Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Aurora, IN to Cross Plains, IN
After typing the longest blog in our history at the Aurora library we strolled down main street to find something to eat. We passed a little Christian bookstore and decided to stop in and look around. The man there named Charlie was nice and helpful. He showed us around and asked us questions about our journey. We told him that our friend Jim Shaner who was going to pick us up to go to the creation museum was also walking the trail. He said, "Yea! He came in here a few weeks back." We thought that was pretty cool! So we picked up a few tracts and a new pendant to make me a new necklace and we were off to find food. Imagine that right? So a few doors down we saw the sign for Acapulco Mexican Restaurant! We didn't even have to ask one another if we wanted mexican, we just walked right in. My mouth started to water as soon as we opened the door. Chips and salsa and enchiladas and burritos and beans and rice and drinks!! Followed up with a couple of York Peppermint Patties! Yum. So we had a filling meal and asked our waiter where the laundromat was in Aurora. He pointed down the street and said it was less than a block away. How convenient! So we hoisted our packs up on our backs once more and set off to find the laundry. Unfortunately as we were going out the door of the restaurant I was adjusting the straps on my pack and didn't see the step down. I didn't even have time to react. I just rolled my left foot down over the step and went down hard. All my weight came down on my right knee like a jackhammer on the concrete sidewalk. Don't forget that I'm wearing a 40lb backpack! It literally made my teeth hurt it jarred so bad! Well this was not good. As I limp over to the laundry it feels like my knee cap might be broken. I propped it up in a chair and examined it while Kristin ran to get some ice for it. Luckily It looked like it might just be bruised real bad but it sure hurt like the dickens! Kristin brought back some ice and we threw our clothes in the washer. I stayed in the laundromat while Kristin went to explore the little downtown area. About the time I'm putting the wet clothes into the dryer, Kristin comes strolling back in with postcards In her hand. We found a church in the town that was having a Wednesday nite service and decided to walk over as soon as our clothes were dry.
We walked quite a ways to the Assemblies of God church and when we got there we were warmly greeted by everyone in the wednesday night bible study. We came in the middle of a study they were doing about how the stars and constellations tell the story of the bible. It was pretty neat, it would probably be even more interesting if we had got the entire lesson from the beginning. It will be something I would be interested in researching more about at some point. After the study was over Jeff was talking with the pastor and he offered to put us up in a hotel. We thought this was so gracious of an offer. We told them we were very content staying in our tent, and all we needed was a piece of safe grass, but once again God's children prefer to spoil us. When we told them we were going to the creation museum with our friend Jim, they said a member of the congregation had passes. They called them and had them brought over for us at the hotel. What a wonderful gift!!! Thank you so much Hosanna Assembly of God!!! Jeff and I got a great night of rest and the next morning we woke up, showered, and waited for Jim to arrive. When Jim got there we put our packs in his tiny trunk and whisked away to the museum. We got to the museum around 10:30 and a van full of kids pulled right in before we did. They had a Jesus fish for every kid on the back door of their van so of course Jim took the opportunity to ask if they would all pray for America. They said of course and Jim tallied them up to be 11 total and marked them down in his little notebook. We left the museum around 4 p.m. and still did not see everything. It was so amazing I wish I could go again! Jim took us back to Aurora so we could return the passes to their owner. We were not sure yet where we were going to spend the night. We called Nick, the guy who owned the restaurant and he didn't answer. I knew Jim was wanting to get back to his hotel before dark so I asked the man who met us to get the museum passes if he had a backyard. He said yes so I just bluntly asked if we could camp in it and he said yes. So we followed him to his house and said till next time to Jim and went with this nice gentleman to his backyard. I had not even asked him his name I don't think. After him showing us to the flattest part in his yard I asked him what his name was, it was Tom. Tom had a dog who was apparently curious about us because after setting up our tent he came out and said he did not think things through, because they had a week old grand-baby and the dog would not stop barking so us being in the backyard was not the greatest idea. He tried to offer to put us in the hotel again but Nick, the restaurant owner, had actually called back and said we could camp on his property.
So Tom said since we had another place to stay he would like to take us to dinner. We all settled on Chinese food. He took us to the "new" place in town and it was great! While we ate dinner we got to know Tom and found out he was a bassist and his wife was a musician too!! Who knows what kind of music we all could have made. So after dinner Tom drove us over to Nick's house. Nick had told us to tell his forman, Stanley, that we wanted to camp on "the point." After going down a half-mile long driveway we rounded the corner and saw Nick's place. It is a beautiful pole barn with living quarters upstairs. Stanley met us when we pulled up in the circle drive with a puzzled look on his face. We hopped out and told him who we were and what we were doing, and asked if Nick had told him about us? He said, "no but that's ok." We told him that Nick said we could camp on the point and he said ok. He started to walk in the direction of where we were going to camp and we said, "hold on we have to say goodbye to Tom!" So we gave Tom a big hug and thanked him for dinner and for driving us to Nick's. We saddled up our pack and followed Stanley. He took us back to a place where there was an over-look of the crick and a firepit with chairs. It was a perfect place to camp. On the way out there we were followed by this really friendly kitty cat. So of course that meant that Kristin no longer held the mental capacity to help me clear away the sticks and set up the tent. She was lost somewhere in her mind where she goes when she sees a kitty. I think a 12 headed alien could land their glowing spaceship on her foot and get out to take "samples," and she wouldn't even know cause, "Ooohh LOOK HUNNY!! THERES A KITTY!!" Ok so I set the tent up and sat down in one of the chairs to relax. It wasn't 10 seconds and that cat was now in MY lap obviously wanting me to do something for it. Of course Kristin was oh so helpful in translating the cat's behavior for me by saying, "Awww she wants you to pet her!" Im sure you can imagine how that turned out. Anyway we got a great night's rest and we woke up to the sounds of abundant wildlife. Then we heard Taco. Taco is a very boisterous chihuahua and is only about as big as his name sake. He sure was curious about this big yellow talking orb in his back yard. We then heard Nick's voice asking if we were awake and if we liked coffee. It was quite chilly and a thin layer of frost covered everything outside the tent. Because of the cold it had been difficult to get out of our sleeping bags, but when the word coffee reached our ears we sprang into action. We had everything torn down and when I finally put the tent in my pack and cinched it down, I looked up to see the tiny speck that was my wife. Already back across the pasture and standing on the back porch with Nick. As I walked back across the frosty field I noticed the tracks I was leaving behind. I did not however notice any other tracks going across that field. I scientifically deduced that my wife flew out of the tent and across the field in a single bound at the very mention of the word "coffee."
