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The wind, blowing 30 to 40 mph (with gusts even higher) was pushing me forward and to the right. It couldn’t decide whether to drive me off the road or just blow me down.

I was out of my tent and on the road at 7:15 am, looking forward to getting to my motel early. I’d looked at the map app carefully and noticed that although the shoulder was minimal or missing on the side facing traffic, there was a wide shoulder on the other side of the highway. So that’s where I walked, with traffic, which although not usually advisable, was better because of the wider shoulder. Twice the kart almost blew over. Good thing I was hanging on.

The sun had quickly disappeared behind the cloud cover, and the sky was dark gray. I heard a horn toot, and a woman waved as she drove by and pulled over in front of me.

It was Jana Brown, daughter of Martha and Percy whom I’d met yesterday. (Jana had earlier sent me a message that she would look for me on her way to work.) After I climbed into her car, warmed up, and got comfortable, she explained that she teaches history at the Enid branch of Northwestern Oklahoma State University and is currently working on her doctorate at OSU. Jana is quite knowledgeable about local history and told me several fascinating stories in our short time together.

After she departed, I kept walking and the wind kept blowing. It was hard going. After struggling another 10 miles, a man in a pickup asked if he could give me a ride, and I took it! I just couldn’t keep fighting the wind. Robert (in his mid-80s) and I lifted my kart into his truck and he drove me seven miles to the motel, where I got an early check-in from Claudia at the front desk. She was cheerful and happy to help. The lobby TV was talking about the wind, and on my way inside I’d noticed that the motel’s flagpole had blown over.

After eating some yogurt, oatmeal, and fruit in my room, I took a short nap and felt much better.

On top of the wind advisory  for today (gusts of 40 to 57 mph), there is a freeze warning (temperatures in the 20°s) that starts at midnight and lasts until 10 am tomorrow. Maybe I should just stay here for a couple of weeks.

@ Enid, Oklahoma

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