Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mountain Glory

Tonight I sleep in the Grand Tetons!  What better place to contemplate this verse or wherever you are tonight:

"I command you: be firm and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9


 The latest progress from two perspectives.  I think the one below is kind of cool.  


Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Million Step Challenge

I just recently surpassed 500 miles and one million footsteps since starting this journey at the Pacific Ocean. During this pilgrimage in this Year of Faith (in the Catholic Church) my faith has been tested along the way.  There were times that I got frustrated and even mad at God, thinking to myself, "Why won't you just help me here!?"  I have always been proven wrong as He has provided everything I would need or desire and then-some.  It has been very humbling as He has always taken care of me.  How have I grown on this trip so far?  I have learned to embrace sacrifice because sacrifice brings me closer to God.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not conform yourself to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.
-Romans 12:1-2

In recent days I have decided to offer the day to God, like walking from Arco to Idaho Falls, Idaho.  That stretch is as barren as you can imagine with nothing but sagebrush for miles.  Not knowing how I would make that 70 mile leg, God provided multiple ride offers and water fill-ups by generous people along the way.  Throughout the trip I have heard people say time and time again, "I hope you grow closer to God and I hope this inspires people."  Well, I want you to take this leap of faith with me.  I challenge you to put your life in His hands and see how He provides.  Feel free to tell your stories below (in the comments).

Here is the latest SPOT tracking beacon link:  http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0RqaCWQXIjE7D4bXX0MBtk3Xsm7XdnCAL




Saturday, May 25, 2013

Perseverance

The journey to heaven is one of perseverance; a constant striving to reach our Lord.  The journey never ends until we arrive.  Take your faith to the next level.  God bless you all!



Thank you to Steven and friends for snapping these pictures and for welcoming me to join you in your prayer group.  Here is the bunch of them (Steven and friends):


God bless all of you!  God is smiling on you all.


Here is the latest progress as well.  Like one poster said, "It's a God's-eye view."  Here is the latest link to the SPOT tracking beacon web site as well:  http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0RqaCWQXIjE7D4bXX0MBtk3Xsm7XdnCAL

Friday, May 24, 2013

Boise Town

As I walked into downtown Boise, I wondered where I would sleep for that night.  I stopped at a Church to talk and get the word out about the pilgrimage a bit.  There I met a woman named Debbie, who was kind enough to invite this stranger, me, to her home for dinner with her family.  Debbie and Ken allowed me to pitch my tent there for the night as well.  Thank you Ken and Debbie for the hospitality!  Also, thank you Dorothy for your generosity as well!

When you walk into a big city and don't know where you'll eat and sleep, and then are blessed with generosity like this, your faith truly grows.

When I started this journey I did not know what to expect.  I knew I would not be able to plan everything out for a trip this large.  The realization in waking up each day without knowing where you'll eat or sleep seems crazy sometimes to me.  I would argue that one could not do a trip like this without faith in God.  I have been so blessed in the ways God has protected and provided for me.  So many amazing people have shared their time with me that I cannot even begin to tell all the stories, but they are shining lights of God's love and grace.  

A trip like this really make you appreciate the little things like running water (especially hot water!), toilets, showers, warm food, and some music (if anyone knows my singing voice they know why), family and friends, and a chair with a backrest.  These are the things that truly bring a smile to my face when I have been able to appreciate them on this trip.  My diet thus far has consisted of bagels, peanut butter, mixed nuts, dried fruit, rice and pasta mixes, oranges, bananas, trail mix and Clif Bars, and the occasional home cooked and local cafe/diner meal.  

Thank you all for following and for the thoughts and prayers...  prayer is powerful because God is powerful.

P.S. My previous post had issues with displaying a picture, but that has been corrected so make sure to check into that one too.  Thanks.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Path

Current progress:  432 miles and 920,701 footsteps!  Here's a view from above (you can see the little red markers show the path thus far as tracked by the SPOT tracking beacon):







Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Quick Update

Well, progress is beginning to show on the map at last.  Since Seaside, Oregon on the Pacific Ocean we have finally entered the beautiful state of Idaho.  Here are my latest SPOT tracking beacon 'footsteps'.  I know that some of the trip's early 'footsteps' have been erased by the SPOT web site and am still working to get those put back on to better illustrate this journey.  This journey, though, is more than one marked by locations on a map...  it's a journey of faith.

