Juntura, Oregon July 4th

Earlier in the Day
I was up at 5:00 and made coffee and breakfast. This is now my routine (every thing is falling into "routine" as each day starts to blend with the next) - Starbucks instant coffee followed by a double packet of instant oatmeal. Roll up and stow away the gear and down the road I go. Its starting to feel good - the walking down the road part of it. At the beginning of this journey there was perhaps a bit of unease as I searched for the comfort of rhythm and stride rather like a sailor acquiring his legs as he first sets to sea. This is my twentieth day of walking and I seem to be on schedule. I estimated that I would be at the Idaho border on or around July 7.
I'm having a little trouble with the brakes on my trailer. Unfortunately, by design they do not do so well and I have had trouble from the start. Every time I apply the brakes they turn ever so slightly due to the torque and then often rub or drag needing to be readjusted. My right brake rubs a little always which I eventually must do something about. This gizmo is hard enough to push without adding the equivalent of extra weight due to brake drag. I am considering taking it off completely and just using one. We'll see.
I arrived at the Oasis Cafe around 11:30 or rather 12:30 due to the switch to Rocky Mountain Time Zone. I asked if they had a place for me to pitch my tent and they told me that they had an available room if I wanted one. The only drawback is that they are having a neighborhood 4th of July party (which they invited me to attend) on the lawn behind the restaurant and hoped it wouldn't bother me. I assured them it would not and after a gargantuan meal at the Oasis, I sit here in an air-conditioned room while it bakes outside my door. The restaurant closed early for the day at 1:00 due to it being the 4th of July and the planned party.

The Evening of the Fourth
What a wonderful time I had. With the party going on outside my door what could I do but join in? I simply walked up to the food line and fell right in with the neighborhood folks like I belonged here. A nice couple, Dave and Dean Clark, engaged me in conversation and when they found out I was walking across America they instantly said,"Oh, your the one. We've heard about you." In fact, Dave said he had passed me in his pickup as I was walking toward Brothers. Anyway, after talking to several people and telling them about my goals, he and his wife assured me that everyone would appreciate me donning my outfit and doing a presentation. A little coaxing was all I needed so I returned to my room and returned in my "Son of Liberty" outfit. It feels a bit like the old Superman comics when Clark Kent would step into a phone booth and step out as Superman. I actually do change a bit psychologically when in outfit - a little more emboldened perhaps.
After everyone had gathered round, I gave a presentation on the history of the Declaration of Independence and its various editions. I concluded with a small lecture about the rattlesnake as an American symbol and why it is associated with the Revolution. About 40 people stood or sat listening, all were appreciative of both my presentation and my cross-country mission. Afterwards I distributed copies of the Bill of Rights to all who wanted one.
For quite some time I sat and conversed with a couple, in particular the husband, listening and sharing political views and discussions. He and I were not always in agreement but we had a great conversation for probably an hour and a half. We parted company having made new friends. It was another great day and I turned in for the night.
As I type this posting, some local youths are setting off fireworks hooting and hollering so I stepped out to take a picture. I am also including a photo of special Juntura man, Dave Clark, with whom I am grateful for the welcome provided me and the conversation, too.


  1. Mr. Brown. I am the editor of The Crestline Advocate, the town newspaper in Crestline OH. I understand you taught here early in your career. I would like to do a story about your Son of Libery Walk. Please call or e-mail me at your convenience.
    Kim Ross-Polito, 419-683-3355

  2. It sounds like you had a lot of fun! I spent my 4th talking to little kids about our history and scaring my brother with fireworks.

    I really want to say thank you because without you, I never would have got the guts to gather children around to teach them.

    Good luck!

    -Margaret Hibdon

  3. Hey Ray,
    I love reading your entries and following along on your journey. Look how many lives you continue to touch. It's nice that a classroom isn't bounded by four walls.
    Keep the faith,

  4. Hi Ray,
    Thank you for updating everyone. You have been in my prayers since you began but I added you to the church prayer chain also. A few more praying can't hurt. I read the message from the Crestline paper. How about that. I have to say that even though you are my cousin I have used what you taught me in seventh grade since I was in your classroom.
    Stay safe.

  5. Ray, What a wonderful adventure you are on! It makes me wish I was there. How fun. We celebrated the 4th having a family reunion and my Oldest daughter's birthday. She was born on July 4th. Have a safe journey.

  6. Ray, So good to hear that your making your way successfully across the west! I really am enjoying your post and will continue to check up on you as the days turn into weeks and the weeks to months. Keep pushing and we'll be cheering for you. Mason and Kara

  7. Hi Raymond Hope you had a great day...we're thinking of you.

    Sharon, Ronnie & the kids