March, Page 4
After breakfast I left Sumner and headed for Lawrenceville. About 2 miles out of town just as I was near Red Hills
State Park, I got a phone call from David Dooley from Lawrenceville, Illinois. He is a reporter for the Daily Record of
Lawrenceville. He asked me if he could walk with me. I told him It would be great. I waited at the entrance to the park
for about 15 minutes and he showed up.
We walked about 5 miles to Bridgeport. David is a very energetic reporter and I enjoyed the walk with him. En route
we stopped at his friends house for a few minutes and that is where I met Roxie Gray. Once in Bridgeport David got a
ride on into Lawrenceville because of an appointment he had to keep.
Soon after David left a reporter by the name of Barb Allender of the Bridgeport Leader.
Barb was very nice and we talked for about half an hour. After that I walked on into Lawrenceville. I got there just
around 5 pm and ended up staying at the Mr. K's motel. I could not find a place to camp and it was getting very cold.
So Mr. K gave me a real good discount and it was affordable. It was a very nice room and I enjoyed staying there. I
caught my Journal up and got a great night sleep. Take care all, Gary Long, "Keep on Walking, One foot in front of
Journal entry, 3-24-06
Today I got up and it was raining, sleeting and snowing. The wind was blowing and It took no time at all to figure it best
I don't walk this morning. I thought I would take care of a few things by walking to Wal-Mart which was 2 miles on the
other side of town. When I was walking back toward the Motel, much to my surprise, David Dooley from the Daily
Record came running out of the News Paper office because he recognized me walking by. I explained to him why I had
not left yet and he offered to let me stay in his home that night. I was more than happy to accept his kind offer. He
allowed me to update my Journal on his computer. He drove me to Vincennes, Indiana which was about 10 miles away,
so I could get a Verizon Signal and upload all the pictures I had stored up for the last two weeks. David treated me to
lunch at Dennys and then we went back to his home. Once there we talked about my journey and David shared with
me some of his goals in life. We had a wonderful conversation. I started working on his computer and it took several
hours to complete my journal updates. After that I went to bed and got a wonderful nights sleep. Take care all, Gary
Long, "Keep on Walking, one foot in front of the other."
WEIGHT UPDATE: 345 lbs.on 3-20-06
Tim O'NeiL from St. Louis Post Dispatch and Camera Man Robert Cohen Walked , Talked
and Took Pictures with Gary on 3-28-06 .
HI, I am Gary"s wife Cheryl Long. Gary is the Love of my Life and
My True Soul Mate and I want to Thank Everyone from the Bottom of my Heart who has
Helped my Husband in his Journey in any way . I am touched emotionally and spiritually
daily by his encounters. God Bless You All. Thank You. Cheryl Long
"Waiting for her Husbands Long Walk Home." .
Journal entry, 3-25-06
This morning I woke up at 7:30 am. David Dooley asked if he could walk with me to the Indiana State line. I was very
happy to say yes. David is only 25 years old but because of his maturity He acts more like a well seasoned
professional that is in his prime.
David went to hardies and got us breakfast while I finished catching up my journal. After breakfast I took a shower and
we were out the door by 9:30 am. It was about 10 miles to the state line. About 2 miles into the walk we noticed a
large dog coming toward us. The dog had a limp and could not use his right rear leg very much. He looked like a
husky in the face and had a glass eye. The dog took a liking to us and walked with us for a few miles. We became
worried because the dog kept running out in front of cars. We tried to get the dog to leave us but he stayed with us.
We were very worried for the dog and the thought of someone running over him was getting to us. A couple of miles
further a man stopped to see if we needed a ride. We explained what I was doing and were able to convince the man
to take the dog with him just to get him off the highway. He said he would take the dog into the next town.
