Archive for October 2nd, 2008|Daily archive page

Special Post–Hinson Lake

I have been reading the MTC site and have had several reports about Hinson Lake by phone and email.  It sounds like another really successful and fun time.  I congratulate Tom Gabell for making it all happen again.

I also want to thank (very much) all of you who contributed to the jar for me.  I am continually humbled by all the help and support I receive.   My finish will not be the result of my effort alone.  All of you have pitched in to make the finish possible.  Thanks.

Day 68–Bellefont, Ks

Did I tell you that Merrie is coming?!!!!!

Bill Ramsay picked me up at the motel this morning and we went to breakfast.  There is no restaurant near the motel, so the drive for breakfast was really appreciated.  I had pancakes and eggs with him and his granddaughter Bree.  He then brought me back to the motel which was my starting point this morning.  I did not have the pack and planned to go until noon running and walking.  At noon Bill would bring me back to the motel.  The weather was chilly at the start with a light breeze but I started out with only a short sleeved shirt.  It would warm up in a couple of hours anyway.  I made good time to Offerle at the 9 mile point.  I took a half hour there, had coffee, and talked by phone to my friends, Chuck Bingham and Jim Diggs.  Then I walked and ran until noon.  At Bellefont I encountered the first of the windmills.  They are the new power-generating kind and stand tall and white on the skyline.  There are only 50 or so here.  I have been told there are lots more coming up.  They are hypnotic to stand and watch as they all turn at the same rate.  I was watching when Bill drove up to return me to Kinsley for the day.  He dropped me off at the pizza place.  I ordered a medium pizza for lunch and will finish it at dinner tonight. 

This may be my last post for a few days.  Tomorrow Bill will drop me out again and I’ll head to Dodge.  There I will be with State Farm agent Oscar Obando for the night.  He will take me to the train station for my 6 a.m. train to Albuquerque. There I will meet my Appalachian Trail hiking friend Ron Vaughn and spend the night with him before meeting Merrie at the airport Sunday afternoon.  Merrie and I will drive back to Dodge Sunday/Monday and begin where I left off.  She will be crewing for me this next week.  I can hardly wait!

Today is dedicated to my new friends, John and Merryl McRae.  I spent 3 nights with them in Iola.  They opened their home to me.  I was new to Kansas and just now realizing that finishing this journey would be possible.  Prior to Kansas I just dealt with the immediate future.  But now the entire second half appeared before me and I was overwhelmed.  I took an off day there, worked on maps, crews, route changes, and lots of other stuff.  John and I also had several talks about subjects that were on my mind at the time.  Whether he realizes it or not, several things came together at his house.  The doubting was left behind and new purpose took its place.  I left with a plan.  John and Merryl, I want to thank you for opening your home to me.  You were at just the right place and time.

Day 67–Kinsley, Ks

I got up at 6:30.  Bill was already up preparing breakfast.  This morning was eggs and pancakes.  The pancakes had Bill’s mix of nuts and dates and were really tasty.  He had even warmed the syrup, something lots of restaurants fail to do.  He then drove me out to the start and we said our good-byes.  He has contacted a friend, Bill Ramsay, in Kinsley about my arrival.  Bill Ramsay will shuttle for me tomorrow allowning me to ditch the pack and break up the long hike to Dodge City into more manageable bites.  Today turns out to be another beautiful Kansas day with just right temperatures and enough wind to keep me cool.  There are no stops before Kinsley so I have bagels and cream cheese for lunch.  Shortly after crossing the Arkansas River I enter Kinsley.  I meet Bill Ramsay when he drives out to check on me and we make arrangements for breakfast in the morning.  He gives me the scoop on Kinsley so I know where to eat and where the motel is.  There is no food near the motel so I have manicotti at the local pizza place and order two vege subs to go, for dinner.  Then a stop for milk and chips and I’m set for the day.  The only motel in Kinsley is the Midway Inn.  Kinsley bills itself as the half-way point between west coast and east.  Can it really be half over?  There are pictures and cards from others who have walked and cycled across the nation here.  I have my picture taken under their sign out front and I’m done for the day.

Today is dedicated to my sister Bessie.  People outside the family call her Betsy now but at home to us she is Bessie.  Like my other sisters, Bessie was a teenager by the time I was old enough to talk so she was really a big sister.  I talked to Bessie about things and she was always willing to listen and discuss my ideas.  Sometimes though she would tell me that when I got older I would understand.  I never liked to hear that.  I did always value her advice though even when I thought I was right-which was often.  Bessie also collected stamps and got me started doing the same.  It was a hobby I enjoyed then.  We also worked in the yard together and she made me feel good about the things we accomplished.  I am thankful for the interest she took in me and glad I have her as a sister.