Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Bloomin' Truth

I have said we were walking to Bloomington, but the true destination was to visit the one who helped me most during the first journey seven years ago when we walked to Pennsylvania. This Dainty Flower lives in Ellettsville, the next town to the left of "B-town". When we arrived at her home we had truly reached our goal.
We visited 'till the 'wee hours on the porch under the stars.
I used next day to maintain the World (a thorough going over.)
Now it is time to move slowly on, to wonder Indiana until we are at the State line.

If Only

If only for a moment,
could we give time each day,
to look around.
Slow the pace,
breath in the beauty
we now rush past,
the whole world will be enriched.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Nashville Nights

We spent the day under the shade at a"conservation pull-off". I was resting after my twenty-plus mile day, Nice( the dog) had another day to let his wrist heal. I couldn't sleep so I maintained the world with a touch of blue and green, applied a few patches to the fabric of the world before exhaustion canceled out the heat.
Early the next morning we began from outside Columbus, thru Gnaw Bone along a beautiful wooded region of Indiana.we walked most of the miles in the cool of darkness with an open road and starlight. When we were on the edge of Nashville, across from the covered bridge entering the Brown County Forest, a woman walked to us. It looked to me that Nice thought she had come for him , bounding and prancing as she came closer.
In fact she had, she was an Holistic Veterinarian, she had come to offer help for his ailing paws.
It didn't take much convinced for me to turn off to the old hilly road and walk to her Clinic where she treated Nice with good and holistic energies. I got a shower and we both were invited to rest there. In fact we retuned there a second night after our walk from Nashville to Bloomington. An holistic massage, a solstice gathering, a healthy rest.
Even walking at a mile per hour I still need to be reminded to slow down.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Side steps

After walking in the night to Crothersville Nice(the dog) twisted or strained his left front wrist/paw again just as we had gotten thru town. A good gentlemen got me back to the van in Scottsburg. I then got a call from a woman who we had met two days earlier. She had some dog treats and other goodies. It was just beginning to warm up. Our new friend ( we will call her Joy ) is moving back to the area to care for her aging Mother and was staying at The Holiday Inn. She insisted on getting Nice and me a room so we could rest in comfort. The next morning we walked about seven miles when Nice began again to limp on his foot I stopped at a shaded spot where I applied a patch to a worn spot on the World. The former Mayor of Seymour, who is running for U.S.Congress, stopped with his wife and son on their way down the campaign trail. He offered to drop me at the van while his wife and son stayed with Nice and the World. Despite his sore foot it is Nice's duty as a dog to protect his world and play at the feet of anyone who move their shoe in the grass.. When I returned to load in the world and the dog, Nice was on his feet digging frog holes and trying to corral the men. He couldn't stop himself. When I finally rolled up the World I also had to help Nice up and in the van.
I surprised myself at how calm I was at the prospect that this chapter may have to conclude just as it was opening. I drove the few miles to Seymour, parked under the shade of the one tree at the gas station, weighed the possibilities and concluded the option to drive back home was the thing to do. I hadn't walked far from home. If Nice was to recover he needed more than a day. I had to stop, or find him a babysitter while I continued walking toward Bloomington, the first stop on the journey Michigan. This is why I avoid (in vain) saying where I "plan" to go. My pride and shame over a goal unfinished is hard to swallow, even when circumstances leave few options other than an end, a delay, a failure.
Upon returning to the house I made a few phone calls to get a few friends' opinions, then disappeared into my bed and slept.
I awoke at sunrise to a message from Joy. We talked over the phone, she offered to take care of Nice while I continued on,at least for another day.I was back to Indiana, met with Joy and the girls from The Holiday Inn and on the road, alone, by ten o'clock.
The heat of summers' second day was soon full upon me, I was sweating profusely, drinking more water than I thought I could. I started with a gallon and was quickly overloaded with cold liters of water and Gatorade throughout the day from people who stopped or offered from their homes. I was carrying so much I had to turn some away which I don't like to do. Too many pounds of water slows my already labored pace when shuffling through waist-high grass while balance the World at the edge of the white line of the roadway.
Joy and Nice came to visit with some hilarity. The first time they pulled over to the side of the road he put his head unit from the Air-conditioned car , felt the heat outside, then lay his head ba k a Ross the console with his nose next to the vent. Still, from a distance, he was distressed if anyone other than me touched his World but then would be perfectly happy to be petted by those same people.
The day ended with plans to stay by a cemetery. The farmer across from it , as well as the Sheriff, thought it would be no problem but as soon as I arrived with the van two old men came to cut the grass on the property and we had to leave. After a good meal in town we returned to the outskirts of Columbus where ther are two gas/food marts. I asked inside one if I could park overnight. The young man of the family owned business called but was unable to get an answer so he told us it would be alright until morning. After closing time, later that night, someone came to say we could not. I explained but because he was not told he would not allow it.
I had been on the edge of sleep and being roused by such an individual (one who wouldn't answer his phone) put me off. I used that irritation to motivate me across Columbus in the dead of night . It really turned to a good thing.
In total I walked over twenty three miles in as many hours.
I am trying to rest but needed to update this before I continue.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The first steps...