I hope to provide some new videos/pictures and stories soon.  In the meantime, God bless!

http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0RqaCWQXIjE7D4bXX0MBtk3Xsm7XdnCAL

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Latest

Well, I am 365 miles and 774,445 steps into the journey.  I just crossed into Idaho and it feels good to have covered some ground.  Last night, Saturday, May 28th, I slept up in the mountains near Unity, Oregon at about 5,000 feet in elevation.  It got a little chilly and felt good to get moving in the morning.  I woke up and realized I was still about 60 miles from Vale, Oregon (which is near the Idaho border) and wondered how I would ever make it to Sunday Mass (gotta keep holy the Sabbath, right?).  The third car that passed me pulled over and asked if I needed a ride.  They brought me all the way to Vale and dropped me off at a Catholic Church as one came into view.  Not knowing if I had missed Mass or not, I walked up to the entrance and found out that the only Mass that day was starting in 15 minutes...  Every day of this journey has provided little miracles like this.  After Mass a couple by the name of Rick and Jane asked me to come over for breakfast.  Let's just say that this much needed breakfast, consisting of pancakes and bacon, was one of the best breakfasts I have ever had!  They showed me around the farm and Rick walked me to the backroads to send me on my way.  He gave me some wisdom for the road that was good to hear!  I am very blessed to be able to say I have met the two of them.  I want to thank them for their hospitality and generosity.  They also have some friends that reside East of where they live and got me set up for a home-cooked dinner and a place to pitch my tent that night too!  Thank you Paul, Joanne, and family!  What a GREAT Sunday it turned out to be after waking up cold and wondering if I would even make it to Sunday Mass.  This is how God surprised me on His day of rest.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Videos

Hello Everyone,
Here are a couple videos that I was finally able to get uploaded.  I tried to put them in chronological order to the best of my recollection.  Thanks for checking in and enjoy:





Here is the latest SPOT tracking beacon of my location.  I will be backfilling in the marks that were removed by the SPOT web site soon so that the whole trip is visible.  If I'm not able to do that I will do it manually if needed:  http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0RqaCWQXIjE7D4bXX0MBtk3Xsm7XdnCAL

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Short Story of Faith


Today, while in the middle of nowhere in sort of a desert-like area, I was reading a prayer card that I have that has a prayer devoted to travelers (I figured it a fitting one to bring along on a trip like this of course).  The prayer on it includes Saint Christopher who is the Patron Saint of travelers.  After reading the prayer I glanced down right at my feet to find a little gleaming medal on the side of the road.  Who do you think was on this impossible find...  none other than Saint Christopher.

Average Day


I just wanted to give people a taste of an average day for me thus far.  Most mornings I wake up pretty early, around 5 or 6am, and pack up the gear and hit the road.  I try to get a few miles under my belt to loosen and warm up.  I take a few minutes to eat a little breakfast or if I am near a town will go to a local cafe and get an amazing hot meal.  I'll talk with anyone interested in learning more about the trip that I meet along the roads, trails, and towns.  Since I am not following a specific plan I tend to ask people I meet along the way for directions and tips.  I take these suggestions as God pointing me in the right direction.  My goal is to walk at least 20 miles per day if possible but yesterday I did 37 (and I'm feeling it today!).  I tend to pray a lot during these miles.  By evening time I start to look for a place to set up camp and settle down for the night.  It always feels good to rest the back and lay down.  I usually do a little Scripture reading and think of the day's trials, blessings, etc.  Sometimes I'll even sing to myself, only if it's a remote place...  Ha ha!  The body is now getting used to the miles and they are coming easier and easier.  Once over 20 miles the body really starts to feel the weight of the backpack.  I can honestly say that without prayer, any miles over 20 would be very difficult!  I have been blessed with amazing weather so far!  I do not plan to hitchhike, unless I need water, food, etc.  I will, on occasion, accept a ride if offered, for a couple reasons:  1.)  There are some stretches of road that do not have access to ANY water that are very hard to cover in a day or two and 2.)  If the Holy Spirit or my conscience tells me to accept a ride, I take it as a sign that I should for reasons that I may not yet know or will never come to know.  I can say that the prayers being said for this pilgrimage by all of you are certainly being answered.  Please continue.  I will do my best to keep this blog as up to date as possible.
God bless.

