The stranger I met in the desert

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, May 13, 2011.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I was driving into town yesterday and I saw a man on the freeway with a small dog and a small backpack. I thought it seemed sad.

    I spent 2 hours in town, and I was driving home and I see him again right by my house. I was overcome by the need to help him. This type of conviction rarely hits me like this, and when it does I know I better follow it. I did a u turn onto a cow road since the freeway is only 2 lanes and asked him if he needed anything. He said no. I said do you have dog food and water, and he said he could use some water. I told him to meet me at the entrance to my neighborhood and I would be right back.

    I got home, and felt compelled to not only get him water but to see if he needed a sleeping bag, and a hiking backpack. I put all of this in the car, and meet him up with him again. He and his small puppy are sitting in the sun, on the sand, just roasting.

    I said, hey I have this backpack that was my son's do you need that? And a sleeping bag. (Both of which just happened to have come from when Matt was in the Wilderness Program in Utah.) He said OMG, yes. I am walking from Phoenix to Spokane WA. I had everything on my bike and the bike got 2 flats and I had to leave it all there. I have nothing. I just looked at him. I said, wow, it took me 15 hours to drive from here to Oregon - you have a LONG ways to go! And it is going to be cold where you are headed.

    He had been working as a ranch hand in Phoenix and needed to get back home to his landscape business for the summer in Spokane. I don't know why, but his spirit just hit mine hard - I felt like I had been clobbered in the heart. I gave him some water and 20.00 and said, look dude, you know the next town is not for 66 miles? He just looked at me, really? I said yah. I mean this is just pure brutal desert out here for miles. I said the gas station right over there is the last one you will see into you get into a town in Utah.

    He told me thank you and I held his adorable puppy. (Some little breed like a chihuahua mix - 5 months and maybe 5 pounds). He was so concerned about her, he asked me why I thought her nose was so dry? OMG. He had a good heart. The puppy had a big pink heart name tag. I told him it was just the desert sand, and that she had probably been rooting around in it and it chapped her nose. He said, yea, now that I have this backpack I can put her in it so she doesn't have to walk all those miles.

    Wow. That is all I can say. I just walked around for hours being grounded back in reality. Where were his parents? He was only in his late 30's mid 40's. Where were his friends? And kudos to him for not giving up in Phoenix and whining and becoming homeless - but for having the tenacity to walk back to where he knew there was work. All the way through Arizona, Utah, and Idaho until he gets home to Spokane.

    I don't know why things like this impact me so directly. I never have really figured that out about myself. I just can literally feel people's spirits sometimes - and it almost overwhelms me. I wish this man the best, and glad he had his baby puppy to keep him company. I think he may always be in my thoughts, for some reason.
    Last edited: May 13, 2011
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

  3. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    You are a very kind both will live in each others hearts.

  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    He will never forget the kindness of a total stranger willing to reach out and help him.

    You will never forget the fortitude of a man who facing great odds, didn't give up.

  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    An interesting story. Reminded me of those Wim Wenders-type films (cf Paris, Texas) with those desert landscapes and lonely people... Why was he walking, I wonder? Was he penniless? It's good to be open to the people we meet - we are so in the habit of shutting off into our own little shell of concerns.
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    How very inspiring - I'm happy you reached out to him and helped him. I pray he and especially his little puppy make it okay. I will admit that I am more worried about the puppy than the man. That's a long walk with little water being such a small animal.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I hope they make it back home safe. Wish there was a way to know. Some people spend only minutes in your life, but forever in your memory.
  8. ski10

    ski10 New Member

    Oh, he had a baby puppy with him, what a wonderful story, so kind of you to help them. Phoenix to WA, sweet to help him so much. :angel2:

    I know what you mean about him being in your thoughts, it seems there are always people sitting on the curb/street outside Walmart and some do have dogs, we've bought the owner a sandwich and the dog some food at times, can't do it all the time of course but you do think of them later on.
    by the way, any news with your pup, how's everything going?:cool_dog:
  9. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yes, Hearts, that is actually why I stopped was because of the baby pup. And the good fortune of me bringing him a big backpack allowed him to put the puppy in there so she doesn't have to walk, because I don't think she would have made it.

    He had 45.00 plus the 20.00 I gave him, so he has enough to make it if he does it right. I am just glad I stopped him because he didn't know that it was 66 miles to the next town. He would have surely run out of water had I not told him. And well, the pup would not have made it.

    ski - my dingo pup is doing BETTER! She has rapidly started learning commands since I implemented all of the board wisdom!!!! YAY.

