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I literally rolled out of my sleeping bag long before daylight...both arms and head were a mass of skitter bites...and I could simply take it no longer. Quickly put on double layered clothes - the skitters drew blood through my single layer pants and shirt -, and began loading SAM. When I actually lifted myself up from the sleeping bag, a rather large critter of some sort came crawling out too...climbed onto the picnic table next to me, and ran along the seat...it being dark, I could not see him well, but estimated him to be half the size of the palm of my hand.
It is now 8:00 pm; I am still alive; I am not apparently ill; so, figure the critter was also trying to escapt the mosquitos.
Last evening, JOSH, a young man living nearby, rode up on his bicycle...and just huing around as I transferred yesterday's pictures from camera to computer. I asked him if he would consider riding to the store to pick up a mosquito spray...he agreed and took off..returning a bit later with a can of RAID, which he proceeded to spray. Asked Josh not to do that as it was filling the air...breathing it in. He did stop as the young lady BAKKAH arrived...she hung around until after dark...while Josh moved to the other end of the concrete pad. When she left, Josh was still sitting there in the dark. Told him I was going to get some sleep (yeah...fat chance), so he left...only to return about 4:00 am...still pitch dark...when I decided to quit trying to sleep...and to start packing.
Please say HELLO to JOSHUA...and his Grandfather JERRY KELSEY...both of whom joined me as I completed yesterday's blog narrative at the local restaurant. Jerry expressed considerable pleasure that Josh and I spent so much time together...all he could talk about all night, said Jerry...and insisted I just had to meet you.
We chatted for at least one hour - at the expense of my blog narrative -, until Jerry said they had to run off to church.
More and more, folks are spending time ... at all times of day and night...just to chat. Truly believe these folks are honestly interested in my walking...and just want to be a part of it...especially if I sit and chat with them.
Please say HELLO to ANDI and Daughter (youngest of six) LILY HAHN. Lily smiled hugely - especially when Mom and I shook hands...Lily simply beamed at her Mom.
Andi saw me at the restaurant...and after I had already been walking over 1/2 hour, they found me walking inside the State of Indiana - they chased me down -, bringing a cup of hot coffee and home made fruit bars..."for later when you get hungry".
My day be being filled with such as Andi and Lily...folks stopping me to chat...offer a treat...of sometimes hand me $$ ..."to help with dinner (or motel) tonight".
SAM and ME cross from the State of Ohio into the State of INDIANA.
Shallow sluggish muddy rivers flow in Indiana, too.
...and Indiana farms are no less modern, neat as a pin, and handsome to look at.
A flock of Canada Geese flew low overhead, heading North to the Arctic for the Summer. They will return in the fall, with thousands of new young following along.
...The town of MONROE...on Route 124 as we make our way West across Indiana.
Farmland out here is still flat...not a blade of grass out of place...not a single piece of litter to be found along the roadway.
Isolated spots across America have litter here and there...but, as SAM and ME travel on, America is once again earning the name AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL.
SAM contemplating Monroe, Indiana mainstreet (SR 124).
Please say HELLO to KA LEE. Too eager to bring me more water...to tell each customer that this man is WALKING across America...Ka Lee was overseeing the Convenience Store in Monroe. Just to prolong our time together, I purchased a Egg Salad Sandwich, which I slowly ate sitting at a table...as Ka Lee proudly pointed me out.
Please say HELLO to JANE'E...Jane'e entered KaLee's store...took one look at me..."what are you doing here???...I saw you yesterday clear back in ROCKFORD, Ohio...nobody walks that fast !!!" I could have kissed her because this comment made KaLee glow...see (I felt much as the MIddle Ages Knight In Shining Armor might have felt picking up the dropped lace hankee with his lance)...says she to the grinning clients lined up to pay.
Really, I'm just out on America's roadways to walk...none of this has a thing to do with SAM and ME.
Nice homes in Indiana, too.
We are indeed in AMISH Country. An untended Amish horse and wagon. Not proper etiquite to take photographs of AMISH "people", but since no one was present...well....
There was another photograph I did not take...that goes along with the above 1-week old baby horse...the "mother" CRYSTAL, who rode her paint pony across the pasture to chat with me about the new baby horse...a complete surprise because the Mare was not supposed to be pregnant (Crystal was, tho).
Crystal and I chatted for nearly 1/2 hour before I remembered I was supposed to meet up with John Reinhard...something about this evening...newspaper reporter...etc.
SR 124...long straight and flat...but not for long...hills are not far away.
A number of elegant homes have created delightful private ponds (lakes).
...and we finally arrive in BLUFFTON, our destination for the night.
But first...I must apologize to John Reinhard. Moments after leaving the colt and Crystal, John pulls up in front of...have again tracked me down. John pulled into a private driveway...got out...walked to me...and handed me an envelope...
..."This is your hotel room, Bruce; ...and a Dinner Certificate...Wife and I wanted to help you get a good night rest after the terrible night you endured last night...I read your blog of this morning..." I gave John an impromtu hug...as traffic wizzed inches past...speechless...but so very grateful for the thoughtfulness and kindness I am finding ever which way SAM and ME turn.
Something is beginning to happen to our walk. Folks...LOTS OF FOLKS...are walking into our lives...asking to be a part of our adventure.
Daily, each morning, our blog receives up to 30 "comments" from 'round the world...most in foreign languages...and nearly all asking we look at their blog (which I am reluctant to post for fear of virus, etc). i.e., folks in foreign lands are increasingly reading our blog each night...I estimate the number is now approaching many hundred.
Indiana SR 124 as SAM and ME walk to John's reserved motel and din din.
Thank you, again, John.
Tomorrow it is supposed to be a sunny warm day. SAM and ME plan to continue West on SR 124, with our evening destination being MT. ETNA, some 25 miles distant. There seems to be no "services". If we do not find suitable overnight spot, I will set up the tent...if only to keep out pesky bugs and varmits.