People have been very kind. A church allowed me to sleep behind the church last night. There was a thunderstorm. I was very grateful to be under cover with my tent during that storm and they gave me dinner. They even brought me something for breakfast before I started out today. One man last week really caught my attention when he said ‘are you carrying a gun?’ and his look implied that he thought that it would be much smarter if I carried a gun with me. It could be a mistake to not carry one, it could be a mistake to carry one. I choose not to because I think it could be the greater mistake tocarry one. I don’t feel that I want to defend myself but I am worried, that at some point someone mightbe aggressive. 50 years ago I was hiking with the Boy Scouts, as a 15 year old. I was a fat kid and in 2 weeks I lost 20 pounds and became a normal kid. It was the way that I, finally slimmed down and strengthened up, you know to do enough pull ups for the Eagle Scout Requirements, which I never thought that I would be able to do. So this is the 50th Anniversary of that taking experience for me. As a young man, It changed my life and I hope this does too. And the weather report; Well, it rained all night the day I left. The weather it was dry. The Sun, so hot I froze to death, Oh Xena don’t you cry. Talk to y’all later. Bye.
Just a PS. My friend George recommended that I do a Xena report. I would say she is doing OK, but she doesn’t like to walk as fast as I do. She never signed up for this and I’m a little concerned about her long range happiness in doing this. She stopped one day on the middle of our walk and just lay down. I knew it was time for her to rest. So we rested for a couple of hours. She’s going on okay, like I said, but I do worry about her. I have to blisters on my right foot. Which have been bothering me some. But I seem to be getting along even with them and I’ve decided I’m going to try to have fun in spite of the difficulties that I’m facing here in the next few days, to get down to Sylvester. There’s nothing along that road at all and I’m carrying a lot of weight. So we’ll see. But I’m gonna try to have fun bye.
Well, I reached Ashburn Georgia. I’m averaging almost 15 miles a day for the last 5 days, which is much better than the 9 miles a day from before. It surprises me that people ask questions of me and very rarely do they ask ‘what do you do if it rains” they are more inclined to ask ‘what do you do if you get to San Diego’, and I don’t have an answer for either one of those questions. If it rains, I suppose I do whatever I have to do the try to stay dry or else I get wet. But I’m pleased with the amount of distance that I’m covering and I’m now only 100 miles from the Alabama border, which doesn’t seem impossible anymore. Right. A major change in how I’m doing this may be imminent. I’m going to go down to route 82 and pick up a much more heavily traveled route just to stay in range of people and stores a little bit more. The next 35 miles, is completely empty of anything except some homes. So I don’t wanna be that far from a place where I can get food and water without begging for which I haven’t had to do yet. But the major change is recently I loaded up with more dog food and water for what I thought would be a long stretch with no stores. And my pack and side bag, were up to about 40 pounds. It was as much as I could carry and I walked maybe 6 miles with it. I began to think of how that weight was affecting my knees and hips. I’ve heard people told to lose weight because of the extra strain it puts on those joints. And here I am pounding my legs with all that load. I’m going to get rid of everything I can and carry less water too. If I have to stop at private homes to ask for water I will. If I eventually have to pull a wagons I will, but I’m not giving up those parts of my body for anything. Not even for this adventure.
Sunday. My 19th day out. Albany, Georgia. Started out today; foggy day. Four mile walk to Walmart. Got some supplies and I’m headed into Albany to pick up the bypass; the expressway, to go around town, as quickly as possible to be sure to be out by dark. Because people had warned me that it’s not a safe town in some places after dark. I got to the expressway, and found that there were no pedestrians allowed on the expressway. So I contemplated for a moment that I might have to hitchhike the 8 miles of Expressway. Instead of trying to [what I thought I was going to do was try to walk it] I thought maybe I would just have to hitchhike that and forget about it and then I thought, ‘No, I think I’ll walk through Albany on a Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon, and see what Albany’s like. So I didn’t get very far before I came to an EMS station, and Brian there was really wonderful. He told me the best way to go through town and to get out of town to meet the highway on the other side of the expressway. And I’m really glad that I did it. You just never know. I’m so glad that no pedestrians were allowed on the bypass, because as I walked through town I got to know Albany a little bit. There is a beautiful river that flows right through the middle of it, and looking down from the bridge I thought how nice it would be to go down and get in the river and cool off. And then I noticed that on the other side of the river there was a beautiful fountain with a bunch of kids, and mothers playing in the water around the fountain. So I went and joined them, and 3 mothers and about 6 or 7 kids were all cooling their feet and the kids were actually immersed in the fountain, and we had a wonderful time. Several of the kids ask thousands of questions about my trip and about Xena. I walked away from there an hour later realizing that if it had not been for that turn of events I would’ve just by passed all of Albany and never met those kids. So I really felt wonderful at that point, and then had to do another 6 miles of urban street walking. Now I’m camped on the outskirts of Albany, on my way to Dawson. It’s still hot. My feet feel better and I guess I’m just continuing to walk. Talk to you later.
I don’t know if I mentioned the names of the people that were around the fountain today but I’d like to include that in the blog. The mothers were Amanda and Brianna, and the kids were William, and little man, Turtle, and Elisabeth and a couple of other kids, but I didn’t get their names. But I wanted to mention those kids. And then I enjoyed them all. Okay, thanks for including that bye bye
Well, let’s see. It’s Sunday. The 18th, and I have reached Douglas, Georgia. The biggest town I’ve been in since I left the coast. I’m out of dog food so I gotta get more dog food. But the big news is that my little toe has got a blister on it that I’ve worked on and I’m kind of limping along. When I leave Douglas it’s 22 miles to the next town. There’s no convenience stores or anything along the way. So I’m gonna have to be well stocked. So, that’s it, I guess for a right now. No new birds so I guess. Except for a Pine Warbler, which was nice, and I will talk to y’all later. Bye.