Happy Halloween



Flag Quiz #10

What independent sovereignty once flew this flag over part of the present United States and where?


Answer to Quiz #9 - Texas.
Texas was an independent republic from 1836 to 1846. Mexico had never recognized Texas independence during those years and threatened war if the United States annexed it. In addition, Northern interests did not want another slave state entering the Union - particularly Texas. President James Polk was an expansionist and basically sent Zachary Taylor into Mexican territory to start a war - which he did and Texas joined the United States.

Can you name the "six flags over Texas" meaning the six independent sovereigns that once flew a flag over Texas at one time or another in its history?

Passing Thoughts and Unofficial Observations



Illinois has thus far been the flattest state with the darkest soil though parts are hilly and woodsy.

Farming here is on a massive scale - big tractors, big acreages, big money.

Almost all the towns in Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois have fancy new signs at their city limits. It is a part of a revitalization project. Unfortunately, it doesn't change the core and some are destined to become modern ghost towns.

Cowboy hats are gone. They seemed to be popular from Eastern Oregon all the way to and including Nebraska.

Though foreign cars have made inroads - domestic brands still rule in the Midwest.

Those ubiquitous plastic bags are a bane and a pain. They get hung up in trees and brush but are particularly annoying when they (and larger plastic) get caught on fencing and flutter in the wind as semi-permanent eyesores. Can't they all now be disposable?

It's always nice when my cart fits through the motel door of my room.

It is no wonder that we as a nation are obese. Everywhere there seems to be little choice of healthy food. I am currently frustrated by the near monopoly over my choice of prepared foods. It's always the same franchises over and over and over again. I don't need to list them - you can name them yourself.

I saw a red fox jump from a ditch not 10 feet away. I also saw my first gray fox. Did you know that gray foxes climb trees?

More clotheslines are used in the Midwest - this may seem retro but it's always good to use the free sun. An extra bonus is that the wind acts as a fabric softener.

Illinois roadways are surprisingly clean even though they do not have a bottle or can deposit. I would say they are as clean as Oregon's ranking only behind Iowa.

One thing I hadn't thought about until today - I have not seem anyone on a street corner asking for money. In Oregon they are quite common.

The mosquitoes are all gone - really.

Most states offer multiple styled license plates and as a result it has becomes more difficult to identify a state with it's plate.

When leaving one state going into another, there is usually some physical demarcation - a river, a mountain range, a drop in elevation - something. Not so between Illinois and Indiana. If if you didn't see the "Welcome to Indiana" sign you would think you were still in Illinois for almost 50 miles until the terrain starts to change to rolling hills and woodsy farms.

Oregon is the only state I have walked through that requires motorcyclists to wear helmets.

People in the Midwest like their cardinals. Football teams are cardinals, license plates have cardinals, artwork contains cardinals, and several states have the cardinal as their official state bird.

The roadside litter has increased in Indiana. What's up with that?

I've noticed big variations in prices while on this trip depending where I am. People can only charge what others can or are willing to pay.

It is a joy to see the beautiful autumn leaves cover the forest floor.

I give the Illinois drivers good marks. They seemed much more patient than Iowans.

Can I say I'm tired of the "Support Our Troops" signs. I'm not really sure just what the phrase means and it seems to have become a stale cliche. I cannot think of anyone that does not support our troops. If we said "Remember our Troops" or "Support the Constitution" it would make more sense.

Autumn has passed its peak and the woods are starting to take on a "get ready for winter" look.

No more coyotes that I've noticed. I read that they they traditionally did not haunt east of the Mississippi River but that they have now moved eastward - so who knows?

Midwest lawns are large. People do not have to water lawns here so they are easier to maintain - especially with a riding mower.

I've stayed in too many motels recently and need to return to camping a little more. Its alway's fun to be under the stars and motels can bust the budget.