As David & I continued on, less than a mile further, another dog started following us. This dog was the biggest dog I
ever saw. He jumped on me and David and licked us all over. I would say this dog weighted over 200 lbs. He followed
us all the way to the state line at the Bridge. We were afraid to cross the bridge because of the traffic. We thought the
dog would get killed for sure. So I called the Sheriff and he said we could leave the dog tied up and they would come
right away and set him free. We were sad to do this, but we figured it was the safest thing to do for the dog.
So we started crossing the bridge. At the half way point we stopped and David said a prayer for my success.
Then we went on to the other side and I met Davids parents. They were very nice folks. After talking with them for a
while we prayed again. Then David & his parents left. As they pulled away I felt a sense of a great friendship that I
had established with David.
Soon they were gone and I walked over to a bench & sat down. At that moment I realized that I had just completed
walking across one state. I was overcome with emotion at that very minute. I noticed it was 3:33 pm. I was very proud
and realized I was really doing it. I was walking across America.
After about 20 minutes I started walking. I stopped at a Dairy Queen and ordered a sandwich and water. I met several
very nice people there. I am posting their picture here in the order I met them.
I continued walking until I was back on hwy 50. It was getting dark so I started looking for a place to put my tent.
Finally I found a good secluded place. I was very tired & happy to get into the tent. It took no time at all to doze off.
Take care all, Gary, "Keep on Walking, one foot in front of the other."
Journal entry, 3-26-06
I broke camp today at around 7:30 am. The sun came out bright and I waited just a little while for my tent to dry. As I
got about 5 miles out of town, Mike Bynum from the Day before stopped by as he was on his way to Washington. He
recognized me and wanted to see how I was doing.
About half way to Wheatland, Indiana, Gregory Bourland with the Knox County Sheriff Department stopped me. He
said some one called in that a "suspicious looking guy" was on the side of the road. He said that he recognized me
from the paper. We talked for a while then he wished me luck and left.
Just after he left another car stopped. Michelle Parker from Monroe City, In. and her Mother Marie, (Who is 93 years
of age and still drives), and her two daughters Alexandrea, age 9, and Lauren, age 7. We talked for a while about my
journey. I took their picture and they wished me well then left. It always makes my day when such wonderful people
stop to talk.
Soon after that Jerry & Vicki Wells stopped and asked me if I knew what happened to their dog. They said they had
seen me walk by their home in Illinois and they saw the dog follow me. They said they figured the dog would only
follow me for a little while and then come home. They said their dog had a limp on his right rear foot and had a glass
eye. I told them about the guy that stopped and took the dog to the next town. After I explained this they seemed to
be so sad and really wanted to find their dog. Hopefully they don't have much more trouble finding him.
I got into Wheatland at 6:45 pm. I noticed the Wheatland Christian Church having service just as I got there. I went
inside just as the pastor Brent Cramer was singing a beautiful song. The service was wonderful and I felt very blessed
just being there. After the Service Brent Cramer and Jack Smith came over & we talked for a while. Jack offered to fill
up my water bottles. When he returned he brought 2 apples as well. Brent offered to let me set my tent up next to the
church in an open field. As they left, I went behind the church and set up my tent. As I lay in my sleeping bag I
reflected on the Bible story about Jacob that Brent had talked about during the service. In a short time I grew tired. So
take care all, Gary, "Keep on Walking, one foot in front of the other."
David Dooley and Roxie Gray
of Lawrenceville, Illinois
Barb Allender of the
David with the Giant Dog
I was resting just a couple of
miles before Indiana state line
On Bridge at Indiana State line
with his parents
Gregory Bourland with the
Knox County Sheriff Dept.
Marie (top) Michelle Parker
(right) and her two daughters
Alexandrea and Lauren
Jerry and Vicki Wells, They were
the owners of the large dog with
the hurt foot and glass eye
Cory Johnson, Crystal
Hendrixson & Avaleigh
Mike & Lance Bynum
Kyndra, Linda, DyLan,
Kelsey & Mike Hagemeier
Chris & Gus McCrary
& Ken Hahre