Big Doggone Deal

Waxing Crescent Moon

Mother’s Day on foot was most excellent, beginning with steak and eggs and the cutie pie waitress at Princeton’s Coffee Cup Family Restaurant. That place was packed with Moms of all ages, shapes, and sizes, plus worshipful attendants on their best behavior in their Sunday duds. Classic. Straight out of central casting. Some things never change, nor should they. Hail to the Moms.

On the way out of town I was surprised to find a sturdy covered bridge built in 2006 and dedicated to Captain Swift. I am not sufficiently fascinated to seek further knowledge about the good captain. But I’ll bet it’s on the interweb.



Shortly thereafter, I met three guys in a row who were friendly, helpful, and interested in my hike. Jeff and his family live in a beautiful farm house on acres of good Illinois soil. We talked in his driveway for a good twenty minutes. Great guy.

Then Justin pulled over in his work truck a half mile later and gave me a cold bottle of strawberry Gatorade. He was really curious about the idea of me walking across America at my advanced age haha. The G-rade hit the spot.

And a mile after that, Steve rode up on his Trek mountain bike and showed me a safe route to where I could pick up the Hennipen Canal Trail (HCT). That saved me from two miles on harrowing US 6 W, a shoulderless nervebuster if not worse. Thanks, Steve!

All that led up to a long walk on the HCT, which like most of the other cool trails I’ve been on, did not disappoint.


Adding to the fun was passing the 1,000 mile mark near Lock 21. A mother/daughter duo out for a stroll captured the moment for perpetuity.



I kept plugging to the Bridge 14 “primitive” campsite where I am comfortably blogging in my tiny tent. This might be the snazziest primitive campsite in America. In fact, I would be in favor of changing its official description to “snazzy primitive” in all future publications.


Peace, Love, and Livin’ Snazzy,

5 thoughts on “Big Doggone Deal

  1. Gorgeous bridge! Interweb says: The bridge was a replacement for a rusted-out metal bridge. Forward-thinking folks thought a covered bridge (this one’s a “burr arch” timber design) would help bring tourist dollars to the area. They thought it should include a bike path on the north side of bridge that could someday be linked to the Grand Illinois bike trail. Hmmm. Our kind of folks! Jim, does it have the bike path connection?


  2. Hi Jim,
    Congrats on passing the 1,000 mile mark! That’s a major milestone. I follow your blog (and Brett Bramble’s) with great interest every day. Keep on keepin’ on. Be safe and have fun! – Mark McGrath


  3. Hi Mr. Ostdick,
    Congratulations on reaching the 1000 mile mark! Keep on pushing! I have really enjoyed following along with the great posts and truly seeing the United States.


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