Day 120, August 1, 2012

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 I woke up at around 8:30am. I was surprised I woke up that early. I had slept as long as I could since I fell asleep the night before at about 3:30 or 4am. I slept pretty good aside from a huge beetle that kept crawling on my legs after the sun came up. I didn't zip my sleeping bag up since it wasn't very cold.
         When I woke up I could see out from under the bridge to the east bound side of the freeway. But just a little bit. I could see the wheels of a big rig stopped there. It was weird because it was pulled over on the bridge part of the interstate where there was a railing and not much room. So I was confused.
       So I packed up and brushed my teeth. When I was ready I pushed my cart under the freeway to a frontage road I didn't see the night before. When I climbed up and got onto the road I saw the freeway and was shocked! The entire east bound side of the interstate was completely stopped as far as I could see and people were outside walking around. It was in the middle of no where too so I was confused. All I could think of was there must have been a pretty bad accident up ahead in the distance. The people were outside visiting and walking around. It looked like they were stopped for a while now. It was funny too that I pooped out from under the bridge and the people stopped right there were staring at me.
         So I started walking west on the frontage road. I walked for a few miles before I saw the traffic slowly began moving. It was a trip seeing all the people standing around for those few miles. Entertaining to me for sure.
        I walked about 6 miles to get to a tiny town called Montoya. There was about 10 houses there and about 7 of them looked abandoned and falling apart. No gas station or anything at all to fill my waters. I was actually getting low on my top water and was thinking I might have to break into my emergency water I have stored bungied onto my frame underneath. I hadn't done that yet but it didn't look like much ahead for a ways. A guy from Australia here driving across the country stopped and gave me a cold drink. Man that was so good to have!
            So I continued walking. It was getting really hot and I was trying to conserve water the best I could. The frontage road zig zagged over the freeway a couple times and then at one point it broke off away from the freeway.
            I noticed a sign on the freeway that said rest stop next exit, and I hoped the frontage road had access into it so I could get water. But it didn't and to get there I would have had to double back for miles. So I just kept going really hoping for a stop ahead soon with water.
           It was beating down heat now. The water I was drinking was so hot it burned my throat. So I had to swish it around in my mouth first to cool it down a bit, then swallow. It literally felt like boiling water. Hard to tolerate that for sure.
          Finally I ran out of top water. I stopped and opened a water from underneath on my frame. It was about 2 liters of water and it was also scorching hot. Just stopping to get the water I could feel the heat and it took a toll on me.
          When I started walking again I began to feel my hands shake and my shoulders shake too like the muscles were tired and weak. My mouth was so dry and the hot water didn't seem to help. I was starting to get VERY tired and really hot. So then I knew I needed to stop. I looked around and there was no shade. So I kept going hoping for something in the desert to stop in shade.
       My head was hurting and I was really dizzy. Finally I saw a bridge ahead! I walked slowly up to it and it was hard just to keep walking. I got to the bridge and rolled off the road. I hid my cart behind a small hill of dirt and then grabbed some stuff and hiked under it into the shade.
         I laid some stuff down and laid in the shade. I was exhausted. When I laid down I felt so weak and even laying there my legs were shaking still. I drank hot water, not because I was thirsty, but because I was dehydrated and knew I needed it. I sat there 10 minutes and it was silent. I felt like everything was delayed. I don't even remember falling asleep.
          I woke up and didn't know where I was at. I sat up frantically and ran up to see where my cart was. After I saw it I calmed down. Then I sat back under the bridge. As I sat there I felt much better physically. But I was having some very alone thoughts. I was thinking I was possibly dreaming. Is this real? Where am I? Am I actually stranded and have been here for days and just don't realize it? Am I out of water? I quickly looked to my water jug that I was pretty sure was there. When I saw it had water I calmed down again. Then I wondered, maybe I'm still sleeping though and I am out of water, and this is a dream. I sat there 20 minutes when finally after continuing to drink water I snapped out of it. As the sun lowered and clouds blocked the sunlight, my mind was at ease as I knew the cool night was coming soon.
        I sat there about an hour and then felt much better. I for sure didn't want to tweet about my thoughts, or put them on Facebook. Then I know people will worry and freak out. So I kept calm and just dealt with it on my own. I even had the thought that I was only imagining I had contact to the world.
       I started walking shortly after that and felt better. When I went to access my gps I saw that I didnt have signal. A quick thought back to imagining my outside communication came back, but I checked it and confirmed to myself it was just a bad area with no signal.
        I was almost out of the 2 liters of water when I came to a tiny little village. The frontage road came back to the freeway and ran along side it too now. I could then see that up ahead there was a gas station! Such a relief! I walked up to it and went in and bought a canned soda. I pounded it and then sat outside to gather my thoughts. I looked around for a hose but didn't see anything. Then I went back in and asked the man if there was somewhere I could fill some water jugs. He said yes and showed my where it was outside.
       So I filled about 4 jugs up and was so relieved. I had about 26 miles to get to Santa Rosa NM. I was feeling much better and decided to walk as the sunset. If I could get 6 miles in before bed, that would be 24 for the day, and would leave 20 to get to Santa rosa.
      I walked and watched such a pretty sunset. I really enjoyed that and it was about an hour of such a great reassuring feeling that everything will be alright. I thought of ideas for helping people after this journey, and it was a good amount of time where I was very connected to myself and everything around me. It's really fascinating how sloppy and unsure I can be, and then hours later, I can be so sure and have things together. Such a wide range from the highs and lows out here and in such a short time between them. Really interesting. Even writing these journals I'm sure you can see some of the days where I try and write and am just not 100% with it. Those are days and times I'm sloppy/tired/losing hope. And then some entries I am tested and I find myself very together, and things are more crisp and clear...
        So after I figured I had gone about 6 miles I found a spot to lay down. It was pretty rough but it seemed a good choice for what was available. It was a driveway that went to a huge tower. It was all that was around. So I laid my sleeping bag down right next to the gate in some rocks. I laid down there on the sloped driveway and was very tired. It was pretty windy and the moon was extremely bright. So bright I could see everything around. I was still along the frontage road next to the freeway but there were no cars on the frontage, so I had a good feeling I wouldn't be seen there. I fell asleep around 11.



John Gagnon said...

Nice entry, I enjoyed reading it. You need to plan your water intake when you are in the desert, nothing worse than getting that dehydrated - be careful out there!

amy said...

just read most of your entries on another boring day at work. I will be embarking on my own "homeless" path with my husband in march. your story gives us hope and courage and also the idea to give back to others in the process. Good luck and peace brother.