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Day 9

THE JOURNEY ACROSS AMERICA – AGAIN

Day’s 9 – 11 (May 9 – 11, 2000)

 

As mentioned in my post on Thursday, May 7 2020, I knew from the outset of this endeavor that there were eight missing days in the written transcript of the Journey. Not only did I not know which days were not transcribed, I still don’t know if I hadn’t made audio recordings on those days, or if the original recordings “went missing”. After posting the day 8 transcript on May 8, I – like many of you – was looking forward to reading about the decision to take the shorter, more mountainous route, or the longer, less mountainous one that was to be made within two days – by May 10, 2000.

 

Well, I literally turned the page of my copy of the transcript from day 8 to day 9, only to find that there were no entries in the Journal of the Journey for the next three days! That was an unsettling realization. I started getting that sinking feeling, somewhat reminiscent of how I felt leaving San Diego with one pair of running shoes and inadequate funding, hoping that I wasn’t leading my crew then – and my Facebook and website followers now – down an ever-diminishing rabbit hole going nowhere fast.

 

I did have certainty about a number of things, though. I know we never reached an altitude above 7,000 feet – so we must have taken the longer “low” road through the mountain. I also know that my crew and I succeeded in making it to New York City; that we did raise $175,000, and donated $125,000 to the Anthony Robbins Foundation to help start the Global Youth Leadership Summit, and $50,000 to The Aubrey Fund for Pediatric Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. I just needed to know more about where my sharing of the transcript was heading. So, I had to sneak-a-peak up ahead, and do some analysis that ended up being very revealing – and reassuring.

 

Of the eight days that were missing, five of them occurred in the first 11 days of the transcript. This meant that 62.5% of the missing days happened in the first 19% of the Journey. A word count of the transcript revealed a total of 107,692 words. Given 250 – 300 words per page of a typical book, this meant the transcript (using a 300 words per page standard) projected out to 358 pages. For the first 11 days, not factoring in the 5 missing days, there were a total of 7974 words – or 27 total pages (1329 words per day) which translated to an average 4.5 pages per day.

 

Looking at the rest of the transcript, I discovered that days 12 – 57 contained 99,718 words – or potentially 331 total pages at a rate of 2319 words per day (7.73 pages per day) – which meant an increase of 42% over the first 11 days. This indicated that I wasn’t losing momentum – I was gaining momentum. So, I decided to check the mileage data.

Saturday, June 24th – the 55th day of the Journey – was actually the last full day of running. The following two days were cut short for a couple of reasons. One, we had to end the Journey on Sunday, June 25, 2000, on the New Jersey side of the George Washington bridge, were we were to stay the night at a Fort Lee motel. There, I would finally be with my children Beau and Mackenzie for the first time in nearly two months. They would join me for the final stage of the Journey – entering New York City’s Central Park. We couldn’t head into the city that Sunday, because we had secured a permit to bring our caravan into New York City’s Central Park the following day, Monday, June 26, which would only be a short 7.3-mile run. You see, we got to Fort Lee a day ahead of schedule – you’ll find out more about that later in the Journey.

 

The mileage total at the end of day 55 was 2889.7, or 52.45 miles-per-day. Comparing the mileage-per-day from days 1 – 11 to days 12 – 55 showed a similar increase in momentum to the Journal entries. For the first 11 days, we averaged 50.74 miles per day; for the rest of the Journey (up until end of day 55) we averaged 52.98 miles per day.

 

Knowing these facts, convinced me that there is much more ahead – with very few pauses that have slowed our progress these past few days. So “buckle-up” and get ready for the next 46 days. As I posted yesterday, Saturday May 9th, “The best is yet to come!”

 

But first, here are Laura’s postings for days 9, 10 & 11. I will resume posting on Tuesday, May 12, the very day 20 years ago that began a significant increase in both journal entries and daily mileage.

 

Yours for the distance,

Stu

 

THE JOURNEY ACROSS AMERICA – AGAIN

Day 9 (May 9, 2000) – 50.0 miles

 

We started from the Indian Skies RV Park. It was the worst traffic so far and no shoulders on the roads. AZ has a lot of dirt, dust, cops, and ants. The temperature was 98 degrees and we had the first real uphill climb in days which lasted 16.5 miles. By 22 miles we approached a solid wall of mountains, but then turned east and paralleled them. A state trooper and ex-runner helped us decide on the southern route- 36 miles longer but less treacherous hills. We stayed just east of Superior, AZ in the mountains at 2888 ft.