About birdmanwalking

I am an avid Bird watcher with a life list over 600. I enjoy the outdoors, talking and meeting new people and the company of my 2 year old Husky, Xena. I was searching for the next step in my life after retiring, and decided to take my dog for a nice, long walk! I hope you enjoy my blog.

Feb. 17

Hello. I’ve made it to Van Horn, Texas, about a hundred miles East of El Paso. I actually stayed in a motel last night. It was cold and raining. What a relief! But I had to walk 24 miles yesterday to get here. That’s more than any other day so far! I was pretty tired to say the least.

Here is where my trip takes on the new type of challenge. After 1500 miles I now begin walking the interstates, or more exactly, the frontage roads along the interstate, if there are any. The real challenge or fear now is that state troopers will stop me on the sections of interstate where there are no frontage roads.  I keep playing over in my head what I’ll say to them, but it’s basically “What else can I do?” There are no secondary roads as an alternative. I’m worried about it, but between my mission and all, I’m hoping they’ll be tolerant. I guess I’ll find out!

Off now to Sierra Blanca. 35 miles with no services. But after 74 miles coming to Van Horn, it will seem short. Thanks so much to Lucy, Isaac for road advice and Couch surfing information, and Margaret for weather info.

Talk to you again soon. Peace Out.

 

Sanderson, TX, News Article

Walker passes through

By RAQUI HINKLEY
Production Manager
SANDERSON – Brad Storey is walking his dog across America. He decided to do this walk as a personal challenge after retiring from his work as a house painter.
For 40 years, Storey painted houses but, when he made his decision to retire and take Social Security, he decided to walk across the United States.
After reading on the internet about people who have attempted similar adventures, he decided it was a great thing to do for a cause.
With his dog, Xena, who carries her own pack, Storey decided that his walk was a good thing to do for a cause and is walking in support of The National Audubon Society.
He said the Audubon Society is not just about birds but is concerned with the welfare of our natural places and spaces.
They are known for their support of diverse programs to preserve the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as well as promoting the recovery of the California Condor and the Brown Pelican.
Balancing habitat protection with the needs of growing populations is part of the work of the Audubon Society and, by doing his walk, Storey hopes to bring attention to the work to the society.
The 66-year-old said he is very excited to have made it this far. He didn’t think he would make it across Georgia.
“If we take the responsibility to take on a challenge and finish it – that is what is important,” Storey said.
He said he and Xena expect to arrive in California sometime in April.
(Cutlines next page)
WALK YOUR DOG – When Brad Storey took his dog for a walk, he took his dog for a walk. Storey and Xena are walking from Georgia to California and passed through Sanderson this week. They are walking in support of the National Audubon Society.

 

Feb. 4 and 12 and addendum

2/04

Well, today was a day of a big decision. I’m in Sanderson, Texas and I had to decide whether to go West toward El Paso, or North toward Fort Stockton and Pecos.  Because it’s 4 days walking shorter to go toward El Paso, I’ve decided to do it even though it’s uphill for the next 70 miles.

It’s 52 miles to Marathon and it’ll take me 4 days to get there.

I never realized how many ways a foot can hurt. The pains are very varied in how sharp they are, how dull they are or whether it’s on the heel or the toe or the instep.  Your feet are really amazing tools.

The Distances out here, like I said, are pretty enormous sometimes. It’s really very open country and the thing that I’ve noticed the most is that except for the noise of the traffic which occasionally goes by, the only sound that I hear most of the time is the wheels of my cart rolling along on the pavement. The sound is occasionally broken by the croak of a raven or the rattling call of cactus wren but other than that it’s pretty quiet.

The unpredictability of my days is balanced by the simplicity that is achieved in such a lifestyle as this. Its’ very hard to plan anything or predict anything but in exchange there’s not much you can do about it. So you just keep walking.  Talk to you later. Bye Bye.

2/12

Hey there. I’ve made it to Marfa, Texas; the town known for the mysterious balls of fire that appear in the air, just East of here. They’re called ‘The Marfa Lights” lights, they’ve been seen since back in the eighteen fifties. No one can track them down, or explain them in any way.

