Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cozy Winona

On this, the last fifth Sunday in July-the first since 1211, sunny warm Sunday we are walking from shade to shade. I'm drinking from a Winona water cozy. It is the second cozy I have from this adventure. We are cozy under a shade tree with a Good
View of the highway. We'll have a short day today miles-wise. It may take some time to get there. I'm too cozy here.

I just talked my boy on the phone. He is going to have an ultra-sound on his kidneys to see if he has recovered from his moment of "brilliance". He is learning a lot and I am happy he is alive.

Walk with the ones you yourself. Walk.

I met a man.

On an intersection we stopped to talk,
He was enjoying his daily walk to the sunrise.
To see anyone but cars trucks or bikes was a surprise.
Even with a "bad" ankle he pressed on.
He loved himself.

Had I waited for the sun to rise I'd have missed the bright light, a chance meeting, an inspiring walker.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Starry eyed.

The best time to look at the stars is walking on the open highway in the early morning. I am awake and feeling fresh thanks to a good dinner, shower and clothes washing last night. See you in the morning after I walk amungst' em'.

If it is too warm for you in the sunlight, walk in the starlight!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Quick, before it's too late!

Yesterday we walked from Brownsville thru La Crescent to Dresbach or dresbeck where we came up to Pete's Bar just as it began to rain. Today I slept late until almost seven. Then after shaving and sitting my things out in the sun to dry,repacking my pack, etc. I was still within sight of the van when I got a call from a Marathon runner/ type1 diabetic who interviewed me for her organizations blog and twitter feed. Being all about activity as a runner she totally agreed with my message of being active to help maintain diabetes, also to prevent its onset. At the same time the nice woman who had helped me to get the van the night before came and brought me food and other gifts for the day. I then walked a small train bridge to go around a bridge under reconstruction and began the walk on highway 61 which will lead me to Winona. I made it to The River Road bar, it was the one and only place to stop. The owner was nice enough to let me stay and after we got the van moved up I spent a couple hours repainting some of the World, the rain of the past two days rinsed off the fresh paints of the Iowa patch session.
I wanted to write quick for an update. I will continue later, I am falling asleep. Goodnight Minnesota!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

three states

My last morning in Wisconsin flew by. I left the cabin on the bluff and took the back way that winds through the woods to Main street and found THe Bright Spot to eat. The roll down the steep roads in the shade was the most pleasant time I had had since I began this walk on the third of July from Sheboygan. Most of the walking was in beautiful farm country. Finally, and on the last day, I got to take in a wooded area that I had only see from a distance as I walked across the dairyland. I ate breakfast ate the "liars table" with the locals. There was the farmer who had given the World a ride on the tractor down the gravel road to the cabin two days before. It's good I am not so stubborn I insist on walking every inch otherwise I would have not had the fun of watching the World in tow on the bail forks of a farm tractor. After eating I was told another back way and walk awhile down a shaded road for one last time before I had a stretch of highway with guardrails on both sides with just enough room for me to roll between the rail and the white line. Then I turned west to cross the Mississippi, a three mile run to the grated bridge into Lansing Iowa. I made it to the bridge and two minutes later had the World on the back of a pickup over to Iowa. The bridge is very narrow and the dog can't walk it anyway. In lansing I was able to clean the clothes from the week of nasty heat that had the van smelling like a gym locker and was able to park the van in the shade of the bluff by the river. My time in Iowa was short but enjoyable. A sunny days walk and I was to the boarder town at the tip corner of Iowa New Larkin(oops New Albin). I got to know the townsfolk and made my way into Minnesota yesterday. Within Yards of crossing the state line a man stopped in the road and asked to be enlightened... then he asked what I was going to do when the rains came after a clap of thunder. I joked in answer to both questions. It rained, misted, drizzled and poured while I walked to Brownsville. The distance was further than we had walked in one day since we began this one. Along with the extra weight of a water logged World I was tired and had to nap before I went to The Top of The Rock for a debate with the bartender over whether I am cheating by having the van with me. He thinks I should walk without the help of supplies. I have walked without a ll those things. Slept out of the tent in my pack and wore the same clothes for far too long. I have waited untill late at night and run across interstate bridges and walked dayts out of my way to cross a bridge I could walk over. I'm too old for that. If it's unsafe, if a tornado is coming. If I will hold up traffic crossing a miles long bridge, I'll get help.
This morning I didn't want to write anything so I apologize for the dry post and as always for the poor spelling and punctuation. I may be inspired soon, like the aweesome view I saw yesterday with the grey clouds and mist hanging in the valley with birds singing and butterflies fluttering. Then in a moment the scene lost it's luster and ws gone. I wish I had stopped then and there to write the feelings, the sights, the sounds of that moment. Maybe next time. Thanks to the owner of The Copper Penny.
Hot or not I am walking. How about you? Love yourself and walk a little. And take someone you love with you, you might get a hug for your trouble.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I liked it so much...