Eastern Time, Rolling Hills, and Thoughts of Tecumseh




Friday, October 29
I find it hard to believe that I am now - and have been since entering Indiana - in Eastern Standard Time. This means that I am three hours different from my Oregon home and thus making calls and contact requires a little more planning. It is also represents the last time change of my journey.
The Indiana terrain started to change east of Monticello. It has become more woodsy with slightly rolling hills. Though it was chilly - it was sunny and made for a beautiful autumn walk.
As I crossed the Tippecanoe River my thoughts were of Tecumseh and his brother, known to the Whites as "The Prophet." In the early 1800's these Shawnee brothers were responsible for what has become known as the "Red Stick Confederacy." The Indians historically fought each other as traditional enemies which the United States always plied to its own advantage. Tecumseh, after a vision, began a mission to unite the tribes - asking them to put aside their past grievances and to join forces against the Americans. It was only in this way that Indian People had any hope for saving their homelands from the steady encroachment of the settlers. Tecumseh traveled unafraid into hostile enemy camps and one by one, convinced most tribes to enter a league of friendship and to turn their hostilities toward the Americans. At a future appointed time, the Indians were to strike in unison. This very real confederacy represented the biggest Indian threat since Pontiac's Uprising of the 1760's and as such, William Henry Harrison decided to attack and destroy the main Shawnee encampment while Tecumseh was away. The Indians were camped on the Tippecanoe River just north of present day Lafayette, Indiana. As a result of this battle/slaughter Harrison picked up the "Tippecanoe" nickname and it will later help propel him to the White House with one of the first memorable American campaign slogans - "Tippecanoe and Tyler too." I seem to remember that there is a play about Tecumseh performed annually in Chillicothe, Ohio but I do not remember the name. Anyway, the overall point is that I wish I could have visited the battlefield site, but as I am walking - it was too far away.

Note: Isn't it interesting that the great Ottawa leader - Pontiac, has been reduced to most Americans as a brand of car; and that the great Shawnee - Tecumseh, is better known as a company that makes lawn mowers?

Flag Quiz #9

What independent sovereignty once flew this flag over part of the present United States and where?



Answer Quiz 8 - the Russian-American Fur Company, which ruled over Alaska from 1799 until 1818 when the Russian Government then took control. Russia ceased commercial activities in Alaska with its selling to the the United States in 1867 for $7,200,000. The Russians had had outposts as far away as Fort Ross, California and Hawaii.

Windy Walks and Colder Days


Thursday, October 28
Today was the first cold day that I’ve had. I’ve had cold mornings and I’ve had cold evenings, but I’ve always been able to walk in midday with short pants and short sleeves - today at midday I wore gloves and a warm windbreaker.
I actually do not mind the cold and prefer it to being hot. A little cold seems to adds a vigor to everything and it is easy to control your body's heat with layered clothing.
Nothing new to report as I continue to explore Western Indiana. So far it looks a lot like Illinois - flat farm fields, big acreages, big machinery, and lots of corn! Lots of corn.
I’m staying in Monticello, Indiana and hope to be in Logansport tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 27
The storm had passed but its tailwinds remained with gusts up to 55 miles per hour. I could have rationally stayed another day in Kentland but for what purpose? The sun was now out, the skies were blue, and I had the urge to start walking - therefore I tied down my hat and stepped into the day. As I walked the eighteen short miles to Remington I confess they were lengthened a bit by my zigging and zagging as the wind tossed me happily about.
video

Thwarted by Wind and Tornadoes

Tuesday, October 26
I am spending the day in Kentland, Indiana, due to severe weather. We have had rains, high winds, and even a tornado touch down not far from here. There are warnings stating that these winds could make it more difficult to drive and at particular risk are empty semis. Therefore, being that I am now snug and secure in an Indiana motel, I took it as a sign from the heavens that it would be fine to take a day to rest and write. I hope to leave in the morning for tomorrow is to be windy but clear. I'll check the weather later and make a final decision.
I wish to particularly thank "Jeff the Chicagoan" who warned me that this storm was coming and even offered his assistance if needed. I would also add that based on his answer to the previous flag quiz - he may move to the front of the class.

