Thursday, October 15, 2015


Not much to report which is good because I've been suffering with writers block. We left the Dakotas behind and continued south into Nebraska and a stop near Omaha in the town of Papillion.  They have a really nice city park and campground, where we have stayed several times before.  Great bike paths in the area which I took advantage of.  Also there is a Trader Joe's in Omaha, our first since Boise, as I was running low of Two Buck Chuck.

After a couple of days we continued south into Kansas sticking to the secondary roads avoiding the interstate where possible.  We have never really explored Kansas before and things looked ok in the eastern part of the state, but the western half was mainly devoid of anything to look at.  The highlight of our Kansas excursion was the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene.  On the site is Eisenhower's boyhood home, a museum, library and a chapel where he and Mamie are buried.  We took the tour of the home which is located on the original site and all of it's contents are original.  Eisenhower had 5 brothers and they shared two bedrooms in the small home.

Most of the Museum covered Eisenhower's involvement in WWII and only about 25% of it to his presidency.  Still a very interesting visit.

We continued west across western Kansas as fast as we could, killing a large population of grasshoppers, butterfly's, and misc bugs along the way.  We stopped for a couple of days at a forest service camp just outside of Colorado Springs.  We did a little exploring and then took the drive to the top of Pikes Peak.  After paying the toll, we drove to the top on a sometimes scary road.  Actually the road it's self is really nice, it's the drop-offs on the edge of the road that make you pucker.  At 14,115 feet in elevation, it was our first "fourteener", even if we did opt to drive rather than hike.

We also made a stop at the Garden of the Gods, a Colorado Springs City park which is quite spectacular. 

Well, that's it for this post.  We continue west into the Rocky's and Utah before ending this adventure.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015


We really enjoyed Theodore Roosevelt Park but it was time to move on, so we continued east stopping first in Bismarck.  The city park we stayed in was nice, but the city was pretty drab.  After two nights we decided that perhaps Fargo would be more exciting, so we cut our stay short and moved on down the road.  Upon arriving in Fargo, a friend sent me a message in which he asked "Did ya ever stop to look around Fargo and ask yourself....why the hell did they stop here?"  My response was, "They had already been to Bismarck."

Actually Fargo was a nice city, with a city park along the Red River for camping and bike riding.  Also in the visitor center you can find the wood chipper used in the movie Fargo.

While on my bike ride, I crossed the river into Moorhead, Minnesota and came across this church.  It is a full scale replica of a Norwegian Stave Church.  These churches were built just after the close of the Viking Age in Scandinavia around the 1100 and 1200's.  The technique of using vertical posts or staves had been modified over time to become wooden architectural works of art.

We also paid a visit to the Fargo Air Museum where, besides the air planes, Cathie picked out a pair of boxers from the gift shop.

One of you asked, "Why North Dakota?"  Well, it's close to Winnipeg, Canada and Winnipeg is home to Len, who I met and walked with on the Camino de Santiago in Spain.  Actually I wanted to go to North Dakota, but decided early on to stop for a visit with Len.  Len and his wife Janet couldn't have been better hosts.  We camped in their driveway, also known as mooch-docking, they fed us, and showed us the sights.  Of course any visit with a fellow pilgrim has to involve a hike or two.  We had a great weekend with Len and Janet and they have promised to pay us a visit in San Diego.

Turns out the Manitoba and the area around Winnipeg has something in common with North Dakota.  It's flat, really, really, flat.

So, after leaving Canada I received a message from Howard, who along with his wife Joy walked the Camino de Santiago with me.  Turns out they were heading east across South Dakota as we were heading south.  Our paths crossed just outside of Sioux Falls at Palisades State Park and we spent a great afternoon and evening together.  This is how it is with pilgrims.  They become part of your Camino Family and given the chance will get together to talk about the Camino.  In fact Howard and Joy were heading into Minnesota to visit with more pilgrims.

We are now in Omaha at Walnut Creek Recreation Area, a campground we've been in before.  There's a Costco and a Trader Joe's, so we shall resupply before heading south into Kansas.  We are on the downside of the trip and should be home by the end of the month.