July 3

I’m in a motel in Salem, Illinois and I did 24 miles today.

Walking near a little spot in the road called Dix, Illinois, a guy stopped, Dennis McLane, and said he wanted to buy me lunch at his favorite place to eat, Austin’s Restaurant in Dix. The fried chicken there is awesome! Dennis is a real little guy. That didn’t stop him from being awarded the Bronze Star for heroism in the U.S. Army during though. His license tag said “Bronze Star Recipient” and I asked about it and he said it occurred during the Viet Nam War. I thanked him for his service. He just had a stroke not long ago and has to use a cane now.

About 7:00 pm, I walked into Salem. I was getting concerned because there would be no place to pitch my tent in a town this size and I knew the motels were still a few miles away out next to Interstate 64. And they would probably be too expensive for me. Just as I was pondering how I would handle this situation before it got dark on me, a minivan pulled up next to me with Mary Renfro and her son James Renfro. They wanted to know what I was doing. I told them my story and then asked if they knew a place where I could pitch my tent or of a cheap motel. They looked at each other with huge grins and then proceeded to tell me that Mary worked at a very nice little motel, that her daughter was the night manager and that they could get me a price I could live with. They told me it was one mils down U.S. route 50 east. I explained that I was going west on 50 instead. They insisted on loading up my cart and driving me to the motel! I asked if there was an eatery near the motel. Mary said there was not but they would wait for me to get something from the deli at a food store on the way. So that is what we did. The motel is very nice and I got it really cheap. Mary and James offered to come and get me tomorrow morning and drive me back the mile I had gone out of my way! I said no of course, but, can you believe how cool people can be? Is it any wonder that I LOVE LIFE and have fallen completely in Love with the act of breathing! What a life. Be well my friends and LOVE your LIFE.

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