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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.



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