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Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Sun behind shadows make for an interesting picture.

Before daylight - at 6:00 am - I left SPIA parked at Don's Minnesota Furniture while I walked 12 miles north on US 52.

We then drove to the town of Rickardsville, Iowa, where SPIA was again parked while I again walked another 12 miles.

We then drove to the town of Gutenberg, where SPIA is now parked for the night beside the local supermarket. Again, I walked BACK this time on US 52, returning at 6:30 pm...except for driving and a few moments out for lunch, walked for 12 hours today...completing 36 miles.

Nearly all the roadways were narrow, undulating or quite steep - two at 7% grade -. I am exceptionally tired this evening...and surprisingly, sore over my entire body...

Would love to take a room; stopped in Gutenberg at a 3rd class Motel who demanded $50.00. I explained my walk mission...gee, that's really nice...still $50.00..., which, of course, I cannot afford.

So it is me and SPIA again tonight.

The first 12 miles was through a winding valley covered in forests. The rising sun behind my back made interesting patterns on the roadway.

On our second leg of 12 miles, we ascended (climbed) the first of two 7 % hills to find ourselves on a ridge...bordered on either side by lush farms about 1,000 feet below.

In the above photo, the Mississippi River is flowing next to the distant hills.

Early morning telephone pole shadow.

SPIA parked for our 2nd leg in the hillside village of Rickardsville, Iowa...

...which included the unique design church above.

Homes in Rickardsville - indeed, all along both sides of the narrow ridge - had stunning views reaching out many miles.

Even the cemetery was on a steep hill.

Tulip festival time around the world.

It has been an exceptionally dry winter according to the locals.

One fellow told me the ridge had 22 inches of snow last year on April 9.

Please say HELLO to this gentlemen, who must remain nameless, because I cannot retrieve it from my cluttered brain. It is something line Schwartz or sorry, sir, but I simply did not implant your name in my memory.

The local Chevrolet New Car Dealer, Mr. Brown, allowed us to "dump" SPIA's "brown" water...good thing because the tank was about overflowing.

Thank you again, Mr. Brown.

Interesting History and Geological information about the Mississippi River and the cliffs it has carved out over the millions of years.

Click click to enlarge.

From the top of the second 7 % hill, looking north up the Mississippi River Valley.

"Galena" lead-bearing rock in the shear cliff bordering US 52 as it drops into the valley of Gutenberg, Iowa.

Another section of the same cliff. Please note the several "vertical" groves in the face of the rock.

These groves and 1/2 of a "bore hole" drilled during construction of US 52. The bore holes were filled with sticks of dynamite which were exploded all at one time, effectively shearing away the rock to form the cliff we see. This same process is used in quarry and open pit mining.

The "white" rock is - I believe - lead-bearing.

I picked up this palm-sized stone which had fallen off the cliff. Since I am NOT a Geologist, I really don't know what I seeing, but I have a pretty good guess.

As I said earlier, I am quite sore this evening. Probably because I have been pushing so very hard to put miles behind me. No, I am not in a race. No, I have no great desire to quickly return to Bellingham. But, push I will until I can no longer push.

Tomorrow, SPIA stays parked while I set out at daylight north on US 52 toward the town of Gamavillo, Iowa. I am told there are many steep hills awaiting much the better to give this old body a challenge.

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