Category Archives: Across The Land

across the land notes 3/31/2015

I was up at Jay and Kristen’s house early. I had an early breakfast, with some great coffee. I headed to Palmilla Senior Living in North Albuquerque. Had a great visit at Palmilla and I was invited to lunch. While waiting for lunch time, I ran a few miles. The lunch was great. Later Ann took me on a tour of the whole facility, including the memory care wing. I recognized the look of the patients immediately. Ann introduced me to several staff members. My heart always takes me to the alzheimer’s patients and caregivers.

After leaving Palmilla I headed a few miles north to have dinner and spend the evening with Mark and Janice Lein from Roswell and Mark’s parents. Marks parents live in Albuquerque. We spoke a lot about our faith and our desire to never give up living strong.

Professional alzheimers caregivers

At Palmilla Senior Living this morning, Ann took me to the memory care unit. She punched in the code, because this is a lock down unit. Those words may not sound great, but it is the reality of this horrific disease.

What stuck with me was meeting the three young ladies watching out for the welfare of the patients in the activity room. These three expressed how much they appreciate the effort put into the Journey across America. I looked at them and couldn’t help but think about what they go through. They take care of people that have dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates 60 – 80% of dementia is caused by alzheimers disease. Being a caregiver takes a lot of patience. I’m not sure if I would be a good one.

Palmilla Senior Living


Ann Breene gave me a tour and the

facility treated me to lunch. There are many years of experience in this facility. I met Ann 2 years ago when she was with the Alzheimers Association in Albuquerque.

Visiting facilities like this help keep me grounded and thinking about a reality of our lives, getting older.

across the land notes 3/30/2015

Woke up, dressed up and got going. Had breakfast and ran some quick miles. Lunch with the staff of the Alzheimer’s Association New Mexico Chapter.

Picked up new shoes from REI.

I Ran some more near the base of the Sandia Mountains. Yep, mountains to the east and it seemed like I could see Monterey to my west. Heading north.

Heard an inspiring story of a 22 year old super awesome lady that never quit, and never gave up.

My buddy went over the 1000 mile mark on Charity Miles today. Wow, amazing.

In North Albuquerque tonight.

Here is a picture I was able to have taken for me today.


Thank you for reading my blog.

REI and my new shoes

Thank you to the two ladies that helped me get my picture taken for the blog. My jogging stroller “Wilson ” came from the REI in Kennesaw, Georgia as did most of my gear I needed for spending the night in the woods on my last trip in 2013. I Run for the Alzheimer’s Association.


One step at a time, heading north

I am in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 2013 when I was here, I continued on westward. This time I will be heading north through Pueblo, Colorado Springs and then into Denver. New places for me. I am Running as I cross America.

I Run for the Alzheimer’s Association. I raise awareness. I enjoy what I am doing. 

“When I sit across the table from God, I want to say to him, I used every talent and ounce of energy you gave me!”

across the land notes 3/29/2015 morning

I got up early and half heartedly thought about taking the day off. I headed to Cracker Barrel to treat myself to breakfast.


Drove around a bit and I found this park quite by accident.


Their were a lot of Runners. I ask a couple to take a picture for me. She said “he is the photographer.” Notice the balloon in the picture.


This is a picture of the “famous ” Rio Grande”


I jogged around here about 3 miles.

I headed to the Petroglyph National Monument. Here are some pictures.



This young lady was moving along pretty quickly and I asked her mom if her daughter could do a short symbolic Run with me. She said of course. Here are two pictures, the two Runners and then their family.


What irony, for me to meet this family. He works with the National Institute of Health. His family all seemed very knowledgeable about the Alzheimers problem. The NIH is the entity that funnels funds to research facilities.


Resting now and eating rice and chicken, made by Mountain House. It’s good tasting and has good stuff in it.

I have covered 8 miles today, on my day off. I could not resist Jogging on the single track trails.

do relevant sayings help ??

I think I have noticed something. We read a post that contains a saying and we say “yes” that is a good one. It makes us excited and that seems to be enough for a bit. Then we come back again for some more, because we took no action after reading the other saying. A saying like this one by Erma Bombeck is full of wonderful advice if you dwell on it. To me this a quote, I want to think of every day.

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.”

