Sunday, August 17, 2008

ready to drink up? (interior view of tent, along with closeup of Camelbak bite valve)

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


Anonymous said...

It would help if you would provide us with your intended route for the next three months. Specific climate data can be extracted to let you know what to prepare for. See for any location.

You seem to be accustomed to very populated areas in the D.C. area and east coast. Possibly corrupted by living in a dense environment like the ROK.

Some grim spacial realities of the exspansiveness of the American West and Midwest await you. Better get Dad out there quick. You're going to need him. Or one of us!

However, I have faith that you will make it. This long strange trip has just begun.

The best is yet to come!

Kevin Kim said...


Well, the "or one of us" part of your comment is a major point of frustration for me because I've repeatedly put out the call for volunteers, and have long felt guilty that people like Alan (and, now, my dad) are shouldering so many burdens on my behalf. If more people volunteered, the workload would ease up for everyone.

I don't mean to ignore the financial contributions people have sent my way, nor do I mean to dismiss the great advice I've received in my comments section from interested readers, but I still wish that more people would step up.

I realize that that may be asking a lot in terms of time, effort, food, fuel, and money, and it might be that there are plenty of people who want to volunteer, but who are waiting for my "route specifics" before deciding on what they can do. But my feeling is that people can start helping NOW. Perhaps most helpful would be advice on route plotting-- not just terrain and seasons, but cool churches and synagogues and mosques and temples to hit, as well as university campuses I might visit to talk with willing students, profs, and locals.

Add to these frustrations my frustration at my own body, which is doing the best it can, but which has obviously been working at a severe disadvantage for the past three months, despite the weight loss. My knee apparently wasn't ready for the sudden change from a nearly totally sedentary lifestyle to a nearly totally outdoorsy lifestyle-- that, or the fall I took back in Washington did more damage than I suspected. Either way, things aren't going well medically, even though the rest of me is ready and willing to go the distance. I'd do twenty miles tomorrow if I could, but will be lucky to make fifteen.

The knee problem means that it's increasingly difficult for me to predict when I'll arrive somewhere. I now find myself spending two or three unanticipated nights in a given place, not because of fatigue, but because of the damn knee.

So there we are. To be clear, I'm not directing my frustration at you or at anyone in particular. The whole situation's a bit frustrating, but as much as I might want more proactive volunteers, I can't make anyone do anything. What would be the point of that?

So I'm writing all this in the comments section not only because it's an attempt at replying to your fine comment, but also because making this a regular blog post, after having begged so often for volunteers, would serve only to make me seem even more peevish and ungrateful than I must already seem.

Anyway... if you've got ideas, please send them to Alan at the Kevin's Walk Central email address. He's my manager; everything needs to funnel through him until we get some more volunteers to beef up the KWalk Central staff.

Ah, yes, by the way, my route:

I'm walking to Umatilla, where a CouchSurfer is going to host me. From there, I'll be walking to Walla Walla, where I might spend some time working (or not-- long story). After Walla Walla, I'll be heading to Lewiston, Idaho, where I'll pick up Route 95, go south to 55, then hit 84 again (Alan's plan; seems like a good one). From there, it's a matter of finding a route through the Rockies that'll launch me toward the Great Lakes region, where I've had several invitations. The timetable for all this is up in the air, which is why volunteers will have to be flexible. If you know anyone interested in helping out somehow, please refer them to the "How Can I Help?" link on my sidebar.