Day 43 – Friendships

I’m goin’ back to Indiana
Back to where my baby’s from
I’m goin’ back to Indiana
Indiana here I come – The Corporation

We set out early knowing we had to walk over 25 miles today.  Rhonda fueled us up with eggs for breakfast and gave us a few more for lunch before we left, all fresh from her  rescue-chickens.  We were enjoying the morning air when we heard a distant call of “Hey!” from behind us.  We turned to see Rhonda’s daughter, Elly, still in her pajamas and rain-boots, peddling her bicycle as fast as she could to catch us.  We figured we must have forgotten something at their house, but it turned out Elly just wanted a picture of us.  Flattered and amused, we gladly posed for the photo.

It was a perfect walking day.  Cloudy, but not dark skies.  Warm, but not humid.  Breezy, but not in-your-face windy.  The road was flat with a wide shoulder, and offered plenty to see and ponder.

From a distance, we both thought this was actually a hot-air balloon.

Giants for sale! And me without my wallet.

Another instance of un-fenced goats, this time along US 40. Are goats trainable like dogs?

After stopping at a gas station to have some lunch, we walked by Jim and Chris.  Friends since childhood, Chris still has a farm in western Ohio and Jim was up from Florida just helping him do odd-jobs.  It was gratifying to see such a friendship stand the test of time and distance.  Jim asked us where we were trying to get to today.  When we told him Richmond, IN, he offered to give us a ride there.  “I promise I won’t tell anyone” he joked.  As tempting as the offer was, we passed on it.  Jim also told us he could never attempt what we were trying to do, but judging by his hat, he was just being polite.

Jim and Chris

Almost in IN

The air was no different, the soil was the same, but there was something about crossing into our home state that felt special.  We guess it’s a familiarity that comforts the soul.


Of course, there are other familiar things that have been with us the entire walk.  For example, we’ve seen this billboard somewhere nearly every day of our walk.  Literally.

Not once have we been tempted to grab a salad. Literally.

Our good friend, Waber, had a good friend whose parents, Jane and Ronnie, live in Richmond.  When we arrived in Richmond, we made a beeline for their house, because the sky and smell of the air were telling us rain was coming.

We’re not sure if it was the idea of mouse and cat gyros, or the blatant copyright infringement, but either way, this establishment was no longer open.

Jane and Ronnie were wonderful hosts.  They let us set our tent up under a carport, then invited us in and shared hilarious stories and kept us laughing throughout the evening.  Ronnie’s always quick with the one-liners,and Jane’s always quick with putting him in his place.  Again, another enduring friendship that we felt privileged to witness and learn from.

Ronnie and Jane

Protected from the rain and ground vermin.

The view from Ronnie and Jane’s front window.