Continuing Adventures of Two Old Dogs
Bandit and I now must manage to traverse a distance of 370 miles to get to Memphis where I’ve received an offer of a vehicle, shelter and employment. It’s the first honest offer of employment I’ve managed to secure since regaining my ID and driver’s license two months ago. I’ve only been back in the county for five months now which seems like ages, but given the amount of forward progress I’ve actually made, I don’t feel bad considering how far in the hole I found myself in upon returning under such harsh circumstances.
The exact details about how the stars aligned on that job offer (etc.) is a serendipitous example of reciprocal karma in action and will make for an interesting blogpost sometime in the near future.
Traveling with Bandit, like traveling with a child, adds a great degree of responsibility and challenge to the travel equation, not to mention the extra cost. Keeping him by my side precludes any form of the more affordable mass transit options (trains/buses) available back here in the good ole’ USA. We got used to traveling everywhere together overseas where dogs are welcome most everywhere.
There are a few of my (misguided) friends and followers who have suggested I offload my beloved dog into the hands of a trusted caregiver. Given Bandit’s ebullient and gentle demeanor there are no shortage of folks who are willing to provide excellent care for him.
Let me be perfectly clear. Bandit and I are a family and a team. He will NOT be handed off or left in the care of anyone other than myself for a time period that exceeds an overnight outing. Loved ones aren’t a disposable commodity to me. There is no amount of suffering I will not endure in order to keep Bandit near and dear. Some of you will relate. Some of you will think me crazy. The ones who can relate are those who I feel the deepest kinship.
I’m now left trying to figure the best and most affordable way of getting the two of us to Memphis from here in Oklahoma. My timetable is flexible but the sooner we can get from Tulsa or Muskogee (pick one) to Memphis the better. If I don’t find a more suitable way to travel than walking, we’ll walk back towards Memphis just as we were planning to do in the other direction towards Colorado. It’s half as far as we were planning to trek in the other direction and we had no offer of employment, shelter or transportation once we got there. @thetimchannel Email: thetimtimes at gmail. You know the drill
Like a Rolling Stone
Bandit and I are going to head out to Colorado Springs on Saturday May 2nd. We don’t yet have a car and traveling via bus with a pet dog is not permitted here in America, so we’ll be traveling on foot and carrying whatever of our meager possessions we can drag along. The weather is warm enough now that I feel confident we won’t freeze to death en route, though I expect there will be enough other challenges and deprivations to suffice for the lack of blizzard conditions.
We will attempt to traverse the 700 mile divide at a minimum pace of ten miles per day, which works out to a total travel time of around 70 days. If we hump it, or catch a ride here and there, we might make even arrive in Colorado Springs before the 4th of July, which will give “Independence Day” a whole new perspective for the both of us!
Of course we’re totally unprepared to walk the 700 miles to get to Colorado Springs, but what we lack in preparedness we will make up in moxie. I’m determined to do whatever is necessary in an attempt to get to a place in the country where I can reasonably expect to make an honest living in an environment which is conducive to maintaining my physical and mental health. Bandit and I aren’t looking for nirvana, just a place in America where the density of meth addicts and poverty isn’t higher than the national debt.
Come Saturday, we’ll be saying goodbye to Kelly Weaver here in Wagoner OK who has been heroic in providing me and Bandit a temporary landing zone midway between Mississippi and Colorado. She has many burdens herself, and for her to step up to the plate the way she has to help me is a testament to her character. Bandit and I will miss her joviality and companionship, as well as her precious pup Fidel. She’s a good mom and a great friend and deserves better than the hand she’s been dealt in life. Kelly is going to look after two of the four suitcases that consist of the totality of the personal possessions that I managed to get back to the US with me from Germany. If I die along the way she is welcome to keep them. If not, I’ll send her money and shipping directions in the near future.
