Day 11: Stats Only!

Rick Hammersley starting his walk in Bodega Bay, CA.

Rick Hammersley on the jetty in Bodega Bay, CA.

(NOTE: Rick lost internet connectivity in the Sierra Nevada mountain range for a few days. I’ve posted his stats from Day 11 below for continuity.)





Miles Covered: 12
Total Miles: 166.75
Money Found: $1.44
Total Found: $12.35

Day 12: Connected Again!

Rick stopping to pick up some roadside change.

Rick stopping to pick up some roadside change.

Wow – it is a treat to be back in touch with everyone! We’ve had a couple of days where the phone service was not good, and we are currently at a campground in Pine Grove, CA and I am using their dlal-up modem. :p My brand new Verizon Broadband doesn’t work here in the land of pine trees. I am taking today off (Saturday) and we’re doing the mundane things like washing clothes, cleaning up the RV and catching up on emails. We want to thank all of you who have inquired as to where we are. I’m sorry I couldn’t get phone calls; it is just the way it is. It will probably be this way for a few more days as we head out of Jackson and toward Carson City, NV. I saw a sign yesterday that Carson City was 95 miles away – all uphill.

Buffalo Head NickelI found a rare 1936 Buffalo Nickel yesterday. There are several people I need to thank who are matching my “money found”. I will get you a personal thanks in the blog as soon as I have better service. Anyway, you know who you are and I want you to know that l’m very appreciative of you and your intentions. Thank you!

We’re going to enjoy the rest of the day. Tomorrow I believe I will be walking with some old friends from Chattanooga. Hopefully I’ll find a hotspot and be able to blog about our walk later in the week.

Day 13: Walking Buddies!

Walking Buddies

Chuck & Jan Join Rick Hammersley as he walks through the Sierra Nevadas.

Yesterday, Valda & I hooked up with old Southern Cross buddies, Chuck & Jan. I worked with them in Chattanooga last Spring (2007). They are currently working in Merced, CA and decided to walk a day with me. They split the day and Jan out-walked Chuck: 7.5 miles to 7 miles. They seemed to have a good time and that night, after they left for Merced, Valda & I spent the night with Stand-by Sam, Donald Randall of Pioneer, CA. He was very gracious and let us have a full hook-up in his driveway. It’s always nice to meet other RV’ers and especially ones who are interesting. Donald has been RV’ing for over 40 years and if it hadn’t been for a fall in January, he probably would have been out in his rig the day we stopped. Thanks Donald for your hospitality!

Miles Covered: 16.5
Total Miles: 183.25
Money Found: $1.88
Total Found: $14.23

Day 14: Cook’s Station

Rick after enjoying a big bowl of chili at Cook's Station, CA

Rick after enjoying a big bowl of chili at Cook’s Station, CA

We got away from Pioneer around 8:00am and headed for Cook’s Station. The road is definitely more mountainous and the air is thinner and cooler. We got to Cook’s Station (est. 1863) and felt so good that I had a big bowl of chili and Valda had some of the sweetest onion rings ever. The owner, Tammy, comped us for the night and we promised to have breakfast this morning with her. I really appreciate all the campgrounds that give us a site for the night. We try not to use much of their resources, figuring that is the only right thing to do. It is certainly conducive to a good night’s rest when you don’t have to worry about anything.

Rick Walking the Sierra Nevadasl want to touch on something that I find quite unbelievable. Cook’s Station, and another wide spot in the road about three miles away called Ham’s Station, are restaurants/grocery store establishments along CA 88, about 75 miles or so Northeast of Sacramento, the state capital. These two establishments have no electricity service. There are NO lines coming up the road to give them power. They both have diesel generators that supply all their power and the price of diesel fuel has gotten to the point where both places turn off their generators for a few hours overnight to save money. Tammy told me that her diesel bill is over $4,000 a month. I always thought that every place in the USA that wanted electricity had it. What a surprise to me.

I want to thank LT of Grizzly Flats, CA who was dining at Cook’s Station when I was enjoying my big bowl of chili. We got to talking and I gave him a card and told him what I was doing. As I started to leave, he gave me a generous cash donation for the cause. Thanks Leonard.

Miles Covered: 15.5
Total Miles: 198.75
Money Found: $0.32
Total Found: $14.55

Day 15: Nevada at Last ?!?

