Sunday was a zero day in Grafton since I got stuck there. There was a laundromat a block away from the motel, so I decided I would do my laundry. However, I wanted to wash everything (I have less than two full outfits). I walked a mile up the road to Walmart to buy a cheap t-shirt to wear so I could do all my laundry at once. While there I decided I needed some fruits and veggies in my life (Before this walk I ate kale/collards 2-3 times a day, I was a vegetarian). Maybe because I haven't been to a Walmart in 3-4 years (until last month there were none in DC) but I was saddened by the half aisle dedicated to produce. I grabbed two bags of spring mix, sunflower seeds, an Asian pear, an orange and an apple.
Washing my clothes in a laundromat was a new experience for me. $5 in quarters later, I was back in the hotel room enjoying my salad. Gave Brownie a bath and then just relaxed the remainder of the evening.
Monday morning I was up at eight making moves. I wanted to get to the post office early because I would need to sort everything once I got there. On the way I stopped to see the Mother's Day Shrine. Grafton is where the first Mother's Day was celebrated. Picked up three packages, my food, dog food and a care package from a friend! Thanks!
I walked from Grafton to Bridgeport roughly 22 miles. Mostly on residential country roads. Once you get just outside of Bridgeport you have to hop on a busy road with no shoulder. I got to this stretch at rush hour. This was incredibly frustrating for me as I was scared either Brown or I were going to get hit. A mile and a half later, we made it to a side street and I turned off. This street took me through a neighborhood with sidewalks. While walking a woman pulled up next to me and asked: what I was training for? I told her I was walking to California. She said: she wished she knew me better, she would have offered me a place to stay the night. There were four young kids in her car, I understand not wanting a stranger camping in your yard. I continued walking and another car pulled up next to me. The man waved me over and I approached. He handed me $50! I was shocked, I thanked him for his extreme generosity. I didn't have a chance to tell him about my walk because cars were honking behind him.
I continued through town to the Bridgeport City Park. The park was rather busy and is located behind an elementary school. I thought it might look creepy if I pitched my tent, so I waited for a bit. In this time the temperature dropped, (snow in the forecast that evening) so I decided to look for a hotel room. Everything in town was booked. There are 8 hotels all full. Fortunately two miles up the road the Super 8 Motel had one room left. Mine. Turns out with oil and natural gas market is booming in these parts. Workers from out of state are utilizing a majority of the area hotels.
Tuesday morning I woke up to snow fall. Only a light dusting but it would flurry on and off all day. I needed to walk 30 miles that day. I was trying to get far enough so that I could get picked up by the WV ADT coordinators, Sharon and Paul. I walked from 9am to 7:45pm only taking a 20 minute break for ice cream and fried pickles. At one point when Brown lied down and said no more pop, a lady pulled over and handed me $20. I told her about the journey and she offered more, but I refused saying that she had been generous enough and I greatly appreciated it. That was definitely my longest walking day but there was a warm bed and hot meal that I was racing towards.
Paul picked me up and drove me to their lovely home in West Union, WV. I took a shower and came downstairs to salad, deviled eggs and pasta and garlic bread, it was delicious. To top it off, banana cream pie for dessert! I was happy I put in those extra miles to meet them. Such a wonderful and kind couple doing all they can to help.
Wednesday morning, I woke up to the smell of bacon. I ventured downstairs and Sharon was cooking bacon and french toast! I wanted to move in. Everything there was warm, welcoming and perfect. However, like all good things it had to come to an end. Paul drove me back to where he picked me up the day before and we said goodbye.
The rest of my journey in WV is on an old rail trail. So glad to be off roads and on a trail again. I should be in Ohio Sunday or Monday! Looking forward to crossing WV off the list and saying hello Ohio.
It's going to be a cold one tonight, low of 23. However, my new slogan is: if I can take on knee deep snow at 4000 feet... I haven't been able to finish it but something along the lines of nothing can stop me.
Thank you readers. Sorry for the delay in posts. And fewer than usual pictures. I've been putting in extra miles and have been exhausted.
"If the sun is on its way, then we will never die and we'll follow these tracks"