July 4th

I did 20 miles today. I’m tented just north of a little town, Patoka, Illinois, in a field across from the Fast Stop convenience store and gas station about 200 feet from U.S. Highway 51. I asked the clerk Fast Stop if she knew of a place I might pitch my tent and she immediately called her boss, Wade Mannino, and asked permission for me to tent on his property. Thank you Mr. Mannino.

In the Salem Illinois Wally World this morning, an employee recognized me and asked me to follow her through the store, said she wanted me to meet someone. She introduced me to a young lady who had sent my picture to her earlier this morning. That young lady told me she took a picture of me and my beautiful “LOVE LIFE” sign yesterday and posted it on her Fb asking if anyone knew who I was. She said a lady from Fairfield told her what I was doing. I LOVE Facebook!

Later, Jeff Beck (not the British guitar legend) and Paige Curry of Salem, stopped by with their precious little boy Emery. They had been messaging me since last night trying to hook up with me. They were just great people! They were both just bubbling over with excitement about meeting me. They brought me a small tub full of fresh picked blueberries of which I took only half because of the weight concern and of keeping them fresh. They are delicious. I’ve been eating them all day and still have some left. Talk about good hiking fuel! Few others get to see the goodness in people that I see because they’re moving too fast. Objects do not blur when I walk past… nor do individuals. LOVE LIFE with all your heart and watch your heart grow in order to contain all the love you will have coming your way.

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