Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday stroll to the Scribner Skyscrapers

Sometime during the days walk I must have forgotten about the count because I traveled the thirteen miles with the wind behind me at a quick pace (for a guy, a dog, and the World spinning along the roadside) because I was able to settle in amongst the Scribner skyline well before dark in stark contrast to the eight mile dawn to past dark from Beemer to West Point. With the help of the guilt ridden "Big Black Truck" who had left his phone at home on Saturday I had a ride waiting for me when I stopped at grain elevator central in Scribner. I am well rested this morning after a night of dreams that had me visiting dozens of friends in my hometown. Perhaps it was the constant drown of the grain elevators that reminded me of the noise of the city that helped me have such good sleep. Perhaps I was exhausted. Today I hear I have less than ten miles to walk to the nearest town. With a good wind it could be easy or at least go fast. It is up to the wind to decide.
It is officially Halloween. I should have brought my gargoyle wings when I left Louisville four months ago. A guy rolling the World along the Nebraska easements will have to be frightening enough. Boo!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


The sun rises later each day, the days are getting shorter and these blankets are toasty warm. I should get up and continue. After all, a body in motion stays in motion and the World stops for no man, or dog. Unless you get up on your own to work those old bones it just gets later.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mule Variations, and Angels on Halloween.

A day that could have been a breeze had the wind been in the direction where I was the plowman was another that had me as the mule. At times I had to work my furrow along the ditch line. I didn't mind it, I take what comes my way. The first half of the day was filled with conversations and phone calls then the wind picked up and I sat by the side of the road to write the gibberish of the previous post and had visits from many more as I sat there. When we made our way to town we were walking by the motel and were invited for a cookout by some traveling construction workers who had their gas grill filling the parking lot with the aroma of meat. Nice (the dog) was soon so full he could eat no more. It had become dark before I ventured to the south end of West Point. Just as we reached a shopping center that has a bar I was about to go inside to ask if I could stay in the parking lot when a good person with her daughter and friend suggested I go just a few steps more to the discount store parking lot and stay there. She went ahead and asked if I could stay there and, thankfully, gave us a ride back to Beemer. It never ceases to amaze me how at the end of the day when I have no ride or a place to stay that a car full of road angels appears. I got back with van and had the lights of the parking lot to do some touch up and am now settling in for the night as the bar in the distance is filling with Halloween party zombies. Again, if not for the angels...

Clearing the Table; it takes a Village.

Beaten a bit when I arrived in Beemer and was warmed by an offer of a room at the Tradewinds Inn at the corner where I had been told to turn, walk a mile up a hill and then some. The people at the local bank had made the arrangements and sent a messenger to let me know. And to think it was just after I'd wrote about feeling like a whinning child... The folks of the Village of Beemer pulled me from my silly mood getting me back on track. After a good 'supper and a seat at "the roundtable" in the Haybarn where all the locals 'scuttlebutt the weeks events. By the time I settled in for night where every time I 'woke for a moment I would flick the television on and the off because I could. Sleeping without a blanket or furry cap to keep warm. Though I did go to the van twice to make sure Nice (the dog) was covered I cleared my mind of the aches and complaints of the long walk from Laurel to Wayne then Wisner. Today I rose and found the old men at the 'table in the Beemer Cafe' telling them all my truths sounded like a string of lies at their "liars table"; walking from Lake Michigan to Omaha Via Fargo just didn't fly. I was leaving out the charity ball for diabetes and changed the subject to my lost fingertip by my dog. Another falsehood, surely. These men who believed at first I was a hunter there for the season opener couldn't make heads or tails, is he for real or pulling our legs when I told them I was no marksman. Once I had cleared the table it was down to me and one other. What would you say the odds are that he was diabetic (or that there would be one at the table the night before)?
It took a village to uplift me and clearing my mind like a breakfast table of dirty dishes, the chance conversations that prompt diabetics to be more active and Grandma's rolls delivered now in the moment I sit to write this that remind me what wonderful life it is... Love your self, your body; walk it around.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Flatland Mountain

My body is protesting this short walk of seven miles to Beemer from Wisner so I am resting by the side of the roadway for awhile. I can see the water tower in the distance. A man has offered for me to stay at his home but it is a mile and a half off the highway, up a hill and with no direct route back to 271. I will have to see if I am rejuvenated enough to climb that mountain when I get to town. For now I'll just kick my feet like a child, beat my hands on this keyboard and whine...

