There must’ve been a half-dozen woodticks on my shelter when I woke up this morning. Happily, I still haven’t seen a mosquito though.
The route turned away from the Loess Hills, heading for Mondamin. It was a town that has seen better days with most of its businesses closed. I pondered the economic circumstances that caused its demise and finally realized it is likely because it’s in the flood plain.
Luckily there was a convenience store, so I bought one of their burgers, one hotdog, and a cup of very poor and weak coffee. I ate as I charged my electronics. As usual, I was the object of greatest attention to comers and goers.
I was still hungry so I went back in and looked over the ice cream selection: a drumstick, not enough; half-gallon of ice cream, too much; I ended up buying a box of six chocolate-covered ice cream bars and sat outside and ate them one by one. A definite advantage to long-distance hiking. It’s almost impossible to eat enough.
It was a nice day so I decided to try to do a 30-miler. That meant hiking late.
This was the flattest land I’ve walked across, with standing water in some places. I crossed two rivers channelized into canals, one river the color of chocolate milk, full of rich topsoil.
There were pheasants, blue-winged teal and ladybugs. A big old hound dog followed me down the road, baying. A helmet-less motorcycle came roaring down the road, not letting up on speed. He ended up hitting the brakes, screeching rubber to avoid the dog. It made me cringe for both of them.
At 30 miles my feet ached but otherwise I was doing fine. I kept an eye out for campsites and finally found one near this pond on a side road, for a 32 mile day. Colter
July the 30th Monday
Capt. Lewis and my Self walked in the Prarie on the top of the Bluff and observed the most butifull prospects imagionable, this Prarie is Covered with grass about 10 or 12 Inch high, (Land rich) rises about 1/ 2 a mile back Something higher and is a Plain as fur as Can be Seen, under those high Lands next the river is butifull Bottom interspersed with Groves of timber, the River may be Seen for a great Distance…Joseph Fields Killed and brought in an Anamale Called by the French Brarow, and by the Ponies Cho car tooch this Anamale Burrows in the Ground and feeds on Flesh, (Prarie Dogs), Bugs, & vigatables—” His Shape & Size is like that of a Beaver, his head mouth &c. is like a Dogs with Short Ears, his Tail and Hair like that of a Ground Hog, and longer, and lighter. his Interals like the interals of a Hog,” his Skin thick and loose, his Belly is White and the Hair Short—a white Streek from his nose to his Sholders. The toe nails of his fore feet is one Inch & 3/ 4 long, & feet large…
August the 1st 1804…This being my birth day I order’d a Saddle of fat Vennison, an Elk fleece & a Bevertail to be cooked and a Desert of Cheries, Plumbs, Raspberries Currents and grapes of a Supr. quallity…
August 2nd 1804…The Two men Drewyer & Colter returned with the horses loaded with Elk, those horses they found about 12 miles in a Southerly Derection from Camp…at Sunset 6 chiefs and their warries of the Ottos, and Missoures, with a french man by the name of Far fonge, we Shook hands and gave them Some Tobacco & Provisions, they Sent us Water Millions
Trip overview and route map with position updates: