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Friday, April 12, 2013


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Today has been a day to remember.

Spent a tranquil night in the Sheriff's Weight Room, checking out at 8:00am...walking to the Village Drive In for breakfast of one egg - one pancake - 3 large Ice Tea Glasses Full - and lots of conversation.

The torrential rain diner said his gauge collected over 1 inch of rain water...and the clouds eventually broke up into partially sunny skies.

The "fun" started shortly!

Did not even get out of town...a 5-minute walk...before ALL my clothes were drenched; i.e., soaked through...from PERSPIRATION from the heavy humidity hanging in the thick heavy air as the storm passed into the East...accompanied by 25 mph winds from the West; i.e., directly into our face.

The first hill showed up at the 30 minute mark.  Pushing SAM up the hill in a slow methodical climb, we got the first 100 meters (yards) before my legs gave out and refused to climb further. 

We stopped!

After 5 minutes calming my hammering lungs, my legs regained strength to move up some more...only to again refuse after another 100 meters.

We stopped again.

...and again

...and again.

Our objective for today is the town of BROOKNEAL, only 19 miles away...
ALL OF IT steep hills...both up hills...and down hills.

Holding SAM back from running away down the hills is only slightly less strenuous that pushing SAM back up the next hill...both directions using the same muscles, but in totally different manners.

I knew I was in trouble.

The wind sucks water from the body at a prodigious rate.  I quickly ran out of ice water...then consumed nearly all 5 bottles of tepid water, when Betty showed up..." OK?" I lay prostrate over SAM after another 100 meter climbing torture.  "Yes, I think so"   "You don't look so good"   "I'll be OK"  "Here is a half cup of ice...take it while I drive back home to get more in a bigger container" as off she drives back the way she came.

Managed another mile or so before Betty returned, stopped in the middle of the highway, handing me a 40 ounce plastic bottle with capped straw..."it has large chunks of ice that will not melt quickly..." as Betty thrusts the container into my hands...I pop the straw into my mouth.

"I was sitting at the table behind you at breakfast", she said..."and followed you to make sure you were OK."

I'm beginning to think I'm being watched more each day...wonder what I did to deserve such consideration...but I'm pleased to be watched over...seems each day I need it a bit more.

Did not see Betty again.  It is now nearly 6:00 pm, having received Betty's ice some 8 hours ago...and there is still a big chunk of ice in there.

Arriving at the tiny village of PHENIX, Virginia, I stopped at the local Convenience Store, replacing ALL my water...seems somehow, dirt and even a rather large bug got into my "gallon" jug.  Then, I drank two 20 ounce ARIZONA Ice Teas...ordered and downed two large Egg Salad Sandwiches.

Phenix is only 7 miles from this morning's starting point...normally a 1 hour 45 minute walk.  Took us 4 hours to reach Phenix.

Headed back to SAM to continue walking, when I became nausuous, dizzy, and disoriented.  I sat down on a chair next to SAM.  One hour later, I was still unable to stand correctly...and in no way able to push SAM any further. 

Another hour passed.

Tried again to walk to SAM.  Eyes now blurry, I knew my day was over...perhaps my life if I attempted to continue walking.

I walked to the Town Office, introducing myself, handing my Driver's License to the Receptionist, asking if I might stay the rest of today and all night in the newly built roofed over Pavilion in the park across the highway.

Yes...and yes.

Walked SAM to the Pavilion.  Unloaded ground tarp, air mattress, sleeping bag, changed into my only dry clothes, lay down on my sleeping bag, and promptly slept. 

Awoke 1/2 hour ago...unpacked my computer, and shared these words.

Am ready to climb back into the feathers and sleep the next 12 hours. 

Feel pretty good at the moment.  The earlier disequalibrium causes some concern as we have 12 more miles to reach Brookneal...with locals promissing I ain't seen no hills yet....hills a many...hills a "dilly"...a torture chamber of hills awaiting between Phenix and Brookneal.

Oh, fun fun fun.

A "sorry excuse for a motel" awaits in least something to set sights upon.  12 miles should take only 3 hours.  Planning to set a pace to reach the motel in something like 6 hours.

After Brookneal, the next motel is in the suburb of ROANOKE, 70 miles away.

Oh, fun fun

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