Thousand Mile Walk

Claron Honors the Refugees

Free Lunch

I was camped between towns last night three miles west of Prairie View, Kansas. I was next to a lightly traveled county road about 150 yards from the main highway, U.S. 36. I was getting packed up ready to start walking for the day and heard a car come down the road and stopped next to me. A young woman asked me if I needed a lunch. She gave me the lunch she had made for herself to eat at her work. How kind! She makes a great macaroni salad!

It has been a while since I camped outside of town, so I rather enjoyed staying out in the countryside. I enjoyed seeing the fireflies. I was surprised to hear the howling of coyotes coming from several different directions. I rather enjoyed listening to them. I did not realize they had a significant coyote population in Kansas. It has also been fun to see whitetail deer on a regular basis. In Utah, we have mule deer and not whitetail.

The picture shows a place along the road, west of Norton, Kansas, where the road construction cut through a hill for the intersection of two roads. I thought it was a good illustration of the prairie topsoil and the underlying earth. I estimate the topsoil is 2 to 3 feet deep. Please make a comment if you know if the underlying earth here is what is called “hardpan.” Please comment on this post by clicking on the title at the top of the article Free Lunch. That will take you to a page just for this article. Scroll down the page and you will see the comment section where you can add your comment.

My Friend Mark

Mark Ethington is pictured with Claron on a rainy day in Kansas. Mark is a fellow board member of Southern Sudan Humanitarian and a great friend of mine. We traveled to South Sudan together in 2011 and he went again in 2012. He was helping his son move from Utah to go to school in Arkansas. Mark made a special effort to meet up with me along the way. He brought me some new bicycle tires, tubes, and protein powder. A short visit, but it meant a lot to me. Please comment on this post by clicking on the title at the top of the article My Friend Mark. That will take you to a page just for this article. Scroll down the page and you will see the comment section where you can add your comment.

The Hope of South Sudan

I met some nice people in Atwood, Kansas today. Mandy and Brenda talked to me in the park were I camped. They were very interested in me and my walk to raise funds for the orphans in South Sudan. I attended the Methodist Church in Atwood and had a bunch of people donate.

Recent Returnees in South Sudan

I like to think of you, my reader, as the hope of South Sudan. Yes, there are a lot of good causes to help, but helping the orphans and other children in the elementary schools which Southern Sudan Humanitarian supports is a great cause to join. Donate and make a difference! The children in the photo were dropped off from an internally displaced persons camp with not much more than the ragged shirts on their backs. The video, The Hope of Sudan was taken with the children in the above picture in Gong Machar, South Sudan.

Cherry Creek Encampment

Marker commemorating Cherry Creek Encampment

Some of the Native-American survivors of the Sand Creek Massacre wintered at this site about four miles north of St. Francis, Kansas on highway 27. A blog that honors refugees needs a post to pause and consider the incident. On this walk, I have thought a lot about what happened to the Native-Americans. May God bless us all to realize that the rights, privileges and lives of all people are important to them and important to us.

There were a lot of markers commemorating the history of Cheyenne County, Kansas that were installed, I imagine as a labor of love, by Tobe Zweygart. The curator of the museum in St. Francis showed me his picture. He is now 97 years old.

Bank Repo in Kansas

Abandoned home in northwest Kansas

Abandoned home in northeast Kansas on highway 27 north of St. Francis, KansasI crossed the border from Nebraska into Kansas today. It was interested looking at the abandoned buildings that were farm homes and associated buildings. Many of them looked like they had not been occupied since the 1930s. I imagined that they may have been deserted during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl days. The home in the picture shows signs of being lived in in the 1980s or perhaps more recently. It was right next to the road and made a good photo op. Gradually, there began to be more successful looking, currently operating farms with occupied homes. In St. Francis, I talked to the curator of the local museum and she said that her family’s homestead was repossessed in 1932.

You might think that I gave up walking and started driving since I went through Nebraska so fast and into Kansas. Haigler, Nebraska is in the “3 corners” of Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas. I only walked 10 miles in Nebraska, spent one rainy night and then into Kansas.

