Week 3 of my US adventure!

Week 3 of my US adventure!

Onto week three of my adventure and it just keeps getting better – this adventure seems to keep creating mini adventures, especially this week!

Driving to the spot in the boonies on day 15 to start running again felt so right.

Jim drove me there, an ex-military, now Uber driver. He took me for breakfast and fixed the solar panel too.

During the drive, he warned me to be aware of the cougars just before dropping me off (I’m not quite sure what to do with that information but anyhow!).

We arrived at the exact spot I finished my run the day before. I left an American flag to the street sign just to make sure it was the right spot and it was still there when me and Jim arrived, flapping in the wind.

Back running, something weird happened – I felt like I was back in my normal comfort zone running in the wilderness of the rainforest, which is weird because weeks ago, my comfort zone was in a family home drinking coffee.

How quickly humans adapt huh?

During the first few miles, a couple of Americans stopped by the road side to make donations after seeing me on the news the night before.

After 10 miles, I took a break. With the sun out, I took my trousers off and just wore my Adventureman shorts – it was amazing to get my chicken legs out to give ‘em a bit of sun.

18 miles in running strongly, Jim turned up again to give me a new camera stand and give me homemade tuna from his wife Joanie for dinner.

By 19 miles, I stopped at a house (not many of them around), to ask a good camping spot, but I was greeted by a crazy dog who wanted blood, and the owner didn’t seem to mind much, so I apologized and walked away.

As it got dark, I felt slightly anxious, but found a good camping spot off the side of the road.

Before bed, I realized I had chaffed my ‘down below’ as it started to hurt. So I put some Comvita Manuka Honey on the area (good for any skin irritations) and it quickly went on fire. I convinced myself that the burning sensation was healing it, because I know it’s top of the range honey.

In the morning, I did my yoga at the side of the road to warm up.

After five miles I wanted a break, but a stranger pulled in, Daniel, after seeing me in the news and offer to buy me an Al’s Humdinger burger in Hoquiam four miles ahead.

So I cracked on to do the extra miles for the best burger in town.

Arriving at Humdinger, Daniel was there with his wife, he said, “30 years ago, I cycled across America and people were so kind, I’d like to pay it forward and help you out.” He also donated $60 for Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Running on, I had to make it to Aberdeen as I had a talk arranged to kids at the Aberdeen Family YMCA. It was arranged by Jim (he called them to make it happen).

Jim really is the sweetest man.

The talk went really well, when I got the kids up to run on the spot, one kid done some kind of chicken dance.

The YMCA got me a radio interview with Sunny 102.1 (though I think Jim pestered them too and they finally cracked in sharing the story). The presenter Dave was amazing!

After the interview, I ran to Chris and her daughter, Sarah’s house. Again, arranged by Jim (and his wife Joanie) as these were their friends.

It was a mile off my route, and a little steep up a hill but I got there in the end. I called Jim to let him know I was safe and said, “you kept the hill part out of the run quiet didn’t ya?”

I set up my tent in their garden and Chris and Sarah fired up the BBQ for burgers.

It turned out I arrived for their usual ‘Wednesday ladies night’ where the women come around for a game of cards and giggles.

I joined in of course and at one point for a giggle, Chris grabbed her gun (totally looked like a real gun but was actually a pellet gun), gave her best James Bond pose and said, “if anyone comes in my house, I’ll point this at them and tell them I gotta real gun”. It was kind of serious, but at the same time, a right old laugh!

Waking up in Chris and Sarah’s back garden, I uploaded my Fitbit results to my app on the phone and I had my biggest sleep ever – 9.5 hours! I think sleeping in someone’s back yard makes me feel a bit more secure than sleeping out in the wilderness. I was so refreshed.

At Chris and Sarah’s house, I made myself a coffee. It’s one of my favourite things in life, coffee in the morning! And now I’m depriving myself from it most days being in the bush, it’s even more lush when drinking it. I necked four strong cups.

