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Saturday, July 31, 2010

POINT OF ROCKS - JIM BRIDGER

JIM BRIDGER - KRUPP STACKER RECLAIMER
BUCKET WHEEL - CONVEYOR; KRUPP STACKER RECLAIMER

JIM BRIDGER - KRUPP STACKER RECLAIMER







POINT OF ROCKS - A LIVING COMMUNITY




TELEPONE POLE - Dramatic, Huh?





LAYERED SANDSTONE CLIFFS























SNOW FENCE - BACK SIDE










SNO FENCE - FRONT SIDE









SNOW FENCE SYSTEM










After my Day Off yesterday (July 29), I walked from ROCK SPRINGS to POINT OF ROCKS, some 26 miles. Felt rested, but still somewhat weary...could use more rest & good food. In any event, found two interesting sights along the way: Snow Fences and Layered Sandstone Cliffs.



Snow Fences are wooden barriers placed by Wyoming DOT (Department of Transportation) to help control wind-blown snow. At 7,000 feet, considerable snow falls in the Rocky Mountains, where it is typically quite windy. I-80 is often closed due to wind-blown snow...see pic...The Snow Fences hinder free movement on the wind-blown snow by forcing it to pile up. This minimizes the snow reaching the Interstate. A lot of "new " Snow Fences have been installed this Summer.



Much of the rock in this region of the Rocky Mountains is Sandstone, laid down millions of years ago (see prior Blog), As conditions change, the layering of Sandston takes on destinctive identities. The cliffs bordering Rock Springs along I-80 give a up-close look at these layers. The layers differ in actual materials AND also in color. One pic is like a slice of a Wedding Cake, with the successive layers clearly visible only feet away from the roadway.



Point Of Rocks is an actual community nestled in the wild profusion of piled-high stones adjacent to I-80 at mile marker 130 (distance I-80 is from the Utah border near Salt Lake City). This highly unusual rock formation gives dramatic backdrop for the many Mobil Homes nestled in and around them. Seems to have NOT changed since 38 years ago when I was a daily presence going to and from The Jim Bridger Coal-Fired Power Plant.



For many years I was an employee of Star Iron & Steel Company in Tacoma, Washington. My Department was Contract Management. As Manager, I was the "contact man" with the customers during project Proposal and after gaining the award, through the manufacturing, installation, and warranty period. I and my staff of Contract Administrators were charged to see that our Company met all terms of the various contracts.



Star Iron & Steel was a sub-contractor to Krupp Industrie Und Stahlbeau of Germany.



I was offered the position of Contracts Manager for the newly formed USA Division of Krupp, KRUPP INTERNATIONAL, INC, located in White Plains, New York.



Driving to New York in my Ford Pick-up, towing a U-Haul Trailer of my few belongings, I was asked by my long time Customer and Friend, Carl Brimmekamp - newly appointed President of Krupp International - to stop in at Jim Bridger to console them for the 2-years of problems with their Germany supplied Stacker-Reclaimer.
The function of this machine is to RECEIVE raw coal from the near-by coal mine via massive conveyor belts, Using the conveyor seen next to the bucket wheel, the coal is placed (Stacked)on the coal pile seen in the background, As the furnaces require coal to generate electricty, the bucket wheel revolves, "reclaiming " coal from the long pile previously stacked. This coal is fed by conveyor to the furnaces. The Stacker Reclaimer is computerized and has been upgraded by Jess & Crew as technology has progressed these past 38 years,

Being a pencil pusher and definitively not an engineer, I did as Carl asked. A month after reporting to work, Carl called me into his office, saying the Customer, Jim Bridger asked for me by name to come fix their Stacker-Reclaimer. I always believed a particular member of the New York office, who disliked me from day one figured that assignment was a quick and sure way to get rid of me...after all, KRUPP Germany had tried for two years to fix the machine.

