Day 22, Mile 871 to 901

Day​ 22, 30 miles to Springfield MO to visit my niece Jennifer and her family. Day started with a quick breakfast at the Copper Grill which turned into one of the nicest events of the trip so far. As in many places there was a large table of senior farmers and other local men having breakfast. One of the more senior guys finished and on his way to the cashier stopped and introduced himself as Jim Birch. He told me that he had been to Cambodia many years ago, but not as a vacation. As he left my table he picked up my tab and bought my breakfast.

As I was leaving another guy headed into the restaurant stopped to talk. Ed was 84 years old, wife passed 4 years ago. Dairy farmer working with his son. They milked 100 cows a day until last year. Has had prostate cancer and diabetes. Believes that the secret to long life is keeping your mind active. Told me about going on picnics 70 years ago in the park in Everton where I camped last night. He was 14 and I was in the process of being born.

On to Springfield and the visit with Jennifer, Steven, Kanan, Navia and Israel. Wonderful loving family. Bad Uncle neglected to take pictures with the kids. An extremely dynamic environment made forgetting to do that possible.

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