Thursday, March 26, 2009

Midland, TX: Broke like the Wind

Miles since last blog: 65.7 (two days)
Miles Total: 2624.2


Let's begin by just saying, "cars are magic."

Over the course of this trip I have found that I drastically overestimate the speed with which cars actually travel. That is to say, when people tell me it takes five hours to get some where by car, I think they must be out of their mind. After all, I waked that distance in a few weeks, surely a car can do it in an hour or two. So my perception of distance has changed too, when I was in Southern Alabama for instance, it just didn't seem like Maryland was all that far away, the idea that a trip would take 16 hours by car could barely fit in my head anymore, I mean, when you're walking, cars are just SO fast.

I thought this new perspective would possibly be dashed by my trip back to Sterling City, but just the opposite was true. Four hours to cover two weeks of travel was just astounding to me. I mean, I sometimes walk 13 hours in a day. I'm all for being green and I love the earth and I'm not encouraging anyone to go out and drive around and use a bunch of gas, but I will say that I doubt I will ever again understand someone not wanting to go somewhere because it's too far away, unless it is from one side of Russia to the other. The fact that my trip will take me another two months or more when I have driven the remaining distance in less than a day is incomprehensible to me. How could anyone use distance as an excuse in the age we live in, the world is so small and cars are magic speed pods, that's all there is to it.

Next, I saw another deer with a broken leg yesterday, which was depressing and hard to take. I wanted even more to help it but as I approached I could only see it's terror and pain grow as it tried to run off. On the other hand, I also saw my first couple tumbleweeds the last few days, so that was a bit exciting.

Finally, today was all about wind. I hate wind. Wind is terrible, why won't it go get sliced up by a windmill somewhere?

My walk today was a solid 20+ miles into a 15-25 mph headwind (according to the paper). I tried a little experiment today. I pushed my carrier (which weighs about 100 pounds) downhill and let it go. It stopped. Then it rolled back up the hill to me while picking up speed. That's what 15-25 mph winds do to a walking day. My legs are sore, I can't remember the last time that happened. Pushing something for 20+ miles uses a lot of new muscles for a long time. I couldn't even make three mph, I went through a gallon and a half of water, it was terrible. I spent most of my day swearing into the wind and on the verge of a Donald Duck freak out complete with me fighting air.

My fabulous hosts offered to keep me another night so i think I'll take them up on it. Especially since tomorrow is supposed to be 31 mph winds at a temp of 46 degrees. Welcome to the flat dessert.

1 comment:

Dixxe Doodles said...

When I was hiking on the AT, I recall walking alongside a butterfly and we kept exact pace and it was nice to be at the pace of the Earth and not zooming around destroying butterflies on my windshield. I do break for butterflies and for deer, poor thing I hope someone came along with a rifle to at least put an end to the suffering. It must have been a helpless feeling, I would have freaked at that.
Hope that wind dies down and its easier for you. It must be very difficult with the sands blowing up off the road too.