NOT KNOWING anything must have been an advantage. I gathered up the drawings, manuals, etc. and flew off to ROCK SPRINGS & destiny with Jim Bridger. What happened is an interesting story....for another Blog on another day perhaps. Suffice to say, in 5 days my team and I found the problem, fixed it, and 38 years later...i.e. yesterday, I come knocking on the front door of Jim Bridger.

I was received with some suspicion. One guard knew the Manager of the Coal Yard, which included the KRUPP Stacker-Reclaimer, who came immediately to the Gate Guard Office. After a short interview with me, asking pointed questions, we returned to the Guard Office where I was issued a Pass and escorted on a personal visit to the KRUPP Stacker-Reclaimer.

After 38 years, Jess Metcalf, the Coal Yard Manager, had someone who understood and appreciated HIS KRUPP Stacker-Reclaimer which he babied and nurtured for the past 25 or so years.

Jess allowed me to take controlled pictures of "our" machine, explaining that the Homeland Security folks were kinda nervous about protecting Jim Bridger...security was tight...

I, and I believe they, were pleased at my impromptu visit...the fact that I WALKED half the USA to say HI certainly was not lost. Jess soto-voice said something about having his own story to tell.

I was a bit chocked up at saying goodbye.

Post Script: Remember my Blogs about Ed, Betty and Lee as I walked through Adrian, Oregon some many weeks ago? Well, we have maintained contact via cell phone. As I was walking back from Point Of Rocks to Rock Springs, my new and dear friend, Betty stopped me on I-80...Hi, Mister...wanna ride?


Fairy Tales are made of this stuff .

After my Jim Bridger visit, I drove 10 miles from Point Of Rocks to I-80 Rest Stop. I parked the Van and walked BACK to Point Of Rocks, On my walk back to the Van, none other than Dave and Alisa (see Blog pic of Little America), with four of their nine kids, blocked my way on I-80.

Been following your blog & were afraid we missed you.

This is just too much,,,

Here, we brought you some new energy drinks...

We're on our way, moving back to Tennessee...will you be walking to Tennessee?

Not this time...perhaps on way back from Key West

When I arrived at the Van, I found a number of the new drink sitting on SAMs trailer tongue.

And I should wonder the throat knots up & eyes water just a bit

Walked all told, 40 miles on this momentus day.






Friday, July 30, 2010

ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING - 0N THE ROAD AGAIN

IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED TO ME THAT THE HIGH ALTITUDE DID ME IN.

Perhaps, together with the intense heat ad recent poor diet.

In any event, left the motel only to buy some food for the next 100 mile stretch to RAWLINS, WYOMING. Caught up on sleep (NO TV) & repacked the car. Would you believe ROCK SPRINGS has no BLOCK ICE, only "Crushed Ice".

In my coolers, block ice keeps for 48 hours (if I cover it with 2 pillows). Crushed Ice lasts maybe 8 hours, Gotta be a ploy by Ice Manufacturer to keep sales UP. Also, PRINGLES box seems much smaller...don't normally eat Pringles, but need the salt when drinking so much water.

Is now 5:30 am, local. Motel offers continental B'fast @ 6 am. Will leave te Van & SAM at the motel. After a bite. will walk I-80 EAST to tje Tunnel -about 5 miles out - and walk back to gather up the Van, check out, and drive to an exit beyond the Tunnel, park, hitch (if possible) back to the tunnel & walk to the Van...then hitch to the next exit EAST & again walk back to the Van...then repeat the process until RAWLINS.

I know, it sucks. But anyone got better suggestion(s), I'm listening.

Sure hate to be caught out here without enuf water. The Van carries ample water, but walking, I can carry only enuf for 8 hours or so. Lack of water closes up my throat in an hour or two, and brings severe leg cramps - and interestingly, severe cramps in my fingers...they want to spread apart, forming a "V", and I cannot get them to come together again. That hand becomes very useless and is quite painful.

