September 22nd – Milford Lake

     I woke up to find that, in daylight, there was a beautiful view outside my windows. I also found that the sun, which highlights the landscape so well, heats up the air also. Especially the air in a confined space, like my car. So I got out of heat box and took a short walk, then returned to my car, started up the air conditioner, and drove toward my next destination. 

     That destination wasn’t very far away. It was a basketball court in Hill City, Kansas that I’d found online last week. When I began my trip, I intended to do basketball drills twice a week as I had done with my brother during the summer, but it has been more difficult than I anticipated to find courts. Well, here was one in the middle of Kansas, and I was going to use it. Even though the sun was hot, and even though the court was on a street corner so that every driver probably stared at me as they drove past and said, “Doesn’t he look funny, doing all those weird jumpy thingies!”

     I think I did look funny doing my jumpy thingies, but that is okay. I finished up my drills and got ready to get back on the road. Before leaving, I pulled some food out of my stash. I used cajun deli turkey, Muenster cheese, and tortillas to make a delicious wrap.

     One hundred fifteen miles later, I was in Junction City, driving around Milford lake in search of a shady spot to park and camp. It took me two loops around the campsite to find the only tree in the area that provided decent shade. It wouldn’t cover my car, but it did cover a grassy spot so that I could inflate my balloon chair underneath it and spend the rest of the afternoon reading comfortably.

     And that’s what I did. I continued reading A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins. This book is an autobiographical narrative of Peter Jenkin’s trip across the country, a little bit like the blog that I am writing. There are a few differences though. Peter didn’t have a cozy car to hide in, and he didn’t spend afternoons reading under shade trees. He started his walk in 1973, in upstate New York and traveled about thirty miles a day in his quest to cross the continent. It has been fun to read this account of another traveler, even though we’ve had different paths and approaches.

     I stayed happily in my spot until the sun met the horizon. Then I got up, took a few pictures, and put my balloon chair back into my car. I finished the evening with a call to my family, then climbed into bed. 

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