Got going a little slow this morning, but completed the full mileage for the day – another 19 day. But let me tell you, it was HOT and HUMID. To cool off, I dumped water on my shirt and head, but because of the high humidity, it didn’t evaporate for a couple hours. The breeze helps cool me off somewhat.
Denny shotgunned, driving the support truck. Allyson refuses to drive. There were a couple more of the Class B roads today for me to hike down, but we have a new Official Trek Policy & Procedure which reads, “Thou Shalt Not Drive the Trucks On Class B Iowa Roads.” Denny did an end run around those sections.
As I was walking a mile section of Class B mud, I noticed a rust stain. Kicking at it, I scared up a metal fragment that looked old. Since I was very close to the original Mormon Trail, it kind of excited me a tad. Walking a little further, I found about eight rusted metal fragments, two appearing to be wagon wheel tire irons and one a bridle ring. What got me even more excited was finding a piece of “clinker” – evidence of blacksmithing since there’s nothing else like it in the area.
DISCLAIMER – these fragments had been washed downslope along a modern dirt road, so their historical relationships had already been disturbed, but I did NOT remove them from the area. There was also a low probability that they really belonged to the Pioneers, but it was possible, so I did not remove them. One should NEVER remove possible historic artifacts from an area. It’s OUR history – not YOURS.
About a mile further on, Rich Cody, a local that raises cows for a living came up on his ATV. I did not mention my prior experience with Iowa cows.
Cody is an enthusiastic person – hearty laugh, quick to joke with you and a big hearted guy. All three of Cody’s sons have played arena football. Quite interested in our project and we left him with a brochure explaining the Trek. Maybe he’ll come see us in Council Bluffs at month end.
When I mentioned the metal fragments, Cody explained that they were most likely from the farm of a couple brothers who had died a couple decades earlier. They were reclusive and did everything “old style” even to blacksmithing their wagon. Hardly ever went to town. So, little mystery solved and we didn’t disturb any historic materials.
We’re spending tonight at Macedonia, a town founded by LDS pioneers but which did not exist at the time the Battalion was formed. It’s on a branch of the Nishabotna River, so it was a potential stopping point for those rushing to get to Council Bluffs for the enlistment.
There have been zillions of lightning bugs this week. We haven’t been able to get it on video properly. It’s a child’s delight.