Mid-July, back home in LA, resting up from the Alaska journey, hanging out with friends and organizing the next part of the travels, a tour of the Midwest. This would primarily be a trip of visiting people I had befriended while in the Army and/or Vietnam. This was a leisurely month, almost all camping or crashing on friends' floors, with periods of staying and being useful to my host-friends. Helped one friend work on an old farm house in central Kansas for a while. Worked with another Army buddy on his summer job, joining the crew to re-roof a doctor's office. That roofing job of two days, in Iowa in August, remains to this day, one of the hardest bits of work I have ever done. Still, it was nice to be able to put a new tire on Strider, without depleting the travel exchequer. Water skiing on the Wabash River, going to parties and meeting new folks, and just sitting on porches and recalling the good and not so good recent shared times. This part of the trip was one of quiet thought and settling down of emotions.
- Written by Matt Parkhouse