Sarah made breakfast, sausages and eggs, and Jim turned up with a new selfie stick and more jars of homemade tuna. I was feeling nurtured.

As I went to start the day running, Jim pulled out my book brought from Amazon and said, “can you sign it for me my man?” I think I may have a man crush on Jim.

Running out of Aberdeen, mostly downhill I made it into a park. As I ran in my new barefoot (cat) shoes, my feet were pounding pretty hard on the concrete, so I moved to the side pushing Caesar on the pathway and I ran on the soft grass. It felt so spongy and for one mile it felt like I was running on the moon. I thought, ‘if only the surface could be that soft all the way across America, I’d be certain to make it.’

After seven miles and two small mountains, I took my midday break. I wrote out my blog from the previous day and began strength training.

Although I’m running on tired legs most of the time, I need to try and keep up some all-round strength to keep the injuries at bay. I used the trees for chin ups. A big log for overhead squats. Practically anything that would help. If Rocky Balboa could have seen me, he’d be proud. Seriously though, Sylvester Stallone is one of my favourite actors – let’s hope I see him – I AM IN AMERICA.

Continuing on, there were a couple more mountains to climb, but after the strength training, my legs were empty.

On the final mountain I leaned into Caesar and just muscled my way up uncomfortably – questioning whether I’d make it to the top.

Eventually I did and found a camping spot. Though exhausted, I knew I needed to do yoga later on and if I was going to do yoga, then I needed a fire for motivation.

I scrabbled around for trees branches and got the fire going. Sitting by the fire, I took my second spoon of tuna and my spoon snapped. So I literally went animalistic. Spooning butter and tuna into my mouth with my fingers – and when appropriate, my hands.

It was slightly messy, but you gotta do, what you gotta do.

Climbing out of my wet tent the day after, I couldn’t be bothered to eat breakfast and instead focused on moving. I warmed up at the side of the road with my yoga stretches (I was probably looking like a right plonker in front of the cars) and then ran on.

During the first few miles I became really insecure about my body breaking down. I kept thinking that at any point my left knee was going give in, or my right foot was suddenly going to break. It’s odd how you can get into this mindset so easily.

I battled these insecurities all the way for 10 miles.

Arriving into Raymond, starving, I went into Pitchwood Alehouse Inn. I nailed a burger for hunger, salad for vitamins, and a cheesecake. For some much-needed fat.

At the end of the meal, a bar man gave me advice on which route to take. My choices were an unsafe busy road to Portland or staying on the 101 road sticking to the coastline, which is a little longer. I went for the coast for safety, but also, it looks like there are quite a few smaller communities on the 101, which could help with fundraising.

After the route, I began running for my second shift of the day. I felt like I had a kick in my step, even in rain.

As I ran, a woman stopped by at the side of the road and said, “OH MY GOD, are you that guy? You stayed at my friend’s house the other night. Chris?” I agreed. She carried on so excitedly, “this is going to sound too good to be true but my mom lives right over there and I can call her and get you a couch tonight at hers – and the best oysters you’ll ever have!”

I filmed our whole chat, including her giving directions. Her mum’s house was 100 metres away, bundled with about 50 other homes, if that.

I ran the 100 metres towards the house, and – well, I couldn’t remember the house number, or the road.

Oh dear, my goldfish brain strikes again.

I stood there for five minutes in the rain and had an idea, I’ll call Chris who I stayed with two night ago.

After calling Chris, she had no idea who this woman was, even after describing what she looked like. I’m sure it was a case of my description being pants.

15 minutes went by in the rain. Anger started to boil inside me, but then I had another idea – all I needed to do was look at my film footage, this lady said everything I needed to know in the directions.

Looking at my footage on my iPhone, I’d filmed me and the lady’s feet for less than five seconds and then it must have turned itself off.

25 minutes went by standing in the rain and I was just wishing someone would come out of the house to wave me in for a couch and oysters. It just didn’t happen.

