North Platte, NebraskaEvery time I make a cross-country trip I come away with the fact of how few people I saw standing on a corner holding up a piece of cardboard with some desperate plea for a handout scrawled on it. This last trip I could count all I saw on one hand. Here in California though one can come across a half a dozen people in an hour's time driving around most any large town. This lady was an enigma for me standing there at the outlet of a Walmart parking lot for she wasn't like your usual "homeless person".
She was clean, looked in good health, was listening to her iPod or iPhone all the time. Her backpack with frame and gear was all high quality as was her dog's saddle bags and harness. All fairly new looking. She fascinated me and I just knew there was a story there, maybe running away from something or someone. I was reading my book at the time but still caught someone giving her some money. Soon after she hefted up her pack, cinched the waist belt and the pair walked away. I thought she was done for the afternoon and wondered Now where will she go for the night? A half an hour later I looked up and they were back. She must have walked over to McDonalds for dinner. I guess it is no problem for her to leave her backpack outside with a pit bull attached.
If you cannot make out her sign it reads: In need of a good deed. Anything helps. Look closely and there is another sign folded in half and stuffed in at the bottom of her pack frame. I didn't make a note of it and have forgotten what it read.