I woke up this morning to see a tequila sunrise over the river. It slid through some clouds as it lit up the river. I snapped a quick shot of it as I wanted to make sure I had a image to remember it. I fell back asleep for a bit as I heard Tom get up to begin to work on the cabin. He said he would try to be quiet. Then I reminded him I slept through trains 5 feet above my head a few night prior. He went to work and I went back to sleep. It was not long before I woke up again. He talked with me as we were trying to figure out the plans for the day. Liz and Andy, friends of friends, knew about the ER trip and offered me to come to their place for a few days to recover. I thought that would be a good idea so I would have less of a chance in it getting infected. They made some calls and we arranged for that to happen.
I talked with Tom some more. Not just about the foot, but about life as a whole. He is a good guy. He is the youngest of all his siblings, but carries a lot of well worn wisdom. I enjoyed the conversations with him. We got the boat down to Mud Lake where it would be stored while I let my foot heal. Along the way, we had more quality conversations. That is the part of traveling that I cherish. It is all about connections. We made it to the marina and secured my boat. Casey, who picked me up from the hospital was there to give me a ride to Lock and Dam #11. Jon was a friend to Liz and Andy who was going to host me for a few days. He lived in their town and would give me a ride down to Princeton, IA. We arrived at the lock and met up. Jon showed me around a bit. I will photograph it upon my return in a few days. We got into his car and headed down to Princeton. We talked all along the way while I enjoyed looking at the beauty that Iowa offers. The green everything and the rolling hills made me happy to simply be out and able to witness what all was in front of me. We spotted this kid racing down the highway on a 4 wheeler. He was moving as we approached him in the car. He turned off, on two wheels, as he crossed the highway. He looked back knowing people would be watching. He held it and smiled as he tore down the gravel road. I thought it was kind of reckless, but I also thought back to the things we all did as kids. I just smiled as we continued down the road flanked by corn fields.
I arrived at Andy and Liz’s place. they had 2 boys, 3 and 6 years old. I came in and kicked my foot up. I was ready to relax and get off it for a few days. The kids went to bed and we chatted for a bit in the evening. I was tired and ready to turn in early. I was happy and grateful to have a secure place I could rest my foot. I planned to keep it kicked up and dry for the next few days.
Despite the few challenges over the past 36 hours, I am still happy. I am fortunate that it was not on the inside ball of my foot or on the arch. I am glad it was only a deep cut vs something much worse. I am grateful for the kindness of random strangers who have pulled together to help another kayaking stranger. I feel fortunate to be able to meet and know some amazing people on my journeys. That is not something that I have not or will not lose sight on my journeys. I always say that there are some amazing people out there in this world. I am fortunate to have met so many of them.