I stayed 3 days in Marathon. Each day waiting out a bad weather forecast, which each day turned out to be not so cold or rainy, as predicted. I was staying at a very unusual little cluster of handmade homes. I think the name was La loma del chivo. It is well known in Marathon for its unusual buildings, and free spirited inhabitants.  It’s welcoming to traveling cyclists or in my unusual case walkers. Ingrid and Mike, welcomed me and said I could stay til the weather got better. I ended up spending the three days, completing the building of a large walk in closet and painting it for Ingrid. It was nice to repay her her kindness.

Here in Marfa, I’ve stayed with Greg and Lily, and they couldn’t be kinder, bailing me out through another cold and damp winter day.

On the road here, I stayed again in the bushes along the railroad tracks, and as many times before, I avoided the area close by that would have been much more comfortable, but being near a bridge that had obviously being used by groups of travelers, probably from Mexico. I try not to cross paths with those folks, because all of us out here,  just want to do what we’re doing and do it by ourselves. Well now I’m off to Van Horn where I’ll begin walking the frontage roads, along Interstate 10 probably all the way through the South West.  It is 78 miles to Van Horn. There’s only one small town, Valentine, in between. It’s supposed to be windy tomorrow, 20 to 25 miles per hour from the West, no less. But I have to keep moving.

Xena is doing great, couldn’t do it without her. Onward.

Addendum-I found out there are no services in Valentine. It is 74 miles between towns where I will be able to get anything (Van Horn.)

The feeling of fear has two sides to it. On one side is anxiety, but the other side is that it keeps things interesting.

Feb 2 and 6; the desert.

Feb.2

Hello again! I am reporting from the West Texas desert. I’m almost to the town of Sanderson. It’s February 2nd, Groundhog Day, and the distances out here are really amazing. There’s nothing to do each day but walk. I’ve been walking about 17, 18 miles a day now. I figure I have 70 more days, at 15 miles a day til i can take a swim in the Pacific. The distances are like 40 or 50 miles between some towns. So I have to be ready with the water and food for 4 days, sometimes, of walking, or 3 days.

I’m playing games on the road regarding how many steps it is between when cars go by. The record is 1,400 so far. That’s more than half a mile! So you can get some idea. Of how open this territory is.

Anyway, the water report and the Xena report go together this time because when I give Xena water in her bowl I never waste the water, so by pouring the water back in to a particular coke bottle, which is different than my water bottles I can save it to give to her the next time. Well, you can imagine, yeah I have made a mistake a couple of times, and I have drank water right out of the coke bottle after I’ve given her some. I’ve been drinking dog water, yuck!  But she eats a lot of bones alongside the road, there’s a lot of carcasses out here, so I assume her mouth is pretty clean. Anyway you can tell I’m suffering! I hopeyou’ll forgive me for not blogging more often. It’s about all I can do sometimes to get phone service and to think about doing it, so thank you all for being there, and I will talk to you again soon, I hope.

Feb 6,

This is Major Tom to ground control. I’m feeling quite Impressed. I feel very far out, out here, believe me. The scenery out here has gotten better with lots of hills and mesas not just all flat with scrub brushes. I’m headed up into the more mountainous area, around Alpine.

I got so much help in Sanderson from Jim and Sandra Davis; motel and good food, and thanks for the gloves, Jim. They made a big difference!

I’ve taken to singing to Xena, my version of the theme from ‘Cops’ It goes “Bad dog, bad dog what you’re gonna do when they come for you? Bad dog, bad dog…”

I hope I get to see a civilization again sometime soon. There’s not even any coyotes around. I wonder if that’s from the drought, anyone know? Is anybody out there? Major Tom, over and out.

 

 

Jan 18 and 20, edited…:) :)

3pm 1/18

Well I’m headed West from San Antonio out through the town of Hondo, and I will go North to avoid the towns of Del Rio and El Paso. I love Del Rio, I’ve seen great birds there, but it’s a little too urban, and once you’re in Del Rio you really have no choice but to continue on through El Paso, through some very barren areas. I’m going to try to stay more in the better populated areas, going North, and maybe trough Alamogordo. Once I get to Las Cruces I really don’t know what I’m going to do because of the problem of walking on the interstates with the dog.