Waddle to Wisner

Sixteen miles into Wayne and a late evening interview at a local radio station left me tired. When I arose to get ready for my walk out of Wayne to Wisner there was a layer of frost on the world. Against my want to stay under my warm blankets I packed up and made my way to Main street. I was there asked to have breakfast at the bakery with the local "liars club". I was happy to delay my twenty one mile trek to Wisner. By he end of breakfast , and a follow up talk with the newspaper reporter over coffee, I had given my keys to a gentleman who with the help of another member of "the table" shuttled the van to the edge of Wisner at the truck stop. Twelve hours later I arrived at the van where I was met by a barrage of questions from the enthusiastic reporter from the paper there. She had been waiting for hours for my arrival and I was hardly able to take off my backpack and breath a sigh of relief for the excited correspondents' queries. Then I was whisked to a late "supper" at a nearby home and was finally settled in for sleep after midnight. When I waddled in the truck stop for coffee and sat in the "liars section" I eavesdropped on the end of the old locals talk about all the different travelers who walk, ride and canoe through and near the town. They concluded that some just see a mountain and must climb it. Then joked that the swimming pool was the highest elevation in the area. I made it through my coffee without being discovered thanks to my new Nebraska Northeastern Railway cap. And now am feeling spry enough to make a short trek of seven or so miles to my next stop.
As with everyday I met more diabetics and relatives of same all day as I waddled to Wisner. Maybe one day I can walk, talk to twenty people, or even five on a gravel county road and not speak to a diabetic. Until then I'll waddle on...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Walking the Tightwire

You best stay here in the moment
Take time to see the distant beauty
Yet keep the line in mind as the wind sways your path
And balance...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I made it the sixteen miles into Wayne but let Nice (the dog) get a mutiny ride for the last mile or so from the good woman who later rode me back to Laurel to get the van. Nothing but good things to say about the folks I met today. But I am tired and if I have to walk all the way to Wisner I will need my sleep as well as all the daylight.
Goodnight Nebraska!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Resting in Laurel

I could have challenged myself and pushed over twenty miles today, been worn out for another twenty miles and more tomorrow or have a short day today, get a little rest and walk only sixteen into Wayne on Wednesday. That is what I did. That is what I am doing. I'll walk myself silly the next day but for today I am resting on my laurels...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Put out

A quiet relaxing day along the rolling hills here in Nebraska. I stopped to have a meal down home. The Down Home bar and grill. I was served the "special" and not a moment too soon because they were about to lock the doors as they do each monday afternoon. When a small group showed up for food they were turned away. The proprietor was all smiles only as I was heading for the door. They'd have no distraction from the television, an episode of "Little House on the Prairie".

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Take it down a notch.

Alright, so I got a little warm and fuzzy with the last post. Blame it on the harvest air. It rained yesterday and some were making use of their manure spreaders. I might have piled a little layer over the field myself in my own way. I have to say today was not so different. I made my way to Coleridge, met the family of the couple who helped me get the van after a good evening meal (they call it supper 'round here) and I am fairly sure I won't be stranded out in the cold as long as I do my part and walk for the next few days.
I truly am thankful for the kindness. No high falootin' string of words, just thanks.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Over the Bluffs

