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Day #25

I'm in Carbondale, IL. I went a bit off route to pick up some hangers for my rear derailleur to finally replace the fabricated one I got back in Spartenburg, SC. I also hit up a local hiking/camping store (the first one I've seen since Damascus, VA) to get some more anti-bear spray, a repair kit for my stove's pump (in case it breaks again), and a better alternative to the cotton shirts (capilene polyester is faster drying and antimicrobial).

I was looking for a place to eat lunch before getting in another 30-50 miles when I ran across the Gaia House Interfaith Center just across the street from Southern Illinois University (which is a "welcoming community committed to a pspiritual awareness that integrates peace, justice, and ecological sustainability"). I saw the peace sign in the window & Buddhist themes, and had to check it out. This place is fantastic! I ended up finding out that there would be an all vegetarian dinner served in the next hour, so I hopped on the computer, uploaded some photos for a bit, and then pitched in with the awesome community effort to cook one of the best meals I've had since North Carolina.

After the dinner I went to a sunshine blues concert at the college, and I met some local college students at the Gaia dinner who put me up for the night. I took today off, spent some time with my hosts checking out the city a bit, and came back to the Gaia house for more updates and another dinner. Looks like I'll be spending tonight in Carbondale again, and heading out tomorrow for the western adventure! Thanks to Christina, Matt, Matt, Tony, and everyone else. You guys are great!

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