I’m a Country Girl Again

Wow, it seems like I’ve just gotten started – but I’ve walked 240 miles, I’m 80% of the way through Washington, and nearly 15% of the way through the entire trip! One other detail of note is that I won’t be in anything remotely resembling a ‘large’ town until I hit San Francisco…

Spotlights This Week:

Always – Hope Chapel Missions
Charity Spotlight – California Abilities Network (ICAN)
Church Spotlight – South Sound Foursquare Church – Tumwater, WA
Church Spotlight – Church of Living Water – Olympia, WA
Church Spotlight – Calvary Chapel – Montesano

A special thank-you to one of our church members who donated a pair of Center Court tickets to the Lakers-Clippers game for the benefit of Soles 4 Hope. This was to be Kobe Bryant’s next-to-last home game before retirement, and we were able to sell them for $900 on Stub Hub.  Even after fees, it’s about $800 for Hope Chapel Missions!

My brother Danny arrives from Salt Lake City tomorrow.  We’ll be tourists for a week, traveling around the Olympic Peninsula before coming back to the Aberdeen area to start my next cycle of walking (along US 101 in Southwest Washington).  It’s a fairly isolated area, some of it without cell phone service, so Danny will be providing walking/vehicle support until I cross into Oregon on the ‘dreaded’ Astoria Bridge.

Here’s what one of my mornings looked like:

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I found this little piece of wood as I was waiting for the bus. The little ‘cups’ were soft – not sure what it is, but it kinda looks like a flute, eh?

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Monday & Tuesday had some rain challenges, but overall the weather has been absolutely amazing for walking.  The bus routes have been a blessing, and I’ve come to enjoy the relaxing rides back to my car.

On Thursday I had to walk along Highway 12 for several miles, including a bridge crossing. I had driven over the bridge a few times & decided it would be no big deal.  There was NO shoulder, but traffic was light and the bridge was pretty short. Turns out, the only thing I got right in my assessment was the NO SHOULDER part. Traffic was daunting, and when I finally found a slight break, I had to get across fast. Not a jog, a sprint! And with cars coming at 55-60 mph, that bridge seemed a lot longer than it really was. I felt like I was playing chicken with ’em.  The cars beat me to the bridge, but thankfully there was nothing in the other lane, so they were able to give me some space.

On Friday, I had several more miles of Hwy 12 in a very ‘ordinary’ area. As I entered Aberdeen the highway was much higher than the riverbank, and I was bummed to see a nice park below me – with a path right along the river and no way to get to it from where I was.  If I had known, I could have saved myself about a mile of highway walking. :-/

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I had to wait about an hour for my bus, so I stopped in Billy’s restaurant for a cup of coffee and a couple of eggs, over easy.  I looked out the window & saw the Union Gospel Mission across the street, with a marquee sign that said they needed cakes or pies, canned vegetables & salt.  So when I got back to my car I stopped at WalMart and got a few bags of groceries for them.

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Today my route was to take me from Cosmopolis out into a more remote area of US 101.  I wasn’t sure I was going to do it – I had planned to wait until Danny gets here & do it with his support. But I decided to give it a try, ‘leap-frogging’ with my bike & car.  I’ll certainly have to use my bike in this way at some point, so I thought I may as well see how it feels – and I figured that any distance I was able to do today would mean I wouldn’t have to do a make-up day when I start walking again on the 18th.

I did get it all done, but it took me twice as long as normal – and I was really tired, as a good bit of the biking was uphill (on top of the 10 miles of walking). What I did was… park my car, walk my bike a half-mile to a mile, then ride the bike back to my car – and repeat. When I was walking my bike out in the middle of nowhere, I wondered if anyone would think I had a flat tire or broken chain… and eventually one fella did stop & ask, “Are you on some kind of mission that says you have to push that bike all the way to Raymond?” I said, “As a matter of fact, yes I am!” We didn’t have much time to chat, as cars were coming fast, but he u-turned, waved and yelled, “Good luck!” as he drove away. God bless him!

And oh, how happy I was to see my car up ahead when I’d come around a bend – a veritable oasis!

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I’m happy that I did this because it does prove to me that I can manage when I don’t have any other options – but it’s a highly inefficient way to “git-‘er-done”!

I’ll be spending the next week traveling around Western Washington with my brother Danny, then I’ll start walking again on Monday, April 18. I’ll try to do a ‘Potpourri’ blog post next Saturday if we’re in a place with internet.

Last, but not least, I want to give credit to those who have helped me on this cycle.  My host families: Wendy & Jim (Yreka), Betty & Randy (Des Moines), Kim & Laura (Olympia), Debra & Brad (Olympia/Tumwater), and Aubrey & Chad (Montesano).  The churches I attended: Life Foursquare Church (Yreka), Normandy Christian Church (Des Moines), Eastpointe Foursquare Church (Bonney Lake), Church of Living Water (Olympia), South Sound Foursquare Church (Tumwater), and Calvary Chapel (Montesano). And to those who facilitated some of my support: Pastor Ged, Pastor Jake, and Kathy. Thanks also to Montessori Academy at Spring Valley, Ranch House BBQ & Steakhouse, the soldiers at JBLM – and to our son Matt and (always) my amazing husband Larry.

Thank you all for your prayers – He hears them.

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” ~ Proverbs 3:6

 

 

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