P.S.  I almost stepped on a rattlesnake today by accident.  Yep.

Also, here is the latest SPOT tracking beacon update of my location (I know the markers earlier in the trip are being erased by the SPOT web site so I will see what I can do to resolve that issue):  http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0RqaCWQXIjE7D4bXX0MBtk3Xsm7XdnCAL

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pictures Say 1,000 Words (or 1,000 steps in this instance)

Update:  221.50 miles walked (461,703 footsteps).  Here is my latest SPOT tracking beacon location (click on the link):  

Also, if you haven't clicked on 'follow' or became a 'Google Follower' or clicked on 'like' (if you like this blog...) and this pilgrimage, please do.  Any help in spreading the word of this blog would be greatly appreciated. Whether you're someone I've met along the way or someone back home in the woods and lakes of Minnesota, please share this site on your Facebook pages or wherever you are able to.  Thanks for your interest so far!

 Letting them breath
 God's  country
 Can you figure out what mountain this is?
The delicacies of the simple things
Thanks be to our Lord, Jesus Christ

Monday, May 13, 2013

371,237 Steps and a Story About Coincidence


So the other day as I was walking towards a campsite, but was running out of daylight. I had about 11 miles more to go.  Suddenly a woman named Ana, and her son Charlie, pulled over and asked if I needed a ride.  With the sun going down I was very fortunate to get a ride from them to that campsite.  She said she has NEVER picked up a hitchhiker before.  It sure seemed a great coincidence that she did this time...  but if there is one thing I have learned so far on this trip, it's that there is no such thing as a coincidence.  Ana has since left a message on this blog so I just want to thank you and Charlie for being so generous with your time and gifts of food!  There are so many generous and nice people out there and it has amazed me everyday as I go.  In this age I have heard over and over how bad the world is getting but I keep getting blown away by the polar opposite of that.  God is moving and at work in this world.  The best way I can say it is that the only reason bad can seem so evident is when good people fail to act.  If each of the Faithful stood up when God prompts us to do so, the world would be shining with blinding goodness.  Ana and Charlie, you stood up and acted in God's prompting with faith.

As a side note, here is the latest location from my SPOT tracking beacon:  http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0RqaCWQXIjE7D4bXX0MBtk3Xsm7XdnCAL

180 miles walked and 371237 footsteps

Pictures

Here a few random pictures from the trip so far.  

 This is my Hilton Hotel a lot of nights.  Campsites aren't as easy to come by as one would think, but God has always provided a place to stay so far.
 Not a bad view if I do say so myself.
This picture is a little dated (at least a few days...).  This is in beautiful Seaside, OR.   This is where I started my trip and where Lewis and Clark ended theirs.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Morning Glory

Here is my latest location that you can click on:   http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0RqaCWQXIjE7D4bXX0MBtk3Xsm7XdnCAL

And also:

This is the trail I stumbled onto this morning (the video is from my cell phone so it isn't the highest quality):

Glory be to God

Friday, May 10, 2013

Portland

Well, last night was the end of day five.  I am at about 110 miles and 224,000 footsteps.  I came into Portland last night around 8pm.  I pushed farther than I should have and am regretting it now.  As I was walking through an industrial area of Portland I was feeling very hunrgy and thirsty.  As I rounded a corner of the street two women stopped me and offered me some apples and dates.  Luxury food is what I call that!  Right when I was losing hope/faith that I would never get into town to eat/drink these two women arrived.  Angels sent from God?  Maybe not, but it sure felt like it.  The miles are getting easier now but after about the 20 mile mark for each day the body really starts to feel it.  Prayer is the only that has gotten me through any miles over 20.  That and the thought of food.  Please keep praying for me and God bless.

