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Monday, August 02, 2004


Fort Madison

After spending most of Friday in the library, I left Mt. Pleasant and took highway 218 south. From the partly completed work that's been done, this is going to be a divided 4-lane freeway, but construction hasn't been active on the part I went through. I slept by the roadside.

Since there was a lot of heavy truck traffic, I decided to save a few miles and take the county road. At one point, where I stopped to rest, the homeowner across the road said it was OK, but called the county sheriff to check on me. A few miles down the road, though, another homeowner saw me passing and offered a drink. I decided that I really wanted to go to church, so I pushed on and hiked through the night to Fort Madison. It took me most of the morning to locate the local branch, which for the time being is meeting in the Community of Christ church building while their own chapel is under construction. Since I entered the county, I was stopped 3 times by police officers checking on me, but while I was trying to locate the church, I stopped at the local McDonalds to use the phone. One of the employees bought breakfast for me, without my asking, and after another patron had made the same offer and I declined. At church, the sacrament meeting was It was fast and testimony meeting, the Sunday School lesson was the same one I had last week, and the priesthood meeting discussed the performance of priesthood ordinances. The branch had an enthusiasm I haven't seen often, and although it was crowded with visitors, most of these didn't stay for all the meetings. After church, I went through town to locate the library and the bridge across the Mississippi, and found the bridge closed to pedestrian traffic, which presents me with a little problem. I stayed the night in a park next to the river, and, somewhat to my surprise, wasn't bothered there.

Fort Madison boast the largest swing-span bridge in the world. One of the spans of the bridge can rotate at right angles to the rest of the bridge to let big barges past. I watched one of them before I went looking for groceries and the library. Assuming I can find someone to take me across into Illinois (I'd hate to detour all the way to Keokuk or Burlington), I intend to spend a day in Nauvoo and see the "City of Joseph" pageant. This is the last year it will be performed.

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