I awoke to another beautiful day in Chattanooga. The forecast looked good for many of the days I was to be on the mission. After driving the truck, I noticed a vibration in my driveshaft which meant I had to replace the u-joints as soon as possible. The added weight and constant accelerations are hard on the drivetrain. I made a plan to accomplish the repair early in the morning after getting started for the day.
I had some burritos on ice left over from yesterday. I am finding that going to pass out food and water was better done after the food kitchen was closed. People who are homeless have limited access to resources after hours which includes water, food, and bathrooms/showers. It is personally frustrating to me that a city so great as Chattanooga is, has only a partial solution to a human living issue. A lot of people are confused as to the best solution. Many people have many different needs. Part of the problem begins by looking at the homeless population – as individual humans who have unique needs. I am simply trying to cover the basics of food and water to provide comfort. However, simple solutions can easily provide a humane living condition for many.
After getting the truck repaired, I headed to the library again to finish up some decals for the truck. To make the mission a success I seek sponsors to help cover some of the costs of the mission. In previous years we used most of the money for fuel, food, and lodging to get the American Flag on the Golden Gate Bridge. This year we used fuel money for food money, and put it in people’s mouths.
I want to thank our personal sponsors and our company sponsors: Jason Padilla, Zack Chastain, Willie Wilson, David Lightfoot, John Lippincott, and Jason Robinson. Our company sponsors include MTN View Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram, and Hudlow Axle. You all made it possible in 2019 to feed and care for those that need it most. We will continue to help people throughout the year as we are able, thank you!
Arriving late in Salina, KS left us in the dark and about to enter a heavy storm. I picked this stop for a propane stop as I mapped out our fuel and sleep stops for the mission. Keep in mind we must travel at least 500 miles a day to keep up with the mission: 5 fuels, 5 days, for the Fallen 5. I must calculate distances for each fuel stop, directions, and distance goals for each day.
Last year we stopped here for propane and the company in Salina, KS named Propane Central filled our tank for free! Awesome people! I wanted to stop and say hello again, but I would have to wait until the morning. The wind and rain made this night of the trip the worst for sleeping and comfort. The wind blew so hard the trap kept ripping off just as I dozed off to sleep. So at about 5:00 am I finally fell asleep for about 2 hours. It was like sleeping in a Wal-Mart bag…horrible!
Once awake and ready to go, Mach and I set out to get propane and coffee and head west. Every time I visit Kansas the people really inspire me with their kindness. All along the journey in Kansas I met so many kind people. Year after year, the people in this state are so nice and makes me look forward to seeing these people. The terrain is flat and grassy, but it is very peaceful. A few times after traveling for so long we would dodge off and travel down a dirt road for a bit either for a break or just to catch up on media and check on the truck. We met some nice cows and got some great pictures before heading toward Colorado.
Last year on this part of the trip I got a bad migraine and altitude sickness so on this day I was sure to hydrate and keep food in me. As I traveled I noticed that there was a tiny home festival in Colorado Springs, CO at the Air Force Academy! I checked the mileage difference between Denver and Co. Springs and decided to spend the night at the Bass Pro Shops with my tiny home friends! Arriving just as it was getting dark I was welcomed in and after a short time Mack and I were tucked into bed. It was cold, windy, and rained, but being among friends far from home was warming enough. Mack and I fell fast asleep after a long day of driving across the plains to the Rockies. In the morning we would awake to the view of the Rockies!
Thank you to our sponsors and contributors for making this mission possible!