July 31st, 2009


19.2 Miles

I have walked over 87 miles in the last 5 days and my body is showing signs of wear.  The weather today was in the mid 90’s until the late afternoon when multiple rain storms blew through but I survived unscathed…thankfully, but being on a high plateau above the North Platte River Valley where you can probably see for 40 miles in any direction and having these storms all around you made for an impressive backdrop for some photo’s.  Some of these scenes have the ability to take your thoughts back 153 years ago when Sarah Goode Marshall was watching the same horizon that I was seeing and had the same thoughts in her mind of… if the storm(s) hits, where will I be, where will my children be… I pray that it passes by… and it did.

Because I have just entered mountain-time zone yesterday afternoon, I kept waiting for my cell phone to adjust to the new time, and then I forgot about it.  Well my cell phone alarm is set for 5:30 AM and the phone never did switch over, so technically, I got up at 4:30 this morning without thinking about the whole transition thing.  That stinks, since I was very cold last night (in the mid 40’s), I got little sleep.  It feels more like the beginning of May instead of the beginning of August, but I was fortunate to have the extra time because I had a flat tire, my second, and Shirley has had two also because we drive on the shoulder all of the time and that’s where the nails are.  Well, I got another flat tonight, so I have to fix that first thing in the morning.

I had a number of wonderful surprising experiences today.  First of all, I walked with my oldest companion walker to date.  Faye Christenson is a Luthern and are you ready for this… she is 93 years old!  What an awesome lady!  She has been teaching aerobics to the local ladies in Paxton for the last 30 years and so she had no problem in pulling the cart.  That’s right, she said “here, let me pull this for you for awhile so you can have a rest”, and we had a great talk.  This lovely lady also brought me some turkey burger and some blueberries… how could I resist such kindness, so they will be consumed with enjoyment.


Then Matt, a great guy in met in Paxton, told me about some choke cherries on my way down the road, so when I got to the spot, sure enough, there was this huge (multiple) bush full of dark blue choke cherries and so I ate, and I picked, and I ate… well you get the idea.  I picked for 2 hours and got almost a gallon of cherries, so tomorrow I am going to cook them down, add some sugar (which I have been allotted) and make some choke cherry syrup so I can have something to dip my plain dry bread into.  My taste buds are looking forward to the moment.  It’s better on pancakes, but do I have pancake batter?  Well?  That’s right… no pancake batter, no butter, no nothing.

Then to top off my great experiences today, I am pulling in the hot sun and there really wasn’t anyone on the road and so this pickup pulls up next to me and drives at my walking pace and we have a conversation while I am walking, but out of the corner of my eye, coming towards me is a Schwan’s truck and he is pulling over.  I think that he may want a photo or wants to talk, so I make a comment to the guy in the pickup (as a joke) that I am having the Schwan’s guy delivering to me, and low and behold, the Schwan’s guy gets out of his truck, runs to the side door, pulls out something and runs across the highway and hands me a…………… are you ready for this……. A Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich!  Oh my Lord… my prayers have been answered.  He said that he lives next door to Matt (remember him, the great guy I met in Paxton), and Matt overheard a conversation that I was having with Matt’s little daughter about Dairy Queen ice cream and told his neighbor that if he saw me on the road to help me out with an ice cream donation.  People…. You have no idea what a wonderful taste and moment that was for me and my stomach.  If you have never had the Schwan’s “Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich”, you are missing one of the most pleasing tastes to the palate.  By the way, it is really… really… tough to eat just one and then watch him drive away.  I could have eaten the entire container that they came in.

Well… as usual, it’s past my bedtime and I am beat.