Thursday, July 7, 2011

Waiting For the Bell to Ring

I woke this morning to the sound of Carol calling me to breakfast. She had snuck into the church and cooked me a feast while I slumbered.
As I masticated the tasty repast, Carol told me about the region. There had been a huge gas boom here, starting in 1887. Huge pockets of natural gas were found and the supply was predicted to last forever. Boomtowns such as Gas City and Gaston grew out of the sudden population influx which followed the discovery. Poor technology and wasteful use meant the estimations of an unlimited supply were off by whatever forever minus twenty equals. By 1907 the wells were dry, the bonanza was over and the companies left. Today the area surrounding Matthews is mostly used for agriculture.
Before I set out we visited the Cumberland Bridge, the last remaining covered bridge in the county. Such limited variety doesn't stop Grant County from throwing a covered bridge festival every year. Unfortunately, I missed the once and future Garfield statue which decorated the east side of the span. The image of the cartoon feline, whose creator Jim Davis is from the county, is currently undergoing repairs after having his leg peed on by Odie or something.
Once underway I resumed road walking on the Wheeling Pike. The highway here at least had the decency to curve allowing me to temporarily maintain the delusion that there was something besides corn and soybean fields around the next bend. There wasn't.
Ten miles of the Pike led to Jonesboro and the resumption of the Cardinal Greenway, which I took for the remainder of the day to Marion. The bottom of my shoes have grown paper thin and the resulting discomfort led me to believe the end was near for this pair, which has accompanied me since I left the Atlantic shore.
Luckily for me, Carol had seen the treads last night and promised to remedy the problem. She picked me up from my end point in Marion and took me to the mall, where she purchased some comfy running shoes for my use. I also learned on our short trip that she is an amazing singer. I wish I could spend longer finding the pearls within the oysters I meet.
Nine hundred and seventy seven miles into my trip the unique and generous people I meet continue to inspire me. Not what you would expect if you watch the murder and mayhem constantly on display by today's American media. Maybe folks like Carol are the ones we should be showing on television.

16 miles/977 total miles

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