Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 80: Arrested in Nebraska

In Petersburg, Nebraska (population approximately 200), I was sitting at the counter at a convenience store, which also ran a small Chester Chicken fried food franchise inside. I sat next to a pile of chicken breast that had been warming under a hot lamp for hours. In front of me were two empty yogurt containers and a banana peel: the remains of the lunch I'd bought from the convenience store. I'd just finished watching the documentary Buck, about a famous horse whisperer, from David's Netflix account on my iPad, and I began to upload pictures for a new blog entry.

I felt the presence of something to my left, so I looked over and saw a police officer in a tan uniform. On his breast was a brass sharp-cornered star. He was probably in his late-30s."Can I give you a ride out of the county?" he asked.

"Umm... I'm actually on a walking expedition. I'm headed to Texas," I said.

I've been offered dozens of rides, but I've politely declined them all, as I'm determined to do the whole trip on foot.

"Well, I need to give you a ride out of the county," he said sternly.

Now what's all this about, I thought.

He asked me what I was doing, and I told him that I'm a writer and that I'm following the pipeline. When he took my North Carolina driver's license he asked what my job was in North Carolina. I stumbled a bit with the question, as the whereabouts of my true home and the title of my true job are unclear even to me. Eventually I said I'd been a student in North Carolina, where I received my Master's degree.

"Hmm... A Master's degree," he said suspiciously.

I began to feel slightly nervous. He was carefully inspecting my every move, seeking any sign of guilt. Aware that my nervousness might be construed as guilt, I became hyper self-conscious, and every physical movement now had layers of thought behind it.

He said he'd explain everything in the car.

We walked to the parking lot and I said, "Sir, if you want me out of the county, I'd much prefer to walk out. I promised myself that I was going to walk the whole way to Texas. I haven't been in a vehicle for 70 days. If you say I must get in the vehicle, I will. But I'd rather walk."

"You need to get in the vehicle. I have orders to take you out of town."

He opened the back seat, and I stepped in. Behind me, to my left, and in front of me was hard metal cage.

I wondered what could have caused this. The pipeline path, in this part of Nebraska, closely parallels roads, so for the past week I hadn't done any trespassing. I'd been walking purely on the shoulders of roads, which is perfectly legal. So surely this wasn't why I was being escorted out of town.

It had been a fairly normal day up until this point. I'd been walking south down Highway 14 all morning. It was sunny, warm, and windy. I arrived in Petersburg around noon. I aired out my sleeping bag at the park for half an hour, and sought the local library so I could do computer work. The library was closed, so I went to the convenience store, where I'd buy a meal and use the free Wi-Fi. I figured I'd hang out there for a bit, before heading to the local campground for a long night of pleasure reading.

Perhaps someone saw me looking into the library windows? Or maybe they thought it was strange that I was airing out my moistened sleeping bag? Or maybe a few paranoid passersby called the cops from the road, weirded-out by the bearded guy walking along the highway? I wasn't sure what I'd done wrong. Without any other ideas, I worried that someone had caught me peeing by an evergreen tree in the previous town, when I thought no one was looking.

He got in the driver seat and told me that there was a report that two homes suspected there had been an intruder. One homeowner, apparently, came home and the doors were unlocked. Another family, a few blocks away, discovered that their dog was out of the house when they remembered locking him in.

"I've been walking for 70 days," I said. "I wouldn't have gotten this far if I'd been breaking into homes along the way."

He took me to the first home, and asked, "Does this look familiar to you?" It was a small home, about the size of a double-wide, that was so bland and nondescript my memory of it has already vanished.

"No," I said, laughing. "I haven't even been on this side of town."

We drove down a few blocks. "You said you got two calls?" I asked. This is when I turned on my camera to record the conversation.

"Yepper," he said. He pulled up to the second house. "And this house right here," he said pointing to an equally bland house. "I hope it wasn't you, and if I find out it was, you'll be coming back to Boone County, Nebraska."

"Well," I said, unable to hold back a chuckle at the ridiculousness of all this. "You're free to check my stuff."

Day turned into night as we headed south down Highway 14. I could still vaguely see the rolling land, mostly fallow hay and corn fields. I was upset that I was in a vehicle, but for the most part I was amused with the situation. There was something very movie-like about a stranger being wrongly suspected of a crime (what was the crime exactly!?) in a small, rural town. Think Into the Wild meets My Cousin Vinny. All that was missing was a conversation in which each of us thought we were talking about two different crimes.

