Asked to identify the highlight of this South Central part of Minnesota, one might choose to say:
In every direction to the horizon are fields of Corn,
Asked to identify the people of this Corn Belt, one might choose to say:
Life is at once laid back...and at once moving forward at a quick pace. Vast fields are tended by resident farmers...some a bit overwhelmed...others lending a hand or their new Monster Machine to help a struggling neighbor put in a crop...or harvest a bumper crop.
Lying in the approximate center of a vast Plains reaching from the OHIO River in the East...to the Purple Rocky Mountains on the West...some 1,000 miles distant, it is said that the finest richest soil in all of America is found in the land SAM and ME Walked and Rolled today...some 75 miles.
We Walked and Rolled three sessions..about 7 hours all told, squeezed in between three rides.
My feet are quite sore. Have been wearing the "rain proof" Columbia shoes with the traction nobs on the bottom of the sole...each nob becoming a "pressure point" on the bottom of my feet within 5 minutes of starting our walks. My NIKE AIRs wore out some 500 miles back in North Dakota, and I have not slowed down to purchase a new pair from J.C.PENNY (Cost: $50.00 ...a GOOD buy !)
Yes, this is CORN...about to be harvested.
Please say HELLO to ALLEN, living in WASECA, Minnesota. ALLEN, who gave SAM and ME our first ride of the day to the town of BLOOMING PRAIRIE, Minnesota.
BLOOMING PRAIRIE is a town I shall remember all my days, for it was in this small town on June 30, 2013, that a crowd of some 20 people joined SAM and ME on the road from AUSTIN, Minnesota...some pushing SAM as I enjoyed so much friendship and on-the-go conversation...all in response of a two-day ABC Television report on SAM and ME.
I shall never forget those folks and the miles we walked together...nor the surprise Birthday Party they threw for me (it was my Birthday) at the SUBWAY in BLOOMING PRAIRIE.
Thank you, too, ALLEN for introducing me to your friends and for picking up the TAB for our lunch.
Downtown BLOOMING PRAIRIE.
Please say HELLO to SHANNON KINLEY, Reporter for THE TIMES Newspaper of BLOOMING PRAIRIE, who interviewed me on our way out of town.
The TIMES may be contacted at: www.bloomingprairie.com.
US Route 218...our road for today as well as for the next day or two
Please say HELLO to TOM, who picked up SAM and ME for our second ride of the day. TOM took us all the way to US Route 218 on the South East side of the city of AUSTIN (Home of HORMEL, the Meat Processing Company).
Leaving AUSTIN, a POLICE Officer pulled up along side SAM, asking what we were about. We chatted for a bit before SAM and ME continued on our way...the Officer watching as we thumbed a ride (not successful). He again pulled along side, chastising me for my methodology and offering safety tips intended to keep us from hindering traffic...or becoming a statistic in his town.
FAMOUS "ROAD KILL"...this time, Little Stinker, the Skunk.
Please say HELLO to LANNY, of AUSTIN, Minnesota.
LANNY stopped, offering SAM and ME a ride. Alas, his car was too amall to stuff SAM in. So, what does LANNY do?...he drives away, offering to return with his BIG Pickup Truck. Good as his word, LANNY was waiting with his Big Truck a mile or so further down US Route 218.
First thing he does was GIFT me a new Reflective Jacket...so better to see me by approaching vehicles.
Loading SAM, LANNY drove us to the small town of OSAGE, Iowa, where he delivered us to MOTEL 8...so I could get a good night sleep and get in out of the coming rain.
* * * * * * * * * *
Even tho $$ funds are short, getting good rest has enabled me to increase my efficiency walking these past few days. Setting up CAMP under the stars after Speed Walking some 7 or so hours is NOT my idea of FUN. I know it appears to be contra-effective to our eventual goal. Must share that it was COLD this morning and promises to get colder during the next week.
FALL is upon SAM and ME. We have not a moment to waste. Investing some seriously needed $$ for sake of a good night rest seems - at least long range - justified to avoid the coming Deep Freeze suggested by FARMERS ALMANAC to arrive EARLY and Freeze deep...much deeper than last year.
I brought NO cold-weather clothing. Best SAM and ME do that which moves us out of harms way.