Yep. Still out here and still goin'.

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Submitted by fellow human on Tue, 2008-05-20 05:44.

As you may have noticed, I was in Dallas, for-ev-er.

I did a lot of stuff though.

I repaired my clothes, repaired and modified my pack and my signs, re-treated my rain gear for water repellency, got new shoes and constructed a sleeping pad that is just as comfortable but half as light as my previous one. I bought some lightweight "galoshes" for the rain that will more often find me, some bug repellent for the blood sucking hordes that have begun to find me, a back-up phone and a solar powered battery to keep it in the juice.

Here's a little slide show I call "pointy things of the desert" from my tramp through the dry-lands. You can freeze it to read the captions by bringing your cursor into the photo field or stop or change directions with the buttons at top.

I've mostly re-written the intro which is of course the foundation of this whole thing. I will be shortening it and fine tuning it with some final pieces that came to me just before leaving Dallas. I am feeling my first feelings of "right-ness" as far as how those pieces will complete the introduction. I believe they will finally provide for a foundation that I will feel comfortable, even positive about working from.

This will be the third time I've entirely re-done the intro and I won't do so again, for it is time to move on with the rest of the project. I do feel though that I really had to walk and talk as I have through a whole bunch of people to get that initial offering to a level I feel good about. I needed to sift through combinations of ideas, perspectives and feedback to put together something more relevant to build on than I could have otherwise.

Incidentally, I have tarried too long in the south and temperatures are now in the nineties daily. But I felt I had to accomplish the above before I went any further and I do have some tactics up my sleeve for dealing with the heat.

The quality of what I guess you'd call luck surrounding the trip hasn't changed much. The folks who I sent my phone to for repair promptly sent me out a brand new one only three days later... to the wrong address.

That was nearly a month ago.

For some mystifying reason the company that made the phone must get the very same brand new phone back so they can send it out to me again instead of just sending me a different new one and simply re-stocking the other upon its return. Prior to the many calls required to clarify this bewildering actuality, I had ordered an inexpensive back-up phone from elsewhere. I did this in a timely fashion in an attempt to seamlessly transfer from my mainstay, when I sent it for repair, to my back-up as emergency stand in. But when I went to the post office to pick up the replacement, guess what? There were a couple things missing. Y'know, stuff like the charger, the battery, and, oh yeah, the phone. There was some nice charger, battery and phone shaped packaging though, as the merchandise had been stolen in transit. The sender hadn't insured it and I'm still waiting for my money back on that little transaction.

I then ordered an inexpensive pay-as-you-go phone that was advertised as also being compatible with a contract and a "sim" card which was great except that when I got it, it wasn't.

These inexpensive phones were starting to cost a lot of money, not to mention the sometimes priceless commodity of time.

I finally had a stroke... of luck when I was able to get a pretty fancy phone for free from my carrier. I'd been told a couple times that my contract wasn't yet eligible for renewal. But an unusually alert service rep later noticed that, since I brought my own phone into our unholy union, I had never taken advantage of the typical reduced price phone that's generally offered with a contract. Coincidentally, a PDA happened to be available at no cost because it was refurbished, a stipulation that, as I did choose to acquire the unit, I hope does not later result in bite marks left upon my backside.

But wait. I have been lucky with people.

A very giving woman whom I'll call saint Pia allowed me to stay with her for a very long time while in Dallas. She had only briefly met me at a hostel in Phoenix and I am so grateful for her trusting help.

[img_assist|nid=154|title=Saint Pia and her heavenly cake.|desc=|link=url,http://|align=center|width=360|height=270]

I was also lucky enough to stay with a couple of innovative and broadly versed alternative healers, Matt and Ty who had some very intriguing perspectives on our existence.

Shortly after I departed big D I went to Gainesville to pick up a couple packages at the post office.

Whadaya know, they couldn't find one of 'em.

But while I was bumbling around the PO boxes and planning my next move a very gracious woman named Kendra invited me to dinner with herself and her family. They were a very conversational and caring bunch and I ended up staying the night at their house.

The next day the Posties were able to locate my package as it had merely been misplaced. Then it was off to Pauls Valley to pick up the new phone that had at last been sent to me under warranty.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the valley. I'd finally crossed into Oklahoma and was looking for a place to pitch my tent in Ardmore when I jumped down to and misjudged the nature of a little stream bank.

Snap crackle pop: one sprained ankle to go.

Unfortunately I didn't feel I could afford to risk the possibility that it was broken, so it was of to the emergency room for an x-ray.

Diagnosis: a pretty well sprained ankle. Check out the Lovely pictures!

[img_assist|nid=155|title=Day 1. Initial weird swelling below joint on left side.|desc=|link=url,http://|align=center|width=328|height=640]
[img_assist|nid=156|title=Day 3. Acute swelling goes down: side by side comparison.|desc=|link=url,http://|align=center|width=640|height=480]
[img_assist|nid=157|title=Day 7. Pretty colors start to emerge.|desc=|link=url,http://|align=center|width=371|height=640]

As you might guess, I definitely needed to keep the pack off my back for a while. Once again I was lucky in that there was a place affiliated with the hospital called the mercy house. I was picked up and taken there by Georgia the indomitable curator and have been allowed to convalesce within its mercy for a week now. I should be back on the road shortly.

Talk to you all later!

-fellow human

Submitted by fellow human on Tue, 2008-07-15 18:16.

Hey Hoot

Whence comes the handle? Do you sing the blues?

Thanks for the comment and for keeping track.

Take care. -f.h.

Submitted by hootowlblues on Wed, 2008-07-16 17:22.

Hello again fellow human! I really didn't think you'd have time to reply, I work a rotating shift, 12 hours on days for three or four days,then a few days off and then I switch to 12 hour nights. We call the night shift hootowls and when I have to start on nights I get the blues. So I came up with the name hootowlblues. I've been working shift work for 35 years and I'm 53 and I'm going to have to work until I reach 66 or 67 years old. That alone is enough
to give a person the blues, "smile"
BUT I'm so thankful
that I've been able the work in one area all these years. enough about me where are you at now? I bet you're about to melt. I hope you're doing alright! later, hootowlblues

Submitted by fellow human on Tue, 2008-07-29 19:50.

Hey, Hoot

I'm now in Emporia KS at a library trying to catch up on replies to comments.

Haven't melted yet but have done some serious withering.

Later. -fh

Submitted by hootowlblues on Mon, 2008-07-14 02:44.

Hello fellow human, I met you while you were on your way. We talk for a few minutes and then you were headed to Pauls Valley, I lost your card you gave me, sorry,,,, but then I remembered that you said you'd stayed at Kip's, so I called him and got your web site. I'm glad you're making good progress on your trip. I'll keep track of you now. best wishes from hootowlblues