Flag Quiz #8

This flag represents a company that had basically absolute control, by authority of the government it represented, over a good portion of the present United States. Can you name the company or country and the area it controlled?


Answer to Quiz 7: Yes, it was indeed Mexico. Mexico had it's country's size cut in half by two American wars - the Texas/Mexican War and the Mexican War. In the Texas war we encouraged the break-away from Mexico and would have admitted Texas to the Union but several factors, including anti-slavery sentiments by Northern members of Congress, put Texas statehood on hold - hence its independent country status. We also, as a nation, later prompted a war with Mexico in order to make a major land grab - the biggest plum being California just before gold was discovered in 1848. Fort Alcatraz, on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, was built partly because the United States wanted to prevent the Mexicans from trying to regain California. The United States made additional land purchases from Mexico but never got the California Peninsula which we wanted in order to build a U.S. port on the Sea of Cortez. The Mexicans held out against this one or today the Baja Peninsula would probably be a part of California.

Did you know?
That Ulysses S. Grant, who served during the Mexican War, once said that our nation's Civil War was God's punishment for what we had done to the Mexicans.

The Zimmerman Telegram of WWI was a coded message to the Mexicans from Germany that if the U.S. were to enter the war, the Germans would be willing to enter an alliance with Mexico and provide assistance in getting back it's former lost territories to the United States.

Indiana Here I Come





















“When they’re running you out of town - make it look like you’re leading a parade.”

Monday, October 25
After a rather ignominious exit from the town of Onarga the good news was that I got an early start on the day. 5:00 A.M. found me walking toward Gilman, Illinois, three miles distant, where I could get a breakfast and a cup of that unnecessary coffee. There I began a new road - Highway 24 - which I will follow to Route 224 south of Fort Wayne. Both roads heads almost due east from here and I will now stay in this latitudinal zone for nearly the remainder of the trip.
As Indiana was only 31 miles away and the town of Kentland, 35, I decided to just go for it and get there. I figured I could be in Kentland, Indiana by early evening and with it - get a motel for the night. Highway 24 had bike lanes most of the way and the traffic was light - a very good thing.
On the way through Watseka, Illinois, an elderly lady saw me and almost started crying over what I am doing. She is a Tea Party member and insisted I take $5.00 and kept telling me,”God bless you” as we parted. I was later stopped by another woman who said she also was a Tea Party member. After listening to me talk she invited me to hang around for perhaps I could speak at a meeting coming up in a day or two. I told her I had to move on but while we talked a photographer arrived and started taking pictures. It turns out that he, Scott Anderson, is a photographer for The Daily Journal - a newspaper headquartered in Kankakee, Illinois. Scott liked listening to me speak about my journey and took notes as well as pictures. He then asked if he could follow me and take pictures of my experiences like a “day in the life of” sort of thing. So for the next 10 miles, until I hit the Indiana border - there he was taking photos - all sorts of photos. Scott would get in his truck and drive ahead or whatever he felt he needed to do. His last photo was of me taking a photo of the “Welcome to Indiana” sign at the border. He thanked me saying that what I am doing "is a story" and he wanted to record it. He said he is mainly a photographer but that he wanted to write this one himself. After a couple of more questions we parted at the border.

As Kentland, was yet an additional four miles away and the day was rapidly waning, I hurried into Indiana feeling that another goal had been achieved - I had just entered a new state.

