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I waited until after 9 am to leave the motel, knowing it was supposed to warm up a little (or at least get out of the 30° range). The Gordini gloves Sharon sent me are working much better than what I was using previously.

But what’s really helped the most is the quality of the road, which is much improved. As bad as Hwy 60 was from Seiling to Fairview (and it was terrible), that’s how good it was today. I had a wide shoulder all the way past Ringwood, Oklahoma.

And then poof!  The wide shoulder disappeared. These instant changes are disappointing, but no longer surprising.

I walked 21 miles today, but still have 17 to complete tomorrow as I walk to Enid. Sadly, that will again be on a tiny shoulder.

Oklahoma! Why are you doing this to me?

After three hours of walking this morning, I pushed my kart off the road and onto a driveway to eat my lunch. A lawn sign displayed on the property advertised “Martha Brown, Tax Services.”

A minute later, a woman drove down the driveway, stopped, and rolled down her window. She suggested, “If you’d like to get out of the wind, you can go sit in my husband’s truck over there.”

I asked if she was Martha, which indeed she was. “I think I’ll take you up on that!” I moved my kart onto her long semicircular driveway and got into the old Chevy truck, where I ate in comfort.

Twenty minutes later, Martha returned with her husband, Percy, and invited me into her home office (where I met their Schnauzer, Sassy). Martha does tax returns during the tax season, and Percy has been a tractor mechanic for many years. I looked through a photo album of some of the classic tractors he’s professionally restored. An extensive collection of model cars is displayed around the office. It was a pleasant way to spend some time before resuming my walk.

It turns out that Martha knows many people and everyone respects her. After we became Facebook friends, a number of her family members, friends, and friends-of-friends began following my journey. I was happy to welcome them all!

At 3:30, the sun finally came out. I walked until almost 7 pm and then again set up my tent on a county road next to the ever-present barbed wire as the sun began to set and the temperature started to drop.

If the road all the way to the Atlantic Ocean was as good as it was today… Forget it; why depress myself?

@ Ringwood, Oklahoma

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