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.

1 comment:

Art Farnsley said...

Nice shot of the Columbus, Indiana, bridge at night. We saw you on US 31. We stopped briefly and said "hello". Good luck.