There I was getting packed and ready, and as any day one starts out of a great adventure…I ran into technical issues! I had just got a SPOT tracker and was trying to get it online and up and running before departing and it just would not connect to the satellite…I read it again ” with the SPOT tracker powered-OFF set outside in view for the satellite” …I thought that was odd and re-read the directions, yep – powered – OFF. After a good 20 minutes I went to the apartment office for wi-fi and called customer support. I read the woman the paragraph on their site and she said ” oh my, it is wrong – you need to turn it ON.” So after an hour and half of working thru the kinks the SPOT tracker was online (why does this little guy matter – well I am not traveling with a GPS nor a Smart phone and need the GPS satellite tracks to turn in for the attempt of a Guinness World Record-and although just going from Phoenix to Tucson for my first school visit it was important as 130 miles is a 130 mile to add for the total! – and it is fun that family and friends can follow along and check where I might be on a certain day)
So only about two and half hours later than planned – I hit the road!
Worried a little about this massive inland hurricane style storm that was supposed to hit Phoenix the day before, I fretted mildly that it might hit Friday morning as I departed…but I only got a little rain and the back road was not flooded so I was able to stick to my plan of avoiding major interstates and staying on scenic routes and by-ways as much as possible! I got into Tucson with not much time and would be getting to the school just an hour before dismissal and I needed a quick gas stop!
THE LONGEST 4 Minute mile in HISTORY…
I got gas slapped back on my helmet and drove away, at the second stoplight I felt as if I forgot something…looking at my hands I had my gloves, my gear…oh shit my backpack…Here I am day 1 and it was about to end my trip completely – my wallet, my computer, my new camera, my spot tracker…I flipped a u-turn and zoomed back. Flying into the gas station and there sat my backpack undisturbed! I exhaled and the woman next to the pump stated, “oh is that yours?” Yes I replied and slapped it on as an attendant walked my way. The woman with a shaky voice, ” you can never be to sure it is an unmanned backpack at a gas pump we reported it!” with a smile I jumped on my bike and took-off, thinking to myself-Thank god for American Fear, I could have lost all the technical and plastic for the entire trip…I have since changed up the system!
I made it to the school in one of the many moments I am sure will happen – i wished I had a flying video camera or video crew, it was unexpected but the 5th grade class of Mr. Green at Bonillas was outside waiting for my arrival. They were inside the schools chain link and waving and as I drove by to come in the front entrance that took off and ran along the fence with me, waving and shooting as I entered! What an awesome welcome for the first donation of Purposeful Wanderings classroom set!
We did a reading and a talk of the adventure, the students were wonderful inquisitive and the boys…well boys will be boys…and a few wanted to know only what would happen if I got hit by a truck up on hill and rolled down! It was definitely humorous. This classroom is also going to track my trip and Mr. Green’s wife Kristina created a wonderful bulletin board for them to follow on the adventure!