This actually could be a motto or a life changer,  but to most of us, it could be just another quote that excites us for a few minutes or hours and then we are hunting for another.

This particular quote of Erma Bombeck’s is my favorite and has become my motto.

Sleeping without a tent

Several years ago on the Approach Trail to the Appalachian Trail in North Georgia I hiked several miles after dark. I found a campsite. I put down a ground cloth, layed my sleeping bag on it and went to sleep. No tent. I had a 3.5 lb. tent with me, but decided not to pitch it. I started doing this on a regular basis. I decided carrying 3.5 lbs was not what I wanted to do, especially if it would not be used. I purchased a 15 oz silicone impregnated tarp. It weighs a lot less, takes up a lot less space and keeps rain and snow off me. The coldest weather I slept in with no tent was about 2 degrees below 0 in the Great Smoky Mountains. It takes getting used to but may give you some added adventure and save some energy if your energy needs saving. Also it can get you going quicker in the morning if it’s terribly cold.

From Ryan Chatham

Hello Jack,

I discovered this story. It reminded me a lot of you. Thought I would pass it on.

Fauja Singh is an endurance runner. He has decided to retire from the sport that he so richly loves. He has broken several records. He is 101 years old. Is that not amazing? He was born on April 1, 1911 in a farming village in India. He has no birth certificate. At that time, birth certificates were not created in that part of the world. He did not begin to walk until the age of 5. His family was worried that he might never walk. As the years passed, he met a lovely lady named Gian. They married and had 6 children (3 boys and 3 girls). By the 1960s, most of his children married and left their home. One son stayed and helped him on the farm. In 1992, his wife passed. He was 81 years old. Now, approaching the end of his life, he was content spending time with his son on the farm. Then, tragedy struck in 1994. During a severe storm, his son was killed while trying to tend to the farm. He began to question GOD. He asked why his son was gone. He wondered why he was not taken instead. His friends contacted his family over concerns about him. His children decided that he needed to be close to them. He sold everything and moved to England. At first, the new setting was no different. He was too old to have a job. He did not have any specific skills. He felt no purpose to his life.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

To every thing there is a reason, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

Looking to get out of the house, he began to run with the community. He needed a distraction. When running, he realized that he thought about his next step. After so many steps, his mind would go blank. He felt connected to GOD. All the anger and grief would leave. While he lived in India, he never owned a television. While living in England, he became obsessed with television. One day, he saw a gathering of people running along a road. He became curious. That is when he discovered endurance running. He decided that if the people on television could do it, then he could too. He ran in his first marathon in 2000. He was 89 years old. It took him 6 hours and 54 minutes. The following year, he entered into another marathon. He wanted to best his last time. Now, he was beginning to receive attention for his actions. Media outlets were requesting interviews. He was asked to attend weddings and school events. Adidas contacted him concerning a feature advertisement. He donated all the proceeds to charity. He loved the attention. He enjoyed shaking hands and hugging people. He hardly turned down requests for interviews or appearances.

Matthew 19:26

With men this is impossible; but with GOD all things are possible.

In 2003, he decided that he wanted to enter the New York City Marathon. The United States of America was still feeling the effects of September 11, 2001. He knew that it would be difficult. He arrived in New York with a desire to run a good race. By this time, however, he was entering his third marathon in less than a year. The miles had taken their toll on him. He showed up for the race with the flu, jet lag, and a hurt ankle. During the race, blisters began to form. His socks became bloody. After 7 hours and 34 minutes, he would cross the finish line. He wanted to be an example of strength and kindness to Americans. Instead, they looked at him as a symbol of weakness. They seemed to have pity for him. Not respect. He made a vow. He decided to quit. His friends and family would not let him quit so easily. They convinced him to let his body heal. They were afraid to let him quit. He used running to help himself out of depression. They were unsure of what he would do without it.

Matthew 7:14

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

His last race took place today. He admits that it is difficult to accept. He will not stop running. He is no longer competing. He said that the day that he stops running is the day that he will die. He began running as a distraction. Now, it is a path to GOD.

Matthew 24:13

The disciples came to Jesus with questions concerning the future. Jesus said to his disciples “but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”

This is a remarkable story. Just wanted to pass it on.

Ryan Chatham