Close Encounters

Sunday, Oct. 24,
Early Monday, Oct. 25
With a strong wind behind and a flat road ahead, I hurriedly traveled the 28 miles to Onarga under storm threatening skies. I had not left Gibson City until late in the morning and consequently I did not arrive until well after dark. Unfortunately, I was soon to discover that Onarga has no inns or motels and while wondering, “What will I do?” the long threatening rains began.
Looking around I spied a sales lot of large garden sheds. You’ve all seen them - the type that look like mini barns. With the rain coming down, I stood there pondering the question of whether I could, like a hobo, sleep away the night in a shed next to the main street of town. Have I sunk to new lows on this journey?
As I mulled over the question a thunder clap answered and I soon found myself, along with my cart, inside its dry confines and hence became denizens for the night. It was actually quite roomy and after setting my alarm I went comfortably to sleep knowing that I would be gone undetected by daylight. Wrong.
I got up at 4:30 and gingerly exited the shed to relieve my bladder. A thick fog had moved in during the night and the early morning scene reminded me of one of those old werewolf movies where a scream comes from out of the dark. Well, spooky as it was, I figured that at this early hour no one would be out and about. But as I stood there a car came slowly down a small side street in my direction. I jumped from the beam of its headlights and into the shed not knowing if it had seen me or if it had not. Besides - unless it was a policeman or the business owner - surely no one would bother to get involved. As I stood in my confines listening intently I heard a car pull slowly onto the gravel of the very lot which now contained me as prisoner! Oh great, here we go! Whoever it is will call the police or perhaps try to open the door. My heart raced as I thought about the tight situation in which I now found myself. I quickly and quietly started packing to make a hurried exit all the while rehearsing what I might say to the arriving police. They would probably put a spotlight on the door and with guns drawn order me out, “with your hands in the air!” My imagination was racing but after ten minutes of perfect quiet on a foggy morning at 4:45 A.M. I now believed that whoever I had seen and heard must have moved on. So thinking it safe, I decided to exit.
I slowly opened the door, peeped around and seeing no one - I stepped cautiously out. No sooner had I set my foot on the ground than a car engine roared to life not 10 feet away and drove off. Shocked by the encounter, I went into high gear and practically ran down the dark foggy streets of Onarga toward the safety of the city limit. Who had it been? Why were they sitting there? There was now no doubt they had seen me and like a cat with a mouse - they had patiently waited and “flushed me out.”
I did not slow until I was lost to the dark of the countryside.

I got away with this one but it was indeed a rather close call. After all these years of being cautious in my role as a teacher and being overly concerned with my community image I must confess I found the whole experience refreshingly exciting. Do you remember those things we did as children that would cause our hearts to race? For the moment, I was high on life finding the situation surprisingly delicious.
I laughed out loud as I reached the safety of the town limits.
Today I would need no coffee.

* Iowa / Illinois


Flag Quiz #7

What independent sovereign once flew this flag over part of the present United States and where?

Answer to flag quiz 6. The Union Jack of Britain. The Union Jack was modified in 1801 by adding a thin red cross (X) to represent the addition of Ireland with England, Scotland and Wales to form what is known as Britain’s United Kingdom.
This flag flew over much of the Great Lakes region until the War of 1812. It flew over Florida and southern Alabama, and Mississippi from 1763 to 1783. It flew over the Pacific Northwest in Washington and Oregon and it also flew over Hawaii which in those days were known as the Sandwich Islands so named by British Captain James Cook in the 1770's.

Highway 54 to Gibson City




Saturday, October 23
I awoke at 4:15 thinking it was beginning to rain but it turned out to be only the quaking of leaves in the wind. As I was now fully awake I decided to get an early start on the day, so after my morning routine of coffee followed by oatmeal followed by coffee - I packed up and started down the road looking for Highway 54 which would take me in a northeast direction. As the day dawned the grey sky was threatening rain and after several hours of walking - down it came! I stopped to put on my rain gear and for the first time of the trip I covered my cart with plastic. It is bad enough just pushing my normal cart - I’ve been asked by people if I’m looking for cans, am I selling hot dogs, or perhaps am I an ice cream salesman? Now with my cart covered with blue plastic - I thought I looked like a bum going down the road but it’s better to be dry than to worry about appearances. Though Highway 54 does not have paved shoulders, I was lucky that the traffic was extremely light being a Saturday and also due to the harvest season winding down in this section of Illinois and hence there are now less agricultural trucks on the road. I had all of my lights flashing and most cars gave me a berth while a few others gave me a bath. After some soggy miles of rain accomponied by lightening and thunder, I soggily struggled into Gibson City, Illinois, and checked into the only motel in town. The motel did not have internet service but the McDonald’s next door did. Therefore I ate at McDonalds more often than I would have wanted to allow me to post these blogs.

