Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No Cars, I Prefer Bars

September 5: For those of you down in my home of South Carolina, the following statement might be hard to believe right now. Last night was frigid. Temperatures fell down into the forties and a heavy dew combined with an unused tent fly meant water reached the inside of my shelter, making me crawl even deeper into the recesses of my sleeping bag as I impatiently awaited the return of the sun. As soon as a smidgen of orange indicated the star's coming I rose and got moving.
Passing through Conrad less than an hour later I encountered a phenomenon I have seen on many occasions now. I ran into a man named Steve and told him about my walk. He then offered me a ride. I've had this happen so many times now paranoia has started to creep into my mind. Are people trying to test me? Am I being followed by someone who doesn't feel I am sincere? Does anyone understand the words that are coming out of my mouth when I say I am walking?
I was sluggish for most of the day's journey. Two straight nights with little sleep and some long hikes had caught up with me. Somehow I maintained enough forward momentum to log eighteen miles and reach Albion. I did have a motivating factor: Craig and Connie, who I had met at the Reinbeck Brewery (Trevor's stepfather and mother) lived in nearby Marshalltown and had promised to host me for the evening.
They picked me up in Albion at four and took me back to their home, where Craig has set up a bar focused on highlighting his brewing skills. He allowed me to sample his latest creations: a lager, a black lager, and a wheat beer. The black lager, reminiscent of Samuel Adams, was my favorite. Craig has been at the art for a mere ten years, but his batches could easily be switched out with some of the finest microbrews in America and no one would be the wiser.
Connie helped cook a scruptious meal of chicken, potatoes, and sweet corn while also cleaning my dirty clothes. She entertained me with stories of Trevor and her other children too raw to be retold in this kid-friendly format. You're just not ready yet, trust me. Or I don't remember them, whatever.
I'm not exactly Bob Vila, so I'll keep this short, but I was very impressed by their beautiful custom-designed home, especially the bathroom. I couldn't figure out how to turn off the light. Finally I realized there was a high skylight. I gave up, realizing that if I had the power to turn off the sun I probably would have done so sometime during the middle of July.

18 miles/1547 total miles

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