I doubt that I slept much that night. Every thing that moved seemed to wake me up, so I was really tired when they came and unlocked our door. I was the last one out. Everyone else raced ahead of me and past the "meal" they had offered last night. As I was climbing the stairs, I realized that my leg was really bruised and it was sore when I tried to feel it. It ended any thoughts of working.
The freeway was close so I walked up the ramp and headed East, wondering if my leg would get better the longer I walked on it. I did not get much of a chance. A small convertible stopped to pick me up and I was about to meet a USAF officer, in route to Lousiana to resign his commission. Turns out he was commissioned as a Chaplain in the Catholic faith and had served the basic part of his obligation. On a trip home, he started dating again a girl he had met in high school and they had decided to get married.
Along the way, we discussed religion and I was learning more than I had ever known about the Catholic faith. I also decided that since my leg was still very sore and I did not want to hurt it any more than it was, I would head for my uncle's home in Port Huron, MI.
He turned South as we approached St. Louis, so I thanked him for the ride and the lessons I had learned along the way. My next ride was rather exciting. Two young guys and two girls headed for Chicago for a weekend of "sex and other indoor sports" is what they told me, so laughingly, they switched their seats, the guys in front and the two girls on either side of me in the rear seat. I told them about my leg and so they kissed the sore "to make it well again" and we were on our way. I think I spoiled their party as after we had traveled along for an hour or so, they decided to turn off and head in another direction. I wished them well.
Along came a guy heading for a hot air balloon launch and invited me to go along with him. I almost said "Yes" but by this time, I really had to go to the bathroom and asked him to let me out as we got close to a restaurant. It meant I had to go over a piece of land separating the road he took and the direction I was heading. As I was hurrying along I came across a mother pheasant and her new brood and she was not happy that I was there. First time in my life I had ever been attacked by an angry bird, so I got out of there in a hurry. There was a ridge ahead of me and as I got to the top, I saw a "Porta-potty" setting on the other side. Brand new, complete with a new pack of toilet paper, just what I had needed in the worst way. As I sat there I could see myself talking to a church group how the Lord was so good to meet our every need, as we needed them.
My next ride was not quite so pleasant. The driver was gay and as we rode along, he began to control our conversation on his needs and desires. I assured him I was not gay and had no intention of getting involved, so that began to irritate him and the more he talked, the more apprehensive I got. He told me he was headed for Chicago, but as we approached an intersection, the car in front of us suddenly stopped and it gave me an opportunity to grab my bag and get out of the car. That really made him mad and I thought for a moment that he was going to chase me to the highway I needed to take. He headed my way and I believe he really tried to run over me, but he missed and drove off. There was a car behind us and he stopped, telling me that he recognized what was happening. A really nice guy who was really concerned about my safety.
We drove along chatting and he offered to buy my lunch when we stopped for gas. I tried to pay for my own, but he wouldn't let and as we got back to the car, he tossed the keys to me and asked me to drive while he slept. He told me to follow the GPS which would take me to his house, North of Toledo, which was a couple of blocks off of the highway I needed to get to my Uncle's place. That went well and since it was night by the time we got there, he fixed a bed for me on their couch and told me to head out in the morning without bothering them. I almost walked off with his car keys in my pocket and as I laid them on the coffee table, I realized I could have easily taken his car and drove off. Since I had no thought of doing that, I walked off thinking about how he must have thought about it when he woke up.
I was very lucky - again. My first ride took me through Detroit and just South of Port Huron. From there, I caught a ride by a local who knew of the address where I was heading and went out of his way to take me there. Blake and Eleanor were not home, so I made myself comfortable on a lounge chair in their yard and was fast asleep when they drove in - a bit surprised to find me there.