* * * * * * * *
Two mornings ago, SAM and ME walked North out of the city of OTTAWA, Illinois. We were not supposed to be in Ottawa, but the day before, upon arriving in Ottawa after 2:30pm, and knowing there is N O T H I N G in the way of "services" for another 20 miles, we would be wise to stop early and rest up for the 52 mile walk awaiting us from Ottawa to DE KALB, Illinois.
Ottawa, Illinois motel...Ottawa has many services, including big Box Stores, as the major Interstate Highway I-80, passes through it.
I-80 looking down from US 23 overpass. This view looks West.
Looking back South down US 23 into Ottawa from I-80 overpass.
Restaurants - excellent cuisine and quick-food abound on US 23 near Ottawa...not to for the next 20 miles, where we will find a fine small town restaurant "Millies"...our first destination some 5 hours away.
A particular impressive farm house property...note the large terraced pond in the middle ground.
Corn is growing rapidly in the hundreds upon hundreds of farms beginning clear back on the banks of the Ohio River.
Carefully terraced stream.
HARMONY, ELIZABETH, AND CASEY...did not come home.
US 23 makes a number of 90 degree turns...this one onto SR 52. Our walk and roll has, so far, been without incident...is is, however, becoming very humid...and that heel blister is starting to complain. SAM and ME are about 15 miles North of Ottawa.
Please say HELLO to MIKE. Mike, returning from his drive from De Kalb to Ottawa and back, stopped to offer me some ice water, left-over lunch, and chat...which we did until he checked his wrist watch...gotta go...as he rushed North on US 23...another new friend here one moment...never again go meet.
Please say HELLO to BEN. Ben, from Courtland, Illinois, just had to stop and chat to the guy walking the cart. Offering me his last bottle of water...I'm much closer to home than you are...says Ben...Ben, too, first exchanges telephone numbers...then races North on US 23.
Better hurry, ladies...BEN is bespoken.
Our blog often referred to the above piece of equipment...an "elevating tube" to lift harvested grains into the huge Silos. The "screw" (auger) installed into the length of the pipe, receives the grain between the screw blades...the screw turning by an attached motor, lifts the grain to the top of the tube, allowing it to fall into the Silo when it reaches the top.
LELAND, Illinois Railroad Elevators (Grain storage / transfer Silos).
LELAND Water Tower.
Please say HELLO to MATTIE...in her restaurant in Leland, Illinois...where I enjoyed an excellent lunch of grilled chicken breast on pasta.
Please say HELLO (once again) to MATTIE.
Leland residential street (US 23 North).
The next Convenience Store is 20 miles distant...over undulating farmland...and, it is getting much hotter...the humidity rising.
Along US 23, a "local" stopped to give SAM and ME guidance...seems our map has a few errors and/or omissions, which our guide straightened out...so he said.
Following his guidance, we turned East from "Leland Road North", to rejoin US23...only to find that our "cross road", led back to the South, rejoining US 23 very close to where we left it to walk to Leland...this added many miles to our walk...and made me hit upon myself for being so quick to divert from my pre-planned route.
While making the return to US 23, it became very humid...causing me to sweat profusely, allowing my feet to move inside my thick socks (new design for which I paid $20.00 a pair)...RESULT: two new blisters to my Left Foot.
Returning to US 23 and discovering that we had added many miles to our trek to De Kalb, the feet became unbearably painful...SAM, I advised...we are in real trouble...I simply cannot continue walking...we must find help !
At that moment, appeared a private driveway, into which I rolled SAM.........
Please say HELLO to JOHN and Son, MIKE. Short story:
John rushed into his home, returning with large bandages. I sat on the porch swing, tried to apply the bandages, but could not. Mike stepped forward...my girlfriend is a Nurse...and proceeded to take my feet onto his lap, applying the bandages quite professionally.
John then advised...my wife, Julie will return in a few minutes...we have an SUV and will be pleased to drive you the rest of the way into De Kalb...
and so, it came to pass that more unknown new friends step into our lives and rescue us from certain defeat (for today, at least). 15 minutes later, John drops SAM and ME off at Sister Carol's Nursing Home. Before driving off, John gives me a hug...wishing good safe travels back to Bellingham.
John, Mike, & Julie's home.
Please say HELLO to Sister CAROL...violently shouting NO NO NO (meaning no picture). After hugs, Carol says the Nursing Home told her I could NOT stay there overnight (as before)...as they are not running a Hotel. Carol also says she has negotiated my own room, with bath, in the home of RITA, sister to her room mate, RUTHIE (whom I have already knows for a couple years).
Please say HELLO to RITA...sister of room mate Ruthie. Rita rushed right over in her SUV...we loaded SAM, and off we went to her home for the night...
It is now 9:00 pm, Saturday, June 15, 2013. My feet have received a full day of rest and careful attention guided by the local pharmacy. Rita and I have hit it off from the first moment...she has known about SAM and ME for years...and I am welcome to stay in her home until my blisters (three good ones now !) are healed for travel.
In the morning, will walk the mile from Rita's to Carol's, where we will finally spend some time together.
Our departure from De Kalb is being fought tooth and nail by Carol (phone call)...you get on the next plane...fly home...and forget this crazy thing you are doing...the next part is DESERT...and you will not make it across.
How lovely to be assured by Carol that I will perish someplace out in North Dakota or Montana (or perhaps in Washington State's Columbia Basin). I am...and will...listen.
To stop our journey now will take some mighty tough argument...and perhaps a pair of hand cuffs and hobbles (devices put on horse legs to keep them from roaming too far at night)
SAM still contemplating the distant horizon...
This place is our home...what better way to live...reaching out for that horizon....