Day 75, June 17, 2012

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 I woke up laying on the concrete on day 75. It's too hot at night to zip up my sleeping bag, so I just lay in it unzipped. And usually at some point I just end up flat on the ground with my sleeping bag over me like a blanket. So I was flat on the concrete and my body was stiff. I got up at the church I was at in marshall TX.
         I went over near the front of the church to plug my stuff in while I packed up and got ready. I filled my water jugs at the faucet also before I left. I took off walking down the highway at around 8:30am.
          I walked out of the town and into a long stretch ahead. I had a good pace and the humidity wasn't as bad as some of the days before. I trekked about 5 miles when I pulled off for a break. I drank some water along side of the highway in the country. After 10 minutes I continued.
         I walked down a ways when I saw a red SUV pull off the road ahead of me. There was nothing there so I was thinking they pulled off to talk to me. As I got closer a man got out of the passenger side. He was very old and he was carrying some sort of book under his arm. When I walked up to him, he asked if I had a minute? I said sure and walked to him. He said he had something he wanted to show me. He opened the book and it was a scrap book. He told me it was something he did when he was around my age. He had CRAWLED! 1600 miles! From texas to DC. He crawled on his hands and knees for 20 months straight in 1976 over 1600 miles! I couldn't believe it! It was so awesome that I met him! He made the effort to come out to me and share it! Something he said that meant something to me was that he wasn't even sure why he did it when he started. It just came into his heart and he knew he had to go. He later found the purpose it served him. And I think that is very similar to me and my journey. Im not 100% sure why I needed to do this when the idea came to me. But I'm finding out a lot and think now that it was fate to bring my spirit to a place it needs. What an amazing encounter. When we talked we truly shared something together and our spirits connected. It was like finding a family member half way through your life. We just had that bond and that was why he wanted to come and meet me. It was amazing!
       I talked to him a while and we discussed a lot of things. I told him where my heart is at now, and he knew exactly what it's like. He was there right with me during his trip. And he just said he has a feeling what is next for me, and he's exited about it. He said a prayer for me. After the prayer I gave him a big hug. Even though he was nearing 70, he was a brother to me and a true warrior. And for that, I was thankful for his being. After the amazing blessing of meeting him I kept on down the road.
        I walked up and at a good pace until I reached the town of Hallsville. I was ready for a break and it was about 4pm. So I stopped in at a dairy queen. When I came inside I had ran into the father son team again. We are sort of leap frogging each other each day and passing each other. They start earlier than I do so I end up passing them later in the day and pulling away when they are slowing down. So I visited with them a little more. They are also busy as they contact all the press outlets they can along the way to gain more exposure of their journey. I learned more about the way they organize their days too. They usually will use the van to take breaks in and sleep in. They walk until they need a break, then will take the van ahead to stop for lunch or whatever. Then afterwards, they will return to a landmark where they stopped to continue. And while they walk the grandfather will go to the towns ahead to visit the newspapers and tv stations for press when they arrive. Then at night he picks them up and they go to a rest stop or hotel or whatever to spend the night. So although we both walk, we have different approaches to accommodations ect. But they are both very overweight, and physically face a much tougher challenge when walking than I do. My challenge isn't so much the actual walking, but rather surviving the country with nothing and being poor.
          So after a break there I packed up and refilled my jugs. I headed west another 6 miles to the point where I was about 4 miles east of Longview TX. I came to a church in the country where it was hidden and quiet. It was a good spot and I made a bed in the back on the grass. I had gone 21 miles that day and was tired. There were no outlets so I left my electronics off mostly. I laid down and read through the bible as the sun was setting. I fell asleep around 10:30 that night. Also while I laid there a deer ran by me. That was cool.


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