Glyn Stone: Heading East with Gorilla Tape Wheels

The wheels on his luggage cart where worn to the rim. “I made tires with Gorilla tape,” he said. “They got me here from Ogden, Utah.” Strapped to the cart were all his belongings.

Glyn Stone: traveling with his suitcase
Glyn’s duct tape wheels

I met Glyn walking up the sidewalk in Douglas, Wyoming. Why, I asked him, was he out rambling?

He says his life needed a change of direction. “I always wanted to leave my home town. It was okay there but I was adrift. Not up to much. I was afraid if I stayed I’d go to prison. I also figured I should take this trip while I’m young enough and have the energy to do it.” Glyn is 31.

Glyn says, “one day God put a hand on me and said, ‘boy, it’s time to go to greener pastures'”. He’d saved up enough money to leave town. The last week of November 2018, he set off from Hobbs, New Mexico.

Glyn’s rig

The trip is going well. “I’ve walked, hitch hiked, taken a bus. God is good. He’s provided me with what I needed when I needed it.”

Foot wear has been a challenge. “When you wear some else’s second hand shoes, you have to break them in to your feet. For the first few days you wear them, they kill your feet.”

From Hobbs, he traveled to Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. He plans to travel through northern Nebraska then turn south before cold weather sets in.

He wants to end up in Florida.

The last thing he said was, “my feet are killing me. I think I’ll go camp by the river and soak my feet in the water.” He points his hand east. “Tomorrow morning I’ll be heading out.”

He turned and pulled his cart off in the direction I’d come.

Eastward bound: the last I saw of Glyn

Post-Glyn Position

Since meeting Glyn, the mules and I have made it to central Wyoming.

8 Responses to Glyn Stone: Heading East with Gorilla Tape Wheels

  • By chance, I got to see “Rambo, First Blood” on the big screen (the last Rambo movie is hitting theaters this week). And John Rambo is a ‘Nam veteran who really can’t do much with his life since getting back from the war. Just travel from town to town, in perpetual movement. Once again, the film totally floored me – raw, emotional, and very bleak. Seems like nobody these days remembers how the Rambo series started, and that is was in fact an acerbic critique of American society right after Vietnam, and right on the cusp of the prosperous 1980, President Reagan, and A New Day in America. Well, a bunch of folks weren’t getting much of a dawn, and the film made a hell of an impression on me in 1982, when I screened it as a projectionist in high school…

    I hope Glyn finds his way.

    C

    • I haven’t seen “First Blood” but I can see how folks get left out of New Days and Trickle Downs. And lets not forget the New Deal. Rising tides don’t raise all sailors. Some founder. Set go adrift.
      I really think Glyn sensed his life needed a reset. He said so himself: if he didn’t leave his town, things would end poorly for him. I sure hope he can walk himself to a better situation. I sure respect him for having enough self awareness to know he needed to physically fling himself out of his old surroundings. That takes a lot of grit.
      I’m lucky. I wander knowing I have a wife, a home, a brother and wonderful family at my back.
      We’ll have to watch “First Blood” when I get back.

  • My wife and I met Glyn in Kemmerer, WY on Monday September 30th 2019. He was sitting outside the Family Dollar and we stopped to speak to him and see if there was anything we could do to help him out. We gave him a few bucks and told him if he was still in town the next morning we would put him to work. We were homeless ourselves 11 years ago and just celebrated our 10th year in business (First Choice Maintenance). He was exactly where we told him to be the next morning, so after some breakfast, off to work we went. What a pleasure to work with. He said he had some landscaping experience long ago (they all do) and he jumped right in. After the first job I was asking myself “where has he been all summer, really could use a hand like him”. We worked most of the day then we were going to Fossil Butte National Monument to see the Elk in rut and asked him if he wanted to go. The three of us had a great time watching the Elk and listening to them bugle. It was kind of cold and the wife asked me where he was going to sleep that night. After a very short discussion we decided he could stay with us. We offered to have him work again the next day, he accepted. We woke op to almost 3 inches of snow on the ground so mowing grass was not an option. Glyn said he was just going to hit the road after getting some waterproofing spray for his tent. We had a can and gave it to him. When we met he said he was headed towards Farson then South Pass City, Casper, Nebraska, and eventually Miami, FL. We loaded up the truck, gave him a brand new pair of hiking boots and took him past South Pass City to Highway 287. It felt kind of weird dropping him off on the side of the road, but that is what he wanted and we were glad to help. Glyn we hope you find your “greener pastures”. Safe travels.

    • Dear Albert.
      Thank you for your moving thoughts on Glyn. That one really hit me hard. I’ve read it 4 times already and each time it touches me on another level. A wonderful piece of writing.
      I thought it beautiful how you and your wife worked with Glyn, took him out to see the elk, then waterproofed his tent and sent him on his way.
      As someone who has been homeless, you have an insight in to the lives of folks like that Glyn that I don’t. Still, as someone with a home base now, it must stir mixed emotions in you to take someone like Glyn in, care for him, then turn him loose on the side of the road.
      But that’s the way it has to be: for you and for Glyn.
      I, too, wish Glyn well (and Glyn, if you read this, I’d love to hear from you. Just drop me an email).
      Question: how did you find Glyn’s post on RiverEarth.com?
      Thanks again for the lovely comment.
      Bernie / currently Blackfoot, Idaho

      • Bernie,
        I found Glyn’s post after doing a google search for his name plus the word Utah as I remember him saying he had come up from Ogden. I was looking for a Facebook page or some other way to keep in touch with him. We have just read online that the body of a deceased man was found near Sinclair, WY and immediately thought of Glyn and how cold it has been lately. That is not the direction he said he was going but then again he had made it all the way to Douglas before finding himself all the way back in Kemmerer by trusting someone that lied to him. There have been no details released yet except to say foul play not is suspected. We hope and pray this is not him. I will let you know when we find out one way or the other. We know Glyn has been through alot and wish him only the best. We too had to leave where we were “stuck” to get ourselves right and will continue to help anyone we find that is trying to help themselves.

        • Gulp. I just got your update and hope, as you do, that Glyn is fine and well and pulling his Gorilla-taped suitcase toward warmer Florida. I will keep an eye out for your updates as internet access permits. I will be thinking of all you and Glyn have been through as you’ve walked and roamed your selves to better lives.
          Bernie

          • Bernie, It was NOT Glyn, but it was someone travelling by foot that had succumbed to the elements… Stay safe and warm!!! Also, I may not check back here very often, so if you hear from Glyn, please send us an email and/or tell him to call us, he has our business card.
            Albert and Tammy DiSantis

          • Dear Albert and Tammy. Sure appreciate your following up with me about Glyn. I’ve been thinking about him a lot these past snowy days. He left an impression on me and I’d be most happy to hear from him. I’ll be sure to let you know if I hear anything. Bernie Harberts

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