A Crack in the Door



Friday, October 22
Ten miles east of McLean the road had a new coat of asphalt and contained a bike lane. This deluxe stretch of road lasted for fifteen miles and I had a very nice remainder of the day pushing my cart down the highway. I am also lucky that Illinois is surprisingly flat which obviously makes my job easier.
Walking through the small town of Heyworth, I passed Heyworth Junior/Senior High School and decided to stop in and drop off a card. Talking to the principal, Jeff Asmus, I discovered a kindred sprit for he had once been a government teacher before becoming a principal. As it was Friday and also lunch time, Mr. Asmus asked that I bring my cart into the cafeteria. He then took a microphone and introduced me to the students telling them about my mission. I was invited to stay and eat lunch with everyone and I had a great time talking to groups of students who asked me many questions. A staff member took pictures of my cart and of me talking to the kids. My spirits were lifted by the experience as I headed on down the road with threatening skies to the south moving my way.

On the Road Again











Friday, October 22
It was a beautiful autumn day yesterday and as such, the television news service asked if they could change the venue and interview me in downtown Decatur at their public square. They wanted to film me talking to citizens as well as interviewing me. If you wish, you can view the short video at wandtv.com which is station 17 in Decatur.
I begin again this morning after a day of rest and will try to stay ahead of the coming rain as much as possible. I figure in 4 or 5 days at the most I will be in Indiana.

Flag Quiz #6


What independent sovereignty flew this flag over parts of the present United States and where?
(Note the difference on this flag than the one previously pictured. Do know why?)

Answer to quiz #5 - the Republic of Vermont. Vermont was an independent republic from 1777 - 1791. Once a part of New York, it was wrested away by the "Green Mountain Boys" led by Ethan Allen and others. Ira Allen declared Vermont an independent republic and it was first called "New Connecticut" before changing its name. Vermont coined its own money and considered joining Canada instead of the the United States. The flag pictured is still used by Vermont's National Guard.

Decatur Detour


Thursday, October 21
I remember an old quote, "If you have nothing to say then you probably shouldn't." Therefore, this post will be short.
The roads are making me schizophrenic. I can be going along enjoying a bike lane and then "presto" - it's gone and it's right back to the "I hope this next passing truck doesn't kill me." It is hard to imagine going to all the way to the Atlantic Ocean traveling like this for it really is quite stressful. I believe the ideal situation might be to travel an expressway for they all have paved shoulders. This would not be as intimate of a walk but my number one concern continues to be my physical safety. I suppose another alternative is to walk the more remote "country bumpkin" routes which would have less traffic but would also require additional milage. We'll see how it plays out.
Not much new to report about Illinois - lots of flat farm acreages broken up periodically by some wooded hills. I made it to McClean yesterday and a childhood friend and former neighbor, Kathy Hibbits, picked me up and brought me to Decatur where she lives. She tried unsuccessfully to get me into the schools but did have success with a Decatur television news station. They would like me to come in for a studio interview dressed in costume. I have been on television in the past but this studio interview represents another first.
I plan to leave tomorrow morning after getting some supplies - groceries, Starbucks instant coffee, and more bike lights! The weather report is calling for rain on Saturday and if so, this will be a change. I find it unbelievable that I have walked from the Pacific Ocean through most of Illinois with but one day of rain.
By the way, especially to my friends in Oregon with its inflated house prices, how much do you think the house pictured is selling for?
3.6 acres and a barn
$188,000

East on Highway 136

Sunday, Oct. 17
I decided to stay one more day to get some things done before heading east in the morning on Highway 136. The road to Macomb from Carthage was among the best a person could wish for and I hope it continues.

