Monday, March 16, 2009

Sterling City, TX: When morning comes

Miles since last blog: 26.5
Miles Total: 2558.5


I had a whole blog prepared last night and it got erased and in the light of morning, most of it seems trivial.

Before I stopped for the evening last night my knee started hurting, an old and familiar pain. It's the pain that stopped me from training from a marathon, it's the pain that has rendered my leg stiff for a week when I have ignored it in the past. I hoped it'd be gone by morning. Shortly after I started walking two things happened, the front wheel on my carrier broke off and the pain returned. I'm over 200 miles from the nearest place I can get the carrier fixed, way back in Austin with no place ahead of me.

The wheel isn't a big problem, I can probably hitch back to Austin and then back again to Sterling city in a matter of days to pick up where I left off. My worry is my knee. I can walk for a while every day even with it injured, but only a few hours, not nearly far enough and at a pace that would quite literally kill me out in New Mexico. I looked at the route from Carlsbad, NM to Las Cruces, NM yesterday. There's nothing. And not Texas nothing where when you look at the map there are little gray lettered towns pencilled in so light you can barely see them, ready to be erased when they die. There's nothing, not even the gray towns. The gray towns of Texas were my salvation, sometimes there'd be nothing there but a few boarded up old houses, sometimes just a gas station and sometimes even a restaurant, but in either of the latter cases it left me with something. Even the boarded up houses block the wind at night if I had to camp.

I'd been looking forward to this span of nothing, a personal time that had no interruption or hope of civilization to spoil it. No phone, no computer, just nature, me and my feet. Now I don't know what the future holds. I'll try to take it like I have everything else though, one step at a time. First step, get my wheel fixed somehow so that I can carry enough water with me into the desert.

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