Iowa Pipeline Walk: Day 7

Saturday, March 7, 2015 – Bladensburg, Iowa
{For the latest Iowa Pipeline Walk route and schedule detail, click here.}

“Are you out for exercise or are ya broke down?” asked the bearded man driving a white pick-up truck sporting a thick coat of mud. I laughed and said, “Neither,” as I explained that I was walking the path of the proposed pipeline. “I don’t much like what this Texas billionaire has in store for Iowa,” I probed.

The driver said, “There’s only about six people who are going to get rich on this thing, and none of them live in Iowa.” He owned land just up the road, not quite on the pipeline route. He was noncommittal on what he would have done had the pipeline company wanted to come through his land. But he agreed emphatically with me when I said the pipeline wasn’t going to improve anyone’s property values.

As I walked 14.3 miles to Hedrick today, I passed about two dozen rural homes. Most of them had probably received a letter from the pipeline company. Perhaps some of them had already settled, maybe even received a check. There was little activity on the road, and I only passed one farmstead with anyone outside – two men removing boards from an old barn. One of them told me he was for the pipeline. I wanted to ask him why, wanted to talk further.

But I felt rushed to get to Hedrick in time for an appointment, and realized that even at three miles an hour, I was moving too fast. I needed to slow down. Tackling 15-16 miles per day left me little time to stop and talk with people along the route. I decided then and there that, even if it meant extending the walk another two weeks, I would cut back the distance to around 10 miles a day. That would give me an additional 2-3 hours of potentially quality conversation time.

It also made sense, I concluded, to carry with me a letter laying out my concerns, and the concerns of others I had met along the way. I wanted something I could give to people I met, or leave at their doors if they weren’t home. If you’d like to see what I’m sharing with landowners, click here. Your feedback is most welcome.

This week’s Fallon Forum again features State Rep. Dan Kelley as host. I’ll call-in and talk about the walk for the first half of the program. Then State Rep. Bruce Hunter joins Dan to talk about minimum wage and wage theft.

The Fallon Forum airs Monday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CST on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) or online. Join the conversation by calling (515) 528-8122. You also can hear the Fallon Forum on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday and on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Thanks!