Anyway, I expect to be making those decisions soon.

I would like to send a really big thank you to Kathy and Barry Rinehart, Becca’s parents, in SanAntonio. Kathy has always had good advice for me and it’s really helped me out. They were very generous and I just really wanna say how appreciative I am to them. There will be lots more updates soon.

I am hiking along the railroad here, maybe for the last time, because once I head North, the Railroad just continues West to El Paso. Xena is doing great. The cart is doing ok. The modifications I’ve made on it are okay and I’m looking forward to the West. As Jim Morrison says; “The West is the best.” Thanks, Love you all. Bye.

351pm

I want to tell everyone what a wonderful break it was for me to visit my niece and nephew, Becca and Nathan Chapman and their four kids; Mark, Michaela, Katye and Kade for 2 weeks. I got to rest and rehab.

I was pretty tired when reaching San Antonio, and now I’m ready to go again on to the most difficult part of my trip. Nathan helped me so much, converting and strengthening my cart. He has good understanding of tools and mechanics and now I’m in good shape, cart wise. Becca cooked special veggie meals for me and sent me packing with cookies and brownies and cough syrup for this Cedar allergy everybody down here has. All four kids were fun to be with, at Kayla’s basketball games, riding bikes with Katie, getting my dog pack fixed by Mark or just playing with Kade. I miss the tub, the T.V., the bed and the food. But mostly, I miss their family.

My vans parked at their house now. Did I tell you about my bus ride back to Alabama to get it? I’ll be heading back to here for sure now after my walk, and I just might relocate to around here.

I would like to say that I had a wonderful time visiting the San Antonio Audubon at the Lake Mitchell preserve there. I met with Iliana Pena and Susan Albert, and they were just really great. They drove me all around, showed me some birds and also talked to me about the efforts of Audubon in San Antonio where they coordinate a lot of Audubon projects for the entire state. West Texas has been so dry, as everybody should know if you’ve been paying any attention at all, you know that there’s been a humungous drought here and one of the effects that effects the birds is that the water usage in East Texas, around Arancis, has been compromised so much that it’s endangering the cranes. It’s killing their food. Their food is in water that is too saline to live. The crabs are dying and the cranes are having a very difficult time.

Houston Audubon is in court with the state of Texas because of the endangered species act. They’re saying that we must protect the water flow to that area. If you would like more information on this, look up T.A.P; The Aransis Project. That’s the National Wildlife Refuge on the East Coast of Texas. This is a very critical time for Texas, and especially for the wildlife. That’s all for now, I’ll talk to you when I get to Del Rio. Bye!

update

Dear Friends,

Once again, I have been lax and the postings will be late.

I was laid off on Thursday and some of the blogs and photos are stuck at work. We were not allowed to gather our things, so the one disc of pics will come when my box from work arrives at my home.

I will hopefully get the longish San Antonio blog and some pics up today, please bear with me!

Dad is doing fine, the desert is a struggle but he is doing really well.

Love, Lucy

January 20, 100th day!

Well today is my 100th day of actually walking. A real milestone for me, sort of.  I got another 100 days to the Pacific Ocean. I’ve changed my route back again to going through Del Rio, out to the little town of Sanderson, and then cut up North through Fort Stockton, and Pecos into New Mexico, to avoid El Paso. I don’t think that road through Del Rio should be too bad and it saves me a lot of walking.

Time for the Xena report. Xena is actually doing very well. Now that I have the cart, I hold the leash handle tight against the handle of the cart and a lot of the time, she’s out in front, pulling hard enough that the cart actually gets pulled forward by her. So occasionally I will say “Mush!” She is really amazing in that she does this trip, same as me, only she is doing it in her bare feet!

 I’d like to mention that at the beginning I started thinking that I was foolish to make this walk because of the danger along the road. What I’ve come to realize is that everyone on the road, walker or driver, is facing the same problem, and that is that you have to stay in your own lane and you hope everybody else does. Drivers of vehicles face the same danger that I do in many ways. I just don’t have a vehicle surrounding me to keep me from getting squashed like a bug. But I do count on the same thing that all drivers do and that is that everybody is paying attention and stays where they’re supposed to be. So I feel pretty safe.

