Continuing this series of flashbacks, where I delve into my vivid memories of the trip, I re-introduce you to:
Keith and Mary
Keith and Mary live in Deming, New Mexico, USA. Deming is surrounded by beautiful desert.
I remember meeting Keith like it was yesterday. I was lurking around the carpark of one of the biggest employers in town (Walmart), half-heartedly thinking of setting up my tent in one of the green garden patches of the massive swathe of asphalt. I’m not entirely sure how we got talking, but I met Keith on my way out of the store, and after some conversation he eventually invited me back to stay at his place. Keith and Mary turned out to be “Trail Angels”, or those wonderful people who regularly host walkers on the Continental Divide Trail in the US.
I remember Keith mostly for his larger-than-life presence. A Vietnam veteran and now active community member, he was the kind of guy you just want to be around so that some of his greatness would perchance rub off on yourself. I could tell that there was a depth of life experience hidden behind his eyes that could fill volumes.
Where they lived was surrounded by quiet, stark desert land. The exposure was beautiful. Enough to harden a man but keep him honest and humble. Keith is well suited to be there; tough, honest, humble.
The day I left Deming was the day I surpassed the Guinness World Record; Deming and Keith and Mary will live on in my memory.
As you can see, I wore my pink shoes to match Mary…or perhaps Mary was trying to match me…