"Listen, officer," I'd say, thinking this was all about me indecently peeing in the woods. "I just had to do it. I didn't think anyone was watching."

"You had to do it?" he'd say, thinking I was talking about breaking and entering into the two homes.

"Well, it's an impulse, a compulsion..."

"So you admit to it?"

"Well, yeah I admit to it."

"And this wasn't the first time you've done it?" he'd ask.

"Goodness no," I'd say, taken aback. "I've been doing it in towns all along the way." He'd nod to himself, as this would confirm all his suspicions.

"Normally, I'm more careful about it," I'd say. "But when you gotta go, you gotta go."

"Well, you ain't goin' to be goin' nowhere for a long time, boy. We're gonna settle this right here in Boone County, Nebraska."

"So how far along is the county line?" I asked.

For the past week, I'd planned to arrive in the town of Albion, Nebraska on December 4th. There was to be a big hearing there regarding Nebraska's long-awaited environmental assessment of the Keystone XL route. There would be protests, demonstrations, and impassioned testimonies. I'd meet many environmentalists and landowners opposed to the XL. It was sure to be a goldmine.

But to be in Albion on the 4th, I'd had to significantly slow my pace, which was something I wasn't keen on doing since I was eager to move south, and escape winter, as fast as possible. So, because I'd already sacrificed many miles of southward momentum, I was not at all happy with being shipped far away from Albion.

"You got 13 miles till you get to Albion," he said. "Then another 13 to 18 miles to get out of the county from Albion."

"So does that mean I won't be able to be in Albion tomorrow for that meeting?"

"Umm.. Probably."

"You mean I probably won't be able to be in town?" I asked.

"Not unless you get yourself back there. Alls I know is that I'm gettin' you out of my county, because of what's happened so far. I can't prove you did anything wrong, and you're not in any kind of trouble, but things like that don't happen in a population of town of only 180 to 220 people. We don't got no crooks in Petersburg." He emphasized this last part. My amusement turned to annoyance.

"Sir, I don't appreciate your accusatory tone," I said. "I'm a good person, I've never stolen anything in my life. I think this is wrong."

He coughed, then after a minute of silence he started to make small talk about the weather, but I was too upset to indulge him.

For some reason, he couldn't take me the whole way, so he pulled over in a big gravel lot, where another police SUV was parked. When we got out, I asked him, "Do you want to go through my pack?"

"No, because I don't know if I'm missing anything," he said.

He then commenced to update the other officer:

"We had one report, but with two houses. Since this morning, have open doors in their house. One of the houses had a dog that was inside the house. Now the dog's outside. No one else is around. They should be at home. So it leads to suspicion. Can't accuse him of it, cause you can't prove it. So the sheriff just said, 'Move him out.' He's a writer, and he's following the pipeline, and he wants to be at tomorrow's meeting. Guess we can't stop him from coming back. At least we're getting him out of the way now."

I was standing only feet away when he said this. And despite the disrespect and accusatory tone, my amusement had returned and I listened with an emotion bordering on glee.

The other officer seemed far more level-headed. As we continued south past Albion, he asked what I was doing. I started from the beginning of my trip--all the way back in Denver--and gave him a thorough description of all the stages of my journey.

"I think this is all so silly," I told him. "I have a book deal and plenty of money. I have an iPad. It's not like I'm destitute."

This new officer, gathering that I probably wasn't guilty, and feeling sorry about the whole Albion thing, turned down a gravel road and made his way back to Albion, where I am now, in a campground, innocent, and still very amused.

My mug shot, appropriately unbecoming.


Romana S said...

Things not to do when I next go to the USA;
Spend tourist dollars in Nebraska.
Go to Nebraska.
Let dogs go anywhere.
Think about pipes or pipelines.

Maybe I'll just skip the USA and go to Canada instead.

Daniel said...

Sounds like an interesting experience.
I 'watched' the recording first on youtube, and like you said it is just like a movie scene.

martin said...

Another interesting experience!

Well there may be no crooks in Boone County, but maybe there are a couple of absent minded hicks who go out without locking or even latching their doors.

Although why would you need to lock yours doors if there are no crooks?

You are lucky that some laundry did not blow down off the drying line, or you'd really have been in trouble.

Page said...

Remind me not to go to Nebraska.

Rich said...

The beginning of this story reminds me of the beginning of First Blood

Ken said...

I appreciative the supportive words, but I feel inclined to defend the good nature of the people of Nebraska. Except for this one episode, in this one small town, I've received nothing but kindness. In Albion, I walked into a bar/grill, and people greeted me with smiles, questions, and handshakes. And this was just 12 miles from Petersburg.

