March, page 2
Journal entry, 3-10-06
I would like to bring everyone up to date. I have had a rash now for about 8 days. It got very bad last week and I
have been trying every kind of medicine that I can get my hands on. Unfortunately it has made it very difficult to walk.
So I have not walked much this past week trying to get this rash healed up. It seems to be getting better now, so there
is light at the end of the tunnel for me. Some times I just have to do what is necessary to get better. I really hate not
being able to walk much, but I have to face these kind of things as they happen. Anyway, I will be back on the road
tomorrow morning bright and early.
Over the last week I have gone over my Journal and entire web site and have made corrections or added to almost
every page. If you have the time, you may want to breeze over it.
I have now started a yahoo discussion group. I will read all messages and post messages every week. If you would
like to join it go to:
My feet and equipment are doing great. I haven't had feet or knee problems yet. I will keep you posted on that. My
shoulders ache from my heavy backpack. I am going to drop a few more lbs because I won't be taking my heater. So
I will see how this next week goes. That is about it for now, Take care all, Gary, " Keep on walking, one foot in front of
Journal entry, 3-15-06
First of all, I want to let everyone know my new route. I have back tracked to Hwy 50. I will be staying on Hwy 50
through Ohio. The reason for the switch is because the road is more constant. I have also been told Hwy 50 is much
I walked to about 1/2 way between Iuka and Xenia IL. I stopped at Woodlawn Church, a small church that was having
a church supper at 6:30pm. It was a little after 5pm and I thought I would wait. When the church opened at around
6pm, I was welcomed to their supper and service. The Minister is, Bill Cash, from Iuka. Everyone there was so nice
and the supper was great. There were about 20 or so folks there and I felt as comfortable as if I were in my own
I was able to get everyone together for a picture. I also met a lady named Beth Hayes that runs the family nutrition
program with the Marion County Extention Office. She gave me some great literature. The subject is "Easy Meals".
This Literature is outlined at the following website: www.mypyramid.gov. You can go there to learn more about it. I will
read about it and talk more about it later.
After church, Bill Cash, and his wife Sharon invited me to their home in Iuka for the night. I was grateful for the
invitation because it seemed to be getting very cold tonight and i no longer have my heater. Their home was very
lovely and had a very nice comfortable bed. I can not say enough about Illinois and the people I have met. They are
simply wonderful people.
Last of all, I want to mention my rash again. My rash really was bad. I could not walk very good. It took about 11
days to heal enough to walk again. Hopefully now, I will be able to continue with little or no problems. So, thanks to
everyone for being patient with me. I plan to be in Indiana by this Wednesday. Anyway, take care all. Gary Long.
"Keep on Walking, one foot in front of the other."
JOURNAL ENTRY, 3-16-06
Today I got up very early and Bill Cash, Pastor of Woodlawn Church, took me back to the church at 6:30am. Bill and
his wife, Sharon, are really nice country folks that live in the country on a few acres. I really enjoyed their country
hospitality. To finish my visit off, Sharon cooked a hearty country breakfast.
I have began to realize that I cannot simply say goodbye to my new friends. I have decided that when my walk is over,
I will retrace my route visiting all my new friends and let them see me when I am done losing weight. That will give
Cheryl a chance to go with me and see the country and meet my new friends.
Tonight I have found a nice grassy area just outside of Flora, IL. to camp. It's overcast and no moonshine, so it is
extra dark tonight.
It is very remote and I can hear the croaks and chirps that I've become accustomed to. I just took 2 Advil to sooth the
aches and pains so I will enjoy a better sleep. I am beginning to grow drowsy now. I will read a couple chapters from
my Bible and go to sleep. As I finish todays journal, I feel good about myself. No one in the whole wide world knows
where I am camped and I am truly alone. There are many deer tracks where I placed my tent. I even saw 2 deer while
I was putting it up. As I finish this, I look up toward Heaven and thank God for taking care of me another day.
Goodnight everyone. Gary Long "Keep on Walking, one foot in front of the other."
JOURNAL ENTRY, 3-17-06
This morning I broke camp at about 6 am. I walked on into Flora and was happy to see they had a McDonalds. I went
inside where it was nice and warm. I ordered a cup of hot decaf coffee. I pulled out my journal and started writing.
The table next to mine had about 10 gentlemen that were all retired. I have noticed that most McDonalds have a lot of
retirees that like to frequent them most mornings. One of the guys ask me what I was writing. I explained about my
cross country walk. Soon after that, a reporter named, Roberta Wascher, with the Flora Hometown Journal came in
and interviewed me. She called, Mayor Charlie Crowder, and he came to meet me. After that, I walked across the
street to a bank to fax my journal. I ended up meeting everyone at the bank and telling them my story. They were all
so nice. I left Flora at around 11 am. I walked another 7 miles to Clay City. I found a nice grassy area just outside of
town. It got cold but I was warm in my sleeping bag. Take care all, Gary Long, "Keep on Walking, one foot in front of
JOURNAL ENTRY, 3-19-06
i woke up at daylight this morning. It was about 5:30 am and I started taking down my tent. While I was finishing up, a
man named, Don Hardes, from Noble, IL. stopped to talk. He said that his sons saw me walking over 20 miles back.
He wanted to know if I was alright. I explained to him that I was doing fine. He asked me what I was doing for food. I
told him that I had some health food in my bag and that would have to do me for the next 3 days. He reached into the
back of his truck and gave me a large gatorade. Then he gave me $20.00 and said he would like to help out. This
man was a God send. I want to thank him from the bottom of my heart for helping me when I needed help the most. I
want to tell everyone that just yesterday I talked with my wife, Cheryl. She said that her next check was Monday and
she couldn't get anything to me until maybe Tuesday. I assured her that I would be alright. I was anxious to call Cheryl
to let her know so she wouldn't worry as much. But, I had no cell phone signal for another couple of miles. This was
truly a great blessing, but there were more blessings to come today.
I walked about another 4 miles and came to Nobel,IL. I stopped at the local cafe and had a warm breakfast and
recharged my phone .The waitress was very nice,her name is Brittany Allen. I left town around 10:00 A.M. about 2
miles out of town on Hwy 250, a state police stopped. His name is Sgt. John Waggle of Effingham, IL. He said he had
just seen my website and wanted to know if everything was OK. We talked for awhile and I mentioned to him that my
sleeping mat was leaking. He asked if he could get it fixed for me. So I gave it to him and he took off. About one hour
later he returned with a new sleeping mat that was donated by Wal-Mart in Olney, IL. By this time I am really feeling
blessed. I would like to thank Sgt. Waggle and Wal-Mart. What a wonderful feeling it is to know that so many people
want to help. Now this is the second wonderful thing that has happened, but there is still more to come. Just after Sgt.
Waddle left, another car stopped. Two nice people, Donna and her son Jason Renhier got out and brought me a nice
lunch. By now I was completely humbled. I did ask God for help the evening before, but never expected to receive so
many blessings so fast. I will not forget these people. I really truly want them to know from the bottom of my heart how I
I continued walking and stopped at the edge of Olney and pitched my tent. It was very nice sleeping on my new air
mat. Someday I want to go to Wal-Mart and Thank the manager Vicky Buzzerd personally. The sun just went down
and I figured out that I walked 13 miles today. I feel pretty good about it. Good night all, Gary Long,"Keep on walking
one foot in front of the other".
This is all my new friends
at the Woodlawn Church
All the guys at McDonalds
The ladies at the bank
The crew at McDonalds
Crowder & Me
Don Hardes from Noble, Illinois
Sgt John Waggle of
Effingham State Police
Donna Renhier and her
son Jason Renhier