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  • Ken Ilgunas

Day 87: The expedition party grows

The governor (aka “Rick”) decided to join the hike. Even though he sees himself as a 30-year-old “swashbuckler,” he thought that, as a 60-year-old rancher, he could lend some credibility to my cause by joining me on my hike. And it’s worked. For the past two days I’ve been interviewed by two news stations and two newspapers. His goal was to walk across the county–which we’ve already done–but he’s decided to hang in there until his feet give out.

Our goal for Rick’s first day was 24 miles to the town of McCool, where he had connections at the church. After 16 miles, though, the sun was setting and Rick’s feet were hurting, so we head to the farmhouse of an acquaintance of his. Chet, seeing two backpackers in his corn field, waved to us, and then went inside and grabbed his pistol. Once he recognized Rick, he invited us in for dinner and beer.

Rick’s sisters-in-laws, who have the XL going through their property, are devoted environmentalists, and have become our “press team.” They’ve made contact with a number of news sources in the area and beyond.

Rick, triumphant, after getting to the county line, 50 miles from our starting point.

Rick with Channel 8 News in Lincoln, NE

A woman in the town of Fairmont, NE found my blog and invited Rick and I to stay at her house. A fine meal and grand accommodations.

Rick, Susan, Juanita, Stuart, (and Thai the dog on the floor).

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