I lost it.

I ran on through the neighbourhood, clenching Caesar, and doing some kind of weird crazy shouting, straining my neck.

Four miles later, I was soaked to the bone and realised I’d ranted the whole time at how stupid I am.

It was probably the fastest miles I’ve done on the trip so far and the good news is that I found a metal fork at the side of the road to use for dinner tonight. Don’t worry, I washed it!

Soaked to the bone, I found a Campground at Bruceport County Park to get a roof over my head.

I put all my wet shoes and clothes in the toilet to dry off as it had a heater in there.

I then rolled my sleeping mat out on the picnic table and climbed into my sleeping bag.

My tent was soaked from the night before and I couldn’t face it.

Led in bed, I couldn’t help but think that woman probably now thinks I’m a horrible person, or even worse, she’s probably now worrying, thinking, ‘what the hell happened to him!?’

All I could hope was that she saw my social media posts, knows I’m okay and that I’m incredibly gutted to have terrible memory!

The next day, as I started to run, it poured with rain that water was flowing over the road, it felt like I was running through a river.

After nine miles of slogging it over rolling hills soaked to the bone, the sun came out and I thought it would be the time to take a break.

Whilst eating tin fish, I remembered a stash of Comvita UK & Ireland manuka honey in the bottom of Caesar. It’s a healthy honey. Not honey to heal the chaffing this time, it’s the edible type, so I spooned it into my mouth and felt like a bear.

After honey, I gave myself a massage with the tennis ball.

Fuelled on honey and looser muscles, for my afternoon run, I felt incredible. I was gliding over the road and really felt that ‘runners freedom’ throughout.

After 18 miles, I stopped at a house for water. It was the first house I’d seen in hours.

Dogs barked, and a guy came out. He was warm and friendly and went back inside to get me water straight away.

He popped out to have more of a chat with me and Caesar and warned me to be careful round these neck of the woods.

He said, “recently, someone just up the road answered their door and was shot and killed. That’s why we got the dogs and I had guns ready for when you knocked too you see. You need to be careful round here.”

Running on, I felt a bit nervous, but I found a good cosy spot to camp, and I continue to believe that people are just incredibly and inherently good, and there won’t be any shootings tonight.

Shootings aside, that evening I received an amazing message from Heather Davisson Runyon, the lady that offered me a bed yesterday, but I got lost and had to run on – well, my Facebook post found her!

Here’s the message she sent,

“Jamie! Thinking of you, hoping all the best! If there is anything I can ever do to help I expect you to let me know. I want to let you know just how thankful I am that we met. You gave this single mom a short but exciting adventure that I have desperately needed! I was so worried about you, but I drove around and saw that you were headed to Bruceport. I called and left them a message to not charge you a fee as I would run up to pay for it, but no answer. Please save my number and reach me if you are ever in need. Hugs to you my friend!”

It was an amazing message to receive and I was so glad she found me and got in touch! It definitely made me sleep a lot easier.

Getting myself awake the next morning though was tough, the first few miles I felt my body was growling at me.

Eventually, I loosened up and I ran well and stopped at an espresso drive through hut in Naselle, after about seven miles.

I pushed Caesar like a car to the window. The hut had two windows either side to order from.

I’m the biggest coffee lover ever, so to me, after a good run, this hut was just incredible.

As I looked through the window to see somebody in their car ordering, the coffee lady said, “that woman wanted to buy your coffee.” Even better, and very kind!

Another lady came up behind me in the queue and we got chatting. I naturally told her what I was doing – it’s kind a hard not to dressed as the one and only Adventureman!

As I went to grab my coffee, I went to pay for Denise’s coffee behind me to ‘pay it forward’ for the coffee that was bought for me, but when Denise found out, she said, “oh no, you’re not!” Then she paid for her own coffee and with her change, made a $10 donation.

Things got even kinder…

John and Patty messaged on Facebook “Jamie, where are you? We want to track you down!”

