At this portion of my journey my legs are getting pretty strong, and my 70 lb bag doesn’t feel like 70 lbs anymore. When I got out of Ms. Williams car I put it in my mind that I was going to clear 20 miles before I even thought about looking for a place to set up camp. I also put it in my mind that when I got across the bay I was going to start looking for a fishing boat to work on. I have never been deep sea fishing before and I want to learn more about the ocean. Some day when I settle down and have a family I want to be able to provide for them using my hands and cunning whether that be hunting, or if we are by water I want to be able to bring them a meal from that. I told myself that I was going to make it happen and I smiled because I knew it was going to happen. I walked for a bit on the Eastern Shore Trail and then hopped back on Interstate 10 to walk on the Bay Way bridge. Probably one of the sketchiest portions of the 10 I have been on. The shoulder is pretty narrow and on the other side of that wall is a 20 ft drop to the bay, I believe it is about ten miles long. I got maybe seven miles across and Woody Walker pulls over for me. I hop in the car and he says, “Hey man, I can take you to the other side of the bridge.” I reply, “That would be awesome, I really appreciate it.” We get to talking and I tell him about my idea to get on a fishing boat. No sooner can I ask if he knows anyone, he has his phone out and tells me he is about to call the best captain in all of the gulf. I am shocked! I just put this in my mind an hour ago and now someone is calling to see if he can get me on a boat. That is just how this trip is going, I am meeting all the right people and my minds ability to attract the things I desire is beyond me.
Well, Woody taking me to the other side of the bridge turns into him telling me that he was on his way to his house for a moment and if I wanted I can go there freshen up and he will take me back to the highway when he leaves in a bit. He had to head out to Mississippi to pick up a new oven for his restaurant We get back to his house and we are talking about travels he has been on and telling him about my adventure. He tells me that if I want I can mow his lawn and he can shoot me some cash to help me out. I tell him I don’t need any money, but that I have been craving pizza and beer. He replies,”Consider it done.” He tells me that he has to take off but I can mow the lawn and then take a shower and he will be back in a few hours. Someone was borrowing Woody’s lawn mower so we had to go to his neighbor Willie to borrow his. Woody gives him a quick explanation of who I am and Willie asks if I can mow his front yard as well. Of course I can sir.
Throughout the time I am mowing the yards Willie comes out to check on me and at one point he hands me a $20 bill. I tell him that I am doing it out of the kindness of my heart and that I can not take his money. He looks me in the eye and says,”If I didn’t want to give it to you I would not have offered it.” After I finish I come in Woody’s place take a quick shower and then hop on his computer so I can catch up on the blog. During the time I am writing Willie comes in and offers me a beer. When he brings it back and I tell him after I am done if he wants some company I will come over and tell him all about my journey. Willie is 81 years young and I can tell off the bat he has a huge heart and a lot of life wisdom.
Later that evening I headed over to Willies and I am greeted with another beer and a big smile. At one point Willie says he is gonna give Woody a call and see where he is at. Woody got caught up and was still a few hours out. Willie tells me he wants to take me out for a drive to check out some places that most tourist don’t get to see. Who in their right mind is going to pass that up? We head out and get to a beautiful town called Fair Hope. The streets are lined with lighted trees and beautiful flower beds. The neighborhood is very similar to Carmel, Ca, and every house has it’s own uniqueness. You can feel that a lot of creative people live there. At the end of the town out on the bay is the Grand Hotel, Willie tells me we are gonna stop off and have a beer. This is one of the most interesting gentlemen I have ever met in my life. The stories he has and the places he has been are incredible. At one point we both agree that it feels like we have known each other all of our lives. Here we are with a pretty good size gap in age, complete strangers a few hours ago and now we are at a nice bar talking about life and brand new friends. I will never forget that night.
Like I mentioned earlier Woody owns a few restaurants in downtown Mobile, the Bicycle Shop which is a awesome bar serving great Mexican food and next door to that is his steak house Union. Over the next few days Woody opened his home to me, fed me super good food, and got me shit faced drunk. The adventures we had together were freakin’ awesome. This gentleman doesn’t know me; but opens his home, trust me alone while he goes out and handles his business. I did’t tell him but he reminds me a lot of my uncle Bud, and it goes a lot further than them being white and southern boys. One of the best men I have ever met in my life, always has a smile on his face and will talk your ear off. The way that Woody goes about this life is second to none. He is beyond honorable, always truthful, and not afraid to tell you he has done some fucked up shit and probably might do some more before it is all said and done. That is what makes someone down to earth, not perfect and not trying or worried about it, just livin’. Woody is a entrepreneur and a man about town who has done a lot with his life, but remains humble. Every place we go someone is yelling out his name and offering to buy him a shot or a beer. I have learned a lot just from being in his presence over the last few days. He and Willie will be life long friends and I know our paths will cross multiple times before it is all said and done.