Friday, October 8
Highway 2 is just too dangerous. I have been across desserts, crossed mountains, worried about grizzlies, and sustained deprivations, but nothing prepared me for this. Simply put - it has been and continues to be a nightmare. I wince with every passing truck hoping that it it will not be my end and the stress is adding up. I receive little support from local law enforcement and to the contrary - most wonder why I am even here and consider my presence a nuisance. Therefore, I find myself stuck in the middle of a swamp with no choice but one - to continue. This is not a disparaging reflection on the state of Iowa but rather for the general situation in which I now find myself. I’m sure many readers have suggestions but I assure you my current options are limited. All secondary roads are gravel and if I didn’t mention it - southern Iowa is hilly. Viewing a topographical map does not show the real scene at ground level. Iowa has no mountains yet I have climbed their equivalency for I go up a hill then down the hill over and over again. This physical aspect I can handle but not the steady fear of death from a super busy state highway. Imagine putting most the the trucks traversing an interstate on this narrow two-lane road and you would have the situation. Harvest is now in full gear with agricultural trucks hauling loads of corn and soy beans. In addition to these and the regular tractor-trailers are flatbed trucks hauling mega-sized farm equipment and I quite honestly worry that a piece of machinery sticking out will clip me in the back of the head when passing. Therefore I have decided that I will now travel at night.
The previous mornings when up well before daylight I had the road to myself. Though dark, I have bright headlights and tail lights which can be seen for quite a distance. I addition, I can see the few vehicles coming toward me for miles. I travel the middle line and simply move to the opposite side as they near. It is quiet; the stars are out; little animals rustle about; and it is very sane. The only negative is that the untethered country “yard dogs” have challenged my passing but I do have pepper spray for protection. The truck traffic begins about 5:30A.M. with just a smattering and is in full gear within an hour. I will not concern myself with the “higher goals” of my journey in Iowa for I must focus on the base - survival.
I hope this posting does not sound like whining or complaining - its just the reality. My good friend in Florida has suggested several times that I share more of my feelings and mental attitude with my readers. “How do you do it?” he asks. “What goes on in you head?” Well, here is is. I am stuck in the most harrowing situation of my journey and who would have thought it in Iowa? Maybe this is just preparing me for Pennsylvania.