Tag Archives: Alzheimer’s Association

States traveled through on the Epic Journey #endalz

Georgia of course and then . . .

  • Alabama
  • Mississippi
  • Tennessee
  • Arkansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • New Mexico
  • Arizona
  • California

The route for the Epic Journey #endalz

The beginning and ending locations came from my thoughts and were unrelated to the journey.

The route between Savannah and Monterey was designed by where the Alzheimer’s Association offices were. Here is the list . . .

  1. Savannah Georgia
  2. Macon Georgia
  3. Atlanta Georgia
  4. Dalton Georgia
  5. Huntsville Alabama
  6. Memphis Tennessee
  7. Little Rock Arkansas
  8. Fort Smith Arkansas
  9. Tulsa Oklahoma
  10. Oklahoma City Oklahoma
  11. Amarillo Texas
  12. Albuquerque New Mexico
  13. Monterey California

The area with no pins in California marks the 458 miles I was in the passenger seat of a car.

Equipment and supplies for the Epic Journey #endalz

I had been involved with backpacking before the Journey, so most of the equipment needed was already in hand.

I did purchase a jogging stroller from REI to carry all of the equipment and supplies needed to be self sufficient.

The stroller is a Bob Revolution SE 2012 model

Here’s a partial list . . .

  • clothing, winter and summer
  • an extra pair of shoes
  • bivy
  • sleeping bag
  • air mattress
  • water and filter
  • stove
  • dehydrated food
  • snacks
  • extra tires, tubes and pump
  • solar panel
  • dazer to ward off dogs
  • signs and a flag
  • smart phone and charging stuff
  • emergency blanket

Public folks on the Epic Journey #endalz

There were many introductions to public figures all along the way. Go to the menu above and click on the word “Results” for a list of some of them.

To my left is J.D. Runnels. He played football for Oklahoma and was drafted by the Chicago Bears

That’s Mike Beebe, the Governor of Arkansas with me.

The lady in the picture is Susana Martinez, the Governor of New Mexico

Media for the Epic Journey #endalz

This was all new to me and I was pleasantly surprised at the interest these folks had in what we were doing. As a matter of fact, many of the media folks had an Alzheimer’s connection.

On a personal note, the in studio, live television interviews were tough for me, but I persevered.

Here are some numbers.

  • over 50 television interviews
  • over 100 newspaper articles
  • over 20 live radio interviews

Most of these folks gave out the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 helpline phone number.

People beside the road on the Epic Journey #endalz

The amount of folks that stopped and spoke with me beside the road surprised me. It seems like most of them had a connection, but some did not and were curious and others spoke of the running aspect.

Some had been caregivers, some were now and some thought they may be one soon. I heard a lot of stories about the stress that caregivers experience and I had no idea of rough it can be.

Several of these folks took a card or bracelet with the intentions of calling the Alzheimer’s Association helpline.

Spending the night on the Epic Journey #endalz

The journey took a little over seven months, that’s a lot of nights, and probably ten of those were spent in a bivy. Here is a partial list of other places I rested.

  • with family
  • with friends
  • comped motel rooms
  • paid for motel rooms
  • senior care facilities
  • campground cabins
  • state park cabins

The nights in the bivy were a necessity and I would simply get permission to camp and get it done.

This Dairy Queen is located on a service road beside Interstate 40 in New Mexico and the management allowed me to sleep out back.

I paid for most of the motel rooms that needed paying for.

A lot of the motels that let me stay at no cost let their other patrons know I was there and we would talk.

Before the Journey began my thoughts were that most of my nights would be spent camping out.

The second day of the Epic Journey #endalz

This day began as most of the days on the journey would, me, the jogging stroller and stuff to do.

Although I didn’t realize it yet, today would be a day that would be like many to follow.

It was already determined, beforehand, that I would smile and wave, but let others approach me. Almost immediately folks began stopping and most of them spoke of seeing one or both of the television interviews, but some were simply curious. Even among the curious the Alzheimer’s connections were astonishing to me.

Several folks approached me this day and I listened, expressed empathy and if applicable, offered the helpline phone number to them. I was surprised at the number of conversations and even this quickly, I began to see my role.

The first day of the Epic Journey #endalz

January 12, 2013 at Skidaway Island State Park near Savannah Georgia.

The Alzheimer’s Association did a lot of work to get the word out about this day, the journey and the reason for it. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, many of my family members, several friends, local dignitaries and a team from a local television station attended, as well as some folks who were passing by.

Several people spoke and we all remained on message, “Alzheimer’s is serious stuff and is causing problems.” This trip would be to raise money and awareness.

Shortly after noon the Epic Journey across America began, with a first step.

The day ended at Chippewa Square in Savannah Georgia. Nobody approached us during the run this day.

That evening the local television channel aired what they had recorded and edited at the sendoff, and the day before, one of the Alzheimer’s Association’s staff members was in studio for a live television interview to speak about the event.

This post is speaking of my journey across America in 2013.

Getting ready for the Epic Journey #endalz

There was no planned training schedule but there was a lot of activity. If I didn’t have time to drive to Amicalola Falls, I could be found running near my apartment in Talking Rock Georgia, at Boling Park in Canton or even in the parking lot at work. The falls provided me with six hundred and four stairs of climbing and descending, a great workout. I was on those stairs very often the last six months of 2012, and gave out hundreds of cards concerning the 24/7 helpline for the Alzheimer’s Association.

The decision was made as to how my equipment and supplies would be carried, with a jogging stroller. In the picture below it can be seen how we took advantage of the use of the stroller with the placement of the signs. Things were coming together.

Well in advance of sendoff day the signs, shirts, cards and bracelets were ready and in place. The cards and bracelets gave out the helpline number.

We were ready to get to work.

This post is speaking of my journey across America in 2013.