Cody has officially been joined by Mr. Scott Porter on his walk-- welcome aboard, Porter! When I talked to them this evening, they were investigating a peanut processing plant in western Texas as the site for their New Year's Eve festivities (mainly consisting of sparkling grape juice picked up at a Wal-Mart this afternoon). They wanted to turn in early so that they would be off the road before the drunks were on the road! They had found an unlocked, heated trailer, but were calling the numbers for the company to ask permission before they crashed. Not a fun day to sit in jail for trespassing-- too many drunks puking in the holding cell! They were in negotiations when I talked to them, so Cody had to go to exert his personal charm on the person on the other end of Scott's cell phone line.
Scott is holding up to the walking well. Thanks to moleskin, and the cooler temperatures, he hasn't had a real problem with blisters, but his feet are sore. I can only imagine-- from the luxury of Tanner's truck to walking 20+ miles a day has got to be a shock to the system.
Scott, Tanner, and George Allen (a cousin of Tanner's and a friend of ours from AK!) found Cody Christmas day. They had told Cody they were in Mississippi the last time he had talked to them, so Cody wasn't even thinking they were anywhere near him. He was walking in Artesia, NM, when he heard honking, and turned around to see the Truck With Trailer! They even cooked him a meal for Christmas. Sounds like they had quite the Christmas, and Boxing Day. They played Monopoly (one of Cody's stronger obsessions) until 4:00 in the morning, and never left the Wal-Mart parking lot all the next day. Cody says trailers take being lazy to a whole new level-- you can sit on the couch and never have to stand up to reach all the amenities. I believe the only time they DID stand up was to walk into Wal-Mart for potty breaks and more snacks. Quite a change from the empty road and the continuous hunger.
Cody had another run-in with the law-- but this time, in a good way! A New Mexico state trooper stopped to ask Cody if he was all right one day, then stopped by again on his way home to check on him. He then saw Cody as he drove his wife back into town for dinner. They stopped and offered to take Cody in with them, but Cody told them he had to keep walking. So they returned after dinner with a whole pizza and a couple of Diet Pepsis for him! Despite a few exceptions, the people Cody have met have been so generous and excited to help Cody.
One of the hard parts of being on the road thousands of miles away from home came up on Monday. Molly, Cody's beautiful Belgian draft horse, had to be put down. She was extremely old for a draft horse-- around 26, though no one knows for sure. She had been failing this summer, but had seemed better the last couple of months. On Monday, though, she couldn't even stand up with assistance. Here's a picture of a much younger Cody with her on the day her filly, Heidi, was born. This was back in the day when horses were everything to Cody. While his older brother Tyler worked on old trucks and schemed ways to drive places, Cody subscribed to draft horse magazines and planned to use horses for everything his whole life . Within a few years, Broncos (of the mechanical sort) had captured his imagination, and the harnesses were set aside. He always loved Molly, though, and she had many happy years grazing along side the various animals on Dad and Mom's farm.Happy New Years to All, and here's hoping for Scott and Cody to have a great 2009 as they continue across the country! And if you want to think about those who are in less fortunate places in the world, contribute to Doctors Without Borders through their fundraising site.