I met Pablo! He is from Marathon. He is sick 😦 . I offered him a cold drink and he accepted! We talked about sickness and disease. We also listened to Los Tigres Del Norte on my phone. Pablo loves Hank Williams. I gave him a can of beans and franks. He started eating. We listened to “I saw the Light”. He thanked me and set off walking.
Richard gave me some money! He travels with friends. He is actually coming from St. Augustine where I started off! He was a great guy.
I made my way to St. Mary’s in town for Sunday Mass and confession. It felt like such a long time since I have visited a church! These villages in the desert mountains usually only have mission churches. No daily Mass 😦
Marathon had the only catholic church for miles and miles. Michael and Betsy offered to take me out to lunch! They are from the Dallas Fort Worth area and were on vacation. We doubled back to the Oasis Cafe, where I had breakfast.
Lunch was even better! We talked about this pilgrimage, the desert, the road ahead, and all kinds of other things. I am not sure my exact route through the California desert, but Betsy warned me of Death Valley. We also discussed my footwear. My sandals have holes in them. She told me to try and get a good pair of shoes. Lots of people have stressed footwear since I have reached the desert.
They were so nice to me! They were headed towards Alpine, and dropped of a gallon of water for me at mile marker 20!
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The staff sent me off with a few bags of chips. We all parted ways.
I headed to a small coffee shop and bought a mineral water. I went through hundreds and hundred of pictures I have taken in the past week. Ever since I reached the desert, I want to photograph everything!
Around 10p.m. It got dark. Traffic was heavier than usual. I got nervous being on the road at night especially on the 3rd of July. I started scouting locations to camp.
There simply weren’t any. Any good ones anyway. If I had to I could have slept on the ground. I always try and hang my hammock of I can. I feel safer and it makes such a difference. I kept checking culvert after culvert after culvert…
Lee his wife Melanie, and his step sons Landry and Joe pulled over! They were on their way home from Fort Stockton. They thought they might run into me that morning, and brought me some things: packets of tuna, a lot of water, animal crackers, pretzels, and smarties! Lee also gave me some money!
It was a great time meeting Lee’s family. We had a great time there roadside. We talked about the Marfa lights, the holiday traffic, and how I have been over the past few days. Lee told me to careful, lots of snakes were out that night. He also speculated what kind of snake I found on the guardrail the other night. I showed him the picture. I felt like an amateur herper! I even had the vest and head lamp! They wished me the best and urged me to be safe. We parted ways.
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I found the water Michael and Betsy left me!
I made it! I ate some tuna wraps and some pretzels. I downed some water and set up my hammock. Technically camping isn’t allowed at picnic areas along highway 90 in west Texas, but the border patrol agent parked within a few feet of me didn’t seem to mind. I fell asleep. I slept off and on.