Thursday, May 30, 2013

Heading home

Today I drove from Kansas to Ohio where I am looking forward to spending time with my family. 

I spent the last two nights with Karen and Bill Barker. I met Karen when a Tater Tour bus trip came to Pennsylvania last October. The bus load of walkers did two Philadelphia walks one day and two Valley Forge walks the next. There was a large contingent of Liberty Bell Wanderers that joined them on their walks. 

Karen and Bill have an amazing house out in the country where you can hear coyotes howl at night.  Karen gave me a tour of the City of Leavenworth and the Army Fort. Both were very impressive and picturesque being located along the shore of the Missouri River.  On the Fort we toured the Frontier Army Museum which was very interesting. 

Brenda Lange who was on the same Tater Tour trip also offered to put me up. Brenda and Karen are both members of the Kansas Jaywalkers and Clay-Platte Trackers AVA clubs. I have a great picture of the two of them doing their Rocky impersonation running up the steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. They each had planned to walk an entire day with me on Tuesday and Wednesday so I added their names to the blog. 

Carol Robinett who had put me up the prior thirteen days also graciously offered to put me up until I was ready to drive home.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I started to count all the people that helped me with the walk and I easily came up with over 1000. You know who you are.  Thanks a million. 

The primary purpose of the walk was to raise awareness for ovarian cancer. I feel we have done that. 

I was given $5664 to cover lodging expenses.  I will donate the entire amount to the OCRF. Thanks to everyone's incredible generosity I have not charged OCRF for any  expenses. 

The donation site at OCRF for the walk will remain open. I will keep the blog active and make occasional posts. I will be glad to talk to groups about my experiences with ovarian cancer, AVA, walking across the country and the National Road. 

With apologies to Robert Frost " I have miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The end of the walk

Yesterday, Memorial Day was the last day of the walk. I am fine but my feet are telling me loud and clear that it is time to hang up my sneakers. I will make a summary post on the blog tomorrow. 

Robin Robinett fellow Liberty Bell Wanderer's Mom, Carol hosted me for the last thirteen days which is a new record. She definitely treated me as a member of the family bringing me to her grandsons high school graduation where he was awarded a nearly  $70,000 Army scholarship and took me to an outdoor wedding. She was concerned I wouldn't have any dress clothes and shoes and called to find out my sizes (not necessary). 

She took me to the gate of Whiteman AFB to see the B-52 on static display. In Sedalia she gave me a tour of the state fairgrounds, the KATY Depot and the memorial park for Scott Joplin. 

As I moved further west we spent the last nights at Robin's sister Rachel's families house. Great meals were provided throughout. Carol spotted me and my car every day. She was determined to get me to Kansas and she did. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 089 - Freeman MO to Louisburg, KS

Temps started in the 70's.  It poured during the first half of the walk. The rain gear worked well. During the second half of the walk the sun came  out and the temp was near 80. 

On the way to Freeman I passed a BP fuel storage tank farm. You could smell the petroleum. I also passed an RV Park. I passed Midway Elementary School which looked brand new. I traveled on Missouri 2 until at the state border it became Kansas 68. 

Towards the end of the walk I passed two working oil wells and the entrance to Cedar Cove Feline Conservancy Park. 

Kansas is the 10th state I've walked in and the first state that I had not been in before. Once when I was flying home to Norfolk from Corpus Christi, Texas my co pilot was from Kansas and we were supposed to make a stop in Kansas. It didn't work out. I have been to 39 states. Joan was in every state I was in except for Kentucky. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Day 088 Pleasant Hill to Freeman MO

Temps were in the 70's. The day started out mostly sunny and finished mostly overcast. 

I travelled south on Missouri 7 to Harrisonville which is the midpoint for the walk. I passed a number of well kept homes quite a few with man made lakes. I walked past a Christmas tree farm and multiple horse farms including one that specialized in therapeutic riding. 

I came upon the largest dead turtle I've seen. The shell was about 12 inches long. I passed a golf country club that was busy on a Sunday morning. 

In Harrisonville the Catholic Church had outgrown it's old church. The new church has an interesting architecture.  I came across the Sharp-Hopper Log Cabin and could see the clock tower for the Cass County Court House. 

At the western side of Harrisonville I left Missouri 7 and proceeded east on Missouri 2. The shoulders on Route 2 were paved and very wide which made for easy walking. I passed a farm with a large herd of cattle. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 087 - Lone Jack to Pleasant Hill MO

Temps were in the 60's and 70's on a mostly sunny day. For the first five miles I traveled east on Missouri 150. I passed a number of really well maintained homes and barns. 

I passed the Lone Jack Civil War Museum and a historical marker detailing the battle of Lone Jack. The battle occurred here on August 15 & 16, 1862. It resulted in a Confederate victory. 

