Actually, we didn't really meet with many four-legged creatures on our last two walks on the pilgrimage. In fact, I think these were the only ones.
What we did come across on the first day was mosquitoes. Many mosquitoes. It was a bit surprising that after having walked through a fairly swampy area last week without molestation, we were greeted by this swarm along a flat, dry part of the road. Maybe there were some more of the little ponds like the one in the picture hiding behind little swells in the ground. But otherwise that was a pretty good day, although this did puzzle us a bit.
Maybe some disturbing statistics about literacy in Mississippi came out after they posted the first sign, or maybe we are expecting an influx of foreign tourists?
Sunday, was another story. I was really excited when we started out Sunday because we were walking through one of the prettiest stretches of road on our route, and because we were going to reach the halfway mark.
This was really gorgeous about two days before the walk when all the leaves where still on the trees, still, it's pretty. I was a bit concerned about the drop-off on the side of the road because there was a lot of traffic and sometimes the visibility for oncoming cars is bad. The real problem was this:
See those indentations along the edge of the road? I'm not sure what purpose they are supposed to serve. I guess they are to warn people on dark nights that they are about to drive off the road, but it seems like it would be too late by the time you figured out what was going on. For most of the way, I had to walk with my left foot stepping in and between and around those bumps, and it was really difficult. And though I wasn't really cold, I got a terrible headache and earache about a half mile into the walk, and when I sat down to rest after just over a mile, I got such horrible muscle cramps in my leg that I had to stop .3 miles short of the halfway mark.
I was disappointed at first, but I was also thinking that this is what a real pilgrimage is like. Some days are really nice and some are just painful. So, we will just have to wait until next weekend to cross the halfway mark. There's still about a mile of those indentations left, so I'll have to think up something good to offer it up for. I'm thinking about getting some serious shoes, too--and something to cover my forehead. Now I'm wondering if part of the reason people wear those bands on their foreheads is to keep from getting headaches from the cold.