Miles since last blog: 25.7
Miles Total: 3302.9
9:30 was when my body really started to move even though I had been awake for a while. At 10 am the reporter I had met on the road the day before was coming over to interview me.
"Hey Superman!" she said as I opened the door. My Superman shirt is currently in rotation and as much as I try to avoid it, I was also wearing my red shorts which makes me look even a little more ridiculous than I normally do. We talked a bit and the interview turned into a field trip to a local school where I talked to a third grade class which was a good way to start the day.
Then we hit Jack in the Box, admittedly I had wanted to get out of town earlier and knock out a bunch of miles today but you can't really beat a newspaper article, inspiring kids and my main man Jack. I headed out of town just after noon but not before buying a sandwich for the road.
The road was amazing, dangerous, unique. I climbed through construction on a winding highway over canyons and mountains biding my time between floods of traffic on a road with no shoulders. The road crossed up over 4600 feet and during the course of my walk I walked into and out of the Tonto National Forest. It was strange to see such lush green amongst the red and alien rock formations that are normally reserved for the barren desert and Roadrunner cartoons. The red rocks jutted from the mountain and from between bushes, pines and oaks.
The descent was no less awe inspiring. I went down into Devil's Canyon which was composed of the same windy and shoulderless road harnessed in on both sides by sheer warm toned rock faces from which you could here mountain goats bleating between the noise from passing cars. I fell further and further behind my schedule as I stopped to look for the goats and took picture after picture of the rocks in the changing afternoon light.
Before sunset the rock walls were staggeringly shifting into black shadows and brilliant color in the direct light of the horizon, as the sun fell and the sky turned orange to mimic the rocks and then pink, the rocks themselves transformed into warm black cutouts at the base of the sky. In the following half-moon light they took life back again and without detail managed to play with the light in ways that revealed new majesty from what was visible in the daylight.
The night also brought more of the same or similar danger as the day had. Long streams of cars threw themselves caustically around corners while I stood pressed against the guard rail with my carrier just a bit over the white line, on the other side of the guard rail the land fell away at a steep pace and there was nowhere to go anywhere. If a car hit, it would hit the carrier first and I would be pinched into pieces between it and the rail before the car ever even reached me. I was glad to get of the mountain in spite of its beauty for this very reason, but not before crossing a tunnel and a bridge along the way. Tunnels are my nightmare, if being trapped on the side of a mountain is bad, being trapped inside one is that much worse, you can't even jump.
As I sat at a rest stop in the town of Superior eyeing a park across the highway to sleep in, I talked with my mom, "Is it safe for you to cross the street?" she asked. And somehow I feel that all the progress made in the last 3300 miles was lost somewhere in the conversation. I laugh and tell here I think I'll be alright. It was a wonderful day. I'll post pics later retroactively.