I sent them a screen shot of where I was, because the tracker is still being fixed. (I know, I know. I’m sorry. It’ll be worth the wait, I promise. My mum isn’t best pleased either!).

They turned up an hour later with a warm hug – a bag full of Trader Joe’s healthy food, nuts and bars, easily worth over $100.

They were the first couple to track me down just to meet me and drove over an hour to do so. Just lovely!

It’s pretty crazy too, they found me at the start of the run through Instagram, through the hashtag #Adventureman. Technology is nuts and amazing, huh?

We gasbagged for an hour while I scoffed some of their food down, nearly choking at one point, and then John passed me a $100 bill and said, “this is for you.”

I was blown away but insisted that I’d put the money in the charity pot. He said, “but it’s to keep your spirits up, so you can keep doing what you’re doing.”

It was so lovely, but again, as I’ve said, I’ve saved up my own money for this trip, just like I have done in the past. It makes me feel so much better to know that it’s going to help kids that need it.

Being honest, I have just over £5,000 left for this trip. It’s a little close to the wire but I reckon those funds will get me all the way to the state of Maine in a year because, let’s face it, eating tinned sardines, butter and camping most of the time are all pretty cheap.

Running on, I was skipping. I felt like there was a wind beneath my feet and I just glided over the road with every step.

10 miles just flew by and then I spotted a long bridge in the distance. I couldn’t help but think ‘is that the border into the next state?’

A guy was by the river so I shouted over to ask, he said, “yeah, that’s Oregon right over that water.”

I couldn’t believe it! Was I crossing the border today?

When you live day by day, everything seems to be a surprise!

It was getting late, already starting to get dark and the bridge was four miles long.

I thought, ‘let’s do it, it’s now or never!’

My speed increased, a driver went by and shouted, “I believe in you, good luck with that bridge!” I felt like even he knew this was a ridiculous attempt.

I hit the bridge. It was so narrow, and Caesar only just fit on the hard shoulder. Cars were whizzing by.

Caesar’s lights stopped working a week or so ago. I know, I know. Stupid! I did put a fluorescent rainproof jacket on the front of Caesar and faced the traffic. I do pretty much all of my running during the day and so didn’t think to get the lights sorted. I was arrowing myself big time.

My breath increased rapidly. Fuelled on adrenaline I think I would have given Usain Bolt a run for his money. It started to get increasingly dark though, so I put my feet down even harder.

Hitting 20 miles for the day, I was storming!

Halfway across the bridge, filming myself storming in speed and slightly terrified, I realised that when my Mum watches this on YouTube, she’s going to have another thing to be unhappy with me for!

I ran pushing harder and harder.

And then… well, then, the police arrived. I’ll let the video tell the rest…

Stopped by the police for illegally running….

