Day 47 – Walking in Familiar Places

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

We ate biscuits and chocolate gravy for breakfast, courtesy of Tim!  It was a first for us, but definitely not a last.

Kellie and Tim

It was hard to leave, but more than 20 miles separated us from Downtown Indianapolis, where we planned to meet some friends and had a nice hotel waiting for us.  Before we left, Tim gave us two rolls of quarters so we can be sure we are prepared to do laundry when the need arises.

The remainder of the pedestrian trail was mostly empty this morning, so we passed through unnoticed, even by a turtle.

We were not interesting enough for this turtle to give up his sunbathing perch.

We were enjoying the beautiful morning when a startling shout came from a passing car.  “Get a job you f**kin’ hobos!” was what we heard.  When we turned to see who was so angry with us, we saw our friend Chris.

Chris, who works for a railroad company, knows a hobo when he sees one.

Ah, the beauty of Spring.

Chris went looking for us before heading home after work.  There was nowhere to stop where he found us, so he pulled into a nearby driveway and we hung out until the resident needed to exit their driveway.  He wished us well as we all hurried off.

This strange scene was outside of a nondescript office building and had no explanation or context.

Another walking partner. For better or worse,we see Norm almost every day.

As we entered Indianapolis, we were joined by our friend Amy.

Amy doing some rolling.

We walked together and picked up Amy’s children, whose school was along our route.  They too joined us.  As we left the school, Paddy, her son, yelled to his friends, “Bye.  I’m off to help my friends walk to Oregon.  Well, in a manner of speaking.”

Amy, Ryan, and Paddy

After a short walk, it was time for Amy, Ryan, and Paddy to leave us.  With arms raised, Paddy exclaimed, “On to the Pacific!” as words of encouragement.

Throughout the day, the walk had a surreal tone.  In the 700 miles preceding Indianapolis, we were complete strangers in towns we didn’t really know.  Indianapolis was a city we had both lived in for a few years, so seeing recognizable buildings and landmarks on foot, rather than driving by, made for a paradoxical walk.  So much was familiar yet new.

Tara, in yet another natural looking pose, with downtown Indy looming in the distance.

Tara, in yet another natural looking pose, with downtown Indy looming in the distance.

When we arrived downtown, we walked into the hotel, carts and all.  There was a conference going on, so all of the accountants were shuffling about wearing their lanyards and seemed confused by our presence, but only one person (not wearing a lanyard) mustered up the courage to ask what we were doing.  It was delightfully entertaining.

Walking into the Westin like a boss.

Skip and Jason showed up at the hotel to pick us up for dinner.  Jason, a past camping partner (as is Skip), put together this thoughtful goodie bag.

Jason’s care pack.

We spent the evening enjoying the company of our friends and eating delicious pizza.  It was great to see them all, laugh, goof-off, and share stories.  They made us feel super special, not necessarily because of what we’ve accomplished, but because we appreciate having such amazing friends in our lives.

Jason and Skip. Thanks to Skip, who bought our dinner. As if delivering pizza to us, getting us a ton of food for the road, and getting us a room for the night wasn’t enough.

Here’s Mike, Sami, and Denise! They joined us last night too. Fortunately, we were able to get a picture of them and correct a terrible injustice.

Tara’s cousin, Mindy.

Nikki and Jessica

Jessica brought us an additional snack pack!

Mindy’s son, Jack, drew this picture of Tara and him walking across the country as snowmen. Summer’s going to be an issue.

In addition to the friends already detailed above, Kevin (back corner), James (looking skeptical), and Brent (front right) joined us too. Brent also gave us a gift for the road!