Tuesday, December 6, 2011
The way is full of choices. The last day in Oklahoma I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of the snow. The wide four lane divided highway was stretching out of sight. While walking these past five months I would think what this day would look like. The road, the clouds, the wind, the snow. My minds-eye was spot on. It was time to go home...
I did what I set out to do and it was just as I had envisioned it when the snowflakes fell into view. It wasn't a blizzard but just enough see and feel. On the Southern edge of Muskogee Oklahoma is where I saw snow. Just over five months from Lake Michigan to Omaha by way of Fargo North Dakota then in Oklahoma from Pawhuska to Muskogee. When I had started this morning I carried a lighter backpack with only emergency essentials, my lower back was so sore I was having trouble moving so the smaller load relieved some pressure. When the snow began to fall I stood and watched it for awhile before turning back to get the van, it was less than a mile. The wind had quickly blown me that distance, when I turned around I had to work for every step. When I made my way back over to the Hilldale store there was a woman who had heard I was there and had excitedly jumped in her vehicle to find me. She had seen on a news report that I was going to stop when I saw snowflakes. She not only got the last picture of me walking in Oklahoma she also gave me a ride to the van at the next intersection. She said, as I was getting out," I don't know what you're going to do from here but you have helped a lot of people with what you have done." What a sweet exclamation. When I get my back adjusted and after the holidays I have eighteen states yet to step foot in before I set another goal.
I will post updates soon. Until then, keep walking.
I will post updates soon. Until then, keep walking.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
While I lay in the van looking out at the rain spatter the panes wondering how I would go on with my back in such pain a moth fluttered to the window, circled a few times and flew up and away so I could follow its progress until it disappeared into the grey clouds. Then a bird flock of hundreds passed flying high as the cloud layers blew by in several directions. I decided then that when I was able to walk again I would keep going. I'll not be outlasted by a tenacious moth. It has become colder but the weather front has passed, for now my muscles have loosened enough so I'll head South like the rest of the flocking birds heading for home.
Early Sunday Morning and my back is racked from the rain. On Friday I walked from the edge of Muskogee to a long term care hospital, they had invited me there for a meal and a shower. As I got there a light rain began. I was able to get the canvas World under cover before it got soaked. From there I defLated the ball and loaded it into the wqrldguy van. The rain fell off and on Friday night through until morning when the sun broke through for just awhile. The months of walking and the cold rain combined to make it difficult to stand and walk Nice (the dog). It was only after a day of resting in the van that my back now only hurts like it would if I had just walked twenty miles. I wrote the previous post to avoid dwelling on this nuisance but I, in all honesty,have to say my back pain is incapacitating. I have heard it will rain more this afternoon after the lite sprinkles clear off. Honestly, I hope it snows soon.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Five months, to the day from when I stepped away from Lake Michigan, Sheboygan. Across Wisconsin and the Mississippi to Iowa, up the big muddy to where it drains out of Lake Itaska, across the White Earth to Fargo, through the Dakota's to Nebraska, skipping Kansas (been there) and finally here with the Okies in Muskogee there they were. Not since I left my old Kentucky home far away had I found them, grits. Finally I am fer' 'nuff sa'outh. Praise all that is good, I ate me sum' grits today an' they wuz' Deeeliciously gritty tastin'! Don't git' me started' 'bout ma' grits...many a mile,many a mile...
Friday, December 2, 2011
There's lots of things I could mention about yesterday, but I can't get the thumbs going. The little town of Porter, the men lined up at the long table in the store at the edge of town; the look on their faces when I took their picture for being one of the best examples of what I call "the liar's table" I've seen in months. I had come in and left before any of them showed up for their morning review; the early bird gets the worm. The walk past the school, the crossing guard's reaction when the World passed him by like he was warned it would was classic but I don't want to mention that either. As I made it to the far end of town and spent almost an hour progressing a few hundred yards while talking to more people than I can count including the sheriff who brought me patch from town and was attacked by Nice(the dog) who licked his face with his ferocious long tongue , many who had family or were themselves diabetic or in need of a bit of calisthenics ending with an ex- RN on her way to the diabetes specialist for a check-up who told me she was having troubles with her kidneys and yet didn't check her levels as she knew she should or walk to keep in shape like she knew she should but she did stop saying "Okay I have a minute for your story". Of this I have nothing to say. Or of the ol farmer I watched work his way over on the tractor, took a few minutes to get out the gate and down off the large piece of machinery and talk to me. He was bent over obviously from years of working the fields before I was born. I bent over so I could look him in the face while he clung to the hay-bail forks of the tractor. When I walked away I heard a loud call and turned to se him scuttling almost upright to get back and close the gate, the heard of cows were curiously ambling to follow me down the road as they usually do. I've got nothing in regard to the high dormant grass that brings my World to a halt when I need to roll off the road as cars passed until I got to the wide four-lane and it's pull-off lane. I might revel at the coincidence of the road maintenance crew with the open trailer who just happened to stop to pick up a couple road signs at the busy bridge over the Arkansas River as I walked up; they gave me a lift over to the safe side in the rush hour. But still I have nothing. That the guy at the Pilot was there to assure me the World would be safe when I got my ride before I had it tied to the pole and then turned around to meet the young women who were on their way back through Porter; one of the two sisters had spoken to me the night before so I didn't have to say much before we were on the road back. Thanks to E and T is what I'd say if I had the inclination to write, but I don't. Finally I might mention the couple who brought me a meal after I was settled and thank them too, but I can't find words to peck away on my Blackberry... I don't want to check my spelling or proper wording, I don't want to get out from the warm blanket, but I will because despite myself I do enjoy life,
Thursday, December 1, 2011
My bones are aching. Not all of them, just a few joints that have taken some abuse. Oh,that would be most of them. I made it to the edge of Porter and no more. My knee and foot would have no more for the day. Ten miles per day with the cold, short days is about as much as I can take. The shoulders are steep and the terrains are taking a toll . Ok I'm finished complaining...