July 18, 2014 MAKE THE BEST OF IT BY LOVING IT

7/18/14.

I finally made it to Faith, South Dakota, where I am resting in a motel. It was NOT an easy 75 miles from Newell, SD! The many climbs were made more difficult by the added 50 pounds of extra water on my cart. Tuesday, I walked against a mild headwind that helped keep me cool and keep the swarms of gnats away. Being as the wind was a friend, I hadn’t noticed just how strong it really was. Well, stopping for the night and pretty exhausted, after pitching my inner tent (no see-um screen & aluminum frame,) instead of continuing on and immediately staking down the outer tent over it, I remembered the treat I had on ice, a bottle of Angry Bastard IPA! So, I turned to my cooler and opened up the ice cold Angry Bastard. As I gulped down my first drink with the intent to set it down and continue the construction of my portable home, I turned to face my tent and my tent was gone! I mean, flat ass gone! I looked back to the west, the direction the wind was blowing, but, no tent! See, I’m in the beautiful rolling prairies of South Dakota and the tent was in a little valley when I looked in that direction. I then looked in every direction and… no tent! Then, it popped up into view, and I took chase after the dome shaped tent rolling very rapidly away from me and hell bent on escape. I first tried a gentle jog (I had already walked 20 miles) and that was not going to get it. The tent was gaining ground on me and so I had to accelerate into a full blown run! The direction the wind was taking my tent ran parallel with the highway, only about 150 feet away. Now remember, I have a bottle of beer in my hand. And, I am an old man chasing a 5’ x 7’ object across the prairie. At least two cars tooted their horns in encouragement. I didn’t dare look their way and take my eyes off the tent, but, I’m betting they were laughing their butts off! I found it about a quarter mile away. The tent had broken but I was able to repair it. I had purposely stopped an hour early to rest, this whole episode took an hour and 15 minutes. I sat down, drank my now, NOT so ice cold IPA, finished building my house and went to bed loving life. It truly is my friends, a most wonderful privilege to enjoy being alive! Make the best of it by loving it, LOVE LIFE.

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