Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hewing to an Arbitrary Deadline

Hewing to an arbitrary deadline is something Cody is good at. Around Christmas time, he decided he was going to be out of Texas before February. Thanks to walking 18-19 hours a day for several days straight, he suceeded. He crossed the state line into Louisiana at 10:57 p.m. on January 31st-- 63 minutes to spare!

Those 18-hour days were through some pretty discouraging weather. First, there was an ice storm (seems to have hit the whole South) that left about an inch of ice on the ground and made walking slippery and dangerous. The next day was an ice fog that left hoarfrost over every inch of Cody's stroller, and left Cody soaking wet. He actually turned in at 10 p.m. that night when he found a gravel screener with a utility room door open. His accomodations another night were even stranger-- he climbed up to a billboard platform and slept there! I guess this has always been on his personal "to-do" list, so another checkmark! I've seen guys standing on those little narrow billboard platforms while they change the sign, and it never occured to me to think of it as a bed. That's probably why I'm stuck in suburbia, though, and Cody is trekking across the country! (For ease of picturing this scenario, it was a billboard advertising a travel plaza.)

This grueling pace took its toll in sore feet and exhaustion-- and a funny tan line. Cody said he had such bags under his eyes that it made a tan line on his face! By the time he got to a meeting Sunday morning, he was done in. He was invited back to someone's house, and he had a three hour nap Sunday afternoon. Then, off to someone else's house for a Superbowl party and Cody's first taste of Cajun gumbo. (He was quite the fan of the gumbo.) After eight hours sleep that night, he felt much better! He stayed at his friends' house until after noon, then took care of some errands before he started walking through Shreveport. He made a photo CD at Wal-Mart, so I'm hoping to have some pictures to post next week! When he was talking to me, he was sitting at a McDonald's, writing some postcards and catching up in his journal.

Having crossed Texas seems like a huge accomplishment, in my book! There's still quite a few miles between Shreveport and the Atlantic ocean, though. Cody is once again weighing the pros and cons of ditching the stroller and just backpacking. The stroller's rubber tire is gone, now, so it would require money to fix it. From my armchair quarterback perspective, it would be money well spent. Cody carried a backpack most of the time he was walking with Porter, and it really cut down on the miles he could walk every day. Those extra 40-50 pounds really make walking more difficult!

Thanks for the recent donations to Cody's fundraising site for Doctor's without Borders. I'm hoping more people will learn about Cody's cause as he keeps on walking!