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Sunday, April 8, 2012


One objective I set for myself at the outset of our walking saga was to discover the limits of performance this old body could endure.

Over two + years, we have walked over 13,000 miles...all without reaching maximum endurance in any aspect.

The past three days have, however, brought us near that searched for moment. With constant winds in excess of 35 mph, we have walked days of 42 miles, 36 miles, and 30 miles = 108 miles in three days; one half of which has been directly into those strong winds. All miles were walked at a speed of 4 + miles per hour.

Today, my right leg has reached it's maximum output. We walked only 2 legs; one of 14 miles this morning, and one of 16 miles this afternoon. My right leg crumpled on me a couple dozen times...simply all signals from the brain never reached the nerve endings and I nearly fell down.

Many will scoff and laugh at this, but I carried on only because I verbally communicate with all parts of my body, urging my leg to hang in there another hour...then 1/2 hour...then up and over the final hill to reach SPIA.

My leg cooperated. It got us back home. I promised that we would take a motel in a few days and simply soak in a hot tub of deep water with bubble bath and take the entire day off.

...and I know for certain that if I do not keep my promise, my leg, next time, will refuse to perform, ignoring my urgings and promises.

We parked overnight last night in the town of Pontiac, Illinois. Since I walked those 8 miles to the village of Cornell, this morning, we drove right away to that village of Cornell, Parked (see above first image) SPIA, and walked 14 miles toward the town of Streator.

We then drove to Streator, where SPIA was once again parked....this time in WAL-MART. I again walked North on Highway 23 for 16 miles toward the town of Ottawa, Illinois, which was 14 miles away.

Coaxing my bum right leg most of the way back, we rested a few minutes; then, we drove SPIA to the town of Ottawa, where we are parked...once another WAL-MART for the night.

Would normally walk a third leg, but a promise is a promise (to my leg), so we quit for the day at 3:30 pm. Would dearly love to have that tub of hot deep water just about now.

Highway 23.

This plant looks ever so much like wheat. It lines the side of Highway 23 for many miles.

It stands over seven (7) feet high.

It is not a farmers crop...just lines the roadway like prairie grass.

Hundreds of electrical power transmission towers cross the flat Illinois corn fields like so many soldiers on a forced march.

Highway 23 leaving the town of Streator, Illinois.

The only really interesting sight seen all day...and it turns out blurred because I did not "lead" the horse as it trotted away from me.

To avoid blurring of a moving subject, the camera must be set on very high speed or, the operator must give it some "Kentucky Windage" we bird hunters call leading the target; i.e., shooting in front of it because a bullet goes only a few hundred miles an hour and the bird / horse is no longer in the trajectory.

Historical Note:

Hunting high-mountain big buck deer, I fired five times at a running 4-point as it circled up hill beside me and across the hillside behind me. I saw it "jerk" a couple times, but it did not fall.

Walking up to it's running path, we found a trail of blood, meaning I hit it at least once. We followed the trail, finally, after 50 yards or so, came upon the dead deer.

I fired all five times, leading the running animal. I hit him 4 times, thus:

The tip of his nose was half shot off.

The tip of one of his lower antlers was shot off about 2 inches above his head.

Another bullet took off another inch from the back antler stub...only 1 inch above the brain.

The final hole was directly into the deer's heart.

I was simply giving too much Kentucky Windage.

Apologize to those who find the above offensive. I, too, have stopped hunting over 40 years ago. I have blogged the story when I fired my final shot at an animal.

Tomorrow morning, old body willing, will walk North once again on Highway 23. If we should be able to keep up the recent pace, we will arrive in De Kalb on Tuesday afternoon. Sister Carol has arranged parking for SPIA in the employee parking area.

I plan to stay visiting with Carol until she throws me out.

Then, it is back to US 52, walking to Minot, North Dakota; then, West on US 2 into the sunset(s).

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