Somerset April 29
In the morning I leave Somerset at my own time, in no particular hurry. There is no one to take me out to Route 31. It is just a few blocks up the hill past the County building.
The Main street is crowded with interesting architecture and shops, not so many people. It's Sunday. I stop to talk with the Barbeque vender, Pappy-D. Rich smelling smoke issues from his hand made grill. The rain has stopped for now. It is a sunny day, yet I did not bring my banjo with me.
Back out on the road, the houses give way to the forest and in the forest some trees stand out, They call to you. One such tree called to me though I did not know what it was saying. It looked like some tortured soul from a Hollywood horror movie.
People are waving and a person biking up the road comes over to find out where I am going. His name is Frank and he says he had a friend that walked the Appalachian trail and now whenever he sees someone walking with a pack, he has to ask them where they are going. He says there is usually an Interesting story. He was on his way to a nearby store, but had to ask me his question.
Along the road there are houses and summer cabins. Many places look abandoned. The Hills are long and sometimes steep. At the top of one there is a housing and resort development. There is also a conveyor belt that crosses the road from where quarry rock is being mined. The section over the road is enclosed in a large cylinder to prevent rock on the belt from falling onto the road. It looks familiar. I think it's from when I cam this way before.
It is about 4:00 in the afternoon when the Jeep Liberty pulls up on the other side of the road in Front of me. I recognize Allen Sell from the Rotary meeting. With Allen is his wife Veronica, my ride into town is here. At dinner our conversation is is about spirituality and leadership, the topic of his doctoral dissertation. There is much that we have in common. We all laughed though when he tells me that they tried to borrow a neighbor's Hybrid car to come get me because they felt bad about driving me in their SUV.
After I checked in at the Day's Inn, Carol Richardson, the Lions District Governor calls to ask how my day on the road has been and to tell me that she had the names and phone numbers of people who were going to help me during the last few days of walking. Later, Marilyn McGuire of the Nautilus Book Awards http://www.nautilusbookawards.com/ calls to let me know that Planetwalker has been awarded the 2007 best book of a small press. I fall asleep feeling that everything is in good hands.