Subj: Platteville, Wisconsin
Date: 10/30/2002 7:54:29 PM Pacific Standard Time
Dodgeville, Wisconsin is where Lands End is based out of, so on monday as I was passing through there, I stopped at the corporate office to see if I could get a pair of shoes. They were happy to oblige and fitted me with a great pair of hiking boots.
From there I headed on down to Mineral Point, the third oldest town in Wisconsin. Mineral Point is where Wisconsin began during the 1820s, when there was a rush for all the lead mining in this area. The name Mineral Point is derived from the POINT of the ridge at the east end of town where MINERAL was first discovered. The nickname "The Badger State" was first conceived here in Mineral Point because prospectors and miners lived in dugouts in the sides of hills like badgers. And remember Allen Ludden, the host on Password? He is a native of Mineral Point and is also buried here. Today, Mineral Point is a quaint community with over 50 artists, artisans, authors, musicians and performing artists living here.
When I called up the Chamber of Commerce a few days ago asking for local information, Joy said I could stay with her, so when I got into town, I found her at the office. She lives just a few doors down from there, so that was really convienent. She also does a lot of speed walking, so she was pretty intrigued with my trip. We had a lot to talk about, and I really enjoyed staying with her.
Then on tuesday I walked 20 miles to Platteville. There was a LOT of construction going on as they're making the 2-lane highway into a 4-lane freeway. The 2 "new" lanes were poured, but not ready to drive on yet as they're still working on it. I asked the workers if I could walk over on that side, and they said sure, so for about the first ten miles I walked on a great big sidewalk all to myself, with all the traffic driving way over there in the other 2 lanes. It was great, and I had the road all to myself. I'm really suprised how HILLY it is out here. I kindof expected it to be flat farmland, but it's really very hilly. I walked 13 to Belmont and had some lunch, then continued on another 7 miles to Platteville. Sue, pastor of the United Church of Christ was expecting me and had a place for me to stay. The church office is a converted house, so they provided me with all the comforts of home and let me stay in a little bedroom downstairs.
She even let me take a day off, so I thoroughly enjoyed taking it easy and checking out some of the downtown stuff. She also contacted another pastor in Dubuque, Iowa, where I'll be staying at on thursday -- a 21 mile walk.
While I was checking out the town today, I got a patch from the police department and another patch from the fire department, plus a free haircut, and I stopped at the post office to get my mail. My mom sent me a package with a pair of sweats and some McDonalds, Burger King and Subway gift certificates in it, plus a phone card and twenty dollars! I hit the jackpot! Then I also got a package with cookies from Lindsborg, KS. What a haul! Kathey said if I ate one cookie every other day, it'd be enough to last till I get home for thanksgiving (puh-leez! I'll be doing good if I can make them last for 2 days!)
On thursday I'll be crossing the Mississippi River into Dubuque, Iowa, my 27th state. Y'all take care and have a great day! KB
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