2009-06 (June)


posted Dec 15, 2012, 11:40 PM by Lynn Cleland

Brooklyn IA

Sorry that it has taken so long to get something on this page but I am maxxxed out!  This part of the world along my trek route is still in the stone ages for technology and so any time that I do get a brief moment to try and catch up on this site, the cell signal for my air card is slower than corn growing in Iowa.

I have experienced disaster in one form or another every day that I have been out here…. and I suppose that the handcart pioneers had the same thing(s).  I’m supposed to be in bed an hour ago but needed to write something while I have a signal.  Let me just give you a short order update of what has happened….

My handcart was made in the dry heat of Utah and the moisture of Iowa has caused my wooden axle and hubs to swell and screech.  The handcart box that carries items has swollen so much in the rain that the boards on the bottom look like the rounded edge of a barrel.  I got two blisters the first day, a couple of smaller ones the second and two large ones the third day.  I have had to do roadside surgery to be able to keep walking.  I have put tape around the entire inside edges of my shoes to keep the friction to a minimum.  I soak my feet each day in Epsom salts just to try and relieve some of the pain.  I walk like I’m 90 years old.  Pulling up these steep country hills has my double hernia  s c r e a m i n g  at me and I have lost the feeling in the thumb and index finger from the way that I grab the handle to pull.  I drink two gallons of water each day and only urinate two or three time because my clothes are soaked from perspiration.  My joints from arthritis is almost a secondary thing anymore, except when I have to sleep in my canvas tent on the ground with two wool blankets and I’m cold and my bones hurt.  And after a full day of pulling this handcart (217 pounds empty) twenty miles down these roads, all I want to do is sleep.  I haven’t got the energy or ability to even think about eating.  I also wasn’t allowed to stay in Victor IA, where I had walked thirteen and a half miles to get there and so I had to walk to the next town before making camp…. a total trek that day of 23.5 miles!

The list goes on and I could spend hours telling you how this all relates to the handcart pioneers, but it is an hour and a half past my bed time and I have been waking up a 4 AM every morning because my body hurts so much that I can’t lay there anymore.

I don’t know if my body will let me do this, but my mind and spirit say that I must.  It truly is my faith in God that I am helped and protected.  There are also some amazing stories and people that I need to write about, but not tonight.  It is pouring down rain and my canvas tent is leaking, so I have to go figure out how to make that work.

06-14-2009 Sun

posted Dec 15, 2012, 11:39 PM by Lynn Cleland

Grinnell IA

I got my second rest day in just a couple of days.  This one was scheduled and the Brooklyn one wasn’t.  Weather is warm and humid but it is supposed to rain tomorrow.  I’m still trying to find time to do all the things that I need to do.  I still need to spend time on coming up with a formula to make biscuits with my 12 oz of daily flour.  I need to spend more time writing and videotaping everything that happens and my feet are still in bad shape, with another new very large blister on the ball of my left foot.  If I can’t repair that, I can’t walk, and on top of all of that, I have no energy to do anything except sit and soak my feet in Epson salts when I get into camp each night.

I am going to be walking on country gravel roads starting tomorrow because it becomes actual trail and there is some historical significance to this area and I need to be on location, so I am off from Highway 6, at least for now.  As for yesterday on the trail, it rained on me for most of the day.  It was good in some ways because it was overcast and it kept me cool… sometimes too cool, and with all of the moisture, my wheels started to bind up and so we bought a wood file to shave down the axles and not they run better.

I was also interviewed on the road by Dann Hays, a newspaper reporter from Grinnell, a nice fellow who does Civil War reenactments.  He said that the article will be in the paper on Tuesday.  He then came back out and walked and pulled the handcart for 3 miles into Grinnell as part of my trek where I want to walk with as many different people of different faiths as possible.  He was a practicing Methodist and we had a great conversation for about an hour and a half

Went to church this morning in Newton and enjoyed the companionship.  Everyone wished me well and I may have a couple of people join me on the trail in the next couple of days.

I filled up a solar shower bag with water to see if I can get the water warm enough to hand from a tree somewhere and cleanse my body…. you have no idea….

It will probably be a few days before I can update again, just because of “net” access and time, but I will keep you informed of the highs and lows.

06-15-2009 Mon

posted Dec 15, 2012, 11:38 PM by Lynn Cleland

Kellogg IA –  12.8 miles today.

Left Grinnell at 7:15 this morning and went South of town to catch original trail for about four miles because of the only handcart grave still left in IA.  It is a baby that is 19 months old, named Job Welling.  This child was on my grandmothers handcart train and died of canker.  They carried him 10 miles before they were able to bury him.  I can’t imagine the sorrow of those parents having to leave their baby on the side of the trail.  It wasn’t as hard walking country dirt roads as I thought but I had to pull up the steepest hill so far.

We are a novelty wherever we go and people stop and take photos alongside the road.  Apparently when leaving Grinnell this morning, someone called the local radio news station to ask who I was and what was happening.  He didn’t know, so he jumped in his car and interviewed me out on the trail.  We did a lot of video recording and talked to quite a few people, so it took a little longer to make the trek today for the miles traveled.  I had the Mormon missionaries walk with me for a short while today.  They carried each other in the cart and one of the young men weighed close to 250!  Now that’s a lot of flour.

Cool weather today and good for walking.  Rained a couple of times but nothing significant.  My feet did better today but they are still painful.  It seems that all of my other ailments are secondary to my feet.  Looking forward to a short walk tomorrow of a little less than 9 miles.

