Blog 48–Into Nebraska and moving west

August 1, 2016–Finally on the road again, I’ve missed it. Right now I am writing you through gmail offline, I will write more later about this.
We have been staying parked at various places near Allentown, Pennsylvania, one of which was Tina’s mom’s house while she was in the hospital. At 94, she is still living alone. She had fallen and needed some recovery. 
I myself had to go to the hospital while here. Food would get stuck in my esophagus and would not go down, it would also not come up. So, I had to suffer through and wait until the food would pass down, it was terrible. My throat narrowed because of an allergy, don’t know what I am allergic to to cause this, I will be care of what I intake. 
In the operation, the doctor put a tube down my throat while I was asleep under anesthesia. Then he inflated the tube and widened my esophagus. 
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is thought to be a type of allergy that is often caused by food (I’ve had many allergies in my life.) When someone with EoE eats or even inhales some things in the environment, a type of white blood cell called eosinophils collect in the esophagus. As these cells aren’t normally there, they can cause symptoms such as swallowing difficulties, stomach pain, and vomiting.
It had gotten to the point where I was having this trouble with swallowing almost daily. I had the surgery once before for the same thing a couple years ago; I do hope this does not occur every couple of  years. 
They put me totally out before the procedure. Anesthesia is a strange thing,it puts you out so completely and quickly. Hard to believe they cannot find a drug of a mix that can be used to kill someone, as it is so easy to go under. I just drift off so easily and comfortable, then, I awaken (seems so quickly) in the recovery room. Have you gone through the experience? I have a number of times, quite enjoy it. 
I believe this is how death will be, just passing away and not knowing a thing. I would say I am looking forward to the experience, but, I don’t think so (not yet, anyway.)
In the past, at times, I would not be able to go to sleep because I would try and see the point where I pass from consciousness to unconsciousness. Of course, I would keep myself awake doing such a thing. As I was passing out from the anesthesia I tried to again, but I just got more and more comfortable and did not see the point. Try this while going to sleep, let me know . . . 

In my blogs I have want to start including segments from the books I have written, so now is the time to start. For upcoming posts I want to choose a topic to write inspirational words with, starting with this blog. The words will come at the end of my travel writings, hoping to inspire and motivate you. 

August 3–Because there is not much to see, we went across Ohio and Indiana quickly; wanting to get back to the forests and wilderness. Long, flat, straight roads, we accomplished our goal of getting across quickly. 

We stopped at a couple Walmart’s to spend the night along the way. These are just places to rest our head for the night. Not much to write about, in the wilderness soon, I hope, then words will fly. 

The drive continues through the state of Iowa, more flat, more corn growing, not much to see. Corn and soy beans are the main crops that grow in this state, so very much corn, hard to believe. Our aim is to get to the mountains in South Dakota to start, then on to more wilderness. 

August 5-7–Moving forward, north in Iowa we go. Through we came upon a site that is quite hidden away, hardly used I can tell–Hieb Memorial Park in Marion, South Dakota–is a delight. 

No one around, yet they keep all the grounds in top shape, clean and nice. There are two baseball fields, a swinging walking bridge over the river, picnic tables, electric available and water available to about five campsites. 

Also, within a short walk is a very large pool with two diving boards. I was the only one in the very clean pool at the time, hope it is used enough. 

So hidden away, this place is fabulous. We had the whole place to ourselves. I’ve used the free electric to charge up all our battery powered things. We filled all our water jugs for the future. It is free to stay here for a week, then they charge $150 a month to stay, which is so little to live with electric and water supplied. 

Such a small town, even the mayor of the town, Ron, came to greet us. Such a treasure this town is, yet the fields and area are not utilized enough, I can tell. 

Because no one is around I will be using my outdoor sun heated shower today (once again, with no clothes on, don’t tell anyone.) 

Sorry, no photos.

Just one problem with this place, many many flies in the area. We had to shew away about 30 from the van before we could get to sleep. 

Once again, the English language bothers me (not “bugs” me, I will write more later.) Why would a people use the word “fly” to call this small insect, simply because they fly around? Too simpleton, this bug can fly so let’s call it a fly, couldn’t they think of anything else? 

Now we get to the word, “bug”. Most all insects are called “bugs”, why is it when something bothers us we say, “it bugs us”? Why not, “it insects us”? 

August 7-8–On the map book we saw there were some lakes and the Missouri river in the southeast corner of the state of Nebraska, so off we went. We drove to a secluded spot then made and ate sandwiches (another strange word, sand has nothing to do with them, they would taste awful.) 

While eating we heard some live native American music coming from the other site of the lake–we had to investigate. What we came upon was fantastic. This was on the Yankton Reservation near Lake Andes. 

A group of Dakota (native American) people were having their annual powwow. There was drumming along with singing and chanting, also many kids and people dancing. Later there was food for everyone, we ate well; including buffalo meat. 

This annual powwow event attracts some hundreds of people, it is fabulous. Friendliness was abundant and everyone was having a fantastic day; this was the last day of the three day event. It is like a family reunion in a big way. 

I do not like to call these native peoples, “Indian”. You may know, when Columbus sailed over and found America he thought he had found a back way to India, so he called the people, “Indians.” To me this is kind of an insult that this name stuck. 

While at the powwow I talked with a number of people, one of whom was Sharon Drapeau. Sharon is a member of the Ihanktonwan tribe (aka, the Yanton Sioux tribe, as the white man named the tribe.) Sioux is actually a French word, I believe. 

At one point I asked Sharon, I said, “So, when are they going to give this land back to you?”

I asked one lady what she likes to be called, she said, Dakota. There is the wording, “Native American”, but that is like calling all Spanish, English, German, . . . people, European. Call these people by their tribal name. Just in this area there are the Dakota, the Lakota and the Nakota people. Each of the three groups of people speak somewhat the same original language, just different ways to say certain things. 

We were about the only white people here. Funny, I am called white and I am actually kind of red colored. This is just like someone is called black and they are actually brown. So sad that people could not think of better wording then a name sticks. I like using dark and light skin. 

August 8–The next day our journey continued, we drove down one road where we were the only vehicle for many many miles. At one point we passed two churches, one on each side of the road, at one point, yet there were no houses anywhere for many miles. How do these people and buildings make enough to keep going? 

While driving along we saw a sign saying something about a shore area. We diverted and went down. As usual in this area, we were the only ones within many miles. I needed a cleaning and there was the lake, so off came the clothes, on went some soap, and in I went–Kit the skinny dipper. Within some minutes I reemerged quite clean, smiling and happy. 

We stopped to have lunch at a small remote campground with grass and a nice lawn. We might have stayed here, but they wanted $8 a head to stay the night. I know that is still a low price to pay, but when you can easily stay free in the van we just can’t do it. Tina did pay $2 to take a shower.

So off we went to 

Fort Niobrara National Forest, and getting there was the best of the Fort.

First we passed by many elk who

 were in an elk farm. Quite large, they did not come near the fence between us.

Just down the road we came upon hundreds of bison. Growing up I knew of them as “buffalo”, but that is incorrect. American Bison is the right wording.

These were magnificent, I got within four feet (a big fence between us.) Sorry to say, they did not speak English

Next we saw a bunch of animals poking their head out of the borrow. Yes, prarie dogs were everywhere, and how cute they were.

Heading west, you will hear from us soon again.


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