Water - at least for me - is critical. So, the Van stays close by each walk session.

OK, is now 5:45. Time to get dressed, get a bite, and return to my walk.

One other thing...it is quite difficlt to manipulate the sleeping bag in the cramped space in the Van. It keeps getting twisted & ties me in knots. So, before driving out of ROCK SPRINGS, I will visit the nearby WALL-MART & buy a small Duvet (SP ?) to use as a cover...then the sleeping bag can remain open when sleeping. Will also make it easier to get out during the night for the inevitable "Senior" piddles. Duvet can also be used as additional cooler insulation - remember, it gets HOT around here at the moment.

Well...it's time...LATER...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING

Got up early this morning in Green River, Wyoming. Checked out of the motel & drove to Exit 104 in Rock Springs, Wyoming, 14 miles away. Hitched a ride in a spanking new ultra modern Motor Home...PLUSH PLUSH...back to Green River. Did NOT take SAM as there is road construction for over 10 miles...in some places, I had to walk in the grass ...simply no room.

Returned to the Van at 12 noon...took nearly 4 hours in again intense heat.

Friend, Tom called on the cell to get my update for tonight's monthly meeting. Told Tom all is well,

Went to McDonalds for a Ceaser Salad & Chocolate Shake. Devoured both & dozed 30 minutes, ready for my afternoon walk session.

Started out I-80 and realized that all was not right. Pulled back off the freeway, parked & took stock...

I have walked since July 05 thru today, July 28. That is a full three and half weeks.

I have walked from Brian's West of Vale, Oregon

I have walked across the widest part of Idaho.

I have walked half way across Wyoming.

I have walked EVERY DAY,,,NO day off.

I have walked 30 - 45 miles EVERY day.

I have walked in temperatures over 100 degrees nearly EVERY day the past two weeks.

I have climbed to and walked at altitudes between 7,000 and 8,000 feet for the past week.

I have NOT injured myself...not even a blister.

I have had to some days walk the same ground two times as I could not hitch a ride.

I have driven the Van to support EVERY walk session.

I gave gone sometimes 48 hours between a sit-down meal.

I have cried more than a few times for those I love(ed) who are no longer here...walking along and out of nowhere, the tears start rolling...it is for all of them that I do this walk.

I have met and enjoyed many wonderful folks while doing all this.

I have alluded often enough that I was trying to find my limitations...

Sitting in my parked Van...ready for today's second walk session, I realized I have found it.

I have been kind to my body. I have been careful and safe in VERY dangerous conditions. I wave to EVERY trucker, every train, and most cars...nearly all wave back (trains TOOT).

Now, I have come to realize, it is time for TIME OUT.

I have taken a room (none of which I can afford) at the ECONOLODGE at Exit 104, Rock Springs, Wyoming. Here I will stay for at least 36 hours.

My body needs a moment.

My heart (the emotional one) needs a moment.

I will be back on the road in a bit.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

LITTLE AMERICA - GREEN RIVER

CAMEL AT GREEN RIVER, WYOMING
THE CAMEL AT GREEN RIVER, WYOMING

SAM ON I-80 IN GREEN RIVER, WYOMING


I-80 AT GREEN RIVER, WYOMING




GREEN RIVER, WYOMING SANDSTONE ERODING CLIFFS





ERODING CLIFFS I-80 AT GREEN RIVER, WYOMING




GREEN RIVER, WYOMING SANDSTONE CLIFFS






VIEW FROM MOTEL AT GREEN RIVER, WYOMING






SAM & ME AT LITTLE AMERICA








JOHN & ALICA WITH SAM AT LITTLE AMERICA









SAM ON US 30 OVERPASS OF I-80











SAM AT LITTLE AMERICA










UP BEFORE DAYLIGHT.

Had an early B'fast: best pancake I ever tasted & bowl of Hot Oatmeal.

