Day 176: Zane Grey Territory

Zane Grey PostcardsI’m in Zanesville, Ohio, home of author Zane Grey. Now Ol’ Zane is an interesting character to say the least. He was a noted author, and if you read his books, he was also a bigot. My great-grandfather on my mother’s side called him a scoundrel. He should have known, because he was Zane’s uncle. My grandmother’s dad and Zane’s dad were brothers. So, I don’t know what that makes me to him but some kind of cousin several times removed, I think. My brother says Zanesville was named for Zane but seeing as he was born here in 1872, I think it might have been the other way around. Anyway, we walked through Zanesville today and are currently sitting in New Concord, OH. Tomorrow we should be well past Cambridge.

Serene SettingI had a TV interview today, WHIZ TV out of Zanesville came out and caught me while I was just entering town. They did a short interview and filmed me walking down the sidewalk. It should be on my ‘media page’ in a day or two or you can go to their website at and see it now.

Today was a great day as I said. The weather was once again perfect, mid 70’s to low 80’s and little humidity. The sky has been clear with scattered clouds. The terrain has turned hilly and that’s okay too. I am passing small family farms with scattered pastures mixed with corn fields. Occasionally I pass a farm that is selling pumpkins. It is a nice serene setting and quite pretty.


Miles Covered: 20
Total Miles: 2,678.5
Money Found: $0.60
Total Found: $75.25

Day 175: Sick Day

Today I was tuckered out and actually was sick most of the day. I did my afternoon leg and laid down and didn’t get up till this morning. I had a 101 degree fever and felt like I was getting the flu.

I just found out that NYC is hosting another great event on the same day it is hosting my ‘splash in the Atlantic’ to signify the end of my walk. The other event is the NYC Marathon. What timing. Chris is checking out their route and the time they start. The good thing is we should only have around 11 miles to walk that day so we can set our start time to pretty much whatever we want. Hopefully we won’t all meet on the Brooklyn Bridge, going two different directions at the same time. Oh well.


Miles Covered: 15.25
Total Miles: 2,658.5
Money Found: $0.13
Total Miles: $74.65

Day 174: Houses with Stars

Rick Hammersley Walking with Mike AltoffToday we got up and hit the road again. We are currently in Amsterdam, OH, a really small town about 35 miles east of Columbus. Tomorrow we will be in Zanesville. The terrain has gotten hilly and I was told it would stay this way from now on. Oh well, it isn’t Colorado at least.

I got an email from Tillie M. from Columbus, OH today and she shed some light on the stars that I’ve been seeing on the front of houses. She said they are of German and Dutch origin and are placed on houses, barns, and even outhouses to ward off evil spirits while welcoming visitors. The Amish are of German decent and use the star symbol quite often. Thanks Tilllie for this information on the stars and if you have an answer you want to share, please leave a comment on a blog so everyone can see it.

Mike A. and Kay B. showed up this evening on their motorcycles and I actually got Mike to walk a bit with me. He earned his bookmark. Kay earned hers yesterday. Thanks to you both. By the way, Valda thanks you for the Wal-Mart card. It is much appreciated.

Miles Covered: 18
Total Miles: 2,642.75
Correction from 9.18.08: +0.5 mile
Corrected Total Miles: 2,643.25
Money Found: $0.22
Total Found: $74.52

Day 173: Goodbye Columbus

Rick with Kay and MikeWell, we finally made it through Columbus – walking that is. We haven’t yet left the area, but I think tomorrow will finally find us on our way to Zanesville. We met up with an old friend, Mike A. and his friend Kay here in the Columbus area, and it was really good seeing him after 27 years. I thought it had been more like 35 years, but Mike, being the chronological genius that he is, told me that he left the Indy area in 1981, not the early ’70’s like I thought.

I want to thank both of them for their hospitality, a couple of dinners out, and a great home cooked breakfast this morning. I also want to thank Mike for his donation to Gateway and I want to thank Kay for her matching my ‘money found’ fund, and for walking 6 miles with me today through Bexley and surrounding areas. It was a fun break and everything is much appreciated, but now I need to get back to work.

