From Hattiesburg, Mississippi
(After over a week on the road I need to post a disclaimer: for reasons of safety and logisitcs I've decided that I shouldn't try to walk every stretch of the road. With a driver for the van I'd be able to walk most of the way, but alone I'm doing what I think makes most sense. To give you an idea: I walked 46.8 of the 76 miles between Slidell, LA, and Hattiesburg, MS. The two contributing factors for not walking the other 29.2 miles: I chose not to walk a dangerous stretch where Rt. 11 joins superhighway 59 to cross Honey Island Swamp between Louisiana and Mississippi. And I drove forward to find a clinic when I developed a nasty infection on my Morton's toe.)
Since I last posted, I walked my farthest yet in one day: 12.8 miles on Friday, from Purvis to the outskirts of Hattiesburg. Since then only 6 miles on Saturday, into a little place called Eastabuchie. When I stopped at a tavern to ask for a glass of water, a bunch of men and two women welcomed my with beery cheer. The water was icy and delicious, and I stayed to talk awhile with the folks. I handed out my flier after I told them I was walking to Canada - that always gets people's attention.
One of the guys, particularly talkative and jovial, commented, "Go to bed early? No way. Eat vegetarian? You gotta be kidding!" My answer: "Maybe you can find something there you can do to help. Plant a garden? Change your lightbulbs?"
Another fellow spoke to me quietly, so the others wouldn't hear, "I have a book to recommend to you, Walking Across America." "By Peter Jenkins," I asked. "Right. And two other books, Blue Highways and Walk Thru Time."
Here are a few photos from the road:
A sign of hope along the way.
Another hopeful sign: cows, sheep and lambs, and a donkey. But will they survive as temperatures rise?
This one's for Guy - he'll know why. But the rest of you might enjoy the thought of the carnival setting up in the dusty town square come June or July.
I came back to Hattiesburg to spend Sunday here. I'm off to Ellisville today, Laurel tomorrow.