The frosty beginning that greeted me when I awoke to my first day in Nebraska was in no way an indicator of what the day would bring. I hadn't made my way past the first crossroad south before being welcomed by several of the born-and-bread Nebraskans whose warmth and hospitality rivals any I have been given anywhere. Even the breeze helped to push me up the rim of the plain into the rolling terrains. All day I met people who grew up with those I'd met earlier. And those who were passing thru filled the pallet with colors of kindness from the gulf coast to the african continent. If first impressions make the meal, my visit to Nebraska was glazed with brown sugar right out of the oven. It was past dark when I finally rolled from the valley floor into Fordyce. Not because of difficulty but from all the conversations and my long pauses to take in the views of the day; heartwarming.
The second day was no different as the people were all fun to talk to and friendly. The wind worked my body over a bit and the roads to Hartington had their challenges but gravel road, steep banks on narrow highways and a head wind didn't damper the 'Husker spirit. I was even helped by a half dozen young teens whose parents let them push the World up the last uphill mile outside of town. I got a patch for my collection from "Big Kenny" and a meal when I got to town. I had a nice conversation as I retrieved the van and nap after I returned that served to "prime the pump" for a good night's sleep.
On both days I met many effected by diabetes. Each day I shared my stories with at least one diabetic who said they would begin to walk to get the circulation back to their toes and feet. Everyday I am able to assist someone to push past their excuses, at least say out load they will take a step out is a day I will happily climb any bluff.
I guess that sounds a little corny... I am in Cornhusker country after all.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Goodbye Dakotas

With all the challenges of the wind, the lessons that came along the Dakota roadside, it was the beautiful people just ahead of the scenery I appreciate the most. Now I have crossed the river to Nebraska, the frost is burning off the canvas of the World. The snow could come before I walk through. What personal lessons wil I learn in this part of the heartland?
Walk with those you Love...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Going to the Club in Yankton.

It's not too much of a stretch to say we needed a break from the long wind filled days on the prairie. Since the day we left the head waters of the Mississippi the roads began to flatten. At the rim of the Red River Valley I experienced the opposite shock which "flat-landers" get when enclosed by the hills, hollars' and woods back East; the valley was flat as a plate of glass. Walking in North Dakota was like a slow motion "Tron grid" and it was a welcome change when roads began to have an occasional turn and the scenery had hills and valleys. The South Dakota I walked through did have flat areas, but nothing so level as the north...

I had walked my longest distance in a day and yesterday set out to walk the final few miles to the border of South Dakota and Nebraska, as close to the bridge as I could get and find a place to stop. I planned then to take a day to rest. I was walking down Yankton's Broadwsy-US81-Meridian Highway-Tom Brokaw BLvd. when a man called from across the broad way that is surely unrecognizable to the road Tom Brokaw grew up knowing in his home town. The man called for me to stop, put on a jacket before coming over to talk, so I settled in for a conversation. We talked for awhile and he then invited me over to the club to meet everyone. Not everyone had shown up yet so we had enough time to ride back to get the support van before I was ushered into the back room to see the gang. It was at least twenty minutes before I was able to get a drink for all the explanations and questions. That tall cold drink was welcome when I was finally able to have a moment from the crowd. A long cool drink of water does hit the spot after holding the attention of a roomful of youngsters at The Boys and Girls Club...
I think they learned something more than when to stay out of a dog fight.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I left The Meridian Corner "The middle of nowhere, the center of everything" bundled up with my Carhartts, gloves, a john deere cap I found by the road here in South Dakota (washed) determined to beat the cold I picked up on the side of the road also. The sign said it was 27 miles to Yankton and I knew I'd be able to stop half way there. When I got to the intersection that did have an area to park and nothing else I felt the urge to go on. I had a good wind, it was the warmest part of the day, a few cars stopped at the four-way-stop, honking and giving me encouraging waves so I pressed on knowing only that it was fifteen miles to town. I slowed my pace, lulled myself away to the country radio station music and kicked up some dust BY GOSH! After it was dark I was able to get more road time with the autos not being able to see me and I able to see them. Luckily a nice couple who were talking on their couch decided to go find out if I was safe from the cold, having heard I was on the long stretch to Yankton on the old meridian road. They found me and offered their driveway four miles from town, they ferried me to the van and clocked it at twenty one and a huff' mile'. Not too shabby for a tired dog with a sick road weary guy who's been complaining over his little clod of ailments. This morning I am off to Yankton, then we'll 'take a knee' before we go to Nebraska.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Letting sleeping dogs...

