Start with a Plane Ride April 22, 2016

DAY 1.          Excited and nervous are hitting the extremes.  Today is no ordinary day.  Today is when I hop on my plane to start the Continental Divide.  With hanging out with friends and co-workers the last week straight, my procrastinating led to a little stress with making sure I had everything I needed to complete my 3,100 mile trail.  Ran some errands in town before I headed to the airport.   Time got away from me, and like usual I was running late.  Arrived at the airport thirty minutes before my flight.  Ran to the front desk to check my bag, then dashed up stairs to go thru security.  I thought I missed my flight when they closed the door to my gate.  I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I found out they were just cleaning the plane.  My plane ticket said it was leaving at 12:48pm , but I found out that’s when they start boarding.  The ride to Mesa went smooth most of the way because I slept.  I woke up to some turbulence in the mountains.  An older lady sitting next to me said this is quite normal going thru the mountains.  Landed in Mesa and saw my Greyhound tickets doubled in price, so I decided to hitch hike.  I caught my first ride within ten minutes of walking.  The guy gave me a much needed ride to the freeway and saved me a couple miles there.  It was so blasted hot out!  I went to Burger King and got a chocolate shake.  Hung out at Highway 60 for a good amount of time before catching a ride.  A couple swung by and saw me trying to hitch hike, so they picked me up a water and drove me thirty miles out of town.  Every time something amazing happens like this, it really brings my faith back in humanity.  The guy was my age and she was twenty.  I had a blast talking to complete strangers.  It reminded me that this a reason why my thru hikes are so memorable.  Came to a small dinky town were they dropped me off at the bathrooms.  Snapped a picture and off they went.  My third hitch took forever.  As the darkness set in, I saw a guy pull up to the restrooms.  DAY ONE PART 2…. After he came out he lit up a cigarette.  I walked over and told him about my triple crown attempt and he didn’t mind one bit.  Chatted for about twenty miles, and came to find out he lived in Minot for a couple years after he got out of the service.  He was a welder and was even in Iraq for a term.  Ralph had alot to say and he was quite an interesting character.  I’m sure our thoughts were equal.  Ralph dropped me off at Walmart were I went to make a plan.  Heard screams across the road and saw a baseball diamond.  Watched some little kids play ball all night.  It was quite amusing hearing their excitement for the game…. brought back some good memories.  A massive fire blew up during the ball game at the local Walmart.   Eventually they got it under control, hopefully no other fires will break out tonight.  Going to find a nice stealth camp spot for the night.

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