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Friday, September 03, 2004

 

Oxford

I left Batesville late again, and didn't notice the weather until it started raining. It was a light rain, but I managed to find shelter until it seemed to quit, then found a place to stop for the night. Mother nature had other ideas, and woke me up about 2:30 am, with an on-again, off-again sprinkle. I made it as far as Oldenburg, and noticed about four large catholic churches. One of them used to be a monastery, and one is still a convent, as I found out when I found a dry park bench under a tree in front of the convent, and the night watchman came by about 4 a.m. I left before too long, and pushed onward toward the next town, which would have been Metamora. I made it about halfway there, when a young man came by and offered a ride. I had been resting, taking a bit of a nap because of the short night's sleep, and hadn't made much progress by the second time he drove by, so he was a bit concerned. He was going back to Batesville, first, and then took me on through Metamora and...Morristown, I think. We stopped and he got me a burger and some fries, and a drink.
We didn't talk a great deal; he asked me the usual stuff about where I was going and why. I mentioned that I hadn't found temporary labor along the way: He suggested I ask everyone, and should be able to get a job for a couple of weeks. I didn't want to protest that I don't plan to be in any one place for a couple of weeks, and would have problems finding a place to stay for that long anyway, but filed his advice to consider when I reach my destination. He complained about the high price of gas; I mentioned that if it keeps going up, we may all be walking. That set him off on an anti-Bush rant about burning all our oil in a war. I didn't want to contradict him saying it's more complicated than that, either: While I wouldn't mind a political discussion, I don't care for disputes, and this would have turned into one. Before I left, he donated the contents of his lunchbooks. He put me on a county road that was going straight into Oxford, donated the contents of his lunchbox, and gave me his name and asked me to look him up if I ever came back through. I much appreciated it: that ride put me a couple of days closer to my destination.
It took me longer than I expected to walk the rest of the way into Oxford. I met a pair of LDS missionaries, who gave me directions to the church, if I were staying, and to the library. I'm having trouble finding one of the free Ohio state road maps, but the library gave me a county map that I can use to find the next town. The next town would have been Hamilton, but I found out that the LDS ward there meets in Fairfield. These are twin towns, anyway. I still don't have a detailed route past there yet, but the Internet (suggesting a freeway route) puts me between 300 and 320 miles yet to go.
I haven't had time to do the writing I wanted to, but I still have a couple of hours here at the city library, and possibly at the Miami University library, and I want to get a start on the 17 mile hike to Fairfield. It's doable but a bit strenuous. Labor Day weekend coming up is likely to interfere with this journal somewhat. The next entry could be as soon as tomorrow and as late as next Wednesday, depending on where I am when.

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