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Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I feel a bit guilty this evening having made so little progress today and taken so few photographs.

Actually I was feeling quite pleased as I got ready for my first walk about one hour before Sun rise. SPIA has been completely serviced; batteries fully charged; water tank full, and only the propane tank to fill later in the day...was last filled on August 01...three weeks ago.

Took extra care to wrap my ankle - it is still sore...such an accident is often more serious than breaking a bone, which typically takes six weeks to heal. As we all know, I started walking on it some 200 miles ago within 72 hours of seriously pulling a number of tendons around my left ankle. Not too smart, I agree...but then I am pushing my body in ALL aspects, and so far, am fortunate to be getting away with it.

As mentioned before, I attribute quick recovery to my fine-tuned immune system, which receives daily attention and constant monitoring.

sThe above photograph is one of many antique / auction businesses in the deep South.

I have been witness to a return by many to "bartering". Having limited funds, folks are "trading" products with businesses, who seem content with the growing trend. I myself, have in years past, been active in bartering. Living on my 10 acre farm in MAPLE VALLEY, WASHINGTON, I had limited $$. I often exchanged rolls of tape or boxes of nails with the local hardware store for a bundle of shingles or cement to repair the barn floor. I even scavanged Cedar Telephone Poles recovered by Seattle City Light...cut to 14 foot lengths...; carried them home on a borrowed truck, where I stock piles them to be cut, and hand split into cedar fence posts. I even traded water from my well - said to be the best water around - for veggies from neighbors.

Well, such trading is growing down here in the deep South.

Churches still look healthy...AND EMPTY. A sad misuse of investment; but, considering that nearly every conversation down here begins with..."...have you accepted Jesus..." and ends with..."I'll pray for you every day.", perhaps empty buildings are doing a service after all.

No, I do not include a photograph of every Church in my blog... Churches just happen to outnumber all else, except perhaps for fast food places and "grills". Nearly every such establishment is based upon "frying / grilling" of some sort.

US 49 is at once a new super highway, still in the process of receiving finishing touches, such as erosion control of roadside waterways.

...with lots of labor expended to keeping the grass trimmed nicely...these new mowers have revolutionized grass cutting...pricy, but what a time / labor saving invention which certainly beautifies nearly every home and roadway.

Something not often seen...a Concrete Radial Saw.

This saw is at work on an "old" section of US 49. Whereas the "new" sections of US 49 are of Macadam (asphalt), old sections are concrete.

One thing I have failed to mention is that not only Florida is made up mostly of SAND. I am currently walking about 100 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly 100 percent of the soil is SAND. Sand does not offer stability that rock does, and when repeatedly facing torrential downpours - which happen nearly daily in many areas down here in the South, the roadways become undermined by all that water.

Concrete road surfaces are typically constructed in geometric sections about 50 feet square or so. When the underlying sand is saturated, it is not often equally saturated, causing some squares of concrete roadway to sink below the level it its neighbor...resulting is very rough driving surfaces.

The intent of these deep cuts in the concrete is to insert reinforcement in an attempt to "tie together" the various concrete squares, leveling out the roadway. A secondary benefit - seen over most of the USA, is to "toughen" the concrete surface to slow down the "wear" caused by increased 18-wheeler traffic...we have all seen the tire "grooves" in many roadways, which can be quite dangerous when trying to pass ...the "groove" tends to act like a railroad track, forcing the car tires to stay in the groove These Radial Saw Cuts and reinforcement help minimize this grooving.

Planned to use back-country roadways to circle South of JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI. This has not happened.

Walking from Wendy's RV Park, I followed US 49 to and beyond the town of RICHLAND, MISSISSIPPI, some 12 miles toward JACKSON, resulting in my walk being about 24 miles. I took me over 7 hours to complete my left ankle / leg becoming quite sore in the process.

The back country road I intended to use left US 49 some 5 miles before RICHLAND; also, SPIA needed to have her Propane tank filled. The Propane dealer was in the town of RICHLAND, only 6 miles short of US 80 entering the southern outskirts of JACKSON.

So, drove SPIA back to RICHLAND for her propane...continuing the 6 miles to US 80, where we pulled into the FLYING J Truck Stop for the night...towering thunderheads surrounded us with lightning, thunder and high winds. Stopped in at DENNY's for an evening meal of pancakes and eggs. Pancakes were only cooked one side; eggs were rubbery; service was nearly non-existent, and I refused to leave a tip...very unusual for one of my "usual" watering holes crossing America.

A comment about today's news; Two major earthquakes occurred today in Central and East portion of the USA. Both very unusual in location, in strength, and in the vast area effected by the shaking and rolling. I have been in numerous earthquakes ... one in NEW YORK CITY... one in SEATTLE where two died not 100 feet from me...earthquakes are normal, even in unexpected places.

Why...I even lived through a snow storm at CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA back in the '60s...Mother Nature apparently enjoys being a bit unpredictable.

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