I followed the Lawton-Chiles Trail. “Walkin Lawton” ran for US senator in Florida in 1970. To promote his campaign, he walked 1,003 miles from Pensacola to Key West. He won, and later went on to become Governor of Florida. He died of a heart attack in 1998.
By noon I had covered 10 miles, and stopped to take a break at a gas station. I checked my tire pressure and met some friends. Brenda and Lamar owned a peanut stand and hooked me up with a free meal.
An hour later I jumped back on the 90. I was a mere 10 miles from downtown Tallahassee. A few miles later I hit sidewalk. It felt good and I slowed my pace.
Just then I met Chris. He approached me from his roadside camp and gave me a New Testament, something I needed since I gave my Bible to Suzie in Jacksonville Beach. I thanked him. Then Chris asked me something strange. He asked me to run him an errand.
He gave me $10 and asked me to pick him up two pints of Fiji water and a bag of ice from the store. I did, and upon my return he handed me $20.
Chris is a homeless minister. He has been homeless since he was in his 30s, and meets a lot of people and helps them out. In turn, people help him out. Often, people see him on the side of the road sitting beneath a tree reading, and stop and give him canned goods and supplies. The mercy flows freely.
We talked spiritual things and read some scripture. He reminded me of a modern day stylite. Time flew by and I found myself 6 miles from Blessed Sacrament in Tallahassee, with an hour an a half before Mass. Once Chris and I finished our conversation I high tailed it to towards town.
It wasn’t easy, as Tallahassee is a very hilly city. I put in the miles, and with a few moments to spare, I changed into clean clothes and entered the church.
I made it to Tallahassee!