Wednesday, July 23, 2014

7/23/14: 1294.3 to 1305.1 miles. Sauntering

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While reading a book about English composition, I read an old article that gave the definition of sauntering. One theory was the word originated to describe people making pilgrimages during the Middle Ages. The people would say they were going to the Holy Land or some distant cathedral, but in reality, they were sans terre, meaning landless in French. Today we would call them homeless. 

Many of the homeless people today say they are on the way to another city when I talk to them the first time. 

I'm reading Anti-Clock, Walking Across America by Wes Jacobs. Wes writes like Thoreau. The book is not about the walk. It is about his ponderings during the walk. He said, "If I told people that I sought freedom most of all to compensate for a lifetime of clock bound duties, many were unable to envision the broad definition of liberty I was suggesting."

Wes would often stop to observe ants, cows, people, or whatever else he observed. Whether it took an hour to walk a mile or 15 minutes did not matter. There is plenty of time in each day to walk the 20 miles needed to cross the country in a reasonable time. On this virtual hike, if it became a real hike, there would be plenty of time to walk 23 miles a day and have hours left over. If something is interesting, why not stop and observe it.

In some of the early posts, I described the homeless as ambling. It's a comfortable pace which gets them there eventually, but, since they are not bound by a clock, they don't have to worry about when they get there. I suppose they have their rounds and their rhythm of life. 

In 1977, Joe Sinischalchi (sp.) said to me, "I don't like when people drive fast when I want to drive slowly, and I don't like it when people want to drive slowly when I want to drive fast." Today, I see we don't like to be bound by other people's clocks and expectations. Some of this is necessary, but most of it is artificial, and it is used to control other people.

Yesterday morning, I saw these weeds with their seed balls. Unfortunately, I left my camera home, so I went back around noon to take the picture. I'd forgotten exactly where they were so I had to do a little wandering to find them. 

Why do four lane roads attract me so? I think it is knowing this road, which goes by the name Hwy 50, stretches all the way to California to the west, and far to the east. I could follow this road almost without thinking for many days. The virtual hike will intercept this road in Utah, I think, and follow it across much of Nevada. 

Some may think walking of the shoulder of this road is dangerous, and maybe it is. The way I look at it, the shoulder is wide. There are no intersections, and nobody is going to hit me from behind while passing, which they might on a two lane road. I've never felt any danger walking on four lane roads. It is illegal to walk on interstates, so I don't go there. If I choose to stop, I usually get far off the side so it doesn't look like I'm hitch-hiking.

This apple tree was hanging over the wall. I estimated there are enough apples on this tree to make two apple pies a day for a year. Canning apples is easy. I wonder if the owners of the home will use any of them? Imagine if all the trees in the picture were apple trees. They grow easily in this area and don't require any special attention. There are few worms or bugs that bother the apples. There was a time, in 1920, that there were more apple trees in Pueblo than there were people. There were about 20,000 people and 23,000 apple trees. There were also about 3,000 cherry trees. Well, I'll certainly visit this area later and pick up the drops when they fall. It will be fun to have apple cobbler made from free apples. 

These two pictures go together. The first one is the space between the wolfpacks of traffic, and the second is a wolfpack of traffic released by a traffic light about three-quarters of a mile ahead. Most of the people are likely going to work at the industrial park about 10 miles to the east. They are bound by the clock and are headed to the security of a job so they can buy more things so they need to have a job. Ok, people need to work, and there is nothing wrong with that. But people don't need to work so hard to be bound by physical possessions. I wonder how many of them noticed they were passing an apple tree?

The people in the cars were fun to watch. Most of them didn't appear to notice me, or if they did, they pretended not to notice me. To be fair, I pretended not to be watching them, too. I didn't want to intrude on their privacy by staring. Some waved, and I hoped they saw my wave before they raced by. Some were drinking their coffee and appeared to be enjoying the driving time. Others seemed to pointedly stare straight ahead while passing as if they thought I presented a threat to them. Of course, that's my interpretation and not what they were thinking. One child, about 8 years old, waved excitedly when she saw me. I waved back and smiled.

I hated to go home, but I, too, am bound by the clock. I have to work myself. It's not hard, but I have to be there in case I get a phone call or an email that needs attention. Besides, I wanted to make this blog post before the feelings of the walk disappeared.

Good news. One of my responsibilities this morning just disappeared, so there will be time for a second, although shorter, morning walk.   

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