July 21st, 2009


15.1 Miles

The two days off that I earned to be at Kearney seemed like a long time off.  I did a ton of things in those two days, well this morning, I was joined for the first six miles by the LDS youth group from Kearney.  I loaded up the cart to about 350# and let them have at it.  They did awesome!  I think that they should follow me all the way to the Salt Lake Valley.  You gotta love the energy of the youth.  Thanks guys and girls… I really appreciated the company and the six mile rest.

I was then met on the road by the reporter for the Kearney Hub, the local newspaper and so we should be in an article on Wednesday.  Also, the local ABC station did a piece that has aired the last couple of days.

I was really disappointed that I couldn’t satisfy my craving for a fried egg sandwich, because Kearney was a trading and purchasing point along the trail, I tried to work for, or barter for a fried egg sandwich, but no luck.  So as I was pulling my cart out West towards the edge of the city limits, I thought, there goes my chance to eat a sandwich that has some taste to it, and then I walked by an ear of corn on the side of the road.  I glanced at it but thought that it was some of this hybrid stuff that they grow around here and not edible sweet corn that is so good, and then about another 200 feet down the road was another ear of corn, so I picked it up and peeled back the husk and it was the wonderful, plump ear of sweet corn.  I started to eat it raw and you can’t imagine how good that corn was.  I ate the entire ear and headed back up the road and picked up the one in the driveway, peeled it and ate it with joy.  That taste was just what my body needed.  You couldn’t have bought a better piece of corn at the Farmers Market.  So enjoying the fruits of my newly found treasures, I started on my way out of town again and what did I find, 6 more ears of corn!  Hallaluah!  The Lord is dropping manna from Heaven on me and all I had to do was bend down and pick it up, but wait…. I am still in the Kearney city limits and I have the ability to still barter or trade for my egg sandwich that I never got, so I went to back to Shirley (my escort) and asked if she had all of the things to make my desired sandwich and she said that she did, so I traded my six ears of corn for two fried egg sandwiches with cheese and the whole enchilada.  Thank you Dear Lord for dropping those ears of corn into my path.


Now the night before, Bill Rasmussen, whom I can’t thank enough for his kindness and generosity, took me fishing in the local pond and he caught two Bass and a Catfish.  He donated the catch to my ever shrinking waistline and so I cooked those up on Tuesday night, since they needed to be cooked sooner than later and I ate all three in one sitting.  Great fish!  Thanks Bill.So upon arriving in Elm Creek, we met Bill again and used his second home to set up camp.  See, I told you he was just the best.  I met the neighbors because I cause a commotion wherever I go and she was a 4th grade teacher and so we made a short video of me, “the pioneer”, for her class when they resume.  It was fun to talk to her future class, but I had mentioned in conversation that I was planning on eating some Rattlesnake somewhere in the WY future and her husband said that they have an old timer by the name of Wayne Simmerman who is famous in these parts for his Rattlesnakes.  He has been exhibiting and collecting all of his life, so after a quick phone call we were headed to the Rattlesnake farm to learn more about this fearsome snake.  Now you have to know that I am not a snake person in the slightest, so when we entered his shed with 19 snakes (in boxes and cages), I was nervous to say the least and the big 4 and 5 foot Diamond Backs that he caught in Oklahoma started to rattle.  They were huge!  And then he started teaching me about the different characteristics of the snakes, what to do if you get bit, how to prepare and cook one, and especially what to do if one crawls into my canvas tent at night.  For the first time in my life I held a number of his non-poisonous snakes and got a whole new respect for the species.  It was one of the more interesting afternoons that I have spent in a long time… but I’m still nervous.

And lastly, as with every other night along this stretch of road and for a long time to come, I have been getting no sleep because you are camped in these little towns that have 300-500 people in them and they sit right next to the railroad tracks and the trains are required to blow their whistles all the way through town.  I might as well be sleeping on the train tracks.  Plus, it has been cold the last couple of    nights.  I have been sleeping in my clothes to try and stay warmer, but I’m still cold.  With one blanket under me and one over, there isn’t much there when you are looking for warmth.  I keep repositioning Bessie (my Jack Russell) to try and stay warm, but my bones hurt from laying on the ground and so I have to turn over every hour or so… add all of that up and it makes for a miserable night…