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Day 20


Day 20 (May 20, 2000) – 57.8 miles


Back on May 7, 2020, I placed the following post on my Facebook page:


“When I finally received a scanned version of the hard copy transcript of the 57-day Journey Across America last week, I was told that there were eight days missing. My initial thought was that if I knew which of the 57 days were not part of the audio diary, I might begin to understand why they were missing. I was curious as to what was the context of the missing days. For instance: What happened the day before? Well, there may be some conclusions to be drawn from the fact that the first two missing days occurred on day 6 and 7, the two days after Greg left. The daily productivity was good – we covered 50 and 50.4 miles respectively. I’m just not sure if the original audio cassettes were lost or never recorded. I just didn’t know.”


The journal entry for Day 20, May 20, 2000 is also missing – though this one is no mystery. I chose not to talk into my cassette recorder on that day. The reason for this is foreshadowed by what happened at the end of Day 19, and will be further explained in my Journal entry on Day 21. Of note, Day 20 represented the largest mileage recorded for any day during the Journey – 57.8! It happened on a day that I was stuck on Interstate 40 for nearly the entire time. I ran those 57.8 miles as if my life depended on it. I didn’t want any distractions; all I wanted was to get off that freeway – a place that no sane runner would want to be on voluntarily. It was hot, heavily trafficked, and a major trucking route at that time. We are left with Laura’s original post on the Journey Across America website on May 20, 2000:


“We were on Interstate 40 all day. Stu ran his hardest to get off of the expressway because of the horrible traffic. It was warmer today than yesterday because we were 1400 feet lower than the day before. The course was rolling hills with lots of debris on the road, and lots of gravel in Stu’s shoes. At 50-miles we exited to Tucumcari, NM. Stu had a slight accident after leaving the I-40, and we had to bandage him up that night.”