Stats to Date:
Total Miles:10,838
Total States (& Districts):20
Total Oceans Touched:2
Car Problems:1
Total Times Lost:7
Day: 26 Location: Lafayette, LA
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
-- T.S. Eliot

Last night I parked at the Walmart parking lot, got out my truck and reached for my toiletry kit... Where IS my toiletry kit? I looked in the passenger seat, under the seat, behind the seat, under my clothes... not there. Hmmmmm... then it hit me. Awesome, I left it at Granny B's house. I sat there for a second, scratched my head, thought about how awesome I was -- and then I realized where I was parked. Beautiful. For $5.23 I was able to purchase the trial size toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, contact solution and contact cases -- then walk straight into the bathroom and take care of business. I love Walmart... and if that's the worst thing that happens to me on this trip, that's amazing. [Note: Since coming home and beginning to unpack my car, I realized that I am a double idiot because all my stuff was buried under other things. Wow. I amaze myself.]

Today I passed through four states -- starting in Florida, I stopped in Mobile, Alabama to tour the USS Alabama battleship. The tour was really cool -- self guided, which I like, with stops at all the cool weaponry and navigation systems... I didn't know this, but large ships have a device in them to neutralize their magnetic field so they won't set off magnetic mines. Pretty cool stuff. The battleship was surprisingly roomy -- but the submarine was another story. Now, I'm not a big boy -- but I was rubbing elbows in the passageways and having to contort myself to get through the hatches. The Captain's quarters was smaller than the cab of my truck.

After leaving Alabama, I drove through the storm of the century to meet my old roommate Jonathan where he works in Biloxi, Mississippi -- I had fun explaining my whole trip and showing off my camper to his coworkers. We had lunch at a local seafood place, caught up from the break and Jonathan picked up the bill. I tried to pay, but he insisted. Thanks, Jonathan! Finally, I toured the Jefferson Davis (the President of the Confederacy during the Civil War) mansion, talked with several friends who called me today (which was awesome) and headed on to Lafayette for the night.

Nothing really funny/exciting happened today... it was just a relaxing, fun day. I had a lot of time to think and pray... but this trip is really just winding down. I've seen some amazing sights, met some great people, driven over ice and snow, touched two oceans -- and I've learned a lot about myself. I really feel like everyone my age should take some time -- even if it's just camping at the beach for a week -- to be alone. When you're alone, you can't be distracted by surrounding yourself with people... you're forced look inward, be by yourself and think. Sure, it gets boring sometimes -- but in the process, you get to know yourself better than you ever have before... and I can't think of many more valuable experiences.

With that said, after 26 days on the road, 26 journal entries and almost 11,000 miles, I'm ready to be home... it's been a very intense month -- and to be honest, I'm exhausted... but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. This trip has stretched me, pushed me and grown me in ways that I never imagined when I left. I've been provided for, taken care of and encouraged. I can't thank you all enough... I just praise God for all of you... for getting me this far... for taking a wretch like me, forgiving my faults and loving me deeper than I have ever known. This will probably be my last "journal entry," however tomorrow's entry will have some interesting statistics and finish line pictures for your enjoyment.
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