Jan. 1st, 2004, Gulf Shores, Alabama

Jan. 2nd, 2004, Dauphin Island, AL

Jan. 3rd, 2004, Grand Bay, AL

Jan. 4-5th, 2004, Pascagoula, Mississippi
Gave Job a day off.

Jan. 6th, 2004, Biloxi, MS

Jan. 7th, 2004, Pass Christian, MS

Jan. 8th, 2004, "middle of nowhere", MS
Happy Birthday Francis.

Jan. 9th, 2004, Slidell, Louisianna

Jan. 10th, 2004, Pearl River, LA

Jan. 11th, 2004, St. Tammany Corner, LA

Jan. 12th, 2004, Abita Springs, LA

Jan. 13th, 2004, Folsom, LA

Jan. 14th, 2004, Tickfaw, LA

A moment frozen in time
holds the feeling that I hoped to find
and with everyday I try to never regret
and in everway I try to never forget.

Jan. 15th, 2004, Livingston, LA

Jan. 16th, 2004, Baton Rouge, LA
Camped on the banks of the Mississippi, the ol'Miss, the mighty Miss, the ol' mighty Miss, deeeeeeeeep river.

Jan. 17th, 2004, Scotlandvile, LA
Got up early (covered with little snails -weird.) to cross the big river bridge when the traffic was lightest cuz, of course, there was no place to walk. Stopped in the middle and took picture.

Jan. 18th, 2004, Erwinnville, LA

"*" Means this person is a hero to me. They took it upon themself to reach out to a stranger.

Jan. 19th, 2004, Lottie, LA
*Debbie tried to give me $20 for dogfood. I kept refusing, she kept insisting. Job got Kibbles and Bits, the expensive stuff, today.

Jan. 20th, 2004, Courtableau, LA
*Lester is a police officer who gave me $5 and a police escort across a 4 mile bridge that had no sidewalk or breakdown lane.

Jan. 21st, 2004, Veazie, LA
*Greg Gaspard is the pastor of Unity Baptist Church in Opelousas, LA. He took up a collection to help Job and I along our way then his wife Liz gave me dinner while Job played with their dog. They let me shower up and then sleep in the church. Job wanted to stay with Patso outside.

Jan. 22nd, 2004, Savoy, LA
*Bill, offered a ride, *Dexter, offered a ride.

Jan. 23rd, 2004, Basile, LA
*Construction worker, offered a genuine "good luck".

Jan. 24th, 2004, outside Le Blanc, LA
*Ben, a veterinarian, asked how Job was doin' and offered me $10. I asked, "What's that for?" He said, "You're on a long journey aren't you?" I said, "Yes." He said, "I'm a Christian and I just wanted to help a little." I said, "O.k., thank you."

Jan. 25th, 2004, before Reeves, LA
*Brenda, gave me a ride to church then offered Job and I a neighbor's camp to rest and relax at for the day (I usually take Sunday's off).
I went to the evening service with Jessie, Brenda's husband, and Kenny, their son, then Jessie took us out for dinner.

Jan. 26th, 2004, DeQuincy, LA

Sunrise at camp.

Jan. 27th, 2004, Lunita, LA

Jan. 28th, 2004, Mauriceville, Texas

Jan. 29th, 2004, north of Vidor, TX

Jan. 30th, 2004, Silsbee, TX

Jan. 31st, 2004, Saratoga, TX
* Two dudes in truck, offered me a ride.
* Young guy headed to Thicket pullin' old horse trailer, offered me a ride.

Feb. 1-4, 2004, Saratoga, TX
Stayed with Charlie and Catherine Doyal who I met at church. Taking the opportunity to work on my gear and convert it into phase-2 of our trip "long open highway" mode (got to watch the super bowl).
* All the nice folks at First Baptist Church, Saratoga.

Feb. 5th, 2004, rte. 105, TX

Feb. 6th, 2004, Cleveland, TX

Feb. 7th, 2004, Conroe, TX

Feb. 26th, 2004, Conroe, TX
*Cindy, at the Conroe Humane Society.

March 6th, 2004, Lake Conroe, TX
A Saturday night. Sitting out on the patio of Papa's Icehouse havin' an o.j. I had a couple beers with my buddy, Rick, lastnight back in Conroe, but it really didn't do for me what it use to, so tonight it's o.j. and no groggy feeling in the morning. All the people are inside listening to the band, but no one's dancing -gay. They're pretty good, too. I'd be if there was an actual dance floor, I need to. It's been a while. I go in and bopp on the fringe of the people and tables when I hear a good song. The pretty waitress gave me a free refill on my o.j. They're all pretty in their pink shirts tied up on their stomachs. Mine's pretty and nice which is a rarity nowadayz. I'm sittin' out here to write while I keep an eye on Job whose laying down on his mat on the otherside of the little fence around the patio by the lake. There's docks here where people can pull up in their boats to party.
I spent a month in Conroe. It's hard to believe. It went by so fast. Today I left with a brand new, new and improved "road rig". I'd built a temporary one out scrap wood and materials I found in Charlie's shed while in Saratoga and was lucky to do so, but looking at the map I new when I got to Conroe it would be the right kind of town to supply me with all the necessary kind of stores to build the real deal. I suspect I wouldn't have been in Conroe as long as I was had I not met so many new people at church (except the pastor that dude didn't say "boo" to me the whole time I was there) and had sort of a social life while I was there which was enjoyable. Well, I also built the rig twice. I wasn't happy with the dimemsions of the first one, so I built another one with a lower profile. Anywayzzz. We're back on the road in style.

