Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Hello Friends.

In brief re-cap, I started walking with Fannie the Flag to promote Amity and Unity from Harlo to Reno on September 1. I didn't quite make Reno but only got as far as Wells, NV, which is real desert country, by October 5. I have already decided - Lord willing and the creek don't rise - to pick up the path again in the spring and continue on toward the coast. My route remains to be determined. 

A new friend, Billy Howard, whom I met passing through Livingston, MT, has many of his own adventures under his belt and has offered to help me plot an itinerary, route and strategy which will get me to California in one piece. Thanks, Billy.

I just finished updating old posts with photos. I have filled the "Photogobia" post with some favorite photos which will point readers to specific blogs. As time and energy allows, I will expand posts to make for several pages worthy of having permanent placement on http://theportableschool.com website. Keep an eye out.

Other projects are on the table awaiting my attention. Books - old, new and ready to be written - are next on the agenda.

Comments about the Walk, Blog, Photos, etc. are always welcome.

May Your Holidays (Holy Days) Be Filled with Light,

Rambling Robert

Saturday, October 6, 2012

All's Well That Ends in Wells

Alternate Title could be Fair Weather Walker

Hello, Everyone.

I am at the Motel Six in Wells, Nevada. Wells is an oasis of sorts at least for Walkers like me. I am told that Wells, established in 1927, is named for the Springs-Wells that helped it to become a major stopping point on the highways 90 and 93.

The Fair Weather Walker gave up the Trek after crossing into Nevada from Idaho. I passed through Jackpot on Wednesday evening. I had a memorable couple hours in the tiny berg of Rogerson, Idaho, just a few miles from the border.

I went to the only commercial spot in town hoping for more than a convenience store and found store and cafe operated by Anita Robinson. She had seen me on the road previously. And we took up a friendly conversation while she made me eggs, hashbrowns, toast and milk.

Anita felt like a kindred spirit. She is a Mormon, mother of just two daughters, who is devoted to her religion. We talked freely and I could easily tell that she was a real light in her tiny business, little community and LDS church in Jackpot.

I saw on the cafe menu items like Helen's Breakfast Special. When a little old lady appeared in the attached shop, I had to introduce myself. "You must be Helen. My mother's name was Helen. I am just passing through but wanted to say Hello. I'm Robert."

Helen immediately told me, "My son's name is Robert."

I introduced Anita to Fannie the Flag. And she told me about the Angel Moroni before I parted for the last miles to Nevada.

Jackpot was welcome, but a short stay. The town is host to several casinos and little more, being posted on the border between states and the edge of the desert. A young man named Chris Young helped me get sodas for haul ahead.

I had a meal and loaded my pack as much as I could. Then, set out into the night towards Wells - 67 miles away. I made a few miles before "camping" in the sagebrush next to the highway. It was really cold in the morning, bottles of water and soda frozen in the am.

Officer Scott (never got his last name) stopped twice in the next two days to check on me and offer me rides to Wells. I resisted. There was still some greenery at least in the distance and an occasional stream to water my feet.

But, shortly after our second day visit, all greenery except dried sagebrush disappeared. There was nowhere to get away from the sun during the day and the very cold night temperatures. I was not planning to give up on the stroll until a couple of vans passed by, stopped, and offered a ride. I gave in and am glad I did. Those next forty miles would have been brutal.

Riding quickly to Wells, I could see what I gladly missed walking. Absolutely no water, dry and dryer sagebrush, and no shelter - nothing like a tree - along the route.

I took a room at Motel Six for the night and am waiting for a friend from California to pick me up and carry me to northern California.

Part two of the Adventure begins now. Meeting new and old friends, and doing some house painting. I will be back in Montana November.

Thanks to my rescuers from Idaho - Linda, Wes, Trevor and Cheryl - who continued on toward Alabama. And thanks to everyone who has helped me down the road by thought, prayer, word or deed.

Namaste, Robert

Monday, October 1, 2012


Duane Kolman and Audrey Coleman
Ready for the Road

Lorenzo Haarr
Out the Door

This is my picture page for the trip.
Fascinating Folks and Sensational Spots on the Road.
If one catches your interest, read the blog that goes the photo.