***1 out of 15 States – complete! ?***Here’s a video of me running the length of a four mile long bridge from Washington, being stopped by the police ? (I honestly didn’t see the ‘no pedestrians allowed’ signs!), eventually making it into the the second state of my run – Oregon!Day 19: paying it forward, being tracked down, stopped by the police and crossing the borderGetting myself awake in the morning was tough, the first few miles I felt my body was growling at me.Eventually, I loosened up and I ran well and stopped at an espresso drive through hut in Naselle, after about 7 miles.I pushed Caesar like a car to the window. The hut had two windows either side to order from. I’m the biggest (PROPER – none of this instant nonsense!) coffee lover ever, so to me, after a good run, this hut was just incredible. As I looked through the window to see somebody in their car ordering, the coffee lady said, “that woman wanted to buy your coffee.” Even better, and very kind!Another lady came up behind me in the queue and we got chatting. I naturally told her what I was doing – it’s kind a hard not to dressed as the one and only Adventureman ?.As I went to grab my coffee, I went to pay for Denise’s coffee behind me to ‘pay it forward’ for the coffee that was bought for me, but when Denise found out, she said, “oh no, you’re not!” Then she paid for her own coffee and with her change, made a $10 donation.Things got even kinder…John and Patty messaged on Facebook “Jamie, where are you? We want to track you down!”I sent them a screen shot of where I was, because the tracker is still being fixed. (I know, I know. I’m sorry. It’ll be worth the wait, I promise. My mum isn’t best pleased either!).They turned up an hour later with a warm hug – a bag full of Trader Joe's healthy food, nuts and bars, easily worth over $100. They are the first couple to track me down just to meet me and drove over an hour to do so. Just lovely.It’s pretty crazy too, they found me at the start of the run through Instagram, through the hashtag #Adventureman. Technology is nuts and amazing, huh?We gasbagged for an hour while I scoffed some of their food down, nearly choking at one point, and then John passed me a $100 bill and said, “this is for you.” I was blown away, but insisted that I’d put the money in the charity pot. He said, “but it’s to keep your spirits up, so you can keep doing what you’re doing.”It was so lovely, but again, as I’ve said, I’ve saved up my own money for this trip, just like I have done in the past. It makes me feel so much better to know that it’s going to help kids that need it. Being honest, I have just over £5,000 left for this trip. It’s a little close to the wire but I reckon those funds will get me all the way to the state of Maine in a year because, let’s face it, eating tinned sardines, butter and camping most of the time are all pretty cheap. ?Running on, I was skipping. I felt like there was a wind beneath my feet and I just glided over the road with every step.10 miles just flew by and then I spotted a long bridge in the distance. I couldn’t help but think ‘is that the border into the next state?’ A guy was by the river so I shouted over to ask, he said, “yeah, that’s Oregon right over that water.”I couldn’t believe it! Was I crossing the border today? When you live day by day, everything seems to be a surprise!It was getting late, already starting to get dark and the bridge was 4 miles long. I thought, ‘let’s do it, it’s now or never!’My speed increased, a driver went by and shouted, “I believe in you, good luck with that bridge!” I felt like even he knew this was a ridiculous attempt.I hit the bridge. It was so narrow and Caesar only just fitted the hard shoulder. Cars were whizzing by.Caesar’s lights stopped working a week or so ago. I know, I know. Stupid! I did put a fluorescent rainproof jacket on the front of Caesar and faced the traffic. I do pretty much all of my running during the day and so didn’t think to get the lights sorted. I was arrowing myself big time.My breath increased rapidly. Fuelled on adrenaline I think I would have given Usain Bolt a run for his money. It started to get increasingly dark though, so I put my feet down even harder. Hitting 20 miles for the day, I was storming!Halfway across the bridge, filming myself storming in speed and slightly terrified, I realised that when my Mum watches this on YouTube, she’s going to have another thing to be unhappy with me for!I ran pushing harder and harder.And then… well, then, the police arrived. I’ll let the video tell the rest…Let’s just say, lesson learned. I’ll be keeping a closer eye on signs from now on!And please do hit that 'share' button below, the more people that hear about the story, the more donations we'll get.••••••••••••••••••If you’d like to know more about the story, go here: http://www.jamiemcdonald.org/super-u-s-run/For UK & rest of the world, donate here: https://www.superherofoundation.org/donate/For Americans, donate here: https://cafa.iphiview.com/cafa/OnlineDonation/tabid/542/dispatch/contribution_id$235826_hash$b27e01901ec87292ea7c7ca2002d8b0a557bceb9/Default.aspx If you’re considering donating to Superhero Foundation, it’s what it’s all about, in supporting kids hospitals & helping thousands of sick kids lives in years to come – it really will make a difference.#SuperUSrun ???

Posted by Jamie McDonald on Monday, April 30, 2018

Let’s just say, lesson learned. I’ll be keeping a closer eye on signs from now on!

