Saturday, March 28, 2009

Odessa, TX: The Edge of Nothing

Miles since last blog: 20.6
Miles Total: 2644.8


The good news is: it sounds like I have a place to stay in Carlsbad.
The bad news is: it adds another 13 miles to my walk to get to the place.
The Better news is: the place is with a forestry ranger in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

What does this mean?

Well the down side is that another day of walking didn't actually get me much closer to my end point which is quickly becoming a stronger focus and I won't be heading through the town of Carlsbad so no big supply stop all the way to Las Cruces after tomorrow.

The upside is that I get to see the Caverns which I hear are really cool and my walk now takes me through the entire length of the park which is pretty cool.

I'm heading into an area that is truly desolate. If you look on a navigation or map program, even in big open spaces where it looks like there aren't any towns, when you zoom in there are little towns written in in gray as if they could be erased at any moment. Sometimes these towns have a Restaurant, sometimes it's just a few buildings and sometimes it just boarded up buildings, but there might be something there and at least there's a wall to shield the wind a bit if you are camping. Out where I am going, there are no little gray towns. The expanse between Carlsbad and Las Cruces, and even between Odessa and Carlsbad has long spaces of nothing at all. The roads don't even have names.

Here's an actual segment of my directions:

12. Turn right 453 ft
13. Turn left 1.7 mi
14. Turn right 4.1 mi
15. Turn left 1.7 mi
16. Turn left 0.3 mi
17. Turn right 2.0 mi
18. Turn left 8.2 mi
Entering New Mexico
19. Slight left 3.0 mi
20. Turn right 0.6 mi

As you can guess, this could make navigation a little tricky. I have to keep track of mileage by timing myself and making sure I try to remember what my route looks like, particularly around intersections.

Blogs, in all likelihood, will become more sparse in these areas. If not from lack of coverage, from lack of battery on my laptop. But there's a few days before that probably. I should be out of Texas in less than 75 hours if all goes well, I could definitely use the mental boost of the border and time zone change. Tomorrow will probably put me in, or past, Notrees, TX. I'm not kidding, that's actually the name of the town. After that is Kermit and then the nothing of the border and several more days in New Mexico with nothing.

1175 miles to go. Start the countdown.

Update: Changing routes again, back to bigger roads and the town of Carlsbad. I was assured by my forester friend that walking through the park wouldn't be a . . . walk through the park. Will keep you posted, but now I am heading out to nowhere for a day or two.


Dixxe Doodles said...

WOW a person could get lost if they are not paying attention! The stay at the Caverns sounds perfect. Happy walking!

Cousin Kathy said...

So, this may sound like a really dumb question, but why can't you walk along I-10? I would think it to be more safe?

Skip Potts said...

There are only two problems with walking on the interstate.

1) it's in Texas and I'm in New Mexico

2) It's illegal

That is all, otherwise I'd be hopping on it ASAP