Anonymous said...

As a recently retired cop, that was indeed an arrest, and an illegal one at that. The LEO had enough reasonable suspicion for an investigative detention to ask questions and check ID. 86ing you from the county was a violation of your civil rights.

The ACLU here in Vegas would have a nice lunch on you if that had happened to you here, paid for with your five figure check compliments of the PD.

Sad story. I feel bad any time I hear a story about over zealous cops. I hereby apologize for him. When I hear accounts like this I am glad I made it to my pensioned retirement with my health and sunny outlook intact.

I reckon they ain't got no ACLU in them thar parts?

Las Vegas

Michael Harley said...

I wonder what would have happened if you'd just exercised your right to remain silent?

I also wonder what would have happened if you'd declined to be escorted out of town and just remained at the place of business you were at?

I realize this is easy for me to type as I sit on my computer, safe in my own house and not afraid for my safety but it just makes you wonder.

Tesaje said...

Good fodder for a writer, but really appalling. A little Hitler with a gun and a badge thinks you don't have any civil rights. At least the 2nd cop had some reason and took you to where you wanted to be.

Really good story you are telling here in more or less real time.

Anonymous said...

It appears there may be more than meets the eye with this unwarranted arrest. Did you give thought that someone may have told that cop to pick you up and remove you given your agenda? This sort of thing really worries me! Are we living in a police state? st

The Big Monkey said...

Hi Ken,

It constantly amazes me that small minded people, like the one you had the misfortune to meet today, are trusted with firearms.

One thing to remember, people who are happy with their lives, treat other people with respect / kindness.

Great blog BTW.

Damon said...

I am so sorry for your experience up there. I am a very proud Nebraskan and this story just made me cringe. Safe travels.

Scott said...

I live in Nebraska and am ashamed of the treatment you received. I am in law enforcement and believe this officer needs to get his "shit" together!!!! This is not a representation of Nebraskans. We are welcoming and hospitable people.


Ken said...

Steve--thanks for the insights. I didn't happen to see an ACLU office on my walk through town. :) I've been taking rests on the shoulder of the highway here and people keep calling the police thinking I'm a bum or hurt. The officers who've responded have been very cool. I think the recorded office was just a bad apple, and maybe even not that bad, since it was clear that he at least wanted to keep his town safe.

Michael--I've thought about that, and I do wish I'd probed him a little more on what my rights were. I'm not unhappy with how I responded, but I do wish I had understood my rights better. Getting shipped out of a county for outrageous accusations was certainly extreme.

Tesaje--Thanks. I was itching to put that to page, even as it was happening.

Anon--There was no agenda in relation to my XL walk. Moving me 20 miles down the road certainly doesn't destroy my hike. Besides, I'm not important enough for something like that.

Darren--Much appreciated.

Damon and Scott--I have been touched by the kindness of the Nebraskan people. Today I just walked into a bar asking for directions to the park, and one of them ended up making arrangements so I could stay at his church. I've received a kindness like this most every day on my walk through your good state.

Anonymous said...

Please accept my apology, things like that should not happen in any town, that's my county and I'm embarrassed reading about it. This is the Midwest and we DO respect each other. Safe travels.

Unknown said...

So sorry about your experiences. I grew up in the Sandhills and hiked all over as a child. Even as innocent as a child seems - I came across people that were threatened by my presence. It is a very lonely area. People are usually overjoyed to meet you - or terrified. I look forward to hearing about the DEQ meeting. You should know that there are many Nebraskan's that are very concerned with warming. Much of the area would change drastically with very small climate changes.

Anonymous said...


I am a farmer's daughter and if you do not want cows to chase you do not yell at them and wave your arms. Cows will ignore you for the most part, if you ignore them. I have herded cows by foot and walked through cow pastures all my life. The only time a cow charged me was when a dog was standing behind me. The cow was after the dog, not me. Please do not yell and wave your arms at livestock. They are not interested in you.

If you do that to a bull, you might be killed. They are fast and focused. Walk quietly and just keep your eyes open.

Carol A

Michael said...

Driving back through the US several years ago I pulled into a small town, the name escapes me, wanting to get a closer view of the old sand stone town hall. Driving through town slowly, I did not come to a complete stop at one intersection... The next moment I was at the side of the ride with a police cruiser behind me, flashing lights and all. I knew what I did.

The officer came over and asked me what I had done, I told him. He told me to shut-off my vehicle, give him the keys and come with him to his vehicle. I was getting more nervous...

Sitting in his vehicle he started to ask me questions, I felt very uncomfortable. Where are coming from? Where are you going? What was the nature of my business? All the while I felt he was watching my every move and carefully considering my every word. It seemed to last forever.

When it came to the end, he said he could give me a ticket, but he didn't, only a warning. He also told me to get my windscreen replace. Perhaps that has some part in his initial response.

It was an interesting experience.

shop teacher said...

Sounds like the "sheriff" may have been a landowner under the future pipeline?

Glad you are safe!

Susan Q said...

Wow! I used to live in Albion, and I have to say that it is embarrassing that this happened to you. It is no wonder why other states and Hollywood make us look like a bunch of country bumpkin hicks that don't know the ways of the world. I am sorry you had a bad experience there and have to say that most people aren't like that at all. Safe travels for you and God Bless.

Reva said...

Hey Ken... My hat is off to you.. Go the distance.. If I were a younger woman I would join you in your quest..
Life is an adventure.... And what adventures await you..!!

Anonymous said...

I am a resident of Boone County, and I am completely disgusted that you were treated so disrespectfully. Please know that is not common practice and Boone County truly is a wonderful place, but obviously we have a few idiots, just like any other town.

trizek said...

So sorry....I'm from Elgin...we are not all that way!!!

Anonymous said...

I as well live in Boone County, I am very sorry for you being mistreated. That disgusts me as a citizen knowing the officer out there to serve and protect us treats another human like that without cause.

Anonymous said...

As a resident of Petersburg for most of my life, I assure you the treatment you received is FAR from normal! Our community is a very quiet, welcoming one and I personally am quite appalled at the way you were handled. Please keep in mind that this was an example of one person's narrow mindedness. We are all responsible for our own actions. Safe journey to you and God bless!

Rachel said...

I am also from Elgin, which I'm thinking is where you relieved yourself behind an evergreen tree from your description... Knowing how the people in rural Nebraska treat outsiders with suspicion, I am not surprised at the treatment you received, especially with the calls the cops had received (may or may not have been made up excuses to get you checked out). It saddens me to admit this, but most people in rural Nebraska are friendly--as long as you fit their definition of respectable. I have heard of new people moving in to town (not necessarily Petersburg) and essentially being ostracized so profoundly that they move away.

It's a wonderful place to visit, but if you don't fit the norm probably not such a good idea, particularly for people who look like hippies, vagrants, emo, or guys who are flambouyantly gay.

For the record--Petersburg does have crooks--but everyone knows who they are and what they are doing all the time so they can't get away with much.

Safe traveling and I hope you don't run into any more overly suspicious small town people!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this article. You are not the first to be bullied by law enforcement in this community but hopefully this will shed some light on things. I am originally from Petersburg and Albion and I still have a lot of family there. I'll be sure to pass this along. I'd also make sure he was within his legal rights to detain you.

Anonymous said...

I am from Boone County and I believe things happened in that town(break ins) to lead to him being a suspect. I do know the people it happened to and someone was in their homes, which were locked. I know that when someone who looks differently and is walking is going to get blamed, but if he would have been talked to or questioned more to make sure it wasn't him..none of this would have been a problem. I do know that Petersburg is one of the nicest small towns and normally this doesn't happen there. I just think from the blog and everyone's comments this is a reason to make small towns in Nebraska look bad. I know a lot of people in Petersburg and have never been treated or heard of anyone being treated like they don't belong.

Anonymous said...

Im sitting here right now as I just listened to the video lol because I am embarrassed and amused at the same time. I am from Albion and actually seen u come into Caseys to get directions to the grocery store to get cereal. I understand Barney fife (sp?) Asking what u were doing but once u explained yourself that should of been the end of it. What an embarrassment for Boone county. Please accept our appologies on their behalf and may you have safe travels. And Boone county (Petersburg included) is FULL OF CROOKS!!!!!!!! God speed....

Anonymous said...

I used to live in Petersburg and unfortunately know how the people can be there.
I believe I know the cop you are referring to and he is a great guy that sometimes get stuck doing the dirty work the town wants done, for no other reason than that's how they want it done.
Your presence probably made whomever reported their house being broke into uncomfortable, for whatever reason, and they jumped to conclusions just to be able to point the finger in your direction. As gossip goes in a small town, their neighbor probably caught wind of it and jumped on the bandwagon.

