Jimmy Wayne Gets ‘Rattled’ on Trek Through Texas
Jimmy Wayne is nearing the New Mexico border on his Meet Me Halfway solo-walk across America to raise awareness for at-risk teens. On Tuesday (April 13), while making his way through west Texas, Jimmy came across his first rattlesnake, which had him quite "rattled" to say the least!
"I'd been walking along the side of the road in the grass, just carrying on about my business," Jimmy tells The Boot. "I'd been hearing about these snakes and how they're like birds in the sky out here ... they are all over the ground. I'm seriously scared to death of snakes. I hadn't seen one rattlesnake, so I got a little bit too comfortable for my own good!"
As luck would have it, Jimmy wasn't listening to his iPod or an audio book while walking, something he has done daily since beginning his trek on New Year's Day. "If I had my iPod in, I wouldn't have heard the snake," he explains. "Hearing it rattle is what really scared me because I didn't know where it was coming from. Immediately I looked down, and I saw it rising out from under my foot -- I was about to step on it. Luckily, I had my trekking poles. People make fun of them, but those trekking poles helped me. It's almost like having four legs. I put all my balance on one of those poles, and I got out of there really quick. I held one out in front of me in case it wanted to strike.
"I haven't been that scared since I was 17 years old, and my friend ran a stop light through a major intersection," Jimmy continues. "Somehow, we missed hitting all of the other cars. When we made it through the intersection, we were weaving, and the brakes were sliding. We were going so incredibly fast, showing off in his muscle car. We never saw the light, but somehow we got through it without getting hurt."
Jimmy says this rattlesnake incident is the first thing to happen that has made him question the remainder of his trek. "Nothing else on this walk has stopped me," he notes. "Every obstacle you can think of that has gotten in the way or tried to get in the way has not stopped me. I wasn't scared walking through the vicious, tough neighborhoods that people warned me about. The coyote that walked up beside me in the woods didn't bother me because I spoke and it ran away. The tough guys I met along the way who were trying to pick a fight ... none of that stuff has scared me or moved me. It wasn't until that snake came along. That was a major scare. It's been the first time on this whole walk that I seriously had that voice inside saying to me, 'Get in the car, and go to the airport.' It was almost enough for me to do that. It scared me that much."
For the rest of his walk, Jimmy says he'll be taking more precautions, even though doing so may slow him down. "I walk in the grass and dirt so my feet and my knees can take a break," he says. "There's a huge difference when you're walking on asphalt. It's very painful doing 20 miles a day, and now I'm going to have to do it on concrete. It's going to make my journey that much harder."
Jimmy will be taking a full week off from the walk starting on April 17. He continues with the last part of his walk after playing a concert in Amarillo, Texas on April 23. To follow Jimmy's journey and to see what else he encounters along the way, log onto his Twitter page or visit the campaign's official website.