Wednesday, October 7
I was on the road at 3:15 AM and pulled or pushed until 7:30 that evening. I was fortunate that several North-South arteries had siphoned off many of the trucks leaving me more opportunity to stay on the road (I can always start over with new police). Around 7:00 A.M. I pushed my cart into Bedford, Iowa and stopped at a cafe and ate a hearty breakfast. Before leaving I introduced myself to a couple of older men and we talked awhile. They both seemed rather pessimistic about the country today and I shortly excused myself. Before leaving town I stopped at the gas station to buy some batteries and was welcomed by a man who saw my cart (much friendlier than the previous two) and I soon found myself sitting around a table talking with five others - including a county magistrate. I thought they would provide a jackpot of opinions but I found that they mostly wanted to listen to me. The friendly guy asked me to stay longer and be interviewed by their newspaper but I was disappointed by their lack of response and I also had many miles yet to travel, so I politely declined.
Walking down the road I was feeling a bit depressed when the town reporter pulled up in her truck asking for an interview. This perked me up a bit and shortly afterwards a man stopped his van, got out, and and asked, "What's this all about?" I explained my mission and after speaking he handed me a fresh $100 bill and wished me well. I had been feeling emotionally low and so appreciated his kindness that I was moved to tears. This is the way this whole trip has been - just when I begin to question myself, my goals, or whatever - something happens to buoy my flagging spirits. It has been miraculous in this way.
Feeling uplifted - I put the "pedal to the metal" with renewed energy and hauled forward entering Mount Ayr around 7:30. I walked into a store and asked where I might camp and was told of a place two miles down the road. I was so tired at that moment that these few miles seemed impossible. I instead crossed the street to a truck stop and without asking permission, erected my tent behind a large dumpster and crawled in for the night.
Check the map yourself - from just outside Clarinda to Mount Ayr, Iowa.