Freeman is where I began the day. I must have been exhausted from the walk from Stanley Corner on Sunday. That walk had some challenge early as the "county correction line" jogged West for two miles into the wind then continued South. Several days covering about fourteen miles each wore me down and the strong winds of the plains had one thigh and the opposite knee stinging with the cool weather. Whenever I would stop to talk with families or individuals who visited the foot cramped and I would have to walk it back up to speed. These complaints would greatly lessen as I concentrated in the wind, dog and the World at hand. Getting into Freeman shortly before dark I got permission to park at the dollar store and called the nice woman from Salem who had told me to call when I arrived. She came, dropped me back to the van, brought my dinner and amny other things as souvenirs of South Dakota to add to the box/care package from the night before. I was feelin' the Love. After waking up late from a vivid dream about a dear friend with declining health from back home I dressed warmly for another breezy and cool day, walked away from the dollar store to a lesser wind but still one that worked the same muscles as the walk into Freeman. The late start and deep sleep did some good, as well as the talks I had with townspeople before I left the town limits. From the daughter of a diabetic who knows first hand what ravages the disease can take on a person to the trucker at the convenience store struggling with keeping his diabetes under control. A losing battle for him I am afraid; old habits are hgar to break as he left the store with two liter bottles of diet mountain dew and nothing else.
I had a short distance of nine miles to walk to get to "The Meridian" at 81 and 18 but. I had many stops and conversations along the way. As I approached 281st I had to stop and adjust my sock that was bunched up in my boot causing my toe to have sharp pain. There I decided was a good place to sit and write a post but with a visit from the county police who got a call about me walking in the middle of the road (I wasn't all the way in the center), she didn't care that she had to leave her office. The wife of a farmer who called her to come get a picture, we talked and joked with the deputy who told everyone who stopped she was guarding me for ditch cleaning and that I was on work detail and Nice (the dog) was her K-9 assistant. Somehow I managed to get a coffee delivered to me as I sat there visiting (on the county dime) and the day was worth all the police abuse when she told a man who pulled up what I was really upto and he gave me a thumbs-up telling me his wife was diabetic. I asked if she was still walking, he said yes and I told him to walk with her to help her circulation. At once we could see the love and concern he had for his spouse and the realization he now could do something to help her by walking with her. Then a car with three diabetics rolled up who had just been to the diabetic therapy. They listened and I think they might walk more after our conversation. What a spot to talk about walking to control diabetes, mils from the middle of nowhere.
When I got tothe newly reopened restaurant I was interviewed by the third local paper in two days and even got a lift to get the van from the reporter. I told him stories during the trip and. It seemed he wanted deparatly to turn his hand held recording device back on as I rambled about mountain climbs and other Worldly adventures.
I had a bite to eat at the Meridian and spent some time getting some paint on the World before settling in to write this post. I have been developing a cold all day and I must admit I fell asleep half of the way through this post and awoke usin the Blackberry as a pillow but not so feverish.tghe sand spurs are in full force along the sides of the road and Nice (the dog) was plagued by them all day, hi jersey sweater is covered with them. I'll have to find another way to keep him warm untill we get past this area. Twenty seven miles to the border town of Yankton and a parking area at an intersection a little less than half of the the way there. I hope I don't have to sleep in the cold tomorrow night.
Walk with the ones you love, if you can.