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USA 21 May: Carter, OK - Clarendon, TX
We are very grateful for a comfortable overnight stay at the Hampton Inn in Elk City which offered us free accommodations.
The day started out with dark clouds which eventually became a heavy downpour with lightning and thunder to accompany my team for a while. Tom happily finishes his run before the downpour started.
It ended with a beautiful rainbow and eventually the sun came out for the rest of the day as we travelled west towards Texas.
Just about 3 miles before we ended our section of the run I ran into the small town of Vinson, Oklahoma. I remembered the woman who has worked at the Post Office there for many years, and each time we came through here she held the torch. We stopped by there once again and there was Sylvia ready to greet us. But this would probably be the last time as she will be retiring from that job next year. It is always a treat to see some of the same people year after yearand to share the torch with them and introduce them to new team members.
As I was leaving Vinson a very friendly dog who lives next to the post office greeted me. He did not want me to go so he followed me for a while. He was now our newest team member. I thought that he would stop to go home at the edge of town.
I could do to stop him as he insisted to follow me happily for over three miles. I was not sure how he would get all the way back home. I was contemplating bringing him back in our vehicle.
Just as I ended my run for the day with this cute and devoted dog by my side a big yellow school bus stopped to drop someone off at the same corner as our vehicle switch. The bus was half filled with school children so I was not too hopeful that she would agree to take the dog back home to Vinson. But when she agreed the dog just got right on the bus as if he was one of the children returning from school. He was definitely one of my best running partners on the whole trip so far and really made a long day more enjoyable.
During that same run with my canine friend I also met two wheat harvesters who were not working that day due to the rains. They could not harvest wet wheat so they were driving back from the farm and stopped on the side of the road to see why I was running with a torch and a dog in the middle of 'nowhere'.
John, a young man in his twenties, was from New Zealand, so I told them to drive up to our support vehicle where Tom, one of our three runners from New Zealand, was waiting for me. They also had time to drive up to the women's team who were also waiting for us to switch vehicles. Priyala and Shobhavati are also from New Zealand and our new New Zealander friend John was quite surprised and happy to see so many New Zealanders in this remote part of the country near Texas.
Roy, the senior farmer who was working with John, kindly showed us on our map on the back of our R.V. the whole geography of the 'wheat and corn belt' in the middle of the U.S.
Meanwhile, the women's team ran the torch over the Oklahoma line into Texas.
There was quite a bit of wildflowers blooming which made this runner, Jana, from the Czech Republic, quite happy.
Approaching our final destination city of the day, Clarendon, Texas, we found a very nice fruit stand where we bought some peaches and cider. The owner, Catherine, was very kind and gave us a few items to take with us as well. It was a nice welcoming into Texas.
We finally reached the entrance to our accommodations for the night.
Our accommodations for the night was to be the Bar H Dude Ranch, where 'city slickers' learn to become 'cowboys' and 'cowgirls'.
Frank and Dee Dee Hommel have been so kind to host us many times over the years as we pass through Clarendon. The rustic cabins were quite comfortable accommodations the night.
They also cooked us dinner and breakfast to enjoy in their comfortable dining hall.
Each room had a name of a famous cowboy or actor who played a cowboy.
Sometimes we see more cows than people out here on the southern prairies.
We even had some time to visit the nearby Greenbelt Lake where we some of the team were able to cool down from the long day of running.
On the ceiling of the dining hall among all the souvenir hats hanging just about everywhere we spotted on of our World Harmony caps from years past. We have been treated to this wonderful Dude Ranch for many years and we are so grateful to Frank and DeeDee for their generosity and hospitality. Happy trails...
Video Message from Dr. Davidson Hepburn, President (2009 - 2011) of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for 25th Anniversary of the World Harmony Run and a vision for the decade: "Toward a Oneness-World".
Full Text of the 25th annversary message and link to 25 language informal Translations: http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/25or Click on language button for separate youtube videos wth sub titles in varous languages
- Youtube video on African experience which illustrates IYY slogan "Our Year Our Voice" International Year of Youth - Zambia World Harmony. They surprisingly mention Presidents and UN Secretary-General in a unique way!
See start of the International 25th Anniversary Celebration across from the United Nations at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in New York.
On 27th April 2012. in many cities around the world, special events marked the WHR 25th Anniversary
Distance: 100 miles
Arpan DeAngelo (New York), Shobhavati Davies (New Zealand), Jana Duskova (Czech Republic), Tom McGuire (New Zealand), Katya Percheklii (Ukraine), Larissa Zub (Belarus), Matthias Eckerle (Germany), Priyala Carvalho (New Zealand), Dzmitry Kuzmich (Belarus), Daulot Fountain (Seattle)
Gallery: See more images!
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