Day 126, August 7, 2012

share and show love

 I woke up next to the gate on an exit off the I-40 in about the middle of New Mexico. All that was around me was open land. I was pretty warn out and felt rough when I woke up.
        I got up and packed my things slowly. I really was taking my sweet time getting ready. It was about 8:30 and I wanted to be on the road by 9.
       My back was hurting on the lower left side for some reason so I stretched it out pretty good before I took off. I grabbed the gate and held it as I stretched my back.
       I hit the road around 9. I was in the bottom of a little valley and had a hill to climb just ahead. My knees were pretty soar so I was taking it easy.
       I went at a pretty slow pace and was really taking my time up the hill. Once I reached the top it was rolling hills for a good distance. It was an incline for about 10 minutes and then a decline for about 10 over and over. It was overall getting higher and higher with each hill. (elevation). I finally got to a peak and then it leveled out for a long while.
         I walked slowly for about 12 miles when I could see a junction ahead where there was a Resturant and store (clines corners). It was the junction where people traveling from Colorado came down to hit the 40, and was busy from what I hear.
         When I was getting close a car pulled over right after they passed me. I turned around and a lady jumped out. She said they were going the other way and saw me, so they turned around to check on me. That's was so cool!
      They were traveling back home to California from a cross country drive they took. They offered me some snacks and drinks. They gave me part of a loaf of bread, a half jar of peanut butter, some crackers, and a frozen lasagna dinner that they said to microwave at the stop ahead. Oh, and a can of chili.
        After they left I came across some cowboys on horses that were moving cattle from the north side of the interstate, to the south side (through a tunnel under the interstate). As I passed they asked how I was. So I stopped to talk with them for a few minutes and they were really nice.
        I got to clines corner and I was starving! I heated up the lasagna and then went and sat down at the Resturant near an outlet. I ordered a drink so that I was at least a paying customer.
        The waitress was really cool and kept asking questions about my travels. She was really interested and said she hitchhiked when she was younger. Before I was going to leave I was still hungry so I ate the can of cold chilli also. The waitress saw me eating it and brought over a big handful of crackers. Very nice lady.
          I stayed there from like 2 to about 5:30pm. When I left the waitress said "I hope you enjoyed your free water", and winked at me. I told her thanks and then I left.
          I left there and it was pretty warm. Leaving there it was mostly down hill. I was walking slow as my knees began to hurt. I walked a ways until the sun was about to set then I started looking for a spot to camp out.
         I walked well into dark and still hadn't passed an exit or even a remotely good place to stop. It honestly looked like snake heaven everywhere I looked, and the fences along the highway only went off the road about 20 feet.
         So now it was dark and my knees were really hurting more and more. It was still a decline and the downhill was putting pressure on my knees. I was using my flashlight and scanning all around as I walked to look for a spot. But no luck.
        I had walked until about 10:15 when my knees were in PAIN now. Finally I saw an exit sign that said 2 miles up. I was so relieved and couldnt wait to get off my knees.
        Just when I was approaching the exit I noticed 2 cars pulled over right before it. It was dark so I was a little nervous approaching them. As I got close it was 3 young guys and one of the cars had a flat. They looked to be struggling with getting the tire changed. I was so tired and my knees hurt so bad. But I couldn't pass them and not offer to help. So I stopped to give them a hand.
         I got under the back of the truck (ford ranger) and was trying to get the spare tire out from under the bed. There was a bolt holding it if from the top side of the rim and the tip of the bolt was an eye hole. It was really tight. So I went to my cart and got a screw driver. I used it to gain leverage and spin the bolt loose.
        After I got the spare tire off I went to help them get the flat off. They were really trying hard to break the nuts loose. I asked to let me try, then I stepped and jumped on the wrench to break the nuts loose and then quickly took them off along with the tire. I got the spare on and tightened it down tight and they were set.
       They said thanks and asked where I was going. So I told them and one of the guys followed my twitter. The guy who had the flat gave me a jar of change he had in his cab. They were nice and shook my hand and said thanks.
       When I left there I noticed my knees didn't hurt. I was guessing maybe the break had rested them or something?
      I got off at the exit and scanned around with my flashlight. There wasn't anything there so I didn't think many cars would be coming by. So I settled for sleeping right next to the road off the exit. Literally the edge of my body was along the pavement.
      I made my bed and laid down. It was about 11 now. It felt good to lay down. It was pretty windy and cool. Just as I was dozing off a car got off and drove past me. I thought I saw a sign that said dead end so I wasn't sure where they were going.
    About 30 minutes later the car came back. I woke up and saw it. It pulled off the road before me and turned the motor off and switched off the lights. It was weird. They were about 50 feet away. Then suddenly they started the car and punched it towards me!!! Then it looked like they saw me last minute and swerved more toward the middle of the road (since I was right off the shoulder). I wish there was a better spot but it was thick bushes everywhere else. So I went to sleep...
         At about 3:30am I was awoken to some crunching noises. I quickly grabbed my flashlight. I looked around and didn't see anything. Then when I spun the light to the other side I spotted eyes staring at me about 10 feet away!!
       I was startled and didn't move. I could sort of make it out to be a porcupine which I felt better about. But I still don't know their nature. Not sure of they are aggressive or what?
      It looked blinded so I just sat still shining the light right in its eyes. It stood up on its back feet and it was a lot bigger than I knew porcupines to be. I guess I've never seen one besides on TV, and just assumed they were smaller.
      It went back down to all fours. It sniffed around and eventually walked away. I was now wide awake and wasn't sure if I would sleep again. But I laid back down to try. I don't know how but I fell back asleep and slept ok the rest of the early morning.


No comments: