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Today was a double challenge. Rain and itching.

It rained incessantly, and the gravel shoulder was frustrating. I was on and off US-50 for hours.  Eventually the sun came out and the shoulder got wider.

Throughout all this, I was dealing with the itching from what I’d realized were bedbug bites, most likely from insects hiding in the desk chair. Benadryl cream is on its way.

Walking through the town of Sandoval was easy—there was a sidewalk the whole way. I stopped for a tuna sub at Casey’s General Store and then popped into the Family Dollar for a few items, including laundry soap, soup, Wheat Thins, and hand sanitizer.

I walked a total of 23 miles today to the Days Inn at Salem, where I’ve been well taken care of by the owners, Sam and Trupti (she’s doing my laundry as a special favor, as there’s no guest laundry). They’re both personable and friendly.

Salem (population 7,485 in 2010 and the county seat) was the birthplace of William Jennings Bryan.

Tomorrow presents a challenge: how far do I wish to walk?

@ Salem, Illinois

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