Defuniak Springs, Florida was founded as a resort town. People came from all over to attend lectures and swim in their little pond. They don't come much now but it's holding up. I am camped in the center of town. Or not too far off. Hobo style. Nobody knows that I'm here.
That took some doing but I've got skills. I'm awfully glad that I do. I was afraid I might get stuck in a motel. I hadn't meant to come quite this far. There is not always room for my tent in a city. Indoor living takes cash. I'm only two days stinky. I want to really get ripe before I spring for a shower.
I walked almost two dozen miles today. I do not know what I was thinking. I've been too long off the road. I'm in no kind of shape. I'm going to be sore tomorrow.
Hell, I'm sore now. If that's okay. I'm hesitant to mention these things. You want Beauty and Magic, a new sense of God, from your walker across America. It's a Spiritual Journey, you want me to say. You don't want to hear about pooping. Or blisters or Samsung or my odd aches and pains. Tell us more about the sunsets.
There are sunsets, sure. You have them where you are. And I've gained an insight or two. But I was not entirely thoughtless or vapid when I was living at home.
What makes this unique is the blisters, the bone-crushing pain in my feet. The not knowing where I'll find my next food or water or where I will set up my tent. The rest is a scenic holiday. I've met some awful nice folks. What wisdom I've gained is of no use to you. Conjure your own philosophies.
That said, I did have a very nice day. I was in pain most of the time. My feet hurt like they did in the days before my arch supports. I'm hesitant to mention them, as well. They sound like an old man thing. But they were for many thousands of miles the very saving of me. Maybe they've worn out. Or maybe I have. Podiatry is a black art.
I was up early in a very nice spot. I got a solid nine hours. Or think I did. I don't remember a thing from the time my head hit the pillow. Or the balled up sweatshirt that takes its place. I'm roughing it out here.
I had cookies for breakfast and again for lunch. I'm afraid they are almost gone. I'm chewing on a fruit cake now. I wish every day were Christmas.
I walked in the ditch most of the day. It was a nice ditch as ditches go. The grass was short and the ground was smooth. It kept me off of the highway. Which has a nice shoulder but I was not in the mood to keep an eye out for traffic. Sometimes it is nice just to walk without worrying about being murdered.
I must say they went quickly, these many long miles. It is nice to be walking again. There were low purple clouds. The trees around here are covered with hanging moss. The breeze blows warm and cold. The sun came and went. I did not put on my warm shirt. I didn't want to get it all sweaty. I knew I would need it tonight.
It is down in the thirties again. Life ain't all sunshine and daisies. But I am snug in my teddy bear pants. I'm glad I did not send them home. I've got a few more miles before I'm in the Florida that you like to see on TV. The one with the palm trees and the bikini girls. The one where the weather is fine.
There is a beach here. The whole state is beach. Florida is made out of sand. So is Nebraska if you're keeping track, at least when you get up north. It has made my tent just a little bit gritty. I'm feeling it in my teeth. But such is life, such is life. I cannot complain. It's the price I pay for adventure.
"DIBBITY dibbity dibbity-dibbity Pensacola. Dibbity dibbity dibbity-dibbity eighty-two years old!" -- spoken by a very old man at a gas station in a strong Florida accent.
CHEERS TO Miss Deborah who made my lunch. She is a grandmother. And younger than me and much better looking. She got a running start.
"You must have broken some hearts," she told me. I don't think I have. If I did, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to. If it helps, I'm lonesome as hell.
SOMEWHERE in these woods live the "goatf***ers." There's a whole tribe of them. They keep getting themselves hauled into court for loving their goats too much. As long as it's consensual, I offered. I have libertarian views. No, I was told. There was psychic damage. "They really messed those goats up."