Day 136, August 17, 2012

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 I heard shuffling. The spot I slept was pretty quiet all night so the noise alarmed me. I opened my eyes and sat up and about 6 feet from me was a big black dog! It looked weird. Like a weird mix I've never seen. It stopped and looked at me for a second. The sun was not even up yet. It was just bright enough with the light of the sun still not exposed. The dog had a real creepy look to it, but also was calm. After a few seconds of staring at each other he darted off and disappeared into the distance where he faded into the dark where I could not see anymore. It was only bright enough to see so far. I laid my head back down and fell asleep again.
        I heard footsteps. I had slept a couple hours after the dog woke me up. But now the steps sounded like a person. I woke up again and it was an Indian. Where did he come from?!? There was nothing around? He had a dog with him also. There are tons of stray dogs all around here since I got into the indian reservation territory. The man said "hello sir?" I said "hey how's it going?". He said "good, good. Just on my way to the liquor store down the road (a few miles), do you have any money for me to buy beer this morning?". I thought to myself, is this real? Is this real? Did this guy seriously just wake me up this early to ask me for beer money? Did he not see I was homeless? And he was dressed decent and with no gear, probably has a home. I responded in frustration "no, I'm homeless, I don't have money for your beer buddy". I felt like slapping him. He said "not even 50 cents?". I took a deep breath to calm down... "no man, sorry, I can't spare anything for you this morning" (sternly). He said in a sad tone (which upset me more) "oookay. I'll try to find some in town" as he walked away. I really pictured how good it would feel to go off on him, but I bit my tongue.
         I laid there just pondering that for a while and then was awake. I was pretty irritated. I woke up and packed my things. I took my time getting ready. I was finally all packed up and ready to go around 8:30am.
        I took off walking down the frontage road. I still had no charge on my Internet so I didn't know for sure if the frontage would go through in a direct way to keep me on track. But it looked like it was well groomed and used a lot. I hoped it would be good.
      I was surprised how far I walked before any houses, still wondering where the Indian may have come from. A few miles in there were some trailers and stuff. I walked about 6 miles when I came to an exit where the frontage ran into it. I stopped under the overpass and sat on a ledge there. It was a cool shade and by now my solar panel was catching the sunlight and charging my electronics. I got on the Internet to check my GPS and plan the route ahead. It looked like the frontage road ran another 6 miles were it ran into another exit off the 40 where it stopped there (the frontage). I prefer frontage roads over the freeway as its a much calmer walk without big rigs blowing me around and blowing things out of my cart.
        I was sitting there under the overpass for about 10 minutes when a black car pulled over right in front of me and held out a bag of chips and a drink for me. That was yet another awesome help to me from complete strangers. I keep expecting the help like this from people who don't know about what I'm doing or anything, but it doesn't. I grubbed the snack and drink down.
         Another 10 minutes went by when another car pulled over and parked. It was a mother and daughter who have been following my journey online for a while. Get this: they drove about 700 miles to see me!!! Drove for 2 DAYS from middle of Texas! Wow! I felt special. They were so nice and gave me some supplies. They lady (Valerie) is a nurse practitioner and wanted to bring me a cream to help the soreness and pain in my knees. She brought me two tubes of that. I was excited to try it as my knees are always getting sore. She also gave me a little gem thing that a monk in puru (I think) gave to her and said will provide protection at all times. I was thankful she passed it on to me. They stayed only a few minutes and then left.  It amazes me they came all that way. Right before they left, the daughter ran back out to me and gave me $20.
         So after they left I put the cream on my knees and took off. I walked the frontage road another 6 miles to the next exit. I sat on top of the overpass there on the railing and ate a can of raviolis. I'm not too picky on food and cold raviolis are actually pretty good to me. I took about another 15 minute break before getting on the freeway and walking the last 8 miles of the day to the next exit where there was a truck stop I could sleep around.
          I walked the last 8 mile stretch and the last 3 miles or so I walked slow as it was downhill and that's usually what bothers my knees the most. I strolled off the exit right about sunset. There was a Denny's there in the truck stop where I decided to go in and charge up. They have the $2 menu also so I could order something since I have a little more comfort now.
        I went in and ordered biscuits and gravy with hash browns. I was surprised how big of a portion it was when it came out. What a deal. I was gonna for sure use that more along the way. I stayed there and ate and relaxed until about 10pm. At that time I was exhausted. I left there and walked all around the area but really didn't see any good spots to sleep. Finally I had to settle for a spot in front of the truck stop and between it and the interstate. It was a ditch that looked to carry rainwater. I walked down into it and it was low enough where I thought I might not be seen. I saw security roaming around earlier and hoped they wouldn't spot me.
        I made my bed there and it smelled a little funny. I was thinking maybe travelers let their dogs dump down there. Hoped I didn't make my bed on a land mine. It was a cool night and a little breeze was comforting. I fell asleep right next to my cart there and slept ok.


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