Billy Howard
Harlo to Livingston

The Kolmans
First 100 Miles

The Flagman
First 100 Miles

Ben Trotter
Heading to Idaho

Allyson Clark 

Amity and Runaway 
Over the Great Divide

Rachel Linn
Over the Great Divide

Meryl Ann Butler
Norfolk, VA
(One of) The Three Amigas

Mayor Richard Woodland and the Walker 
(Rexburg, ID)
In the News 

Jodi and Tom Groneman 
(Blackfoot, ID)
At the Center for Peace

Kathy Ruyts, Aaron Witherspoon, Leah Cothern
(Buhl, ID)
At the Center for Peace

Anita Robinson at Helen's Cafe
(Rogerson, Idaho)
All's Well That Ends in Wells


I forgot to tell a fun story.

I was marching out of Ennis many days ago. A little black car races by and stops up the road a bit and across the highway. A tall, slimyoung woman in jeans pops out of her car, comes across the pike and asks what I am up to.

She is taken by my project and says, "I have to send something with you on your trip."

She runs back to her vehicle, rummages around and returns with binoculars in one hand and a Leatherman in the other.

I accept the Leatherman from Allyson Clark and tell her how I had found on the side of a highway in an eastern state a Leatherman, the one find of my 2002 Walk. It was confiscated on my bus trip back from Montana to New York City.

It seems it took ten years but I got my Leatherman returned thanks to Allison.

If you read this Allison, you owe me an email - theportableschool@gmail.com

Friday, September 28, 2012

At the Center for Peace

It has been almost a week since I have been near a computer. Walking the roads and sleeping out under the skies. Had first shower in several days last night. Ahhhhh!

I had a great visit with Tom and Jodi Groneman near Blackfoot at their God's Grace Dairy Goat Farm. Watched them milk goats, had my share of goat milk and granola, and passed some time with Tom and family. Think Vitamin M a great gift from God, I was happy to spend time around the little creatures and their masters.

Jodi and Tom Groneman

Tough hiking for some days thereafter. One night after passing through Aberdeen and wondering where I would land for the night, a van of hispanic potato truck drivers going home for the night after 12-hour shifts did a Uturn on highway in the middle of traffic as the sun went down. They picked me up and did another Uturn and dropped me off on the beach at American Falls Lake. Sweet moment with Rudy, Hugo, Jose and Ken (white guy). Warm, comfy night near the beach.

Sagebrush for company for two days thereafter. Little water to dip my feet. Slept under sagebrush one night. A pretty good one, another night near Burley under a big tree between RR and highway. Didn't sleep well for some reason.

Kathy, Aaron, Leah

Made it to Twin Falls late yesterday pm. Aaron Witherspoon, formerly a Tennessee Walker trainer, picked me up, made me family, introduced me to his wife Leah, and drove me to the Eighth Street Center for Peace in Buhl where she teaches guitar classes on Thursday nights. The founder, Kathy Ruyts's friend Chuck took me to Subway while the others did some guitar. When we came back Chuck, Aaron and I sang in the choir for the guitarists.

Center for Peace deserves its own blog or story down the road. Kathy has done a wonderful job of turning an ancient Presbyterian church into a resource for the wider community.

I lost my second chapeau five miles out of town, Aaron gave me a Ted Williams cap as soon as I got in his car. But, the cap is named for a Tennessee Walker, not the ballplayer. I still like it. Will wear it to Nevada.

Present plan is to cap the trip at around 40 days in Carlin or Elko. Finish into California maybe next year.

All for now. Thanks for keeping in touch.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

In the News

Hello Anyone and Everyone.

I apologize for lack of photos. I usually just get a few minutes on a library computer as today. When I get to Twin Falls in a week I should be able to throw up some of my favorite pictures.

I left off in Rexburg. I sat across the way at Oles in Sugar City about five miles north of Rexburg a couple days ago. The patrons at the next table of the not-busy cafe turned out to be Richard Woodland, Mayor of Rexburg, and his wife Laurie. We took up conversation. They invited me to ride with them to Rexburg after the meal. To that point, I had only taken two rides of less than a mile each.

