Friday, April 26, 2013

Day 058 - Marshall to Casey IL

It was a sunny day with temps in the 40's and 50's. Before starting out I came across a woman in a cafe that had lost her daughter to ovarian cancer. Her daughter had two pre-school age children.

At the start point for the walk Darrell looked down and noticed the biggest crawdad hole he'd ever seen. It was really big. Since I'd never seen one before it was the biggest I'd seen also.

Early on in the walk I came across a bakers dozen of turkey vultures in a field. Next up was a really scenic covered bridge with openings on the side. It was located on the original National Road.

Leon Goble of the National Road Association of Illinois tracked me down to say hi. We discussed what I've encountered so far on the walk. He said they are looking into creating a bike path on the original National Road right of way between Clark Center and Martinsville.

I came across seven huge grain silos. They were loading train cars so I went over to check it out. Doug Littlejohn of Littlejohn Grain Inc gave me a tour of the facility and briefed me on the operation. Locally grown corn, soy and wheat are delivered to the silos by truck. The majority is sent by rail to be used as chicken feed in the deep South. They do their own loading with a railcar mover called a Trackmobile. They load trains consisting of ninety rail cars. Their largest silo can fill two of these trains. They process 8 million bushels of corn and 4 million bushels of soy annually. CSX is their hauler.

Media thanks goes to Gary Strohm of the Marshall Advocate who did an interview.

Also, I'm now on Twitter! Follow me at @ocjoan

We hit two milestones today.

Today the funds donated to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund hit the $15,000 mark. Thanks to all for your incredible generosity. If there is anyone that wants to donate and doesn't know how it's easy. Go to my blog and click on the donate link in the upper right above Joan's picture. To pay by check: Mail check payable to OCRF to 14 Pennsylvania Plaza, Suite 1710, New York, NY 10122. Note that it is for the Walk Across America. If you have questions or want to pay by phone call OCRF at (212) 268-1002.

Additionally the blog went over 20,000 page views today. After the United States the next five countries with the most page views in order are Russia, Germany, Brazil, Thailand and France. Keep up the good work telling everyone that you know that might be interested to tell everyone they know.

Don Vartanian hosted me for the last eight nights. This is the most nights anyone has put up with me other than my sister Diane. It was fascinating staying with Don. He got his start with Volksmarching in Germany. He has numerous display cases and banners showing off the medals he earned while doing Volksmarches overseas.

I have always wondered how the American Volksport Association got it's start. He and his father were present when the name was voted on barely winning out over "International People's Sport - USA". They were there when the AVA received it's charter and when the by laws were created. The first club was formed by Ken Knopp in Texas. The next few clubs were established near military bases in Ohio, Kentucky, California and Florida.

Don belongs to six different AVA walking clubs which is very impressive. He was constantly helping AVA members out the entire time I was there. He and Darrell Bratt logged some serious mileage positioning me and my car throughout central and western Indiana. Don took a picture of me next to one of his many Volksmarching medal display cases.

Trivia answer:

My smart phone did automatically change to Central Time when I walked from Indiana to Illinois. The mysterious part was that I drove back into Indiana for one last night's lodging there and it did not change back to Eastern Time. This would have got me in trouble if I had not awoken over an hour before I had the alarm set on my smart phone.

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