August 26

15 hard fought for miles today against the wind. I’m in my tent about 5 miles east of Larned, Kansas. Goody, I won’t have to walk far to get my morning coffee! When I stopped to take a break once a very concerned gentleman stopped to see if I was okay. He said that it was just so hot out he was worried the heat would get to me. It really doesn’t bother me that much. I’ve about 45 years of working out in Florida’s sun under my belt and I keep my 5 gallon cooler filled with ice water. I have aquarium hose running from the cooler, over my shoulder, and attached to my pulling harness right next to my mouth. Hydrating with ice water is a miracle worker. A little encounter in 2004 during my walk around America:

It was a beautiful Sunday, a spring morning and I was walking in Northern Ohio. Near Akron, I believe. One of those new Harley Davidson V-Rods designed by Porsche zoomed past me. They were newly released then and I thought they were just beautiful. But moments later, the fine looking machine rolled up beside me. He had turned around to check out my “LOVE LIFE” sign. I said, “Good morning sir!” He was a nice looking man, maybe forty and sporting a well groomed beard. He very softly said, “Love life huh? I hate life.” “No you don’t,” I answered. “I do so.,” he said. “You do not!” I came back with. “Yes I do!” He replied. “You do not!” and “I do too!” and again, “Do not!” I swear, there we were, two grown men standing out in broad daylight arguing, “Do too!” “Do not!” like two little kids. I finally broke the chain with, “You do not hate life, ‘cause, if you did you wouldn’t be out here this wonderful morning on this beautiful new bike enjoying the wind in your face.” He seemed to ponder what I said and then he answered, “I don’t know how I could ever love life.” I told him, “Look, someone or some situation has hurt you very badly. You have to forgive and forget and go on, that is how you will begin to love life again.” He just nodded his head and said, “I’m not sure.” “I am,” I said. “You go on and realize that you do and are loving life. You let that hurt go and let it die in the past where it belongs. You go love life.” He actually smiled a little and said, “I’ll try.” And then he turned around and rode off on that beautiful machine, the bastard!

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