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

Bicyclists and Runners.

I saw a lot of both today on Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. All shapes and sizes and all doing what they want to do. That is pretty cool stuff. Some were smiling as they covered the miles and some looked so focused. Some of the bikes looked very expensive and some did not. Some were street bikes some were mountain bikes. Some wore very beautiful and colorful clothing and some were in Bermuda shorts and a t-shirt Very inspiring people. One runner I saw, was smiling and waving at everyone he passed. I saw him run up a pretty steep hill and he appeared to have no problem whatsoever doing it and he still smiled and waved at everyone the whole time. It was just his way I guess. Anyway, some pretty inspiring people.

across the land notes 3/28/2015

A chilly start. Blue skies. Eager to start the day. I knew some folks that ran with me in 2013 would be coming out. I asked for permission to park at the bank. They said “of course”.


The Warren family made it out to see me. I was able to see the new addition to the family. Beautiful baby with a great smile. They gave me some Subway cards and an awesome chocolate chip cookie.


I was honored to meet these folks from the United States Air Force. They were hiking in memory of some of their brothers that died in a helicopter crash.


Here are a couple of pictures from today’s Run.



I went to REI. I have never been in a store that was more crowded than this one. That is good sign that people are doing things that may improve their health. 

I Run for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Thank you for reading my blog!

The Jolly 22 Memorial Hike

I had no idea this memorial walk was happening. I came around the corner and this young man and his precious babies were sitting and waiting on the hikers. This support team gave me a bottle of water and some smiles.


Here is a picture of the hikers. The support team are in there also. Ahh man’s best friend was hiking also.


For an Air Force HH60 Pace Hawk that crashed in England last year. Their were no survivors.

Here is a link to their story.


Running for the Alzheimer’s Association


a native american’s view…..

In 2013 I met an elderly Native American. We talked. He shared his way, what he had been taught. Here are three points he made.

1) we all need to feel worthwhile , and it has to be real

2) we must take care of planet earth. our children are counting on it

3) in order to do 1 & 2 , we have to care of our body. it’s hard for some to do this if they do not feel worthwhile.

He seemed sad to me. I think I saw tears.

alzheimers notes 3/27/2015

Today was one of those days when the people I spoke with “had” an alzheimers connection. No more, because their loved one lost their life to the disease. Everyone does ultimately. Their is no cure.

I hear so many stories about the loved one asking for their mom or dad near the end. That has to be tough.

If you need help concerning alzheimer’s disease please call the Alzheimer’s Association at 1 – 800 – 272 – 3900 anytime.

across the land notes 3/27/2015

Up at 5:00 am for my first Run of the day.


Later in the morning I stopped for few minutes to remember June 21, 2013 It was the “Longest Day” for the Alzheimer’s Association. That day I was attempting to jog, pushing my stroller for 31 miles. The high temperature was 106 degrees. I didn’t manage my situation well and because of health concerns that came up, my daughter Amy, asked the New Mexico State Police for help. They responded immediately. (i made it 30 miles that day)

Even later in the day today, I stopped to say hello to the folks at this Dairy Queen. They allowed me to stay in my bivy behind the store on my first trip across America.


I saw two herds of Pronghorn Antelope today. During the 2013 trip, I did not see any.

This is a great week for miles and for spreading awareness. I am managing both my body and emotions well.

I ran on the “Trail of the Fourty Niners” today. A lot of history out there.

Here is a miscellaneous picture from the Run today.


Thank you for reading my blog.

The Comfort Inn in Moriarty, New Mexico

Alden gave them a call this morning and asked if they would allow me stay the night. She explained my mission to them. I am raising awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association. They were happy to help. They allowed me to stay here in 2013, on the first trip.


If you need help concerning alzheimer’s disease please call the Alzheimer’s Association at 1-800-272-3900 anytime.