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At about 6 am, Sandra knocked on my bedroom door to let me know that Antonio needed to lock up the house. They all needed to leave for work and school.

So I threw on some clothes, grabbed the gear I’d taken into the house, and pushed my kart back out to the tent.

After saying goodbye to the family, I blew up my air mattress once again, crawled into the sleeping bag, and as my hosts drove off to work, I went back to sleep for a couple of hours.

By 10 am I was repacked and on Hwy 60, stopping at Allsup’s for a egg and cheese sandwich on a croissant to go, plus a 25¢ banana.

I dressed in layers and shed them as the clouds parted and the sun began to warm the day. Hwy 60 continued to provide a nice shoulder as I walked along vast fields of either farmland or grazing animals. Nary a tree in sight. Freight trains ran back and forth along the tracks all day long, whistles blowing at regularly-spaced crossings.

With only 13 miles to walk today—from Bovina to Friona, the Cheeseburger Capital of Texas—I took my time, listened to a variety of podcasts and interviews, and didn’t worry about much of anything. My biggest concern is when there’s no clear place to camp for the night.

I had another run-in with a dog. (Sigh.)

Friona Inn is very nice, and so is Dee, the young woman who made my reservation yesterday and checked me in today. I went over to the Dairy Queen next door for a fish sandwich, but was told, “They don’t have that no more.” So be it.

I walked across the street to Dollar General and for less than $6 bought a loaf of bread, a package of Swiss cheese, and a Dr Pepper, and came back to my room where I opened up a packet of StarKist and made open-faced tuna and cheese sandwiches with mustard, heated in the microwave. A few Hostess Donettes and I was a happy hiker.

It’s a long walk to Hereford, TX tomorrow, but I’ve got a reservation at the Best Western. My Accuweather app tells me temperatures are predicted to range from 42° to 77°. That’s a pretty big swing.

@ Friona, Texas

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