The first day back on the roll I was so anxious to get going I disregarded the hottest day of the season, didn't change out of my thick cotton work pants, began walking at noon as the heat of the day began to cook. The first thing we did was walk fifty yards to the nearest shade tree. We were there for only a moment when a woman came across the road to ask our purpose. A sister of advocacy she (her name was Gypsy) wore a shaved head in honor of her family members who were cancer survivors. The doubt I had about starting in the heat of the day was lightened my her enthusiasm and started the journey on a very positive note. The day , though hot and miserable was filled with good folks bringing us water, even a salad and a bit of chicken for Nice (the dog). We walked from noon until well past dark covering over ten miles and passing three towns as we walked North on SR31. A friend gave us a ride to retrieve the van. I parked at a truck truck-stop by the expressway, got a few hours of sleep in the hot van with door open so I could have a warm breeze as I lay in my own sweat.(glorious!)
All of the water we drank that first day and the frequent shade saved us from overheating, but the second day I only waked a short distance to Henryville from Memphis to Budroe's Bus Stop Restaurant ,where they let me stay at the edge of the parking lot thru the heat of the day. It takes some time to get used to resting in the ninety degree heat. I was able to rest but sleep didn't come until darkness fell. After about two hours sleep the local patrol came to check on me (doors flung open while I slept). By 2AM I was ready to walk and so was Nice (the dog), he will walk all night, but once the heat rises with the sun it is back to shade-hopping. Weasel it to Scottsburrg and spent the day by the city lake/park after some nice ladies got me back to get the van. Even with the heat I was able to nap a few hours until the heat began to subside. Then I deflated the world, put it in the van and took a ride to the nearby WallyWorld for supplies. On the way back I stopped at the laundry to was a load of close and met a nice family who live next door who let met park for the night. With and extension cord I am now laying in relative comfort with a fan blowing on us.
The lesson I reaped fromthe first day was to get the walking done before the heat becomes overwhelming. If I can now get another nap and get going early again I will hopefully get to our next stop before the sun gets too much.
It is good I didn't think about the heat the day I began, I may not have started at all had I not forced myself to take those first steps.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Bond

Once upon a time we were walking in Jupiter, the dog Nice and me, when we met a Postal carrier along her route. I was balancing the World atop the rail of a drawbridge surrounded by a group of engineers. They were having some sort of meeting concerning the bridge when I began crossing. It's walkway too narrow I had to roll the ball, attached to the leashed stick and toggle, carefully on the rail. Mid way over the span the men came and stopped me for a photo. It was then that our postwoman and Nice first met. She helped take a group photo
Later that evening she gave us a ride. On this occasion we had to take the world with us as I had found myself alongside the beach with nowhere in the upscale area for a man and his dog to park for the night. She helped us get the World to the edge of Jupiter. There, at the fire station, we could store the world only, because of strict rules no overnighters were allowed.
Our new friend was very kind and let us stay in the parking area where she lived after retrieving the van, I followed in the van while Nice (the dog) rode with her in her white pickup truck. The next morning, when we returned to the fire station and begin walking, I was told there was no daytime parking...
Our new friend was very kind and drove to the next town so I could find a spot to park the van. I followed in the van while Nice (the dog) rode with her in her white pickup truck. During our return ride to Jupiter Nice (the dog) was relaxed and laying his head across her lap. I thought little of it when he barked and whimpered as she drove away, he reacts the way sometimes after spending a little time with someone.
I did not know then how special this bond would be for my canine companion.
During the following days I thought it amusing when Nice (the dog) would see a white pickup truck, or a postal delivery van and think it was our friend from Jupiter. He would jump and call to her as she drove past each day, looking downhearted each time.
As months, then years, passed Nice (the dog) kept up his searching while we walked in dozens of States and thousands of miles. Once we got an evening ride with a man in a white truck , we were in Oregon, the opposite side of the continent. nice (the dog) was excited to jump in the cab. when he settled his head across the man's lap he quickly turned his head , looked at me and sighed... In Nebraska a farmer in a white truck pulled slowly into his driveway from the highway. Nice (the dog) saw his blonde hair and the clatter of the same model engine, knew it had to be our friend from Jupiter and lay down to wait. He wouldn't get up until the truck disappeared in the. Arm a quarter of a mile down the driveway. At home, in Louisville, he would incessantly watching for his friend from Jupiter Florida. With ice and snow on the ground he would recognize the sound of that particular truck engine a strain to see if it was her,, his longing was palatable.
After the harsh winter, which seemed would not end, I resolved to drive to Florida to visit my dear friend who had been in the hospital for several months and finally reunite Nice with the woman of his dreams. I hoped to settle his searching by taking back to Jupiter. From there I had planned to walk somewhere warm and wait out the northern cold.
Sometimes resolutions cannot be kept. A week before I had planned to leave Nice (the dog) was running in the icy snow, leapt on some ice covered steps and hit his knee, it caused him to limp badly.The day we left I broke a tooth. The days of driving caused my back to stiffen, my sciatica returned with a vengeance
After the drive to Florida, stopping to visit my friend in Spring Hill, then across the state to visit Dennis for a few days fifty miles south of Jupiter, we were finally able to meet with Nice's long lost friend at the spot she had given us a ride years before.
The trip was worth it after seeing his reaction. He was so happy to see the truck, to get in and see it was really her. Meeting her at the beech after passing the drawbridge (which he noticed as we crossed over) helped to bring it together for him. Since then he has not given a white truck a second glance or pulled longingly after a postal van. He is content.
My bad tooth and back and his injured knee ended my plans to walk out the winter in the Florida sun but we eased Nice's weary mind.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Getting back to it

After many months, injuries, healing time, loss and gain we are back to the road. Crossed over the bridge to Indiana, walking North.
Maybe now I will begin posting again...