This morning I left Kentland, Indiana and started walking through the prairie again. This time, the sun was shining and beating down on me and the wind was fiercely blowing right into my face. The force of the wind made it hard to walk forward and the sun made it very hot. There was no shade or any type of refuge from the elements so I had to just continue along my way.
I was about three quarters through my walk for the day when I took a short break on the side of the road to rest and drink some water. At that time, a biker stopped by. He was a young fellow who looked extremely tired. He drank all of his water and was so thirsty he could barely speak. I shared my last bottle of water with him and he stopped to talk for a little bit.
The biker was a young man from Sweden. Interestingly enough, he was biking from New York to San Francisco. Not only was this young man on a type of journey of his own but he also planned to stay at the same hotel I had planned on staying in later that evening in Watseka, Illinois.
The biker rode off to the town and I continued walking. It took me a lot longer to get into the town than he, even though he told me the wind blowing into his face was slowing him down throughout his ride. When I finally reached Watseka, I checked into a little local motel and then decided to pick up some beer at a store around the corner. On the way back to my room, I knocked on the biker’s door and offered him some of the beer. He was very polite saying that he was only 19 years old and that it is not legal to drink alcohol in this country at that age. I smiled and told him that I didn’t care if he had a beer in his hotel room and I didn’t like to follow certain rules. Encountering this young and energetic man reminded me of myself at 19. At that age I was on my way to France to embark on new adventures.