Arrived Lake Manawa state park camp just east of Omaha just before dark; again, set up tent in the blackness, twenty feet from a very cool lake, could hear waves all night. Fairly rainy and temperature dropped to a bitter cold. Next morning, loaded up and as I headed out of the park, impulsively stopped at what is called Boy Scout Island and set up to paint. Two hours and a cool little scene encompassing a corner of the lake, and a fallen tree with a spirited cottonwood towering above it. A good exercise, not a great painting, and that is simply all right.
About 11am, a stop-over in Williamsburg to the Java Lounge and a chance to check email on their WiFi. A kindly gentleman sees my over-packed vehicle, stops to chat, what becomes a twenty minute conversation at my Kia, where I learn about Bob’s children and grand-children and retirement and his experiences in military service as well as travels and tribulations. I even get a quick and very charming history lesson on the town. Oh, and his rhubarb wine that he makes himself. He contacted a local winery who tested it and tasted it and told Bob, “it’s terrific, but I can’t sell this for you. It’s more than the allowed alcohol content.” Bob just looked at me and smiled, “It’s about 17%.”
Truly, a nice moment, I enjoyed it very much. I am learning one has to be open and ready to meet folks when traveling. As Hamlet says to his buddy Horatio, “and like a stranger, welcome it.”
I make the push and land in Colorado, at a wonderful state park at Jackson Lake. I camp in the “cove” and the picnic table has a tin wind guard around and above it. Terrific. I will re-organize the stuff in the car. Set-up camp and decide to pay for an electric site so as to utilize both the laptop for posting to the blog and in order to watch a plein air dvd, as well as use the little electric heater. Good plan, temps dipped into the 30’s but manageable and again, wet and rainy.
I had also decided that I would try to get a big breakfast each day to re-fuel and would forego lunch and, at least today, went without dinner, opting instead for almonds and trail mix.
I am striking distance from Greeley where tomorrow I get to visit briefly with Christi (Loutas) Segal and her family; Christi and I were in the theater program together at U of Wyo.