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Thursday, July 29, 2004


Mt. Pleasant

After leaving the library, I started to head back east of town to find a place to sleep, and stopped in at a taco place to get something to eat. A couple of gentlemen inquired about my travels, so I gave them a basic outline. I stayed and had a nice conversation with one of them. He works as a contractor, and has had experience with teaching and other positions. This was one of the nicer conversations I've had in a while. I didn't visit the Management school, but one of the people I talked to indicated that they teach Transcendental Mediation, and there is a strong Indian (i.e. South Asian) presence in town. I was also told that there would likely not be a problem if I stayed overnight in the parks, so I found one just north of the Downtown area and stayed there without incident. Although, it was right next to a busy railroad.
I visited the library again Wednesday and rather overstayed what I had intended, although I did get my laundry and groceries done. By the time I left, it was late and I made it to the other park on the east side of town, and stayed there. 
This morning I headed for Mt. Pleasant, and at the first place I stopped to rest, a man came over to converse. He took me back to Fairfield for lunch, and back to the place where he had picked me up. He inquired about my background and reasons for moving, and our conversation turned largely to religion: we each shared some of our beliefs, and found a great deal in common as well as some differences. Shortly after he left me where he had picked me up, another man came along and offered a ride to Mt. Pleasant. This man, a contractor who restores old farmhouses, had his very talkative and inquisitive young daughter with him. He took me to Iowa Wesleyan College, and I found the library.
From here, I intend to turn south to Fort Madison, on the Mississippi River. This route will take me close to Nauvoo, Illinois. I wasn't certain about going through Nauvoo, since I visited there a couple of years ago and already saw most of what is there to see, but the timing will be right for me to see the "City of Joseph" pageant, which makes it worth the side trip.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004



I spent most of the day in the library at Ottumwa. I remembered the Bishop's name, and his wife's, so I looked them up in the phone directory to try to give them a call.  I reached the right people, and they brought my scriptures to me at the campground where I intended to stay the night. Also a couple of brownies!  Almost immediately, a city employee showed up to tell me that if I planned to stay the night, I would need to pay the campground fee. I decided I couldn't afford it, and left for Fairfield. I made it about 4 miles before finding a spot for the night.
I hiked as far as the next town, Agency, and stopped at a cafe there. Apparently it's family owned and operated, and the man I spoke to was generous and hospitable.  Just past the town there is a gravesite of Chief Wapello, a chief of the Sac and Fox Indian tribes who is credited with ceding most of Iowa to the United States. I hadn't heard much of him; I'm more familiar with the Mormons who came through starting in 1846.  Shortly after I got through Agency, I was offered a ride to Batavia by an elderly junk dealer who collects metal and sells it in Burlington.  I nearly stopped at the library in Batavia, but the town is small enough that it's only open part time and the hours were inconvenient. I walked not quite halfway to Fairfield, and was offered another ride, this time by a young man from Agency who was going into Fairfield for some reason.
Beyond here, the next major town will be Mt. Pleasant. I'm not certain yet whether I will go through Burlington or head south for Fort Madison, I need a little more information. 
The state of Iowa appears to be building a stretch of freeway between Burlington and Ottumwa, so I saw lots of construction equipment and traffic along this leg of the trip.  I saw plenty more  corn and soybeans, too.



Monday, July 26, 2004



I made it out of Oskaloosa and found a place to rest for the night. It started sprinkling during the night, although not badly, and when I woke up it was overcast. I went about 9 miles or so, just past the tiny town of Cedar. Just past there I was offered a ride, by a man who works as the custodian of the Oskaloosa library. He took me about 6 miles to an intersection, and then a couple of miles later, a young couple offered me a ride the rest of the way into Ottumwa.  Almost the whole day was overcast and drizzly.
After I had my lunch, I went to find Indian Hills Community College and found the campus mostly closed: the library is only open Monday through Thursday. Next I went to find the LDS Church. About the time I got there, I found that the local ward was having their 6th annual Beach Party (No Pioneer Day celebration!?), and they invited me to visit. Sort of...because of the rain, attendance was down, and only a few of those who came even  asked who I was or what I was doing there. The Bishop was there, and the only thing he asked was my name.  After the event, I found a place nearby to spend the night.

