A great many people seem interested with my facial hair of late. Before I decided to walk across the United States the only creatures who were ever concerned with this were dogs. Dogs love facial hair. I imagine to a dog it is an odiferous cornucopia of wonder and joy. I have been told I have a way with animals; that they seem to instinctively like me. Many times I have befriended a dog that I was told did not like people. I am not sure about other species, but as far as dogs are concerned the secret to my success is the goatee.

beards_mainBut now people are interested in my facial hair. Mainly they seem curious if I plan to let it grow out on my journey. I have to admit there is a sort of mystique to the idea of starting my trip clean shaven and ending it with a wild grown out beard. I have given this matter much thought. I really would love to do this but after consideration I fear I am just going to keep the goatee as well as I can.

The main reason for this is heat. I am mainly going to be walking in the spring and summer. I will also be going through several deserts. Beards are already hot and beards in high summer heat are doubly so. I have grown a full beard before and it has a tendency to go a bit out of control even when I try to maintain it. I fear letting it loose with no way to contain it might be unleashing an unspeakable horror on the world. So I shall carry a razor and do my best to keep my current appearance. Maybe when I get back I will let it go for eight months just for fun. Well… eight months or until it devours a cat.

I did a blog post about gear before with pictures and such but I am actually going to make an official list today. Those items I feel you might want to know more about I will hyperlink so you can read more about them. I might drop a sentence or two why I chose the particular item but I will try to keep it short. I will also be updating this from time to time. Any suggestions of things I may have left out would be greatly appreciated.

The Stroller a/k/a TARDIS – I chose this one because the seat reclines all the way down essentially creating a huge basket. I have had some comments that carrying gear in a stroller is creepy. I used to think that as well but not carrying fifty plus pounds on my back changed my mind.


water-resistant-conversion-pants-Water-resistant conversion pants x 2

-Under Armour-esque Shirts x 5

-Pairs of socks x 5

-Underwear x 5

-Pajama pants x 1

-Pajama shirt x 1

-Gloves x 1

-Cool hat! x 2 –I have two cool hats and am torn as to which I will take. One is a wide brimmed sun hat which is probably more functional but the other is an Indiana Jones fedora and… well… you know. I also have a Jayne hat for when I need to feel brave.

-Reflective vest x 1

-Travel towel x 1

-Hooded waterproof jacket with removable lining x 1



-Sleeping bag

-Heavy duty camp air mattress

-Stuff sacks – I have to sing the praises of these things. Most of the clothes and camping gear are in a stuff sack that can have the air pressed out of them so they get pretty flat. It saves on room and they can also double as a pillow.

-Camp stove

-Camp trowel

-Camp mallet

-Can opener

Assorted Gear

-Bear Vault (for food)
bear-spray-Bear Spray


-Leatherman Multitool


-Head lamp

-Small electric lantern

-iPhone (4s, if you must know)

-Nintendo 3DS

-Solar Charger – I have had a lot of questions about charging gear. This thing is awesome. I have already field tested it several times and it really is amazing.

-Rechargeable battery backup

-”Business” cards

-Hand wipes

-Duct tape

-Bungee cords


-First aid kit

-Glow sticks

-Waterproof tarp


-Safety pins


-I am not really going to make a list here as it will always be changing. Ideally I want to carry things that are light and also high in protein and calories. I will also be carrying roughly 2 gallons of water on me at the start, which I will obviously increase once I hit the desert.

And that is about it for now. I am sure I am going to be thinking of things over the next month or if you have suggestions please feel free leave a comment below.

I am thirty seven days away from my start and it is time for me to start begging for money! I really wish I did not have to do this but sadly everything costs money. I am pretty optimistic about the campaign and had a huge amount of help from many people putting it together. You are going to see a fair amount of emails and tweets from me in the next 45 days regarding fundraising, and for this I apologize. The more money I raise, though, will not only cover my expenses across the United States, but hopefully will also be more money donated to Child’s Play at the conclusion of my walk.

I want to give a huge thanks to Colin Campbell of IGN. He interviewed me yesterday about the walk and is publishing a story about me either today or Monday. I could not ask for better coverage and am pretty nervous about this. I thought I would be lucky to get a few interviews here and there during the walk and here I am already talking to IGN. Eep!

Things are about to be put into high gear during the weeks leading up to my departure. I have to find a good pair of starting shoes. The shoes I have been wearing are awesome but sadly not at all water resistant. I would even go as far as to call them water absorbent. So I shall have to find something else.

I am going to start checking and re-checking all of my gear on a weekly basis. You can never be too prepared. On Monday I am going to post an itemized list of everything I am taking with me so far. This way if I am forgetting anything obvious maybe someone out there can give me suggestions. Thanks in advance to anyone who took the time to look at my indiegogo campaign!

I must apologize upfront as it seems I have misplaced my phone. It was turned off during the time of surgery and never turned back on. It has to be around here somewhere but I have yet to locate it. Sadly this means you miss out on the surgery pictures that were taken, one of which included me in a smashing hospital gown and hair net, which is odd considering I have no hair – a fact that seemed lost on the nice hospital staff who made me wear it anyway. They were kind enough overall, but did not seem to understand my unique flavor of humor while I was anxiously awaiting to be sedated so they could cut into my knee. It is an attitude I like to describe as “charmingly uncooperative.”

doctorIt got to the point (and I must admit I am a bit proud of this) that the nice doctor in charge of my drugs actually ninja-dosed me with Valium. I was joking with a nurse about never being able to clog dance again and suddenly my IV line was burning. I turned to look, saw her pumping a syringe into the line and I poignantly stated “I take umbrage at your subterfuge, madam!” Actually, that is what I wanted to say. What I actually said was “Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey!” Then she told me to relax, and I said ok.

