woke up and got ready for Mass. I headed over to the church.
After Mass Jean invited me over to the old convent building for biscuits and coffee! I met some nice people, including a seminarian named Scott. It was fun hanging out. The biscuits were homemade!
I headed back over to the rectory building to chat with the parish staff: Rene, Elisa, and Elva. They had so many questions for me haha! They also offered to let me use a computer to transfer pictures from my phone to a flash drive. I freed up over 6 gigabytes of storage!
The ladies gave me a big bag of waters, granola bars, fruit, nuts, and berries to take with me. They also gave me a ziplock baggie full of toiletries, and they all made donations!
They invited me to lunch! Every Wednesday the staff has a tradition of sitting down for a meal. Elva is a great cook!
Lunch was so good! Crawfish Etouffe. It was great sharing a meal with the St. Joseph’s crew.
Fr. Carlos gave me a really cool scapular with a mustard seed from Colombia inside.
After saying goodbyes, I hit the road.
I was 8 miles from the Texas state line, 4 of which were interstate miles. Pedestrians are not allowed on the interstate in Louisiana. Originally, I planed to follow LA 109 north to Starks, and then follow LA 12 to Texas to pass through at Deweyville. After a “off the record” phone call with a State Trooper, however, I changed my mind and decided to walk the interstate. It saved me 30+ miles, a day or two of traveling.
I put in the miles and reached the on ramp to I-10. I swung by a Chevron for a quick break. Just then I met Deborah!
She asked me if I was Dylan, and turns out, she has been following the journey! She searched up and down Highway 90 the day before between Vinton and Sulfur looking for me. I must have been napping! Deborah had a friend who rides a motorcycle all around the US taking care of the poor and homeless.
She bought me a few cold powerades, and gave me a donation! She also offered me a ride into Texas. I decided to pass on the ride. She gave me her phone number and I promised I would call her once I arrived safely in Texas. I hit the road.
I hustled. It was actually nice being on I-10, the shoulder was wide, smooth, and clean. There was a little bit of a scary moment with a short narrow bridge, but I made it into Texas!
I strolled into the rest stop and took a break. Just then a man walked up to me. I forgot his name :(. He said hello and told me he was supposed to give me some money! I thanked him and gave him a hug. He turned around as he was getting in his car and said, “Hey man, you don’t know how you just made my day.” Pretty amazing, he made mine!
I hydrated and ate some trail mix and granola bars.
I went live on Facebook at the Welcome to Texas sign. It was really cool, I was able to chat with friends and family, both from home, and from the road. Even some friends abroad too!
I hit the road and made it into Orange. At the first exit, I rolled down onto Simmons Dr. It was getting late, and I googled some churches in town.
I made my way to St. Therese. It was in a rough part of town, and I saw all kinds of different things. I was a little nervous, just because it was getting late. I usually don’t mind cutting through bad areas during the day. I arrived at the church and went inside. The priest (didn’t catch his name) heard my confession. He directed me to another church in town that might have a place for me to stay.
I met Reverend Crawford at the Mount Zion church a few blocks away. He immediately offered for me to stay in an abandoned building on the property. It didnt have a door, and some windows were missing. He told me I could place something in fron of the door. I went inside to check it out.
There was alot of junk inside. I contemplated whether or not it was safe to stay there. It looked like a place homeless people or squatters might stay. I thanked Reverend Crawford for the offer, but told him I would try somewhere in town. Safety is always my priority at night. The fact that he was so willing to help me upon my arrival meant a whole lot.
I hit the road. Sounds nasty, but I had to stop and remove all kinds of little bugs from my legs. I think they were fleas or something. They must have hitched a ride when I explored the abandoned building. I actually had to ditch my socks to get them all off me.
I arrived at St. Marys. I met Patricia at the youth house. She gave me a cold bottle of water. She told me if I hung around I might catch the priest, who didnt seem to be home.
I entered the perpetual adoration chapel and said a few prayers with God. I went to the back, and saw an index card with a woman named Lesylee’s phone number. She is a daytime substitute for adoration. I decided to give her a call. It sounded like there was something wrong with the line, so after a few tries, I hit the road.
I contemplated staying at a cheap motel nearby. A good friend from back home offered to pay for the room. It was a little sketchy place, for a few different reasons. Just then my phone rang!
It was Lesylee! She called me back (and I hadn’t even left a message). I told her I found her number in the adoration chapel, and was looking to speak with the pastor. I told her my name was Dylan and that I was traveling. Turns out, she has been following the journey!
She told me she would pick me up and bring me to St. Francis across town. It was in a nicer area, and there was a get together going on! A few minutes later Lesylee picked me up in her minivan. We loaded up the buggy and hit the road.
Lesylee grew up in Orange and went to St. Mary’s school. She had been following the journey, and told the parish staff to put up signs on the doors in case I arrived late, telling me it was ok to camp on the property! So funny! We arrived at St. Francis and entered the parish hall.
It was Fr. Sinclair’s 30th anniversary of his ordination! The place was packed.
I met lots of nice people, and it was a good time. Michelle, Lesylee’s sister, made me a plate of food! I felt so thankful. One minute, I’m in a rough area of town not knowing where I am going to stay, and the next, I am at a party surrounded by all kinds of nice people, some of whom know me!
Lesylee and Michelle put me up in a nice motel! They also gave me a donation. It was so nice of them! I skyped with my sisters for a little while and then hit the hay. TEXAS, What a day!