my hopes for the day were not too high.
an hour each way to lodging left me with only 12 hours to walk.
at the pace i have been going i would only get 24 miles.
i was encouraged to get 13 in the first 6 hours.
i skipped my break and ate lunch on the move.
26 is under my new goal of 26.2 or better average for the whole trip, but not much.
i felt good about reaching 26
because i have been steady,
if incredibly slow.
i got to 26 with about 15 minuets to spare and decided to hell with it.
i want 27 so the day would feel like a win.
it feels like a win.
the last 6 or 7 miles saw a change in the constant ups and downs of the sandhills. starting at merriman the hills were more spaced out, with broad flats in between.
those flats had huge marshes
wide expanses of cattails
and even lakes.
and soon revealed to be the breeding ground for a host of exotic biting flies.
i cut a fine figure over those last few hours;
walking down the road,
while flailing my arms to keep the biting flies at bay.
(vivid descriptions of the flies available on request)
my heroes were the golden dragonflies that were attracted to the veritable buffet buzzing around my head.
one of the best things about my trip has been the people helping me along the way.
i really have failed to say enough about them.
i would never have been here,
feeding carnivorous flies in western nebraska , without the incredible people who have showed up.
i cannot believe the riches i have in friends
many of whom i have only met here on the road.
the most amazing thing is the people themselves. what a remarkable group of people. diverse as america, but each with a unique story.
i don’t think there has been a person involved whose life story would not make an interesting book.
after a while it became perplexing.
although each one seemed to find their own story ordinary, that was only because they had lived it.
everyone has a story.
but this select group had exceptional histories.
then it dawned on me.
these people were selected to be here by their willingness to go out on a limb and do something crazy.
they are special people,
those people on the road.
not afraid to try something different.
willing to go out of their way to help someone else.
even a stranger.
it might have been
(hell, it *would* have been)
more efficient to have a dedicated crew from start to finish.
but then i would never have met all these cool people.
and the ones i already knew,
i would not know them like i know them now….
my only regret?
it is so sad when they leave.