April 23, 1997
Location: Fremont, Nebraska - Location: 41:26:00N 96:29:52W Elevation: 1195 feet
Summary: Day 3 - Coming into Fremont
Journal entry: Our night was spent in Appleby's field. It is a high hill above the Elkhorn River--near the highway. The view of the valley was spectacular. The location of the camp slowed traffic. Frequently folks stopped long enough to snap a picture. Traffic control is an on-going problem. We seem to create traffic jams wherever we go. When we cross major highways the cars are stopped. Wagons can just hurry across, but us poor walkers end up running and that ain't easy when your feet are sore. Let see. Did it rain last night? I think so.
Morning and camp broke. The way towards the road was real muddy. You know...that thick black stuff that sucks you in. But those horses and mules were grand! They just pulled those wagons through the muck. Some were slow and steady. Others got a run on. Some were just huge and powerful. What a sight!
Our walk was slower today and thankfully on dirt roads. Dirt is more forgiving. Old blisters, though very tender, don't seem quite so bad. One thing that works is moleskin. It is great. Thank you Dr Scholls.
A few accidents on the trail. Weldon Beck, our 87 year old grandpa from Burley, Idaho, was standing on the back of his wagon when the mules were startled. He fell back on the road and hit his head. We're watching him carefully. Joseph, our friendly (but obnoxious) mountain man, pulled some muscles in his leg and can barely walk. He is hurting. Who will the walkers have to yell "Move to the right!" He is walking tonight, but he hurts. I heard that a horse rolled over on a boy. He was taken to the hospital. He'll be OK.
And one of the wagons was crossing the railroad track. The wheels triggered the sensor on the crossing bar and it came down and hit a horse in the nose. The horse reared back, knocking another horse and its rider away, and then the wagon tongue was broken. It's been quite an eventful day.
But the real news today was our entry into Fremont, a town named after John C. Fremont. We paraded down Military Avenue and the beautiful people of Fremont had turned it into the Avenue of Flags. All our way through town we passed American flags--every ten feet or so...both sides of the road. It was a patriotic tear-jerker. People had swarmed to the street to watch the parade...and wave greetings...and cheer. It was an incredible experience.
I talked to hundreds of children who left school to bring us greetings. I promised to write their school names. Are you ready? Howard, Milliken, Vehling, Wee Generation Pre-school, Wisner- Pilger, Clarmar, Lincoln, Trinity Lutheran, Grant (First Grade students Brandy, Alex, Becky, Michael, Will, Tricia, and Seth), District 88 from Hooper with 27 students from K-6, Emanuel Lutheran, Guardian Angels K-9 with 4th graders Megan and Spencer, Trinity West, Northside, Daven-port, and Clarkson Elementary with Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Nordstroms 6th and 2nd grades. Thanks for coming to see us, kids!!!
We had a great day...a little cloudy...a sprinkle or two, mostly sunny and a cool breeze to help the walkers and handcart folks. Tonight I sleep out under the stars. Let's hope it doesn't rain. It will be a full moon. The Liberty Pole was dedicated. It was used in the pioneer days as a sort of direction pole so people wouldn't lose their way.
Tonight I said farewell to Linda. She has been a great walking companion and my resident expert on Nebraska. But she goes back to work tomorrow at 5 A.M. I just don't know who will make me laugh. I'll have Ilene and Bell. Linda, you made these first three days a lot more fun. See you, friend.
I've received so much mail and such wonderful comments through the Web site. I am sorry I can't answer any of it. I'm walking. I hope you can feel a little of the trail through my eyes. I just would like you to feel the trail through my feet. I took a poll today with several of the walkers. The results are unanimous...our feet are VERY sore. After our parade down Military Avenue, Sara Grist and Crystal Anderson, both 11 years old, cleaned up garbage down the road. Good work, girls! Hi Jeremy and Robbie. Tell your dad thanks!