May 1, 1997
Location: Palmer, Nebraska - Location: 41:13:20N 98:15:25W Elevation: 1798 feet
Summary: Thursday, May 1, 1997 (The Day went from clear to rainy)
Journal entry: [Translated by Hajime Nakagawa]
We went from Fullerton toward Palmer. Although it was still cold, we have become thankful for this weather because we didn't sweat in spite of walking. My family decided to walk slowly, and we did so enjoying a fine view even other wagons passed us.
Everything was fine so far, but we were fools as to trust the weather in Nebraska. It started raining bit by bit, so immediately we thought that this might be a pretty bad fix we were in. Just in case of rain, we had put our ponchos in our wagon, but the wagon was at least 500 meters ahead of us. Oh, no, we cannot catch the wagon, I thought. The rain had began to fall in drops. We ran after the wagon with Yuji in the lead, but we couldn't close in on it. Yuji and Takako kept running. As I turned to look at Koji, his hands were on his waist, and he was gasping for breath.
"Run, Koji! Run!"
Koji didn't answer anything. He might be good at a short distance race, but not a long distance race.
"Yuji! Takako! Wait for us!" They didn't answer neither and kept running.
"Koji, I'm sorry, but I must go," I decided to run, too. When a camping point in Palmer came in sight, I was less worried, so I slowed down. It had been a driving rain.
When we got to Palmer, the rain got worse. I found Koji who plodded wearily toward me from about 100 meters away when I took out a poncho from the wagon and was putting it on. Each of us had gotten wet like taking a shower.
My wife and children hastened to take refuge in a wagon which belonged to Chuck and Mary who came from Iowa. Their wagon was strong from good for the rain. The hood of my wagon didn't close completely, so the inside of the wagon had gotten wet.
I decided to help others to release the horses from the wagons. I was tired of walking in the rain, before I did so. But this time, I was happy to help people even in the rain. When I finished releasing the horse, I started to look for other people who I could help. It seemed almost like some didn't want my help, but I was happy to help anyway. It was an interesting experience for me.
As for a place to stay tonight, there was no barn near by this time. What should we do? Tents would be very difficult to use in this weather. Luckily, there was a deserted house across the road. We entered the house and found it to be a very old house, like the house in the movie "Psycho."
"I don't want to stay here tonight," Koji said looking around.
"It's better than getting wet," was my usual answer.
We moved on and found a barn. This was better than the house. We talked to the farmer and got his permission to stay the night in his barn.