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Within Walking (dead) Distance

October 31, 2012

 * Hi all!  To celebrate Halloween this year I decided to post an excerpt from Within Walking Distance of a  slightly frightening and fully hilarious experience Daren had during his quest to walk around the world in 7 years.  Enjoy and happy halloween! *


(From the chapter: “North Carolina and Tennessee“)


“I love pot and I love Vodka.”

Dave leaned forward and offered a drink to me.

Dave was the only other guy at Groundhog Shelter.  That was refreshing because I had been staying in ridiculously packed shelters the last several days with smelly hikers.  Over the past two hours of coffee and dinner, Dave and I spoke like we were old friends.  He basically shared his whole life.  He told me he was homeless.  When I asked how he survived, he cryptically told me that he made money “Canning”.  I was curious as to what “Canning” was, but the only explanation I got was a little song he played from a flute he had apparently made.

Once the delightful flute song/Canning explanation was over, I asked about his past girlfriends and then about his spiritual beliefs.  Dave sadly did not let the flute do the talking for those subjects but he did give me some relief when he told me he believed in the bible, Jesus, and the Spirit of God.


He then explained to me that he could speak through psychic connections all over the world through the spirit of God, chasing that revelation with a story about some people in New Mexico that had slipped him a Mickey and tried to kill him by smashing in his face with a roofing hammer.

He leaned forward at the end and looked into my eyes.  “The armor of God saved me.”

Now that I think of it, it was kinda weird that nobody else was at that shelter …

Dave tilted the drink at me and looked into my eyes with expectation.

I guess there is no better way to try your first shot of Vodka than with a homeless guy in the woods who just told you that someone tried to kill him by slipping him a mickey and bashing his face in with a roofing hammer.

Not a regular hammer, mind you: a roofing hammer.

I grabbed the drink and swallowed it whole.  My eyes immediately started to water.  I wondered if that was normal or I was passing out from a date rape drug.  Dave looked at me with a light in his eyes as he raised his flute to his lips.

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