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Monday, June 3, 2013


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5:30 am...with a start, awoke from an 8-1/2 hour uninterrupted sleep...tummy still full from last evening's dinner (thank you again, John).  As always, I woke up exactly as I had programmed before clicking out the light...a routine I have followed for my entire memory (if I look at the clock when shutting off the light, my body ALWAYS wakes within 30 seconds of my pre-selected time...has worked the world over...even taking into consideration time zone differences as I have travelled the world.)

SAM and ME had agreed that we would reach the town of PERU, some 45 miles distant...meaning we would have to kick into high gear all day to reach Peru - and it's motels - before dark (dark comes about 8:30 pm here in Central Indiana).

The streets of Buffton were still shrouded in darkness as SAM and ME headed West on SR 124.

...a wee bit of Photoshop at work here to lighten up these neighborhood homes as we walked out of Buffton.

SAM and ME had SR 124 all to ourselves for the first couple hours...then, off in the distance up ahead, a cloud of dense black smoke rose into the sky...then sort of disappeared for a few minutes...only to return again with black intensity. 

As we drew closer, the smoke was no longer visible...then a strong odor swept across us from behind - the wind was out of the NorthEast...we were walking and rolling West.  Turning around, the familiar black cloud rose from between a group of tall metal grain SILOs.  I turned SAM back and rushed into the private property where the smoke was rising.

Lo and behold, it turned out to be an enclosed "firebox" similar to the incinerators of pre-World War II, where now disappeared Saw Mills of the Pacific Northwest use to burn their shavings and drops of tree trimmings). 

Not moving closer, taking a few photographs, two men came around the end of one of the adjacent buildings..."  Can I help you with something? "...the question directed with a bit of hesitation (I was wearing my reflective jacket...a carbon copy of that worn by Indiana Department Of Transportation workers).  Oh, no...just came in to check out all the black smoke...just in case...Oh, that...well, we burn some items in our incinerator...closely watched and controlled...

These fellows seemed wary of me...not certain of who I was..."..thought you might have been from DOT...(Indiana Department of Transportation)...where are you from?"

Please say HELLO to WAYNE and TONY REINHARD.  Turns out Wayne and Tony are brothers, owners of the grain storage units...and quite involved in research in the growth of local crops...particularly CORN.

Also turns out they are related to "our" JOHN REINHARD, who gifted SAM and ME last night's motel and dinner...small world indeed.

Time slipped away as Wayne and Tony chatted with me for nearly one hour...on MANY subjects...local and far reaching.

Note:  I have been reluctant to include details of discussions I am privileged to have with folks I meet on our walk...It is not, I feel, my place to share those discussions here on this very public blog...hope this offends no one.

Another couple hours westering on SR 124, we meet these very interesting gentlemen...

Please say HELLO to TIM and PAT...operators of the mowing equipment used to cut the gass along the highways of the State of Indiana.

Tim fujlly stopped his machine...turned off the motors...then motioned for SAM and ME to continue walking past his equipmnet.  Instead, I parked Tim stepped down from the cab and joined me beside the quite busy with truck and car traffic.

Pat continues to cut grass, but as his mower comes close, he also cuts his engine and joins Tim and me.

What ensued was a near copy of the discussions I had recently enjoyed with the Brothers' Reinhard.

Another nearly one hour...and I pleaded I was still reaching for the town of Peru..."Oh, you'll make it by dark, says Tim...'tis only about 40 miles (for SAM and ME, 40 miles is a 10-hour walk and roll...and it was already nearly 11:00 am).

Reluctantly, Tim and Pat returned to their mowers as SAM and ME resumed out walk under the directly overhead Sun.

It has been recently said to me that Indiana is FLAT.  It certainly is that !

Parroting many vacated towns of the DEEP SOUTH, the ghost town of PLUM TREE was silent as SAM and ME moved past the shuttered, falling down buildings...testament of a better day gone by.

Click the above image to read the sign...inviting customers...customers long more gone as all the businesses of thid dead town.

Pleae say HELLO to KEVIN E. MUSALL. 

Kevin passed SAM and ME...made a "U" turn, stopping in front of us...getting out of his vehicle, four oranges in his hands.  Hi...I'm Kevin...and thought you might be a bit hungry (it was now 12:30 pm), says the bearded gentlemen as he handed me the four oranges.

I was a bit stunned.  Leaving our room in Buffton this morning, I contemplated bringing along my remaining - somewhat dried up - orange...then left it sitting on the table.  Now, from out of the blue comes four (4) fat juicy oranges.  Have often given a bit of $$ to a needy person, expecting nothing in return (but almost always somehow receiving 10 times my gift in return - from an always unexpected source).  ...and now, I realize the "gift" "return" story applies to oranges as well.

Kevin introduces his Mom, Carolyn J. Boyd, still sitting in the car...listening and making timely comments as Kevin and I enter into some VERY DEEP...VERY SERIOUS...current events.  Turns out Kevin correctly identified me as being on a mission of sorts...a mission such as he also has embarked.

Kevin's mission is, I will share, a active involvement in the next US Presidential Election...he, Kevin, being a writer - and much more - supporting names we all have known for many years...folks currently very much in the daily news.

Another hour passed.  Kevin finally asked if I would excuse him as he had appointments to meet.  Saying goodbye with a hug...and a "be safe, Mom", SAM and I again resumed our thrice interrupted journey.

As SAM and ME approached I-69 (Interstate 69)...only 1/3 our way to PERU, it was obvious we would not have daylight to continue.  Four miles beyond the SR 124 overpass of I-69, lay a full fledged Truck Stop.  I decided we would change our destination for today...check into the Truck Stop Motel...and continue our way to some 35 miles distant...tomorrow.

Interstate 69, looking South.

SAM and ME are now checked into a motel...$72.00...have filled my belly with a most magnificent Mexican Fajita dinner, and about to post this now 9:30 pm...much later that I thought I would be listening to my pillows...BUT...

At the restaurant, several folks struck up conversations with such rugged looking (and dressed to suit) fellow actually carried his dinner to my table, where he and I spent more than one hour deep in conversation...he a fledging world traveller and a near lifetime ROUGHNECK (Oil Field Worker), having worked alongside RED ADAIR...the revered oil-well-fire technician.

As days go, today turned out to be full...overfull.  Just shows to go ya that one must remain flexible, ready to accept that which pokes its (his/her) head out to add revelations totally unexpected...

this is, after all, what has become of the walk of SAM and ME. 

p.s.:  Google has again changed it's detail format...I cannot find the "spell checker", leaving some embarrasing grammatical / spelling errors...sorry 'bout that...


Anonymous said...

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Warren said...

Thanks for letting us share your journey. I appreciate your understanding of conversations as rather private events. Seems you keep bumping up against Warrens of one sort or another. Maybe it's just the way my eyes are tuned. Thanks for your journey and for sharing it with us. God's peace be with you.