Rough Patch

Waning Crescent Moon

Every long trip hits a rough patch of road once in a while. This week has been my first, but probably not last, such stretch of resistance.

For the first time, having Bobalooie has been a little bit of a burden. I chose to walk US 50 because everything I have read about hiking the ADT/Buckeye Trail in this season has been negative. Muddy. Stream crossings. Misleading blazes. Etc. Not conducive to stroller pushing. Plus there are several north/south miles which I consider superfluous.

The flip side of that is I am missing some very interesting geological features by staying on the highway. And to my knowledge there are no logging trucks whizzing by on the Buckeye Trail.

Before I reached Athens, the wide shoulders of the Appalachian Highway made me feel safe and happy about my choice. After Athens, US 50 splits off and soon becomes narrow with inconsistent to nonexistent shoulders. Flippin’ scary with Bobalooie I’ll tell ya. And “wild” or “stealth” camping is made more difficult by being close to a highway with a rather conspicuous little covered wagon with a cartoon personality.

Throw in this February-like weather in the first week of April and I’m grinding my teeth a lot.


Fortunately, Ohioans have stepped up to give me a boost when I have needed one. Offering rides around obstacles. Paying for my breakfast. Chipping in small donations. I don’t know what I have done to deserve it, but even under the icky sucky weather and sketchy scary conditions, people continue to amaze me. I have not amassed as many walking miles this week as usual, but the kindness just keeps coming.

In Chillicothe OH at Carl’s Townhouse, a table full of people asked me about my trip and gave me a hearty response and a twenty dollar bill. After I finished my vittles at the counter, I learned they had paid for my breakfast as well. Blew me away.


That’s Angie in the picture. She’s been working the counter at Carl’s for fourteen years. Ain’t she cute?

I’m bobbing and weaving and ducking the punches, hoping to get to Milford OH just east of Cincinnati by Sunday. Low temps in the 20s, rain mixed with snow, and blustering wind gusts have conspired to slow me down. But back home, at the San Juan Bautista Public Library, my dear friends are tracking me.


That’s inspirational. I’d better keep my head down and move on.

Peace, Love, and Westward Ho,

3 thoughts on “Rough Patch

  1. The weather reports have not been good, Jim. I’m sorry. The Library hosted a Mixer this evening with your display well placed. I set out some extra cards and pamphlets. Spring is bringing in some rain again tonight although it was humid and warm today. Grass is growing like crazy, setting out seed, folks can hardly keep up with it. Stay safe and enjoy those kindnesses! Val


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