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Wednesday, August 11, 2004



Again I stayed later at the library than I expected, and since the library had late hours, it was dark when I left. I headed south on Highway 267, got across the freeway, and saw that the next town was not where I had planned to go. I found a place to stop for the night, and first thing in the morning took a look at my map and saw that I had selected the wrong route.

I backtracked, and took another wrong turn, which cost me the whole morning. Meanwhile, while I was walking I heard a snap and felt a shift in weight, but thought nothing of it until I picked up the pack again after a rest, and found that a bracket that helps hold the hip pad in place had broken. I figured I could make do anyway, or perhaps get repairs, and early in the afternoon I sat down with my map again and rethought my route. Rather than going south to Carlinville, I decided, it would be best to go as nearly straight across Illinois as the road allows. Almost as soon as I had repacked, I was offered a ride by an elderly couple as far as Waverly. The library was closed, but I managed to resupply food there, and got about halfway to the next town, Auburn.
Auburn is a small town of about 5000 that has seen better days, but it has a nice library for its size. It's nearly due south of Springfield, within 20-30 miles.
Still lots of corn and soybeans, although I'm told the corn harvest will start in a few weeks, around the end of the month. This part of Illinois is pretty domesticated; I haven't seen much wildlife at all.
With the major shift in travel route, I will be heading for Taylorville (now about 25 miles), then Pana, then Matoon and Charleston, Illinois. This route will take me through Terre Haute, Indiana, a little bit north of where I had planned, but that's acceptable. It appears from US maps that I'm at about the halfway point.

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