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Sunday, July 3, 2011

DAY 168: MONTICELLO - GREENVILLE - MADISON, FLORIDA

Please say HELLO to Noah Coughlan and his Sister, Briana.

I have been playing hide and seek with Noah since early on in Arizona. Noah is RUNNING across America from SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, to JACKSONVILLE BEACH, FLORIDA ( a few miles South of JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA).

Noah is running in support for Research To Find A Cure For Batten Disease, a Brain affliction of young people.

Noah and I have crossed paths or nearly so perhaps a dozen times since leaving CALIFORNIA. Many times folks have told me of Noah having just been through this or that town the day before me.

Well, today, Noah and SAM & ME met up on a lonely stretch of US 90 East of MONTICELLO, FLORIDA. We spent most of the rest of the day either visiting, leap frogging each other, or walking many miles together. All the while, Noah's Sister, Briana, was driving her SUV - always within 100 yards of Noah - just in case he needed a sip of something, or to relax in the air-conditioned limo before hitting the pavement for another go.

Noah has averaged about 25 miles running a day since leaving SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA in February. He will arrive at JACKSONVILLE BEACH, FLORIDA, in 7 days...to a large contingent flying in to celebrate his accomplishment.

What a pleasure to meet Noah and Briana. We will be walking / running more or less together until reaching the town of LAKE CITY, FLORIDA, where Noah continues East on US 90 to the Atlantic Ocean, and I turn South East on US 100 towards TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA.

I could fill 3 Blogs with Noah's exploits, but suffice to say Noah has a large following who have donated more $$ than adequate to bring in 8 different drivers (Briana is #8) and put everyone up each night in air conditioned comfort.

Did I miss something somewhere ??

Noah's web is www.battenjourney.com.

Brianna did take a rather good photograph (and video) of SAM & ME. Just hope the video loads.

SAM again functioned without flaw all day.


US 90 East of GREENVILLE, FLORIDA.

GREENVILLE, FLORIDA Water Tower at the City Park.

Had an interesting moment at the MADISON, FLORIDA Winn Dixie Grocery Store. Stopped in to purchase a Watermelon. Price said $3.80. At the checkout, the teller said something four times before the lady in line behind me said...she wants your ID number or telephone number. Oh, say I...I don't have one. But, you must if you want this watermelon for $3.80...otherwise, it is $6.99 regular price. Now, this watermelon was identical to the one I purchased a couple days ago from the two young men with the pickup truck for One Dollar ($1.00). I started to walk out when the lady behind me gave the teller HER phone number. The clerk was not pleased. I watched as she picked up my just purchased bottle of POWER-AID, and unscrewed the cap...then re-screwed it back on. When I opened my bag in SPIA, all my POWER-AID had emptied from the bottle, filling the bottom of my plastic bag.

Next door was a Chinese Buffet. They are normally exceptional and inexpensive ($7.00). I went in. From the back of the smallish room a black man yelled at me something I could not understand...I ignored him and took a seat.He again yelled something to me - there being only one other customer - from across the room. I replied...cannot understand you...please come to my table if you wish to say something...he glared at me and disappeared into the back.

With this man, I had a running battle of him yelling across the room - now 1/2 full of clients -, and me just ignoring him. Finally, he came to my table...is everything alright, sir? I looked deeply into his eyes as he was nearly standing on my foot...oh, yes. He did not give up. At least 10 times he stopped by asking if I needed more tea.

On paying for the most detestable Chinese Buffet EVER, the young Asian waitress looked me in the eye and said, I'm sorry...come by at 10:00 o'clock and I will take you to my home for the night. WHAT??? No problem...in broken English, I have a very nice home and no husband...you will be happy at my home tonight. I checked that I had the time right - 10:00 pm - right...thanked her with her words hitting my back ...see you at 10...as I walked out the door.

I drove directly to the State Patrol Station and begged to park in their lot for the night. The Sargeant - sitting in his cruiser - said...see no reason why not...nobody's around any more...the Governor just fired us all and gave us 24 hours to pack up and move out...another casualty of Florida's mass lay-off of State Employees as of Midnight, June 30, 2011.

I decided I didn't want to be involved in that situation, so drove into the town of MADISON, FLORIDA, stopped at a Gas / Convenience Store...why, sure...you can park here just beside the building for the night...

And, so goes the saga. SPIA is tucked into the back corner of the Convenience Store Lot...brisk trade coming and going not 50 feet away...going to be an interesting night...

Oh, anyone have the time ???

DAILY REPORT: Walked 2 legs today for 23 miles. Have 5 miles to make up in the morning before continuing East from MADISON, FLORIDA. Noah and Brianna have a hotel room waiting for them back in TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA, so they took off earlier, but will meet up with me sometime tomorrow morning. I walk just a bit slower than Noah runs.

SEE YOUR IMPACT.ORG: Credit 23 miles @ $0.02 = $0.46 for the day.

Oh, yes, met another Nation-Crossing Walker. He was bedraggled with a big back pack. He too stopped at the State Patrol Office asking if he could sleep overnight...sure, why not; nobody's around any more...as the patrol man pulled out. I gave the Walker a 20 ounce bottle of ice water from the fridge, and he walked West on US 90 with a "thank you" over his shoulder.

A rather interesting day.

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