The pack converts into a tree-tent for Job and I at night. (Once we get outside of town, we'll be in wild boar and cougar territory.)
*Rick Mercado, *Shannon Fox, *John Russel McCann., all for extending a hand of friendship while I was in Conroe.

March 7th, 2004, Dobbin, TX
Job cut his foot open pretty good on a broken bottle in the grass alongside the road. We're going to have to take it easy for a few days to let it heal and to keep him cool because it's summertime down here in Texas.

March 8th, 2004, Wood, TX

March 9th, 2004, Navasota River, TX

March 10th, 2004, Brazos River, TX
Job's foot is doin' pretty good, but it's pretty hot to be limpin' along so we took the day off to rest 'em up only walkin' a 1/2 mile or so from the Navasota River to the Brazos.

March 11th, 2004, Gay Hill, Tx

March 12th, 2004, Somerville Lake, TX,

March 13th, 2004, Somerville, TX
I figured Somerville would be a town to set up camp in for a few days and let Job heal completely. A small town with a lake and a bunch of campgrounds. I've kept his foot well bandaged and clean with plenty of antibiotics on it. He'd gotten an identical cut back in Alabama and healed up good once we got to a town where he could rest up and I could get supplies. This is our second day at the campground on the lake and he hasn't been able to walk since we got here, on either. continue

March 14th, 2004, Somerville, TX

Relocated, woke up in the rain, went to church, brought dry clothes with me and changed on the sidewalk under an overhang once I got into town. Responded to the altar call, headed back to campsite, decided to head out, packed up in the rain. Once it stopped, I put Job on top of everything and pulled him a mile or so out to the main road. There was a lot of traffic and no sidewalk or shoulder to walk on, so I reconsidered. Met Tony outside the Catholic Church in town, St. Ann's, when I asked him if I could pull in out of the rain for a minute and regroup. He was with the Knights of Columbus and was preparing dinner for Sunday Bingo in the function hall. He and Don, a head-knight-dude, said we could spend the night under the overhang. The rain was supposed to stop by tommorow so we took them up on the offer and got a free barbeque dinner out of the deal.

March 15th, 2004, Caldwell, TX
Headed out of town pulling the pack with Job on top. Yah, I know. I've definitely gone off the deep end. Pulling a pack with a 100lb. dog on top of it across America. To me, it's just another test of my will and my heart (and my ability to not be bothered by people gaulking at me all day.) I was sweatin' buckets. It was pretty hot, for a notherner anyway. We stopped for an ice cream in Lyons, TX and I called Job's vet back in Portland, ME. I had noticed this morning a little bit of grey puss draining from the side of one of the pads on his foot. His cut one was all better by now. She seemed to think it was a foxtail awn which are common in southwestern U.S. and Texas and she told me it will work it's way right up the animal's leg and into their vital organs if unattended. Patrick was coming out of the little store we had stopped at and asked about our journey. We got to talkin'. Turned out he and his wife owned the store. He offered to drive us to Caldwell, the next major town, so I could get Job to the vet first thing in the morning. I took it. While Job is recuperating in the next few days I'll walk back to Lyons to cover the distance on foot. (No short cuts.) I found a field and a stretch of trees not too far from the veterinary clinic to camp for the night. Once he's looked at and on the road to recovery, I'll find us a good spot not too far from town to camp and then look for work to make up for whatever the vet bills amount to.
*Patrick Smotek, for helping me get Job to a vet to make sure he's cared for.

March 16th, 2004, Caldwell, TX
Got up, had breakfast, put Job on the cart and wheeled him down the road to the Caldwell Veterinary Clinic. They said they could see him at 11am. We had some time to kill, so I walked us into town to get a map of Caldwell and a local newspaper.

March 17th-18th, 2004, Caldwell TX
It's 5:30pm. I just got off work. I walk in the house and call to Job. He's most likely laying down in the kitchen on the cool linoleum. He comes bombing around the corner and barrells into me. It's hard to notice he even has a limp when he's coming at you that fast. Cliff's car was in the driveway next door. He must have just got off work, too. Job and I walk across the yard and sit down on the porch with Cliff and Candy, Jacque's dog. Jacque doesn't get home until 7. I brought one of Job's bowls and the epsom salt with me, so I can soak his foot again, once in the morning and once in the evening. We sit on the little porch pausing our conversation as the train rolls through town. It's a nice evening. The schools in town are on spring break this week, so there's lots of kids playing in the park across the street. It'll be getting dark soon and the lights over the baseball diamond will come on so the little leaguers can have night practice. I told myself the other night "be careful you don't fall in love with this town before Job is all healed up and it's time for you both to move on."

