Day 139, August 20, 2012

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 I woke up around 6:30am. The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was a pretty sunrise. I rolled over and snapped a picture of it. Then I laid back down and dozed off again.
       I woke up again around 8:30. I laid there until about 9 just stretching out and relaxing. It was such a pretty day. I got up slowly and packed my things up slowly also. I final made my way over to the information center.
       I used the pay phone right outside to call the non emergency police number. I let them know what I was doing and how new Mexico allowed me to walk along the 40. I asked them what route they would allow me to take. They said they would also allow me to walk along the 40. That was a big relief. They made a report of what I had, what I was wearing, my gear ect. In case I was stopped so the police would see it. They just said the same thing New Mexico said; stay to the edge of the shoulder, wear a reflective vest at night, and if there is a frontage option to walk on it.
           I went inside the information center and wanted to get a full charge before leaving. When I was sitting in there a lady offered me coffee. She was really nice and we talked a little while.
          I left there at about 9:45 and hopped on the 40 going west. It was actually a little warm and sunny so I made sure to put sunscreen on. I walked about 7 miles when I was ready for a break and a snack. I sat on a railing on the 40 and rested. I had put some cream on my knees and set the tube on a wood post that held the railing. I had a snack and after 10 more minutes I took off.
         I walked another 7 miles or so when I came to an over pass. I was gonna eat some lunch and have another break there. When I went to grab the cream, I realized I never packed it on my last break! I was a little upset, but I still had another tube and it was basically the only thing I have lost this whole time. So I couldn't be that upset.
         I took a break and ate some raviolis and bread up under the bridge. I rested there for about 20 minutes. I used the other tube of cream and put it on my knees. I'm finding it actually relieved the pain pretty quick. As I sat there I looked ahead and it looked a bit stormy. I was heading right into some pretty dark clouds.
         I started walking and it was a slight downhill slope. Then, sure enough, the rain started to drop. I was wanting to get to the next town of sanders which was another 10 miles or so. So I threw my tarp over my cart and bungeed it tight. It was good enough to keep all my gear dry. Then I threw a pancho on also that I had been given in Texas. I kept walking and the rain kept coming harder and harder.
           I got to a low point where I had walked downhill a ways and then from there it began to climb. As I was walking past that, I suddenly saw a white flash in my peripheral vision to my right. It was something running towards me from across the freeway!!...
      I grabbed my long umbrella from out of my pocket and turned towards it... At first sight it looked really odd.. As I swung the umbrella around in front of me while I turned it jumped back after getting about 10 feet from me.. After it jumped it came back towards me barking. It was a white dog that seemed to have some pit in it. Maybe mixed. It was so sucked in skinny I could see all of its bones. When I lowered the umbrella I called out to it just feeling sad. It came at me in a harmless and playful way. It had enlarged tits and looked like it just had puppies. It got really close then I was worried it might bite or something and for all I know it could have been diseased. I felt so bad for the thing.
       Then a big rig zoomed by and the dog jumped out of the way and under the rail just in time as the truck blew its horn. I wanted to pet the dog but decided not to risk it. I have been attacked by a dog I didn't know too well before and wasn't sure of this dogs behavior right away.
         I grabbed a couple cracker snacks and threw them out. The dog inhaled them so fast it was sad. I've been around tons of dogs my whole life and never seen one eat that fast. It was licking the road for the crumbs so aggressively also. It seemed very jumpy and uncomfortable. It kept running back to where it came out from and by the way it acted I was sure it had puppies down the hillside. The dog looked like it was about to die from starvation. It really hurt me to see that. I sat there awhile while the dog stood on the hillside staring at me. It kept turning its head back. Probably to where the puppies were. And the fact that when I left it didn't follow me even when it was starving and knew I had food, made me even more convinced it had babies to look after.
            I left there and didn't have power on my Internet device. Since it was rainy I couldn't use my solar panel. So I was eager to get to the town ahead.
         As I walked closer to Sanders, the rain fell harder. All I could think about the rest of the walk was the dog starving and staying there to be with the probable litter of pups. I finally got to Sanders and the rain was really falling. It looked like it was gonna storm all night.
         I walked off the exit and went directly to a gas station. It had a laundromat inside of it and some benches. It had gotten cold when it began rating and I had put my jacket on. The pancho didn't cover the sleeves though so they were soaked. I threw my hat and jacket in a dryer and turned it on while my stuff charged.
         As soon as my things were powered up, I messaged my mom to call the animal shelter in Gallup the next morning to let them know about the dog. I gave her the exact location of where it was so they could go out to try and find her then next day, hopefully.
       I sat there at the gas station and got a couple snacks. The rain was still ripping down. I had seen what looked like an abandoned gas station down the road ahead as I walked up to the gas station. So I was gonna head there after my stuff dried.
        I left there around 9. I put my poncho and jacket back on for the sort walk. Right before I left I also refilled my waters at a faucet outside the gas station. I filled 6 jugs which really loaded my cart down with a lot of weight, but the next trek to Holbrook was a good distance. And I couldn't find much on my GPS along the way. I find that there are a lot more things than what my GPS shows. But I still wanted to be safe just in case.
          I walked about 1/2 mile in the pouring rain when I came to the gas station. It was perfect! Covered front. Nothing around. No cars driving by there along the frontage. It was clean (no glass or rocks or dirt). And no leaks. I made my bed between the pumps and the station. I laid there and was really happy and thankful I found a dry spot. And I was also thankful for the rain. I was still around an Indian reservation area and the rain would keep any drunks hunkered down. So I was more comfortable from the storm. Also I just enjoy the sound of rain.
           I laid there a little while watching the rainfall. There was a plant of some sort across the freeway with big towers and silos. And the flood lights there lit the plant up where I could see the rain fall in front of the light as I looked out towards it. It was a cool thing. It's funny how I appreciate little stuff like that. I would never even think about small things like that before and how it makes moments more enjoyable. Pretty weird actually when I think about it in retrospect.
          I fell asleep around 11 that night. I said a prayer before I went to bed that the dog would stay safe one more night. And that if she had puppies that they would hold on and stay warm under their mothers bony starving body that might just put off enough heat to keep them alive. I really hoped they could be rescued. I slept pretty well that night on the concrete there.


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