Video at the Kansas state line with Nebraska

Welcome to Nebraska

I walked 19 miles today getting to Haigler, Nebraska. I was in Colorado since July 1. A lot of beautiful scenery and great people. I crossed the entire length of the state. Lots of rain today. I met Casey and his wife at church Sunday and they invited me to stay at their home in Wray. I really appreciated it and took advantage of an extra day in a comfortable place to catch up on my email, blogging and other Internet stuff. It was only 66 degrees when I left Wray at 2 PM, a very pleasant temperature for the first week of August.

Video at the Nebraska state line with Colorado

Colorado Christian Cowboys

Colorado Christian Cowboys from Colorado Springs, Colorado singing cowboy music.

Colorado Christian Cowboys from Colorado Springs, Colorado singing cowboy music I attended services at the Yuma Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The people were friendly at Church. They were interested in my walk and raising money for the orphans in South Sudan. One of the lay-leaders, Rockey, had me stay at his home Saturday and Sunday night. Rockey invited me to go with him to the Sunday concert that was sponsored by the Yuma, Colorado ministerial association (maybe not the exact name). It seems like everyone in the stands at the fairgrounds where the concert was held knew Rockey.

I enjoyed the scenes of the fairgrounds being readied for the county fair this week.

Bryce is a young woman riding horses without a saddle and jumping barrels. An impressive skill. Bryce said she is on the horse a lot. Her aunt said that Bryce is on the horse all the time.

A young girl helping her cow to look pretty.

Cemetery Visits

Cary Armstead Doggett headstone

I sometimes stop and look through cemeteries. This one was several miles to the west of Yuma, Colorado. Not very many headstones, and there did not seem to be a town close by. The headstone for Cary Armstead Doggett was recent compared to his death date of June 22, 1887. That is impressive that people, probably his descendants, are still thinking of him. A cemetery is a place to learn, feel and think. What have I done in my life, where am I going when I leave this life, and what will I leave behind. You can learn a lot about the local town from the cemetery by looking for the earliest death dates in the cemetery.

Half-way

Claron Celebrating Half-way

Claron Half-way eight miles east of Brush, ColoradoHoooaaa!!! I am half-way from Salt Lake City, Utah to Independence, Missouri (Kansas City). I knew that I was getting close, so I used the “Walk” button on Google Maps and it came out that half-way is eight miles east of Brush, Colorado. I added the miles to the first mile maker that I saw and the magic mile marker is “180.” I feel blessed to have made it this far, 540+ miles. I started out saying that the 1083 mile walk would take me about three months. Achieving half-way on Thursday, August 1, 2013, is six-and-on-half weeks of the thirteen weeks in three months, since I started on Monday, June 17, 2013. Shortly after I took the picture of the half-way celebration, I got a good dose of rain and made it to Akron, Colorado about 10:30PM. About 24 miles for Thursday.

Pavilion at Washington County Fairgrounds

Pavilion at Washington County Fairgrounds, Akron, ColoradoIt was fun walking into Akron by the fairgrounds while the county fair was going on. I slept under the pavilion at the fairgrounds. I found out that the fair keeps going until midnight and the roosters start crowing at 4:30AM. A short night’s sleep for me.

Video of half-way point in the Thousand Mile Walk

Exercise

Claron on Playground Equipment

All around fitness while walking 1083 milesYou might think that I get enough exercise just by walking. I walked 25 miles Monday, 31 miles Tuesday, 13 miles Wednesday and expect to walk 24 miles today. That burns a lot of calories and works a lot of muscles, especially in the legs, but what about the rest of my body.

I have a routine to keep my upper body and other parts fit as well. In the morning, I do 3 sets with 15 reps of 3 different types of squats. I do 2 sets of 15 reps with each arm of curls lifting my 25 pound bag, and then I lift the bag from my chin to over my head 2 sets of 15 reps. I do a set of pushups, 30 to 45 reps. If I am at a park, I do a few chin-ups and pull-ups on the playground equipment. In the evenings, I do the squats with just one set of each of the 3. I have some other stretching that I do during the day.

I found out how important this routine was to me when I missed about three days just after I left Steamboat Springs. I had a lot of rain and chose to dive into the tent at night or quick pack up and get on the road in the mornings. On Sunday, in Walden, Colorado, my right knee was really hurting me. I wanted to avoid squats, because it hurt. I was blessed to have the thought come in my mind that I needed to do what hurts, because not doing the squats had brought on the sore knee. In a couple of days of going back to my exercise routine, the sore knee went away. Since then, I have also added five squats at every milepost.