I awoke before the sun, rejoined Highway 71, and hit the road. I put in a few miles and broke for a late breakfast around 10 AM.
It was cloudy, so I had trouble keeping my phone charged with the solar charger.
It was a long day. I stopped and took pictures along the way.
There was construction on Highway 71 just before the Austin city limit. I decided to cut across some dirt to get to the other side of the road, there was a wider shoulder.
It wasn’t dirt, it was mud! Really thick concrete like mud. It gunked up the tires as I progressed across the median. It got to a point where the buggy wouldn’t move, it was stuck!
My sandals kept falling off, the mud stuck to everything and weighed so much. I was pretty up set and overwhelmed in a bad way, and then I started laughing. I couldnt help it. I almost slipped a few times too. I just kept laughing.
I got my act together and got the buggy out. I hit the road.
I passed along the airport and followed Riverside Dr to the town lake. I don’t know if people swim there or not, but I did! It was cold and refreshing.
I hit town and made my way to the St. Mary cathedral. I passed through the Holy Door of Mercy. I met an usher named Jerry. He was really nice and welcoming. The cathedral was beautiful. I attended Mass.
After Mass Jerry and Diane gave me a donation! It was really kind of them, and meant a lot to me. We chatted for a bit. He asked me lots of questions and was very interested in the pilgrimage.
I met up with Lance! He is related to Jude from Welsh, LA. Lance had been sick all day, but wanted to come meet me and give me a donation. It was so nice of him, and I was really thankful. Still am! We parted ways.
I wasn’t sure where I was going to sleep that night. I usually don’t like to approach cities late in the day if I don’t have somewhere safe to stay. I had some leads, but they didnt turn out to be promising.
Jeff helped me out! He follows me on twitter and offered to put me up in a hotel! We chatted on the phone and tried to figure everything out. The place we found was a few miles north towards the University of Texas. I made my way.
I met some friends outside the Salvation Army in town. They were camera shy. I helped them out with some waters and hit the sidewalk.
I met Wesley. He was standing by the sidewalk. He looked hungry. We went and got some dinner!
Wesley grew up near the coast and has been homeless in Austin for 2 and a half years. Every now and then he can find some work in town, usually cleaning dumpsters for business owners. We headed to a really fancy place in a hotel lobby and ate like kings! Their burgers were great!
Wesley and I chatted as rain came down on Austin. His poncho had holes in it. I was able to help him out with a new one I had, a belt, and some money. I asked him if he had somewhere safe to stay and he told me he did. He needed new shoes and socks, and I felt bad I didn’t have any. Wesley was really thankful, and I enjoyed hanging with him. We parted ways.
I made my way north to the motel. There was some sort of misunderstanding between me and the staff, but Jeff was able to clear everything up with a few phone calls. The manager gave me a few coconut macaroons! I retired to the room.
I watched Anthony Bourdain and chatted with my sister Jen on the phone. I was actually up really late, until midnight. I fell asleep feeling thankful. Jeff, a complete stranger, helped me out big time!