Nice (the dog) has decided it is time for a nap. It's a cloudless breezy day and I have to let the boy have his way.

Monday, October 17, 2011

281st and the center of everything.

Freeman is where I began the day. I must have been exhausted from the walk from Stanley Corner on Sunday. That walk had some challenge early as the "county correction line" jogged West for two miles into the wind then continued South. Several days covering about fourteen miles each wore me down and the strong winds of the plains had one thigh and the opposite knee stinging with the cool weather. Whenever I would stop to talk with families or individuals who visited the foot cramped and I would have to walk it back up to speed. These complaints would greatly lessen as I concentrated in the wind, dog and the World at hand. Getting into Freeman shortly before dark I got permission to park at the dollar store and called the nice woman from Salem who had told me to call when I arrived. She came, dropped me back to the van, brought my dinner and amny other things as souvenirs of South Dakota to add to the box/care package from the night before. I was feelin' the Love. After waking up late from a vivid dream about a dear friend with declining health from back home I dressed warmly for another breezy and cool day, walked away from the dollar store to a lesser wind but still one that worked the same muscles as the walk into Freeman. The late start and deep sleep did some good, as well as the talks I had with townspeople before I left the town limits. From the daughter of a diabetic who knows first hand what ravages the disease can take on a person to the trucker at the convenience store struggling with keeping his diabetes under control. A losing battle for him I am afraid; old habits are hgar to break as he left the store with two liter bottles of diet mountain dew and nothing else.
I had a short distance of nine miles to walk to get to "The Meridian" at 81 and 18 but. I had many stops and conversations along the way. As I approached 281st I had to stop and adjust my sock that was bunched up in my boot causing my toe to have sharp pain. There I decided was a good place to sit and write a post but with a visit from the county police who got a call about me walking in the middle of the road (I wasn't all the way in the center), she didn't care that she had to leave her office. The wife of a farmer who called her to come get a picture, we talked and joked with the deputy who told everyone who stopped she was guarding me for ditch cleaning and that I was on work detail and Nice (the dog) was her K-9 assistant. Somehow I managed to get a coffee delivered to me as I sat there visiting (on the county dime) and the day was worth all the police abuse when she told a man who pulled up what I was really upto and he gave me a thumbs-up telling me his wife was diabetic. I asked if she was still walking, he said yes and I told him to walk with her to help her circulation. At once we could see the love and concern he had for his spouse and the realization he now could do something to help her by walking with her. Then a car with three diabetics rolled up who had just been to the diabetic therapy. They listened and I think they might walk more after our conversation. What a spot to talk about walking to control diabetes, mils from the middle of nowhere.
When I got tothe newly reopened restaurant I was interviewed by the third local paper in two days and even got a lift to get the van from the reporter. I told him stories during the trip and. It seemed he wanted deparatly to turn his hand held recording device back on as I rambled about mountain climbs and other Worldly adventures.
I had a bite to eat at the Meridian and spent some time getting some paint on the World before settling in to write this post. I have been developing a cold all day and I must admit I fell asleep half of the way through this post and awoke usin the Blackberry as a pillow but not so feverish.tghe sand spurs are in full force along the sides of the road and Nice (the dog) was plagued by them all day, hi jersey sweater is covered with them. I'll have to find another way to keep him warm untill we get past this area. Twenty seven miles to the border town of Yankton and a parking area at an intersection a little less than half of the the way there. I hope I don't have to sleep in the cold tomorrow night.
Walk with the ones you love, if you can.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Scavenger's Grip

