Happy Birthday to my amazing mother!
Sunday morning I woke up and began packing up. As soon as I had my things out of the tent I looked up and saw dark clouds moving very quickly towards me. Moments later the rain came. I threw everything back in the tent and decided to wait it out.
An hour or two later it stopped raining and I began to pack up again. I was excited for today because I was going to cross into Indiana and say goodbye to Ohio! I was determined to reach Richmond. It was a twenty two mile walk entirely on farm roads. Land that stretches for as far as the eye can see. Dotted with silos, farm houses and barns. It was a pretty hot day but there were plenty of creek crossings; every time we passed one Brown would jump in and dunk his body under to cool off.
As soon as we crossed the state line Indiana welcomed us with a rain shower. Only for about thirty minutes, just long enough to get us wet. Slowly the farms gave way to horse stables then to homes then to Richmond proper. I decided to grab a room for the night. One more hotel stay and I'll have enough points for two free nights! Before I got to the hotel I passed a book store, I ran in and bought the next book in the Game of Thrones series.
I showered and spread my things out across the hotel room to dry. I was starving, the only thing I ate all day was a protein bar. The closest restaurant was Red Lobster. Being from a coastal area and then moving to another coastal area, now currently 1,000 miles from the coast, being particular about my seafood, I wasn't so sure. However, it was the closest and I was starving. I sat at the bar and was helped by two awesome bartenders, they were happy to hear my story. I even got a free drink! Ironically enough on the TV above the bar the Indiana Pacers were playing the Washington Wizards.
I headed back to my room and found Brown sprawled across the bed. I tackled him and began pulling ticks off. When I was finished I had pulled off forty five ticks. Shortly after we fell asleep.
Monday I woke up and headed down stairs for breakfast. Obviously I ate enough for three people. The people that shuffled down after me were saying how there wasn't much food left. I hid my first two plates under my third and agreed with them. The early bird gets the worm? I brought sausage back up to the room for Brown and began packing up.
We walked a short distance when I noticed Brown limping. He would walk a short distance and lie down. I examined his paws and there wasn't any major cracks. I made him walk a little further to the grocery store let him lie down and went inside. I bought dog food and a veggie platter. I then went next door to Walmart to look for dog paw treatment stuff. They had a dry skin and paw lotion. It'll do for now but I need to look into ordering something a little more serious.
We continued down the street and his limping continued. We were headed towards the river to the Cardinal Greenway trail. A nice gentleman saw us struggling and offered a ride. Turns out his son was just named National Geographic's adventurer of the year. www.wildernessclassroom.com He told me about his own adventure hitchhiking across the country in the 70's. He was happy that I was living the dream and experiencing life while I was young.
He dropped me off at the trail head by the river and said goodbye. Shortly down the trail I met up with Aaron. He's the nephew of Judy and Dee, family friends of ours. He rode his bike east last year and hopes to ride west next year. He gave me some tips about the trail ahead and then Brown and I were off. The forecast keeps threatening thunderstorms but keeps giving us hot sunny days instead. Fortunately there's no shortage of lakes, rivers and creeks on the trail for Brown to cool off in.
Since I would have to camp along the trail, I would have to wait until dark to pitch my tent. When I was sure there was no one left on the trail I found a rare piece of grass and set up. Most of the land along the trail is uneven, ditch down then an embankment up, surrounded by private property. I read for a bit then fell asleep.
Tuesday morning I woke up and as I was packing up a man rode by on his bike. Fortunately he didn't say anything. My destination today: Losantville. I had a resupply package waiting for me there.
Today as I passed the town of Economy (seven miles before Losantville) I hit my 1,000th mile. After that I walked with a smile on my face and jammed out singing loudly. Huge farms lined the trail and powerful gusts of wind swept across the flat land. It felt good to be here and be alive. Except when I would pass the cow farms. They always smell awful.
I finally reached Losantville. I hit up the post office to find two extra packages!! One from my friend Felicia contained six boxes of girl scout cookies! The other from my Uncle and his fiancé. This box had dried fruit in it. I ate an entire bag of dried peaches right there. I have been craving fruit for so long now. I was so happy! There were also dog biscuits in there for Brown. He scarfed down a bunch. Thank you for the packages!!!!
My pack is now stuffed to the brim. I'm still carrying Brown's pack for him so I'm practically about to fall over. I was going to celebrate my 1000th mile by grabbing pizza tonight but I'm going to eat my own food and lighten my load instead.
Tomorrow I head towards Muncie. I've got a day off scheduled there the following day; hopefully I can find something to do. If not reading and eating sound good to me.
Wednesday morning I woke up and packed up. As soon as I put my bag on the rain started. The temperature dropped as well, it was in the low sixties today. I was cold, wet and sore all day. The extra weight of my pack was excruciating. I stopped once for a break but got going again twenty minutes because I was shaking from the cold. There are no shelters on the trail. The two towns I passed through were too small to have anywhere to seek shelter. I had no choice but to keep moving. Fifteen miles with only a twenty minute break.
I reached Muncie, IN and just outside of town, a park with a covered picnic table. I tried to take another break but again the cold had me shivering. I stopped just long enough to look up a hotel. The lows for the next two days are in the thirties. I was soaked along with the pup and all my gear.
Five miles later we reached the hotel. It hasn't stopped raining all day. I'm happy to be dry/warm. I'm happy dairy queen is across the street. I need to do laundry tomorrow on my day off. Fortunately there's also a laundromat across the street. I'm trying to figure out how to wash my two outfits without doing two loads. That seems wasteful but I may have no choice. I'm going to sleep well tonight.
Thank you readers. Thank you family and friends for the care packages, support and contributions.