I'm sorry you had such a negative experience but I'm sad to say, I'm not surprised. Your blog did give me quite a laugh though.

Safe travels on the rest of your journey.

Marcus said...

As a resident of Albion I'm appalled, I would like to offer my sincere apology for your experience and hope it didn't put you off of any possible returns. The vast majority of residents here, I hope were much more accommodating.

Anonymous said...

Look back and laugh at the shallowmindness of an ignorant Barney 5 officer. Karma comes around and goes around :)

Stay healthy on your journey and keep warm as the weather changes in the upcoming days.

Anonymous said...

Nice Job Barney Pfife. Good thing Andy understood,Very Sad BOONE COUNTY!!

Anonymous said...

Being from nebraska, and coming from a small town (less than 200), I too know how the law, all superior and mighty, are eager to find any sort of excuse to do work. Especially when it comes to outsiders, who are easily blamed. Im pretty sure that most of the people in small towns leave their doors unlocked and most dogs are not locked up- just saying- Im sorry that you had this experience. Nebraska really is a beautiful state and is full of history. Hopefully the rest of your journey is far better than this experience, and good luck!

Anonymous said...

I am a Boone County native and I apologize on behalf of our community. Slightly closed minded at times and fearful of strangers apparently. :(

Aspen said...

Hi, I am from Nebraska and I am saddened that you were treated this way! Please do not let this experience cause you to believe all of us are this way! Blessings to you on your journey and for those of us who do not want the pipeline in Nebraska, I thank you!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry this happened to you! I am from Nebraska and I am sad that you were treated this way! Please do not think it represents all of us in Nebraska. Blessings to you! You are shedding light on a very important issue! A lot of us do not want the pipeline in our state.

Anonymous said...

Being born and raised in Albion, it saddens me that you retreated that way. I do know that some in that area are leary of those they don't know, but still treat everyone with respect. I am sorry for how you were treated and do hope your faith in Boone County, or Albion for that matter can be restored! Safe travels!

Anonymous said...

what an embarassment to law enforcement and the boone county sheriff's office! this could've been handled a little more professionally than it was,keep this bullshit up and they wont have any badges left to hide behind,they'll get sold for scrap metal to pay off the lawsuits!

Anonymous said...

This entire thing is a disappointment. From your experience to many of these comments.

It is too bad that you were treated so poorly. But I really wouldn't chalk it up to a "Nebraska" or even "Petersburg" thing. Judgement without knowledge could and does happen everywhere. (Gasp!! Even in the the big city.)

Just like these comments. I don't care if you live in Boone County or aren't really even sure where Nebraska're jump to assume that everyone in Nebraska or at least Petersburg is a hick who assumes too many things about strangers makes your behavior just as bad as this situation.

Anonymous said...

I am also from Boone Co. And what some of you don't realize is that the house broken into had kids. Imagine how afraid those little girls are now. It was not right the way you were treated but our law enforcement took the measures needed to reassure our community that it is safe.

Anonymous said...

Thats what happens when you give a badge and a gun and authorty to people who don't deserve them! In a small town! I grew up there, left for the service, went back and will never go back again!

Anonymous said...

Just one comment to the officer coming from a person who lives in the same town this happened in..

This isn't YOUR county.. It's OUR county. You should be ashamed of your cockiness, your badge doesn't give you the authority to treat people as you did. Even if Ken wasn't on a life mission, and say a homeless person, way to go above and beyond for mankind. I wish you would have called somebody in the community when he told you he was on a journey. Many of us would have offered a nice meal, a shower and wish him well on his way. Furthermore, I believe it's innocent until proven guilty - Not get your ass in the back of my cruiser and let me intimidate you. Maybe you should pull your books off the shelf and reread civil rights and false imprisonment chapters. And then take a humanity and ethics class ;)

Mr. Hunt said...

It seems there might be more to Ken's incident then he might be reporting:

"we took him to the Albion campground to pitch his tent so he would have a safe place to spend the night and not some ditch where he could get mugged and left for dead. Did he mention that we offered some water and food and anything else he might need to survive??"

Any truth to this Ken?

Anonymous said...

Small town. Small minds. It's no wonder why Orwellian doublespeak thrives in our current political environment. I hope you make it to the town meeting.

Anonymous said...

I to Live in Boone Co. and am very disturbed by this. If this happened to him who Might be next? What about my kids being bullied like that. I will be inquiring about this next time i visit the sherif's office/city hall. Very disappointed. Better be fixed by next elections.

Ken said...

