Day 8: I Knew I Could Do 20!

And on the seventh day – he walked 21.5 miles. Finally, I got the 20 I’ve been looking for! The day started out good, got better after lunch and got real good as dinner rolled around. Hwy 12 was much better today than it was yesterday. No barriers between lanes, wider shoulders (paved) and then a gravel shoulder next to that. There was about two miles of three foot wide shoulder and the rest was six to seven feet. It was really a treat to see all that in front of me.Windmills

The terrain today was mostly agricultural. There were some windmills that I eventually got past,  but the fields were mostly alfalfa and sod farms. The miles and miles of green were really pretty and a stark difference to all the vineyards we’ve seen for the past week. The weather has been perfect for walking. Cool,  sunny and breezy. The TV said this morning that this area usually gets its first 90 degree day in April. I hope it continues to hold off.

Personal to Mason & Patricia – thanks for matching my money found. By the way, it is little comfort knowing you are walking along beside me via your easy chair. While l get blisters on my feet, you get blisters elsewhere :p  Seriously, thanks for the matching funds. It is always good to hear from you two.

We got to I-5 and Hwy 12 in Sacramento County today and this makes the fourth county I’ve walked in. We should be in Lodi tomorrow morning where I have an interview with a reporter for the Lodi paper set up. I’ll see if I can do back-to-back twenties. Hope so 🙂

Miles Covered: 21.5
Total Miles: 120.75
Money Found: $1.99
Total Found: $9.05

Day 9: Goodbye 12, Hello 88!

Spying the CascadesWell, Hwy 12 history – thank goodness. It was interesting. I’m now walking on Hwy 88 and have stopped for the night in Lockford, just East of Lodi. The area today was again mainly agriculture with a lot of homes near the road sprinkled in. I can make out mountains in the distant East and know that shortly I’ll be walking through them. The mountains to my West have all but disappeared from sight.

We had a pretty good day today. Met with Ross Farrow of the Lodi News-Sentinel. We had a good interview and the article should be out tomorrow. (FUNNY SIDE NOTE: Valda’s name changes 3 times in that article!)

“I consider any step that’s not on my route a wasted step unless it leads to a doughnut shop,” Hammersley said with a laugh.

We got in 16.5 miles today and would have probably gotten more, but l got a little puny in the afternoon and took an extended break. Much better now and, in fact, went out and did five miles after taking the break. Tomorrow we head to Jackson. The weather was again perfect, but it started getting warm in the afternoon.

Personal to Jody in Lebanon, IN: thanks so much for matching our found money. Today we added an additional $1.43. More tomorrow!

Miles Covered: 16.5
Total Miles: 137.25
Money Found: $1.43
Total Found: $10.48

Day 10

RV in CascadesWe had a great week. We left Napa last Sunday and are currently in Martell, CA. I will pick up the route at the Wal-Mart tomorrow and head through Martell and Jackson. The elevation is around 1000′ and we passed a 2000′ elevation sign on the way to the campground yesterday. The roads have been much better earlier in the week and we are now on CA 88. I guess I have been more adept at my walking and I don’t seem to have any problems with my blisters anymore.

We had a newspaper Interview in Lodi yesterday, and today we got a call from DH of Lodi who tracked us down and gave us a $100 for Gateway For Cancer Research. People never cease to amaze me! 

Anyway, things are progressing fine and we’ve settled into a routine of sorts. For those of you who want to know, I start out at 8:00am and walk till 11:00am. I take a two hour lunch/rest break and then walk from 1:00pm to around 4:00pm. I then take another 2 hour dinner/rest break and, if possible, l try to walk another couple of miles after 6:00pm. This seems to work okay and we are always trying out different routines. Nothing I have planned is chiseled in stone. I try to always be flexible! 🙂

Miles Covered: 17.5
Total Miles: 154.75
Money Found: $0.43
Total Found: $10.91

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