A short distance away a herd of donkeys came over to check me out. Further down the road I saw a herd of cattle fording a small stream. 

Once I got to Missouri 7 I headed south thru the town of Pleasant Hill. Before entering the town I came across a couple horses that followed me the entire width of their property. 
After leaving the town I came across a peach and nectarine orchard. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Day 086 - Pittsville to Lone Jack MO

Temps were in the 50's and 60's on a mostly sunny day. There was a 15 mph tailwind from the east south east. The terrain was the same rolling hills I've encountered the last couple weeks. 

Right at the beginning of the walk I passed a  property with a number of impressive new buildings. A short distance later there was a very colorful minivan that advertised that they would buy old cars for cash. 

Near the midpoint of the walk I passed the entrance to Powell Gardens. I could not see into the gardens from the highway. Next was a series of colorful abandoned buildings. They looked like they belonged on the set of a Hollywood western. 

Towards the end of the walk I passed the large Black Cat Fireworks Outlet.  WINCO Fireworks was founded in 1979. Something different I saw today was a handful of dead turtles that were not much bigger than a silver dollar. 

For over 100 miles in the vicinity of Kansas City US Route 50 is on Interstate Highways. Because of this I will be passing to the south of Kansas City working my way towards Emporia, Kansas where Route 50 is walkable again. I will be using MO 150, MO 7, MO 2, KS 68 and Old State Highway 50.  

Trivia Answer:

I walk between 13 and 15 miles per day. On average I walk 4.5 to 5 hours per day. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 085 - Warrensburg to Pittsville MO

Temps were in the 50's on another cool, comfortable day under an overcast sky. I did not have to deal with a strong headwind today. 

Shortly after I started I walked past a masonry, landscaping, fireplace & building materials business that had an impressive assortment of materials on display outdoors. 

Next I came upon the fuselage of a plane sitting on the side of the road. It had twin jet engines close to the fuselage.  I passed the Shamrock Farm which was an interesting building. 

The highway went right alongside the University of Central Missouri (UCM) Skyhaven Airport. UCM is located in Warrensburg and they are know as the Mules.  The highway goes along Crest Ridge near the airport. At some points you could see thru the trees for miles and miles across the valley to the north. 

Trivia question:

How long do I typically spend walking each day?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 084 - La Monte to Warrensburg MO

Temps were in the 50's and 60's  under an overcast sky. Walking against a 25 mph headwind if it would have been any cooler I could have used a jacket. 

On the way to drop me off we made a short detour to the gate to Whiteman Air Force Base. There was  B-52D Stratofortress on static display. This plan was the workhorse bomber during the Vietnam War. 

Just as I started walking I passed a round red silo with an open top that had a large tree growing out of it. It appeared to be strung with Christmas lights. The were a number of planes from Whiteman Air Force Base flying training missions again today. At the end of the walk there was an auto repair shop that had a pink car mounted on top of a utility pole. 

Thanks to Jack Miles editor of the Warrensburg Daily Star Journal for doing an interview and buying me lunch. Thanks also to Elyn Hirni a senior at University of Central Missouri (UCM) for doing an interview. 

Trivia answer:

The Katy Trail is the country's longest Rails-to-Trails trail at 240 miles. A large portion of the trail follows Lewis and Clark's route along the Missouri River. 

The nickname "Katy" comes from the phonetic pronunciation of 'KT' in the Missouri, Kansas, Texas railroad's abbreviated name, MKT. Since the trail covers much of the distance between St Louis and Kansas City I took a hard look to see if I could use any of the trail to get off US 50 but it just didn't work out. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 083 - Sedalia to La Monte MO

Temps were in the 60's  and 70's under an overcast sky. 

Scott Joplin lived in Sedalia as a boy. There is a park dedicated to him. Each year they have a Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in June.  I love ragtime music. I'm here too early. 

Sedalia is also the location of the beautifully restored Katy Depot which serves as museum and visitors center. 

I walked by a Tyson processing plant for chickens and turkeys. I was stopped by a gentleman wanting to know if I wanted a ride then gave me a donation. 

Towards the end of the walk I had a private air show put on by the B-2 Stealth Bombers out of Whiteman Air Force Base.  I can't think of any plane I've seen that maneuvers quite like the B-2.  I then passed an old garage with a mural on it imploring you to buy a 50's Chevy on Highway 50. 

Thanks to Dennis Rich of the Sedalia Democrat who did an interview before I started the walk. 

Trivia Question: Katy Trail State Park passes thru the Katy Depot. What is Katy Trail State Park known for?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 082 - Otterville to Sedalia MO

Temps started pleasantly in the 60's  under an overcast sky that threatened rain all day.  It sprinkled multiple times but never enough to require me to put on my rain gear. The sun came out behind a high haze toward the end with temps topping out in the low 80's.