When Jeff finally caught up with Nick and I, he was inviting us inside. His house was very beautiful. He said he designed it himself. We poured coffee and Nick gave us plates for our granola bars and invited us to the living-room for coffee talk. He began asking us questions about our journey. All he knew about it was the holy spirit led us to do it. Just that simple remark left him intrigued though so he inquired about how the holy spirit led us to do such a thing. We told him it was a really long story and he leaned back in his chair and said, "I got a little time." So we shared our testimony with him as he stopped us to ask questions throughout the story. He was very inquisitive! After sharing with him, he told us a little about his project he had going on his acreage. He owned/ raised race horses. He had about 30 of them, 10 of which were babies. As he was telling us his dreams for his place he gave us a tour of the property. We were accompanied by 6 others as well. Taco and Tico, the chihuahuas, Big the great Dane, Betty and Lou, the St. Bernards, and my kitty cat friend from the previous night!! I was having a hard time paying attention to Nick from all the playfulness of the animals. Nick showed us the canoe he had that he mentioned selling to us when we first met him. He said we could take it to the next town if we wanted to and then he could come pick it up, but I think we decided not to do the canoe trip after all even though it sounded tempting.
So from there Nick took us on a tour of the rest of his property and then took us to see the babies. He had 10 or 11 newly weened race prospects. They were so much fun. Nick let us go into the field with them and they all came running up to us and surrounded us. They all just wanted to play and smell. They were as tall as we were already but obviously very young. After playing with the weenies we headed back to grab our packs and hit the road. Before we left, Nick offered us some hot food from his restaurant and Stanley brought out his microwave so we could heat it up. Yum!! So we ate some food as Nick left for the restaurant. As Kristin was typing on the blog I swept some of the cobwebs off the ceiling and the stalls. Nick had complained about them in passing so I figured I would do him a favor in return. We bid farewell to Stanley and headed for the unknown once again. Nick's road was not on the trail, but it paralleled the creek that the trail follows. So we just headed north until we found a cross road that would take us back over the creek and back on the trail. After a good portion of the day we finally found the trail again and made it to the right road. After walking until almost dark we found an old abandoned river house and pitched our tent on it's back porch. We were just a few yards from the creek and there was plenty of water and firewood. So as Kristin set up the tent I went to filter some water and start a fire. About the time I filtered the water and got the fire ready to cook on, Kristin was bringing over the cooking pot ready to be heated. What a well oiled machine we have become!! We ate a good hot meal of Stove Top stuffing with cheez-it crumbs and a pouch of roasted chicken. Then after making sure the fire was out, we bundled up in our sleeping bags and went to sleep. We woke up the next morning to some kayakers launching their boats in the creek. At this point in the journey we are just totally exhausted. Mentally, physically, spiritually drained! It hurts to sleep if you can imagine that. We decided to stay in bed all day and take a day of rest. It was needed but wasn't enough to rejuvenate our bodies. Not that we are complaining (although we do at times) rather, letting everyone reading this know how we are doing. Well, we're tired.
Ok so we laid in bed all day Saturday and then got up early on Sunday. We walked across the bridge to a church for service. It was a Church of Christ church. The people there were friendly and inquisitive. They all asked us a ton of questions and made sure that we had enough coffee and hot chocolate. After service we headed back down the trail. We walked about 8 miles and came across some fellas gearing up to go deer hunting. They were shocked to hear what we were doing and happily gave us a jar of homegrown green beans and a jar of canned pork. It was funny though, they were all questions and comments until we told them that God called us to walk across america. Then one of them said, "well, God is calling me to shoot a deer." They couldn't have tucked tail and ran away any taster. We thanked them for the food as they were piling into the truck and walked another 2 miles into the town of Farmer's Retreat. We found out that the Lutheran church in town owned the pavilion we wanted to camp under and were told to make our selves at home. Kristin didn't want to eat the cold pork and green beans so we ate a cold can of chili with cold tortillas and even put some leftover Horsey Sauce from Arby's on them. It sounds gross but tasted gourmet to us! We were too tired and it was way too windy to safely make a fire. After another fitful night of sleep we packed up early to head into the town of Friendship to see if they had a breakfast place. Friendship is home to the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association, and they have an impressive campground and shooting range there. They don't have a breakfast place however, just a small general store. We bought some donuts and chocolate milk, some Chef Boyardee, some poptarts and a block of Colby jack cheese. That along with the pork and green beans, should get us to the next town.