Oh, the places I’ll go to spread word of the Onny and Oboe Scholarship. On Thursday, it was the Daviess County jail. To speak to prisoners? Not so much. After leaving Washington and walking through some heavy construction along a perilous portion of the 50, it was a relief to get through the orange cones and find a wide shoulder again. The relief was short-lived when the sheriff’s department joined the party. Seems I was at the wrong bush at the wrong time. I smiled, knowing I’d been got, even admitted to the deed in a conversational way. Here comes a tsk-tsk “Keep moving and don’t do that again”; maybe even a ticket. Five minutes later, I was sitting in handcuffs, being driven to the police station, with Coogs in the back of another SUV off to baby jogger jail. No passing GO without the county collecting 200 bucks. Sitting in the station — my coats, cameras and shoes in a plastic bin (for fear I’d hang myself) before me — I thought back to the week prior, when two separate donors gave me $100 apiece (the exact amount of my bond) to use towards walk expenses. They probably didn’t foresee it going to pave county roads or shellack the fair dunk tank, but it did keep the walk on track (after being escorted to the county line).
My head spinning, I trudged up into the hills around Shoals to the Overlook Rental cabins, where I met Marie, a spark plug in work gloves. She entertained me with local stories of the Archer Brother bandits, horseback train robberies (invented right here!), local NASA hero Gus Grissom and pulling the colorful leaves off trees for a Hollywood production. And this was just in the first 20 minutes. Once alone in the cabin, I tried to gleam the lesson of the day. For the truth most certainly did not set me free. I walked out back of the cabin at dusk to take in the majestic view of the White River and red-leafed valley below. There before me were three deer, who calmly remained despite the sight of me. They moseyed up to the salt lick in turns and took in the Martin Forest panorama as well. We shared a moment. My worries set with the sun. Tomorrow would allow me to walk it off and enter yet another new world. Each day its own journey. Beyond every mountain lies a miracle.