Wednesday, May 22, 2013
POST 1121; MAY 22, 2013; GALLIPOLIS, OHIO
* * * * * * * * * *
This update will once again cover two days. It is now 8:00 pm, Wednesday, May 22, 2013. Yesterday, I spent the early morning hours sleeping in a bit at the local hotel...then doing hand laundry...then packed up SAM and checked out.
We strolled downtown to the Seniors Center, where Dallas was waiting for us...just in time for lunch. Since I had visited last year, there was not much interest in my re-appearing. I was offered to join in for lunch, which the Center serves every week-day.
After lunch, Dallas invited SAM and ME to his home to spend the night. Following Dallas' hand-drawn map, we found our way the three or so miles from down town.
Dallas and wife, Bree, live at the moment in separate homes...right next door to each other. Both are on Oxygen, so moving around is a bit limited. I did enjoy chatting with Bree for a couple hours before moving over to Dallas' home of 32 years...a charming 3-bedroom brick home...appointed with turn of the century (19th) furnishings and absolutely clean as a pin...not often one sees such a magnificant home cared for by a "single" gentlemen Senior with such expertise.
Dallas and I found so much to chat about that the afternoon was gone before I knew it. Dallas drove us to the local Mexican Restaurant (my treat !), where we spent another couple hours, arriving home just as a powerful storm moved in...the same one that devistated Oklahoma City.
After the quick passage of the loud booming storm and torrential rainfall, Dallas and I continued to visit until past 9:00 pm, when I opted to go listen to my pillows...in the brand new Queen bed. By prior arrangement, I had already packed up SAM the evening before. At 5:30 am, Dallas still sleeping, I crept out of the house and pushed SAM uptown for a quick bite of breakfast.
My plan for today was to walk to the town of GALLIPOLIS, OHIO, which appeared to be about 36 miles. Turned out to be closer to 46 miles. At about 34 miles out, I got caught by another thunder storm...and still 14 or so miles to Gallipolis.
I turned SAM into the yard of a large local farm...asking if SAM and ME might be allowed to stay the night under a massive Oak Tree...or under the balcony of one of the many buildings....
Self-image using a tree-mounted curved mirror across the street from a Hurricane home. Click to enlarge...SAM and ME really are in the image above.
Main drag - Route 34 - of the new part of the town of Hurricane.
By following Route 34 North out of Hurricane, it changes to Route 19, which after 14 miles or so, intersects with the new US 35 4-lane divided highway. US 35 takesus to Ohio, some 30 miles distant. Truth be known, I was very tired, foot sore, and rushed at top speed to reach Gallipolis before the predicted thunder storm arrived.
Sunrise as we walked out of Hurricane, West Virginia.
Route 19 meandered through low hills north of Hurricane, eventually arriving at US 35. We were fortunate in that the roadway was well maintained, carried very little traffic, and had no significant hills to climb.
We encountered a number of picturesque farm home along Route 19.
And pastures hewn out of the dense forrest covering nearly all of West Virginia.
Surprisingly, these were the ONLY farm animals we encountered all day.
The Ohio River pretty much is the boundary for the beginning of hundreds upon hundreds of square miles of Corn Fields, stretching all the way to the Rocky Mountains, some 1,500 miles to the West.
The above field lies fallow after last year's harvest. Letting fields lie unusued from year to year allows the soil to rejuvinate, producing better crop yields. Another practice is to "rotate" from one crop to another from year to year. One crop removed certain elements from the soil...whereas another carefully selected crop taken out a different element - and at the same time replaces the element(s) used up by the corn.
Please say HELLO to NANCY WILSON.
Nancy met SAM and ME as we walked and rolled into her driveway to find shelter from the thundering storm - see above comments...
You hungry? Well, yes and no...actually we have been rushing to reach Gallipolis before the storm found us...but, looks like we failed...and no, have not eaten since daylight this morning.
You like balogna sandwiches? Well...OK, hold on a sec,..I'll go make you a balogna sandwich...with lettuce and mayonaise OK...as Nancy disappears into her home.
Then, Hubby, Cliff takes over ! So, you are going to Gallipolis...let's put your cart in my pickup truck and I'll drive you...is only 10 minutes away.
Please say HELLO to (again) NANCY...and Hubby Cliff. These two retired 13 years ago and have been employed by the owner of the ranch to oversee it.
While Nancy was fix'n my sandwich - and a large COLD Coca Cola, Cliff fetched SAM from under the big Oak tree, pushed her to the truck, lifted her in, and strapped her down.
Sandwich in hand...hugs from Nancy...with appropriate "Go With God", Cliff and I headed the final few miles on US 35 to Gallipolis, Ohio. On the way, Cliff tried to convince me that he was not an outgoing guy, meeting only three neighbors after 13 years...The way he carried on, chatting the entire time, sure could have fooled me.
Arriving at Gallipolis, Cliff pulled into the "SUPER 8" motel...I checked for available rooms...we unloaded SAM...I checked in...and the Desk Clerk refused my $$...
...your friend, Cliff here, already has it.
And so, from out of the mountains of West Virginia, SAM and ME find yet another magnificent family...who without more than a "howdy", fed us, transported us, and put us up in a first class motel (all rooms having recently been completly renovated)
I invited Cliff - and asked that he go fetch Bree - to join me for dinner...but, he declined claiming important chores to do before dark...waving as he drove off.
I don't suppose I will ever see Nancy and Cliff again...another testament to the abundence of fantastic folks living in this great country.
Difficult as it is for me to say "Goodbye", I'm astounded to find that after more than three years on the road and being welcomed into the homes and hearts of hundreds of new friends... somehow -around the next corner...over the next hill...someone new will greet SAM and ME with a "Howdy"...and fix a spot for the night.
Whatever did I do to deserve this ! (Not my words, but appropriate).
Tomorrow morning, SAM and ME will walk through Old Gallipolis, climb the hills behind town on Route 160, passing through the towns of KANAUGA...KERR...EVERGREEN...PORTER...AND VINTON...and points North and West, crossing into Indiana at the town of WILSHIRE...
We should cross into Indiana in about one week.
Our eventual "weigh-station" will be to visit Sister Carol once again in the city of DE KALB, Illinois, arriving about June 10, 2013...
From Carol's, it is ony 2,000 more miles to reach the Peace Arch at the US / Canadian border at Blaine, Washington...ETA: Auguust 02, 2013...or thereabouts.
...a piece of cake !