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I brushed some frost from my tent as I packed up my stuff on the first day of spring.

I was on the road at 9:15 am—there was no point leaving at 7 am when the temperature was 30°, or even 8 am when it had gone up dramatically to 32°. Fortunately, instead of yesterday’s 28 mph wind, it was only 8 mph.

For lunch I stopped in the town of Panhandle, home of a gas station, a large convenience store, a Family Dollar, and a Subway.

In the end, today was about walking 19 miles today. I look at it this way: “I’ve taken a job, and that job is to walk 7 or 8 hours a day.” Frankly, I’ve had worse jobs (working at the Hunts cannery in Hayward, California comes to mind).

My tent was set up and I was in it at 5:30 pm. Just before I got in, a friendly guy in a pickup pulled up and asked if I was okay. This was Ed, who farms wheat on the field adjacent to where I’m camped. I asked if he minded if I set up my tent here (it’s a county road). “Not at all. Welcome to County Road X—‘X marks the spot!’” We spoke for a few minutes about our parents and aging, and he waved goodbye, saying, “Be safe!”

Not much else happened today. I’m hoping there will continue to be county roads similar to this where I can camp off the highway. In spite of the freight train whistles and the sound of trucks on the highway, I feel comfortable.

The town of White Deer is up the road, and tomorrow night I’ll be in Pampa.

@ White Deer, Texas

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