I was told before I left on my trip that I really should pack a gun.
You know, cuz the U.S. is a dangerous place.
With dangerous people.
But wishing I had a gun was the last thing on my mind this afternoon when I saw a motorcyclist walking down the highway toward me.
I had stopped on the shoulder.
He had parked his bike about 150 yards down the way.
He was still wearing his riding jacket and helmet.
I thought to myself, "Poor guy must be in trouble. Hope it's not mechanical. I know where to put the gas and I know if you turn this handle the bike goes vroom vroom, but other than that, I'm useless."
The traffic was screaming by and he was getting closer.
"I know," I thought, "he's probably out of fuel. Good thing I have two one-liter bottles full of extra. It won't get him far, but it'd get him further."
He was still getting closer, but instead of just standing there waiting for him, I started to walk toward him.
"Hey, what's up?" I asked when we finally met.
And do you know what he said?
He said, "I saw you parked on the shoulder and thought you were in trouble. I just stopped to see if you needed any help."
My mouth dropped.
I told him everything was fine, I was just taking a photo of the Idaho state sign.
We both laughed.
His name was Sam, and he was from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. He'd been in the military stationed in San Diego but moved back to Idaho to get away from the big city and to be near his father.
He was trying to be a good Sam-aritan.
(I just made that up!)
Anyways, there are millions of people in this country like Sam who just want to be helpful.
There are millions of people like Taylor and Dan, newlyweds I met yesterday at an Oregon gas station, who just wanted to say hello, and to tell me to have a safe ride.
There are millions of people like Robert and Jack and Kelli and Marie and Xhristain and Martha -- wonderful people you only meet once, maybe for just a few minutes, some for a few hours -- people who renew your faith in mankind, and that this crazy mixed-up world is still full of people who are kind, caring, basically good, and they just want to help and get along with others.
Yes, there are some bad eggs out there, too, but they are far outnumbered by the Sam's of this world.
After we'd said our goodbyes, I watched Sam walk back to his bike.
I waited on mine to make sure he got there safely.
It was the least I could do.
You da man!