    Malika I wondered all those same things. He was actually a good looking guy, and quite intelligent, at least about what his dogs needs were. It was a different scenario than most you run into where the homeless man is strung out on drugs wandering nowhere.
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hope he and his puppy make it back to Spokane.
  11. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    perhaps he had such an impact on you because he is a survivor. Its what you need in your life right now--that courage to go on journeying even though the journey is lonely and long...
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Okay first thing that hits my mind? The Hitcher or the Hitch hiker? OMG Wasn't there a series on TV about some slasher in the desert? Maybe for me it's the image of a man in the desert -

    But then you added the element of the puppy - and I'm thinking - Child molester........OMG!!!! Where is this story going? Slasher/child molester. Holy smokes! Now I'm freaking out.

    Then you tell me you stopped? I'm like WTH Steely!? The guy is a slasher/child molester with all the right signs except for candy! And you offer to ..........(I'm like on the edge of my seat - Is she going to put him in her jeep?) OH MY STARS what is she doing - wait....she's writing a story - she can't be hurt - read on........

    Then I see you get him a back pack, water....hold a puppy -(good, okay blood pressure going down, maybe this is a good story?)

    And it was.......BUT SHEESH - I think you should have started the cliff hanger out with - AND I AM FINE - lol

    I think I'm getting older because I do these things all the time - stop and give people water, money, carry crackers and food in my car. Columbia is notorious for homeless and panhandlers, and I don't have much - but it sure is a wonderful feeling when you see another person pay it forward like you did. But NOW? NOW I know how DF and my family feel when I start telling them a story like this. lol -

    I think what you did was awesome - I'll just tell you what my fam tells me -


    Good on ya.
  13. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Steely, You have a heart of gold and helping him was a kind thing to do. I do wish, however, you'd not gone back alone. That was risky in this big bad world of ours and I hope, if such a situation were to present itself again, you will be very careful.

    Where were his parents? Well, theymight habe been at home worried sick about their good hearted and charming difficult child adult son. How many of our difficult children, when meeting with a stranger, come across as together, as having a plan (as he did to walk to Spokane) ?

    You are an empath and I have no doubt that you felt some spirit from this young man but .... as a warrior mom in training, my bet is this young man is some parents' heartache difficult child.

  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You are a wonderful person. You and he will never forget each other. Reminds me of a day I was driving home from the city. Hot, sunny, NOT a day to be outside if you could avoid it. I saw a truck, packed trailer and 3 people - 2 of them elderly, on the side of the road. Truck was not workign right. I had enough water bottles to fill the radiator the rest of the wya so they could get into town. I also took them to a garage that wouldn't rip them off. Of course we had 3 big conferences in town plus a sporting event and the hotels were packed. So I called my mom and asked if we could at least give them dinner and a place to shower. Ended up with the dad (driving another truck) and the son sleeping outside by their truck so nothing got stolen (couldn't get it to our house) and the older couple sleeping on our sofa bed. They were helping move the dad and son to another state for work because he lost his job and couldn't get one where they lived. They were almost out of $$ and would have spent it on a motel anyway but there were not vacancies anywhere. I still get cards from them at the holidays, almost ten years later!

    Who knows, maybe someday your paths will cross again. I hope he has a safe journey and his puppy makes it. He is right that she wouldn't make it that far with-o your help. Heck, HE might not have made it either.
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    DITTO Star

    How much is a bus ticket from there to wherever he was going?
  16. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I love that you were able to stop and knew what you needed to. Not just anyone would. I'm too city trained-I would have been scared to death!You knew what you had to do. My fear would have blocked out any spirit messages. What a touching messanger from the universe.
  17. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yes, Utah - sometimes you just have to do what your spirit tells you to do. It was powerful

    And yes, I know he was a difficult child. He just had that look. Plus I told him the backpack and sleeping bag were my sons from a boys camp, and he said he had spent his youth in those.

    Believe me, I was very safe. Remember - the whole thing took place on the side of the freeway? The turn into my neighborhood is on the frwy. :) With people entering and leaving the neighborhood constantly as we stood there - and there was a gas station on the other side of the frwy? I mean, I guess he could have had a gun and kidnapped me, but I dont' know - I guess that one thing didn't enter my brain??? I know Star my family AND counselor tell me all the did what? OMG. I guess I just don't have a lot of fear, it has all been sapped out of me by raising a difficult child. LOL.

    K - There are not any bus stations for hours from here. So that was not an option, unfortunately.