Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day One, Baby Steps

Ten miles from home I met a nice man, whacking weeds in front of his house.  "How far you going?"

I did not have the heart to tell him anything but the truth.  "I'm walking across America," I say.  At least, that is my intention.  Ask me again when I'm in Wyoming or so and I may be a bit more convincing.  This close to home I just felt foolish.

"Don't give up," he tells me.  Good advice, good advice.

I left home at maybe 6:30 or so, earlier than I needed to.   I had some idea to beat the rush of all the other people walking across America.  As it was, I didn't see any of them.  They must have left yesterday. 

I'll catch them, no doubt; I'm making good time.  I put in maybe 25 miles.  Not deliberately, you understand; I got a bit lost toward the end.  Eventually and with the help of GPS,  I arrived at the charmingly disordered home of my good friend Larry, his delightful bride, and their dozens and dozens of children.  I was hoping the kids would be impressed with this, my latest adventure.  They weren't.  They stretched a pair of Dora the Explorer underpants over my head and mocked me cruelly.

How am I holding up, you may want to know.  So far, so good, I guess.  I've got cuts on the front and back of both feet; both happened in the last 5 miles.  If I was a little better at reading maps, or had been blessed with any small sense of direction, I would have arrived here fresh as a daisy.  As it is, I'm limping a bit, which brings me to something of a dilemma.  Do I venture on into that cold unknown, or do I tarry here a while?

Larry and Shonna, his delightful bride, do keep a very nice pantry.  They've got a soft sofa and an enormous TV and their kids aren't as bad as all that.  And they've got a great dog and my feet are a bit sore and it is, after all, my birthday.  But if I do wind up staying that extra day, know that it is because I'm afraid.  A manly fear, mind; there's no shame in that.  I bet even John Wayne felt a little uncomfortable when he had to poop in strange places. 

FOUND: 2 quarters, 2 pennies, and a Chuck E. Cheese token
MET:  Horses, small cows, a llama or two, and dozens and dozens of bunnies
THANK-YOU!  Larry and Shonna and all of their kids, Good Dick and the Lovely Elinor, the kind strangers who've encouraged me along the way, and Mom, wherever you are.
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