Date: 3/3/2003 6:08:36 AM Pacific Standard Time
During the ice storm last week, I got one day behind on my schedule. So over the weekend I sucked it in and cynched it in and did 44 miles, 20 on sat. and 24 on sun. On saturday I walked to McGehee and stayed at the Best Western for free, and on Sunday I walked to Lake Village and am staying at the Ramada for free. They say Lake Village is a little tourist town, so I'm going to enjoy taking the day off today and exploring.
On wednesday I plan on crossing over into Louisiana, and I'm finding out the farther south that I go that I have had quite a bit more contact with black people. They have all been SO NICE to me. On saturday, at least 10 vehicles stopped and offered me a ride. I'm really looking forward to getting down into the deep south and being with them some more. I love to listen to them talk! I can't understand a darn thing they say, but I love to listen to them! My best description is to say they slur their slang. First of all they take a perfectly good sentence and omit every other word. Then they take the words they have left and chop those ones in half. Then when they talk, they draw out those half-words real slow and easy to make them sound twice as long. Add some drama and passion to that, and you've got a great show! I love to listen to them, and I hope I'll be able to talk like that before I get out of the area.
Sunday was kindof a funny-money day. I started out staying at the Best Western for free. Then in the morning I stopped at the convenient store to buy a sausage/egg biscuit, and they wouldn't let me pay. About a mile out of town, I stopped at t Wal-Mart to make a phone call. Just as I was hanging up, a man dressed in his sunday best came up beside me to use the pop machine. He offered me a coke, and I declined, saying I had just had breakfast. He offered me one for later. I said no thanks. He said "God bless you" and left. So I continued on and 6 miles later saw a truck stop. Being one who never passes up a bathroom, I pulled in. I could see the guy behind the cash register staring at me, and when I walked in he seemed pretty skeptical. Afterward, I was looking at some stuff in the store, and saw 2 quarters sitting on the shelf by some knick-knacks. I told the cashier about the fifty cents, and picked out a refrigerator magnet that
says Arkansas. He gave me the magnet, and told me to go help myself to the breakfast buffet. So I did. From that point on, I had 17 miles of nothing -- no towns, no gas stations, no pit stops. So I continued on, and only had to look for a tree once. I got into Lake Village and found the Ramada Inn with McDonalds right next to it. I checked in to the motel, then walked next door to eat. While I was still outside, a married couple was walking out to their car when he said "we saw you walking clear back near McGehee" and proceeded to hand me $10, saying lunch was on them. I was hungry enough that that burger and fries tasted reeeaaaalllll good, especially at that price.
It seemed like a really long day, especially since nobody stopped to check on me while I was walking. Yet from all the contacts I had, they
all contained nuggets of gold and gestures of kindness. It was truly a wonderful day indeed.
The weather's suppose to be up in the 70s now -- maybe I can chuck those jeans after all. I'll be at the Ramada all day if you want to call. Here's the number: 870-265-4545 Rm 102. Take care and have a great day! KB
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