The RODEO CLOWN, or QUIJOTE, or OLD JED SMITH or is it today just LITTLE ANDY– beats the Kenyans in an amazing “IMPOSSIBLE DREAM” Half Marathon!

From 1994 on for 14 consecutive years I ran….and towards the end “walked” some,   the Coban International Half Marathon in Guatemala, but then in the midst of my High Uinta Mountains Project had to end my competing with the Kenyans and give top priority to my High Uinta Project and hoped for book because of too many needed surgeries–to date by 2021 – twelve, to keep me going and ended up in November 2020 to January 2021 having constant pain and a dead right leg–NOT BEING ABLE TO EVEN WALK! 

But I’ve tried my darndest to keep my vow to….


As explained in previous posts, I graduated from a wheel chair, to a simple walker, and always using a walking cane.  But then had a “SPINAL ABLATION TO DEADEN MY PAIN” resulting in little pain relief, but shockingly my good left leg feeling numb too!  That scared the heck out of me and so I decided to keep my good leg awake, and force my dead right one to tag along–keeping it stiff, walking twice a day at the super market parking lots using a shopping cart, and some on grass each day with no devise to help me and as reported in previous posts–learning to walk all over again & fall without breaking anything LIKE A BABY!

Then with the incredibly wonderful help of my friend PAUL EDMUNDS who gave me a more modern version of the walker with big wheels, and a seat to rest once in a while, and a compartment to carry water and a picnic lunch–which freed me and I began at my tiny home doing LONG DISTANCE WALKING as mentioned in the last post.

I kept increasing the distances finally getting all the way to the Lone Peak High School in Highland, Utah–about 8 miles round-trip, then a week later doing a little more up to 10 miles, and was finally building up enough muscle on my dead leg to actually feel sore after my long walks! THAT WAS PROGRESS!

Then I got a flash from on HIGH: 

I’VE GOT TO DO THE HALF MARATHON DISTANCE, 13.2 MILES–sort of competing again with the Kenyans!

So, to do my part to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, on Saturday, August 28th, I left home determined to:

Do a Half Marathon–even if it took me all day!

NOTE: I’ve been known to be a DREAMER, and during the night before the BIG DAY, I actually was nervous and didn’t sleep a lot, just as always happened before a race–but in the sporadic moments of sleep I ACTUALLY DREAMED A “BIG WHOPPER” OF A DREAM–ME USING MY WALKER IN THE COBAN INTERNATIONAL HALF MARATHON AND BEATING THE KENYANS!

So, I headed north from home near the CVS Pharmacy in American Fork, heading north to the Art Dye Park, then up the hill to the Highland bench, and continued north to Canal Blvd, and down the bicycle pathway that led to the Highland Glen Park pond you see below-

Then up the pathway behind the Lone Peak High School and all around it–WHICH IS HUGE–to the North County Blvd, and from there north to ALPINE.  You see a shot below along the way in Alpine looking now back sort of southeast towards American Fork Canyon–which from American Fork was way north–SO I WAS COVERING A LOT OF GROUND!

By Alpine my legs were feeling pretty much like rubber, and so I rested more than usual, and had a small picnic lunch, plus the supplements I used  doing the International Half Marathon, and my long backpacks in the Uintas–ENDUROLYTES, SPORTLEGS, and two more Excedrin in addition to the three taken before starting–all of which solved my “rubbery legs” problem, as well as other glitches I was experiencing,

NOTE: Excedrin in combination with Cod Liver Oil is the only combination desinflamatory and pain killer that relieves a little my constant lower back pain

I then headed south, eventually passing the High School — the picture below taken on a previous date you might be able to see.

From there on two previous “walks” I had returned south on the North County Blvd. on the east side using sidewalks, but this time I did as on my first effort by staying on the west side and using the bicycle lane down the highway–that previously had someone calling 911 and police stopped to try and save me, then a nice Latin American girl in a sports car tried to kidnap me! 

So here I was again, hoping for another love-kidnapping attempt, and it happened when a really sweet young lady–who was beautiful, tried to give me a ride.  She was so nice I thought she would let me take a picture for this report–but my smart phone battery was DEAD! But, after a nice conversation-I needed the rest badly-and being revived in my spirits made it home again…… 


At my CABIN-A HOMESTEAD I began my recovery as I was worn out after the half-marathon distance–that I have to honestly confess took me over 6 hours–and I needed some “MIRACLE SUPPLEMENTS” so I resorted to my stash of “blanched Macuy leaves.”  My MACUY patch is seen below that now has gratefully taken over my entire garden!

 MACUY is the miracle medicinal/weed from Guatemala that saved the Mayan people, more nutritious than most vegetables.  It grows wild in shady areas of the Mayan mountains, the leaves gathered by women and their children, and usually eaten in soups.  I discovered it from Erlinda Xol, the barefoot Guatemalan Half-Marathon champion who I visited in her village of San Juan Chamelco, she claiming her secret was to eat MACUY in soup for every lunch.

I got one plant growing in American Fork, and from the seed–now have it as  my entire garden next to my Cabin-A.  I harvest the leaves, blanch them to eliminate (or cook)  slugs, bugs, microbes, etc. and then freeze.  My afternoon meal always includes a gob of the leaves, mixed with fruit juice and blended to make a smoothie.  I discuss this in my MOUNTAINS OF THE MAYA  BOOK, pages 389-390,

I try and freeze enough of it during the summer to last me all winter until the next harvest.

Well, there you have it my latest attempt to keep my legs awake and alive and hope I can get them working again a little to help keep me in good spirits to be…..