But, I gave in and was glad I did. Mrs. Woodland did the driving and gave me a tour of Rexburg, home of Brigham Young University - Idaho. Laurie was once basketball coach there. The school became four year university about 10 years ago. No intercollegiate athletics. Lots and lots of ball teams though for anybody ijnterested. Sounds like a good idea.

The Woodlands took me to the Super 8, I was ready for a break after 5-6 nights jumping the fence and sleeping near the highway. The Mayor took out his credit card and paid for the room, invited me to visit City Hall next day. After a short time there, he sent me to the Rexburg Standard where Joseph Law did a long interview, walked me to Broulims Grocery and then to the edge of town. Had a good visit and really liked Mr. Law. He has six kids, modest for a Mormon there.

Next day, to be brief, a young fellow named Pat Sutphin, intern from Chicago, found me at a rest stop on the edge of Idaho Falls and did an interview for the Post Register.

I fotgot to say, I took an hour or so to visit the Museum of Idaho in Idaho Falls to see the 111-piece King Tut exhibit. Pretty neat, took photos, but my brain-mind was not able to digest much of the exhibit.

In Blackfoot, ID, now at the library. Heading west from here. Twin Falls beckoning. More about that later.

Thanks to all for thoughts, comments, etc.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Three Amigas

Nearing 300 miles on the Walk, I am in Rexburg, ID. I have stories to tell about getting to this city yesterday. But will save them for later.

I want to make mention of three friends who have much to do with this whole venture.

Ginger Peace Arnold in New York City was key in getting me pointed to the first trek to the Lady Liberty in 2002. She is now posting and posting on Facebook about this effort. Thanks Peace, old buddy, old friend.

Tracy Deliman in northern California challenged me to an Adventure and so it happened that I picked up Fannie the Flag and started walking Montana to California. Tracy is contact person for the trip. Thank you Tracy for the push and help.

Meryl Ann Butler has pulled things together, written articles and press releases, and is energizing the whole PR process from Norfolk, VA. For an overview of the Walk read her article posted early into the trip. Link below. Meryl Ann deserves many thanks.

My thanks go out to my Three Amigas.

Walk Softly and Carry a Big Flag: MD Follows His Heart on 900-Mile Trek

Friday, September 14, 2012

Over the Continental Divide

I have just a few minutes at the Library in the town with a 39-mile-long main street - Highway 20 - Island Park, Idaho.

Crossed the Continental Divide yesterday. Good pull but not as hard as Norris Hill Pass.

Had private cello concert from Rachel Linn yesterday at Driftwaters Lodge.

Met a young woman named Amity driving her bike and her dog from Glennwood Springs CO to Seattle WA.

Decided to give the Flag and Walk the motto of Amity and Unity.

Cold nights. Feet like them for walking, will take some adjusting to walking some at night as well as day.

Thanks for all the Facebook posts, emails, prayers and thoughts.

I get lots of hoots - or Fannie the Flag does - as we walk the highway - now 20 - heading for Ashton, St Anthony and Rexburg in next few days.

Many Good Wishes to All Gods Creatures.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Heading for Idaho

Ben Trotter
KBZK - Bozeman, MT

Not sure where i left off, but passed out of Bozeman, got interviewed twice for CBS Bozeman TV station by a fine young man named Ben Trotter. Numerous people remarked they saw the piece or me trudging the highway.

Stopped at Norris Hot Springs - 60s in the 00s. Highly recommended.

Then hiked the Norris Pass. Steep, windy and hard. Michael Middlebrook, housepainter, put me up for the night at McAllister, made me pancake breakfast.

Then to Ennis, treated like a king when walked into town - gatorade, water, then offer of room at Fan Mountain Inn. Joel and Sherri Shows. Great people. Interview with Madisonian by another Ben. Share (name) treated me to breakfast at the Ennis Cafe this am. Had a great confab with Bill and Jerry - from Eugene - leaving motel this am.

Idaho is about 50 miles away now. Smoke from western forest fires fills the air evening and morning. Clears in day.

Back to the road now. People resonate to the idea of Unity, Goodness, and Caring for others. They have been showing much of the latter to me.

