I left Yellville and on the way out of town I enjoyed the American Legion Memorial for our military and a fruit stand that was closed and had an honor box outside. I am loving these towns.
Again, it was a tough walk on the streets with little or no shoulder in a majority of places. I did walk again in the center lane as it was the safest spot.
I am starting to understand that this journey is not about the actual walk, but the people I am meeting. I believe that there is no coincidence in the people I am connecting with. An example is I met Ezra on a bad piece of roadway. He passed me and made a u-turn and came back to me. He asked if I wanted a ride. Ezra was going to work in the town of Mountain Home. That is where I was staying tonight. Ezra took me to his work and we had a cup of coffee. Ezra is a considerate young man that works for an air purifying company. It was great to talk with Ezra about his childhood, goals, wife and where he wanted to live.
I left Ezra’s work and walked toward the hotel. I was gettin hungry and stopped into Mel’s diner. Upon entry, I met Tom. He saw my Santa Monica Police hat and started a conversation. The conversation led to why I was walking. He called his friend, Doug over. We ended up standing in the restaurant for about 1 1/2 hours talking. The conversation was so awesome that I didn’t even order food. We were having such a good conversation that Tom and Doug asked if I was interested in going to listen to a bluegrass band tonight. Absolutely.
At 9:00 p.m., Tom and Doug picked me up and we went to the Royal 66. (Side note), I saw part of my walk for tomorrow. No shoulder or sidewalks. Not going to be fun again.
As we walked into the bar, Tom introduced me to one of the owners of the bar. From there I met another owner, Dave and his friend, John. Dave asked if I ever read the book, “How to Walk across America”. I had and had used it as a reference for my preparation. The author is Dave’s nephew. Dave waived my entry fee and handed me $20.00 for dinner. More for the Fund. John then bought me two Guinness beers.
I had a great time listening to the band. I got back to my hotel around 1:00 a.m.
Back to my original point; had I not taken the ride from Ezra, I would have not met Tom and Doug. This encounter will hopefully develop into a great friendship. The conversations were that good.
I believe that He is guiding and I am trusting. What an incredible journey.