Day 40 / May 13, 2012

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I woke up drenched in sweat and had the cold wet tent pressing on me. I didn't sleep well at all and woke up with a headache. I was dead tired and it was hard to wake up, but at the same time I was so uncomfortable that getting up and out of that tent was nice. It was like I had mixed feelings and was just drained from the night.
        I got up and sat there just staring at the ground a while. It was partly just blank thought and just a tired state before I even stood up off the ground. I sat on my tent a while and it was a tough few minutes mentally. Eventually I grabbed another cliff bar to eat for breakfast and somehow found the energy to get up and going. I wasn't looking forward to packing all my stuff up. It seemed like so much work for how drained I was. But again, I found the energy and finally got with it.
       After I packed up I went down to the highway and started walking. My feet hurt, I was sore all over, and I was not feeling in a good mental place. But I just kept stepping. This trek would be much easier if I had accommodations along the way, but the homeless and poor challenge added to walking all day is a challenge. Being drained all the time and keeping myself going physically and mentally is very challenging. But I am proud that I can find my way through it. I feel strong and that I am much tougher than I ever gave myself credit for. And in being strong I have to give the credit to God for helping me have what I need to continue each day.
        I walked a few miles when I noticed the wheels on my cart were starting to crack pretty badly. They were getting to the point where I didn't think they would last much longer. So I pulled off and decided to take some time and do a good duct tape job on them to keep them together. And let me just say, duct tape is awesome! Fixed them up and they were good to go! I also patched the bottoms of my shoe soles with some of it as well and after my break I felt much better with my equipment. I also tried using my Internet before I left and it finally worked! Very happy to see that.
           I walked after that at a good pace and wanted to get up to Hattiesberg MS by the end of the day. It was 22 miles up so I walked a long ways! When I got close to Hattiesberg I took a short walk into the town by taking the old highway 49 road for a shortcut. It was a very nice road and there were hardly any cars. It was shaded from trees growing over it and was very quiet. Nice to take the road less traveled for a change to have a more peaceful walk.
         I walked down that road a few miles and it was maybe 5 or so. Just around then a big red truck pulled up behind me and pulled off the other side of the road and a man said "hi nick". I just smiled as I knew they were there to see me. They got out and dropped the tailgate down. I thought maybe he was a friend of the couple from the day before but he said they didn't know them. They were other twitter followers that have also been tracking and following my journey.
          They had all kinds off stuff for me! They brought me dinner and Gatorade. Also snicker marathon bars (2 packs). And a first aid kit. They had more also but I could only carry so much. I hadn't eaten besides in the morning and was really hungry. I was also just about out of my water bottles (besides the gallons I store). And was pretty thirsty. So we hungout and talked for a while. They were very nice people and we hit it off well. The man was a safety rep for job sites and traveled a lot, and his wife was a kindergarten teacher.
         We stayed there talking about an hour and a half and I ate some chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn they brought me. It was so good! And it worked out since I was hungry when they brought it. It's getting hard to accept things when I can't really carry extra stuff.
         So we stayed there a while then it began raining and getting close to sunset. It was awesome to have their support and I was so thankful! So they left and I continued down the road. It was still very quiet and no cars hardly at all. I was coming to a church ahead where my destination was.
        When I got to the church, it wasn't a very good spot and there were houses all around it. I was still hungry and decided to finish my dinner there though. And also I needed an outlet as my stuff was almost dead. So I went behind the church and sat down on a step to eat. I was sitting there about 10 minutes when I heard a truck pull up and shut off.
          I was hidden behind the corner so he still didn't see me. But I heard footsteps walking back. Then there was an older man and he was obviously looking for me. He asked if I was ok. I told him yes and why I was traveling. He was interested and had many questions. So we talked for 5 minutes or so. He then told me he didn't want to scare me but the old lady that lived next door to the church saw me walk back there and was freaked out, so she pulled her 9mm pistol out and loaded it up and was ready to fire on me if I roamed near her house!
        I was pretty startled by this and just thinking of a scared lady impulsively firing at me if I walked by her house made me think. It was funny, but at the same time a bit freaky.
      The man went to tell her it was on and then brought her back to meet me. When I met her I said thanks for not blowing me away. She laughed. After telling her my story she coincidentally had met a man walking America when she was a little girl. He wrote a book apparently too called "walking America" or something. That was cool to hear about.
       So I chatted with them a while and they said they would pray for me along the way. That was cool. But I didn't want to stay there as they didn't really offer it and it would have been awkward at this point to camp there. So I headed down the road again.
      Right when I left my iPod died and had no GPS and didn't know where the next church was. So I walked a ways and into the dark. I was in Hattiesberg now for a while and it was starting to turn into a rough area. Finally I came across a little church in the country there. It had no outlets or water spickets which sucked. I was almost out of water and had no battery.
          It was a good hidden place to sleep though. I laid behind some trees on the soft grass and made my bed. It was comfortable and I fell asleep much rosier that night. I still was hot and sweaty, but compared to the last night it was far better. I was beat tired and I was out.

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