Getting up at four thirty I thought I would get going sooner than I did bit by the time I gathered everything together and made my way out of Lansing it was almost six thirty. With the wide bike lane and slight traffic I made good time. The dismal heat of lastweek did help. By getting us used to the "normal" heat. We got to New Albin in gret time just before the heat of the day. The townsfolk had been monitoring my progress. When I arrived the good people of the bank helpe me the rest of the day. I had tine to do a little maintenance on our World with a patch and some paint. I talked to the village children as I worked over the spots I had repaired. I prepared my backpack for the morning as I fielded questions and let Nice(the dog) dig for frogs. I had wanted to write more and I am just now alone in the van with fourteen miles to the next destination , I will be able to get to Minnesota very quickly as it is five or six blocks from the border.
I can hardly keep my eyes open... Goodnight Iowa!

Monday, July 25, 2011


I was not believing I had gotten half of the states. Five hands worth. D.C. Not included, though I have walked there. Wisconsin is beautiful this time of year. And during the Amazon jungle dew point levels in the middle of the week and several early morning rains the crops grew almost before my eyes. Waist high on monday and now over my head. If I hadn't seen it I would doubt it.
I am in Iowa, state #25. I am just going to walk north from Lansing "where Eagles soar", so the sign says, up the coast to Minnesota. I don't doubt I can do that.
Doubtless...feels good.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Clean Slate

I sent the post and roused the dog. He was not to keen about getting up from the nap. We walked into the sun toward the fish fry. The man had told me the name of the gravel road but half way there I thought it best to check again. Pulling out my phone from it's case it was burning hot and the screen was black. Not a good sign... Just moments later the man who invited me to his home pulled up to check on us. Since we had a short way to go when he asked if I needed anything I asked him to take Nice (the dog), he was happy to do it and Nice was up in the truck. We had walked a good ten miles and I don't mind a little help when the time is right. As I walked on a couple stopped to talk. They were working to change the World promoting healthy and sustainable food sources. They gave me a jar of tea from the leaves of a weed I pass often as I walk the highways of America. Well, not in Florida, sharp things grow there. I knew the flowers of this particular plant were edible, rich in vitamin C, but did not know to make tea with it. It was tangy and slightly bitter yet it did give me a boost. The husband related to me that he had been diabetic some years ago and had turned his condition around with diet and exercise. A success story! Not the first of the sunny day. That morning a farmer told me he had lost a good amount of weight, walked his dogs and increased his activity resulting in him being diabetes free. This day of walking began and ended with welcome good stories.
When I made it to the gravel road I talked with the family at the corner who knew my host, the father gave me and the World a ride on the tractor down to his house; me on the step as we talked and the world bouncing and cradled on the hay bail forks. I wanted to get a picture, the phone was dead...
Nice (the dog) was getting along well at the fish fry. After he got used to all the people around his World he relaxed and lay at our feet. He got along well with the other dogs there also. By the end of the long night all the dogs were napping as the adults ate fish and fixins'. I may have a time of it when we leave in the morning because Nice likes it so much here. He was on the porch and the yard all day as my host(and friend) took me to "the big city" to see about the phone.
Unfortunately the phone was cooked after hanging from a string around my neck for well over 1300 miles. all the numbers of people I have met in dozens of states from North to south and parts between are gone. Anyone who wants to hear from me now need to call me to renew the
connection because...

I have a clean slate.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It's Fish fry Time!

We walked this morning and afternoon to Redmound several miles from DeSoto. We were invited to eat this evening up the road but for now while the hot hours of the day pass we are under the shade of the community center. I am sleepy, nice is dreaming and twitching as he dreams.

Friday, July 22, 2011

pressed flesh with Kamanke at Tainter Hollar' and Libety Pole

It hurts sometimes.

