James Gang

Waning Crescent Moon

Between Adair IA and Anita IA, along the Historical Route Old US Hwy 6, aka White Pole Road, are two interesting features not to be missed by erstwhile touring strollerists.

The first is the “M&M Divide.” That is the highpoint ridge that serves as the topographical divide between the Mississippi River to the East and the Missouri River to the West. Not quite as impressive as the Continental Divide I will cross in the Rocky Mountains near Steamboat Springs CO, but hey, it’s a significant regional landmark.

The second feature is the Jesse James Historical Site.


On July 21, 1873, the notorious James Gang, led by brothers Frank and Jesse James, perpetrated an historically dastardly deed. At this site near the M&M Divide, they staged the first robbery of a moving train in what was then still a pretty wild west.


They thought they were going to heist a shipment of gold worth $75,000, a hefty fortune back then. As it turned out, their “intelligence” was wrong. The gold was not on that eastbound train from Omaha after all. So they made do with a few thousand dollars worth of cash from the train’s safe along with whatever they could shake from passengers’ wallets.

The gang’s derailment of the train engine and subsequent wreckage of the attached cars resulted in several deaths and multiple injuries. A $10,000 reward was offered for Jesse’s capture, dead or alive. In 1882, he was shot and killed by Bob Ford, a fellow gang member, in St. Joseph MO.

These guys are NOT related to the James Gang. They are just regular old Iowa history buffs I met at the site. Cool dudes all.



Anita IA is just west of the historical site on Old US 6. It’s the home of the Weather Vane Cafe (burgeriffic), Anita Lake State Park, and Bullock’s Anita Grand Motel. It really is “a whale of a town.” Shout out to my friend Anita back home. You should come for a visit πŸ˜‰


I crossed paths with my first eastbound coast to coast hiker this afternoon. This pilgrim is a nice, very composed person from San Francisco CA who began a walk last year at Avila Beach near San Luis Obispo CA and made it all the way to Fort Morgan CO. This year the trek was resumed at Fort Morgan in April and will end at the Atlantic Ocean.

See? I am not the only person crazy enough to walk across the U. S. of A. πŸ™‚


Peace, Love, and Tilting at Windmills,

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