Thursday, June 23, 2011
In the past week some amazing things have happened, seemingly by chance, but I'm beginning to see that there is a rhyme and reason to everything.
Let me start by saying how much the WV mountains sapped all my energy. Climbing up and down winding roads, hairpin turns, while 18 wheelers and coal trucks zoom by you giving no quarter is a harrowing experience. Most truckers are kind enough to at least attempt to give you some room, and I am happy to try to get off the road as much as possible. I can picture what they're saying. "Look at this idiot walking up the mountain!" Others try to hit you. Or so it appeared to me. Like they were aiming for me. No worries. I made it!
So many times I'd hear, "Oh this is the last mountain." only to see another looming up in the distance. One place I stopped at, simply because I could not go up another mountain after doing three that day, was owned by some great people. The Stoners. No not making a joke. Charlie bought some pizza, gave me some coffee and even let me take a shower. I am so grateful for this. Made my first fire that night. Was grand!
After Charlie dropped me off in Aurora that morning I got some zzz's on the stoop of a community center. No one bothered me. Headed up the road and knocked on a door asking to pop up my tent for the night and the lady obliged. She even brought me some hot soup, an apple, and some peanut butter and fluff. Awesome! Stayed in her garage that night because my little tent couldn't handle the downpour.
In the next few days I stayed at a biker bar ($10 bucks for the night and a shower and some beers and good people. Not all in the shower with me.) and under a pavillion on top of Mt. Laurel at another church and finally in a very cushy hotel room comped for the night by yet another church. Also of course outside in the tent most nights.
Got a ride from outside Clarksburg all the way to Parkersburg by a guy I was sure was a serial killer. Grasped the pepper spray in my pocket the whole way. Made light conversation. Repeated over and over to myself, don't worry it'll be okay.
In Parkersburg I went to a Salvation Army about a room but there were so many others on line ahead of me and a little girl, obviously with no parental guidance, kept pestering me to show her how the sleeping bag worked. I looked around in vain for a parent to take her away but to no avail. The final straw came when she asked me why I had a stick. I told her Glamdring was a friend and she shook her dirty little head and said "No, it's just a stick." Okay, I thought, time to go before these people start rolling me and going thru my stuff. I'd already got some unfriendly glances. So I hopped a transit bus and went to a seedy motel. No vacancy. Perfect. A mile up the road the other way I found another seedy motel. Seems to be alot of them here, I thought. Bunked down for the last night in WV in a room with no lock and holes in the door. Slept alright.
The next morning I crossed the Ohio River and ended up at another church. (Seeing a pattern here?) They gave me a hot meal and allowed me to sleep in a shed. Hey, it's a roof. Today I thought the weather might be bad and entreated them for another night. They obliged, even letting me take a shower and giving me some more food and letting me use a computer where I typed this. I offered to help doing whatever in trade and just got done unloading a food pantry truck. As anyone who knows me knows I occasionally unload trucks for Arenskjold Antiques in Hudson, NY. Compared with the things coming off those trucks this one was cake. The job, not the food.
Good journey fellow travellers
Monday, June 13, 2011
Another creek appeared on my left after some miles with a guy planting in a garden. I crossed a little bridge and asked if I could soak my feet. Becoming quite addicted to this, the cool water is so welcome after a long walk. Started chatting with the guy, Ronnie Mauck, and he brought me some sodas and more water. As I was about to leave he bade me hang for awhile and chat and then gave me a ride over the border into West Virginia where he bought me lunch. Got back in the truck and drove for miles into WV (thank you so much!) having a wonderful conversation the whole way. Ended up at Abrams Creek Retreat on Mt. Storm where I typed this out. More to come I promise but this traveler is tired for now.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Today, after breaking camp, I noticed I had set my pack down on the bite valve for my camel pak. All my liquid refreshment was wasted onto the leaves and dirt. I was disheartened immediately. What a horrible start to the day. So I left the park and made my way to a school in order to fill up my containers at a water fountain. A few questioned why I was there so I launched into the quest explanation. One woman then bestowed upon me a bite size Snickers, an orange and a ticket for the Metro. "It's gonna be hot today. Take this." I used it. Now because of that serendipitous meeting I'm in Virginia. Thank you. Thank you. If I hadn't spilled the drink I wouldn't have gone to that school, wouldn't have got the orange nor the ticket and would still be in Maryland. Funny ol' world, huh?
Sunday, June 5, 2011
My bags are packed. I'm ready to go.
More to come
Good journey fellow travellers