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Saturday, May 28, 2011

DAY 132: WACO - MEXIA, TEXAS

At daybreak, as I walked out of Wal*Mart parking lot to begin the day's walk, the sky was full of quick-moving rain clouds. The wind was already blowing very strong, as it had all night.

In two hours, all the clouds were gone, giving way to a dirty gray sky...but not a cloud in sight.

A mile or so East on US 84, was the "Memorial Cemetery". Tents were erected and already, half the cemetery graves - no headstones present - had received flowers and this man was busy placing Old Glory at various graves.

I walked over to him, watching. He carefully read each stone...some he passed by...others, he punched a hole into the grass with a screw driver; then placed a flag stick in the hole. I check sites which already received a flag...they were all Service People...people who had served in the Armed Forces of the United States.

So, I started to chat with him. He was a veteran of Vietnam. He and other military oriented people of WACO, TEXAS, were preparing the cemetery for Memorial Day...tomorrow, I believe is the official day.

I walked around the cemetery a few minutes, reading grave stones and getting goose bumps. One day, someone may do this for me.

A bit further along US 84, was this Pet Cemetery...also festive with flowers.




A few miles further on I came across this grass landing strip. Those end-of-runway lights were about 50 feet from the Highway. It reminded me very much of the grass and gravel airstrip I first flew from at the tender age of 12 years old. All my "remembered" life, I have wanted to be an airplane pilot...to fly to the moon and beyond. I truly had MANY opportunities, such as five (5) appointments to US Military Academies - yes five -, all of which I turned down. I also earned three FULL University Scholarships during my 10 years in the military...I never used a single year. I was also appointed to the United States Air Force Officer Candidate School...I rejected that too.

Why, you ask !

Simply put...when very young I was repeatedly told (by my Father) that I was good for only two things..."NO GOOD" and "GOOD FOR NOTHING". I was reminded nearly every day of that "FACT". I have been so very frightened that I would fail, I stayed as far from "opportunities" as I could. On the other side, I worked my Butt off at everything else, making certain I excelled beyond the means of mere mortals. For the most part, I at least succeed(ed) at that !

Should be a good subject for a Psychology Study group.

A Dedication to special persons dealing with the Grass Air Field.

US 84...for no particular reason, except it was my companion all day.

Thankfully, not much used by 18- wheelers, I got a better (and safer) chance to look around a bit more.

The hills did not entirely disappear.

Had some trouble (all my fault) setting up the camera correctly for the changing lighting conditions. Note: NO CLOUDS...but Oh, My, what a wind.


These folks were just starting with their Yard Sale.

And, Corn, Corn, Corn everywhere. A few weeks ago in West Texas, it was Cotton. Roadside signs suggested that a bit more South of US 84, Cotton was again the major crop down there.

A duplicate of the airstrip photograph. I put it here by mistake. Am using FIREFOX, not GOOGLE, and I have not found the proper procedure to delete or move photographs...yet.

Today, Met my second "Senior" Walker. As I was taking this photograph, we were chatting, and I goofed on the camera alignment...must be more careful.

A number of "creeks" along this stretch of US 84 have quite a lot of water still in them. The water-line on the banks indicate recent water levels many feet higher than now.

This is Christmas Creek. I remember it well for two reasons:

1. The unusual amount of water- all of it moving slowly along:, and,

2. There was my first "Turtle". Regrettably, he was dead. Took a direct hit in the center of his shell. His head was in perfect condition...with a look of utter disbelief. I did NOT take his Pic.

This Gentleman and his passenger made a 180 to stop and chat with me. He asked for - and received our Business Card - our Blog address. He was understanding when I declined his offer to have a ride. Sorry, but I did not get his name...shame on me.

A sign of destruction from the wind. A movie would have shown those metal sheets flapping up and down as the wind whipped by.

A nice Ranch Rome. Their pasture along US 84 had 12 Mules in it...they walked over to the fence to get a better look as I walked by. I, as always, told them what beautiful Mules they were and very lucky to have a field full of green grass to munch. I did not mention lesser fortunate critters a few weeks back...no sense to worry them.

These two were inseparable out of a group of 10 horses. I take them to be Mom & Daughter I have other pics of them looking at me as I chatted with them.

Something I wanted to comment upon for several weeks. Nearly ALL homes in Texas Grasslands are of the "Manufactured" type, as shown above. If I had to put a number on it, I would say much ore than half of the homes out here are from factories...then trucked to the home-site in a single piece.

Today alone, I had to move completely off US 84 to give room for no less than four (4) such homes rolling down the highway at speeds of about 50 miles per hour...NO PILOT CARS...NO "OVERSIZE LOAD" signs...NO FLAGS...

Mighty strange...and a bit unsettling. Hope they do not do that after dark.

Here is the third home-garden of Texas. These folks were hand watering each plant with a garden hose. I walked by going Out...and again returning to SPIA...the water hose was in action both times.

Please say HELLO to my un-named "Second" Senior Walker.

Did not receive his name, but we did walk together a bit and chatted. He is a local 62 year old getting exercise by walking every day on US 84. He walked less than 1/2 my pace, so I excused myself...he saying...one day, I'll keep up with you....

DAILY UPDATE: Walked 34 miles today in 3 sessions. It was exceedingly Humid with a very strong South West wind. I took a 1-hour nap from 1:00 to 2:00 pm (noon) local time.

SEE YOUR IMPACT.ORG: Credit 34 miles @ $0.02 per mile = $0.64 for the day.

SPIA, SAM & ME are once again settled down in a Wal*Mart parking lot for the night. We are on the East side of the small (7,500 pop.) town of MEXIA. In the morning, I leave SPIA parked and walk East on US 84...next town up: FAIRFIELD, TEXAS, 23 miles away.

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