Day 52 / May 25, 2012

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When I woke up on day 52, it was possibly the last day I would be in Mississippi. I was exited to head towards the Mississippi river. I packed up quickly. I had a few mesquito bites that were pretty big on my forehead. They might have been spiders or something else also. They seemed more swollen than normal.
         I headed back to the gas station across the street before I was going to head west as I needed to grab some asswipe out of the restroom. I also brushed my teeth in there before I left.
I headed back down the 80 walking west towards Vicksburg MS. The traffic was definitely more busy than the day before. Closer to the city I figured it would be heavier. I had to weave in and out of both lanes and keep a close eye for the cars coming. There was no shoulder to walk on. And with my cart I couldnt go off the road for a long distance.
         A man drove by and was yelling at me to get off the road. He looked pretty pissed and I gave him a thumbs up. I was out of his way but he just seemed angry. About 10 minutes later a cop showed up and said he had got a call. He talked to me a while and was pretty inspired by what I was doing. He asked how I would cross the Mississippi? I didn't know this, but the bridges allowed no pedestrians. My gps said it allowed for a walking pedestrian but it wasn't right. I told him I didn't know then, and wasn't aware it was prohibited. He said he could talk to the department about an escort. He said when I got to the welcome center before the bridge to have them call the department and they would figure something out to escort me across. I was pumped! He also followed my twitter right away.
         I kept walking and about a mile later a car pulled off and a little girl in the back seat handed me $3 out of the window. That was cool! Another mile or so up a teenage boy pulled off and gave me a bag of candy and $5. Another ways up a car pulled off and a couple gave me a bag of chicken from a gas station and $3. It all happened back to back and was pretty awesome!
So I finally got to Vicksburg. It was hot so I stopped right away at a Wendy's and ordered a couple dollar menu stuff. I stayed there for about an hour. A lady who was in there gave me $8 when she was leaving. And then a guy that came in walked up and gave me $6 and said he saw me earlier down the highway. Again I was blown away!
         I left there and walked along the frontage road next to the 20. As I got into town I was walking next to the road when...BAM!!! Even with my headphones in it was loud. I turned my head and right next to me, about 3 feet to my right, 3 cars slammed into each other in a wreck. I walked back to see if they were ok. All 3 cars were fine. They were all teenage kids. The kid in the middle car was in shock. He was ok but was shaking and very nervous. I stayed with him and the other kids to keep them calm. I told the kid in 5 years he won't even remember this, and not to worry. When the cops came I took off.
         I walked a few more miles and I came to a calm quiet stretch of road. Another car pulled over and a young kid gave me $10. I walked up a hill that was pretty and thick of green trees. As I got to the top I came over and suddenly saw a bunch of American flags lined up, and behind that was the wide Mississippi river. It was very cool. I had goosebumps and a smile ear to ear. I really was happy and felt accomplished. It was a powerful moment.
         I enjoyed that for a while and took a break. After that I walked along the road towards the bridges. I got to the welcome center and it was really pretty there. An awesome view. I walked to the door and they were closed! They closed at 5 and it was 5:40. I was bummed! I saw a few people on the side of it and asked if they would be able to contact the authorities. The lady I ran into was very nice and actually knew people that worked in the department and with the city. She called them and was very convincing to them on the phone that I needed an escort right away. She was awesome!
So a cop showed up 5 minutes later. He asked if I wanted a ride across and I said no way! I told him I would walk 2 states up to cross rather than get into a car. So he started calling around to set it up. He was there 5 minutes then said he had to go to a fight and would be back. So I sat down to wait. It was getting closer to sundown and I started to think it might not happen that night.
         He came back about a half hour later. He said they were tied up but he had an idea. I asked him how the fight was, and he said it was 3 lesbians fighting over a love affair.
          I sat there a while and then he pulled up to where I was sitting. He said that the Louisianna cops were coming across to escort me. He had to go again and said they would be there shortly. So I sat again and waited.
         I sat there a while and nobody came. I was starting to think again it might not go down. Just when I was losing hope the same cop pulled up again. He said that they contacted the people who are in charge of the old highway 80 bridge and that they were waiting for me to open the gate to walk across. That bridge runs next to the bridge where the 20 crosses. The old bridge was closed to the public and was only a historic monument now. They don't open it at all but for my situation the cop said they pulled some strings. So awesome!
         I walked over there and there were a few cop SUVs and a cop car, and about 10 people. They were all dressed up and looked sharp except one guy holding a clip board. When I walked up he called me over to fill paper work out. He smelled really badly of Booze and looked ragged. I was confused. The cop asked for my license to run my background. I filled out the paperwork and it was a pretty serious process.
         When everything was good they went over a list of random things they had to say before going onto the bridge. The random guy was slurring his words and was hammered. It was out of place but I was pretty amused and curious by it. So it was all set.
         They opened a huge locked gate and me and the random guy walked out through it. He was walking across next to me while a cop SUV followed us. There was nothing on there except us. It was so cool! I asked the dude if he was off duty? He said he was a maintinence man for the bridge. He was off hours ago and was partying hard, but got called back to walk me across. He said he was very hammered. It was pretty funny.
         So we walked across and the sun set as we crossed. It was awesome! It was a great feeling and I was very thankful to have the privilege to be on that bridge. There was a lot of history there. We walked about 2 miles until we made it to the other end. When we reached the end it was another huge gate. The cops said they had contacted the next few towns and they knew I was coming through. They said good luck and closed the gate on me. They took off back across and gave the guy who walked with me a ride back.
        After the gate closed I felt like it was a different world. It was really country and quiet. The sun was just about set and I headed on as I still had a ways to go.
         It was really pretty and the walk was nice! There were no cars on the highway and it was basically like a dead end area and nothing around. It was soon dark and I had a couple more miles. I got to a church randomly that was in the middle of nowhere with nothing around. I was really tired and walked maybe 18 miles. I walked right to the side of the church behind an AC unit to make my bed out of sight. I laid down and was out right away.


1 comment:

laura teaney said...

Its so cool that people are starting to see that you arent walking aimlessly and they are helping you complete your mission. So awesome.