Loon Lake, Waseca, Minnesota.
Way before Sun up, I left SPIA parked and walked north on US 14. After 4 or so miles, US 14 turned into a Freeway, prohibiting Pedestrians. I turned back, finding Minnesota Highway 14 heading in the direction of Janesville, Minnesota...my first destination of the day.
I took Minnesota Highway 14 for another couple hours before returning to SPIA.
We then drove the 9 miles to Janesville, where we found parking at a Tire / Auto Repair Business.
I then walked on Minnesota Highway 14 west until it merged with US 14. To test the police, I purposely walked for another hour on US 14...to no avail...no cops, so I turned back to Janesville, where we met a few super folks.
Please say HELLO to Paul and Alice, owner of the Janesville Service Center.
We entered into a rather lengthy conversation, ending by agreeing that we had all the answers to fix the country's problems.
Janesville Service Center.
Please say HELLO to Annie.
Annie and I, sitting on that steel bench, spent at least 1/2 hour chatting...both finding that the other has recently lost everything - Annie, her Husband and Daughter in a car accident - and trying to put our lives back together...with little opportunity in the economic hardships of the moment.
We did settle on staying on the positive side, knowing we will be OK.
Annie is employed at the Ryderz Bar and Grill on Main Street, Janesville, Minnesota.
Annie was scrubbing furniture with lysol when I interrupted her...the door was unlocked, but the business was not yet open. Really do not know why I went in, knowing it was closed, but I did and both Annie and I were pleased to have the opportunity to take a few minutes to find comfort in the 75 F. sunshine.
Janesville City Park.
Monument to resident military.
Floor tiles are dedicated to a specific military person.
The local bank is conducting a program "Adopt a Serviceman".
In most small towns, I have found considerable pride and effort made on behalf of America's military...both deceased and alive.
Interesting event Janesville has done back in 1956. Have not seen such a monument to the past/future in other towns.
New US 14, prohibiting Pedestrians.
I truly believe Minnesota DOT is in error putting up the restrictions - see the sign above.
This roadway is NOT a controlled traffic freeway. It has many cross roads controlled only by STOP signs on the cross roads. Regret I did not encounter a State Trooper to talk about it.
In any event, I did walk a wee bit on the "freeway", but avoided it otherwise.
From Janesville, we drove to the town of Nicollet, Minnesota, where SPIA has found a friendly parking spot at the local John Deere dealer.
A honest to goodness German Butcher. Until one has shopped in SCHMIDTS Market, above - or KARL AMER in my old haunts of White Plains, New York - one does not know "quality" preparation, display, and service in the Butcher Business.
Please say HELLO to Haley.
Haley is bar maid for one of two mid-town bar & grills, where she seraved up a cold one after completing my third 3-hour walk of the day.
Haley was all flustered about how this old man could walk America...she used her Smart Phone on the spot to call up SAM & ME ... I still don't feel she thinks I'm real.
Please say HELLO to Tom.
Tom was my drinking companion in Haley's Bar & Grill - which had many patrons filling tables as well as the bar -.
Tom, at 52, is still looking for employment...as are so very many I have met on my walk. Tom is a local, venturing not much more than 50 miles from Nicollet.
Today, as on so many days in the past two years, I have again met some interesting and caring folks...looking for the bright side of the downturn we Americans find ourselves.
As might be guessed, looking for the bright side is often in my thoughts as I walk over mountains, across deserts and vast grasslands, ... and through small villages such as Nicollet.
Tomorrow, will do it all over again, walking out of Nicollet on Minnesota Highway 111 toward the town of Garylord, where we will turn left (West) on Highway 19...then turn right (North) on Highway 15, which will take us to US 12 for a bit before continuing Northwest on US 9 ... ever heading toward Minot, North Dakota where US 2 will take us West across the top of America to my home in Bellingham, Washington (or as near as a few miles).
ETA is still projected as July 15, 2012.
We shall see.