It was a late night and unfortunately I slept in a little bit so I was not going to get a full day of walking. I was walking by 11 o’clock and was headed to the town of Mohawk. The girls I was staying with said they did not mind coming to get me at the end of the day in Mohawk and bring me back to Utica so I had a place to stay and would drive me back in the morning. Its so funny to think that yesterday morning I did not know these people and now they are offering to come pick me up 15 miles away so I would have a place to stay for the night. The generosity has extended from coast to coast and I am continually blessed with the people God has put in my path.
As the girls headed off to class I headed out on the road, walking through some neighborhoods making my way to downtown Utica. It was a small city but with some interesting character, it reminded me of parts of Providence. As I continued walking out of the small city I realized I must have missed a turn. You would think that traveling in such a manner, you would not get lost, well sometimes you do. I took my computer out and found a way to correct my mistake and continued on. Unfortunately to get where I was going I was not going through the greatest area but I pushed on with hesitation, committing to a route that would get me back on track. When I came to the end of the road, right before jumping onto the right path there was an obstacle I did not expect, a guard rail , separating the roads, and I needed to be on the other side. Fortunately I know Buddy and collapsed him down the best I could and in mild traffic pushed him under the rained up guard rail and onto the other side of the road where I need to go.
I made my way down and from the directions I had found using my net-book computer, I was on a back road all the way into Mohawk. The back road walking is always great but has its downfalls as well. It is wonderful because the lack of traffic and the ability to relax and enjoy the walk as a walk. Unfortunately the lack of traffic means you are more vulnerable, with less people around all the time, the more likely someone is likely to try something to you. Also there are little to no stores on these roads in case you were in need of something. Although I am usually not on a back road that long where I would need something that badly, I like to think I prepare enough.
I stopped for a quick bite to eat shortly after making it into the small town of Mohawk. I passed the Remington gun factory and there slogan is “Danger never takes a vacation.” Talk a bout a scare tactic.
I finally made it to a town park where I thought would be a good place to call my new friends and ask to get picked up. I called Jona and she did not mind at all. I am happy to be going back to hang out with my new friends for another night. It gives me a little bit of normalcy, I already have a base of people I know and do not have to start over. I can relax a little. It was a Friday night and it was Alumni weekend for these girls so they were having friends from the past come out. I knew it was going to be a long night so I decided to take it easy so I could wake up early and walk tomorrow.
After a dinner of my favorite sandwich shop, Subway, Jona and I made it back to the house where friends were already beginning to arrive. I was happy to be a part of this tradition and meet even more people, I was just along for the ride. That ride led us to their hockey teammates house where there was a party for Alum weekend. I just love how I do not know where I am going to be one hour to the next. I was now standing it a backyard with Christmas lights and people decked out in army gear, as that was the theme for the party. The house I was at was directly behind the campus and there was a carnival going on, the lights were illuminating the sky, the sounds of people laughing and screaming on the rides made for a great atmosphere. I was hungry so a couple kids and I made our way out of the party and into the carnival. As we were walking, one of the people I was with, Rob, verbalized what I had been thinking by saying “You walked across the entire country and you find yourself here at this party with us, walking to a carnival.”. That is what this trip was full of, surprises. It’s a wonderful feeling, this sort of controlled chaos I have been living in. The night continued and we had a great timing bouncing around from place to place, meeting new people, seeing people I met yesterday, and laughing the whole night. I was sad the night had to come to an end but I needed to sleep because the truth is, I had to walk tomorrow and I had to walk 20 miles to Fort Plain where I would be couch surfing with a Miss Debbie Hickey and her children.
I had a wonderful time with my new friends from Utica and I plan on seeing them again at one of their hockey home games. Another wonderful experience that has to be chalked up to Couchsurfing.org. Peace
Day 140 (Miles 2930 - 2945) Utica to Mohawk