7/12 – Well, we did not walk from Whitewater to Janesville, we took a bus. My left foot has been giving me increasing discomfort, so Dr. Jim prescribed a few days off, to see if it will heal. There is a sporting goods store in town, so I’m counting on a new pair of boots to help. We’re tucked into a very nice Motel 6, next door to a Cracker Barrel, across the street from a Walmart, so all our needs will be met while my foot gets some rest. (Somebody please tell Doug Nixon that I was wrong and he is so right about Cracker Barrel – the best restaurant ever!)
We’ve been following the Ice Age Trail for a full month now, and have walked over 300 trail miles, plus all the miles we add by walking into and out of towns. With the exception of the Nice People of Wisconsin who occasionally pick us up on our way into a town, we have been getting by on our own.
With the prospect of being laid up for a few days and seeing some long road walks ahead, Jim reached out to Tess, one of the Trail Angels who help support Ice Age Trail hikers in this county. Tess completed the 1100 mile trail last year by hiking in sections, and is one of the handful of women who have achieved this goal. She understood our frustration at being sidelined by injury, but assured us that it happens to everyone trying to complete the long road walks. In fact, she was surprised that we accomplished as much as we did.
Tess came to our motel with maps and suggestions of ways we could break up the miles differently, and encouraged us to reach out to other trail angels as we continue on. This is very good advice.
Next to our motel is the Janesville Bible Church. Whenever we find ourselves near a church on Sunday, we stop in. Last week in Eagle, it was a Catholic church. We sat through the mass, sang the hymns and walked out without any one saying a word to us.
This week’s service was about as different from that one as night is to day. There were only about 12 people, but just about everyone came up to introduce themselves and welcome us. After the service (and I’ll have you know that my verse finding skills are VERY good), the pastor’s wife invited us to stay at their home, and offered to make an herbal compress for my foot. We were touched by their friendliness, and will take them up on their offer of supper before we move on.
7/14 – This morning we walked the mile over to Gander Mountain, a huge camping/hunting/hiking store that just opened in town two weeks ago. (Coincidence or answer to prayer? You decide!) I danced out with a new pair of comfy boots, new socks, and new Keen hiking sandals to wear in wet weather. My feet feel better, and my spirit is elevated 100%. (Jim’s not so much, as the purchases went on his credit card…)