Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Ruthie On The Road, Update


I appreciate everyone's patience. I know that you have been wondering where I have been and why I haven't updated this blog in awhile.

Well, if the Internet connection that's being beamed by satellite to this aging computer, holds out, I will update this blog now.

I am in a rural (outback) location of Indiana, right now.  I am staying at a private home until tomorrow morning. Then I will get back on the road.

I left Debuque, Iowa on a Trailways bus as a storm gathered in the sky. I was concerned about the weather and I just wanted to leave Iowa.

And after rambling all over Iowa, on three different buses, I finally left that State and rolled into Peoria, Illinois.

I spent several days in Peoria, holed-up in a hotel and recovered a bit more from my injuries. Then, when my wings grew restless, I left Peoria and took a taxi and my thumb to El Paso, Illinois and highway 24. I stayed overnight in a motel there and then (yesterday) I walked out and resumed my journey.

The heat blasted me with sizzling sun shots and I eventually sank to a sitting position on my backpack.

I hitchhiked from El Paso, Illinois to just inside the Indiana border. But it took an incredible effort on my part.

At one point, along the way, a woman stopped her rig, told me that she couldn't give me a ride and then she handed me a plastic bag filled with a chilled bottle of Gatorade and a couple of dollars. Later, another man handed me ten-dollars, which eventually bought me a meal at Mickey D's.

But it's the in-between that I still can't understand.

And last night, when I sat on a stone barrier at an abandoned gas station, and texted a Facebook friend of mine...she didn't understand, either. I'm sure that she still can't.

Yesterday, the heat index rose to 110 degrees. And as I sat on my backpack, car after truck after SUV passed by...and nobody stopped or showed any concern whatsoever for me.

All I wanted was a ride. I wasn't going anywhere that they weren't heading, too. And yet, many drivers, in vehicles with no passengers and locked in air conditioning...passed me by.

As the hours melted away,  I struggled to stay hydrated and hoped that I wouldn't explode into flames. I kept thinking, "I'm American, I'm a United States citizen, too...I've been all over this Country for eighteen years...pick me up and I will tell you all about it."

Finally, as I barbecued in the searing afternoon heat, I asked the traffic in front of me,  "Can't you see me, can't you see me, can't you see me?"

Despite my serious need for rides, I ignored the long haul truckers.  The bodies of  two women have been found alongside a highway and an Interstate, on the West Coast, recently. Some people now believe that the two deaths are directly related to a serial-killer trucker. And I have decided to avoid the long-haulers,  on this trip, altogether.

Then, a friend of mine, who first picked me up two years ago, packed her four boys into her rig and drove over 2 hours from her home to where I was. She brought me back to her house which is where I am now.  I paid her twenty-dollars for the gas and bought my own food today, at a local grocery store.

But that isn't what's important. No.

What matters is that Michelle cares.

There is a lesson here.

Those people who passed me by, yesterday, missed what could have been a truly enjoyable visit.

*~Happy Birthday, America~*

Post Script: I have decided to postpone my purchase of a new computer until next month.

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