Even now, decades after, I get blind-sided by a conversation. A man walked around the side of quik-mart for his morning coffee. I was just walking away as he asked me about the World. As I do sometimes I mentioned my mothers death to complications and how we could all use a nice walk with the one(s) we Love. He told me he had lost his mother who was diabetic to stroke. As I shook his hand with both of mine he said she passed just two days ago. We looked each other in the blacks of our eyes for a silent moment, an eternity, and said goodbye. Trying to hold it together I didn't make it to the edge of the parking lot before I had to "buck-up" and talk to a group of health care workers with a local newspaper I signed. Still...It hurts.
It's time to get moving. Walking with dog and planet.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

You know what to do.

Every day I walk I meet people who are diabetics. None have denied that exercise helps to keep their condition stable. Every day I meet others who have made changes in their lifestyle to prevent the onset of the disease by eating healthier food and some form of physical activity. The problem of diabetes is growing in our nation, in our World. Don't just throw popcorn at the parade, join in and walk with it. It begins with a first step, then another. Join the movement.

grassy bottom and the south pole

Just taking a moment at the foot of the next hill letting Nice(the dog) sleep to mention I patched the fabric of the World as the day became cooler last night. Touching up the paint and the new blanket patch (I have discovered they work better than small pieces) I was slapping some white-wash on the dirty iced poles and found a gaping whole covered by an old loose patch. That it wash a potential global disaster about to befall the World in a place given little attention has no bearing on my walk for Diabetes and in no way is meant as a veiled comparison with "real" life.
Just saying what I have done to the world...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Santy'Claus and the Sand Crib

The ten miles from the mill at White city was down hill most of the way to La Farge. Usually on hot days we begin to dive for shade breaks after eleven or noon. I was rolling double speed to beat the heat and stiff humidity, by nine thirty the shade was necessary. Nice (the dog) had the advantage of streams and drainage culverts to splash in, I had only the comfort of my sweat soaked clothes. The morning dew had my boots shining with water and the wet grass had not evaporated even as we made it to town around noon. I had been offered to come and rest at the International Tire Store when we got to town but we had to cool in the shaded garden at the edge of town first. No wind and clear sun in the record heat and humidity gave no relief. We finally made our way the few blocks to the office of the tire store where Nice (the dog) lay down on the cool floor while I talked to the owner, he resembles Saint Nick with his beard and round belly.(Wisconsin, where Santa spends the summer).Even Santa is watching his weight, he (Earl) told me he had lost fifty pounds and was working to lose more. His buddy was there whose white hair and silver teeth reminded me of the abominable snow man from Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer after Dennis the misfit elf fitted him with dentures. Soon Santa' whisked me to the van, but first insisted I let him get me a room at the inn. I accepted the offer and slept in ice cold comfort for the first time in months,like sleeping at the South Pole, thanks to Santa, "The Earl of La Farge". Not before having a late lunch and a t-shirt from The Sisters,and later tacos from the traveling barn board dealers. As towns go, with their logos on the sign coming into town go, theirs saying "Welcome Home", La Farge hit the mark.
When I got up this morning I new I had a hill to climb. Today the heat was predicted to be the most intense of this heat wave. With help from town I got the several miles to the Webster town hall and municipal area early to just'plain' sit this one out. The hill was 'no slouch' and with the heat rolling in even earlier than yesterday I was soaked from head to ankle but had stayed out of the dew soaked grass enough to keep my feet dry. Now, with the van backed into the sand crib, a pleasant day learning about the townsfolk and having had lunch at the cafeteria at La Farges' own Organic Valley, the largest co-op in the nation, with several who I met, and were helped by today, We are waiting for the afternoon heat. Nice(the dog) is sleeping and has been all day.
Okay, I'm just going to stop writing and not go into how many tales of diabetes I have heard of today. Love yourself, walk, eat good food.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

the Twin Ridge Willow

An early morning start has gotten us close,but the hard drive has me wringing in the shade of the six willows-tall as a house. Nice has had three baths in streems so far and is asleep. Three miles to town.

Monday, July 18, 2011

before I lay me down to sleep...

