Afghanistan Memory Wall Trip

It’s July 20th.

18 days ago I set out to drive to Daytona to write the Afghanistan Memory Wall there at the Daytona 400 Coke Race and from there drive to New Hampshire to do the same at a NASCAR race there.

I was leaving with mixed feeling as I set out to drive on this surely 5,000 mile plus drive over 3 weeks. Just days before I had returned from a trip where I literally flew around the world going west in 3 weeks. I left DFW and flew west to Bangkok where I spent 2 weeks teaching seminars there. I’m not complaining, I got to spend a week at a resort in Koh Sumi and then on to Phuket where I spent time at the beach and taught my seminars. From there I went to Budapest, The Ukraine (yes country at war) and Italy. Flying west the entire time until I circled the globe and was home.

I landed at DFW airport Friday June 27th and Saturday morning I was awake and doing the wall at 8am at Southfork Ranch in Dallas. It was a bit of a shock to my system. I spent the next few days packing my home for a move and then on Tuesday I left for Daytona. I was pushing the limits of my body and mind no doubt.

As I set out on the drive I was emotionally and physically drained. Nothing in me was looking forward to the trip. I didn’t have my usual helpers of Eva and Donovan going with me. In Daytona I had 2 Facebook friends I had never met (Daryl and Deanna) and I had NO HELPERS for NH. I just set out on faith. The cost of the trip (with $5900 t-shirt inventory investment) was easily $10,000. TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS before I even pulled out the gate (calculating what my gas and hotels would be).

So what was to look forward to? I was going to have to write out 7,000 words on back to back weekends, no proven helpers, 5,000 miles of driven alone and no rest. It was daunting.

I arrived at 1am Friday morning for Daytona and the next morning I met Deanna and Daryl and they were fantastic. We didn’t break any sales records at Daytona but we were working against a lot of other factors. On day 1 they stuck us in a corner. I don’t think anyone would have found us unless they were lost frankly. To top it off I didn’t know this but it RAINS every afternoon in Florida in the summer. I wish I had know this prior. It crushed my ability to sell and write.

On Day 2 Deanna had a great idea of getting a tent to shield me from the rain as I wrote and we moved the shirts under there to sell as well. This saved the day without question. We took $3,000 in sales and donations and covered our expenses for that trip. I dropped Deanna and Daryl off in Atlanta and I set out to NH alone. Here is a photo when I dropped them off

With Deanna and Daryl

With Deanna and Daryl

to be conitnued….