I hadn't gotten a newspaper the other morning because they didn't come out until Thursday (today). Jacque ('jackie') said she'd pick one up on her way to work. She said she wanted to see if the article about Job and I had made it into this week's edition. She works at the Caldwell Civic and Visitor Center which is where I had gone Tues. morning to get a map before Job's appointment. When I left the visitor center driving Job to the vet in Jacque's car, I was aware how a lot of people would be astonished by how trusting she was with me. I've been through a lot of towns and have seen and been seen by thousands, at this point, probably millions of people in the last 7 years. If I truly believed that people like Jacque and all the others I've met on my journey didn't exist then by now I would have disappeared broken retreating to some remote location never to be seen again. There are many days I could feel like a fool for believing we are all in this together, but not today. Faith is not just a belief. It's an investment. If you can't afford to believe in people or trust people you'll never have it. Jacque could. She owns the house next door to hers and plans to rent it out again, but until then Job has a home to rest in. Horace is a plumber in Caldwell and a friend of Jacque's. They bumped into one another at the hardware store. The next thing I new I was on the job digging a trench for a new water line in Deanville. He might be able to use me again, but I already told Jacque I'd do some renovating to the house Job and I are in. Job didn't have anything in his foot. Dr. Gordon said foxtail awns don't come out until fall. He had developed, for lack of a better word, a blister in between his two front pads from walking on it differently than normal when his other foot was hurt. I'm no stranger to blisters. Over time your feet toughen and they stop coming, but the slightest change effects them as the miles add up. Dogs can walk a lot further than people, but this is what happened to Job. The pads on a dog's feet are similar to a human finger nail and Job is going to have to grow a new one on the toe that had the "blister" which will take a little time. Until then I'll be either working on Jacque's house or on not getting too comfortable here. As nice as things are, right now, I know that will all change once it's just me and him on the road, again. Jacque called the local paper the morning we arrived at the visitor center and a photographer and then Ella, a reporter for the Burleson County Tribune, came by to talk with us then Pam, from the Chamber of Commerce, came by then Melissa, from City Hall, even Paul, the tough young custodian and groundskeeper came in and gave me dap. It's not going to be easy. I don't like it here simply because people have been so nice to me. They're good people because that's the kind of people they want to be regardless of some guy and his dog passin' through town. Job hurting his foot was just a way for us to find out first hand.

*Jacqueline Bray, for takin' in two strays.

March 19th-30th, 2004, Caldwell, TX
Let Job rest, picked up some work, worked on gear. We can leave whenever we want to, now.
*Michelle Brack for walking across from the playground with her family and introducing herself to me, and for being a friend.
*Pastor John and the folks at Harvest Cove Famliy Church for their hospitality.

March 30th, 2004, Caldwell, TX
Got up early for a trial walk before it got hot, got about four miles out of town and checked Job's foot. He was walking (running) fine on it, but his new pad was wearing thin. Headed back to town. It's going to take a little while longer to build up enough thickness. Peachy.

April 4th, 2004, Caldwell, TX
Got up early heading for Lyons, TX. Left Job in Caldwell. About 6 miles out of town I got a ride. Tony was headed to Somerville. The clock in his truck said 10am (which was wrong -daylight savings), so I thought I could make it to church and then head back. It was only 4 miles more. Caught half a service, grabbed a banana at the grocery store for my legs and walked back to Caldwell. All caught up.
*Tony, for a ride and a second offer on his way back to Caldwell.
*Young guy in little black import who offered me a ride a few miles outside of town.

April 5th, 2004, Caldwell, TX
Job's doin' awesome. Through my new friends Laurie and Mark Emond I've found more work. I'll finish out the week and then we'll hit the road.

April 6th, 2004, Caldwell, TX
Got back from work, checked my email and received some from my brother in California about our mother in Massachusetts.

April 9th-10th, 2004, Caldwell, TX
With the help of my cousin, Bobby and my friend, John, in Maine I was able to get the money I earned this week deposited in my account back home in order to rent a car. Drove to Massachusetts.
*Steve Bond, for his generostiy and prayers.

April 12th, 2004, Boston, Ma
Sitting with my mother in the hospital.

i started this site because i thought by living in a way most people didn't have the opportunity to live i had something to offer others because of what it allowed me to learn and experience. but now, because of a family emergency my life has changed dramatically and i no longer feel this is the case. (honestly, i believe we all have something to offer one another no matter how we live if we're brave enough to tell the truth about ourselves.) if am able to get back on the road i was on, i will continue updating this site, but until then the updates will be of a more personal nature and probably only of interest to people who know me.
until then, give, live, and love, cj.

1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 // X 2006 2007


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