I know a lot of people reading this blog or whatever, watch the reality shows on TV. What I’ve come to realize is that this is my reality show. This is bringing home a reality to me that I never expected and I’ll tell you it’s keeping me entertained! Thanks to everyone who’s following, thanks to everyone that I’ve met along the trip and I’ll stay in touch. Bye!

more kind and generous people

Sandra an Stephanie, sisters

Nice guy stopped, “Are you OK?”

Yvette Tompkins

Mayor Berlaine Boone in Basile

Officer Doug Firestone in Elton

Doug Rider offered me his sweet potatoes

Kimberly and Robert Apshire

Tyson and Brandy @ Market Basket in Kinder

Tom Kersch @ Thibodeaux’ in Rae

Kimberly on the road

Nice Ladies @ Valero east end of De Quincy

Amber and friend West end of De Quincy

Mary Ann @ Texaco in De Quincy

Kevin Jones @ same

Robert De Gelormo – “Just checkin’”

Nice Girls @ Dollar Gen. in Starks

Road Work Guy – Starks

Robert Trussell and Codie – Welcome to Texas

Chad, Amber, Felicitie and Aaron Williams in Deweyville

Quanina – Cart and Dog Treats

Nice Lady @ Shell in Mauriceville

Sabine Lamar!!! in Beaumont

Christine Sliva !! drove me around birding!

Steve Mayes – Birder

Jay Long -  Nome

Nice Lady in Devers

3 Nice young folks by the stuck truck

Tasha and friend in Raywod

Wanda in Ames

Clay Wickesser and kids – a special nickel!

Judy La Rue and Lynn Baker in Liberty – big bag of goodies!

Britney, Thomas and Laney

Jackie, Ryan and Jackson!!! Thanks y’all!

Liz and Michael Bynum !!!  Thanks guys!

The O’ Brians

Faerlee and Shawn Smith!!! My third Houston hosts! Thanks!

Judy @ Burger King in Rosenberg

Stephen and Laurie Mc Nulty and kids!!! Rescued! Thanks!

Everett who appreciates birds @ W. Rosenberg Auto Sales

Susie @Sonny’s E. of E. Bernard – Corn dogs for Xena!

Benny Chimulka

Christina @ Exxon E. Bernard

Young family in blue truck -offered ride

The Supak’s and Taylor @ East Bernard Subway

Sharon @ Subway -Sandwich

Owneand staff @ “Th Cafe” iE. Bernard

Kymbra in Eagle Lake

Willy Freeland – coffee on the road! Made my morning!

Judy @ P.O.in Altair

BJ and Brenda @ Sonny’s in Rock Island

Everett Moore ! ! !

Tanya Beyette and Abby – My road angels on Christmas Eve!

Dewey Kemp – warm and dry on Christmas morning! Thanks!

Nick Williams in Rock Island

Young dad with two girls offered whatever!!!

Customer Gary and cashier Mercedes in Hallettsville Shell

Buddy Whitley picked me up on my only hitchhike! Thanks Buddy!

Mor and Vadi  in Shiner

Shanta @ Tiger Tote in Shiner

Michelle Ansel @ Doll. Gen. Shiner

Jolynn @ Tiger Tote in Gonzales

2 dudes in a car took pix of Xena

John and Mary Pool and Katrina Messenger

Larry Davis, Rachael, and the kids! Best wishes to y’all!

Kenneth Riedell – Surveyor

Bob Wallish!

Viola, Angel, and Aubrey

Tony and Cindy -dog treats and more!

Corey offered ride

Irene!

Ryan and Vivian Darnell and kids

Leslie and Macey

Bart – Dog food and a bone for Xena!

Susan Hattaway -New Year’s Eve! Thanks!

Sherrie Reimers !!! Maybe I’ll even meet you some day!

“Pittsburgh” Lance (a Steeler’s fan) -you know how you helped! Thanks!

Nice Lady Cop in Castroville

My Niece Becca, husband Nathan (got my cart together!) and kids Mark, Michaela, Katye, and Kade!!! Two weeks of rest and good food! Thanks sooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!