After the rain ended I waited a short time for the water to run off the roadway and the cars and trucks to dry it. There I met a man and his son, he offered a place to park midway between Hillsboro and Le Farge which was beyond what we could walk in the late afternoon heat. Now that the sun is going down the stifling heat is tolerable (with a fan thanks to an outside plug), Nice (the dog) has had plenty of iced water and food since we stopped walking before three o'clock. We would have stayed the rest of the day under some shade tree had we not been graced with the shade of this building (there are no shade trees in a lumber mill yard). I also met a robust woman who like me is fluffy and fit. Both of us are active yet we can not hope to get to super model status. We talked of being the largest in a crowd most of the time and we are more active than most but still we are built like trucks, not sleek sports cars. She left saying she would walk. My work there was finished. The cars no longer blew up a fine dirty mist so we went along our merry way with the clouds crashing against the oppressive heat wave causing rumbling thunder across the sky from one side to the other. Awesome,say it with me, AWESOME. Then came the heat and head wind.
The Amish buggy horses invariably try to run off in the ditch when they pass by so I roll off as far as I can and stop. Two buggies stopped to talk as their horses stared nervously at the giant eye looking back. The three tiny children stared from the back bench while I spoke to their father. When I waved and said goodbye to them the children with their little hats and bonnets were so dumbfounded they where not ready when the started off, all I saw was six little feet flying up. You can't by that in the grocery store...As the day progressed the horse dropping on the road dried and no longer clung to the World. And the heat increased.
We got to the base of the big hill before the mill yard where we stayed for over an hour cooling off. There we talked to a few who stopped as my boots dried a little in the sun and Nice relaxed, unless he was jumping at their feet for the illusive frogs that only hide under strangers feet. We finally walked up the long hill and down to the shade of the mill building. A friend I met in Hillsboro came with a ride and after over five hours of heat and a visit from -The Stanecks with treats and their tale of loss of a loved one due to Diabetes (sigh)... I lay me down to sleep.

drizzle by the roadside

We have walked about a mile from Hillsboro and my clothes are already soaked from sweat.. When I left this morning the sun was breaking the clouds and the moon was still high in the sky. Now the thunder rumbles and the grey sky occasionally flashes white with the viens of lightening. We sit by a line of trees that shelter us from the hard drizzle, it soaked the road within minutes of our sitting down. While walking out of Hillsboro I stopped at the quik mart for an apple and a banana. I think at least I should try to eat good food when I can. There a woman approached who was diabetic, she asked if she could give me a donation. I said she could but I would like for her to go for a walk to help herself. She sad she would and that that was the hardest thing for her to do. She came out and gave me the change from her breakfast sandwich of bacon egg and cheese. I didn't try to suggest to her a healthier choice and made my way out of town. The only other person to stop this early Monday morning was a man who lost a relative two weeks ago to diabetes. I know about the theory of the law of attraction, this is a bit much. I'm pushing for a World wide movement.
Go for a walk.
The love yourself movement. Love yourself with movement.


It was hot Sunday. Very hot. And Saturday I took a wrong road and had to backtrack with some help. I threw my pride in the ditch a long time ago. Some mistakes work oit for the best and I will count saturdays missteps as one. It is going to be hot again today so I will say more later. Now I am going to get ready and walk before the heat gets too bad.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Up 'till today we've made our way
Bouncing off the sides of our own little world
Making decisions and being drawn to the flame
Leaving our trail of good, and bad, in our wake
Then we meet by chance or turn
And all those bumps and twists make sense
Because now I'm standing here with you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A sign of the times?

I walked today under mostly overcast skies and a cross breeze which allowed for good sailing to the Wisconsin River Bridge. As luck would have it the man from the fueland market at "13" had said to call when I got to the bridge and he'd bring his flatbed truck to help me over the narrow bridge. Yes, it is a span I could have made my way over but I would have slowed or stopped the speeding traffic by crowding the lane for a matter of pride, not necessity. The mans' daughter was happy to sit next to Nice (the dog) in the cab as I held onto the World over the bridge. Some miles later as Nice showed his first signs of foot fatigue (his first day without the dreaded dog boot to protect his sore paw) we came upon the oldest and largest "Dude Ranch in the state of Wisconsin. It worked out that I was able to get a spot to stay overnight by the barns and the management offered me dinner in exchange for a talk to the guests afterwards, I accepted. I was well received and a reporter from town was there to record what I said, I spoke for a few minutes and didn't stutter. I choked back an emotional tale about the loss of a parent to diabetes instead ending with the simple point to Love yourself by walking and love the ones you love, by walking with them. Maybe by doing that now they might walk with those loved ones for a long time as a result. My sign, "Will talk for food".
I was shuttled back to "the bluff" before dinner by one of the hands at "the ranch" before supper and had said my long goodbye to the sweet people from the previous day so when the light drizzle rolled in at dark we were already asleep in the van. Now after two hours of sleep I have awakened to share this update from my real life "frontierville". Take that Facebook!

