I woke up to rain, a simple statement that speaks for itself. My first day back to walking after a wonderful break, obviously it has to rain. My thoughts about walking again were, positive but at the same time reserved. I feel I was indifferent at this point. I neither wanted to continue but could not quit. It is not whether you are close to the finish that is important, its how far you have come that truly matters. Walking is walking, it is only the vehicle to what has truly mattered on this journey. Walking has allowed me to meet so many people in a way that driving or any other form of travel allows you to do. So for me, at this point, I am walking with my eyes fixed on the road, one step after another, becoming closer to the end every step of the way.
Being indifferent makes you assume everything will be fine and the motion of walking is the only obstacle in your way but I was unfortunately shaken from that truth when my tires began to hiss. With the setup of the front wheel, all my turning motions were that of pivoting on the back two wheels. Time and experi3ence for Buddy has proved too much for these tires and there were holes not in the tubes but rather the tires themselves. What to do? I knew I was going to see Risa again tonight and maybe I could keep pushing on until she came to pick me up and then she could drive to a bike shop. That was the plan and I was happy with it until that plan changed when not too far down the road I saw a bike shop. Once again another small miracle that has allowed my journey to continue.
I made my way into the bike shop and was greeted by two men working. I left the cart outside and asked for two 16 inch tires. They said they had some in stock and if I needed them to change them they would be more than happy. I brought Buddy inside and they read the sign and the questions began while Brian and Neil fixed and mounted my tires. They just happened to be a Burley dealership as well and would love to take my picture and send it to Burley. I told them the story of meeting the owners brother in Oregon about 4 months back on the side of the road. I told them about how he helped me out with the front wheel assembly and how I got to where I am. I really enjoyed their company while they were fixing my tires. Brian and Neil gave me a great deal on the tires and I am extremely thankful for their generosity and support!
After paying them and saying goodbye I was on my way again with wonderful tires. The rain had died down a little bit and I was in a much better place now that things were going my way. The roll of Buddy was better and the anxiety of pushing tired with holes was gone. I was now headed into the town of Chittenango. Chittenango is best know for its most famous resident, the author of “The Wizard of Oz”, L. Frank Baum. The town actually had a yellow brick road running through main street all the way out of town. It was a town proud of their resident and they showed it with all the little knick knacks one would hope for in this small town. As I was walking through Chittenango the rain decided it wanted to be more of a problem and it picked back up, not enough to deter me but enough to keep me in my rain gear.
I made it to Oneida and was walking past a Wal Mart and figured this would be a great place to stop, call Risa, and get picked up for the day. That’s exactly what I did and I was happy to see her again and be able to hang out. We made our way back, 23 miles, to her apartment where we cooked our respective dinners and had wonderful conversations the whole way through. She even made me her gluten free banana peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, they were amazing, and I do not even like peanut butter! It was a great way to end a day in the rain. Peace
Day 138 (Miles 2882-2905) Syracuse to Oneida