Tuesday, May 27th, 2014
I woke up sad. It is just my way of paying tribute to my Vietnam War colleagues who never returned home. By 6:30 AM the sun was bright, the hills plentiful, and my outlook better. I plugged on for nearly 9 miles. Then, wanting a rest, I headed back to St. Louis to begin my flying journey on to Boston. Grandparents day is in a few days so the grand kids monopolize my thoughts. Well, not completely. I miss you brothers!
Monday, May 26th, 2014
Here I am once again wobbling up and down, and then the same all over again as I tackle the rolling hills of south central Missouri. Life is calm here. I wonder how the good folks in the small towns, often 20 miles apart, manage to get by economically. They don’t commute to St. Louis from here so it’s agriculture, mining, light industry and the supporting commerce which keeps things going. Such is rural life in America. Then there is Viburnum a nice little place. And hey the school has a modern rubberized running track. Things can’t be all bad!
Sunday, May 25th, 2014
I reached the 6000 miles walked milestone in the late morning while reflecting on all that I had experience in my nine year walking journey to arrive at this “historic” point. So how does one actually walk six thousand miles? Well, one step at a time of course!
Saturday, May 24th, 2014
I was fortunate to have walked 10 miles, non stop, before the heavy rain arrived. The next 3.5 were not a lot of fun as the rain soaked me thoroughly. Sparingly, I braved the rain again for a while as the afternoon progressed and even walked to church in the slight deluge. Oh well!
Friday, May 23rd, 2014
I admit the route 185 hills were tiring today. I walked the spur section of this lovely route to avoid heavy traffic on the main road. Oops, big hills, big bugs, big humidity in the dense forest and little mileage.
There was, however, a reward at the end of the wobble. I found a barber shop needing someone to trim my shaggy mop. “Dad”, the barber said to the the lead barber in the shop. “His hair is curling. How should I cut it?” As the lead, and owner of the shop, stopped cutting another persons hair and inspected my curling, I learned he was a Vietnam veteran. “Was there with the Navy in 69”, he said proudly. It was the same year I was there. “Don’t charge him”, he told the second barber, who by the way, was his daughter.
Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
I was spoiled by yesterday’s easy trail walk. Today route 185 delivered a return jab. Little hills roll along one after another. I take a parallel farm road. Mistake! The slopes of the many hills are steep. Oh well, “keep moving:, I keep reminding myself.
Wednesday, May 21st, 2014
I started walking on the Katy Trail at 6:45 AM. the air was still fresh with a slight breeze. At 8 miles as I drained the last of my second water bottle, I saw the figure coming toward me in the distance. As it approached I noticed it was a man pushing a baby carriage loaded with camping gear. His name was Jim. “I am walking to pay tribute to my son, Jim”, he said. “He killed himself”.
Disheartened, I plugged along thinking about life and the blessings of my own family.
Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Some times I walk in the opposite direction as I did today. I crossed the Missouri out of Hermann heading west. I finally linked up with the road point where I had left off the previous evening. Trucks whizzed by on the narrow road until I found a parallel route known as the Katy Trail. What a relief!
Monday, May 19th, 2014
It happened in AD 9. A large band of North Europeans, read Germans, confronted three legions of crack Roman soilders. The Europeans aniliated the invaders. It is claimed that the hero of Hermann, also known as Arminius, changed the course of histroy making way for the Europe as the world now knows it.
Now here I am on the banks of the Missouri River again in the town of, yes you guesssed it, Hermann. Wow!
Sunday, May 18th, 2014
I stumbled upon the Brooklyn Pizzeria in downtown Fulton, Missouri after a hard, first day back, on the road. “If you know Brooklyn you must try the cheese pizza”, Brian the owner guided me. “I studied Pharmacy for a while but didn’t see it through. Put everything I had into this restaurant”
And the Pizza? Well after dental work I settled for spaghetti. It was awesome!