On the Road Again
Next week, I’ll be just another of a large and growing cadre of aging homeless Vietnam era veterans wandering the streets and byways of America, but that’s a condition I will attempt to abate as soon as is humanly possible. Even though me and my buddy Bandit have already lost nearly everything of a material nature and we’re still saddened and mourning Rita’s cancer death last year, I’m still optimistic and upbeat about our longer term prospects. The fickle hand of fate hasn’t yet snatched my mental acuity or my health, though I imagine the former is up for review and debate, same as it ever was. The latter is about to be tested in ways most men my age would be hard pressed to survive let alone embrace. I’m actually looking forward to the challenge which I suspect is also prima facie evidence my mental acuity is not as sharp as I perceive it to be.
I still feel bad for those in worse shape than me and my dog, even as we are poised to crowd around the campfire at the hobo camps and highway underpasses ourselves.
Rocky Mountain Magic
I’ve settled on trying to rebuild my life in Colorado Springs because of the fond memories I have of living there during my (more) youthful years in the Air Force. Because of the large military presence the support system for Vietnam era vets should be strong there if push comes to shove. I hoping the vibrant economy in Colorado, coupled with my liberal mentality towards legalized marijuana might come in handy but finding a job in the marijuana industry isn’t at the top of my list of employment desires. My first choice of employment would be in a vape shop where I could help people switch from smoking cigarettes to vaping (e-cigs), a switch I made myself shortly after arriving back in the US last year. That noted, I’m not turning down any legitimate means of employment.
If I’m lucky I’ll land several jobs and just manage to survive really close to the edge of disaster without falling off the cliff–you know–just like most ‘normal’ people do all over the country. Sure would be nice for things to return to ‘normal’ again.
As fast as I’m approaching age 60, I don’t feel like I have a lot of time to waste sitting around and hoping things will work out on their own. If you want to help add a degree of possible success to my life or a bit of a buffer against the fickle hand of fate, I’ve included the requisite support links below. It pains me to realize that if I were a fundamentalist Christian trying to deny gays a catered pizza wedding I’d have a greater chance of fundraising success than I’ll likely have trying to survive as a homeless liberal veteran, but such are the angsts of life.
I’m going to try and get a YouTube video up before I take off on Saturday.
Financial Support Options
Immediate Emergency Travel Assistance !!!
Assistance to help me get established After Arriving at Colorado Springs.
If you’re able and interested in helping me obtain a vehicle and secure an apartment after overcoming the turmoils of travel once Bandit and I get to Colorado Springs, I created the Indiegogo Life account for that purpose. It is set to expire in sixty days and any funds collected are frozen and unavailable to me for the next two and a half months. See you in Colorado Springs.
My long term goal of fundraising for the building an off grid tiny home is still active but I will not be promoting it again until I am established in Colorado and can contribute to it along with those of you who are fans of Tiny Homes, Me, or more likely, Bandit.
Sunpocalypse down South
I’d put the overhyping of mainstream media on the ‘failed’ Snowpocalypse of 2015 on par with Geraldo Rivera’s prime time debacle on the opening of Al Capone’s vault. Both of those pale in comparison to the granddaddy of all mainstream media fails which was burnished in both the blood and treasure of the nation (WMD’s in Iraq).
Here’s what it looked like in Dixie during the worst of the crisis up north.
It’s a Dog’s Life
“You’re checking for worms where?”
Bandit had his first visit to the vet since arriving back in America today. I didn’t expect there would be any problems (there weren’t) because he had been scanned, probed and microchipped for his international doggie passport just a few short months ago before we left Germany. The attentive and caring staff at the Jackson Animal Clinic are now engaged in buffing and scrubbing him up to make him even more adorable.
There’s a reason the Jackson Animal Clinic has been one of the most successful vet clinics in the Jackson Metro area for decades. Caring professionals and top quality service instills confidence in all who seek assistance here. Highly recommend you seek care for your pets at this location. Affordable ID chipping is available at this location. I was extremely impressed that they were able to read the ID chip Bandit had implanted before departing Germany.
Visit them on Facebook