Out of Arlington it was much the same as it had been since I turned south from Sissiton, walking toward the wind. Surrendering to the day I decided to see if I could go the day without raising my voice to the dog when he would get in the way, wrap the lease around my legs, pull me in the grass while playing tug-o-war as I walked. Only three times did I say anything to him and it seemed he was more mindful of me all day. I was much more calm as a result. It's not such a stress filled life we lead. Wind, rain, speeding cars, trucks, farm implements speeding by and the occasional curious conversation. An interesting act unique to South Dakota has been that some pull off into the wide ditch to talk. Very safe.
At the end of the day I was far from Madison when I saw an empty bucket that had blown from a truck so I took a few minutes to have a bucket break. Nice (the dog) settled into a nap and I ate an orange and watched the farmer till the field behind me. We waved to each other as he passed. The sun was sinking quickly so I loaded up and got back to the edge of the road just as a county policeman drove up. He was responding to a report of a strangely dressed man with a ball by the road. The officer observed my dress was not far afield nor was there any mention of the dog. When I told him I'd bee finding a stand of trees to sleep by he pointed out the next farm had a house fire and was vacant; that I could rest there without a problem. At the property the main house was a scorched pile of rubble but the original settlement house was inhabited by skunks and very disheveled from local party kids so I pitched our tent in the old roundabout. The mother skunk protested as the sun went down but Nice attached to a six foot eyeball that he dragged along when he lunged at it established a boundary for the night. Of coarse, the wind became calm and all night only once did the breeze move the walls of the tent. The morning started early and we were on the road at five AM. I was sore and fatigued from the days of facing the wind so even with a light breeze I labored to get to Madison. As I made my way to town a mother,daughter and grandson stopped. when they asked where I had stayed it turned out that they owned the property and had no problem with my visit. They seemed more concerned with the skunks. An officer from Madison came later who has a complaint of a man, dog, bike and a ball in the road. She was surprised I had no bike and that the ball was so big. She sent me on my way and when I was at the edge of Madison another officer stopped for curiosity; he had not been told by the other officer. This is usually the case. As I got to town at the intersection where 81 turns west for ten miles a man who had seen me just before dark the night before stopped and talked. A member of the church, he soon came back and offered a room at the motel. I accepted gratefully and when my road angel shuttled me back to Arlington and I returned with the van I spent the rest of the day doing a major repatch on the World. days of grinding the wet canvas had come with a cost.
I just checked to see how the repaint of the repair is doing and have found the cold night did not let the paint dry so a late start is in order. I could spend a full day repairing the World but I think I can get away with a bit of neglect. Everyone else does... I have to be on the road for a tv news reporter who is to meet us on the road this morning but I can't rush drying paint.
I had no signal on the phone. I heard blackberry is having network difficulties. I used a laptop here at the motel. Much faster writing when i have more fingers to misspell with.
Love yourself and walk.