Today, we had another short day and walked 14.5 miles and will start out tomorrow just East of Reynoldsburg. Tomorrow I’m looking at a 20 miler!

Tonight we had dinner with Mike & Kay’s friends, Gary & Mary, and Katie and Jim. It was fun getting to know them and answering their questions about what I’m doing. I want to thank them all for their interest.

Miles Covered: 14.5
Total Miles: 2,624.75
Money Found: $0.91
Total Found: $74.30

Day 172: Hello Columbus

Today Valda & I were visited by Steve & Penny B. of Franklin, Indiana. They were on their way to Washington, DC and hooked up with us on the west side of Columbus. Penny raised $125 for Gateway by taking pledges for the walk around Monument Circle in Indy two weeks ago. She walked all ten laps and did a heck of a job. Thanks Penny, it is much appreciated.

We had a short day today, walking only 13 miles, but getting through the downtown area of Columbus. Today, we had another short day and walked 14.5 miles and will start out tomorrow just east of Reynoldsburg. Tomorrow I’m looking at a 20 miler.Rick with Steve & Penny

Tonight we had dinner with Mike & Kay’s friends, Gary & Mary, and Katie and Jim. It was fun getting to know them and answering their questions about what I’m doing. I want to thank them all for their interest.


Miles Covered: 13
Total Miles: 2,610.25
Money Found: $0.68
Total Found: $73.39

Day 171: Do You Know What a Buckeye Is?

0919081112I had an old friend ask me the question in the title of this blog this evening and I told him that I knew the accepted answer, but not his answer. He told me his answer, and it was much different than mine. Anyway, we are very near Columbus – Buckeye country. By the looks of flags on cars and in people’s yards, the OSU football program is a big deal around here. Valda & I were in a restaurant yesterday and all they had was Ohio State this and that. I wanted to ask the lady at the check out why they didn’t have anything from U. of Dayton, or Xavier, or Cincinnati, but I thought better of it and kept quiet.

Ohio Crop FieldI talked to my brother Don tonight and he said we had @ 618 miles left to walk, give or take a couple. That’s going to put us right around 3200 + miles for the total, not the 3700 that I originally thought going into the walk. The program I used to figure the route had me doing some funny things here and there, but it shouldn’t have been off 500 miles. But I’m glad it was. The splash in the Atlantic is set for Nov. 2, and it looks like I’ll probably be there for it – on time!

The walk today went well. We were in farm country again, mostly corn and beans. I walked through three or four small towns and am currently 4 miles east of West Jefferson, Ohio, about 10 miles or so from downtown, according to all the maps we’ve looked at.Ohio Windmills I should be through town tomorrow and hope to be near where I-270 crosses US 40 on the east side of the city. We will hook up with that old friend from above and have dinner with him tomorrow night. He asked me what I liked to eat and I told him nothing experimental or anything with tofu or anything like tofu. I think we’ll be fine.

The guy who owns this farm has the right idea. He actually had six of these going just as fast as they could go.

Miles Covered: 20
Total Miles: 2,597.25
Money Found: $0.22
Total Found: $72.71

Day 170: Taking a Break

Rick and Val Hammersley in OhioI guess things are not etched in stone and thank goodness for that. We were planning on walking through Friday and taking Saturday off in the Columbus area, but then we saw where Ohio State was playing a home football game and we decided there would probably be no campsites available. So, we took Thursday off and stayed at the Tomorrow’s Stars Resort RV park in South Charleston, OH instead. I want to thank manager Rita for comping us a night and letting us catch our breath.

I’m going to try to string together another nine or ten days of walking. We have a long way to go and a short time to get there (apologies to Jerry Reed), and I don’t want to end up 50 or 60 miles away when I’m supposed to be in Manhattan. So, I will be walking with limited days off until I’m sure I’ll make it okay.

I have just started realizing how expensive a trip to NYC for our final two days will be for anyone who plans to attend. If you decide not to come to NY for the final mile, I will be the first in line to support your decision. I just didn’t know how expensive hotels/motels were in that area. So, if you said you would be there and are having second thoughts, I completely understand. In this economy, who knows what’s going to happen. Thanks for your support, and if it works out and you are comfortable in being there, I’ll see you then.