Day 123, August 4, 2012

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 I woke up at about 9am. I was on the concrete floor of a baseball dugout in Santa Rosa NM. My knees were more sore today than they have been yet. I was really worried again.
       I was just about to pack my things when a black SUV pulled up behind me. My first instinct was that it was a cop. So I was getting my things together. Then when I looked back a family got out of the car and looked at me. Then they said "we have been following your journey". I was really surprised. I couldn't believe they had tracked me down. They were coming from Albuquerque and going back to Texas and wanted to stop and see me. I was so relieved and happy.
       They had figured out where the baseball field was by driving around near the McDonald they knew I was at the day before. They had brought me a pack of supplies. It had snacks and toiletries also. That was really cool that they stopped and made such an effort to come help me. We talked a little while and then they headed out.
        I packed my stuff up and headed out. There was a truck stop about 3 miles ahead at the edge of town. So I figured I would walk there and see how I felt, then make a decision on whether to keep going or to take another rest day for my knees.
         So when I was at the edge of town, the truck stop that my gps showed was not there. In fact, nothing was there and it was the end of town with nothing ahead. My knees did not feel great but there was no way I was turning around to add mileage. So I walked very slow and carefully ahead.
      Right out of town there was a long hill that I tenderly and slowly climbed. Once I reached the top, the interstate leveled out for a while. I saw a sign that showed a gas station about 6 miles up. So I wanted to make it there before stopping.
      I walked there at a slow pace but finally made it. It was about 10 miles total from town. I stopped there and went inside. It was just one gas station there with nothing else around. Inside there was a small grill and some booth seats. So I sat there next to an outlet and relaxed. I had a vibe from the people looking at me that I wasn't allowed there unless I was a customer. So I bought a fountain drink and a hot dog for about $3 total.
        I got there at about 1:30. At around 2:30 I noticed two guys out front broken down. They were looking under their hood and seemed to be having bad luck. I saw one of them come in and say his cell phone had no service and asked to use the phone there. They said they weren't allowed to let costumers use the phone. That was pretty dumb. I felt bad for the guy.
        So I approached him and said I had a call app he could use but I wasn't sure how good it would work. He was really thankful and he called a friend. I guess they were driving from Minnesota to Arizona and had about $500 for the trip. But their car kept having problems along the way and they spent more than they expected. He was talking to his friend asking if he might be able to send him money.
       After he was off he was so nervous and shaking. He said he didn't have a family and was moving to Arizona for a job. I gave him $10 even though I only have about $40 left. He was really thankful and needed to buy an alternator. He went back outside and I got a hold of a church in Santa rosa. I told them the situation and asked if they could help or had any ideas? They gave me the police dispatcher number and the cops had said they could give them a ride to town if they needed to go get a part or whatever. I let the guys know and they were really thankful.
        I sat there until about 6:30 when I decided to try and get down the road a little more and see how my knees felt. Before I left I saw that there was a guy looking at the dudes car. I went up and the man was helping them get to town and was gonna pitch in whatever the guys didn't have so they could get an alternator and get back on the road. That was cool and made me happy.
       I left walking and still went very slow and easy. My knees still felt sore but weren't in as much pain as before. I ended up walking about 8 more miles when the sunset. After It was down and starting to get dark, I pulled off an exit with nothing at all. There was a gate over a cattle guard where I snuck under. I went to a clear sand spot and made my bed. It wasn't hidden but there was nothing there and no cars getting off, so I felt it was an ok spot. I fell asleep around 10 that night. I slept pretty comfortably even though I woke up a lot. It was a full moon and the brightness actually woke me up often. It was weird.


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