I got up at 557 although I was planning on getting up at 5. You know, sleeping on a bed was just too damn relaxing. I rushed to head out, always early before the wind picks up. I have realized that headwind is the worst fucking enemy on my trip. Not weakness, not low self esteem, not hunger, not water, not traffic. Fucking wind. It always blows in the opposite direction as me. If Im going west its blowing east if im going southwest its blowing southeast. And you can't do shit about it. It wears you out, cancels your speed and takes all the fun out of it. Yeah, fuck headwind.
At my first checkpoint, Poplar Grove, 6 miles west of Helena I stopped for a quick water break and an old man came up to me and asked where I was heading. When I said San Diego he laughed and said I have a long way to go. I said thanks and he drove away, which brings me to the next point. Fuck what your intention is, I want to bitchslap people who tell me I have a long way to to go. Oh really? I hadn't had a clue where San Diego was until you told me how far it is, asshole.
Enough bitching. People are awesome and thats no exaggeration. I have been humbled by the genorocity and kindness complete strangers have shown me. At Marvell, 3 more miles west I stopped at a gas station to refill my water, and an older black man was sitting eating his moring chicken sandwich. He asked my story and when I replied he said "So you must be one of the best". I walked out, and when it started drizzling, I went back inside and sat waiting for it to dry up a little. He came up to me, extended his hand and told me "Good luck man". I realized that his ring and pinky fingers were kind of curled up and I thought he had them cut off. Instead I felt a piece of paper and realized he was trying to give me money.
"Please, you dont have to sir"
He firmly repeated "Good luck" staring me straight in the eye, like I had no choice. I didn't want to reject him infront of all these people so I took it. When he walked out I looked and he left me $5. Why? Did I look broke? I wasn't raising money, this was a personal journey. Did he like me that much? The man was a farmer. I never even got his name or a picture. He walked out before I could say anything. It was an act between me, him and God.
Marvel was the last town before 18 miles of anything of any significance but farms. At a town called Postelle I stopped at "Shaddens BBQ, the Best in Phillips County" for a water refill. It was a tiny little beat shack. An old white man, black lady and black man greeted me inside and told me the hose was on the side of the building. While I was filling up the bottle, the black man came and and told me not to go because she was making me a sandwich. I refused at first, but when he insisted I stayed and talked. It was obvious the white man ran shit
"Go find my glasses from inside" He order the black lady
He have me his card and a sweet smoked turkey sandwich and told me to call them when I got to Cali. I took a picture and rolled. Into emptiness. I got to the intersection where I was planning on camping but decided to keep going 8 more miles to Clarendon. 3 miles down the road, my archenemy came into play. It was blowing straight from the west. 3 miles down I stopped at a Biker club/repair store. I was exhausted and ran out of water. There was a little patio area with a couch on the right side and some other chairs an old white lady and man where sitting on. When I walked and said hi, exhausted, neither even looked up. Cool. The kept doing what they were doing as if nobody was there. From their conversation I gathered he was a missionary in South America and she was also involved in some religous work. I asked the biker dude owner where I could get some water and he conversed for a little with me. He told me his son was a marine in Iraq and Somalia which are two pretty fucking intense places, but now he is going on a backpacking trip across Europe. Righteous. After chilling for 15 minutes I decided to get up and go.
Three more miles I felt like I was going to pass out and collapsed by a tree that was creating some shade on the road. A redneck in his 40s came up to me and told me to come rest by his house where he was sitting outside sipping on a big can of Miller Highlife. He brought me a giant cup of cold ice water. I was grateful. Jimmy lived with what I thought was his wife, but she said after I took a picture "If anybody asks, we are cousins not husband and wife" Haha, I knew it was coming. They insisted on ginving me a ride to Clarendon but when I told them I was trying to break record to get out of it, she told him "He is trying to accomplish something, Jimmy" I left and the last 3 miles went forever. I kept going because I wanted a Powerade at the gas station in town. A arrived at about 3 and set up camp at a local RV park a wildlife officer told me about.
I thank God for the strength he has given me so far. I look at the map sometimes and think, fuck I have a long ass way to go, but then I take my camera and look at the shots I have snapped. I have come a long way. The blackflies at the park were attacking in fullforce so I hid in my tent. A little jumpig spider came and started pouncing on them all. And then something else. A blue car pulled up by the tent and an old lady came up to me and said she was from some church and handed me $5. Again I tried to refuse but she said "Please take it" I dont even know why this woman gave me the money. She didn't know my story and I dont even know where she saw me. God has been kind to me and so have his beings and for this