I've collected a mountain of stuff in my day. This Spring while preparing for this, my fifth walk for diabetes awareness, I gave away most of my mountain. I was walking along the road yesterday and found a pair of Vice Grips and could not resist. Clamping them to my belt I told myself I would give them away. I have a box back in Kentucky filled with pliars of all types and have several of these specialized Vice Grip tools. I didn't need them, didn't need to carry them back to my old Kentucky Home far away. The next person to stop and talk offered to help me at the end of the day to get me to my van. As she was about to pull away I gave her the tool (my pack-rat voice struggled with the act). She said her boys could use them. I felt good that I could share my burden as a gift. For me giving has been much more fulfilling than any pile of possession I have guarded from loss in my life.
Time to walk. Have a great day!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Opening up and settling down.

All day Friday I was the anchor to the World. Coaxing it to stay on the road with the winds high from the side. I was leaning all day on the bad foot, today the knees and feet are sore. Last night I was on the side of the highway waiting for darkness to fall so I could set up my tent and get some rest when a farmer working a nearby field came and offered to shuttle me the last few miles to Salem and then take me to get the van back at Jake's corner. I know some may think I cheated. I say "Tell my aching bones they're slackers." This morning I awoke behind the truck stop/restaurant where everyone comes for breakfast. When I limped in the men at the "liars table" told me if I was limping that bad on the opening day of pheasant season I was in trouble. Once I get walking the limp subsides. The population of the state increases twenty percent today. Half the folks in the store were dressed in all kinds of orange clad brand new hunters garb with that "I wanna' kill something!" look written all over. When I was on the road yesterday I could tell the ones who were speeding to their destinations with the same look daring me to slip across the white line so they could get their first kill. A Hutterite farmer and his wife stopped and gave me a watermelon, a small one that weighed only fifteen pounds. I sat in the ditch and ate it down to about five pounds and put the rest in a bag then loaded it in my pack. Then every few minutes I'd have to stop to expel the water from the melon. I do love that melon! This morning I have touched up some spots with paint and while it dries I am watching the parade of hunters waiting and preparing for the noon hour when the season is official; chafing at the bit. Twelve miles to the next corner where I am told a closed up store used to be and cars can park. I will carry the tent in case I need it. It is getting cold so I will have to wear more gear, more weight, walk slower.
I am not too enthusiastic today. Oh well, at least I woke up in a goo place thanks to the farmer-angel.
Happy hunting!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The "Jake" break

Again, I remember writing something before I fell away to sleep but am not quite sure what... This morning I am turning south again after a 14 mile run west (into the wind). Today perhaps I will have another angle on the breeze. At Jakes corner truck stop I am washing a load of socks and things before the long haul to Salem. That will take longer than a day so a short break for clean smelling laundry will be worth it.
Even on these sparse South Dakota roads I meet too many who are diabetic, young and old. If I meet diabetics in what they call "the middle of nowhere" the need for action, I think, is World wide.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Acceptance or Heaven in a Ditch

From weeks of walking with the winds in my face as I walked south I thought I might have some relief from the head wind when I turned West for the day to follow the route of 81. The wind had another plan, to take me to school. The wind shifted almost directly from the West only becoming stronger as the morning progressed. I had choice of being overwhelmed by being driven off the wide gravel shoulder to the grass easement or to enjoy the scenery as I zigged and zagged using both hands to keep the World rotating and away from the barbed wire and electrified fences. Somewhere on the joy of the waltz with my dance partner, the wind I awoke . The tree lines along some fields and surrounding farmhouses calmed the force so I could roll by the road. Then the ditch was my playground, my heaven. That's where it showed itself for a moment, a shadow, a wave in the blades of grass, the sway over the line of evergreen, a hearts beat in the right place. The moment lingered and warmed the day.

