Day 30. | Lake O the Pines TX. | End: Mt Pleasant TX. | Mileage 1439.2

Another night under the quiet stars alone. The fireflies dance in the midnight air, magically floating as the stars of the forest. I sit and wait for the ice to melt, to drip down my leg and heal the knee that has damned me so. With my father, Tina and Dirk all asleep, they are closer to tomorrow than I. Today was fun, a day which marks a new chapter, the life on the road, a month in the bag already.
Waking to the sound of a radio talk show, the day began on an odd note. The family whom camped beside us seemed to pack their house and brought it with them. As the sun peeked through the tall pine trees all I remember seeing was this long orange extension chord snaking its way from the box to the source of a hum, the same hum that I heard all night. A familiar sound but one that seemed foreign in the landscape like this. I cracked a smile as I solved this mystery and saw the window air conditioning unit stuffed into the entrance of their tent. As I lay there dripping with sweat as the night’s humidity rained down on me, these guys not 50 meters away were enjoying a cool breeze. I tip my hat, well played. Haha.
We left in a hurry, a race to beat the mid day sun. The forecast was expecting the worst, triple digits in areas we were heading right into. Putting my knee in the back of my mind, we made some good time. Stopping at our normal watering holes, we rested up and packed a gallon of water each. One of these stops happened to be in the town of Lone Star Texas. Roy, a man of character and wisdom, not the Yoda or philosophical wisdom, but the kind many years seemed to reflect. This is were I happened to gain some self defense knowledge, a free class that I was not aware I signed up for. We had laughs, shared some BBQ and parted after his barbershop opened for business. It is really a trip how some things can happen, but only if you are open to talk to people.
Our next stop appeared suddenly as we were moving down highway 49. With the sun bearing down and the road stretching to the horizon, a slight glance to the left caught a friendly wave. With an instant spark of excitement and relief that I may have a rest, I turned the bike around with out hesitation. Cutting across the four-lane highway, we ended up at a community benefit for Nortex VFD. Never will you appreciate a conversation so much until you experience hours of silence, days on the road… an eternity of thought. I must have looked like a fat kid in a candy store, smiling and eating one of the best grilled burgers I could sink my teeth into. Learning about the department and seeing the enjoyment they all had just being together was rich and I had a good time. A true community.
Mt Pleasant. A town not named after a mountain of which it sat upon… but for the mounds the Native Americans used to rest upon to heal their bodies. The town I will see my father for the last time on this trip. Coming from Shreveport to camp a night with us couldn’t have been any better. Bellies full and eyes half closed, today marks the beginning of the second month on the road. Many parties to follow.

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