The Bluff and the Apple Tree

And then there are days where the goals are not met, where what I say I would get accomplished falls short of the mark but the day couldn't be more sweet... I didn't get to the place I thought I would, not because the wind forced me back, the sun and heat was intolerable or the World needed repair. It was the people I met and talked to on the phone as the day wore on. I had walked to he top of a rise and found a tree to rest for a moment while I spoke with a woman on the phone of my travels and then with the husband and wife who owned the tree. Time did not matter when I was asked to stop in at the house by the bluff. The couple there thwarted my every excuse to press on for the rest of the day. I am waking in their yard this morning, a beautiful yard beneath the cliff and pines inhabited with three species of squirrel and dozens of birds that spend all day around the splendid flower and rock garden.
I will make no excuse or even describe more because, as I said, the day was really really sweet.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Waldo and the Bandit

Whether he liked them or not I put the dog shoes on Nice (the dog)s front paws. His paw was still tender, he was not wanting to step out of the van onto the gravel of the travel plaza but once we got rolling I could tell he was doing better than the day before. While we walk along the side of the highway he anchors himself next to the white line helping me from rolling off into the ditch by leaning toward the road. He has had a lot of practice over time so when you drive by slowly and he looks over at you pitifully as if you should stop to give him relief from his ball and chain. Don't be fooled, he has enough strength to pull the World of coarse, especially if there is a cat in his sights. The shoe worked well and he didn't limp from the tenderness like the previous day. We walked into Oxford where I planned to take the afternoon to relax. We stopped at the town hall and library, the children from town were all there for summer and after a group photo I sat on the bench outside as Nice (the dog) took advantage of the librarians' Chevrolet Blazer. She had opened the door to get him a treat, he treated himself to her cushioned seat where he slept all afternoon with the windows down, only waking to be petted by the local kids who hung around outside the library or manning the kool-aid stand next to the bench and the door to the hall. Nice would usually try to bite his shoes off but I think he could tell the ointment was helping and rested with them alone.
I relaxed on the bench,talked to the children, some adults, and took in the sights and goings-on of the towns center with the banks and school across the street. Next door is the "suds and grub", the "quick-mart" diagonal from it with bustling highway between. I took in the personalities of the kids. There were all the necessary ingredients to keep the women there on their toes. They ,the village kids, asked what the world was made of. After I told them , one young boy, Wally, asked what was inside. He was the "Dennis the menace" quotient, with his bright blond hair, cap backwards and crooked he reminded me of the cartoon. I told him there were forty seven people inside. He believed me. The others giggled as I told him that it was only filled with a lot of air. I nudged him with my elbow as he sat next to me on the bench. "Like your head." They all laughed. I couldn't help myself saying. "Like the old joke, -Here's Your sign-." We all laughed. I spent the rest of the afternoon waiting for the librarian, she had called the vet and we were going to have Nice checked out and then have dinner with another library worker. Who would have thought sitting on a bench would be so enjoyable?
After she was finished for the day,the librarian took Nice(the sleepy) to her house while I rolled the few blocks there. We introduced her dogs and mine,they introduced themselves like dogs do by licking, sniffing and setting their pecking order. Bandit and Retard, they do really fit there names. One just walks around in it's own little world and the other would jump on Nice and steal a quick hump or bark and nip at his neck. Nice wanted so much to play he tolerated the advances and patiently worked his way into a little jumping and play in the yard with the Bandit whose black circle around on eye gives him the looks of a "scurvy knave"
Today we have 13 miles to "13" so I better get going...
Walk with the one you love most!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Passing thru Montello and Packwaukee