A Bucket and a Bed

Out of Arlington it was much the same as it had been since I turned south from Sissiton, walking toward the wind. Surrendering to the day I decided to see if I could go the day without raising my voice to the dog when he would get in the way, wrap the lease around my legs, pull me in the grass while playing tug-o-war as I walked. Only three times did I say anything to him and it seemed he was more mindful of me all day. I was much more calm as a result. It's not such a stress filled life we lead. Wind, rain, speeding cars, trucks, farm implements speeding by and the occasional curious conversation. An interesting act unique to South Dakota has been that some pull off into the wide ditch to talk. Very safe.
At the end of the day I was far from Madison when I saw an empty bucket that had blown from a truck so I took a few minutes to have a bucket break. Nice (the dog) settled into a nap and I ate an orange and watched the farmer till the field behind me. We waved to each other as he passed. The sun was sinking quickly so I loaded up and got back to the edge of the road just as a county policeman drove up. He was responding to a report of a strangely dressed man with a ball by the road. The officer observed my dress was not far afield nor was there any mention of the dog. When I told him I'd bee finding a stand of trees to sleep by he pointed out the next farm had a house fire and was vacant; that I could rest there without a problem. At the property the main house was a scorched pile of rubble but the original settlement house was inhabited by skunks and very disheveled from local party kids so I pitched our tent in the old roundabout. The mother skunk protested as the sun went down but Nice attached to a six foot eyeball that he dragged along when he lunged at it established a boundary for the night. Of coarse, the wind became calm and all night only once did the breeze move the walls of the tent. The morning started early and we were on the road at five AM. I was sore and fatigued from the days of facing the wind so even with a light breeze I labored to get to Madison. As I made my way to town a mother,daughter and grandson stopped. when they asked where I had stayed it turned out that they owned the property and had no problem with my visit. They seemed more concerned with the skunks. An officer from Madison came later who has a complaint of a man, dog, bike and a ball in the road. She was surprised I had no bike and that the ball was so big. She sent me on my way and when I was at the edge of Madison another officer stopped for curiosity; he had not been told by the other officer. This is usually the case. As I got to town at the intersection where 81 turns west for ten miles a man who had seen me just before dark the night before stopped and talked. A member of the church, he soon came back and offered a room at the motel. I accepted gratefully and when my road angel shuttled me back to Arlington and I returned with the van I spent the rest of the day doing a major repatch on the World. days of grinding the wet canvas had come with a cost.
I just checked to see how the repaint of the repair is doing and have found the cold night did not let the paint dry so a late start is in order. I could spend a full day repairing the World but I think I can get away with a bit of neglect. Everyone else does... I have to be on the road for a tv news reporter who is to meet us on the road this morning but I can't rush drying paint.
I had no signal on the phone. I heard blackberry is having network difficulties. I used a laptop here at the motel. Much faster writing when i have more fingers to misspell with.
Love yourself and walk.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I run E

I know I have been saying a lot about the wind and after walking all day against a strong wind I have a place where I can spend the night out under the stars in the tent and the wind died down to null. Might keep going into Madison...
On ssecond thought I'll put up the tent and wait out the night. There are lightning stricks in the distance and the clouds are rolling in. A night sleep is a good thing.


More miles than I can force it today. Wind steady and against my World, shoulders and arms. Nice (The dog) playing and enjoying the walk. I relax as he tugs and bounces. Like the wind, resistance makes the way harder. Have my tent,and a calm surrender. Go with the flow even as it pushes back. I am better off staying calm.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Arlington at last

I've had a day that started wet and then became windy and against me from the south where I got to Lake Poinset (spelling?), and stayed the night. Then after waiting for the morning rain to end I pushed against hard wind. So hard I had to stay in the grass most of the day. Walking well past dark to Arlington. The local newspaper reserved a room at the "Arlington". Thanks for good people.
I am exhausted.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Suits in South Dakota

