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Two days ago, April 02, 2013, SAM AND ME said our goodbyes to Craig, Carson, Augie, and Karen...embarking on our fifth walk across America...about 3,200 miles, to the Peace Arch, Blaine, Washington.
Please say HELLO to KAREN ESTEY and AUGIE...both of whom rolled out of bed two hours earlier than normal to see us off.
Karen asked if I could return to share Christmas once again with them.
We shall see.
The Bridge over the Scuppernong River. Crossing over meant we were really on our way.
Our first map. Columbia, North Carolina is at the far right hand side at the start of the orange line. Our first destination is at the home of Pat Dodson, at the split of the orange line. From Pat's, we will take the upper orange line, following route 308 to the village of Windsor.
Clicking on the image will enlarge it making reading small print easier.
The orange lines come together again at the top near the large town of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., near the state of Virginia border.
We should reach Roanoke Rapids in 4 days...
We have been rushing to stay ahead of a major weather system bearing down on us from out of Texas...promising to bring strong winds, rain, large hail stones, and potential tornadoes.
Mail Box Art.
The home of Pat Dodson, where SAM AND ME enjoyed Pat's company for two nights.
Please say HELLO to PATTY DODSON, our hostess for the past two nights.
During the day yesterday, Pat and I drove to her friend REE, living in the town of Plymouth, N.C. Ree is suffering from multiple cancers, and further slowed down from reconstruction surgery of a crushed pelvic and left leg. Ree is two years younger than I. We chatted, we three, for a couple hours...leaving me with realization of my good fortune to walk to these brave exceptional ladies, making certain that I waste not a moment of the pain-free time they are being denied.
This is the sleeping arrangements...on the front porch of Pat's home...comfy on the cushioned couch fully protected from the elements.
It is still quite cold in this part of North Carolina, but I was toasty all night, sleeping soundly in the quiet of the countryside.
Please say HELLO to SHIRLEY. Shirley has her own cozy restaurant at the intersection of Route 45 and 308 on the outskirts of Plymouth, North Carolina. Opening at 5:30 each morning, Shirley offers up delicious BBQ, along with many selections of sandwiches, soups, and meats...all prepared to each customer's desires.
Since Patty, like Karen, sleeps late in the mornings, I walked the 2 miles to Shirley's for my egg/bacon breakfast on toasted bread...and a BBQ sandwich for the road.
Shirley and I agreed to share hugs if I put up a second pic.....
I came out ahead on this one !
Walking from Pat's on Highway NC 308, crossed the Middle River, which empties into the Sound.
By paying attention, discovered this rather large (about 1.5 foot long) turtle sunning on a log.
Wetlands extend some distance from the salt waters of the Sound.
The NC 308 roadway, however, proceeded to make a continuous shallow ascent from the Atlantic Ocean waters toward the distant Allegheny Mountains.
As we proceeded towards the town of Windsor, the massive storm was closing in on us...heavy clouding overhead...increasing cold descending...it was becoming a real race for SAM AND ME to reach a safe haven in Windsor before the rains began.
The "Southern" way of remembering historic moments from the past. These signs are found throughout the South.
We reached downtown Windsor as the rain clouds moved overhead.
We checked in at the local Bed and Breakfast Inn...only to find the $69.00 price beyond out budget. The one motel, we discovered, was over 3 miles away on US 17, which we crossed over one hour ago...too far to return before the rain began.
;...I was beginning to become concerned that we would be caught unprotected from the gathering storm...decided to proceed out of town too find a spot to erect our tent and slip inside...SAM also fits INSIDE our tent...a bit cramped, but she is good company.
As we walked out of town, a pickup truck backed out of the driveway of a large historic-looking home. I walked over to the truck, introducing myself, asking if the driver could recommend a nearby place where SAM AND ME could find protection from the imminent rain.
Please say HELLO to NEAL.
Neal listened to my plea...smiled...yes, I know just the place...for which Neal gave verbal instructions to find the Roanoke/Cashie River Center. Explaining he had an appointment at the moment, but would meet us at the Farmer's Market, which led the way to the River Center.
SAM AND ME found out way to the Farmer's Market...and true to his word, Neal promptly drove up.
Please click click to enlarge the above document.
Seems Neal the the Manager of the Non Profit organization...the ROANOKE/CHASIE River Center...one of three such centers...the other two being in the city of Washington, North Carolina (which we walked through two weeks ago), and surprise of all surprises, the Visitor Center in Columbia, North Carolina...only two blocks from The White House On The Corner...which I have visited in the past.
Neal showed us where we could set up our "camp" under extensive covered patios surrounding the building housing offices, meeting rooms, and educational rooms. Then, Neal took me on a detailed tour of his highly unusual (for me) educational River Center. For the next two hours, we enjoyed chatting about his involvement in formulating and leading hands-on classes on gardening, nature, the local river...which, by the way is the LONGEST River in the United States which begins and ends in the same County.
Neal then telephoned the local Sheriff's Office, explaining that "Bruce Maynard", walking across America, would be spending the night at the River Center - quite unusual...to which the Sheriff's Office responded...you mean SAM AND ME???...we already know Bruce...as he has been here before (indeed, I did walk through Windsor one year ago on my 4th crossing of the USA...and they remembered me).
So, SAM AND ME have been welcomed back...safely protected from the passing storm.
As Neal and I were chatting, the rain began...starting out with heavy HAIL and bitter cold.
Neal's map of the region served by his all volunteer organization.
As I type this blog update, I sit under the patio roof...fingers frozen to the bone...wearing all four of my sweaters and coats...and still shivering uncontrollably...IT IS VERY COLD...be we have shelter.
The ROANOKE/CHASIE River...about 100 yards from our overnight sleeping spot. Taking this photograph, it was still hailing.
The main building as seen from the river.
SAM AND ME will spend the night under the above protection...and grateful to have the pleasure to do so.
The rain is predicted to continue until mid-day tomorrow. We will stay put until it is safe to venture out. Our goal is to continue North on NC 308 toward Roanoke Rapids, which will take at least two more days.
The weather is predicted to be pleasant for the next few days.
Again, my mantra...around the next corner...over the next hill...awaits the that which we most wish for...
Thank you, Neal...and the town of Windsor for taking SAM AND ME in.