Sunday, April 25, 2010

Manu on Stilts

Overall, this was a great day at Afton Station, but the centerpiece was definitely the visit from Manu, the French gentleman who is traversing all of Route 66 on stilts! I don't exactly know what I was expecting, but seeing him walk toward the Station -- very quickly with l-o-n-g strides, much faster than a normal person could walk without stilts -- was quite an experience. He is making 40-60 miles a day (!!), and only fails to walk if weather or hazardous road conditions disallow it. His friend Patrice is following along in a car for just such occurrences, which have been rare. It was great meeting both guys, and Manu was quite taken with our Citroen 2CV -- a little touch of home right here in Oklahoma. Here are some photos. I hope to have a video for tomorrow's blog.

Need any ceiling lightbulbs changed?
Manu with Josh, Ron M., Betty, and a neighborhood kid

Manu was inspired to do the walk after reading "The Grapes of Wrath" as a child and developing an interest in Route 66 then. He is from a part of France where foresting was done on stilts, and it's a tradition that people like Manu are trying to keep alive among the young people in that region. He has been stilt-walking since he was 9 years old, and I'm telling you he walks on those things more comfortably than I walk on my own two legs! Amazing! By the way, I sent him to the Chelsea Motor Inn tonight, where Frank and Trudy will be treating him to a restful night. Then tomorrow, Manu and Patrice will be coming to Tulsa where I'll be hosting them.

Ron M. was with me today, and my friend Josh Bowen from Fayetteville stopped in and took the aforementioned video. Always nice to see Josh! Betty W. arrived just in time to meet Manu. We had guests drop in from Wilmington IL, Bolivar MO, Bartlesville OK, Greenville PA, Baxter Springs KS, Sharpsburg GA, Afton OK, and of course, France.

Another unique day at Afton Station! This has got to be the best job EVER!!!


Ken Riches said...

What a great story and tradition that he is trying to keep alive.

Anonymous said...

That's AMAZING! Can't wait to see the video!

Gordo said...

I hope you have a rally long bed for him....