Day 39 / May 12, 2012

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On day 39 I woke up out back of a church north of Beaumont MS. I was in my sleeping bag and had half my tarp under me with the other half folded and over the top of me incase it would have rained. I woke up and there were a good amount of ants crawling on me so I brushed them off. Not in any hurry but sort of lackadaisically.
        There were some cows in front of me in a pasture and when I sat up they were a little startled and walked away from from me. I got up and took my time packing my stuff. My heel was irritating me a bit and I ended up throwing some more duct tape on the inside of my shoes on the heel part. I ate a cliff bar for breakfast and filled my water jugs also. There was no outlet outside of the church as I walked around it so I didn't get a charge. I packed up and headed out.
         I walked on the highway that went from Beaumont back to the 98. When I got to the 98 about a mile ahead I headed north towards Hattiesberg. There were those little bumps on the shoulder of the highway. I forget what they are called but they are a bit of a hassle to pull my cart through. Either I have to walk in the oncoming lane until a car comes and then go onto the shoulder, walk on the shoulder with one wheel rolling through the bumps (annoying/bouncy/wearing out the wheel), or straddle the cart with a wheel on each side and walk through the bumps which hurt my feet. So either way I'm always having to somewhat be uncomfortable.
        I walked about 5 miles up the 98 when I pulled off for a break. At this point my iPod and wifi devise we're now dead. I knew I wouldn't have to get off the 98 for a while and knew there was a town up ahead where I would get a charge. So I drank some water and continued north.
          I walked a good ways up and there was really nothing along the highway. I was keeping my eye out incase I passed a church where I could charge up but never saw one. I was really hoping the town ahead would have a place I could sit where there was an outlet and wireless Internet. But it looked like the town might be pretty bare.
         As I approached New Agusta I didn't see anywhere I would find Internet. I Kept walking through and I saw some restaurant or something ahead but didn't recognize the logo of the sign out front and figured it was a local place that wouldn't have Internet. But as I walked closer it actually turned out to look more like a fast food place and I figured I would check it out. It was a Wards, which I have never seen or heard of. As I walked up saw on the window that they had wifi! I was pretty surprised! I went in and found a charger and was relieved!
        I ordered a chicken sandwich and a drink there and connected to the Internet. Man that was some good food and having a connection to my friends and family was nice! As I sat there charging up and eating I let people know my location on twitter and that I had no service for the last few days.
      After a while relaxing there I heard a voice say "nick!". I looked up very confused and surprised. It was a couple and they had a shoe box. I couldn't believe it! They said they were from Jackson (2 hours away) and were down in the area and wanted to help out. They brought me a brand new pair of asex shoes! At first I was thinking it would be hard to pack and any extra weight was tough to haul. And I was planning and hoping for the nikes I started with to last at least half way. But once I felt how light the shoes they brought were I would have no problem packing them. And after all if I need them badly at some point that would be very nice to have! I was very thankful they found me and helped me out!
         They sat with me and we talked for a while. It was pretty cool to have company and especially people who don't think I'm insane. Usually people I talk to along the way seem a little unsure of me. So it was nice to have someone who follows the blog and my journey who knows and has more of a sense of who I am.  Even though I never met them or knew them before this day it was nice to have them there. We talked for maybe an hour and then they were headed out back to their home in Jackson. They also invited me to stay with them when I arrive in Jackson for a night to shower and get me and my stuff cleaned up and relax and have a bed for a night. So I told them I definitely would when I arrived up there. We said goodbye and they left.
        I was pretty happy they stopped and it was pretty cool going from no connection to anyone even on Internet, to having internet then having visitors know where to find me also.
       A little later I was starting to figure the rest of my day out. I found a church ahead a ways and figured I could leave soon and make it up the highway before dark. Just as I considered getting ready to leave it began to downpour! There was lightning and thunder and extremely heavy rain! It poured a while then all off a sudden, boom! Lightening struck hard again and right when I heard the roaring thunder the power inside the wards shut off. It was pretty weird and it was just me and the workers inside there in dead silence and a gloomy dark. About 5 minutes later it came back on. The rain kept falling.
         So it stormed for a while and the power was on and off through the next few hours. It was about 5 now and I was starting to worry where I would stay. I looked out the windows and there wasn't much around the area. I was going to have to wing it and hoped the rain would stop.
         At around 7 the rain had stopped and I wanted to get somewhere to stay before dark or before the rain came back. So I walked north up the highway and found a little road that pulled off and went over the railroad tracks. I tried to find a place to be hidden to maybe pitch my tent. But no luck. It was too swampy and thick and there literally was nowhere out of sight. And usually I'm pretty good and finding hideouts.
      So I got back on the 98 and went north again. I went up the highway and it was getting dark. Even along side the highway I couldn't even find a clearing to get behind trees or anything. It is so thick that you can't even walk into the trees. It was now dark and I was more worried. I was desperate for a spot to stay and it wasn't looking any better.
       Finally I spotted a driveway. I looked around and there was no mail box. The driveway went into the trees the sort of faded away. There was a little clearing and I made a decision that this would be my spot. The only spot I had room to lay down was in some bushes that were a couple feet tall and were visible from the road. I could get behind them but I couldn't pitch my tent or the top half would stick out over the bushes and easily be seen by traffic. I knew it was possibly going to storm so I made a game time call to lay my tent out but not pitch it. So my tent laid out and I crawled into it. I had my sleeping bag inside and crawled in that as well. Then to keep dry I laid my tarp over my tent also. I put my cart on the end of the yard so it wouldn't fly away either. Then my cart had a garbage bag over it to keep it dry.
       So I zipped my tent and it literally was pressing down on my face with the tarp on top of it too. It quickly was very hot inside there and condensation made the tent wet also. So I was dripping sweat off my arms and face, and my tent was also wet on my arms and face. It was pretty miserable. It took me a couple hours to fall asleep as I tossed and turned.
        I woke up in the middle of the night and I needed air. I was hot and it was so stuffy it was almost unbearable. I started feeling around for the tent door and I couldn't find it. I was twisting around feeling for it but the tent had so much slack that it had twisted around me as I tossed and turned earlier. I was bonded up inside of it and it felt like there was no air! I thought for a brief moment about ripping it open with full force, but realized not to freak out. I paused, then started feeling again. I finally found the door and opened it to breath some fresh air. It was a very hard night and my rest was very limited.

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