April 21, 1997
Summary: Monday, April 21st, 1997 (Raining Day)
Journal entry: [Translated from Japanese by Hajime Nakagawa]
It was raining as we left Miller Park at 8:00 in the morning We had planned on leaving from Dodge Park, but it was flooded due to the rain. So, instead, we had to spend the night at Miller park. It made no difference to us since we got wet anyway. We walked full of energy into the city of Omaha.
Yesterday, I was laughed at in a car parts store, where I had gone to buy two car batteries. I said to the store clerk, "I'd like to buy two B-24 type batteries, please." The clerk asked, "B-24? What kind of car is it for?" I replied, "Car? NO, it is not for a car. I need them for my solar cells." "Solar cells? Are you a student?", he said. "No. I need electricity while we travel in our covered wagon. So, I'm planning on charging the batteries with the solar cells.", I answered. "Where are you going by covered wagon?", he continued. "We have our belongings on the wagon and we are going to walk along the wagons from Omaha to Salt Lake City.", I told him. I shouldn't have told him because when I said that he shouted, "He is going to Salt Lake on foot!" Then he started to laugh and so did others that were in the store. They seemed to have found our trek amusing. While still grinning, he started to explain about the batteries warranty. "There is a 24 month warranty on each battery.", he explained. To that I replied, "24 month? Well, I'll only need it for three months, which is when we will reach Salt Lake." "No problem. You can use the batteries for at least the 24 months, so go to Mexico.", he said quite amused. Which caused the other people in the store to laugh and point at me.
About 30 minutes had gone by since we had left the park this morning when we neared the same car parts store. The neighbors had come out of their houses to watch as our thirty wagons, ten handcarts, and our group of about two hundred passed by their houses. I saw the store clerk from yesterday's encounter in the crowd. Our eyes met and I exclaimed, "Hi! How are you doing?" "How are you doing?", he answered, noticeably embarrassed. "I'm fine! I'm on my way to Salt Lake by foot.", I said as I slapped my knee. "Good luck!", he said. "Thanks. If I have time, I will continue on to Mexico.", I said as I smiled and continued to happily walk along.
My cheery attitude didn't last for too long, however. As we had to walk in a constant light rain. Our first camping stop, Washington, was a typical American country side. We pitched our tent in a field overgrown with weeds as tall as my children. The children played hide-and-seek in the weeds. I was so glad when the rain subsided.