Tuesday, July 5, 2011

An Alliance is Formed

July 2: As I threatened yesterday, I quickly made my way out of Ohio early this morning. Or maybe I didn't. Three miles into the journey I came upon State Line Road. Which side of the border I stood on was a mystery. As a result, I spent the next five miles in limbo before taking a left turn which definitively put me in the Hoosier State. I spent the next few minutes on the side of the highway jamming out to "Escape From Ohio" by Electric Six.
Things are certainly looking up for me in Indiana. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Dawn I have formed an alliance with Friends of the NRA or FRNA as I will refer to them from now on because I am now the laziest man ever to complete a long distance walk of 900 miles (a mark I passed later in the day). Dawn's husband John is a state representative within the organization.
I know it seems strange for a man who has never fired a gun to team up with the FNRA, but that is the beauty of the Wounded Warrior Project and why I am so glad to be representing them. The WWP brings Americans of all persuasions together in common cause. Among their biggest supporters are conservative pundit Bill O'Reilly and liberal cartoonist Gary Trudeau. George W. Bush participated in a charity bike event for the WWP earlier this year. Jon Stewart payed a personal visit to Ken during his convalescence at Walter Reed. I think you see my point.
My FNRA contact for the day was Mike Vernon, who picked me up when I reached Richmond and took me to lunch, along with a fellow member, Steve. Mike dropped me back on the trail later, picked me up upon completion of the days hike, took me to replenish my food stores, bought me supper, and purchased me a hotel room for the night. All from a man who works sixty hours or so on week (plus many more on his farm) and by all rights shouldn't have the time to help someone like me. Clearly I've met some good people who are enthusiastic about my quest.
As far as the hike, I have reached the area north of Richmond, Indiana. Richmond was once home to Gennett Recording Studio, the ruins of which I passed by on the walk. Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke and many others made some of their best records here and the studio is considered by many to be the place where modern jazz music was born.
I will spend the next days on the Cardinal Greenway, which stretches all the way to Marion, Indiana (I catch it in the middle, the starting point is Indianapolis). The Greenway is a rail trail, formed on the site of an old CSX line known as the Chesapeake and Ohio. Just like old times, back on the C&O - I'm expecting Swagman to round the next bend in front of me at any moment. He may not show, but I'm very pleased to have a another new group of friends along for the ride.

20 miles/908 total miles

Thanks to my new friends in Ohio:
Michael and Sabina Koehler and the rest of their family and friends met at Wildcat Hollow
Mike and Connie
Dave and Betty Jarvis
Tom and Jan
Harold and the rest of the crew at Dilly Deli
Gwen Harmon
Debora Jones
Tom Barnet

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