Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stories from Ohio

Chasing Spring

We've been walking on Highway 22 on a North-North-East heading over the past two months, witnessing spring unfold around us; first the forsythias then the azaleas all abloom, and the pink and white dogwoods and weeping cherry trees.

The fields of winter wheat amidst which we've sometimes slept are almost ready for harvesting and the barren buckeye tree for which this great state is known has finally blossomed... I've never experienced anything quite like it and indeed it's like we've been caught in time, chasing spring...

Photos: Top Right taken at our hosts, Signe & Greg's place in Circleville. Left and Right photos taken outside of Lancaster OH.

We found this Alpaca farm near New Holland. Never seen an alpaca before but we camped out at a Llama farm outside of San Gabriel, Texas and boy were they mean. They put the owner in ICU for a couple of weeks with a kick. These alpacas, however, seemed like sweethearts and as always, Hudson wanted to make some new friends.

"God Hates Mobile Homes"

Signe has another place she's let us stay at in Reynoldsburg and when the fuzzybutts and I were there alone one Friday night, a wicked storm clamped down on us. I turned on the Weather Channel and it indicated that funnel clouds had been spotted in Whitehall OH. Having no idea where that is, I got on Google maps and discovered it was just west of us. Then the red, flashing subscripted alert for Reynoldsburg came across the screen, "If you're in a mobile home evacuate now." No doubt about it I was worried but dragging the boys out in torrential rain and flash flooding didn't seem that smart to me either. And then I remembered something Jeff Foxworthy once said, "When are you people going to learn, God hates mobile homes!" I laughed and got the boys on the couch with me. Thirty minutes later, the worst had blown through and as we have been so many times before; spared.

Masterson Vet Clinic

The inclement Spring weather didn't spare us entirely though as Murphy took ill last week with vomiting and general malaise. He's never been that sick before and it was a real mystery what was ailing him. While on the road when it happened and miles away from a vet, we were fortunate to have a team who stepped up and already had contacts and contingencies in the area.

Mary, an administrator with the Lancaster Police Department, got us to her vet, the Masterson Clinic, and we ruled out my greatest concern - bloat. Everyone there was so helpful and generous due in large part to Dr. Masterson's daughter, Danae (just center in the Photo left), whom we met earlier in the day...

Somerset Elementary School

We were invited to speak at the local elementary school while passing through Somerset Ohio. It was an amazing experience from both the turnout (a few hundred students) and their knowledge of geography (most knew where Austin and Boston are) I only knew where the snack cake vending machines were..

I love talking to kids about our journey because they ask the most clever questions. One of them asked me if I've ever lived in a house, another whether I've bathed before.

Still, despite being homeless and stinky, we received this email from a mother of one of the kids, Cecilia, about our visit to the school.

"Just wanted to let you know that my son met you at somerset elementary on may 5 he was excited with meeting you and your boys he got to ask you a question and pet the boys now when he grows up he wants to travel the world thanks so much for what you are doing."

You know, one of my favorite quotes as a young man was by T.S.Eliot, "We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."


Austin Vet Clinic said...

I love reading your stories! I think it is great to use your trip to help educated people along the way about animal care and the importance of pets in a person's life.

Linda said...

Just wanted to say, I've been following you and the boys since you started this walk last spring. I love to read the updates from the newsletter Eric sends out. You are one courageous fellow. Be safe and I'm so glad Murphy is alright.

Take care and God Bless,