Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ruthie On The Road, Update

When I left the library in Markle, I also left my USB wireless adapter behind.

That was a dumb move. One that took quite a bit of intervention to fix.

I walked up the hill to the edge of Markle and I was met by a local cop. After the usual formalities, he drove me to Decatur and dropped me off.

I started the long walk out of that city, missed my turn and got lost. I tried to flag down a driver on the street and caught a lady's attention on the third try.

She drove me from Decatur, Indiana to Van Wert, Ohio. When I got there, it was after 10PM. She dropped me off at the police station and I was on my own.

The cops eventually directed me to a group of benches around a fountain. I sat there all night long and listened to weather reports. I knew that in the morning the heat index was going to rise and eventually reach a dangerous level.

I had to find air conditioned shelter, indoors.

So I contacted a nearby church office and got a voucher to a local motel. I was told that I would have to wait a couple of hours for a ride out there, so I went to the library.

When I unpacked my laptop, I discovered that the USB wireless adapter was missing.

My heart sank.

A kind librarian set me up with a terminal and I sent an email back to the library in Markle, Indiana. I was sure that I left the adapter there. I was right.

I stayed cool and safe at the motel while the heat index rose to a high of 108F by late afternoon.

I posted an alert on my Facebook page and Angela, from Boise, Idaho, came to my rescue.

Angela, from across the Country, called me in Ohio and then she rang up the library and the local cops in Indiana. She confirmed that the adapter was, indeed, at the Markle library and that it would be kept there until I came to pick it up.

I left the motel early yesterday morning and walked through the pouring rain to the highway. A very kind State cop stopped me and after a minute of conversation, told me to put my backpack in the back seat of his cruiser. I slid in the front seat next to his computer and he drove me to the Indiana State line.

I walked up to a good spot to hitchhike and sat down on my pack underneath a tree. A few minutes later, a man walked down the long driveway from his house and handed me a cold bottle of water.

We chatted for a few more minutes and then he walked back up the driveway.

He returned in a Jeep and drove me around Decatur and dropped me off outside the small town of Preble, Indiana.

I thought I would get another ride rather quickly. I didn't.

As the hours passed, the heat index rose to a seriously high level. I drank water and sat on my pack, in the grass, on the side of the highway.

People passed by and flipped me off, laughed, glared and otherwise ignored me. And almost all of them were single, passenger drivers in vehicles with all of the windows up and the air conditioning roaring full blast.

The lack of concern and compassion from all of those drivers made me angry. And that anger kept me strong.

Finally, an elderly woman passed me and then drove up to a woman's home. I cannot explain everything about that woman because I've been asked not to. But that younger woman turned out to be my saving grace.

She came back and rescued me. Then she drove me to Markle. She knocked on a stranger's door and met a woman who is no longer a stranger but a friend. And THAT woman calls herself "The Unofficial Mayor of Markle."

Those two women worked together and found a third-party. The third-party drove into town and unlocked the closed library building. I finally got my adapter back and I am using it to post this update right now.

The Markle lady gave me some cash to eat on and the young woman drove me from Markle to Bluffton, Indiana. Then she gave me some more funds and cut me loose.

I tried talking to the local cops but I got nowhere fast and left.

I was walking up the street when I noticed a store-front church. I felt a nudge, crossed the street and walked in. That's where I met a very wonderful man that I will see again later on today.

He drove me to this motel (the room with the marshmallow bed) and paid for one night. I told him that I could do it but he insisted on covering the tab.

I will go over to the library today (and this time I will keep an eye on the adapter!) and do some more work online.

The man and I will see if there is somewhere that I can stay until next Friday.

Next Friday I will set sail again for Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York State, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Right now I am just happy to listen to classic Elton John, think about everyone who helped me in the past 24 hours and use my laptop.

Hugs to the world. I still love you. :)

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