Patterson to Turlock, California

22 marathons down, 113 to go

One of the things I’ve found on this journey is that I’m finding beauty in various kinds of scenery. There’s the obvious beauty of the mountains, but, as can be seen by the photographs on my blog posts, I’ve run through so many different types of areas, and I’ve usually been able to find the beauty in each situation.

Here is how things look at my starting point this morning.

Green hills at I-5
Green hills at I-5

This is just I-5. Nothing special here, right? Look at those hills. They’re green. I suspect it’s been a few years since those hills were that color due to the drought in California. I suspect those hills have been brown for a very long time. So there’s beauty in the greening of hills in the Spring.

Looking east

This is the view in the opposite direction.

I had planned to run south to Newman today, but there is nowhere to stay anywhere near there. The only motel near Newman is full, on a Monday, in April. I have it on good authority that the motel isn’t very large, and its reviews are pretty bad, but it’s my next stop. Since I don’t have anywhere to stay around Newman, I’ll go way off-course and instead of running south to Newman, I’ll have to run east to Turlock.

The run itself is uneventful, and I just let my mind wander most of the time.

When I arrive in Turlock, I have a message from Jenifer West, a reporter with the Patterson Irrigator. She would like to interview me over dinner tonight. We agree on a place to meet in an hour so that gives me time to get showered and changed.

Jenifer, her husband Ron, and I meet up for dinner after I get the day’s grime off of me. We have a very nice conversation. We talk about what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, my causes, and why they’re important to me. I share stories of people I’ve met along the way and some of the more interesting things that have occurred (you know a restroom is mentioned). Jenifer asks some very probing questions. I won’t give them away because they may show up in the article.

I ask Jenifer and Ron to tell me a bit about themselves so I can stop talking and shovel food in my face. I definitely need to work on eating and being interviewed at the same time. While I’m quickly eating dinner, Ron orders (he claims Jenifer actually ordered it for him) a brownie sundae. This was no ordinary brownie sundae; this thing is on a large plate. When I finished my dinner, I called the server over and said, “I need one of those!”

Jenifer, Ron, and I continued our conversation while shutting down the restaurant. This is one of the fantastic things about this journey. I get to meet new people and get to know them and possibly make life-long friends in a very short period of time.

I go to bed tonight not feeling great about the day’s eastward travel; but I also go to bed full, optimistic about what appear in a local newspaper, and happy to have made new friends who are helping me get the word out about what I’m doing and my need for places to stay along the way.