Monday, March 23, 2009

Tavern encounters

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.

A reminder of how foolhardy our culture has been. 

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.

1 comment:

Sofia said...

Today I was lamenting not being able to be in the sun without wearing sunblock. I wonder if in the future we'll have to wear whole body (and face) suits whenever we go outside, to protect us from the extreme sun and temperatures. Let's save our ozone layer! And you have a good point about the animals - how will they adapt? Things to think about.