Journal entry, 11-19-06 (continued)
I would like to mention that the Vice President of Marketing with Motel 6 has sent me coupons for 2 free nights
at Motel 6 and 1 free night with the Red Roof Inn. He thanked me for using Motel 6's and offered an apology
for the treatment I received at the Elk City motel. He said he would personally check into the matter. His
concern was very heart felt and I accept his apology very graciously. I would also like to mention that I feel
the treatment I received in Elk City at the motel 6 was an isolated incident and does not reflect negative on
the other motel 6's. I did not expect or ask for the free coupons. I truly appreciate them and I will certainly
use them. Thank you Motel 6.
I am getting closer and closer to Missouri. I think of all the towns I have walked through and the nice folks I
have met as I continue on my journey. I ask myself if I would do it again. I guess I would if I really had to lose
the weight again, but I would rather get bit by a million rattle snakes, walk the Sahara, swim the widest ocean,
crawl on my belly through a million scorpions, than ever get fat again. So I would say the chances of me ever
walking across America again are slim. But I am looking forward to walking the Panama Canal, probably in
March or April. I might even walk across England or Germany or maybe even Europe just to keep my
momentum going. But we will see. I think that I will be so busy at home that I might not get the chance for
those adventures. Take care all, Gary, "Keep on Walking, one foot in front of the other."
Journal entry, 11-20-06
Last night I ended up at the Sequoyah Baptist Church in Claremore, Ok. I sat down on a bench in front of the
church to rest. I had no idea that the folks from the Church were going to have Thanksgiving dinner in less
than an hour. The pastor Rev. Martin Potter saw me sitting in front of the Church when he arrived. He came
over and we talked for about 30 minutes and then he invited me to the dinner. I was absolutely humbled that I
was invited. I went inside and met the most wonderful folks. We had a wonderful dinner and of course I ate
modestly because I am trying to lose weight. (I filled my plate full but didn't go back for seconds.) I was
wondering what I would do on Thanksgiving day. I would have never guessed that I would be blessed by
having a wonderful Thanksgiving meal by such wonderful people, even nearly a week before Thanksgiving..
My deep heartfelt thanks goes out to each of you wonderful folks for making my visit so wonderful.
This morning I walked into Foyil, Ok. There I met some wonderful folks. As I was leaving town I noticed a
monument on the side of the road with a bench to sit on. It is hard for me to pass up a perfectly good bench
so I walked over and sat down. The monument was about a guy that had set a record for running across
America, the same route that I am walking. I made a video clip.
Just before dark I made it to Chelsea, Ok. A carpenter named Chris Ritchie from Miami, Ok stopped to see if I
needed help. We talked for a while and he was really a great guy.
I spent the night near Chelsea. Take care all, Gary, "Keep on Walking, one foot in front of the other."
Journal entry, 11-27-06
I have a 31 year old son named Roy Long from Harville, Missouri. He drives a truck and called me today and
said he was coming through where I was and asked if we could go to dinner or something. I was very happy
to hear from him. It had been about 2 years since we have seen each other. He arrived about 7 pm on the
23rd. When he got there I learned that he was going home for Thanksgiving. My mother lives about 20 miles
from him so I thought I could ride home with him for Thanksgiving. That was fine with him so we left and got
to Harville at about 2 am. I have a Niece that lives in Poplar Bluff that was going to St. Louis the next morning
so I caught a ride with her to St. Louis.
Cheryl was very excited to see me. We did not plan this, it happened kinda suddenly. We spent Thankgiving
with Cheryl's family near St. Louis. Saturday the 26th we went to my family's house. My mother cooked
dinner at her home. We had a wonderful time. I really did not think I would be home for Thanksgiving. It
turned out to be so nice to see every one.
I will be going back out by the end of the week. Cheryl will be going back out with me. She will accompany me
for the last lag of the journey, walking across Missouri. I am not sure when we will arrive to St. Louis, but I am
certain it till be by the end of December, maybe by Christmas if the weather allows me to walk everyday.
Everyone can hardly believe how much weight I have lost. Especially my nieces and nephews. They are so
proud of me. Take care all, Gary, "Keep on Walking, one foot in front of the other."