Friday, May 13th, 2016
Along the Mahoning River
I had put in several hours on foot on a great trail. Naturally I became thirsty and made my way to a convenience store for juice, on the outskirts of Youngstown. The place was dark; tiles were cracked on the floor. Chicken was being cooked at one end of the shop.
I was selecting a drink - an energy drink - with sugar as a nominal ingredient. A fellow walks in as loud as can be and addresses his friend.
"Hey thanks for hookin' me up with that chick the other night."
I found the place and parlance interesting. The word 'monk' is expressed over and over again by pedestrians. One motorist today asked, "Are you a monk?" It ranks as the number one question on these travels.
In Lowellville, a couple of elderly women gave me directions. "You're a monk going to San Francisco?"
"Yes, here's a mantra (I had on my card) and this is the song the Beatles would sing."
"Really?! Can we give you some water or juice?"
I looked joyfully down no two Macintosh apples.
"Please pray for us," they said.
The bike trail that led to Youngstown was under-used by humans, but is frequented by frogs, rabbits, and muskrats. The birds were also plentiful - blue ones, red ones, orange, yellow, and black ones, too. The month of May is an a-MAY-zing time because of this. Two birds were battling over a butterfly. In the scuffle the butterfly got away.
A major bridge into the city was closed but not for me. I was not going to detour. I took advantage of a monk's garb to transcend the conventional closure. I was just tired and couldn't go the extra mile.
May the Source be with you!
19 km / 12 miles