I woke up early to the sound of birds singing and no rain. Yeah! I made a cup of coffee, packed up, and waited for Bob Williams to show up. When Bob arrived, we walked to one of the shelter areas at Infirmary Mound Park where the Tri County Environthon was being held. Students from Licking, Muskingum, and Perry County were participating in a competition involving environmental knowledge and skills. I was able to talk to the students before the events began. I reminded them of how important our environment is. The environment and natural world can do very well without humanity but humanity cannot survive without a healthy environment. It is important that we care for our future generation by caring for the environment now!
After I spoke with the students, Bob then led me on a walk through Infirmary Mound Park. What a beautiful resource to our county. The Park’s name comes from way before we even had a hospital. It was the site of the Infirmary, where they cared for the sick and injured. Also, the park hosts one of the earlier Native American burial mounds...thus Infirmary Mound. Bob walked me to the rear entrance of the park. I was very thankful for all that Bob is doing to help with this journey. He is doing a great job directing the Licking County Parks and Recreation and we are all blessed with some very beautiful Parks, bike trails, and programs to enhance our lives. I’m also very thankful to Bob for helping to map out my daily walking route. I couldn’t do this without him. Thanks a million Bob!
After I left the Park property, I then continued a beautiful walk down Canyon Road toward Hebron. I enjoyed the sunny dry day, some beautiful scenery, and a few talks with people along the way.
My first stop in Hebron was at Clay’s Café. This is a very popular spot for miles around. Clay’s Café is owned and operated by Glenna and Mark Jones. There, I enjoyed a lunch with the company of our County Commissioners and a few of our United Way staff. Afterwards, Glenna and Mark gave us a very nice donation. I thanked them for their gift and for serving our community in many ways and then was on my way down the street.
About a mile down the road I went to the Library that also shares the building with the Village of Hebron Administration office. What a wonderful way to collaborate with space. At the Library I spoke to a group of home schooled students and parents about what I was doing and why. We had a lot of time of questions and discussion. They were all very attentive, curious, and caring.
After I talked with the homeschoolers I then walked to the other side of the building to meet with Mayor Mike McFarland and some of the village officials and law enforcement officers. We had a great chat and a tour of the Village Chamber and offices.
Afterwards the Mayor commented on the weight of my pack and we had a good discussion about the weight and burdens that many people carry every day. We all are called to help carry the load for someone who may need help. And we do not know when it may be us who will need help carrying a heavy load.
Afterward, the Mayor graciously invited me to his house where I was able to take a shower. At his house I also enjoyed a brief discussion with him and his wife. They have been lifelong residents of Hebron and are committed to the community above and beyond in so many ways. Thank you McFarlands!
I then walked down the street to Park National Bank where they had a cook out and had collected donations for the walk. The food was great and it was nice to meet the Park National Bank employees. Park National Bank does so very much for our County. I’m not sure where we would be without all of their ongoing support. Thanks Park!
From there, I walked to Canal Park where I pitched my tent. Shortly afterwards, Bob and Beth Williams surprised me with a nice visit and the Mayor dropped off a bag of nighttime snacks. It was a beautiful evening as I closed my eyes and went to sleep.
Around 2:00 in the morning, I was awaken by the sound of a woman’s voice, asking if I was alright and if I needed anything? I opened my tent to find a thin, tired looking woman standing there. She said she had watched me earlier set up my tent and was wondering if I was in any trouble. I said “no…I’m out on purpose”. She shared her story and some of the trouble she was having. She did not want to be identified or found and then she was gone. I wondered about her until I fell asleep again. How many people are in trouble each night on the streets of our county?
Continue to follow Deb on the 50 the United Way journey. To donate toward 50 the United Way go to www.unitedwaylc.org/50donate