Saturday, 24 June 2017

Friday June 23, 2017

West of Vernal, Utah

Flowers and Trucks

I broke my walk into three parts today—night-time, morning and a blazing afternoon for an hour. I met Steven, seventy-five, who was shocked to see a monk in town. He has all the books of the popular Indian gurus. His collection also includes Aurobindo and Srila Prabhupada. He said, “Prabhupada emphasizes devotion.”

“That’s right!”

On Monday, our team will visit Steven, who lives in a rather isolated place. I’m looking forward to it.

I also met another Steven, the library operator in one of the local towns. Like many folks who stop to talk, he offered a ride, but suspected I was on a mission.

“I’ll come to see you in the library,” I said, “when we get to your town.”

In reality, everyone is in a car or a truck. Vernal has Hwy 40 running through it. There’s a passion in this place. What tempers the passion is the petunias potted all along the street. The town seems to take them very seriously. I was leap-frogging with the fellow who goes around in a truck watering those flowers with a hose. It was almost like a game. I had to dodge the squirt-hose.

Flowers usually make you smile, laugh or offer some comfort. Usually the more flowers planted in a city, the less crime there is.. Sounds too simplistic? Apparently it’s true.

I want to thank Jaya Gopal for sponsoring our room in the Days Inn. That was very devotional of you.

May the Source be with you!
21 miles

Editor’s Note: The Walking Monk will be live on Facebook at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time, aka 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on Sunday June 26, 2017. Here’s the link. We hope you can join the event.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Thursday June 22, 2017

Vernal, Utah


Cheryl was a great host at the Yoga Center in Steamboat. She even cooked a fine kitchari for us. Remember—rice, dahl, vegetables and Indian spices? The program included “Tales From Trails”, kirtan, and dancing. Attendees purchased books and beads. We were invited back for the future.

Now, the challenge was on. We arrived via vehicle at 11:15 p.m. at the spot where I left off earlier in the day. My distance for trekking was to be a real push through the night. It was dark. Strong flashes of thunder were ahead. Rain came, but little. The wind pushed the clouds very rapidly. The temperature was around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. No bugs were there to pester. Fatigue was evident. Near the end of the thirteen mile night-walk, I was staggering a bit, like a drunkard.

At the Motel 6, we slept—just a squeeze of four hours for me. Then a mere seven miles were left to complete. This time the sun was upon me, biting like fire on my neck.

But all was cool. I met two individual Samaritans who came to offer water. The second woman, an Hispanic lady, gave no explanation. “Here ya go,” was all she said as she presented a tumbler of ice-water. After she left, just a few yards into her journey, she shouted back, “You’re beautiful!”
“You are!” I replied.

I met a local fellow who had this new walking stick. I asked, “How far do you walk everyday?”
“About ten miles.”
“You’re a hero!”

Liberty Best came from the Vernal Express with questions. It was outside a bike store. The employees come out with cameras and handshakes.
“You’re the guy I’ve seen on the highway.”

Liberty took shots. She liked the fact that I’m seeing sacredness on the road.

May the Source be with you!

20 miles

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Wednesday June 21, 2017

Dinosaur, Colorado

Kindness, Bugs and the Summer

The other day, Elizabeth was watering the lawn at her business, The Westward Motel. Being somewhat dehydrated, I ambled along in front of the place and asked her if the water was drinkable. And so I was invited to drink.

“This is the best water,” she reassured.

I asked her about her rates for accommodations. “Do you have monk rates?”

“Sure, I’ll help you. You can stay for free. How many nights?”

“Three for three.”


Elizabeth and partner, Shawn, demonstrated optimum hospitality. We gifted them with a small package of books by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. They were happy. It was our check-out time and time to move on.

And speaking of happiness, our group of three, were exceedingly content with the swim, yesterday evening, in a spring that fed into the Yampa river. My limbs got especially relaxed from the dip last night. Second to walking is swimming. My experience is that they go hand-in-hand.

Now my stretch for trekking today took me on Hwy 40 to the hamlet of Dinosaur. It was here that many discoveries were made of fossils, bones and remains of the huge animals of pre-historic times. Rather neat, if I might say so.

The reality of today was not sighting T-Rex, but having thousands of bugging, buggy wiggies constantly around my torso and head. I don’t know if they are out here to celebrate the summer solstice but they are definitely having a party with me. I take it as an austerity.

After our 20 mile trek today, our group drives back to Steamboat Springs to the Yoga Center of Steamboat to celebrate the summer’s arrival.

May the Source be with you!

20 miles