When I went to church the next morning, I again found myself mostly invisible, although a few people greeted me, and made polite inquiries, at most half a minute of conversation.  For sacrament meeting , the theme was service: one of the missionaries was new and was asked to fill in for a missing speaker. The second speaker was the friendliest person from the day before. She mentioned that she was from a farming family,  and in recent years there seems to have been a decline in willingness to help one's neighbor. People still help for large things, like deaths in the family, but are less willing to help for smaller things like flat tires. Most of her comments were with smaller, informal types of service, including the giving of one's time. I found it ironic that she could speak on the subject, but still no one found time to speak to a visitor.  The next speaker talked about service in the church and quoted extensively from conference addresses by the apostles.
The Sunday School lesson dealt with the mission to the Zoramites (Approximately Alma 28-34 in the Book of Mormon). The priesthood lesson dealt with Family responsibilities, of fathers, mothers, and children. 
After everyone had left the church building, I realized that I had absentmindedly left my scriptures there, and I don't know how I'm going to recover them. I've found that making contact with bishops can be difficult unless I either live in the ward and have a directory, or just show up on Sunday.  I went downtown and found the Public library also closed Sunday. Ottumwa is located on the Des Moines River, and across the river there were public parks and a camping area, and I stayed the night in the camping area.

I'm going to make a couple more attempts to recover them, but not wait a week. Since Indian Hills Community College is an hour's walk away uphill, I may just pass on that visit, do my laundry instead, and head for Fairfield, the next town on my itinerary, later tonight.

Friday, July 23, 2004



I left Knoxville rather late, and again had difficulty finding a place to stay the night, but managed.  I had taken the wrong road out of town, and was headed for Pella. I had thought of going through Pella, but decided against it.  I checked my map and found that there was a road that would take me to the main highway to Oskaloosa, so I headed for that. I had almost  finished taking a rest break, when much to my surprise a driver stopped and called to me. It was the same man who had given me a ride into Knoxville! He was going golfing with, I presume, his business partner, and was headed for Oskaloosa. So, I got here much quicker and more easily than I had planned. 
My socks have been wearing out: several of them have holes, and I don't have mending supplies.   So on the way into town I found a Wal-Mart and used a shopping card that still had a few dollars on it, and got a few pair. There are two colleges I would like to visit while I am here,  William Penn University and Venard College, so I hope to do those visits today and make a start toward Ottumwa tonight. That should put me into a town that has an LDS branch or ward for Sunday.


Thursday, July 22, 2004



That's Knoxville, Iowa, not the better known city in Kentucky.  I didn't make it out of town until late last night, and had a hard time finding a place to sleep where I wasn't plagued with insect bites. I managed to find one (or fall asleep anyway), and then  headed for Knoxville. I was barely up, though, when a thunderstorm rolled in, and I spend a good part of the day hiding from the rain, under the eaves of buildings and the like, and still managed to get wet: the forecast was for about a 30% chance of morning thunderstorms, clearing up in the afternoon, but after the morning thunderstorm went past,  it just stayed cloudy and kept drizzling, and hasn't entirely quit yet.  I need another sunny day soon so I can dry out. 
After it let up some,  about 9 miles past Indianola, I was offered a ride by a man who spoke of some of his experiences. He mentioned that he used to be involved in drugs and alcohol and sought out help from a pastor when he found himself wanting to murder someone. He showed he his "sword" (a bible), and seems to be making good progress towards getting his life in order.
No sooner had he dropped me off, than another man came and offered a ride the rest of the way to Knoxville. This one works in Des Moines with a partner managing a couple of commercial rental properties. I much appreciated both of them.
This part of Iowa is hilly and has a lot of trees. There are still a lot of corn and soybeans, but the farms are smaller and closer together than in eastern Iowa and Nebraska, and I'm seeing more hayfields. A lot of the farmhouses have well-mown yards. Having lived all my life in more arid parts of the country, I'm impressed by all these green lawns that don't need irrigation.  The next leg of my trip is to Oskaloosa, Iowa.


Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Indianola II

I was sitting outside a grocery store across from the County fairgrounds Monday morning, waiting for it to open, when a man came over and mentioned that the carnival that was coming in for the County Fair might be able to use some help setting up, starting that afternoon. I jumped at the chance, so instead of moving on, I waited until the supervisors were on scene and asked if they could use any spot labor.  The owner waited to check with one of his foremen, then said yes, tomorrow.  Another foreman put me to work later that afternoon, though, for a couple of hours.
So I spent yesterday helping setting up carnival rides.  Heavy lifting, a very hot day, and I almost didn't make it through the day.  I think some of the foremen had misunderstood what I was asking and thought I was going to stay the week and help operate rides and take down, because they usually don't hire spot labor for setup, and they would have liked me to stay. But I'm still anxious to move on, and I got paid, so I can go on for a couple more weeks without having to dip into my reserve.  When I finish up doing laundry and my internet updates here, I should be able to go ahead by early afternoon for Knoxville.

Sunday, July 18, 2004



I left Osceola Friday afternoon, and hadn't gone two miles before I had an offer of a ride partway.  The man who offered the ride was on his way home from his weekday job as a trucker. He listens to books-on-tape, many of them science fiction, and is working on his own novels, which he often does during the times when he is waiting for a load.   He took me just over halfway, and then before I had gone another two miles, got another offer, this time from a couple of men with a child in the back seat. They didn't have a whole lot to say, and we only went a couple of miles.  I stayed in a field a few miles out of town and went in the next morning.
The local branch of the LDS church is located right on the main highway in a rented building which it shares with a reclamation center and a hair stylist. I found the library quickly and spent most of Saturday there, then visited Simpson college, which was mostly closed. I found a public park and swimming pool, and then on my way out of town found a campsite for RVs that I used as a place to sleep. I also got a chance to clean up for Sunday.
This morning I went to church. The local branch will be breaking ground for a new chapel this Saturday, after the Stake 24th of July celebration. The theme for the sacrament meeting talks was missionary work. The Sunday School lesson discussed Alma 23-28, the latter part of the mission to the Lamanites, for those familiar with the Book of Mormon. The Priesthood lesson dealt with Heber J. Grant's comments on the hymn "Come, Come, Ye Saints".  Again the hospitality of the members was better than that of many others, but more along the lines of what I have come to expect rather than what I hope for.  Summer hours at the public library are closed Sunday, but the Simpson College library is open.
I've been moving in a rather leisurely fashion, considering the offers for rides I've been given. Although it is somewhat disoncerting when I plan a two day hike and arrive in two hours instead, I would probably do better to pick up the pace if I can.  I need to do laundry again, and make my financial arrangements. My next goal is Knoxville, and then Oscaloosa.

