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Thursday, May 26, 2011

DAY 130: GOLDTHWAITE - GATESVILLE, TEXAS

Just as I expected, John turned in at 11 pm last evening. I completed the Blog posting at 11:45 pm...it took me nearly 5 hours...that after walking 44 miles...I too, turned in and slept like a baby in our newly cooled down SPIA.

Two days ago, Donny - of the RV Park - convinced me to try SPIA's Air Conditioner. I damaged it by hitting a low tree limb months ago in Oregon. In EL PASO, TEXAS, I got it repaired, was was uneasy about turning it on. It is AC; i.e., needs household current to operate.

Well, it worked like a charm. On "low" setting, it cools SPIA in 5 minutes and is fully automatic. Turning on our small 12-volt circulating fan, it gets down-right frigid. NO MORE SWEATY BED COVERS ! ! !

John was leaving for work - he drives an 18-wheeler - as I started up SPIA to leave for our first walk. Again, difficult to just meet such a great guy...and then have to leave - probably never to see one another again. Sometimes I hate this job !

So, I parked SPIA in downtown GOLDTHWAITE and walked around taking a few photographs. Stopped in a small cafe for a quick breakfast and left a Business Card for the Editor of the local newspaper, the EAGLE.

The Courthouse is in the midst of a re model, but is just bursting with a century and half of stories to tell.

Another view of the Court House and Annex.

A side street - a well maintained old Texas town, obviously proud of their history.

A number of large and small stone buildings...all in good state of repair and still in use.

Even in Texas, some Businesses are having a difficult time...this business is For Sale.

US 84 leaving GOLDTHWAITE, TEXAS, passes through rolling hills for the next 50 miles or so.

I always walk to the next hill top or around the next corner...never quit walking during a straight stretch...and what do I find...more curves...more hills.

At least today, we had a major change in the weather. The wind has been blowing 20 - 30 miles per hour for the past 3 weeks or so...always coming out of the South West or South East. This morning, the slight breeze was out of the NORTH...and stayed a slight Northerly breeze ALL day.

I doubt the temperature reached 90 today...very pleasant for walking.

Good thing, too...US 84 offered up a lion-share of difficult hills to climb.

The same hill as above, looking up instead of down.

Either way, I had to walk both ways...one way walking out...the return to fetch SPIA.

And there are MORE of the same from BEHIND the camera.

US 84 is by far, the finest highway I have ever walked. The Berm - bicycle lane - is the same size as the travelled lanes...in fact, more than half of all traffic use the Berm to drive on...it is more like a 4-lane highway.

And, the drivers are more than considerate for me, the walker. They always move out of "MY" lane when passing me by.

A scene of the distant hills moving North away from US 84.

I was told by a local farmer that two weeks ago all the fields were BROWN. Last week's 3 - 5 inches of rain in a few hours, changed the entire landscape, leaving creeks flowing, ponds full, and today I even saw two (2) Blue Heron.

And, field after field of blooming flowers.
There is a beauty of sorts...even in death.

A wee Pot Hole.
A near by stream with running water flowing over rust-colored bottom.

Texan Ranchers are justly proud of their land. Most have elegant...some elaborate...entrances to their properties.

The Texas Star is a favorite decor' on homes, fences, and entrances.

Modest, but still elegant...note the lamp lights.

A Rancher was playing with his Caterpillar Bulldozer and Semi-Trailer. Could not resist to poke my nose into his playground and chat.

This "Trailer Hitch" is mounted on the Rancher's Truck Bed. It receives the Pintle from his flat-bed trailer. Never saw one up close before.

This is the Trailer Pintle which goes over the Trailer Hitch Ball. A steel pin fits through drilled holes in the Pintle, nestled tight against the Hitch Ball to keep it from bouncing out.

A 3-year-old-grin from an Old Timer playing in his sand box.

DAILY UPDATE: Walked 35 miles today...nearly ALL up and/or down hills.

SEE YOUR IMPACT.ORG: Credit 35 miles @ $0.02 per mile = $0.70 for the day.

We drove the final 5 miles into GATESVILLE, TEXAS, as it was getting dark and I like to get settled before Sun down. I am VERY glad I did. GATESVILLE has a City Park with Camping (tents) and RV overnight parking with electricity...at NO charge.

SPIA is settled in for the night. My back is sore from sitting at this computer for the last 3 hours. Going to sleep shortly.. Strange, my feet are a bit sore this evening...not normal for me to have sore feet - even after 35 miles on the road.

Tomorrow I must make a decision regarding our route. I planned to take US 84 all the way to Louisiana. After no VERIZON Signal for long stretches, I have marked out Highway US 7 which runs parallel to US 84, about 50 miles South. US 7 goes through HOUSTON and enters Louisiana at least 250 miles further South than does US 84. Would same MANY miles on US 7.

Must make the decision in the morning, as US 7 splits off US 84 here in GATESVILLE.

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