Before I begin, there are some people and groups we need to thank:
The AmercInn in Cedar Falls for giving us a free night stay.
My friends, Jason and Sarah, for driving all the way from home and giving us a night in a hotel, a meal, and some good times.
Our friend and Vietnam Veteran, Art, for coming all the way from Milwaukee and putting us up in a hotel and giving us a great steak dinner.
The Iowa Veterans Home and their staff for putting us up for a night, feeding us, and being so kind. Lots of cool Vets there with great stories to share.
St. Gabriel’s church for giving us a shower, laundry, and support. And for having a comfortable spot for us to rest our heads for a night.
My cousins, Rob and Sam, for putting us up and feeding us.
All the people we’ve met along the road who have recognized us and shown their support and all those who have helped us along the way.
You’re all champs.
OK, so its been a while since we wrote a blog and lots has happened. After the debacle in Waterloo, its been all up since. We did a rough count and we’ve walked about 420 miles so far. Of 29 days, we’ve walked all but 7 days, I believe. We’ve covered, roughly, 15% of the trip. And I know we have raised about 60 thousand for Dryhootch. This is excellent.
After Waterloo, we began to make our way towards Des Moines. We had great walking weather, but slow going as my feet continued to be an issue. By reducing miles walked for about the last 10 days after just dominating the road so far, we were able to bring some much needed relief to my aching feet. I am happy to say that the last 3 days of walking have been pain free. There has been some discomfort, but you don’t do what we’re doing and feel great all the time. When we’re done for the day, I feel what is known as ” runner’s high.” It’s like a rush of endorphins that cover the discomfort. I think it’s also some semblance of a sense of accomplishment.
So, we’ve made it to Des Moines and will now make our way towards Omaha. I think they make steaks there. I also heard Nebraska is full of palm trees and sandy beaches along with roads that move like those flat escalators at O’Hare. This sounds great. I’ll be really upset if that kindly old man who informed me of all this was misleading me.
One aspect of walking between Waterloo and Des Moines that we noticed was the crazy amount of grasshoppers we came across. They just ping off your face and legs and it goes on for miles. It gets a bit annoying after a while. I really appreciate when they get you in the eye. Wouldn’t it be something if I lost an eye from a grasshopper on this walk. Bright side…cool eye patch.
We’re still encountering Busch Lite cans in crazy numbers along the road. I’m not exaggerating when I say that we count dozens, if not 100 a day. When we come across a discarded case, we refer to that as a nuclear bomb. I was thinking if I could collect them all and recycle them, I could probably buy a small island. Maybe this is the answer to my lack of a retirement portfolio.
My cousins took us to a BBQ place last night called Jethro’s BBQ and Jambalaya. This place is a must stop for people coming through Des Moines. Their portions are so big, the guy from “Man Vs. Food” couldn’t complete the challenge of finishing their signature sandwich in 15 minutes. I wasn’t willing to take the challenge last night knowing that there were miles to walk today. But I left uttering the words of Gen. MacArthur, “I shall return.” I will take that challenge on the way home. If you’re going through Des Moines, go there. Bring your appetite. I got the mini big sammich known as the Jethro. I didn’t get through half of it. I need to train.
All in all, things are going well and we’re looking forward to the rest of the trip. We appreciate all the support we’ve received and all the people we’ll meet in the miles ahead. Thanks, also, for the support you’re giving Dryhootch. You’re helping them positively influence the lives of Veterans and their families.
See you on the trail
A Train and T Sizzle (Anthony and Tom)