Here is my latest location if you're curious:  http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0RqaCWQXIjE7D4bXX0MBtk3Xsm7XdnCAL


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Update of the progress... slowly but surely.

Well, it looks like I've gone about 80 miles so far and around 15,000 steps according to the pedometer.  Here is the recent SPOT tracking link if you want to see 'where in the world is Daniel':

http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0RqaCWQXIjE7D4bXX0MBtk3Xsm7XdnCAL

Thanks for thoughts and prayers.  God's country is big so I'll need them.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

110,000 steps in...

Here is one of my first campsites in Northern Oregon after about 60 miles and 110,000 steps or so:

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Adventure Has Begun!

Hello Everyone,

At last, I flew into Portland, OR last evening.  Already I have had great people of faith help me on my journey.  God has already surprised me on my first day as Shawn and Julianna (friends of my sister-in-law who live near Portland that I didn't even know existed until recently) welcomed me into their home for one more comfortable night's rest and some great conversation. This morning I caught a Greyhound bus ride to the coast to make it official.  I started my journey with a swim in the Pacific Ocean in a little coastal town called Seaside.  Little did I know, it also happens to be where Lewis and Clark ended their journey...  and where I start mine.  Currently, I am walking North toward Astoria for my first leg of the journey.  I have already put some miles behind me on foot (about 20 miles).  The weather has been very warm thus far.  So far, so good.  I will get some more details out soon.  I have checked in on my SPOT tracking device just now.  By clicking on this link you can zoom in to see my progress.  I find that it helps to click on the hybrid version of the map so you can see both road names and landmarks and terrain/satellite images together:

http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0RqaCWQXIjE7D4bXX0MBtk3Xsm7XdnCAL

I am turning in for the night right now and preparing for a big day tomorrow.  I have received some prayer requests that I will be carrying with me tomorrow.

Thanks again for thoughts and prayers,

Over and out

Friday, May 3, 2013

Follow My Footprints

Here is a link that you can click on to view my footprints along the way of this pilgrimage.  It shows my flight to Portland from Minneapolis, but once in Oregon, it's all on foot.

http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0RqaCWQXIjE7D4bXX0MBtk3Xsm7XdnCAL

Change

I was born and raised Catholic, but in my young adult years I fell away from my Faith for a period of time.  I always had my faith's teachings engraved in me from my immediate and extended family, but chose not to follow them.  Those years of chasing temptations brought me farther away from God and family. 

I always knew that living my Faith would bring me true joy, but was too cowardly to accept it.  Through God's never ending love and mercy I slowly came back to the Sacraments.  I can honestly say these past few years have been the most joy filled days of my life.  "Life is not about the mistakes you have made, but how you live your life after learning from those mistakes".

Living and practicing a Christian life these days is not easy, but it's worth it!  I ask that people will take a step with me on this journey, and strive to grow closer to God.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

List of Gear

I have had a few questions to what kind of gear I will be bringing.  Here is my list:

-Hiking pack (1), One-man tent (1), Sleeping bag (1), Small air pillow (1), Sleeping pad (1), Liner socks (2), Wool hiking socks (3), Underwear (2), Boots (1), Synthetic base layer top/bottom (1), Long sleeve lightweight shirt (1), Pants (1), Hat (1), Bandannas (2), Phone/charger (1), Journal (2), Camera (1), Multi-tool (1), Knife sharpener (1), Leather belt (1), Nalgene bottle (3), Water filter (1), SPOT tracking device (1), Pepper spray (1), Pedometer (1), Bible (1), YOUCAT (1), Headlamp (1), Medical bag (1), CrossAmerica business cards (300), Compass (2), Paracord (10 yards), Food (3 days worth), Raincoat (1), Rosaries (6), Spork (1), Hand sanitizer (1), Soap (1), Sunscreen (1), Toothbrush/paste (1), Floss (1), Vitamins (30), Coffee cup (1), Sauce pan (1), Toilet Paper (1)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Testing out the pack

I went for a walk yesterday with some family to test out the pack.  Right now it weighs 35 lbs.  The goal is to get it down under 30 lbs.  My little niece got to act as the extra gear that I don't have yet.