06-16-2009 Tue

posted Dec 15, 2012, 11:37 PM by Lynn Cleland

Newton IA – 9 miles today.

What a lightening and rain storm last night!  Yeow!  I got rocked out of my canvas tent at 2:15AM by an Iowa original rainstorm.  I thought that I would be hit for sure but according to system of counting by seconds to see how far the strike was from me, the closest was about 2 seconds!  The flaps on my tent only tie shut and consequently, I had quite a bit of rain running in the door last night, and of course the worst is knowing that you have to get up in a few hours and go walk in this stuff and without a coat or without any rain gear…because why class???  That’s right, because we are doing what the pioneers did over 150 years ago.  Luckily for me, it was only raining and the lightening had stopped… as if that is a benefit to be able to just walk in the rain.

Made good time this morning (even in the rain), left at 7AM, traveled 9 miles and arrived at 10AM!  It gave me the time to get caught up on all of the research and writing that I need to be doing.  Met some great people here in Newton at the LDS church and they let us put up our tent in the back of the property.  They also brought me a gift of some of the food that is indigenous to the area which I enjoyed. They couldn’t have been kinder.

I have had a number of television stations contact me today for stories they want to do in the next few days.  They will meet me out on the road somewhere.

And…. And…. I bought a pair of shoes that I think will HELP MY FEET!  I’ll let you know how that goes in the next few days.  Today was the best day for my feet so far.  The guys will appreciate this… I wrap my feet in duct tape.  That’s right… duct tape.  It’s the only tape that sticks to my feet in the water and it is smooth to keep things from rubbing.

06-25-2009 Thu

posted Dec 15, 2012, 11:36 PM by Lynn Cleland

Dalmanutha / 14.24 miles today, too darn far.

What an insane day with the heat and humidity both in the 90’s and I carried that handcart of 42 HILLS!  That’s right, 42 hills!  It was down one ravine and straight up the other side and I could hardly put one foot in front of the other.  I can’t even begin to explain what it is like to climb that many hills with the cart.  I left at 7:30AM and arrived at 5:30PM.  All day I only had 3oz of rolls and 1oz of jerky.  Because I was burning so many calories, I needed something else and so Shirley (the car escort) gave me a granola bar… which was awesome.

So when I arrived at my destination, the Dalmanutha Cemetery, I saw a grounds keeper and asked if I could sleep the night here and he said sure.  So this evening, I am sleeping in the cemetery….Ooooooo….Then after talking to Barry Williams (grounds keeper), he invited me to use his shower and he wanted to buy me dinner.  The shower sounded almost as good as the food and because I hadn’t eaten all day, I accepted the hospitality of a local resident and I enjoyed an egg omelet with hash browns and toast.  It was awesome!  I also met the principal of the school and discovered that he is quite the history buff.  The people are Iowa are super friendly and generous.  Those friendships have been my unexpected surprise on this trek.

It’s almost 11PM and way past my bedtime.  Time to go pitch my tent with my sleeping friends.

For correspondence, email me at:  grizzlydoctor@gmail.com


posted Dec 15, 2012, 11:34 PM by Lynn Cleland   [ updated Dec 15, 2012, 11:35 PM ]

Anita IA– 20.4 miles today.

Insane day #2…. I don’t really even have the energy to write this but it is important to document everything, because it relates directly to the pioneers of 1856.  I traveled trail today that was, as yesterday, deep gravel and sand and I pulled this 217# wooden anchor up 39 hills!  That means that I have pulled the cart up 81 hills in the last 48 hours.  I don’t have time or energy to cook anything, so I have had 3oz of bread from a loaf, ½ piece of bacon, 1 tomato, 1oz of jerky and tons of water.  I pulled today for 13 hours straight and I’m so tired that I don’t want to eat or even set up my tent, but Shirley (my car escort) is cooking me a couple of pieces of bacon and an egg.  Oh by the way, I lost more of my cooked bacon this morning to the water from the ice getting into the storage bag.  My feet are working, but my right knee doesn’t like walking over about 14 miles a day.  Tomorrow, I am scheduled to walk 20 miles.  Heaven help me…. I have to go to sleep… It’s 10PM.

06-27-2009 Sat

posted Dec 15, 2012, 11:33 PM by Lynn Cleland

Atlantic IA- 14.6 miles today.

Sunday Rest, Chad & Lauel McCance and their kids (Bryce, Sarah, Lauren) have been a great family in Atlantic.  They offered me that wonderful Iowan hospitality and gave me nourishment that was wonderful.  I am able to accept charity from kind people along the way in Iowa because that is how it was in 1856, but after Iowa, those moments will be sparse because the population in 1856 ended in Iowa.  So when someone offers me kindness (and they have to offer, and not me ask), I then accept and the McCance family has been wonderful.  I got to go to church today and that was good also.  I’m sure that I make a great first impression on people until they find out what that old guy in the funny pants and the beard is doing in their church.  They had a pot luck dinner here after church like they did in Newton but I didn’t accept (but I wanted to) because I felt that it wasn’t part of the pioneer trials and rewards, but the food smelled wonderful but I had some great potato salad that I have been craving for the last few days.

I had a much needed day off to rest my failing body and appreciated the moment.  Chad McCance is a general surgeon and gave me some good advice on how to help my newly developed carpal tunnel.  My right hand, except for the little finger is completely numb from pulling.  So hopefully his advice will save me.

I’m rested and ready to go to Nebraska.  I am scheduled to be in Florence NE (Winter Quarters) on Friday, July 3.

1-7 of 7