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Subj: St. Joe, Arkansas
Date: 2/3/2003 6:56:10 PM Pacific Standard Time
From: kbwalk@mymailstation.com

Howdy Everyone!
   I had a great time in Western Grove,  hanging out at the local cafe and meeting all the gang.  On friday evening a woman who has epilepsy called up the  cafe and found me there.  Teresa, whos a little older than me, and her mother Wanda are from Harrison, and they drove out to visit with me.  Teresa has epilepsy and has been going through all the testing to see if she's a candidate for brain surgery.  She's kindof nervous about the whole idea and really wanted to talk.  The cafe was getting ready to close so we headed over to the church and had a really nice visit.  On tues she has a Drs appt in Little Rock, so they may be seeing me out on the road.
   The same newspaper story they read was also read by Kristen in St. Joe, the next town I was going to be stopping in.  St Joe is one of those big metro towns with a vast population of 84 people, so I was especially glad to get an email message from Kristen saying I could stay at her house.  Kristen is around 30, and she also has epilepsy.  She and her husband and 2 kids live waaaayyyyyy up on a mountain, and I was a little worried about finding the place, but she said she'd keep an eye out for me.  Imagine how suprised I was when I rounded a corner and saw a big flashing arrow sign at the end of their driveway that said "WELCOME KARLA!  THANK YOU FOR WALKING ACROSS AMERICA FOR EPILEPSY!"  And just as she said, Kristen was there at the end of the driveway waiting for me.  Being high up on the mountain where she lives, she was able to see me a long ways off on the highway.  Riding up her driveway was an experience all its own, as we were in 4-wheel
drive and charging fast!  I was bouncing around in the seat and hanging on tight while she took those S-curves hard and fast. 
   I'm happy to say we made it up to their house in one piece, and she showed me around.  Their house is still under construction.  It's all closed in and the studs and insulation are up, but not the walls.  The electricity and plumbing is all in, and it's amusing to see their creativity to make temporary walls until the house is finished.  The view from here is breathtaking and I truly admire their determination to build this house debt-free.  They are taking it one step at a time, and while it may not all get finished tomorrow, it's all theirs.  In today's fast-paced style, most of us don't have the patience for that.
   On sunday Kristen drove me back to Western Grove where I attended church with Susan.  She and her sister own the cafe there, and their father is the preacher at the church, so between the 3 of them they kept me well fed.  I gave a talk there at the church and spent the afternoon with Susan.  We went into town to eat, and she drove me ahead of my schedule several miles so I could see what lies ahead.  She was especially worried about one area of road that has had several accidents, and she wanted to show me that.  I was anxious to get into town and buy a sunday paper, because my mountain-top friends don't have a TV and I wanted to read about the shuttle.  Toward evening Susan dropped me back off at Kristens and I was back on the mountain.
   On monday I walked most of the way into Marshall when Kristen was heading back home from there and plucked me off the road and hauled me back to her house.  On tuesday I'll finish up the last few miles and stay in Marshall for a day.  I'm staying with two older women that Susan had contacted from Western Grove.
   Take care and have a great day!  KB

NOTE FROM MOM - KARLA WILL BE CELEBRATING HER 40TH BIRTHDAY ON FRIDAY, FAR FROM HER MOTHER, AND I CAN'T SAY FAR FROM HER FAMILY AS SHE MAKES FAMILY WHEREVER SHE GOES.  SEND HER A HAPPY BIRTHDAY E-MAIL FOR ME PLEASE.  I MISS HER.

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