Friday, May 3, 2013

Day 065 - Smithboro to Pocahontas IL

When I checked the weather radar in the morning I saw that it was snowing in western portions of Missouri. I will be walking there later this month. I knew I should not have left my snow shoes behind at Tom Jackson's house.

The temps stayed in the 50's for the entire walk. There was a steady rain when I started. It was the wettest day of walking since March 12 when I walked into a Burger King across from Frederick Airport with both of my hiking boots filling up with water. That was the day I learned that my Vanguard golf umbrella was not sufficient and that the one piece of equipment I had missed during my training was rain pants.

I was warm and dry today with my hurricane jacket and rain pants. The rain gradually let up as the day progressed. By the end of the walk it had stopped. You could see to the horizon in the distance under a low overcast.

Over the past two days I have been taking note of the outside edge of the highway. There is a three inch wide white reflective paint stripe and then a few more inches of pavement. There are many places where the outside edge of the road is wearing away. The specification must be to lay down an asphalt patch if the road wears down the slightest bit inside of the white stripe. There were many places where large parts of the white stripe had worn away and the road had not been repaired. The road crew was meticulous about doing repairs if the damage had occurred the slightest bit to the center of the white stripe.

I walked past the Federal Correctional Institution in Greenville. I did not step off the pavement like I did at the Putnamville Correctional Facility in Indiana on April 22nd. I did not receive a welcome from any correctional facility officers at this prison.

A few words about lodging. My goal is to complete the 227 days of the walk without charging the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund one cent for expenses. That is why I have been graciously accepting offers to pay for food, lodging and gas during the walk.

Lodging for that many days would be a huge expense. When friends and supporters heard that my goal was to cover all expenses on my own they donated a sizable amount of money to cover lodging expenses. I am trying to do everything possible to spend as little as possible from that fund. When I finish the walk all money in the lodging fund that has not been spent will be donated to the OCRF.

I cannot believe I'm saying this but next Monday I will have been walking over two months, have walked into my ninth state, crossed the Mississippi River and only paid for three nights from the lodging fund spending less than $150. It has helped that two of the nights were at Holiday Inn's that gave me a much reduced corporate rate. I have turned down many more offers of lodging than I have accepted because of duplicate offers or the distance being too far.

Some people think I stay in a different spot each night. That is not the case. To avoid having to pack and move every night I have stayed multiple nights with friends and supporters where possible and driven the extra miles required. I have stayed up to 125 miles away from where I have done a days walk. I have stayed four or more nights at most locations and the locations have not necessarily been near the walking route.

Starting with this Tuesday, I do not have lodging for the eastern portion of Missouri. I do have confirmed lodging in Missouri from May 15 thru May 27 which gets me to the Kansas border. Lodging is spotty in the remainder of the states (Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California).

Trivia answer:

The silhouette positioned on the shield of the Illinois National Road sign is a Conestoga Wagon. It was named after the "Conestoga River" or "Conestoga Township" in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and thought to have been introduced by Mennonite German settlers.

The Conestoga Wagon was not the mini-van of the times used to haul families rather it was the semi trailer used to haul bulk goods before railroads and canals.

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