave it.

Jesse was really excited to “do some serious damage” at a Pizza Hut buffet he found in Parker. He checked into a hotel for a hot shower and a bed off the ground for one night, but shortly after he checked in the whole town lost power due to the Santa Ana wind storm! Fortunately, the power outage didn’t last too long, so he was able to recharge his phone and enjoy a little TV.

The next morning Jesse searched for a substitute for his cart and found a sturdier bike/stroller cart at a Super Walmart. He put it together and then stocked up with food for the next part of his journey through Arizona, which he’s on now. Here’s a picture of his new and improved cart. He has it attached to his backpack so he can pull it behind him. He was able to purchase more food that he had in the desert, so hopefully it will last him for a little while.

Jesse hit the trail again and is now in Salome, AZ headed to Phoenix. He’s walking on the Salome Road and will be on that most of the way to Phoenix.

Here’s a screenshot of a map of the area. You can click on this link to go to the map to go to the live map:  Salome.

Step it Up!

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3 responses to “Arizona!”

  1. Bill says :

    Today, December 8, 2011, I had the pleasure of meeting up with this wonderful young man! I live with my lovely wife, Dolly, west of Buckeye, AZ on the urban fringe, where the lines blurs between civilization and desolation. It was on my daily 6 mile hike that I met Jesse at dusk in the desert. At first, as I came upon him and his push cart, I was expecting to find a broken car somewhere in the vicinity, and prepared an offer of help. When I asked him where he was headed, Jesse’s nonchalant reply totally caught me off guard.

    “Florida”, he said. “Oh, cool. When are you leaving” I asked, wondering why he would volunteer such information at what must clearly be a very stressful moment for him, stuck out in the desert with nothing but a push cart. “Oh, I’m on my way right now!” he cheerfully chirped, to my utter astonishment.

    And so Jesse and I walked on together, during which time I had an opportunity to vicariously revisit the glory days of my youth: an exuberant, exciting time when I had dreamed of pedal ling across America on my bike but had never attempted it. Now, here I was, actually walking side by side with the personification of that dream! Only, a here was not just a dream springing to life, but also hope for those who might benefit from the realization of that dream.

    As Jessie and I covered the last three miles of my homeward hike, I learned more about this courageous, adventurous young man. I began to feel that something special was taking place, not only for Jesse, but for me as well: namely a sense of renewed hope for our youth, and for our nation. While this surely will be for Jesse an unforgettable journey of a lifetime, we can also be sure that for his beneficiaries in the hospital burn unit, this will be life changing as well.

    Bill

  2. janeevan says :

    Bill,

    This is Jesse’s mom. He so enjoyed meeting you that day. Thank you for your kindness to him. He has posted an audio about meeting you. You can listen to it on the “Bill and the Belt” post. Blessings to you and your family.

    • Bill Dee says :

      HI Jesse’s mom! It was a really neat experience, meeting your fine son and getting to know him a bit. I will follow his progress here, and am rooting for him across the miles. You have lots to be proud of! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

      Best wishes,
      Bill

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