Day 17 was just one of them days let me tell you. I woke up before the came up and hit the road to get some miles in before I was to be picked up at 10am I did about 20 miles at high speed non-stop. The first sign that it was going to be one of them days was when I went to film while I was walking. Don't know what happened but the battery in my camera was dead. Some how it did not charge let me tell you I was not happy. I also didn't time my walking time correctly and got back to the hotel later than I expected. I ended up rushing around to get my gear packed and out on the side walk before 10am. I got it done though; then I proceeded to check out of the hotel. At about five minutes to 10 the driver that was to pick me up called me; he was lost. We spoke briefly and he said, "ok see you in a few minutes". By 11am we had talked about 15 more times. I asked him if he was from the area or not, he assured me he was. It wasn't like the hotel was hidden it sat right on a major state highway I was not happy at all let me tell you. I tried to keep my cool, but I was slowly losing it.
The final conversation with the driver of this car service was at about 11:30 am, this is when the driver realized he was looking for me not just in the wrong town, he was in the wrong state. I was in Danville, Virginia looking to go to Reidsville, North Carolina. He was in Durham, North Carolina at least 50 to 60 miles away. I could not believe it. I called this in the day before, said the address at least twice. To make matters worse the driver said he would not come pick me up because he would not make anything off the fare seeing he already drove 50 to 60 miles like it was my fault. Here I was with all my gear sitting out on the sidewalk.
I didn't want to check back into the hotel so I did what I really didn't want to do, I called a local cab company. Well let me tell you, they were asking for near 30% more than the car service wanted, but I had no choice. The taxi took about an hour to get there. I load all my gear into the mini van, and the driver tells me he needs to collect the fare before we leave. I was like bro, I have 8 bags, what do you think I am going to do, run? He says it's policy, what ever! I have never been robbed in all my life on the streets but I felt as if I was robbed for the amount they charged me, but at least I was on my way, I was finally in North Carolina with my gear.
I quickly checked in and hit the road. I walked another 15 miles. I'll tell you, the 15 miles did me good. I was so pissed off you just don't know. By the time I got back to my hotel though, I was calm and relaxed, thank God.
The entire time I was that I was trying to get my gear 26 miles over the state line I was also trying to secure help for the next leg of the walk. I was heading towards the Raleigh Durham area where I was to meet with some press, News 14 and stop in to visit my moms, sister, and my two little nephews. I planned on leaving my gear with my family seeing my 2 day break was coming up quick, I was to travel back up north to New York to attend a conference in the South Bronx. I say an hour after finishing my 15 mile walk my boy Monte Smith calls me up and says he can move my gear ahead but it would have to be in the next few hours; I had just checked in to this hotel now, but I couldn't say no, I didn't want to find myself stuck again. I had accumulated enough miles to be driven to Durham but I decided it would be best if Monte would just take me and my gear straight to Raleigh. I wasn't happy at all with wasting money on the room, but I was feeling desperate and alone, I didn't want to take any chances at this point in time, I was to leave for New York on the 18th and up until that point I hadn't heard back from anyone I had connected with in North Carolina, I felt I was doing the right thing.
Monte sure was a life saver in truth. My brother made a huge sacrifice and this is what is needed in this struggle, sacrifice. He left work early risking his livelihood first off and then drove a total of 6 hours at least round trip to get me to Willow Spring, North Carolina just outside of Raleigh to my moms house. I have a lot of respect for Monte truly. I got to my moms house and set up my gear and went to work.
On this day I walked for: Gerald Marshall - death row Texas.