The next day, I woke up in Atomic Motel, I unplugged everything; tracker, Fitbit, power battery, laptop, IPhone – and everything was fully charged. Plus, most of my film footage was uploaded into Dropbox for Sheron in the U.K to continue editing the videos for YouTube. It’s always going to be a challenge to keep everything charged and uploaded but I’ll keep going with it.

Handing my key into reception before checking out, a lady looked at me laughing and said, “you must be that guy, I heard you on the police scanner last night. They said there was a crazy person wearing a cape running along the bridge!” She nearly fell off her chair with laughter.

Having breakfast in the Pig ‘N Pancake, I needed to do all the social media posts for crossing the State border. A pretty big mile stone. Again, something that’s going to be a challenge as well as all the running, but it’s where all the fundraising happens, so I’ll stop moaning about the challenge of it all!

Seriously though, I really do appreciate it when nice comments pop up on the posts, even simple ones like, ‘cheers for the update’, because each post I do takes me hours upon hours – my dyslexia doesn’t help, but I’m the slowest writer in the world!

In the afternoon, I had to get miles in and I made it to another scary bridge. This bridge though, was legal to cross on foot.

As I ran, it was so busy and I was honestly terrified. I faced the traffic and waved frantically with my left arm, just so the cars tightly behind the car that could see me, could see I was there.

Halfway across the bridge, I lost my bottle to run on. I’ve never lost my bottle before on running on a road.

I realized that if at any point two trucks passed each other, there wasn’t room for me and Caesar, and I’d be dead meat.

I waved at a guy in the tower, he came out and I explained that I couldn’t go any further because I was too scared.

He said, “I’ll be closing the bridge now actually to let a boat pass through, and I’d recommend you run as fast as you can while I do this until you reach a bigger shoulder.

The sirens went on, cars stopped, and I legged it as fast as possible. Whilst running, all the cars lined up were waiting in a long queue and cheering me on out of their windows.

One man handed a bottle of water out of the car – I felt like I was in the London Marathon or something!

Trying to get off the busy 101 highway, I found a quiet road that followed along near the coastal line.

Running through the town of Sunset Beach, the houses were something I’ve never seen before. At one point I thought I’d see the likes of Tiger Woods walking out of his home.

I couldn’t help but think it’s a shame no one knows I’m here, probably a hot spot for big donations!

As I ran, houses weren’t as flamboyant, but I felt really relaxed in this environment. Suddenly no-one had signs in their gardens, ‘no trespassing’, or ‘private property do not enter’, which I experienced in the couple of weeks in the boonies.

I felt like with this neighbourhood I could knock on someone’s door and ask for a glass of milk. If that makes sense?

Trying to stick to the coast, I got slightly lost (nothing unusual) and eventually called it a day after running only 11 miles.

It always makes me slightly anxious not hitting bigger miles, as I know I’ll have to make I up later on down the road.

Seeing the first home, I knocked on their door, a man answered and said it wasn’t a problem to camp on his front lawn.

I gave him a slip of paper with my website written on it: jamiemcdonald.org and said, “just in case you think I’m a weirdo – this might help.”

After setting up my tent, the man Rene came back out to say, “my wife is going pretty bananas in there, she says “you’ve got your own Wikipedia page?”

His wife, Suzeanne came out, “let me get a picture of you and your tent!”

It turns out the man Rene is a Canadian/American, so we bonded over Canada a bit, I told him I ran Canada on my last adventure.

20 minutes later, Rene came out with half a roast chicken, salad and a glass of red wine, “you hungry?” he warmly said.

10 minutes later, came out with a $60 donation and said, “here, this is for the kids too.”

With warm fuzzy feelings going on in my belly, in 4 minutes I polished off the chicken.

I normally nibble on the end of the bones of the chicken to get part of the cartilage (apparently it’s healthy), but this time I ate cartilage, and the bones. BONES DAMN IT. I’ve never eaten bones in all my life.

Day by day, I think I’m turning more and more into animal, but worryingly, I think I like it.

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