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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

DAY 127 & 128: EARLY - BANGS - GOLDWAITE, TEXAS

Please say HELLO to John. If it were not for John, we would not be enjoying this Blog update. There is absolutely NO VERIZON Service on this part of US 84. Met John at DQ IN THE TOWN OF GOLDTHWAITE, TEXAS, where we were both buying "supper". John lives nearby in an old vintage brick home and invited us over to use his Internet Wireless installation. SPIA, SAM & ME will spend the night in John's driveway...thank you John...bet he is already in bed.

Been at this Blog for nearly 3 hours now, and finally have the photographs sorted and uploaded.

Just after daylight, leaving VALERA, TEXAS.. The threatening clouds did not produce last night and were totally gone within 2 hours of Sunrise. Walked out and back 12 miles...up and down some interesting hills and meeting up with nice folks.
Pic got posted twice and I cannot for the life of me "delete" it.

This is the actual US 67 Highway. A beautiful road to look at and very well constructed.

A small village along US 84 is SANTA ANNA, TEXAS. World Champion Steer Roper is nothing to be sneezed at..
A home in the town of SANTA ANNA, TEXAS.

A block or so away is found this stately timeless home.

Downtown SANTA ANNA has a number of "old" buildings... struggling to find an existence in today's difficult times.

On the Eastern edge of SANTA ANNA, Texas is found this Restaurant, Redmon"s Hungry Indian Barbecue & Smokehouse.

I was served a Breakfast Burrito at this table by Patrick Redmond - Owner / Chef.
Please say HELLO to Patrick and Karen Redmon. While Patrick rustled up his favorite breakfast offering, I chatted with Karen. A retired school teacher, she and Patrick opened their restaurant - a long time desire of Patrick - only a few months ago. The townspeople gathered together for a Restaurant Warming, bringing expensive looking, delightful artifacts from the old west. A painting of Jodi Bergsma would be well placed on one of these walls.

I just missed out on the above celebration.

US 67, heading East from BANGS, TEXAS towards BROWNWOOD, TEXAS.

Must watch carefully to get on the correct road.

Walking up the MIDDLE of a four-lane US 67 is this gentleman.

Please say HELLO to Lonny, a 62 year old retired career U.S. Marine and 12-year Cop patrolling this very roadway. Lonny walks the 8 miles every day from BANGS, TEXAS to BROWNWOOD and back, averaging 8 miles in 1 hour 50 minutes. That is quicker than my walking average. Lonnie is the first true "senior" walker I have met during my trek.

It was, I believe, mutual admiration at first sight.

Welcoming sign at the town of EARLY, TEXAS. EARLY is a "Twin-City" together with BROWNWOOD, TEXAS.

US 84 begins about a mile East of EARLY, where it splits off from sharing duty with US 67.

I plan to stay on US 84 well into Louisiana.

Looking back West on US 67 at the small town of EARLY, TEXAS.

SPIA, SAM & ME took Space #38 at an RV Park in EARLY, TEXAS.

Please say HELLO to Donny, Manager of the RV Park. Donny has taken this position with his Brother-In-Law's RV Park after looking for work for a very long time. During the economic downturn, he left a $25.00 per hour position and the only option(s) open to him were at minimum wage.

Donny is doing wonders with the Park...even installed VERIZON Internet service and movable Dish Antennas for every RV parking space. Lets wish Donny the best and great success.

SPIA nestled between bigger RVs deep under shady trees...we nearly spent a second night...nearly, but not quite.

Not far down the road...this time US 84...I came upon the pastoral scene of a family taking their morning Coffee under the big tree while enjoying the Sunrise from their swing set - guarded by their vicious DOG.


Click Click...then, please say HELLO to Jessica and Kolby (see, Kolby...said I would remember your name). Had a nice long chat with Jessica and Kolby, then went on my way for a 16-mile early morning walk. When I returned, the swing was empty and vehicles gone from the driveway...must say, I felt a bit nostalgic...a few minutes of chat and a feeling of kinship.

