Stats to Date:
Total Miles:8750
Total States (& Districts):16
Total Oceans Touched:2
Car Problems:1
Total Times Lost:6
Day: 21 Location: Savannah, GA
"Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble."

-- Psalm 91:14-15


If "free" is my current favorite word, "Not suitable for children, pregnant women or those sensitive to caffeine" is my favorite phrase. It's the sign of a great energy drink: Rockstar. Yeah, buddy. Sure, its $2 a pop -- but one 16 ounce can got me all the way from Virginia to South Carolina. That's two dollars well spent, if you ask me. (With all these product and company endorsements I've been making, most people would be expecting a fat check at the end ... but no. I refused the big endorsement bucks to preserve the integrity of my recommendations.) Most of the day, I drove and drove... then stopped at Myrtle Beach to hang out and take some pictures... and drove some more. Stopped at Fort Sumpner (where the Civil War started) and the Citadel (where my grandfather went to college). My family has a lot of history in Charleston which can be traced back for several generations -- but by the time I got there it was dark and most places were closed.

Spending the last four years in a college town has really made me take for granted restaurants and stores that stay open 24 hours -- in the real world, everything shuts down at 9pm. Except my beloved Super-Walmart, of course. Anyway, I spent an hour or so hanging out in a local wafflehouse before deciding to head to Walmart for the night.

So, I arrived where my computer said the Walmart was -- only to find a deserted store with an empty parking lot. Oh well, it's late, I'm tired and there's other businesses around -- so I pulled into the middle of the lot and went to bed.


:::: Fast Forward to 4am ::::
[cue excruciatingly loud screeching of tires less than 20 feet from my truck, engines rev and lots of laughter]


"Who's truck is that?" "He's in our way." "HEY! Wake-up!" [Honking] "Hey, just steal it, man." "Is someone in there?"
I woke with a jolt to the sound of screeching tires -- this can not be good, I thought. I put on my jeans and looked out my back vent to see a large group of people hanging out next to several sports cars less than 30 feet from my truck. The car that had just done a doughnut around me was pulling back next to the group. I listened intently as they talked loudly about "the guy who was in the middle of their drag." From the cursing, laughter and yelling -- it was clear they were either drunk or getting there. I'm not gonna lie -- I was scared. They did not seem friendly. In times of real or perceived danger -- there's only one place I can turn: prayer. "God, what should I do?" I hoped He would say, "Go back to sleep while I rain fire and brimstone down on their position." But all I heard was, "Get out, get in the car and leave." Crap. To the reader, I may seem like I am exaggerating, but leaving the safety of my cabin was an act of trust. After a moment, I opened the bed door -- the group got strangely quiet. I rolled out, shut the door behind me and without as much as a glance in their direction, got in my truck and drove off. I didn't hear one sound from the time my bed door opened to the time I left that parking lot. Thank you, God. I then found a better Walmart outside of town and went to bed for another 2 hours before I had to leave the next morning.

I don't know if you believe in angels -- I'm not sure what I believed before this trip. I know I believed they existed, but had never given any serious thought to the idea. Now I know they exist. I don't blame you for being skeptical, but this is not the first time I've felt like I was being fought for, protected and rescued...

Happy 70th Birthday, Elvis.
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