Unfortunately I was waiting on one more package before I could leave Keyser and the post office doesn't receive mail deliveries until 1pm. After I left the hotel I went down to the post office and waited.
While standing outside waiting with Brown a woman handed me $10! This has never happened to me before, I didn't know what to do. I refused and told her that I'm not in need, but that I am a hiker, crossing the country on foot. She said: then I was definitely in need and put the money in my hands. I thanked her for her generosity and continued my hour and a half wait for the post man. Going inside periodically to check if the truck got there early. While inside a man came in, having seen my dog outside with his pack on, he knew that a hiker was near. He informed me that he is also a long distance hiker and had just completed the Pacific Crest Trail and had come in to ask if there was anything I needed. I told him I was doing well and didn't need anything at the moment. Finally 1pm rolled around and the post ladies went to the back and dug through everything to get to my package first. They were so kind and I was so happy to finally be able to get back on the trail.
I headed out of town and began the up and down and left and right of these mountainous, winding country roads. About an hour later as I'm singing to Brown, a car pulls along side of me and a couple inside asked if I'm on the ADT. I said yea! They thought it was really cool and offered me a Powerade. Sweet, sweet nectar as the sun made a powerful stand in the sky, I gulped down that Powerade. I continued walking and began to understand why this is the Mountain State.
Further down the road, a woman pulled along side of me and held out her hand with a $5 bill and said take this, there is a church up the street where you and your dog can get some water. I thanked her for her kindness and took the money. I understood this to mean that the church had a store where I could purchase water. No. The church has a natural spring running through it. Cold and refreshing; although with the recent chemical spill in WV, I did worry slightly about drinking the water in this state. However, not sure of where I would camp tonight and the availability of water there, I decided to fill up all my water bottles. I taped a post card depicting nuns hula hooping to the front door with a thank you note on the back.
Since I just received a resupply box, my pack was already crazy heavy, now it was ridiculous. Walking is much more enjoyable on the days leading up to a resupply box pick up. Anyway I walked on, just keep moving. My mother's voice inside my head from when I was a pudgy overweight kid and she was trying to make me exercise. Brown was looking beat and I spotted a picnic table that would be a good place to rest. We ended up calling it a day there/here.
I think West Virginia might be where angels go to hang out because everyone I've encountered has been absolutely wonderful and kind.
Thank you readers for your support. Your comments and messages help me feel less alone out here. Especially since Brown won't talk to me. I leave you with a poem I wrote back in 2011. I must have subconsciously known then that I was going to be an explorer on a crazy adventure.
"I wanna see the sun set on a new horizon, visit a new expanse of canvas where the brush strokes spread adventure across my heart and drain the loneliness from my eyes.
I wanna dance on mountain tops, plunge into rivers as if they were dew drops that grace an emerald frontier, expansive beyond the periphery, claiming all the territiory of a soaring canary.
I want to challenge the imaginary, defeat the ordinary and compose my spymphony amidst the clashing tide, diamond reflections glitter the way you shine."