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So I slowly sat up. I was still very tired. I could feel my eyes swollen from not sleeping enough. I was pretty beat up. I got up and packed my things slowly. I filled up my waters with a hose there and got ready to go.
I headed west on the 80 and out of the town of White Oak TX. About 2 miles in I came up to the grandpa in the van from the father/son walking. I went up and said hello. He was waiting for them from a couple miles back. So they were just behind me. He asked if I needed anything and was very nice. I was all set to go but said thanks anyway. He also said to contact them on Facebook if I get into any trouble. So I said thanks and that I would maybe see them again.
I walked down another mile or so and had just got into the country. There were just trees around. All of a sudden the rain started pouring. And it quickly became heavy. I walked quickly to try and find some sort of cover, whether it was a big tree or whatever. I came up to a turn and just got lucky enough to come to a fruit stand type place and hurry under some cover. I just missed getting soaked as it really poured once I got under it. I felt like god had my back and I was able to stay dry. It was closed but I sat in a rocking chair and waited out the rain. Once it stopped about 20 minutes later I continued.
I headed up the road at a good pace and came to the town of Gladewater. I walked through most of the town and was getting to the last little bit. Suddenly it quickly poured down rain again! I hurried under a little overhang along some old commercial stores. I was under it staying dry when next door I saw a man locking up a barber shop and then running to his car. He got in, then all of a sudden I saw him again coming back. He said "hey come in man, stay dry in here". So I rolled my stuff in. He said he was leaving for lunch but he could wait. So I went in and sat down. He said I could sit there and hangout with him until the rain stopped. That was pretty cool. Love to witness the good in people's hearts.
So he asked about me and I told him about my walk. He was very inspired and interested. He also offered me a drink and then a haircut! I took the drink but couldn't cut my hair til I reach the pacific. So we sat and talked there a while. I enjoyed talking with him and a couple customers while I waited out the rain. When it stopped though, I wanted to keep moving. So I headed out and said goodbye and thanks.
I continued and left town. It was a good distance to the next town of Hawkins. And just as I was leaving about 2 miles out of town, the rain hit again. I was caught in an open area with nothing around, so I pulled out my tarp and literally stood on the shoulder of the highway with my tarp over me and my cart. I was standing and holding my tarp wrapped around me so when the big trucks passed the tarp didn't blow up into the air. It was a rough 20 minutes standing there in the down pour. When it stopped I waved my tarp to get most the water off, folded it, packed it in and continued.
I walked then at a really good pace and made my way to Big Sandy TX. I stopped there for a break. I rested about an hour there. Then as I continued I hit one last long stretch of country. I walked along that stretch and my knees were starting to throb. I think it was from how I slept on the dirt. They were locked all night straight and hurt all night and in the morning. So I just slowed down the pace a bit and kept on. I got about 2 miles from Hawkins and a man pulled over. He asked in a very disappointed voice "what are you doing?!". So I told him. He then said "get in the truck so I can take you up ahead to the next town". I told him I couldn't. Then he said, "are you a Christian?" and I started to answer and said "well I have been a member of a Christian church..." and he cut me off and said loudly "are you a Christian?!" so I looked at him and said "no". He handed me a subway sandwich and said "well I am, I love Jesus, and that came from the lord" and then he pulled away burning out.
I ate the sandwich and was pretty hungry. Then I walked ahead and came to a church just east of Hawkins. I stopped there and hiked to the back near some trees. There wasn't much around and my clothes were damp from the rain, so I made a fire to dry them out. I was sitting there as the sun was setting near my fire. I looked over and saw a white dog walking to me. It looked old and was skinny. It came up near me and sat down and stared. I looked at him. I thought about calling him over but he looked dirty and I didn't want to smell any worse than I already do. He laid down and never moved all night. I laid there tending my fire til I was tired and then fell asleep next to it on my tarp in the dirt next to my watch dog. The bugs were heavy there but it was an ok night. I woke up once from rain, but it lasted only a minute. Then I went back to sleep.
at 7:51 AM