Leaving the dairy farm early I closed the van with scores of flies bouncing around in the van. At the end of the day when I returned with our ride from the truck stop they were still buzzing away. I'll take flies over mosquitoes any day. The skies were overcast most of the day, the skies became clear only for the last hour of light and I fell asleep directly. Both Nice (the dog) and I were foot-sore from walking everyday since the third of July from Sheboygan. Even though it was cooler than it had been since we began and the wind was favorable I was "long in the tooth" in talking with all the folks we met during the eleven miles we traveled. One mile per hour was the speed we walked in the end. Montello was a picturesque little town with church steeples and waterfalls flowing beneath the watertower. I took many pictures as we passed along thru town. The scenery of the Packwaukee area was beautiful also,the sweet smells of the growing fields and the eighteen wheelers loaded with the string bean harvest filled my nose. I am glad we are walking in the "dairyland" in the growing season, everyday the corn grows taller and the wheat waves in the breeze.
Still I meet too many diabetics, far more tell of their children and family who have been living with diabetes. I hope soon some researcher will hit the jackpot with breakthrough and cure. So take your lottery dollars and give some to the organization of your choice, we could all win big from that gamble.
We have five or six miles to go to get to Oxford, hopefully a short day. I am told the distance to the next town could take days so a short day is welcome.
Take some time today and walk wit your buddy, your loved one, your parent. It can bring you closer and may ensur you walk alongside them for days to come.
Enjoy the sunny day!

Nothing Fancy...

A little too tired to say very much more than answer a child's question. How did Nice get his name? He came with it. The woman who gave him to me had a boy and he and his little cousins kept telling the puppy dog to "Be Nice" so much that he thought it was his name. And that's the story, nothing fancy...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Getting wet and Change

It wasn't long after we left Ripon when the rain began. The umbrella the married couple gave us was appreciated and hard to use while moving the World, walking the dog and walking against the wind all at the same time. It added to the already odd image as it stuck out from the top of the backpack, I'll use it someday and remember their faces when I open it. The freshly bleached clean shirt I wore was stained from the dye of my hat and the bleed thru from my belt at the end of the day when I changed into a dry shirt. When the clouds finally gave way to he late day sun I had to stop and air out my shriveled feet, change my socks, rub my feet with Bag Balm, apply sunscreen. Putting my wet shoes back on was my only option. The next morning when I left the home of the people who gave me the helping hand of hospitality I was hesitant because of looming clouds but I took a chance that paid off with a sunny and windy day to the end. I have changed how I act when the wind blows the World against me by having patience, holding fast until I can move forward. I get further faster in working with the winds. Sounds almost philosophical eh?
I didn't make it all the way to the next town past Princeton but did walk my average ten miles and walked around a cornfield to the farmhouse where we stayed for the night. Town will have to wait till morning.
Have a great day Wisconsin!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The "Nice" Factor.

And then there's days when Nice wants to rest. Yesterday we walked on fresh concrete for awhile and he is favoring his left front paw. I put a shoe on this morning but he didn't go for it. Now as he sleeps in some shade miles from any town I have wrapped his paw in a scrape of canvas that will breath. I feel bad I led onto fresh concrete like I did, I won't do that again! On the other hand, it is a great spot his has led us to. The old fence post feels like a cushion, it bounces suspended from the rusty barbed wire. The tall pine grove edged with oaks shade our outdoor entertainment center.
It is time to adjust the remote and get my shoulder against the wind again...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The rest at Ripon.

Rosendale has the reputation for the most notorious speed trap in "the dairyland". If you don't receive a citation you can contribute to "the common good" by purchasing a t-shirt at the hub of commerce and home of the local "liars table", the BP station. Everyone I met there were very nice and a pleasure to talk with. As I sat on the shaded benches by the parking lot where everyone else visits a man came from across the street. He happily gave us a shuttle to the support van back in Fond de Lac and treated me to the history of the corner store and some of the changes he'd seen since he liived there as a boy. I won't go into his health problems though I was struck by how glad he was to be alive seeming to enjoy every moment, every breath.
Thank's for the ride Bob!
I had been given permission to park at the community center at the edge of town by the post office across from the elementary school a short walk from the corner store where the World was being looked after. I parked by the community center and walked over to reclaim the World. I walked back to the van with the World and struck up a conversation with a man just pulling into his driveway. He and his mate invited me for dinner and that night I parked "out back" with a cord to the van for a fan, with the mosquitoes the closed van and the fans breeze makes sleeping tolerable. The man and I nearly collided as he had pulled in, we later talked of the coincidence of how our "worlds" brushed together.
I left without citation or the towns "ticket" t-shirt. I will keep the good people I met with me longer than paper or thread.

