Day 89 – Sweating and Socializing

I didn’t get started walking until 9:30 am. That only should be reason enough to just turn around and go back to bed. Starting late (and tired) makes the day so much more difficult in the Hot temperature. As one of my FB Fans said; “It was like a hot blow-dryer was blowing all day”. That combined with the heat coming off of the pavement is tough!

Don’t get me wrong though, at least it is manageable. Missouri and 105 degree days with 90% humidity is NOT manageable!

Manageable is a relative term though. It’s manageable if you don’t walk 12 hours straight with only 30 minutes of rest throughout the day. Agh…I am such a whiner!

My first stop for the day was the sleepy little town of Park City, MT. The post office had a bench in front of it, so it was a FANTASTIC town in my book! While sitting for a bit, several people said “hello” and even offered me a copy of yesterday’s paper. A short while later, a bartender from the bar came out and told me that a few customers were offering to buy me drinks if I came inside. Flattered, but I knew from past experience, I couldn’t be doing that.

From Park City, there would be no more stops until I reached Columbus, MT. At the end of the day it would be 30-miles that felt like 50. Each mile I got closer to Columbus, the more beautiful the scenery became. For all my friend between Montana and Florida, I hope the pictures I post to FB provide you with a good idea of Montana’s beauty!

On the way to Columbus, I was stopped several times by people wanting to shake my hand and wish me well! If things continue, Montana will quickly rise to becoming the friendliest state in the country! But…it will take some work. 🙂

One of the visitors was the self-proclaimed ‘Biggest Fan’ of My Long Walk Home, Tracie Jenkins. Tracie has been following my walk since the May, and was very well caught up on much of the stuff that has happened all along. But most important of all, she knew (from my blog) EXACTLY what the perfect gift is for a walker! That is, a single (or maybe two) bottle of frozen Gatorade or water. Nothing is more perfect in the middle of a hot day! Thank you Tracy and it was a pleasure to finally meet you !

While walking, I received a couple of messages that filled up my social calendar for the evening. Walt Stieg was back in town and offered to buy me dinner in Columbus. I accepted and knew that I had to arrive and be ready by 8:30 tonight.

Also during the day, I got a message from my buddy Mike Warren. He was going camping with his girlfriend and wanted to take a detour and visit with me. His ETA was going to be 10pm. I was looking forward to my evening for most of the day. But…

It was an 11-hour day of walking  constantly under the direct sun. During the day I accumulate a 1/4 inch layer of dirt from the road. The accumulation is assisted by the multiple layers of Suntan lotion being applied. After 10-hours though, no sunblock really helps any longer…you are just frying. Today, I felt it and it was sucking the energy out of me. It got to the point that I made sure my entire body was covered, even my face. I’m sure my bankrobber’esqe appearance was quite surprise to most!

Upon arrival, I’m sure I was suffering from mild heat-stroke (again). Chills, cramps and overall exhaustion. But when you are a walking socialite like myself…the show must go on!

I had a wonderful time at dinner with Walt and Kathy Stieg. Walt provided me all the gossip on my Dad over the years. 🙂 Not really, but you could tell that there was a high-level of respect for my Dad. As I told him, the feeling was likewise. My Dad has many friends, but his circle of close friends is small. Walt is one of those people.

As you can imagine, dinner was filled with many questions from them regarding my trip. I may not have a lot of things, but a shortage of stories from my trip isn’t one of them. I talk too much!

Towards the end of dinner, Mike Warren showed up! What a surprise! Mike was able to use his unique sleuthing ability to track us down. This must have stemmed from some elective class while studying to be a Chemical Engineer at MSU.

<Grizzly Fans…let the Bobcat jokes begin>

It was getting late and it was time for the Stiegs to head back towards their home in Billings. Giving them both a hug, we said goodbye until the next time. Stieg Family, thank you very much and I am very glad to have met you!

Mike and I hung out and talked about old-times until about midnight. As with the other day, everything just seemed so surreal. It took me to walk across the country to see my old friend again! I am a lucky man!

Do you remember my blog from several days ago, where I joke about how you will never find a Toyota truck in Sheridan, Wy. Well, lo and behold, I found the lone guy who bought a Toyota from Fremont Toyota in Sheridan. Yip…it is Mike Warren!! How funny is that!?

I missed several more opportunities to take pictures today. My apologies to Tracie Jenkins, The Stiegs, Mike Warren, and Mike’s Toyota truck for not getting your pictures. Not excuse…except maybe a little heat-stroke…

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