Tuesday, September 20, 2011
September 18: I believe Iowa's drought is over. There was yet more craptacular weather all night and through the morning. I sat in the tent luxuriating in a listless malaise as drops of rain splattered on all sides like an endless Neal Pert drum solo. Finally at ten the onslaught lessened enough for me to move my gear underneath a shelter to dry.
As I was packing and preparing to leave a group of cars drove up and parked. Turns out I was occupying the spot where their family reunion was to be held. The Marshalls were good sports and invited me to join them for lunch. Relatives had come from all over Iowa and even Kansas City. Everyone brought a dish and many were outstanding, but my favorite was a taco salad with beef seasoned so perfectly I drooled uncontrollable between bites.
I commented positively on the smorgasboard to one of the female attendees, who responded, "Its not bad, but it sure isn't Red Lobster." Touche, madam.
By noon I could delay no longer if I was to make Griswold (named after Clark?). I dashed through a three hour break in the weather, reaching a campsite north of town just as intermission came to a close and the skies opened up once more.
While I sat beneath my new shelter drying my besotted gear, another human rode up on his motorcycle in an effort to escape the storm. Brad Gary is a forty eight year old dude whose long white bear makes him look ten years older and guarantees him the role of Santa every Christmas (a role he has indeed fulfilled).
A decade driving truck came to an end when he was in an accident which wrenched his back. He had been working at the automotive department at Walmart since but was let go in firing spree around the same time my cousin David inexplicably was downsized by his Wallyworld in Illinois. Not that Walmart is a soul-sucking evil entity whose main purpose is to rot the American spirit from the inside out.
Walmart will no doubt want to sponsor next year's walk. Indulge my fantasy please. Forgive me for sounding like a broken record, but I spend a lot of time alone.
6 miles/1733 total miles