Frog Legs and Wheat Fields

I roll down US 12 into quiet little Waitsburg. Hmmmm nice bridge and nice creek and water I should be soaking in. Maybe later. My mind is still on my meeting a few miles back. A stop for iced rosemary tea given to me in a mason jar at the top of a long hill and a chat with the gentleman who lives across the road in a grain elevator. “Two stories of living space and 8 stories of attic” he says. How wild that must be. Back to Waitsburg.

Quiet main street, turn of the century buildings, a hardware/general store and colors of red and brown and green and maple trees in front of old Victorian homes. A scene straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. At the Whoop Em Up Hollow Cafe, Sarah the waitress tends to my growling stomach with a plate of delicious frog legs, black eyed peas salad followed by the most wonderful catfish I have ever had. No meal is complete without dessert and banana pudding and warm cookies finish me off and I stumble home to my room full and satisfied.

I roll into Dayton and the hills begin just out of town, rolling wheat fields of green in various shades of color. Horses that stop and stare as if the know what my cargo is. That night my hosts treat me to delicious salmon and halibut and a fruit salad I embarrass myself on by literally devouring the entire contents of the bowl. I sit and listen to Bob, an 85 year old Iwo Jima Vet tell me of the day he landed there in WWII, 1st wave and untouched. He was lucky and came back to Dayton and has led a simple, hardworking, good life. I see years of wisdom and goodness in his eyes. I am lucky to have the pleasure of meeting men like that. There is history, laughter and knowledge in them that should be shared. Small town America holds many values. True and rich. I see it as I  move along.

In a few days I will be in Idaho and this lush farmland will be behind me and the topography will change as will the people. Here in Pullman tonight my hosts Pat and Colleen take us to dinner at the Cougar Country Drive-In and a double quarter pounder with fries and a banana shake never tasted so good. A good, loving couple fiercely proud of their loyalty to their alma mater her at WSU and very thankful to live where they do. Each day is a deposit of generosity by my hosts. …… each day the treasures build….

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8 Responses to “Frog Legs and Wheat Fields”

  1. desiree Says:

    mike,

    Your stories keep luring everyone to follow and to share in your excitement of your dream coming true. Your experiences will follow you forever and i am sure that you will never be able to fully express in words what you are seeing, living, and experiencing every day of this awesome journey…..take with you that we all are proud, excited and anxious to hear of the next day you share with us…..take care, Godspeed and be safe……
    hugs,
    d

  2. Cindy D. Says:

    Thank you for your dedication and willingness to journey across America. I have had the opportunity to share your journey with family and friends, including my students at school. I know your message will long last, as least for us around here, however I am thankful you were able to enjoy your trek through our part of Washington (Waitsburg to Pullman)…

    Cindy

  3. Lori Says:

    Hi Mike,

    I am the old gal that hugged you and wished you well at the museum in Astoria and told you you were running for over 200 of my kids.

    One of the Nam Vets has written a piece about you , and we will be using the marker flag and the Peter Iredale as the background for that video.

    And the video I am making will have some of my men and women , my kids as a background. If you find time I hope you say I can use your service picture in the videos.

    We are following you, my vets and soldiers
    If you want the pictures of you at the beginning let me know where to send them.

    Hugs, Love, and Prayers Always
    & A Big Thanks for your Service and Now your Silent Run of Remembrance

    • Peggy Says:

      I was there that day with Mike and remember you and how nice it was that you stopped to talk to us. Mike says that it is ok that you use his picture. You can send your pictures to my email gaudetpj@yahoo.com and I’ll make sure he sees them. Thanks a lot. Peggy

  4. Bill Spidahl Says:

    Mike,

    Caught your story after you were past Spokane. I sent your website on to all my peeps in the Midwest asking them to track you and watch for you coming by near them, and give some support. Unless you do not want it to be known, it would be helpful if you website would show your anticipated path, so supporters could show up along the road.

    GOD BLESS AMERICA
    Bill Spidahl, MSGT, USAF Ret

  5. kath Says:

    Today is the first I have read your blog. Amazing! I am speechless. I will now follow your journey with absoulte great admiration. May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

  6. Lisa Butterworth Says:

    Glad your host were COUG fans! Pullman’s my hometown and Cougar Country is a Icon in that town and a tradition anytime Meg, Gerry and I head down to the Palouse for a Coug game or whatever the purpose of the trip is. They have a Facebook page too!

  7. Brian Cornelius Says:

    My wife and I both were running on trails west of Colfax when you came through. On the way out SR26, nothing was there and on the way back were these cool American Flags. It wasn’t until I read the tag that the real significance set in.

    I came back later to take photos of the flag honoring 1LT David E. Schultz. My youngest son later asked that we go find the flags north of Colfax which we’ve done. Every few days we track your progress.

    While I prefer trails, that day I would have run 195 in their honor. Sorry I missed the opportunity.

    Brian Cornelius, SSgt, USAF 1984-1992

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