Monday, January 23, 2012

Ruthie On The Road, Update


I walked out of the rest area in Northern Texas this evening, toward the highway traffic and the setting sun. I was tired, hungry and not sure where I would spend the night.

The caretaker at the rest area gave me some information and some snack crackers, to take with me.

I was grateful for that and for the wide-open wi-fi that the Department Of Transportation provides for free, at the main rest areas in Texas. Wi-fi can be very helpful and important on the road. Oregon provides it at some of its rest areas and I really think that all States should follow suit.

A young man in an older model van, stopped, backed almost all the way up the on-ramp and offered me a ride.

Next, he helped me get a motel room and a meal. I feel much better now and I will sleep and bathe before I head back out on the road, again, tomorrow.

The storm that hit while I was on the road, yesterday, was vicious. While it didn't hit with as much force as it did in Alabama, it hit hard! Before the trucker rescued me, yesterday, it became almost impossible to walk or even stand up, straight! My heavy pack only added a small amount of stability to my larger frame as I attempted to make my way through that high wind.

Tumbleweed, as big as German Shepard dogs, flew into me and cut the skin on my face. My glasses got caught in one ball of tumbleweed and the wind nearly sent the weed, and my specs, rolling down the highway!

The truck driver and I had some fast decisions to make. The weather up north was bad but it was much better, down South. So, in the end, we decided to take me all of the way down to Wichita Falls, Texas.

Now I am making my way back to a small town area in Southern Kansas. The journey will take me out of Texas, across the Panhandle of Oklahoma and back into Kansas. I hope that someone puts the wind back into its bottle and buries it in one of those Kansas wheat fields.

I watched flock after flock of geese heading across the Kansas sky before I left that State, yesterday. When I left the rest area in Texas, this evening, I saw a huge flock of them, again...all honking happily, in a field on the other side of the highway.

It reminded me of how far I've come in a very short amount of time.

Oh, how this roadie runs!

The following, quoted text is from an email that I just sent to a woman who is linked directly with the provider-system in Southern Kansas:

"Both the other guest and I left the shelter, yesterday
morning, at 7:30am.

We chose different destinations, so we said our goodbyes and split-up
at the railroad tracks.

From there, I continued on, alone.

I walked and walked to the highway.
That was quite a hike, in itself.

And I estimate that I reached there (being slow, carrying a heavy pack
and walking with a cane) at about 9:30am, yesterday
morning. I didn't get a ride down the highway until 1:30pm, yesterday afternoon.

A man picked me up, just before that wind storm hit, and drove me all
of the way to a small town in Kansas. He was a strange guy
but harmless...he just didn't have a whole lot to say.

He dropped me off at the edge of the town, at the height of the wind storm
and drove away.

A trucker from Texas picked me up and drove me all of the way to
Wichita Falls, Texas, last night. I was planning on stopping
in ________ Kansas but the reception that I got in the last little Kansas town was not
cool and so I've decided to wait until this Tuesday to deal with the
provider-system in the ________ area.

We thought that Wichita Falls would be able to offer me shelter. They
didn't. They were full and so the Sheriff brought me
over to a local truck stop, where I spent the night, last night. I am
still in Texas...typing this out to you on my a Texas rest
area where the DOT provides free wi-fi.

I had the last driver drop me off here so that I could take a break. I
have been on the road, struggling to get back to Kansas, since
6:30am this morning. I'm tired and hungry but I will get back on the road,

I am hoping that ________, Kansas will be able to keep me for awhile.

Meanwhile, I obviously believe that the shelter that I left, yesterday, should have just
kept me there until Feb. 1. I have a plan, I just need a
place to be.

Isn't that supposed to be the whole point of providing the shelter in
the first place?

I bet there's nobody staying at the shelter that I left, yesterday. But
if anybody is, I bet the sum total of people only amounts to a handful.

If I would have been allowed to stay at that shelter and ate
like a normal person and was treated with respect...then that shelter
could have
contributed to making some significant and positive changes in my
life. Instead, I am going to have to go back out to the highway,
here in Northwestern Texas...and hitchhike my way my
continuing search for a decent four walls and a roof...until Feb. 1."

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