Day 26 – Water, Water, Everywhere, Thankfully Some We Can Drink
It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it. – Amelia Barr
John-Michael was under the impression that roosters crowed when the sun came up. Not so. They apparently crow whenever they want to, including at 4:30 in the morning.
As we were leaving Stand By Me farm, the donkeys, Snowbell and Rocky Road, walked up to Tara to say goodbye.
They are newlyweds (David had a wedding ceremony for them last year) and Snowbell is expecting.
David came out to say goodbye and gave us a bar of the goat’s milk soap he makes. I’m sure it will come in handy as the weather warms up and showers become scarce.
On our walk we passed a car repair shop where Bob was working. He asked how far we were walking. When we told him we were headed to Oregon, he jokingly told us we were going the wrong way. He offered us some water and soda. We gratefully accepted the water and passed on the soda since it was another warm day. As we walked away, he warned us that storms were brewing.
We stopped in West Newton to have some lunch. While eating, we asked a few guys about what was up the road. Don and Paul gave us some tips on what to expect and where we might find a place to camp. They told us about a park in Monogahela that was along the Monogahela river and said it might be an option.
As we approached Monogahela, a truck pulled up and the driver, Matt, said he had seen us a couple of times during the day and had to know what we were doing. After telling him, he became very excited and said he would love to do something like it someday. He told us he had to go back to work (he was raising a house), but that if we hung out at a park that was just down the road for a bit, he’d be back and would let us stay on his property. The skies were growing dark with storm clouds, so we headed to the park with the intension of riding out the storm under a shelter. On the way there, Cookie yelled down from her apartment across the street. She asked if we needed some water or anything else.
We accepted her offer and ran across the street and up to her apartment. She asked what we were doing, as she was worried we were homeless and in need of help. We told her of our adventure. She loved the idea, let us in to cool off, and filled up a gallon jug with water for us. She also opened her pantry and refrigerator and started offering all kinds of food to us. We just bought some groceries in the morning, so we passed on the food, but enjoyed talking to Cookie and her grandkids (who didn’t want to be pictured), while guzzling water.
We left Cookie’s and walked to the park. It turns out it’s the same park that Don and Paul told us about.
Matt returned as the sun was setting and the winds were picking up. He apologized, and explained that the job he was working on was taking longer than expected and had to be done by morning, so he was going to have to work through the night. He assured us that we could camp along the river in the park, even though the sign at the entrance to the park said it closed at dusk. He told us people do it all the time and fish along the river all night. Since it was almost completely dark, and a storm was coming, we had no choice. We pitched our tent and hoped for the best. As we were setting up, a truck pulled up and two young men, John and Jo-Jo, said they saw us earlier in the day. They were thrilled to hear about our adventure. They were thinking about doing some night fishing and came to scope things out. They also insisted that camping along the river was fine, which made us feel better. They didn’t stay long because of the approaching storm, but wished us well before leaving. Shortly after setting up and eating dinner, the storm hit. After the worst of it passed, we fell asleep to wonderful sounds of rain and thunder in the distance.