The walk to Ripon was a gorgeous morning with the wind often blowing perfectly so all I had to do was steer alongside the World as it "trundled" with the breeze. It is those times when I too appreciate every breath,every "turn". Half-way to Ripon Nice (the dog) was urging me to some shade just past a farmhouse. As we walked by the couple inside offered us cold water and treated us both with a morning sandwich, and plate of dog food. We shared the sandwich meat but not the "kibbles" or sweet pickles. We emerged from the tall grass by the shade trees and met a sweet woman who told me of her relative who was waiting for "another" kidney transplant because of diabetes. She beamed as she told me how successful the young man was and the good he was doing for "the World" despite his struggles with the disease.
Every breath.
When I got as far as the park at the edge of Ripon I met with the local news weekly. We relaxed under the shade in the well groomed grass for almost two hours while people came to talk and the reporter asked the occasional question to "fill in the blanks" where the passing visitors had not covered. As we made our way into Ripon I we met everyone from locals to visitors the historic "Main Street". As we progressed to the far side of town I thought this a great place to live and how lucky the townspeople were. I stopped at Cousins for a drink and a cup of soup. The owner had asked me to stop by when we had net earlier when I had arrived at the east side of town. Befoire my soup was cool enough to eat I was out by the World posing for another picture with a family when I met a man who offered for us to stay at his business across the road. We stowed the World safely away and he shuttled me back to Rosendale where "the rose" by the post office had my laundry on the line smelling fresh and clean, grilled a delicious meal and let me shower before I returned to Ripon. I got back to where the World was resting just as the evening mosquitoes were swarming but was able to get my extension cord for the fan plugged in with only a few blood-sucking-interlopers.
It looked cloudy at five o'clock this Sunday morning but the sun is now shining on clear skies. I have heard it could be muggy today out of Ripon and I could have rushed to get on the road earlier. Nice looks very content as he lays his head across my leg and has sprawled himself my sleeping spot in the van with the cool air coming in as we are shaded by the Casual Outfitters patio furniture store. We will get going. After a few more moments of R&R in Ripon.
Enjoying every breath...

Saturday, July 9, 2011


I can't write, no way. I do walk all day. Anso'
In the wee of the morning, some days. I peck out my thoughts before I go. Anso'
Never knowing that night what came out, to stay. Anso'
I leave you with this thought today.
Treat yourself to a good chance with a stroll. Give your body some love and go, round the block to get those juices to flow. Anso'. Love yourself, anso'

Where am I, and who is this Guy? Anso'?

Friday, July 8, 2011

To Fond De Lac and the rip in the fabric of the World

Waking up in the drive of the family in "FDL" I was determined to post about our day walking into town. Of the picnic on a wicker chair in the emergency lane with an old couple who brought me a salad while their white furry dog did his best to dominate Nice (the dog) while we relaxed by the speeding trucks and cars rolling past. Of the first person to stop and talk to me that morning, his wife and daughter of four years, their cozy driveway. I had logged on with the phone and was poking away with a snappy title and first line when I got a call from a reporter who wanted to get our story before he drove to Milwaukee. That is when the chain of events began to chink...
I had to get my clothes on, go inside and have breakfast with my hostess and soon the reporter. Gather my things for the day of walking. Pump a little air in the World rather than waiting for the warm sun to expand the atoms and molecules inside. After all , the man needed his pictures... After saying goodbye to our new friend we rambled on to the main road stopping to talk several times with the reporter snapping away in the distance. When I got to the store at the corner, there he was. I had to stop in the restroom for that moment of morning privacy I had rushed away from. My hostess had showered quickly as I spoke to the reporter outside but the moment had passed. As I walked my way West and stopped for a newspaper at McDonalds he was there. When I took a picture of some school aged girls with the dog in front of the world, he too was by my side. When I sent the picture to my Facebook account, he was looking over my shoulder. When I stored the newspaper in my pack, yes friends, he was there. When my hostess stopped by on her way to work for a more personal goodbye, you guessed it, he was there.
The sun was high, the morning had just begun when a television reporter called, he was on his way. They were quick and efficient with a few questions and a bit of footage as background, and were gone. Dozens of people stopped and talked as we walked on. I spoke with a family outside their home and met there young son who was diabetic. They gave me their number for the end of the day. A woman came by and loaded me up with nutrient shakes, mood enhancing dissolvable tabs and energy bars. Another news channel called and came to us. They followed us for awhile after the interview, far longer than Nice could bare thinking they were teasing him at a distance when they had just been there next to us. And why don't they give him a ride? The sun rose higher as they finally drove away and not just to the next farm driveway.
Until I patched the dozen tiny holes in the inner tube of the World this winter it was self regulating. The core would not be able to expand. Too much. I wasn't paying attention because of the reporters, the people, the cameras. I had a thought that I should pull the plug and let some air out so the canvas crust wouldn't tear. The sun had burned through the overcast skies. I heard a deep rumbling as the world jerked and lurched. A weak seam that had been patched many times ripped and another tore across the fabric.
It was soon obvious I needed help. I carry a small amount of canvas for a patch and a few ounces of glue with me but this was a five foot long tear. I got some help. I probably thanked the family who helped me too many times for saving the World. I couldn't stop. I can't blame anyone but myself for being distracted and not paying attention to the World at my fingertips. There is a metaphor in this somewhere.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"it looks so easy"