The next thing I knew was Dr. Pepper. A word on Dr. Pepper and surgery. It is without a doubt the best thing you will ever taste in your life the moment you wake up from surgery. Its complex blend of 23 flavors synergizes very well with the after effects of anesthesia and pain medication so that you taste each flavor separately and they all taste like joy, pure, blissful, fizzy joy. If you ever go under general anesthesia, I recommend you have one waiting.

So the deed is done and I am happy to report that it went well. The worst part was the itching of the bandage which I was supposed to keep on for 48 hours. I made it to about hour 38 and tore it off in the middle of the night and slept better for it. I am already off crutches, am using a cane a bit for support but that too shall be cast aside within a day or two. By March 10th I shall be able to skip; I won’t mind you, but I at least I’ll have the option!

I am also happy to report that my website is now just Walkinggamer.com. Although if you still use the WordPress URL it will re-direct you to the new one.

And here I thought getting to the starting line would be relatively easy. To add a bit of spice to the story I am going to have knee surgery tomorrow. The blog post I made before about my knee acting up has led to a few doctor’s appointments that have shown that my cartilage is torn… again.

I asked the doctor why it keeps doing this and he told me I chose my grandparents poorly. At least he has a sense of humor over this; I found I have lost mine. Hopefully I will find it again. Not all of his news was bad, however. He said I could walk across the country on the tear that I have and it would not get any worse. It would hurt, but I have come to expect that a venture such as this will come with a certain level of pain.

But why do that if we can fix it? So we are, and the doctor said with physical therapy and an effort on my part I should have no issue stepping off the beach on March 10th. He said he is going to be my “pit crew.” All I need is a quick tune up and he will push me out onto the track. I told you he had a sense of humor. And anyway, these blog posts were getting boring. I was running out of material leading up to my departure. I just had to go and make things more interesting.

So expect a running account of the surgery and my recovery to shortly follow. Let’s do this.


I just noticed it has been eight days since I made an update to this site. Time does seem to fly. I do have some very valid excuses for this and a few not so valid.

1- I’m a movie star! This past weekend saw the filming of the video for my Indiegogo campaign which I am planning to launch on Feb 1st. I would like to give a huge thank you to Kevin Jennings and Mya Riemer of “Bird in Sun Productions” for spending their weekend helping me with this. Their enthusiasm for the project was amazing and the rough cuts they have sent me have already far exceeded my expectations. Had I shot the video myself, it would have just been me blabbering into a webcam. Their work is much more interesting.

2- I have had a few doctor’s appointments concerning my knee to make sure it is in the best shape it can be in before the start.

3- The return of Frankenankle! Elika is now out of her cast and into a walking boot! Her recovery is going much better than expected. She can already put a tiny bit of weight on her leg and starts PT today.

4- Gear research! I keep thinking I am done with gear although I suppose I never will be. Every time I think I am set something else is suggested or thought of that needs to be researched and then decided on and I tend to over research things. Today or tomorrow, probably tomorrow, I am going to do a “If I were to leave today” post and gather everything I have and pack it up and see how it goes.

5- Stomach bug! I got food poisoning or a stomach bug and it knocked me out of commission for a good two days. I am feeling much better this morning.

6- Chivalry! Brandon and I discovered Chivalry on Steam and have become a bit addicted to it. For an indie, first-person, medieval combat deathmatch game it is very fun. There is a bit of a learning curve but we are almost over that. Brandon said it is an excellent blend of twitch gameplay and strategic combat, which is very true. Unlike BLOPS or Halo you have to think how best to approach an opponent when you wade in with sword and shield instead of just going for the pew pew pew!

7- Lastly my father brought to my attention several apps that reward exercise through donations to charitable organizations. I am looking into these but for anyone reading this who goes for a daily jog… hey, every little bit adds up.

When I was a child I got caught in a thunderstorm of truly epic proportions. I was arrogant enough to think I could outrun it on my bike. I was wrong. I had to hide under a tree, huddled and soaked as thunder, rain and wind danced around me. This memory is one that I think about almost daily.

A thunderstorm draws warm, moist air into it, even from places it has not yet reached and, if it is big enough, sometimes from a pretty long way off. This leaves an area with dry warm air which can be pretty still… for air. This is what causes the feeling of a “calm before the storm.”

I felt it the day of that storm while riding my bike and I feel it again now sitting here writing, only this time the storm is exactly sixty days off. In two months I start my walk across the United States. I can feel the storm coming.

When I started this five months ago it seemed little more than a happy daydream. I started walking every day and pouring over maps at night. It was exciting and fun. Then I started researching gear and it grew a tiny little bit out of the realm of daydream and into the realm of reality. Then I bought my first piece of gear and that shift grew. Then I told family and friends, purchased nearly all my gear, got Child’s Play on board and now I am here two months away and the daydream has nearly morphed into complete reality.

Suddenly two months does not seem like enough time to prepare, but the funny thing is you can only be so prepared for something like this. Eventually you just have to take that first step off the beach.

So, I can feel the calm before the storm although I cannot yet see the clouds. I suppose comparing my walk to a thunderstorm might seem a bit ominous and foreboding but I will share with you a little secret. That soaked child huddled under a tree years ago was laughing and yelling with joy with each booming clap of thunder… I love thunderstorms.