Friday, July 16, 2004



As I was leaving the Southwest Community College library, a man stopped to ask about my trip, and thought that the local paper might be interested. I said OK, so he called in a lead. They said maybe, but if they were interested someone would be there soon. So, I looked at a couple more books, one of which interested me a great deal. I don't have the author's names, but the title was "The working poor". I don't have time to summarize it, but the conclusions fitted well with my own observations on the subject. No one showed, so I left to do some laundry, get some groceries, and didn't actually leave town until after dark. I went a mile and slept in a hayfield.
  I got up the next morning and walked a few miles, and was then offered a ride to Osceola. The man who picked me up had some 20 years of experience working in concrete, but since construction work in south central Iowa is rather scattered, was looking for carpentry work in Creston, and another job in Osceola. He left me at the library here, but I didn't get this journal updated. I spent the late afternoon looking for a where a city map said a park should be and I didn't find it: I'm not sure it exists.  I was stopped by the city police, who let me go when they found no arrest warrants. A few minutes later, a resident offered a ride to where I was going in town, and took me to the county park. I had been near there while I was looking, and passed up the chance to go there. But it did have the rest areas I was looking for, and since there was thunder and lightning, I took a chance and spent the night under one of the ramadas. I wasn't bothered.
I left in the morning, looking for a bank so I could get some cash, and yes, it's a tricky business. I don't remember the PIN on my debit card, so the ATM ate it. I called my bank in Nebraska, and got it released, but in order to be able to use it, I need to either remember the PIN or apply for a new card (usually requiring going in to the bank in person, but I could have someone fax me the form and I could fax it back, then they would send the new card to my mailing address...in Nebraska). Or I could have them wire me money, at a charge of $15. Or I could find someone to accept and cash one of my out-of-state checks. Probably not a bank or a merchant; a lot of them don't accept those.  However I slice it, it isn't going to be easy.
This, by the way, is one of the significant points of the book on the working poor: Small errors or omissions tend to have costly consequences, either in time or money; at least in comparison to the time or money that the poor have available to them.
In the meantime, I've about finished what I can do in Osceola and plan to head for Indianola, Iowa after I leave the library here, and one way or another plan to attend church there.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


Creston II

Creston apparently got its name from the fact that it was at the highest elevation between the Missouri and Mississippi Valleys when one of the first railroads came through Iowa.
I hiked up to Green Valley State Park yesterday afternoon and last night, since this was a designated camping area. I might as well have saved the effort, since it was geared toward trailers and RVs, with a cost of $11 per night, which is out of my price range. However, the lake at the park does seem to have been a stopping point on the Mormon Trail through Iowa, which I hadn't known. I had an extraordinarily hard time sleeping last night; not only difficulty in finding a place, but mosquitoes whining in both ears made it very difficult to react. But..I managed.
I found the Southwest Community College campus, and I am taking advantage of the less restrictive internet access policies in its library to update this journal, do research for my mathematical speculations (logicker.blogspot.com), and hide out from the weather, which is overcast and looking like rain. After it closes, later this afternoon and evenings, I plan to set out for Osceola, some 34 miles if I remember rightly; so it may be a couple of days before I get there. Or, I could get speeded up again. I've pretty much abandoned the strict no-rides policy, but I'm sticking to my practice of walking against the traffic and not asking. My money situation, for food and laundry, isn't critical, but it is starting to become a concern, and resupply from my account in Nebraska might be tricky.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004



After leaving the library I did go for a swim; some of the lifeguards and attendants there were curious about my trip and I talked more with them than anyone in the city. The nearest LDS branch was in Shenandoah, 20 miles away, and I didn't want to beg a ride. I hadn't seen any churches and didn't have the energy to search the town, so I stayed in the park most of Sunday, reading my scriptures, watching the weather and kids playing in the skate park, and so on.

Monday morning I got my groceries and headed out for Corning. I walked about 8 miles, just past a town that bills itself as a center of Swedish culture, and was offered a ride into Corning. That was about 18 miles and saved my a day. However, when I got to Corning, the library was closed, and my wandering around town looking for a place to shelter from the storm I could see coming in attracted police attention. I found a park, but the city police came, took me downtown, and turned me over to the sheriff's deputy, who took me out to the county limits. I only talked to a few people in Corning; one of them a reasonably friendly convenience store clerk, a family at the school playground who were very nervous about me being near their children and had nothing to say to me, and another who gave me some directions but must have reported me in to the police. Apparently there were more people willing to call the police about me than to say hello. I wanted to see the County fair, which was in progress, but got hustled out of town instead. According to the residents I spoke with, the county fair was hardly worth seeing. The deputy who drove me out of the county mentioned that they used to be a lot bigger and more interesting, but people don't participate as much as they used to.

