May 2, 1997
Location: Chapman, Nebraska - Location: 41:01:27N 98:09:32W Elevation: 1767 feet
Summary: Palmer to Chapman
Journal entry: I awoke. The room was dark. The rain outside was constant. My pillow was damp. A tear rolled down my cheek. I will remember.
The rain last night was endless. The field with the wagons and horses was a mudhole. A kind farmer opened an old house to us to roll out our bags and stay dry for the night. It housed about 60 of us wanderers. We are a sorry sight. But we thank you, kind sir.
Not only do I wake up an hour before the wake up call, but I have another enemy, I am hungry. I missed dinner last night. During the day we walk and move the wagons. In the evening the bus shuttles everyone who needs to go, back to the last campsite to get our cars, or trucks or whatever. If the first shuttle is full, you wait for the second one., which could be an extra hour. Last night on the shuttle run I fell asleep and didn't watch the route. As a result, I got lost on my return trip.
In my wanderings, I finally stopped at a farmhouse to ask directions. Ernie and Gloria Shelton were so kind. She called all around to try and find out where the wagon train was camped so she could give me accurate directions. They made a good guess and sent me on my way with the explicit instructions that if I couldn't find them, to come back for the night. I made a gentle suggestion that it sure would help if they had a mountain or two so I could get my bearings.
Camp was dark. Dinner was over. Oh well!
Our trek today was rainy, wet, muddy, and difficult. The carts were slowed by wet sands. The wind blew cold! The teamsters and wagon travelers really suffered from the cold. But I have to give the boys from the freshman class from Palmer High School three big cheers for enduring a miserable day of rain to help us pull our carts. Thanks! Thanks! Thanks! We really appreciated having you with us.
We stayed in another very wet field. The mud seems to grow the more you walk around on it. The Baptist church came to our rescue and offered their building for us to sleep in. We gratefully accepted. The church had lovely program prepared with all kinds of lovely music. They have some very talented people in their group. They are also trying to raise enough money to purchase a new organ and repair the roof. I grabbed the organist of the Chapman Baptist Church and stuffed a few dollars in her hand. I hope this bit helps a little.
Yesterday's marathon hike gave me swollen feet and a few more blisters. After ten miles of walking today I got into a wagon for the last six. The wind and rain pelted us, and I laid down and slept. It is so cold in the wagons in the rain.
The walkers are limping with bad feet. Tonight we walk in stocking feet.