On the east side of Sedalia is
Show Me Fabrication Inc which makes custom trailers for fairs. Most of their customers are local but they have made trailers to be used all across the US and even Canada

The Missouri State Fair is held in Sedalia in August. The Fairgrounds is very impressive. 

There was a series of storms that passed thru the region late last night. It knocked out the Internet service where I was staying. This prevented me from posting Sunday's blog until 5:30 AM Central Time which was after midnight at Googles headquarters in California. That is why Sunday's walk Day 081 has Monday's date. Googles date time stamp is something I cannot change. 

Day 081 - Tipton to Otterville MO

Temps started in the70's under an overcast sky and ended near 90 when the sun came out at the end of the day.  Positioning my car and me was a crazy exercise in trying not to run over the couple dozen turtles we encountered trying to cross the road. 

I started two miles east of Tipton and arrived at St. Andrews Church in Tipton  for 9 AM Mass just as it started raining. I met Becky Holiday of the Tipton Times. She introduced me to her Mom. Becky's sister Therese Vela is an ovarian cancer survivor who lives in Texas. Becky took a picture in front of the church and I was back underway. The rain had stopped. It cooled things of for an hour or so. 

As I left Tipton I passed the "eight ball" water tower. There used to be a pool table factory located there. I passed a number of wheat fields. 

I did the last third of the walk on old US 50. Just before entering Otterville in Brownfield Roadside Park there was a plaque  commemorating the July 1876 James Gang robbery of a Missouri Pacific train. They got away with over $20,000. 

Yesterday I forgot to express thanks to the gentleman in the California McDonald's for buying me breakfast and the customers  who made  donations.  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Day 080 - McGirk to Tipton MO

Temps were in the 60's thru the low 80's on a sunny muggy day. I walked down old Route 50 for the first three hours passing thru California. 

The terrain was rolling hills. I passed a turkey farm and a Honey Suckle White processing plant. I walked past a number of large corn fields that were knee high. 

In the it's a small world department when we were staging the cars yesterday a man walking his dog said that he was from Phoenixville which is five minutes from where I live. He said he was part of the group that formed the idea for the Blobfest. This is where movie goers recreate the scene where everyone runs out of the remodeled Colonial Theatre as they did in the 1958 Steve McQueen horror film the Blob. 

Joan's Dad was from there. She and her parents lived there for a few years until they bought their house. She remembered as a toddler walking across the high bridge to the shopping district on Bridge Street. 

Today's public service announcement is that to celebrate National End of School Day on May 23 Sonic is selling corn dogs for 50 cents. 

The blog went over 25, 000 page views today. After the United States the next five countries with the most page views in order are Russia, Germany, France, United Kingdom and the Philippines.  Keep up the good work telling everyone that you know that might be interested to tell everyone they know. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Day 079 - St Martins to McGirk MO

Temps were in the 60's & 70's. The day started overcast and became partly cloudy.  I walked down old Route 50 which had a lot less traffic. I only had to go on Route 50 for one short stretch.  I walked by a number of nice houses that had private lakes. I walked by a stone shop that had samples. The road went along parts of the AMTRAK line between Jefferson City and Sedalia. I saw one train go by. 

KRCG played the interview last night and again this morning. It has been posted to the blog.  There must have been a dozen people that told me they'd seen the interview. When I went into the Dudley Restraunt in St Martins the staff and clients bought me a coffee and a bacon & egg sandwich and made a donation.

A cancer survivor stopped me made a donation and offered to call ahead and have lunch waiting for me at Tammy's Restraunt in Centertown. I told her thanks but I could not eat that much while walking. When I got to Tammy's the staff wanted to buy me lunch. I took a sweet tea. 

A number of people honked and waved. On person asked how far I was walking. When I told him California he though I meant California, MO which I am walking thru tomorrow. 

Missouri is the first state that I've walked in that has no mile markers on US highways. This makes estimating the finish time each day more difficult. I walked by the McGirk post office which may be the smallest one I've seen. 

I ran into another turtle today that was determined the grass was greener on the other side of the road. For the last twenty minutes of the walk a black labrador decided he was my best buddy and chased after me. He crisscrossed the street numerous times. I had to play traffic cop warning cars that he was there. I thought I lost him once when he jumped into a lake to cool off but he came charging back. When I got to the end of the walk he ran into the garage of the shop where I had parked the car. I had to help the owner get him out. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Day 078 - Jefferson City to St Martins MO

Temps were in the 70's. The day started partly cloudy and became overcast.  Even though it was cooler it was more humid then the past couple days. 