After walking in a lite rain out of Watertown toward Kones Korner. Walking in the rain is not as hard as against a head wind though it makes the canvas ball very heavy. It also picks up sand, dirt and grass when it is wet. At an intersection I stopped, tied the World to a stop sign, tied Nice (the dog) to it and sat down to change my socks. While in that prone position a van filled with men in grey suits on their way to a wedding. They piled out and walked up in a group which was too much for the dog who like dogs do waned to protect me and the World from being surrounded by to many while I was not able to get up. Luckily he was tied to the sign and the ball so none of the young men had red accents to their matching suits. It was very odd to see anyone in a suit where everyone has been bringing in the harvest so I can't blame the dog for doing his job.
More rain on Sunday and the south wind is forcasr to return. I hope it's not too strong.
Enjoy walking.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Just between two cowboys.

After stitchin' a length a' Velcro on my saddle bag (back pack) an' watchin' the clouds roll by al afternoon the wind died down enough to hightail' it to the south side a' town. Just in time to see a friend I met back at the rez'. Timing wuz' good an' when I'd sauntered through Watertown from the "Cowboy" to the other "Cowboy" Fillin' station I tied the World off on the Sinclair Dinosaur and hopped a ride on a carriage back up north. Got back just b'for sunset. As a bonus a pretty little 'phillie came up with some treats fer' Nice (the dog) and a hug fer' your's truly.
Somebody pinch me, I thought I was dreamin'.

Love yourself, go for a walk Pilgrim.

Just because...

When I was pushing against the strong wind yesterday a mini van stopped and the man and woman inside motioned for me to come over to them. It was all I could do to get the World up to the edge of the road in the hard winds and talk to them. They both were very large and the man said he was going in for surgery to have his toenail removed to prevent possible infection due to diabetes. His wife gave Nice (the dog) a large piece of deep fried chicken tender. They told me they had read of my walk in the local paper and thanked me for it. I tried to encourage them to take it on themselves to walk citing a woman I recently met who was diabetic, had lost some weight and after just a few days of simply walking could feel her feet again. It seemed to me by the blank stares I got in response these two were not going to jump out and walk with me, or with one another. If I could impart on them how proud that woman was for beginning to turn her diabetes around with diet and exercise maybe they would take a few steps, just because.

Bittersweet advisory

For days before I pushed to the Bittersweet Lodge the winds had been picking up against me. There I had a shower and in the morning I had a nice conversation over a hearty breakfast. After preparing my things and checking the World for any needed maintenance I rolled out to the road where I was met by a stiff breeze. Then I pushed further and past the tree line to be crushed by the South wind. It only became stronger as the morning worn on. It blew so hard I was forced into the grass and the edge of the occasional newly harvested fields. In some stretches the tall grass would grab my feet and the wind blowing the World against me was the only reason I would not be face down with Nice (the dog) sniffing my ear. The backpack weighed heavy as the days against the wind had me using both arms to keep the World moving south. When I had to get back on the road to pass a creek or drain culvert I would attach the leash to the ball and struggle for every step forward. The high grass giving resistance and being able to use both arms I made my way many miles but as the sun sunk low I was miles from "Raw-ville" where a man stopped with an offer of a ride...I took it. Letting out some air so we could strap the World down in the bed of his truck he dropped us at the restaurant/bar. I spent the evening there and against the offers to take the day at a mans home close by I stripped down the weight I usually carry and decided to push on, still against the wind, into Watertown. Even stronger than the day before I only braved the blacktop to pass bridges and stayed in the grass. Toward town the roadside was cut short which made it harder to go forward. Often I would "zig-zag" tacking into the ever increasing gusts until I made it to the edge of the city. Four miles in five hours, the week of hard wind in my face and a wind advisory for the next day I am now sitting in the van with it rocking in the wind as it has all night doing battle with the flies that have sought refuge from the elements. At least after a night's sleep I can swing at them without a sting of pain running up to my shoulder.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I'm going about this wind all wrong. It is a beautiful sunny day in the low eighties in October with a wind too strong to walk up on the roadway. I found I can make some progress in the tall grasses by the fields. Slow going also but in the wide swails I can use both hands to push. Each arm is so tired it needs the help of the other. Heavy winds without a string attached sounds like play. Take as long as I need and enjoy the day. When get tired,I rest. Walk for awhile more, then rest. Like I am taking a day off. It's working for me. One step at a time.

