July 24th, 2009


24.7 Miles

Pioneer Day!  This is the day that Brigham Young entered the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1847.  My day was marked by combining two walking days into one and skipping Cozad so I could have an extra day off, so I have Saturday and Sunday off for my body to recover.  It was 97 degrees today and 87% humidity and with the asphalt melting under my cross-trainers, I was looking forward to finally getting into Gothenburg.  I was going to stay in the city park but there is a lake and campground at the edge of town that the managers let me stay for free, and the best part is that I get to take my weekly shower.

I am camping next to the Robert Blessin family reunion and have met some great down to earth people.  They have been very interested in this guy that they saw pulling the handcart down the highway.  After explaining my food situation to them, I have been able to barter my last two pieces of sweet corn for two dishes of homemade ice cream, made with all local items.  I know it’s a stretch, but can you blame me when you next door neighbor is whipping up some ice cream?  Also from the bread department, I have been having a tough time getting the 12oz of self-rising flour to bake into something that I could eat, well Shirley made a sour dough starter and she made a loaf of sour dough today that was just right, so it looks like I am back to baking my bread in camp instead buying 12oz of rolls at the store.  And remember my new rule about shooting wild game for the camp, well I shot 6 Canadian Geese and 4 ducks today (with my camera) and so I substituted by having one small piece of chicken (honestly it was one small piece) and then I took the carcass after Shirley and Galin consumed the rest of the chicken, and boiled it with two of my potatoes and part of an onion.  It looked and smelled wonderful but it needed a little salt and so upon adding some salt from one of those small cardboard shakers, it was having a tough time coming out because it had been rained on so many times that it was just in


lumps.  So upon giving it the needed force to get some salt out of this thing….. that’s right…. the top came off and the entire contents went into my two quarts of chicken soup!  Man… I can never win, so I tried to hurriedly scoop it out but to no avail, so I tasted it and thought… I can deal with that.  There is no way that I am going to give up my pot of soup for a container of salt, I’ll just have to keep on putting more water with it to thin it down.  Believe me, if you were in my shoes, you would have to think about it also.  Maybe it’s the Lord telling me that I r e a l l y shouldn’t have been eating that chicken.

Friday night had another one of those IA/NE storms with lightning, driving rain and wind.  We had a lightning strike just across the road from the park where I am at.  It is really tough on Bessie (my pup).  She has been spooked about the lightning ever since the straight line tornado in IA.

As for the body, 3 blisters, feet are painful from the 24 miles today and hernia’s will need medical attention as soon as I get back to SLC.  The Carpal Tunnel never has corrected itself and I’m just learning to live with it.  Do I have any other choice?  My foot rot seems to be better just because I haven’t been walking in the rain as much lately.  My back continues to cramp up all during the walk, but I don’t have any option there either.

As for history, I am in the area where William Clayton with Brigham Young’s wagon train came up with the idea for a road odometer.  He voiced his frustration at having to count the wheel rotations on the wagon to compute the daily distance and came up with the first odometer which was accurate within 1/10 of a mile.  Also, this is where buffalo were first spotted for the first time on the trail.