Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Crazy Ordeal with Hobo Nick!

This story is almost hard to believe....but here goes...

Heather and I have been trying to sell a double jogging stroller on a Facebook group for a while.  Nobody seems to want it in TX because it doesn't have a sunshade.  I mean c'mon folks, just buy some sunscreen for the kids. So, we end up listing it for the riff raff to fight over on Craigslist.  I am the riff raff I speak of so it is ok to say it. 

We have sold lots of stuff and gotten all kinds of responses, but nothing like this one:

I have a wild story, I am walking across the entire country. And I need a new cart to haul my supplies haha but anyways, I am in rockwall and heading west along the 66 tomorrow through your town. I'm only on foot. How far off the 66 are you guys? Trying not to walk too much extra haha but I do have cash and will be taking the stroller cross country. And I'm not crazy, been on the news and stuff. Just a normal guy on a spiritual journey. Are you guys near the 66? And if not would a drop off to me be possible?

Really?  Some dude that is walking across the country has internet access, happens to be in Rockwall, will be walking through Rowlett, and wants to buy our stroller? 

Heather's email subject line to me was: Is this for real?

So I loaded up the stroller, texted the sojourner, and arranged to meet him at Burger King.  I pulled into the parking lot and, no lie, the screen on my phone farted out.  Done. Kaput.Finished.

I drove around the Burger King looking for a dude with a bunch of stuff.  I even went in the Burger King looking for this dude and eventually just drove off.  I kinda figured that the dude was a flake (he thought the same thing about me as I found out later on his twitter account) or that one of my friends was punking me with a ghost phone number (Doug Booth came to mind).  I drove off and didn't give it much more thought.

FAST FOWARD several hours... I ended up getting a new phone today and the first text I got (four or five hours after the missed meet-up) was from Hobo Nick saying, "you still alive?"

I told him yes, that I had tried to meet him, yada yada... and we arranged another meet up.  I was intrigued to see if this was for real as I pulled into a McDonalds parking lot off Forest Lane and Plano Road. Out he came looking like a real life Grizzly Adams.  He had the full-on homeless beard, free flowing hair and a vintage looking cap holding it all together, but is clearly not drugged up or drunk, and is remarkably articulate.

We are standing there putting the stroller together and talking a bit about his journey when a random dude (who follows him on Twitter) walks up and says, "You must be Hobo Nick, I've been following you since you were in the Florida Panhandle.  This must be the new buggy (double stroller) you've been talking about (via twitter on free wifi).

That's when it really clicked, that this dude was legit, that he was on an epic journey, that he had probably been on some news channels, that he indeed was walking through my town and wanted to buy my stroller.  I realized immediately that in a small way, my life, my story had joined in with a much bigger story.

As my encounter with hobo_nick marinated in my head over the next few hours it became clear to me that our meeting was a divinely inspired encounter and that our connection may need to be a bit longer than the 15 minutes I spent with him in the McDonalds parking lot. 

I will share that part of the story in the next day or two.  For now, head over to Twitter and follow hobo_nick and take a few minutes to read his blog at 

For the record, he is on day 85 of walking from Jacksonville, FL to the Pacific Ocean.

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