Today's walk was almost entirely within Jefferson City.  I walked past many state government buildings and thru Lincoln University where the very impressive Inman E. Page Library was located. 

As I entered town there were multiple billboards advertising the 20th Annual Olean Testicle Festival to be held on June 1, sponsored by the Jaycees. It is billed as the most in-demand event at the Lake of the Ozarks with live  music, crafts, raffles, etc, and most importantly – fried turkey testicles.

I walked past Corwin Honda. Yesterday I left my car there to do a routine oil change.  Not only did they perform the oil change for free they positioned me 25 miles away in Linn to start yesterday's walk then picked me up from 10 miles away when I was finished and returned me to the dealership. Talk about service!

Thanks to Kon Kostin for doing a taped interview to be run on the evening news at KRCG-TV CBS 13. 

The reason there have been fewer pictures posted to Facebook the past couple day was due to weak cell reception east of Jefferson City. 


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Day 077 - Linn to Jefferson City MO

Temps were in the 70's & 80's.  There wasn't a cloud in the sky. The terrain was rolling hills. 

There was a very picturesque modern brick house with a new barn adjacent to it that had a couple dozen head of cattle near by. As I approached the town of Loose Creek there was a  scenic church on a hill overlooking US Route 50.  I startled one turtle and convinced him to stay in the grass. I ran into a second turtle a couple miles down the road. He was determined to cross the highway. I didn't stay around to see how he made out. 

There were a number of turkey farms that I passed with their unique smell. There were countless feathers along the side of the road that I assume were turkey feathers. 

Two lanes were being added to US Route 50 on the east side of Jefferson City near the intersection with US Route 63. I was dealing with a 20 mph headwind for the last half of the walk. That kicked up some serious dust with all the construction going on. When I walked across the Osage River there were a number of boat landings along the side of the river. 

Today's thank you for lodging goes to Margaret Zulkowsky. She is Brenda Maxwell's sister-in-law. Brenda is a two and a half year ovarian cancer survivor that took care of lodging in Cumberland, MD and Effingham IL.  Margaret paid for the past two nights which filled a two day gap. I now have confirmed lodging for the rest of Missouri to the Kansas border. This means I will enter my tenth state having only paid for three nights from the lodging fund spending less than $150 thanks to a ton of generous people.  

Thanks also to Zettie at the front desk of the Baymont Inn & Suites who took care of everything I needed and agreed to match the corporate rate offered by Holiday Inn. This motel serves as the start point for the Jefferson City AVA walk.  

Trivia answer:

State capitals I will walk thru:

1) Ohio - Columbus

2) Indiana - Indianapolis 

3) Missouri - Jefferson City - I will walk thru town tomorrow

4) Nevada - Carson City

Note: US 50 goes thru Sacramento but I will be heading south at Placerville and will miss Sacramento completely. 

The only capital listed above where I have done an AVA walk is Columbus. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day 076 - Mt Sterling to Linn MO

Temps were in the 70's & 80's.  There wasn't a cloud in the sky. The last third of the walk I had to fight a 25 mph head wind. 

Based on the forecast of temps being in the 80's for the foreseeable future I made the change over from the fluorescent green hoodie I wore each of the first 75 days to summer attire. I have a shirt, pants and hat that were donated by Sun Precautions Inc. The shirt and pants are vented. The hat has a skirt that hangs over my neck that attaches by Velcro and a chin string to ensure that it doesn't blow away.  Their website is on the blog under Supporters. My team at Vanguard gave me a reflective florescent green safety vest.  People  should not have any trouble finding me. 
I started the walk at the Schaeperkoetter Store in Mt Sterling. They gave me a sandwich and litter of iced tea for the road. After ninety minutes I stopped at a picnic table at Gasconade Ridge Roadside Park to eat my sandwich. To the north you could see the Missouri River Valley where Lewis and Clark travelled and returned. To the south it seemed like you could see forever. 

I passed a cemetery with an unusual name and went by the Linn State Technical College. A sergeant on the Osage County police force confirmed that the armadillo invasion started two years ago. He said one day he saw one out moving around in the snow. 

To my knowledge I am the only person to walk across the US for ovarian cancer. OCRF found out that Ref Bauer is walking 350 K across Scotland in memory of his Mom. I posted the video in the Ovarian Cancer section of the blog. 

Trivia answer:

After several days of experimental transmissions, the station officially went on-the-air on April 12, 1924. On the evening of the formal dedication, Sears changed the call sign to WLS Radio.  The call letters stood for World's Largest Store, a name the giant retailer and catalogue merchant had gained from their West Side Headquarters on Homan Avenue in Chicago. 

Trivia question:

How many current state capitals will I walk thru?