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My first day walking along Hwy 50 was generally good. The weather was perfect.

“The Loneliest Highway” is quite busy, not lonely at all. Continuous traffic makes it noisy, but the shoulder remains good and that’s what’s important to me.

At one point, I noticed a road running parallel to the highway that had an adequate shoulder, so I pushed my kart across a grass median and walked along the Blue Parkway for an hour or so until the shoulder disappeared, at which point I got back on 50.

Later, a lot of Sheriff’s cars with sirens flashing and blaring sped by heading east. Then one of the cars came back, stopped short in front of me, and a well-armed deputy jumped out.

“Have you seen anyone walking along the highway?” he yelled. “No, but if I see anyone, who should I call?” He told me to call 911. I asked, “Male? Female?” He responded, “Male—with tattoos.” Then he and his partner sped away. I didn’t see anyone walking besides myself. (In the movie or TV episode, my involvement would certainly be crucial in the apprehension and capture of the perp.)

Later, when I stopped for a break, I met James (male, with tattoos), who drives a Google Maps camera vehicle. I asked if he had any suggestions re route, but he didn’t, just saying that I should continue to walk facing traffic.

I started looking for a suitable camping site after walking 18 miles, but had difficulty finding one. Finally, I spied a field that looked promising; the gate was open, I removed my visibility safety vest, and made my move. While I’m somewhat exposed and can certainly hear the highway noise, this is the best I could do. In its defense, I’m under a clear blue sky and the birds are singing.

I must be getting close to St. Louis—I just heard and saw the most beautiful red cardinal sitting in a nearby tree!

22 miles today.

@ Pittsville, Missouri

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