Saturday, October 16
I got up at 4:30 and was on the road at 6:00. I wanted to get to Macomb, Illinois, a distance of 28 miles and check into a motel for the night. Since this was a Saturday, if I got there in time I would be able rest, do some laundry, and perhaps watch some college football. I did not know it at that time, but Macomb is the home of Western Illinois University and today was a home game against Youngstown State - consequently the place was crawling with fans. As such, I was turned away from the first several motels as they were already full - booked with visitors for the game. Eventually I found a room and all I can say is, "GoBulldogs!"
By the way - Western Illinois won.

Miscellaneousness

The first accents I noticed on my journey were in Southern Iowa. Highway 2 is never more than 15 miles from the northern Missouri border.

Iowa has thus far had the cleanest roadsides. They have bottle and can deposits and it shows. I must admit they are cleaner than Oregon's.

Not all water tastes the same. I have noticed big differences as I pass across the country - some good and some not.

A policeman in Leon came over a hill and thought I was a policeman due to my flashing night lights.

I have noticed that poor people seem to have bigger satellite dishes and more guard dogs.

I no longer have to carry a lot of extra water as I did in the West. Two gallons are fine and this lightens the load.

Southern Iowa seemed to have a touch of provincialism. This was my impression after walking through it.

I overheard a young lady ask a coworker in a restaurant,"Do you want the large gallons or the small ones?"

Harvest is in full swing. It is the time of year to fill the larders. From all of the construction going on and the new machinery I've seen - I'd say the large farmers are doing well this year.

I was wrong on the coyotes - they are all over Iowa. I'm not sure about Illinois.

While waiting for traffic in Fort Madison, an elderly woman car tooted her car horn and we talked a little about my project. When she found out that I was a teacher from Eugene, Oregon she asked if I might know her son - also a teacher there. It turns out that I do - Greg Newton - a teacher at my district's high school and our children played sports together. A small world indeed!

Iowa seemed to have more vehicles needing to replace a headlight, tail light, or muffler than any of the states I have walked through - seriously.

Based on the number of raccoons killed on the roadway - I'd say there sure must be a lot of them.

In early morning you can see a town's water tower silhouetted against the eastern sky from miles away.

Iowa, like other states, have made special educational exceptions for Amish children by requiring that they go only to the 8th grade. We tend to see this as quaint, but do we not take away a child's future choices and condemn them to an Amish lifestyle by this policy? What if the child yearns for more? How can a 13 or 14 year old child make a decision to go against his parent's will?

Now when I camp, my tent and belongings always get a few leaves fallen from the trees overnight.

I have still experienced only one frost, Sept. 6, near Lusk, Wyoming. Frost number two could be any night soon.

Road kill, cattle feed lots, and my feet are starting to smell the same though road kill is still the king.

Wyoming drivers wave the least but Iowans have surprisingly been the rudest drivers to me. They're quite happy to slow down for a piece of farm machinery but for me? "Get the heck out of the way!" I was twice tried to be run off the road.

My nails are a bit thinner - I can tell from having to open my Swiss army knife. I'm probably something missing in my diet - or maybe I just need to clean and oil the knife.

First and last impressions are the greatest. I came into Iowa and received a rousing welcome at the Welcome Center and I was given a police escort across the Mississippi River on the way out. Who can beat that? Now, if they would just do something about the lack of paved shoulders.

