Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day Four, Eastward. Ho.

Find me in a marshy field, just east of Monroe. I've finally turned the corner. Three days headed north has been discouraging, as my goal lies east-southeast. But I'm here now, fat on Highway-2, with only 3500 miles to go.

This business of finding places to camp is going to kill me yet. I don't really know the etiquette. Is it OK, I wonder, just to throw up my tent in any odd patch of land? This one seems destined to be home to a mall or a housing complex or something. Maybe a prison. Hell if I know. In any case, there were no No Trespassing signs or gates or fences or anything. I am visible from the road, but only if you are looking for me. Once it's dark I'll be all but invisible. Meanwhile, like the child who hides by closing his eyes, I have zippered shut all my windows and am staying extra quiet in my fluorescent yellow home.
Not a great day--it was cold and it rained and I suffer greatly of my feet--but it started out awfully well. I rolled into Carnation hungry and sore and ran smack into a cafe of sorts which at first I thought was an art gallery or perhaps a bicycle shop. But I did see a gang of rough looking characters eating and thought I might have a shot.

"Where'd you get that gay hat?" they greeted me. It was hard to know how to respond. I suppose in prison I would have had to shank someone, but it was friendlier than that. A half-dozen hard-working men, the grumpiest and most foul-mouthed bunch of unrepentant bullshit artists you might ever want to meet, let me hang out with them for a few hours and I can't remember having better enjoyed a breakfast. One gentleman, I regret I did not learn his name, even paid for my breakfast. I drank fifty cups of coffee and when it was time to go, our very lovely hostess loaded me up with oatmeal cookies and chocolate balls and, bless her sweet soul, banana bread.

I don't doubt they all thought I was an idiot for trying to Walk Across America, and they just wanted to help. There are good people in Carnation, Washington. I dare you to say any different.

Found: two quarters, and one dime, all cruelly mutilated
Met: the friendliest herd of cows you've ever met. They followed me down 300 yards of fence.
Discovered: blister upon blisters
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  1. It's now June 1 and so far no day 5. This will not do. Here we are all hanging on his every word and what's he doing, last I heard he was having a smoke (of precisely what I don't know) under a tree in the rain in mountain territory worrying about Bears and hoping for the arrival of young Japanese ladies in an RV.
    Pray James, the Bears are more likely.

  2. James, glad you now heading East. Not too many miles at first, let those feet adjust. You have lots of time to complete the walk. Good luck,
    Jeff, the walkingman.