The county line was about 6 miles from Creston, I stayed next to a field there and only got a little wet. I started into Creston and was offered a ride the rest of the way, and found my way here to the library.
I've been thinking mostly about social networks and connections, and the problems a newcomer and stranger to anyplace in the country has in finding people to talk with, especially about anything important or significant. Unless someone has family, church, employment, or the like already in place, it is hard to get past the most superficial greetings. With the difficulties I'm encountering staying in towns, I'm minded to avoid them at night and do my sleeping where I'm less visible. I had figured four days to get this far, but it looks like I'll be moving on toward Osceola tonight.

Saturday, July 10, 2004


Red Oak

I left Glenwood rather late, about 5 pm, and hiked until dark, abut 9 miles. I found a spot on top of a hill to stretch out, and got rained on in the middle of the night. I didn't get too wet, and yesterday morning kept going.
This part of Iowa is rolling hills, largely running north and south, with rivers and creeks between ridges. It's rather greener than Nebraska, especially central Nebraska, with more trees closer together. I haven't seen any irrigation pivots, although most of the farms in Nebraska had them. A good many of the fields on hillsides are somewhat terraced, another thing I didn't see in Nebraska. I saw a couple of deer, as well.
About 11 a Sheriff's Deputy from Mills County stopped to check me out, then offered a ride. He mentioned that not too long ago, a deputy stopped a backpacker like myself, and found that he was wanted for murder in California! It only takes a couple of incidents like that to make law enforcement in particular and people in general a bit suspicious. He took me a couple of miles into the next county, Montgomery, and I staggered into Red Oak, exhausted, about 4 pm. I found a park, then went downtown and found the library 5 minutes before closing, so I got some groceries and spent the rest of the day resting. I didn't feel good about spending the night in the park this time, but the county fairgrounds were across the street and I found a place there to rest. The town swimming pool is nearby, so I may go for a swim (yes, I brought a swimsuit!). I plan to spend tomorrow here in Red Oak, and then proceed Monday to the next town, Corning.

Thursday, July 08, 2004


Glenwood II

Glenwood has a beautiful park, with a lake and a fountain, and a neighboring ampitheater for concerts and the like. I appreciated the freedom from mosquitoes last night. I went by the local LDS church (the Glenwood branch does have its own building), and found that most of the men and boys were away at scout camp, and the adult leaders of the Young Women were just closing up. I spent the morning at the library, although the librarians there tended toward the suspicious and uncooperative rather than friendly; I'm sure they would be nicer if I were a bona fide resident.
I'm finding that the hour or so typically available for internet access in public libraries isn't really enough to track my e-mail, compose my posts, and do all else I would like to do, so I find myself rather stretching the rules. The Family History Library, located in back of the LDS chapel turned out to be a much nicer and friendlier place, and I was fortunate to catch it open. It helped, I think that I have some connection to the founder.
I might note that since Aurora, passing drivers don't wave nearly as much as in central Nebraska. Among other residentce, I'm not sure whether or not I am imagining an increasing reluctance to greet me or respond to whatever nods, waves, or greetings I extend.
My next destination is Red Oak, Iowa, some 30 miles. I will be following Highway 34 as far as Osceola, Iowa. There don't seem to be many LDS branches located between here and there, and the weather forecasts are looking a bit iffy; July in Nebraska and Iowa isn't normally this cool and wet, but I intend to leave this afternoon.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004



