My first walk of season two provided several lessons:
My plan was to walk through town first thing in the morning. I’d located a nice sized public parking lot on the map and headed toward town.
But the “Public Parking” sign I’d seen on the map was no where to be found.
So I stopped at what looked like it could be a public parking lot, donned my gear and headed out only to be stopped on the sidewalk by an Asian-looking lady who told me I couldn’t park where I’d parked. She had emerged from the office of the motel next to what I thought was a large, near-empty parking lot.
Of course, I apologized and explained that I was looking for the public parking lot.
“You can go to the park down the street. It’s public. That’s where people are sleeping. The people who live here don’t trust people they don’t recognize,” she said.
I thanked her, smiled, and left. My heart was broken. Not because I’d been asked to leave, but for the people. I understood what she was saying. I’d seen the homeless on nearly every corner as I’d rolled into town, bundled in raggedly blankets, holding up signs asking for help. Kingman had changed since 2014.
I parked at a local grocery store on the edge of town and walked until the sidewalk ended. About five minutes into my walk I’d realized my feet were numb.
Within an hour or so my feet thawed — but the chill of what I felt in Kingman didn’t.
This is not the sort of walk across America where the goal is not necessarily to arrive from point A to point B. It’s a new lifetyle, for now, where walking allows time and space to meet the ground and the sky, and the people who dwell in between; and through the process, introduce America to Natural Law.