I didn’t have reception last night so I couldn’t write a blog post. Now so much has happened and keeps happening that I don’t know how to fit it all in! I always kind of think about what Im going to write while I’m running, and usually I want to write about the thoughts and transformations that pass through my mind and spirit each day, but by the time the day has ended, so much has happened that I can’t help but report back on the actual events rather than merely thoughts. But I hope I strike a balance somehow.
So yesterday I had an easy running day, 16 miles into Plains, TX. I stayed with Janice and Neal who were extremely kind and interesting people. They live out in the country and they grow grapes. Quite a lot of them. If you remember, on Sunday I stayed at a cattle ranch, well last night I stayed at a vineyard. Am I living in reality?! Janice cooked a delicious dinner and they opened a bottle of wine made from their grapes. So I got to taste backyard beef at the cattle ranch and homegrown wine at the vineyard. I could get used to this : )
After dinner they took me to see their barn, where they housed their machinery for getting the grapes from the vines, during the summer harvest. They do all the harvesting at night, to get the sugar at a specific point. After letting me play around a bit on the tractor, they showed me their baby- a GIANT telescope. I always wanted to be an astronaut when I was younger and it turns out Janice and Neal are both avid stargazers. So we headed back up to the house, set some chairs up outside, and I got to see the night sky like I’ve honestly never seen it before. It was incredible. They pointed out constellations, different star clusters, even Jupiter. What an amazing night.
I slept like a baby and headed off this morning. It was a long day, 32 miles. As soon as I stepped outside I could smell the oil oozing around the ground below us. Well not quite below us, but all through this area are vast oil fields. They lined the highway as I ran, mixing with farmland. Janice explained that they sell land in “sections” and each section is 640 square acres. A little bit bigger than my backyard.
Between the oil fields lay sections of cotton fields, wheat fields, and peanut fields. There is no way to express the flatness and vastness of the land except to say that it reminds me of the ocean. You look and look and as far as you know, the fields go on forever and ever into the horizon.
I also have to say I have never received so many friendly waves on the road in one day. Not to mention the 4 people who stopped to offer me rides. I am just overwhelmed with the friendliness and hospitality here.
Tonight I am staying with Eddie and Nadine, another amazingly kind couple. They cooked me up a giant dinner feast, complete with a side of mac and cheese like they do it in Richmond too. Eddie is a big hunter and he showed me his way old-school hunting guns. Definitely a new thing for me, as I’ve ever actually seen two guns in my whole life. I got to hold a few and I felt like a cowboy, although I know hunting will never be a hobby of mine. Sorry Eddie!
Now my belly is full, my heart’s bursting, and my eyes are closing. I just can’t believe how lucky I am to be doing exactly what I want to be doing, and to be meeting so many kind people along the way.