It was worth all the days of sweating to get to Madison. Instead of walking past the old part of town I took the day to loop down and visit the town I had not seen since I attended the annual Regatta in the early nineteen eighties. The pedestrian path going down to the riverside was beautiful. Coming to Main Street at the west end of town. Seeing the old architecture from before the Civil War after a walk through thick woods took me back to another time. Age and experience gave me a perspective I didn't have at twenty. I reveled at the old cornices, thick imperfect window glass and iron rails of the old structures.
Unlike the large cities, everyone waves or takes time to talk. By the time I had walked to the far side of Main I felt like family and had grown to know a few families whom I met.
The day was overcast and pleasant to walk in. Not like the previous days which left me soaked down to my knees. Those miserable days and muggy nights were worth it, if only to have those hours to comfortably stroll the picturesque river town. I turned off Main, the sun began to break through. We has to get back up to the main road at the tip before the end of the day. Just when I was feeling tired and concerned the dog was getting distressed we had a visitor in a truck. With his help we got to the top of the hill quickly when the dog-lover insisted on riding us up. He said he wouldn't tell anyone, that there was no shame in taking help. Nice (the dog) happily rode "shotgun" in air-conditioned comfort while I held the world in the bed of the pickup for a few minutes. Because of the nice local Madison man we spent the afternoon under the one shade tree at Walmart with the van instead of burning out in the heat.
I am glad I didn't charge past and took time to appreciate Madison and its people.
I am on the road to Versailles today.