Sunday, July 6, 2014

7/6/14 1168.4 to 1178.4 miles

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This morning, I woke up at 6:00 after sleeping on a soft bed of pine needles in a cool mountain forest. Ok, it wasn't really that soft, but I'm used to sleeping on hard ground without a pad. We hiked the few miles back to the car before it got too warm. The forest is predictable because we have been out there enough times to predict it. I did wonder what landed for a moment on my sleeping bag last night. Maybe it was a bat. Maybe a mouse ran across it. Maybe it was just a pine cone off the tree above my head. 

After we got home and had burritos from Chipotle's, I decided I wanted to feel the heat. It was 98 degrees out, so I knew I'd feel it. I wasn't content to feel the heat in in a soft subdivision. I wanted to feel the HEAT on the road. 

Unfortunately, the effect of these two pictures is lost in the haze. The first picture is looking west through the pass the trans-continental railroad first crossed. The second is looking east. Into the haze, I saw places I knew were 20 to 30 miles away. Now, a person on a long hike might think, "I have to walk all that distance." I look at it a different way. "I get to walk all that distance." One word makes a difference. The first is oppression, and the second is freedom. I was walking east, and I was sad I could only walk one more exit.

People may think walking on a four-lane is dangerous. But the shoulder is wide and there are no surprise cars passing from behind as there would be on a two lane undivided road. Someone stopped again to ask if I was OK. I wish I could have handed him a note with some money thanking him for his concern. Maybe the money would ruin it, and a note expressing my gratitude would be enough. 

These lizards were sunning themselves on top of a rock. I had to climb up to get a better view. It looked like they were enjoying the heat and watching the traffic go by. There were many lizards on the rock, but every time I tried to point the camera, they scampered off. I'm guessing few people in their cars would notice these prehistoric monsters.

I stopped at the Loaf 'n Jug for a large drink and sat in the shade on the sidewalk drinking it. I would have sat at the table, but they don't have a table. It was interesting to see how few people would meet my eyes as they walked by. They probably thought I was homeless and was going to ask them for money. I thought of their big cars as big horses and how people on horses used to look down on people standing on the ground. I thought about how lonely it must be for the homeless who get that look all the time. It's worse for them as it's more difficult for them to keep their clothes clean. I guess the next time I'll sit further from the door and assume my lowly place in society. (Sarcasm there.) 

So, I had both extremes. One guy who stopped on a 4 lane road to see if I was fine, and other people who couldn't look me in the eye when I was right in front of them. 

I was glad to have my sunglasses. Usually I don't wear them. 

It took a little over an hour to walk four miles. After drinking three quarts of water and sitting in a cool house, I'm feeling back to normal. If I was planning to walk more miles, I'd want to drink at least a quart a mile. I'd also want to stop each hour until I cooled down. Cold temperatures are easier to deal with. 

See you down the road,

Gary (Gershon)

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