* Across Southern Iowa to the Mississippi and Illinois


The Mormons - An American Experience








Friday, October 15
Before leaving Nauvoo, I decided to visit the old Mormon village which has been partially restored and includes the house of Joseph Smith - the founding prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - whose followers are more commonly called “The Mormons.” As most know, the early Mormons suffered religious discrimination and were basically unwanted neighbors by most Americans of that era and after Joseph Smith was killed, they were led west to the now Salt Lake City area by Brigham Young and others. Though their headquarters are today in Utah, this Illinois site is of profound importance and they obviously are interested in its preservation and safe keeping. Until my visit I was unaware that the Mormon Church has divided into different sects or divisions. One sect, now known as the "Community of Christ" has control of the Nauvoo site and the larger LDS church of Utah wants to buy it from them but the Community of Christ is unwilling to sell. I will not wade any deeper into this religious-political issue for I am ignorant of the subject and also not a Mormon though I do find it interesting.
After visiting the village and Joseph Smith's house and gravesite (a Mormon told me he may not really be buried there - only the church leaders know for sure) I continued south alongside the Mississippi River for a most lovely walk. A woman driving by handed me a McDonald’s “Happy Meal” and I stopped to rest along the river, put my feet into the water, and happily ate my meal.
I turned east on Highway 136 and at the end of the day arrived in Carthage, Illinois. It was here that Joseph Smith and his son were killed in 1844 by a mob while being held in the pictured jail. Again, this site is significant to today's Mormons and they have restored the jail and have a very lovely park and information center located here.
After my visit it was nearly dark and I had no place to stay for the night. Therefore, for the first time, I knocked on a stranger's door and asked permission to camp in his back yard. He said, “Yes,” and I said “Thanks.”
I am sure that it is only the first of others to come.

Illinois











Thursday Afternoon, October 14
Once on the Illinois side of the river, I decided to change my planned route based on the advice of Officer Morgan. I now turned south on Route 93 and paralleled the Mississippi heading toward the little town of Nauvoo, Illinois - a town of profound historical importance.
The walk began somewhat hilly but soon flattened out and with a blue sky and an autumn sun overhead I felt on top of the world knowing that I had just passed a major milestone of my journey. Nauvoo was not far distant and I arrived in time to visit the grand Mormon temple located high on a prominence overlooking the Mississippi facing west toward Salt Lake City. It was from Nauvoo, Illinois, that the Mormons began their famous exodus west and obviously this site has historical significance to them as well as all Americans. After this visit, I headed to a beautiful state park in town and camped for the night.
Remember - there is no "noise" in Illinois.

Flag Quiz #5

What independent sovereignty flew this flag over a part of our present United States and where?


Answer to Quiz 4 - Sweden. In 1638 the Swedes colonized the Delaware Bay region founding "New Sweden" and the city of Wilmington. The colony was under Swede control for sixteen years until 1654 when it was taken by force by the Dutch.
The Swedes are responsible for the frontier tradition of building homes from logs - the "log cabins."

Officer Morgan - "The Right Stuff"







Thursday, Oct. 14
Wending my way through Fort Madison, Iowa, heading for the Mississippi I stopped to get a few last things from a store. When I returned to my cart a policeman was waiting. He said that someone had "called" reporting a man pushing a cart down the roadway. He asked me to please stay on the sidewalk but I pointed out that there usually weren't any and those that did exist were terrible.
"Hmmm... Well, if possible, would you stay on them where they do exist if you can?" He was such a nice guy that I tried to comply but found it impossible.
During our conversation it became known to me that pedestrians are not permitted to cross the bridge spanning the river and that the nearest pedestrian bridge was at Burlington, to the north - now what was I to do? I pointed out that I was no ordinary pedestrian to which he agreed, and after a phone call to the bridge authorities, Officer Morgan told me that he would provide a special police escort to accompany me across. I was most grateful for his assistance and I soon found myself happily walking past the toll booth operator who waved and waived my fee wishing me well as I led a parade across the Mississippi River - me in the lead, followed by a police car, followed by a line of cars. It was a great feeling to cross the American river separating east from west in the United States.