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Entry date: 10-12-2023 – Halfway Home – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

As today begins, here in Rolla, Missouri, home of Columbia College, we are a little over halfway home. This trip is making me appreciate taking the longer way through Rockford, IL, quite a bit more. We are staring down the barrel at 810 miles today and I’m not happy about it, but it can be done.

Yesterday was a blur. We slept in a bit in Erie, home of the Oneders, and got a late start. It was almost 7:20AM EST when we left. There is something about Erie I like, even though I truly do have limited experience there. I have stayed in the same motel four times in the past three years because it is inexpensive and welcomes dogs. Bailey seems to like it, too. The people are friendly, and they have some local craft beer at their tiny bar in the lobby. The one I had on Tuesday night was good. Southern Tier Brewery….but I forget the name of the IPA itself.

We stopped for some cheap gas in Ohio and then bombed our way through a good chunk of that state, Indiana, and Illinois. I listened to Fairy Tale by Stephen King for a bit, which I just finished reading last month, some SmartLess, and a very depressing segment or two from Gaslit Nation before settling on listening to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Holy hell I’m enjoying Douglas Adams’ classic work. I’m bummed I have snoozed on reading it for so long. What a fun story. I’m bummed that it will be finished tomorrow, but I can’t wait to hear how it concludes. I really like his writing style.

I also stopped in a convenience store in Rolla last night and the people who worked there were talking about a magic toe. They didn’t want to share the story with me, so I left the store a little bit sad, but I’ll have to remember it. Or….


Deep in the heart of Missouri

Looms the legend of the Magic Toe.

If you find yourself on the firmest of footing,

You, too, may learn of its exploits

And existence.

The magic toe saves lives.

It takes lives.

If you ask it a question, the nail will tell you the truth.

Just once, but it WILL tell.

The magic toe has no eyes or ears

But it knows everything.

It knows when you are skipping

And it knows when you wear crocs.

It knows when your feet smell bad or good

And with a single twitch,

Can fix athlete’s foot for well over a year.

It curls when it gets excited

And stretches when you yawn.

The magic toe, some say,

Was once a part of Bigfoot.

But that’s just an old wives’ tale.

Magic Toe. Help me now.


If time permits, I think lunch at Prairie Artisan is the call for today. Wish us luck.


I hearty happy birthday to My Pop-in-law, Doug. I hope today is kickass for him.

See you on the flippy floppy.

Real clouds. Magic Toe-style.

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