Going through Indiana was for the most part pretty smooth and normal. On the Cardinal Greenways which is a very nice greenbelt stretch was the one place things took a turn for the slightly unusual. The Cardinal Greenways is a privately funded (volunteer) for upkeep/maintenance and they do a nice job with it. If you are in that area (Delware County) you should check it out. Back to the unusual..
I got off the greenbelt in Muncie to get some q-tips, batteries and some food. I go nutso without q-tips.. gotta have em. One thing I try to do on the road is to not look like a vagrant or something like that. It helps to not look like a scary person if you need to ask for directions to something or if you could get some water from them. Twice along the way I asked for directions/info on the general area from a woman by herself and I could see them tense up. Once they looked me over I could see their body language relax something along the lines of oh ok he looks normal, not scary I can talk.
I must have looked like I was wanderer from the dust bowl that day. I will admit that I was a little rougher looking at that particular point. The ubiquitous rain had nailed me for a couple of days and I hadn't found a good laundry type spot in longer than I would like. My shaver was low on batteries. Low batteries in a shaver just kinda painfully yanks at your hair and does a crap job like you have mange, so I let that go a couple of days.
I was coming out of the convenience store quite happy with a brand new pack of q-tips and some batteries. I doubt I will ever get quite the same joy as scoring things like q-tips, little comforts can make a big difference along the way. A guy was pulling out in his pick-up and he stopped and asked me if I was looking for work. I immediately said "sure." Why? I don't know, I just did and went with it. Of course after another snap second I asked what kind of work? Maybe the guy meant some kind of whacko wierd pervo work... So I got ready to rap him on the snout with my ski pole if he was some freak. But he said "haulin bricks" so I decided to whack him with the ski pole anyway. Just kidding, he said "ten bucks an hour." So I said sounds good to me. He looked normal, not scary so I could talk.. works both ways.
I tossed my back pack in the back and went off to work. One of his guys had flaked out on him and he had a small job to finish and just needed some hands to haul, well, bricks and such. He asked me what I was doing, I told him I was hiking across the U.S. So we got to the place he was putting in a patio and some garden wall thing. He asked me "So you ever hear of Ted Bundy, real normal looking guy", so I whacked him with my ski pole and hauled ass. Just kidding again. Actually I started hauling bricks and masonry stuff from the front to the back. Helped him lay stuff out and stayed out of his way when he was actually doing the stuff that required some skill.
More than a couple of times I wondered what the hell and why the hell I was doing this. Then again that was when I was sucking wind and do the same thing when I am hiking.. We got to talking as we were working and he was I would say not exactly shocked bore more non-plussed when he figured out that I really was just hiking the U.S. He figured I was homeless. Then he wanted to know why I said I was looking for work when he asked and was "haulin bricks" for him. I didn't really have a good answer, still don't. I just said yes and did it, sometimes that how adventures start.. I just told him I don't know I just said "sure", I didn't have anything anything else going on. He kinda looked at me weird, shrugged and went back to working on the garden wall.
I made $40 bucks and he bought me lunch. All in all it was strangely interesting. Would I do it again? Hell no, "haulin bricks" sucks.