Well, this week if all goes well I should be leaving Missouri and walking into Kansas. I’m currently walking along the “Mother of all Highways” Route 66, and thank goodness because as I get closer to the Kansas line the roads have become less hilly and pulling my cart has become less difficult. At the same time I feel a sadness coming over me because I know I will be leaving another state full of wonderful and giving people and will be heading once again into the unknown. I can only hope I have the pleasure of once again meeting the same kind of people I have met as I’ve travelled through both Arkansas and Missouri.
As I write this I am sitting at my campsite located in a KOA campgrounds on the outskirts of Springfield, MO. I am taking a rest day after several long days of walking, and this is a really nice campground that includes a much needed laundry facility. I even splurged and bought one of their supreme 12 inch pizzas along with a 20 oz Sprite, and for a little while I was in hog heaven. It’s amazing how just a few simple things can make me feel so much better.
Many times on this journey I have been left at a total loss when it comes to finding the right words to describe just how wonderful all of the different people I have met have been to me. How do I begin to tell you about folks that have not only stopped to help, but have gone out of their way, time after time, to help a complete stranger in need. Like the awesome young man who gave me twenty dollars outside of the McDonalds in Willard, and said he would pray for me, and the gentleman who picked up the check for my lunch at a small country store and left without even saying a word, or the young man who outside of the same store took the time to call a friend and arrange for a place for me to pitch my tent for the night.
I could go on and on. There’s the couple who stopped with their young child, took pictures with me, and gave me cold drinks and snacks for my trip, and the CEO of an international company and his wife who happened to see me on a remote back road and not only offered me cold water, but also gave me a ride the rest of the way into Willard, MO. Once there he took the time to drive me around and let me pick the spot I wanted to be dropped off at. After leaving me there he later called me and told me to call him back if I couldn’t find a place to camp for the night, and that he would come back and pick me up and I could shower and stay at their place for the night. And best of all his wife told me she would be praying for me. What a blessing to know that so many people are praying on my behalf.
After arriving in Willard I met a wonderful couple who own the Frisco Bike Rental and Repair Company located in town on a bike trail that runs from Springfield to Bolivar, MO. It’s an awesome little shop made from cargo trailers and if you are ever around Willard be sure to go by, the visit will be worth the trip. What they have done with two cargo trailers is pretty amazing, and I love their business concept. While there they not only gave me cold drinks and better directions to get me to where I wanted to go, they also got me in contact with the superintendent of parks and recreation for the City of Willard, who in turn arranged for me to get a shower and a place to sleep. He was incredibly kind and helpful, and even brought me a fan by later that evening because of the heat.
And that’s just the beginning! On the walk to where I was to spend the night I had a couple stop me and ask if they could take pictures with me, and then offered me encouragement as well. Then, when I arrived at my destination, a young man drove up and brought me a bag full of snacks and cold drinks to take with me on my journey. What an awesome town full of beautiful people who take being kind to strangers to a whole new level.
Early in the morning I will continue my journey down Route 66 towards Joplin, MO, and then hopefully on to the Kansas line. Please continue to pray for me because you really are making a difference as I continue along with this amazing journey! I only wish you could all see and experience America as I am seeing it now, a country full of caring and wonderful people. I am truly blessed!!!
Oh yes, I have added a lot of pictures to the picture gallery, be sure to check it out!
Always Onward I Walk,