That's what she said, the mother who stopped to get a picture for her adventurous daughter who is volunteering in a far off land, as she held the World by a string so I could snap a shot with her camera. The wind pulled her back as she posed and we talked of our children and the culture of traveling youths these days. My progress was slow and determined all day against the west wind. There was no tacking like a sailboat, the wind and waves of gust had me working new blisters on my feet, just another part of the toughening process. I remind myself to keep moving forward but not to battle the bluster, waiting for a moment of relative calm when I can roll forward with the ease the woman spoke of.
When I arrived in Sheboygan on the holiday weekend I visited two fire stations to ask for a patch as proof I had began there. I had no luck, they were locked in the commanders cabinet and though the fireman in charge took my phone number and said he would get one to me I had resolved to myself I would have no emblem from Sheboygan and began my walk west. Things worked out and I am staying outside the home of a retired firefighter from the neighboring Fond De Lac who gave me one he had received from a friend. He gave me a patch from his district and a pleasant evening of good conversation with he and his lovely wife. Better than the patch was the can of feed he gave me to throw to the exotic fish as I relaxed on their bridge he had built across the pond,priceless memories. Well worth dancing against the wind.
I received a message from a woman who had lost a parent , as I have, from diabetes when she was very young. I was touched and thankful for messages and calls I receive. I still think I am doing a small part to keep the cause in the open. It is the research and care of professionals that deserve the praise, and support.
When I began "thumbing" this little post the sky was just beginning to turn light and now I should get ready for the day, the sunrise and the wind.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Walking The Plank...

The beautiful and cool Wisconsin morning quickly turned to a hot, cloudless almost miserable day. Nice (the dog), as always, kept us making stops at every shady spot. He even found the one muddy puddle next to a field of grain and came out smelling like a barn until he dried in the sun. If he would figure out diving in muck draws the flies he might think twice the next time he goes by a slime hole. A dogs life on the road is full of tempting sights and smells and I can't fault him for it. We walked a much shorter distance than yesterday but have found ourselves at a great spot that will likely be far from the Forth of July fireworks which bother Nice.
We have traveled these two days mostly walking on the "old plank trail" and at it's end is the tiny town of Greenbush and the road I guess the trail was named after. I had been told by some that Greenbush would be a good place to end the day. We walked half way into town when we met a family who live on Plank Road. After talking a bit they offered us a ride back to the purple support van that we had left at Plymouths Wal-Mart. When I got there I stocked up on water and gatorade as well as a little dinner. Opon returning we walked the rest of the way down "The Plank" into town. The town was empty and I saw no place to stay for the night so I rolled back to where the van was at the nice families' home and took it to the trail head and its parking area where I fortunately met the Sheboygan County Police officer and told her of my situation and would be there for tonight. She said she would pass my information on so I will have no problems staying here. So I wouldn't have to walk the plank again the good man. Shuttled the World the quarter mile back to the trail head and the van.
Now I am hoping to get a little paint on the World to keep a tread surface rather than a thread bare patchwork of canvas. All in all we have had a good day, even with the heat. I will get used to it soon enough and will use the shade wherever Nice finds it.
Have a Happy and safe "Forth".

Sunny Forth of July Morning

Walking out of Sheboygan to Plymouth yesterday I talked to many as I walked along the path by the highway and found that all I spoke to had family and friends who suffered or died from diabetes. The first day back left me stiff and sore but if I can inspire someone today to get active and eat healthier to prevent or control diabetes the day will be better than any fireworks.
Thanks to the folks who stopped to visit last night as I settled in for the evening and those who advised and encouraged me thru the day.
Be safe.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sheboygan Wisconsin

What better town to begin a cross country walk than Sheboygan?