Hello everyone--There are currently 48 comments on this post, which is almost twice as many comments as I've had on any other post in 3+ years of blogging. I want to say that I am endeared to the kind people of Nebraska and their small towns. I have received good treatment, and, as a matter of fact, I may have spent more nights indoors than out in your state. In Fullerton, I slept in a Methodist Church. In Central City, a businessman offered me his office, where I showered and washed my clothes. Currently, I'm in a bed on the outskirts of town. All these people did not know about me or this story. They were simply drawn to me out of kindness and curiosity. Nebraska is a good state with good people. And while I disagree with the conduct of this officer--as well as the orders he was asked to carry out--I sincerely hope he is not disciplined for what happened, as it was clear that he cared about the safety of his townspeople.

Mr Hunt--I do not appreciate your skeptical tone. I could think of more polite ways to phrase your question. In my post I made it clear that the second officer was far more reasonable and that I spent the night in a campground.

It sounds like that quote--and I'm not sure where you got it--makes it seem like they were doing me a favor by booting me out of town. I did not plan to sleep in a "ditch"; Petersburg has a large park where I'd planned to spend the night, where there would have been little-to-no threat of me being "mugged and left for dead." Petersburg has no crooks, after all.

Bruce--I'll let you know if I need a place. Thanks so much for the offer. I took your comment down because I thought you might not want your phone number advertised.

Anonymous said...

Since the drama, I have read through your blogs and find it amazingly intreging.

You have gained a fan and I look forward to following your journey. When do you hope to get to Texas by?

Anonymous said...

Wow... Yet another example of why nobody should of voted Dave Spiegel for Sheriff... This just goes to show the kind of "dirty" work that HE has done in the past and continues to do today...!!! Our community was safe until HE and his henchmen were brought in. As for those other law enforcement officers... Doing what your boss says IS NOT ALWAYS what is RIGHT... I would highly recommend at least making an attempt to factor in JUSTICE into your decision making... That is, of course, if you have minds of your own...!!!

Anonymous said...

I find this whole thing somewhat amusing as it is not the norm for any goofy officer to do that extreme. Don't get me wrong, I totally believe that they did exactly what you described but it is so atypical of the law enforcement in the majority of the small towns in Nebraska. Have a great trip and I hope if you are ever back in Nebraska you will stop through Plainview as we have a park that is always open to people traveling through the country east to west (or vice versa). You won't even be harassed.

Rachel said...

I am also from Elgin, and just knowing how people in that area treat outsiders who look or act differently, I am not surprised at the treatment you received, especially in light of the calls they had received about houses being broken into. There ARE crooks in Petersburg, same as any other town--but everyone knows who they are and what they are up to. I have heard of new people moving to the area (not necessarily Petersburg) and essentially end up ostracized until they leave town just because they are different.

Don't get me wrong--the majority of rural Nebraskans are friendly--as long as you look respectable to them. If you look hippie or vagrant, emo, or are male and flambouyantly gay, probably not gonna be so friendly. Again, sorry you received the treatment you did, and I hope the rest of your journey continues smoothly!

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! If only I could have recorded all the ridiculous stuff that's happened to me JUST LIKE THIS in my 10 years on the road. Its so crazy, and amusing. I've been driven out of the county at least three or four times. LOL. Good story.

Marshall Massey said...

Ken, I just posted a link to this page on Facebook. I think you are doing excellent work, raising awareness and opening up dialogue; I wish you well, and I hope with all my heart that you will not be discouraged by incidents such as this one.

(And for the record, I live in Nebraska!)

jvvvv said...

Hey Ken,

I enjoyed reading about your adventure in Nebraska. it brought bake memories for me of hitchhiking in Western China once, trying to sneak into Tibet through a restricted military area. The cat and mouse game I ended up in with the secret police was at times amusing, at times irritating or even scary. But the truth needs to be told, even if the empire builders and their enforcers don't like it. Walk on.

David said...

Hey Ken, Glad you got out of your interactions with the cops OK. I think I fared a bit better with the cops than you did, on my current bike trip.

You can read about my cop interaction here:

Anonymous said...

I would have just told you to be out of town by sundown.

J A Walsh said...

I want to congratulate you on your grace under pressure. You kept calm and carried on. "God's blessings are chasing you down and overtaking you." It is better to suffer for doing right than for doing evil. Amen, and that's my two cents worth.compsily 2

CDog said...

Reminds me of my cross-country road trip and the kid at gas station said "The best thing about Nebraska's close to Wyoming"