The moldy smell was getting so bad, I decided to go to the laundry to see if that would help. I found that most of the odor was coming from my sleeping bag, which had gotten well soaked and only dried on the surface, and was overdue for a wash anyway. So, I ran that and the rest of my clothes through the washer and dryer. That helped out, considerably.
The city park in Plattsmouth is a converted railroad yard. In the late 1800s, there were roundhouses and a plant for manufacturing rail cars and locomotives. All these facilities are gone now, and the park is a nice one.
A pre-sunrise walker saw me and thought I was a lump of garbage or something, until she got close enough for the scrunch on the gravel to wake me up. She apologized, then and when she came back a little later, but I told her it was time for me to get up anyway, so there was no problem at all. Plattsmouth is only about a mile or so from the river. I crossed on the toll bridge (free for pedestrians and bicyclists), and indulged in a bit of nonsense: I had to throw one rock in the muddy Missouri River. There was no boat traffic at all. I'm not sure the river is navigable for barges this far upstream, although the nearby railroad brige appears to make allowance for some, but there wasn't any recreational traffic either.
The west bank is rather steeply hilly. The east side is much flatter and given to more corn and alfalfa. I crossed I-29 and went over a couple of overpasses, and reached Glenwood without incident about 1 pm. A couple who were manning a roadside fruit and vegetable stand waved me over, invited me to sit, and offered me a McDonald's happy meal. I helped unload some of the sweet corn they were selling from the truck onto one of the tables before continuing on downtown. The last weather forecast I had seen indicated Wednesday and Thursday were supposed to be clear, but the saying around here is "If you don't like the weather here, wait a few hours".
I've taken a look at the map and made tentative plans for crossing Iowa, but I need to look things over a little more carefully before I go on, so I may not leave until tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004



After I left the library Saturday, I hiked across town to find the LDS chapel, finally found it, and spent what remained of the night in a different park.
I showed up at church unshaven, unwashed, and in dirty clothes, which is not what I would preferred, but it was important for me to be there. The bishop of the Lincoln First Ward and offered the use of the men's changing room so I could shower and called his wife, and she brought what I needed to clean up, except for changing clothes. I attended the Lincoln Second Ward's sacrament meeting, which was a fast and testimony meeting, and then, since scheduled overlapped, the meetings of the First ward. I was invited by one of the sister missionaries into the Gospel principles (investigator's) class, which was on the priesthood, and then in priesthood meeting, the assigned lesson was intended to have an independence day theme, but the instructor couldn't find any scriptures on the constitution (??!!) so switched to a Sabbath day lesson. One of the more useful suggestions I have heard was that of one brother who has a "Sunday box" with activities, and suggestions for activities, so when his children get home from church and claim "I'm bored!" He only has to say "Get out the Sunday box". Afterwards, the bishop asked if I had a place to stay, and I said I needed someplace legal, safe, dry, and free. He had one of the members give me a ride dowtown to the "People's City Mission", a homeless shelter. Their rules included one night free stay, after which a person would have to work at various task such as the kitchen, grounds, laundry, and cleaning up the dorms. No drugs, no alcohol allowed. I didn't stretch myself to mingle or socialize: I usually try to follow the rules and keep out of trouble. I did volunteer to wash pots in the kitchen. They changed the schedule to allow those who wanted to, to see some of the fireworks displays. I skipped that, since I've already seen several and wanted more sleep.
I got up, had breakfast, and then headed to the UNL campus police to get my backpack. It took them some 20 minutes of searching to find it. It had been kept outside (during the rain) although in a plastic bag. After I collected it, I heeded east, and made it to a few miles outside of Eagle, NE; was offered a ride the rest of the way, which I accepted, and then went another mile or so before I settled down. It had been rainy most of the day, so I didn't get a chance to dry things out, and it rained again in the middle of the night.
In the morning I headed east again, along Highway 34, and made some 10 miles; not much rain, but the whole day has been cloudy. A Cass County Sheriff's deputy stopped to make the usual inquiries, and before long another driver offered me a ride as far as the junction, another couple of mile. He would have taken me farther, but I wanted to go through Louisville. I started along that road, and I had just gotten up from a rest break when another Cass County Sheriff's deputy stopped. After a search, she offered me a ride into Plattsmouth and to the library so I could make this report. There is a lot of heavy truck traffic along Highway 50, so apparently they were concerned for my safety. Since I make it a policy to cooperate with law enforcement, it was an offer it would not have been wise to refuse, but the deputy was reasonably friendly, and said I was more than polite. So, I've been brought along, at speed, faster than I intended to go. It's been wet for some 5 days, so everything is starting to mildew and smells like it; I need a sunny day and a chance to dry out.
The terrain this side of Lincoln has been rolling hills; which from my point of view means up one hill and down another. There has been the usual mix of corn, some soybeans, a few cattle and horses, a few hayfields, and a few other crops that I wouldn't recognize if they walked up and introduced themselves.
If I pushed it, I could reach Glenwood, Iowa, by tonight, but I'm not sure how hard I want to push. In any case, I hope to post from there tomorrow or the next day.
For the past few days, I've been brooding somewhat about old and chronic troubles. I grew up being called a "good for nothing lazy shirk". That wouldn't be an insurmountable problem, but there are few things more useless than a half-trained mathematician, computer programmer, or other technical type. The jobs I've been able to get don't come close to satisfying those interests, and I haven't been willing to look for or pursue those are unlikely to. So, even though I don't fully believe the old labels, they tend to follow me around, rather like the moldy smell coming from my backpack. Walking down the highway isn't particularly useful, and I've been trying to think what else, besides keeping this journal, I can do.
I used to do a lot of reading in the university library on mathematics and related areas, and I've accumulated a bunch of ideas that I'm going to try to organize into lessons. Whether anyone pays attention or not, I can't say, but it's something more to try.

