Stop The Bombs International Peace Walk
Day 30 - Sunday April 10th, 2005,
Leesburg VA to Lucketts MD


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     It was kind of sad leaving the Good Shepherd Alliance Drop-In Center. What a wonder place it is. It was only through Grace that we were there in the first place. Our original stop over canceled at the last minute and thankfully we found Good Shepherd. Strange how things work out for the best. Anyhow it was a most remarkable stay and I'll let Larry tell you that story.

   We had finished our run and were going to spend the day with the walk. Larry and Jon wanted to walk and I wanted to take pictures and talk to as many of my friend as I could. So when we started the day Larry drove with me the first segment so I could take pictures and at the first break he joined Jon walking. I had gotten all the pictures I needed and I drove support from there on out.

   I was able to spend some time with Tyler discussing the musical aspect of the walk and got to hear the latest CD that he had created. Boy what a treat. I was especially moved by a song that Bilbo perfromed called Contrition. Actually it brought me to tears listening to it. Tyler plans to make these CDs available after the walk. I hope you can get a copy and listen to a remarkable piece of work.

   At the breaks I was able to catch up with some old friends. Jeff McKenzie shared some emails from his son Jeremy who is in Iraq. I was able to talk with sons Jim and Marcus about the challanges they had overcome during the last few weeks and what they had planned to do at the UN when we arrived there.

   It was an absolutely georgous day with a gentle breeze and lots of sunshine. Seeing the walkers with colorful banners blowing in the breeze and hearing the hypnotic rhythm of the drumming floating on that breeze long before I could actually see the walkers was spell binding.

   It was a rare short walking day and before I knew it we were at our overnight. It was a church in a remote rural area and was very peaceful. The walkers laid out their wet tents, clothes and the such to dry in the sun. They then gathered in small groups bantering and laughing, it was good just to relax. Life is good!

   The real problem with coming back and forth to the walk is not the coming but rather the going. Larry, Jon and I had to leave and of course we didn't want to. It becomes more difficult each time and this was our third trip up and back. We went around to say our goodbys to everyone. I think I found all the walkers and gave each a hug with love and told them I would be back and to take care. It took a little while to do this and when we started to the van we all hugged a lot of folks two or three times. A gathering of sorts was forming at the van. I said my goodby to Jun San, who I love and respect so very much. I grabbed my Australian son Marcus and hugged him very hard and lastly my son Jim. By this time I had my usual tears but at least I wasn't blubbering and I could still talk. God I love them all so much. After we got in the van Billie performed a ceremony for us and Jun San did her drumming and prayers. A whole bunch of the walkers started doing their "hootchie gootchie" dance and Larry, Jon and I drove slowly away not a dry eye in the van. God bless them and keep them were my thoughts as I found the road.

   The trip back was faster than the trip up or at least it seemed to be. We had a great time relating each others experiences and talking about old times. But as usual Jon started snoring about four hours into the trip and Larry petered out a couple of hours from home. It didn't bother me because it gave me time to reflect the happenings of the last couple of days. We arrived at Peace Hostel Amelia about 1:30 AM Monday morning. Jon and Larry had to be at work in just a few hours so we unloaded and said our goodbys quickly and they were both off, Larry to Lexington Kentucky and Jon to west Cincinnati. It was worth it!

   As my friend Larry says - Till the AM!

"mad cow"
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