Thanks for all the notes, prayers, thoughts.

Time to Roll. Robert

100 miles to next real town, so won't post for maybe a week.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

First Hundred Miles

Kolby, Anita and Karen Kolman
When the visited me en route near Big Timber


Have arrived in Bozeman. Accepting the hospitality of Karen and Anita Kolman, Duane Kolman's sisters, for a few hours. Meryl Ann Butler's friend Kathy in ID Falls has invited me to stop there.

The Flagman has his clothes in the washer.
Note he broke his flagpole en route and needs a replacement.

Brief blog, more later. Trip goes well. Cold night last above the Interstate and Railroad traffic midway between Livingston and Bozeman. Covering territory, things developing.

Feel like I am in a city here in Bozeman.

You might consider joining the Walk by purchasing a TShirt with Logo from Ty Franks at Montana Rugged Wear (Harlowton) - formerly Passage Creek Designs. Am sure Ty can help if you have questions or want to vary something on a shirt.


Keep those cards, letters, emails, prayers coming in.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Harlo to Livingston

Billy Howard
New Livingston Friend
A Travelling Man Himself

Hello Friends, Neighbors and Travelers.

I am at the public library in Livingston MT. Four plus days on the road, around 80 miles.

Mostly encountering nature, warm windy days and cool nights. A spot of rain the first night.

A few critters here and there, one coyote, many deer, a few pronghorn, lots of beauty in land, water, air, mountains. Trees esp juniper are my good friends.

People have been generous and friendly. Two breakfasts paid for, Brother John from St. John's University in MN I met before Melville and the McCauleys (I think Kevin and Marie) outside the Country Skillet in Big Timber.

Loren Haarr and Duane and Audrey Kolman and Karen and Anita Kolman have helped me down the road in many ways especially stops for water refills.

Scott a Livingston outfitter filled me up with Gatorade and candy bars after I had done the hardest part of Convicts Grade Road from Springdale to Livingston.

Had a great and glorious view of the Yellowstone River on that road as they ran very close together yesterday. Now, on to Bozeman. 25 miles away.

Thanks for all the good thoughts, prayers, etc.

Keep the Faith, Be Well, and Help your Neighbor here there and everywhere.


PS I am not editing. Excuse mistakes.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Out the Door

My Good Neighbor Lorenzo Haarr
Who found me on the road the first day out.

I talked over the fence with my neighbor Loren a few days ago about trying to "let the Walk happen." Like "letting Life happen," it is not necessarily an easy thing to do.

Letting the Walk start at Its time and have Its route are lessons and opportunities I have been dealing with.

How often do we try to make Life suit our purposes rather than fit ourselves to Life's flow?

I have asked myself more than a few times, "Are you just making up this Walk idea?" The answer has been "No." But still, I wonder.

So then, how do I make my footsteps fit the best pattern? WHOSE ever pattern it is.

To make the best of this Adventure, Passage, Opportunity. During this brief Moment in a Quick Life on a Small Planet in a Big Universe.

I would be happy to hear your thoughts on the subject.


A photo of some friends I pass daily on Highway 12 as I gear up for the Walk is shown below. I will be starting out on 191 South heading to Big Timber on 1 Sep.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ready for the Road

Duane Kolman and Audrey Kolman
See the Postscript

Hello Friends and Neighbors.

This blog is intended to create a running narrative for those interested in keeping tabs on me as I walk down the highway carrying my flag from Montana to California.

For the moment, the blog might be called "Harlo to Reno."

The map shows the intended route which I will follow. If the walk is like the last, the itinerary is sure to change. I have already mentally changed one of the passages, but this map gives the general intention.

I don't know how often I will be able to check in, hopefully once a week, nor how well I will be able to respond to visitors.

You may also wish to check out other developments at
http://theportableschool.com which will be functioning before I depart Montana around 1 Sep.

Be Good to Yourself and Every One Else.

Robert aka Dr. Bob

PS I want to give belated but special thanks to Audrey Snow and Duane Kolman who did so much to "keep an eye on me" and help in many little ways to make the beginning, middle and end of the trip happen. Love and Hugs to Audie and Du.