Blue sky

I am laying in the shade of the World at 455AV and 156st and have ten miles to go to the nextplace where I might stop before Watertown. (Cover your ears children) The wind is kicking my butt. Not a cloud in the big blue sky.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Keep it up.

I have pushed into the wind for three and a half days, tomorrow will be more of the same. Diabetics sometimes have days "up against it", so can I.

Love yourself, go for a walk. Even if the winds are against you.

brother bee

Sitting aside the road atop the edge and the honey be walks across my hands and the screen of this blackberry pulling little bits from my finger tips to take back to the colony. I'm honored...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Windy day, done.

I made it to the Coffee Cup truck stop outside Summit after slowly plodding against heavy winds directly in my face all day. Sometimes the World was inclined to lift from the ground which usually means forty mph wind. Patience and being content with a few inch step kept me from hurting myself. At the Summit my friends were there to wisk us back to get the van. I am on Dakotah Souix Nation Lands and have been supported in many ways since I have been here. Several even walked with me from Sissiton to the "Agency". Where I stayed outside the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Health and Fitness Center. Getting the message to Walk and return to healthy lifestyles is very important to us all. That I have walked in twenty eight states and only Natives cared enough to walk as a group with me to get the word rolling is a point not lost to me. A beautiful people we could all learn from.

Southern stroll

I'm beginning the days walk very late. Wind strong from the South. Walking South. Yes, I walked against it yesterday and am worn, torn, tired. Twice as strong as yesterday here on the ridge of the continental divide. We walk slow in the South. A man stopped and when he heard how far I have walked in these winds he said that I must have a lot of patience. Yup',Southern, slow walkin' patience. Pack? High and tight. Boots? Stiff and new. Water? Logged. Dog? By my side. One step at a time.
Y'all have a good 'un. See you by the Summit.

Getting back to basics

It's not that hard to take a step,
Walking a few more won't kill you.
Give yourself some time to breath in the fresh air,
Find a friend, hold their hand, walk with them,
Show them you care.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Not all fun and games...

When I had one foot in North Dakota and the other in South Dakota I was feeling pretty good, a bit full of myself for stepping foot in twenty eight of these United States with the World and Nice (the dog). A woman in a car stopped to ask me what I was doing. She thanked me for the effort and told me her husband was diabetic, took our picture and drove away. I had only one foot in South Dakota and was reminded I'm not on a pleasure cruise, this is no vacation, I have work to do...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

On dry land.

I was glad I walked to the Hammer Corner, was able to have my back and shoulder to the North West winds and hold on as the World was driven South with ever increasing force as the day worn on. If we had stopped at New Effington the day would have been spent watching the leaves blow from their limbs. In the last miles the only way I could keep forward progress was by using the tall grasses to slow the spin. Keeping the World on the blacktop it would spin in front uncontrollably. I was hardly touching canvas most of the day, working muscles I rarely use leaning into the gusts as the ball was pushed thru knee high grass. At forty five mph the ball would skirt atop the grass nearly pulling me, pack and all,into the ditch. At the end of the day I had averaged the times equal to my best. Even with the strong wind in my favor the World and I can spin only so fast without damage.
Paying attention to the sounds of the gusts rolling over the fields, watching the tall fields ripple and flow toward me filled me with appreciation for the beauty of the prairies. Looking all about at times as I was pulled along I crossed the continental divide of Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. I was sailing in an ocean no one I know has ever experienced. Sailing on dry land. Tree lines surrounding farm houses would chop the waves of air and intersecting roads would spin the World like a top. Far off grain elevators even changed the directions, getting to the top of small rises always dealt a stronger gust. Oh, if only I could describe what a great time I had.