 GET THE BOOK…..not just for backpackers, but for parents and grandparents who can share the history & legends with your grandchildren, and inspire them to appreciate the wonderful High Uinta Mountains–as good or better then most National Parks!

Send your check in my name for $19.95  along with your email address to:

Cordell Andersen, 444 Elm St., American Fork, Utah 84003

I will then email you a link to download the two volume book. You are thereafter welcome to share the link with others, but I would appreciate you forwarding to me half of whatever you get for it–maybe it can be a business for you MAKING YOU A MILLIONAIRE–AND ME TOO–FINALLY!  It’s a treasure of updated information, history, legends, hundreds of color photographs, 120 topographical maps with trails and distances marked, and what is needed to 


I’m not kidding—IT HAS SAVED LIVES!



UPDATE AUGUST 4th: Yesterday, August 3rd, I did 6 miles, and now have my sights on, for later this week getting from my home near the CVS Pharmacy on 5th East in American Fork and State St, to the Lone Peak High School in Highland! Should be around 8 miles round trip. I feel incredibly blessed to so far keeping my numb legs awake and actually developing again muscle in my dead right leg and gratefully feeling soreness for the exercise I’m forcing on it!

My Thursday, August 5th, “walk” had me leaving home at about 10:30–a mistake to not having left earlier as it would get up to 97 degrees before I limped home.  I followed my route north up 400 East to Art Dye Park. From there following the walking/bicycle path up the hill to what I  call the “Highland bench.”  After climbing out of Art Dye Park and up on the bench heading north, I could see my goal way to the north–the Lone Peak High School.

I came to the new (Murdock ) Canal road and got all tangled up in construction areas and wasted a ton of energy and finally had to go back to the Canal Road, and out to the North County highway to get to the Lone Peak High School, but finally made it and had my picnic lunch and rest.

Then decided to follow the Highway back home and along the way two policemen stopped saying someone called in about me–so I apparently didn’t look as good as I thought!!! They offered me a ride, but I said I was fine.  Had a nice conversation with Officer Waite & Pablo who wanted my name and birth date–maybe so they could more easily identify the body!  I told them to Google my name and they would learn about my HIGH UINTAS PROJECT.  
Later a nice Latin girl in a Maverick convertible stopped to flirt with me. Both offered me rides so for sure In the first case I didn’t look very good, but in the second almost got kidnapped!

Now at Quail Cove park by the temple and my first shade for a while.  Apparently after a bit of refreshment I fell asleep and shocked when I woke up to see it was 4:00!!!  Down on the corner I found a handsome 15-year-old boy, helped by a little brother and tiny cute real little sister selling snow cones so couldn’t resist helping them and getting more refreshment and congratulated them for working and talked about when I was a 7 year old and started working–always with a job from then on and how it was a blessing in my life and will be in theirs too. I’ll drive back up there every day and hope to find them and be a steady customer. NOTE: I should have taken a photo, and will to insert later if I find them.

It got tough getting home. Along the way all of a sudden a fellow working in his yard stopped me asking if I was on the same walk he saw me on way up by the Murdock Canal road and I said it was and that from there I continued up to Lone Peak High School, and then back to where he stopped me. I told my story about wearing myself out with my UINTA Project and like 7 months ago couldn’t walk but now forcing my legs to keep awake and– like a baby–learning to walk again with my walker (thanks again to PAUL…your gift has changed my life!)…..I continued difficult maneuvering through the road and sidewalk construction down the high school road and……  Finally home by 5 having walked around 9 miles–I felt like I did a few years ago when finishing the International Half Marathon in Coban, Guatemala–that up to 2008 I had done 14 consecutive years competing with the Kenyans!!

My “home” is the tiny funky looking trailer hid behind my son Nephi’s nice trailer, both of us parked alongside my son Jesse’s home in American Fork.

By the way I’ve discarded the walking cane, and learning to walk like a baby, except on my long walks when I use the beautiful walker given to my by my friend Paul.

It’s fascinating to notice how an old 85+ year old taking “BABY STEPS,” ACTUALLY BRAGS ABOUT THOSE “STEPS” — as 7 months ago I couldn’t even walk--now I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude to the Lord for those “steps” and for being able to increase my walking distances (with a walker)! It’s kind of ridiculous I guess, but I’m so thankful for even just a little progress–that for normal people is laughable–but I stopped being normal a long time ago. Maybe I’ve never been normal and rather the DUNDERHEAD & RODEO CLOWN, some called me and my kids related to my more than half century in the Mountains of the Maya-labels about right…..and I LOVE THEM! See the new online book about my life among THE MAYANS where me and my kids were given those labels by “friendly fire” but which wasn’t friendly at all. Scroll down to see details, and learn how we turned the negative labels into fun titles we continue to enjoy–making fun of the critics!

So far I’ve learned that a rest day really sets back this old guy and has me feeling cruddy, so, like they say, 


I’LL PERSIST AS BEST I CAN “FAKING NOT BEING A CRIPPLE,” AND SEE HOW FAR THIS “COMEBACK” WILL TAKE ME at least by next summer hoping to actually do a little hiking around the fringes of the High Uinta Wilderness.–NO BACKPACKING as my back can’t handle any weight. —

But, at least right now I feel so grateful that I’m actually feeling sore muscles in my legs–the right one especially as since last November it has been DEAD and A FEW MONTHS AGO THE MUSCLE HAD DISAPPEARED–as part of the 32 lbs. of weight loss during the period of the last two back surgeries– & HAD MY LEG REMINISCENT OF THE PICTURES OF THE HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS!!!!