Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'm a Loser Baby

August 22: Someone as prone to losing his possessions as I am probably should not be allowed by law to walk across the country. I parted company with my phone charger God knows where sometime over the weekend. Compounding the error, my good friends in the baggage handling department at Delta smashed the plastic connecting piece on my backpack's chest strap. I have rigged up a workable solution, but its about as comfortable as a bed of nails.
The show must go on, however, so I continued on my way through Davenport. The riverboat casino was already full of folks who couldn't wait until the afternoon to throw away their money.
There certainly is money to burn on hand in Davenport. Industry is everywhere. I passed large factories for companies such as Lafarge (cement), Cargill (salt), and Oscar Mayer (weiners).
My route kept me along the Mississippi, taking me through the small town of Buffalo and on to Montpelier.
On the way I had a couple of interesting encounters with the natives. One was with a policeman, the fourth who has pulled over to stop and chat with me thus far on the trip. He was the first to ask for my license so he could then check to see if I had any outstanding warrants. Apparently my reputation as a drifter is now proceeding me.
Later on I saw a man far up the road frantically waving his hand. I returned his salute. He then bent over, appeared to pick an object off the ground and crossed the street, leaving the scene. When I arrived at the spot I found he had actually put something there. Two dollar bills and a cold Bud Light lay before me. Perhaps people think I am more of a hobo than a drifter. I would like to ride the rails one day, tis true.
At Montpelier I staked my tent for the night at Clark's Ferry Recreation Park. By coincidence my neighbors turned out to be fellow South Carolinians, the first I had met on the trip. Dotty and Charlie are a retired couple from Rock Hill, married fifty five years. They travel the United States and Canada in their camper, seeing the sights. After cooking us a lovely meal, Dotty suggested perhaps I should try driving a car instead of walking. Very soon the next morning I began to wish I had taken her advice.

16 miles/1344 total miles

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