Odyssey 2023 – Journal Entry 1

Saturday–March 4, 2023

Trail Day—01

Trail Mile—11.9/11.9

Location—Days Inn Wyndham, I-35 North Access Road, San Antonio

Getting into San Antonio yesterday was an adventure in itself. As the plane taxied from the terminal to the runway (in Joplin, Missouri, where I’d been staying with Sherrie & Carol, dear friends from my Route 66 hike days) the plane just stopped, and there we sat, for the longest time. Finally, the captain came on and said there was a problem with the aircraft and that we’d have to return to the terminal—where we were told to deplane. Anyway, I ended up getting into Denver two hours late, where I missed my connection to San Antonio. Fortunately, I was able to get on a later flight. And just at sunset, Barry was right there at the San Antonio airport to get me!

And so, our long-awaited Chisholm Trail adventure began this morning at the Alamo in downtown San Antonio. During the cattle drive days, cattlemen gathered at the Menger Hotel (which still stands today) to organize their cattle drives. It’s near the Alamo, so we stopped there first.

Pictured with me at the Alamo are Dan Sims and Bart Smith.

Dan (a dear friend from Flagg Mountain) will be hiking with Bart & me for a few days in prepatation for his upcoming Pacific Crest Trail journey. Dan thru-hiked Bama2Baxter last year, 2,617 miles, to find some closure for the loss of his sweet daughter, Janie.

Bart and I have hiked many-a-mile together along the old western pioneer trails. It’s good to be back out here with Bart again! Also, in another photo with Bart & Nimblewill—Barry Riddle.

Barry will be supporting us this entire adventure. Barry helped me along Route 66, then again during my record-setting Appalachian Trail trek in 2021. He’s another dear friend from my time spent on Flagg Mountain.

The hike today was hammer-the-sidewalks the entire time. Hard to imagine longhorns being driven through here. Nothing but pavement and stoplights now. And much more of the same to come, as this trek will be one long roadwalk, pretty much the entire way.

Toward the end of the day I got to worrying about the likely possibility of getting skunked, not finding a single coin. I’d figured on finding a pocketful of change; but no! Luckily, on the sidewalk, my last mile, I finally picked up a penny—to add to my mason jars of coins found during my many roadwalks.

I wanted to do no more than ten miles today, but it was only another couple miles to the motel where we’ve been staying, so I hiked it on in.

Just a great beginning to Odyssey 2023, clear blue sky, temps in the high 70s, low 80s, a mild breeze to my back. Feeling good; this is going to be a fun time…

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