Saturday, July 03, 2004



It was raining when I left Seward yesterday. I hadn't gone very far when I was offered a ride to Lincoln. Since the forecast had been for a rainy day until well into the night, I accepted. The driver is apparently a manager for a service that has a state contract for the mowing along the roads. He mentioned some of the objstacles in getting paid for their work in a timely fashion.
I stopped at the University of Nebraska Love library and was their until nearly closing time. When I came out, my backpack was no longer where I had left it. I suspected that it had been picked up by some kind of lost and found rather than stolen, and found that, fortunately, the Nebraska campus police had picked it up. Unfortunately, the person with the keys to the property room where it is held had gone home and wouldn't back until Monday.
I wandered around downtown Nebraska trying to find the city library (and walked past it twice without recognizing it), a grocery story to get some food, and a place to sleep that was safe, legal, free, and dry. I was told of a shelter where I could sleep, but couldn't find it. About 2AM I did find a park I could hide in for about a 3-hour nap: I've had worse.
I still intend to go to church tomorrow, but with my change of clothes and grooming stuff locked away, I won't be very presentable. My scriptures and non-expired phone cards were buried in my backpack where they were inconvenient to get to, and since they're now temporarily inaccessible, I have more difficulty calling out than I anticipated. All this is a serious inconvenience, but not devastating. I've had worse.
I found some difficulty in reaching my e-mail address from my profile, so I added it to the main blog page. Library access will be closed for July 4th and 5th; so after I recover my belongings, I expect the next update to come from Plattsmouth.

Friday, July 02, 2004


Seward II

I got hung up in Seward's library yesterday, so I didn't get very far. The internet terminals were closed, so I didn't do my regular update there, and this post is actually from the Concordia University Library, on the other side of town. But this time I'm not sticking around, I need to move on. Seward claims to be Nebraska's 4th of July City and is preparing for its annual 4th of July show, with thousands of visitors from out of town expected. It's a bit rainy today, but not too bad; and I need to check the weather report before I leave. I still expect to reach Lincoln Saturday afternoon.
Since St. Paul, I've been noticing that many of the older streets in towns of a few thousand people are paved with brick. Perhaps that's not so unusual, but it's something I never saw in Arizona or Utah. These towns are neat and clean and reasonably friendly, and if I didn't have other goals and plans, I wouldn't mind staying.

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