Well, we may be in Nevada, but not because we want to be! Valda discovered this morning that our Onan Generator (the generator in the RV that supplies us with 110V inside the coach) didn’t work. So, after six miles in the mountains and a bit of wondering what we were going to do, we contacted the Cummins Co. and found the nearest Onan service center here in Reno. And that’s where we are currently. They found out our generator motor had seized up and they are putting a new one in tomorrow morning. Just what we didn’t need. :p Oh well, ya gotta have electricity.In the Sierra Nevadas

As you might know, we are in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We are currently at the 6000′ level on CA 88 about 21.5 miles Northeast of Pioneer, CA. We are exactly 50 miles from the CA/NV state lines. The weather is very cool, bordering on cold. The sky is clear and sunny and the scenery is spectacular. We’ve met some great people along the way and have had complete strangers give us money for Gateway.

People never cease to amaze me!

Miles Covered: 6
Total Miles: 204.75
Money Found: $0.37
Total Found: $14.92

Day 16: Here We Sit

The view here in Reno is four white walls with a TV set, a water cooler and a coffee pot. Thank goodness for the coffee pot. At least we have phone service and our broadband is working. Hooray for small miracles.

We have to endure a forced day off today thanks to our generator. The good news about the generator is that they had an identical one in stock. The bad is that it’s about to be ours. I can’t take too much of this kind of good news. The people here have assured us we will be out of here this afternoon, then after a hundred mile trek back into the mountains, we should be all ready to set out tomorrow and resume our journey. I guess in the scheme of things, this is just a little bump in the road.

Personal to BG of NYC: Thank you so much for the donation to Gateway for Cancer Research. It is very appreciated. Also thanks to RV buddies Ilene & Snuffy S. of Little Rock for matching “money found” up to a hundred dollars. This list is growing slowly but surely, and now every penny I pick up is actually worth about eight cents. You all mean a great deal to Valda & me.

An update to items found on the highway: The banana peels have all but disappeared. I guess it must have been a California coast thing. General trash is still very light. I now see a lot of:

  • Keys
  • Tableware
    • Spoons
    • Forks
  • Ink Pens

We have gotten into the snow, and other than the cold, it isn’t a problem. Thank goodness the weather has been great. Wish I was back on that highway, taking it one turn at a time. This picture below is the campground where we stayed here in Reno/Sparks. What a view. Till the next time l can get on the Internet…

Day 17: No Cell Service

I’m about 51 miles from Nevada 🙂 Most of it uphill  😦

Sierra NevadasToday I walked 15 miles and the weather has been terrific. Sunny, cool and somewhat breezy (actually very windy today). Traffic in the mountains hasn’t been too bad and the road has been very good as far as width is concerned. HWY 88 runs circles around HWY 12. The money found has been slim pickin’s up in them hills. I guess what few people that live up there, must save their money for diesel fuel. I got shut today. But, the views were worth a million bucks – one curve after another. As you know, we’ve been out of phone and broadband service for about a week. Personal to LK: Thanks so much for your donation that put us over the $1,000.00 figure! It is much appreciated! More when it happens.  California is almost history!

Miles Covered: 15
Total Miles: 219.75
Money Found: $0.00
Total Found: $14.92

Day 18: Avalanche Zone!

Carson Pass and Carson Spur thwarted Rick on his walk.

Carson Pass and Carson Spur thwarted Rick on his walk.

Today l walked 18.5 miles and rode 3. Let me explain: a California State Highway Patrol (CHiPs) told me on Thursday that l could not walk two avalanche areas on Hwy 88. One was 1.1 mile at Carson Spur, and the other was 1.8 miles at Carson Pass. He said it was posted no pedestrians and although I could probably make it through the areas on foot without incident, l would be violating the law. So…reluctantly, l rode those two areas.

What do you do?


Miles Covered: 18.5
Total Miles: 238.25
Money Found: $0.00
Total Found: $14.92

Day 19: California is History!

Exiting the Sierra NevadasIt’s hard to believe, but California is a state I do not have to set foot in again if I don’t want to. It’s history, kaput, a thing of the past, yesterday’s news! I am in Nevada! I made it to the state line today, doing 18 miles downhill to do it.





Miles Covered: 18
Total Miles: 256.25
Money Found: $0.26
Total Found: $15.18

California Stats


Here are some fun figures from California:

  • Miles Walked: 256.25
  • Average Miles per Day: 16.53
  • % of Walk Completed: 8%
  • Days Walked: 15.5
  • Days Off: 3.5
  • Money Found: $15.18
  • Average Money Found per Day: $0.98
  • Average Money Found per Mile: $0.17
  • Counties Walked Through: 6 (Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Sacramento, Amador & Alpine)
  • State Highways Walked: 3
  • US Highways Walked: 0
  • Major Bridges Crossed: 4
  • Most Unusual Find: New Aluminum Walking Cane!