Checking in from Quitman, TX …
On Friday, May 18, I walked from Lake O’ the Pines to Gilmer, Texas. It is beginning to be very hot in the afternoons (95 degrees) making it difficult to maintain the pace. Anticipating the toll that the weather might take, we have managed to get ahead of schedule. Really going to need to be ahead as we hit West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The first 1,500 miles was completed in about 80 days. The second half of the trip is projected over 100 days.
As described in previous blogs, I keep a sharp lookout for discarded coins on the roadside shoulders and gutters as I walk along. This is just one of the diversions that keep me sane when the route gets monotonous. Haven’t counted the change (which will go to the AHA at the end of the trip) in awhile, but I would guess that I have found at least $10 so far. Pennies are the most common find, but nickels, dimes and quarters have also been picked up. Thursday’s haul, however, was unusual. I found a silver dollar and several German coins spread over about 100 yards. Have no idea the value of these coins. Anybody know?
Gilmer was a typical little Texas town—county seat (Upshur County) and shopping area for surrounding farms. The Cherokee Trace, a road blazed by the Indians from Gilmer back into Arkansas, was a principal artery for the settlement of Texas and was the route taken by Sam Houston, Davie Crockett, Jim Bowie and others as they rode into the state to fight for Texas independence from Mexico. Other primary claims to fame for Gilmer—a state high school football championship in 2009 and hometown of renowned singers Johnny Mathis and Don Henley (of Eagles fame).
The walk to Quitman took all of Saturday and will be finished on Sunday. Along the way, I walked by a huge, gorgeous ranch with at least five lakes on the property. Locals informed me that it was owned by Dallas multi-millionaire Sonny Oates. Also in the area was a tree and shrubbery nursery (Tree Town USA) that lined the road on both sides for almost two miles. We had a dinner at an “authentic Mexican” restaurant, Peralta’s. The food was very good and somewhat different from the fare at Mexican restaurants back home. Thanks to Martin for the fine service. No margaritas, it’s a “dry” county. Quitman is billed as the “big bass capital of Texas” and is the hometown of actress Sissy Spacek.
Thanks to Troy Robinson, President of BankTexas, for providing a parking space for our RV while in Quitman. Here is our projected schedule for the next few days:
Sunday, May 20 … thru Quitman to the east side of Lake Fork Reservoir
Monday, May 21 … thru Alba and Emory to Lake Tawakoni
Tuesday, May 22 … thru Quinlan toward Rockwall