Ryan and I woke up today in a warm home with a good night of sleep behind us. After we got our things together we tried to leave, but the front door was locked so we had to wake up our host and ask him to let us out. We said our goodbyes and many thanks before leaving to find the most incredible coffee shop I’ve ever seen. We found a place to sit in the patio out back and begin our morning routine of writing and preparing for the day.
These past few days of anxiety have been absolute hell, but today I decided to try something I haven’t done yet. I’ve been focusing on the body so much and trying so many things dealing with my physical state like medicine and vitamins, but today I tried something else out. I prayed. I sat for an hour in the coffee shop pouring my anxiety out on paper in prayer realizing this was where I needed to be refocusing my energy and thoughts. I slowly began to feel myself crawl out of anxiety and turn my thoughts to brighter places trusting that whatever comes my way will not defeat me. I began to find strength.
After a long while we left the coffee shop and began hitching out of the city. We had to take a tram to get to the highway and ran on without buying a ticket as the tram was pulling away. We ended up getting caught without a ticket and had to pay for a small 11 euro all day ticket as our punishment. We ended up using that ticket to take a bus all the way to our highway.
Today we began feeling the joys of hitching again and ended up taking many many rides to get to our place for the night. The heat of the south has come back and is forcing mass water consumption once again. We ended up getting to a small beer garden right off the highway where we decided to change our plans for the day. Instead of taking highways all the way to Strasbourg we wanted to take smaller roads through the Black Forest and enjoy the beauty of the woods on our journey. So we threw a thumb up and got dropped off in a small town called Pforzheim.
We wanted to buy a few groceries for the night, but ended up buying a ton of fruit as a vender forced us to take peaches and plumbs. Literally without asking us threw it in or bags and told us we must take the fruit. So we did.
After the grocery store we walked out to begin hitching deeper into the forest. The first car that passed picked us up and drove us to a restaurant right off the highway we needed to be on to continue down the forest. Ryan and I left the car and turned to find the restaurant and found the sign; Little Texas!!!! We couldn’t believe our eyes and almost took off running towards the restaurant. We ordered a burger and fries and took a million pictures of the tiny German restaurant that had all of the Texan collateral you could find; including a confederate flag, which we tried to ignore.
We left the restaurant with happy hearts and continued down the dark road into the Black Forest. A precious younger man in his thirties picked us up and drove us deep into the forest asking all kinds of questions about trump and America. He told us he would take us to Bad Wildbad if we wanted to go there or we could get dropped off at a pool right off the road we were on. He told us we could probably sneak in and go for a swim if we wanted and that there were hot showers to be found as well. Obviously we chose the pool.
We said our goodbyes at the pool and as he left when ryan and I began to jump the fence we saw car lights turn on and pull out of the parking lot. Probably a young couple making out, but it was enough to spook us and make us think the cops might get called. So we quickly jumped the fence and wondered around for a short time before taking a shower and leaving the pool area. We wanted to sleep close by, but not cause too much of a disturbance in the morning so we found a skate park close by and made our bed on top of a grind table.
Laying down, ryan and I started talking about stars and the infinite wonder of space before saying goodnight and starting to fall asleep. All day I have turned my thoughts to more positive places and tried really hard to keep myself focused on God and trust in my situation. I have felt strong and stable, but my heart still hurts and my head has a few aches. I also have white spots on my throat. I definitely am sick, but have no idea what it could be. Maybe mono from sharing drinks, dehydration, pneumonia… not sure. However, I’m going to keep on going and pray I continue to heal. We will see how the morning is and take it from there. So excited for California!