The Night Before – April 20, 2016

A Walk Across Iowa on the Old Lincoln Highway: An Evening Start

Mark Minear

Mark Minear

by Mark Minear 

Greetings from Eastern Iowa!  We arrived in Calamus this afternoon…  and I was able to walk a few miles late this afternoon and early evening.  This will allow me to ease into the next couple of days.  Thursday and Friday will now be more 23 miles instead of 28 and 29 miles.  Tomorrow the plan is to walk through DeWitt and Grand Mound and arrive back here at the RV Park in Calamus.  (I initially estimated the total miles across Iowa as 331; but when my brother Hal and I drove it a couple of weeks ago, it will be closer to 349 miles as the Old Lincoln Highway.  The shortest path is now U.S. 30.)  In fact, over the next two weeks I will be walking on everything from a four-lane divided highway where vehicles are going by at 65 mph to gravel roads where I will be close to farmers and their planting season to everything in between… such are the various remnants of the original LH.

If you are interested, you can Google the Lincoln Highway Association Official Map that shows you the entire coast-to-coast highway but allows you to zoom in on anywhere for a close-up.  You will notice the various “generations” (typically four) of the highway…  my goals is to try to walk on the original road as much as possible.

Did you know that the Lincoln Highway originally ran for 3,389 miles from New York’s Times Square to San Francisco’s Lincoln Park—through a total of 13 states and, in Iowa, through a total of 13 counties?  Iowa’s route is about one-tenth of the total distance of the highway.

Today I met many folks driving their cars and trucks toward me on the road from Clinton to Elvira… and the majority of them waved at me – many before I even waved at them!  Just good old Iowa friendliness!

Today I learned that the town of Lyons, where the LH initially came into Iowa from Illinois over the Mississippi River, was eventually consumed by the city of Clinton; and the original Fulton to Lyons Bridge was built in 1891 for horse traffic but became a concern when automobiles started to utilize it (it was demolished in 1974).  So the original LH in Iowa now simply starts on Main Avenue, which forms a T intersection against the Mighty River!

Today I am grateful for the family, friends, and colleagues who reached out to me to encourage me at the start of my journey.

Tomorrow night I will feature my walking stick.  There are a few things to say about it.  For instance, how many times a day would it be acceptable to trip over your own walking stick?

Peace, Mark

Day 1_4_21_16_Mark and his brother, companion, protector

Mark and his brother, companion and protector during the walk

Day 1_4_21_16_touching the Mississippi

launching the journey by touching the Mississippi River










For more information and more posts, please see Mark’s homepage:

Everyone is invited to “Walk with Mark” by helping him reach his goal to support quality mental health services for boys and men. Supporting his 331-mile trek is easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Walk with Mark via his blog on the Center’s website or Facebook page.
  2. Walk with Mark by joining him for part of his itinerary.
  3. Walk with Mark with a donation to the Center for the counseling assistance fund.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.