share and show love
I woke up and got myself ready. Brushed my teeth and put sun screen on. Then packed my things up and was ready to roll. I crossed the overpass and jumped on the shoulder of oncoming traffic (east bound).
I started walking and my knees were still frail. They didn't hurt as bad but I could feel just enough to know if I pushed too hard they would cause me pain again. So I was walking really slow and taking my time. My knees staying healthy is going to be crucial to making the finish. So keeping a close eye on that.
I walked west for about 6 miles when I could feel a slight increase of pain in my knees. So I stopped at an overpass to take a short break. I sat under the bridge in the shade on the dirt. As I sat there I ate some granola bars and almonds I had stocked up. I have been trying to conserve food since I've been running a little low.
After about 20 minutes I got up and continued walking. It was warming up a little so I was drinking more water. Since I went through the Dallas area and faced very hot and humid days, everything after that has not felt too bad. Even though it is 97 out, the dry air makes it much more bearable, and I'm feeling adjusted to the heat now.
I walked for 7 miles and finally came to a rest stop. There was nothing around me but open desert all day, so it was nice to see something. It's hard on my mind to see nothing all around for days on end. So even a structure of any kind is cool to come to.
I crossed the freeway and walked off the exit to the rest stop. There was nothing really there, but a bathroom and some covered benches. I sat under an overhang on a bench and rested my knees. It was much cooler in the shade also and I was relaxed.
I was planning to refill my waters there but I couldn't find any water source aside from the bathroom sink. I had enough to make it another day, and up ahead was a gas station that I would pass the next day. So I wasn't too worried about it. I could have filled up from the sink like I have before, but I would have had to use a smaller bottle to fill, then pour it over and over into the gallons. And there were a lot of people using the bathroom. So instead of the hassle I would just wait until tomorrow.
I stayed there until about 5:30. I left there to try and get an evening stretch in and get close to 20 miles for the day while monitoring my knee pain. So I headed out. It was warm at this point and I was sweating a lot. I walked slowly all the way until sunset. It was such a pretty evening and as soon as the sun started to set it really cooled down and felt nice.
After walking over a few more rolling hills and climbing uphill mostly, the sun was gone and it was getting dark. I was wanting to find a pull off or exit to find a spot to sleep. But no luck.
I saw a tower over the next hill on the side of the interstate. So I figured I would climb one more hill in the dark and hope there was a driveway going towards the tower. I figure there had to be some kind of road to it for when the construction to erect the tower happened.
When I came over the hill though, I saw something even better. It was just at the point where I didn't see a driveway and was going to have to settle for sleeping right off the shoulder where I would chance snakes and other critters. But just as I came over the hill and passed the tower, I spotted a white building in the moonlight, and an exit. I knew it was something abandoned since there are no houses out here like that off the highway by an exit.
As I approached the exit I could see it was an old closed down gas station. So I exited on the east bound side and walked over a cattle guard and to the building. It was perfect! It was clean and even had a big concrete slab on the side where it looked like they were starting an addition and never got off the ground.
I made my bed there around 9:30pm. It was a good clean spot and out of sight enough for what was around. No cars exited there so I didn't have to really worry about the roads around the gas station. I laid there on the concrete and fell asleep at around 10:30pm. My hips hurt and my knees hurt through the night from the hard surface and pressure on them. So I tossed and turned all night. But the mental element of not worrying since the spot was good helped me rest my mind. And out here that kind of rest is as good sometimes as actual sleep.
at 2:54 PM