More Sparrows rushed out to see me walk by their bridge...did I say they looked just like swarming bats...yes, I believe I did.

The left-over thunder / rain clouds that failed to produce during the night. Within 2 hours, the sky was a deep blue...completely void of any clouds.

Flowers by the millions line US 84. This group is particularly spectacular because of the variety of colors present...almost as though someone passed by a few weeks ago and threw out handfuls of seed.

A "stone" home. Owners small sign proclaimed him to be a building contractor.

Deep in this Creek Bed, the rising wind could not reach the water. A nearly perfect reflection pool.

And, this field a-bloom with yellow blossoms.

I recall uploading a similar photograph many months ago...in Oregon I believe.

Walked past this home twice. There are three dogs, all barking loudly at me. Second time 'round, this fellow found a hole in the fence and whined as he peered at me...I truly believe they were lonely. I was tempted to walk over to pet him...but settled on a few kind words.

I looked back after walking away. he was still in the same position when I last saw him. Driving SPIA past a bit later, he and his two buddies were lying in the shade beside the house and did not even know of my third passing.

That white line behind the horse is the driveway up to the ranch house. The soil around here is pure white...quite a contrast. This was a very peaceful scene.

There is a lot of water standing in pockets, pools, stream beds and big puddles along this part of US 84. Donny, the RV man, told me that a week ago they received 3 inches of rain. Nearby up North, they received up to 5 inches in 3 hours.

Everything is deep green color and the reason so many flowers are in bloom.

John, my host for tonight, said that same rain brought baseball size hail to his property, severly damaging several trees and knocking holes through windows and roofs of RVs parked next door.

Please say HELLO to Augustin.

Late this afternoon, while parked at DQ in the town of GOLDTHWAITE, TEXAS, I took another 10-mile walk. It ended up being mostly in a Construction Zone. About 1 mile before reaching DQ on my return, Augustin - on his own - stops - asking if I would like a lift. I accepted.

Augustin and I chatted for over 30 minutes parked in DQ next to SPIA. A Mexican immigrant - with all the proper papers, etc. is having a seriously difficult time. I will not go into any details, but this is one concerned - but VERY up-beat - man.

His situation is NOT unique. In this part of Texas I have spoken with many folks who are more than a little worried...some already giving up hope for a better life...and I mean not just Immigrants.

Mostly, they are bitter because they cannot find work...or work at or below minimum wage; AND, very bitter that our Government is handing out $$ to their neighbors and friends for doing nothing. His words..."..it takes away any desire to find work when $$ come anyway."

A belated comment on MY part: Walking through the West Texas - waterless cotton-field area - I stopped tractors in the cotton fields to talk about the water situation. I was told many times by farmers and farm hands that they plow, till the soil, plant the cotton seed, knowing full well that if there is NO rain there will be NO cotton crop. WHY do it, then, I ask. Because the Government says we must till and plant anyway...otherwise, they will not send our "support" checks.

Did I hear that correctly??? Our Government is forcing planting, with near certain crop failure...and sending $$ only to farmers who follow their rules. I have thought long and hard over this...my only rationale is that the Government wants the farmers to stay on their land...to be there when good times (rain) return. Should they NOT receive $$ in bad (no rain) times, they might be forced off the land.

Disturbing, at best...and then again, perhaps I am missing the whole point.

DAILY UPDATE: Today walked 44 miles. Yesterday 32: Total for 2 days: 76 miles.

SEE YOUR IMPACT.ORG: Credit 76 miles @ $0.02 per day = $1.52 for 2 days.

Tomorrow, will drive out the 10 miles I walked this evening from GOLDTHWAITE, TEXAS. I have been told to expect NO VERIZON signal until WACO, TEXAS, 90 miles to the East.

So, our blog update(s) may again be delayed.

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