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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Look Both Ways

SAM & ME spent the night in Buchanan, a.s.a. OARD'S after a mosquito-filled 26 mile walk from Granddaugter Jennifer's home in Burns, Oregon.

It was hot - 80 something. The Malheur Valley is a flooded plain 4,500 feet high...well, not completely flooded...with a profusion of streams, canals, and standing water alongside US 20.

Hundreds of birds live & raise young in these roadside waterways. All day long birds scolded us. I'm not knowledgeable re birds, but I got up close & personal with at least 10 differene species from ducks, blackbirds, pipers (with long curved beaks), finches, and hawks. The blackbirds (red-wing, yellow head/neck, & just plain ole' blackbirds) all day long flew directly into my face not ten feet away, hovered there yelling at me. The pipers took turns diving at SAM & ME, screeching all the while.

Horses would run at us until stopped be fences..then nervously stare as SAM & ME walked/rolled past. Many BULL herds bellowed at us from their grass-filled pasture s(grasses grew to 3 - 4 feet high everywhere...because of the abundance of water).

Our walk was long. US 20 is straight as an arrow for at least 20 miles...no hills...no curves...just water-filled fields broken by macadam as far as the eye can see. Thank goodness for the mile-signs every mile.

I really screwed up upon arriving at our destination for the day, Buchanan/Oard's. Walking on the left, facing traffic (55 mph limit, but most vehicles are going well over 70 on this remote roadway), I pushed SAM into the traffic lane on the empty roadway coming at us. I "glanced" at the "empty" roadway going our direction...saw nothing...heard nothing...Crossed the center line & was in the center of the traffic lane when the car horn blew from quite close, SAM's front wheel was only 5 feet or so from the rdge of the road, so - without glancing at the "horn", I gave SAM a mighty push to get off the traffic lane, when a HYBRID Honda flashed by on the OUISIDE of SAM.

The Honda went two feet onto the sloping gravel strip, missing SAM's front wheel by perhaps one inch, fishtailed a foot or so further into the steepening gravel berm, straightened out & "jumped" back onto the asphault roadway, fishtailed across the road center-line and continued at high speed up the center of the highway.

SAM & ME just used up one of our remaining lives.

IT WAS MY FAULT. I had pushed SAM hard all day...had not eaten since Monica's pancakes 10 hours before, had fought off mosquitos all day (repellant was in SAM's front-wheel water box, but I did not remember that), we were finally at our destination, and I DID NOT LOOK CAREFULLY enough to see the silent (Hybrid) car speed at us as I pushed SAM into the traffic lane.

So many mistakes by ME.

I pondered how - or if - I should wrte obout my series of errors...I believe I simply had to share it.

I am well shook up. I sit here at 7:30 am on Thursday. June 24, 2010. on a remote desert roadway trying to put sense into what happened - or what nearly happened. Back in Government Camp a lifetime - literally a lifetime ago - a young Girl asked me ..."don't you get lonely..."

At this moment, Yes, I am lonely. I am also very upset withself.

But, SAM & ME will go on.

3 comments:

DJan said...

But there are people who are following along your journey, hoping it will go well, and certainly understanding that after a very long day without proper food or hydration you make mistakes. Hopefully the people like me will once in a while remind you that you are alone. Sending you a big virtual hug, Bruce!

Tom Warner said...

I bring up your journey every so often and marvel at your progress and endurance. Be safe. Remember "The silent ones are deadly" No pun intended. OK maybe just a little one.

Barbara said...

Bruce, you are so not alone. You are with us all in our hearts and in our thoughts. Take care, friend.
Barbee and Larry