I am in Wheeler, Texas, finally. I had a rough morning of rain and wind both of which lasted right up until noon. I rolled around in my tarp, ate my entire bag of Wheat Thins, read Thoreau's Walden (no one ever told me Thoreau was totally full of himself), made a few calls, and watched the rain come down.
It was a slow morning.
The birds were much more optimistic. They were chirping a solid hour before I even ventured out of my tarp. The tarp, by the way, did tolerably well, but did nothing to block the fog that rolled through the area nor any wind-driven raindrops. The top half of my sleeping bag got moist as well as part of a fleece blanket, but most of this dried out by the time I broke camp. I didn't see why the birds were so happy until I saw the sun off in the distance.
So I walked into Wheeler and went straight to a restaurant featuring homecooked food. I ordered all kinds of fried food and with encouragement from the owner added a few vegetables for color. I also ordered a nice slice of cherry cheesecake, and though I could've eaten more, I decided to call it. While chatting with the owner, she gave me a batch of cookies! She confessed that she was a mom and felt better knowing I had food. It did no good to tell her that I was getting paid to tromp around Texas. So I thanked her and packed the cookies.
The pole fiasco in Wellington was what my brother Charlie would call "a bummer." I deliberately leave my poles outside as a courtesy to the businesses I frequent. I have probably left them outside over a hundred places for several hundred miles. Unfortunately, their library was right next to the local high school, so perhaps I could have taken that into account.
I have hiked reasonably well without my poles, though I wonder about my speed and balance. I'll continue like this a little bit longer and see what it feels like. I hiked both with and without them during the first few hundred miles. I made them a permanent addition after I fractured my toe in Texarkana. However, the toe has healed, so maybe I can do without. A few hundred more miles ought to settle it.
Now I'm off to more plains. It's not entirely flat as folks tend to say, but it's flat enough. It stays light well after sunset which has made the timing of my evening routine a little off.
Until next time, sunset watchers...