August 5

OK, 13 down and 35 to go!! I’ll take US 75 south for 46 miles of Nebraska and into Kansas.

I only did 10 miles today into Nebraska City, Nebraska and I’m in a motel room. Being as I never had anyone stop by today to talk, I’ll just have to post a story from my very first walk across the U.S. in 2001

I still have no idea why I told all my friends back home in Vero Beach, Florida that I would dance across the Golden Gate Bridge. But being as I did say I would, I had no choice but to dance. I strapped on my “LOVE LIFE” sign just before I stepped onto the bridge. It would be my first time wearing the sign, and if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, I was going to dance! As I stepped onto the bridge I looked up and saw hundreds of cyclist coming toward me, and they all cheered as they saw my “LOVE LIFE” sign. Lots of cars were blowing their horns also. I just stood there; there was no way I was going to dance. What would I tell my friends when they asked me if I danced across The Golden Gate Bridge like I said I would? I had to dance. I turned my headset on and I started dancin’. I felt like a complete idiot, but I had to stand by my word! As I danced and the cyclist and motorist yelled and honked out their approval, I actually started getting into it!

Okay, I conquered my fear of the dancing; I was in the middle of the Golden Gate taking a break beside one of the huge girders, out of the ferocious wind, I looked up. Coming toward me was a police cruiser, with its lights flashing, directly behind that, a huge truck with large flashing arrows running from the top and down each side. When I first saw the truck, the lights were flashing yellow. The police cruiser stopped beside me and the lights on the truck were now flashing red. “I’m in serious trouble, right?”

The officer gets out of the car and approaches me, as he walked toward me, a barrage of profanity poured from the cyclist and autos aimed at the poor officer. He had a big smile on his face, was super courteous, as he explained, “Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to remove your sign.” And I very courteously asked, “Why?” He told me it was a law, no signs what-so-ever were permitted to be displayed on the Golden Gate Bridge. I said, “Sir, you and I both know, with the number of suicides committed off this bridge, this sign should be paraded up and down the bridge constantly.” “I know.” He answered, “But I have to do my job sir.” Many, on the bridge were still hurling obscenities at him. I told him I would certainly comply. It was such a hassle to unhook from my cart; I asked if he would mind unhooking the sign for me. I explained that it was merely fastened with four Velcro straps. He unfastened the sign, placed it flat and on top my cart under a couple bungee cords securing my load.

The officer was almost back in his car and I yelled over the roar of the wind and the obscenities, “Hey, can I still keep on dancin’?” “Absolutely, keep on dancin’!” The fine gentleman yelled back. Just as the officer was starting to pull out and the big arrows on the truck had changed to flashing green, I made my first step forward. As soon as I was out of the protection of the girder, the wind hit my sign just right, breaking the rigidity of the sign and caused the top part of the sign to be perfectly upright on top of the cart, and very readable. The people on the bridge erupted into cheers and yelled out what they saw, “LOVE LIFE!” I turned and saw the officer point to the sign. I shrugged and mouthed out, “you did it sir!” There was really nothing the poor guy could do. Traffic was starting to move and the crowd was yelling like crazy. He just shook his head, motioned with his hand for me to continue and mouthed, “Never mind, go on.” I was cheered the rest of the way across the bridge.