Wow, I’ve made it all the way to Marshfield MO, and am finishing up a much need four day stay with my nephew Phillip King. Staying indoors for a few days and being able to sleep on a soft bed, as well as take showers and do my laundry when I please is wonderful. There were so many things in my past life I simply took for granted, but this trip has truly brought the really important things in life back to their proper perspective. Be thankful for the simple things in life, like food, running water, showers and transportation. Enjoy the company of your family, tell them you love them, hug them daily, be less critical, and have meaningful conversations with them on a daily basis. Be kind to strangers, and offer a helping hand to those less fortunate than you. And above all else, thank God for all of the many blessing that he bestows on us everyday.

One of the most difficult aspects of a journey like this is the loneliness that is forced on you by the very nature of what you are doing. While blessings have abounded along the way there are many days and nights that I wish I could just talk to someone I know and have a relationship with, as well as give or receive a hug or meaningful touch. Out here walking the highways alone loneliness is ever present and felt even more acutely. It has dawned on me that as I leave Phillips home in the morning I will be leaving the last family member I will see in a very, very long while. Saying goodbye will be very difficult.

During my stay we did get a lot accomplished, including a total rebuild of my cart. We kept the base frame and wheels, but replaced the upper section of the cart with a steel frame and fully waterproof canvas covering. We also replaced both handles with metal ones reinforced with steel tie downs. Weight distribution should be better, and I got rid of a few of the things I was carrying to adjust for the added weight of the stronger steel frame and canvas covering. I certainly have more confidence in my cart going forward. Thank you Phillip for everything.

In a couple of weeks I should be leaving Missouri and entering Kansas. Many, many thanks to all of the wonderful people who made my journey through Missouri so much easier. To the ones of you who provided so many of my meals, thank you! To the ones who allowed me to camp on your property free of charge, thank you! To the ones of you who not only gave to me but also gave to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, thank you for your wonderful gifts! And a big thank you to all of the ones who have offered encouragement and prayers on my behalf. Because of all of you I can continue to walk across this beautiful country of ours and encourage others as I go along the way. May God bless all of you, and thank you so much for the difference you have made in my life!

I will do my best to continue providing updates as often as I can…

Always Onward I Walk,