Day 27 – Family

Family is not an important thing. It’s everything. – Michael J. Fox

The previous night’s storm, combined with the cool river water and warm air, created a thick fog that greeted us and hid the river in the morning.

Smoke on the water. There is a river there.

The morning sun burned the fog away and we were able to see the Monongahela River as we crossed it and left town.

The Monongahela River

Is there room for two more?

So I guess we’ll follow the sign for California.

Storms were predicted and we heard a few rumbles of thunder throughout the day, but we were lucky and stayed dry and had a beautiful day of walking.

Mid-day we walked by a small sheep farm belonging to Barb and Walter.  They were doing yard work and stopped to talk to us.

Barb and Walter

We ended up staying and talking for an hour.  They gave us a tour of their barn and let Tara feed the sheep.

Tara feeding the sheep

They also showed us some of Walter’s artistic creations.  He carves wood stumps and logs into snowmen, Santa Clauses, Easter rabbits, and other holiday themed characters.  Additionally, he decorates chicken and goose eggs with beautiful and intricate designs.

Walter’s masterpiece eggs

Walter and Barb also offered to let us shower and have lunch, but we had to get going because we were expected in Washington by evening.  So instead, they gave us some money for lunch and told us there was a Subway down the road and to get some lunch there.  We happily obliged.  On the way, we saw an alpaca farm, which elicited a squeak of delight from Tara.

Alpacas

As we entered the Washington area, we received a call from April, who is Tara’s uncle’s cousin.  She and her husband, Greg, were going to be hosting us for the night.  A big thanks to Tara’s Aunt Pam who arranged for us to meet.  We were less than 10 minutes from their home and practically sprinted the last half-mile.  Although we had never met, when we arrived, we were welcomed like we were their children.  April and Greg gave us snacks while we rested and talked.  As they began to prepare a delicious dinner, Tara and I took much needed showers.  At dinner, we were joined by April’s mother, Agnes, whom we had previously met once or twice at family weddings.

Agnes, April, Buddy, and Greg

Dessert turned out to be half an Oreo-cookie ice cream cake.  April claimed she was going to throw it out if someone didn’t eat it, so we sacrificed our bodies to keep it from going to waste.  She topped it with fresh strawberries.  John-Michael could not contain his excitement.

This Oreo ice cream cake never stood a chance.

Buddy led us to our bed at the end of the night, and we slept blissfully after a wonderful day.