Took SAM out of her trailer. SAM had some damage in recent weeks of transport...nothing serious. SAM & ME walked I-80 3 miles back to US 30, then out to Grainger & back on US 30, then back to Little America., completing yesterday walk from Opal.

SAM performed without a flaw...creating LOTS of "honks" and waves from I-80 trucks & cars...I was so proud to be with her where hundreds see what a beautiful machine she is.

Truck/Auto repair Shop @ Little America helped me repair SAMs broken Solar Panel Strut...now better than ever.

Making my way back to my room took better part of two hours; countless questions...numerous pictures, including Little America photographer---for their archives.
Pic of John & Alica, who, but for their 9 kids, would join SAM & Me....Oh, well, we all have ptiorities.

About to check out of my room & move the Van out a couple exits. Little America Restaurant may give me a ride back to Little America so SAM & ME can take our first long walk.

Will try to make Green River by tonight.

I-80 is NO problem. Nice 6-foot wide bicycle lane to walk, and drivers are exceptionally aware of SAM & ME. I actually now look forward to walking I-80


More Later




Now later...9 pm local, actually. SAM & ME are in Green River, having walked the 22 miles this afternoon at the zenith of heat...again around 100 out on the road ,




Was not going so far, but Little America Hotel Manager, Scott, said he needed to go to Green River & offered to give me a ride back to Little America...so Green River it was.




The walk, all on I-80 was a non-event...just the way we like. Did strain my right shin muscle, so must pay careful attention for a couple days.




Tomorrow, plan to walk to Jim Bridger Coal-fired Power Plant. Some 38 years ago I had a hand in operation of their Bucket-Wheel Excavator/Loader. Wheel has 32 buckets...a pickup truck can drive into each bucket. Hope they will receive me...they owe me (a later blog). In a word, the machine is BIG.




GREEN river has always been fascinating to me because of the exceptional cliffs bordering the Green River. I first came to Green River in 1952 riding a train...I wa awed then and was still awed as I walked into Green River today...pics attached hereto

Monday, July 26, 2010

OPAL - LITTLE AMERICA

EROSION - NEAR LITTLE AMERICA, WYOMING
AT 8,000 FEET ONE CAN SEE FOREVER IN WYOMING
MY ROOM - LITTLE AMERICA, WYOMING
LITTLE AMERICA AND VAN...SAM IN TRAILER
US 30 NEGOTIATING A 50 MILLION YEAR OLD LAKE BED


D E S O L A T E...that is the way from Opal to Little America...35 miles of 4 foot high sage brush & tons of oil wells.

Today, I felt the altitude. Walked 26 miles in intense heat including some long hills climbing up vertical bluffs to land so flat on top (old lake bottom) I could see forever in all directions. Would have been beautiful if there was something to see.

Had some difficulty getting full lung (deep breaths) climbing the hills. But, we did it. Got a ride back to the Van...didn't even put out my thumb. A real roughneck fellow stopped going the other way...

Wanna a ride?

Yes, yes thank you...but you better pull off the road; a truck is coming behind you

He burns rubber getting out of the trucks way. I think...OH OH.

I got in and again rubber burns pushing me back into my seat. He, the driver of 60 or so, farm clothes, bushy grey beard (could use a wash & comb). He reaches between the bucket seats into the back seat, handing me a can...

Wanna beer?

No...no thanks...

Well, don't mind if I have another...SNAP...FIZZ...GULP..AAAHHHH

I'm still shoving empties to make room for my feet.

Used to live in Opal in the 80s...moved away & just came back...sure has changed

Really...

That big brick building in center of town (town is 2 blocks long) used to be my meet'n place...now it's closed.

Sign on US 30 said "FOOD", with an arrow to Opal. The big brick building has painted on it's sides..."POP"..."BEER"..."SANDWICHES" and is boarded up tight...maybe they should remove the US 30 sign.

Yep them were the days, the 80s...from Boom to Bust.

He let me out next to the Van, snapping open another can of beer.

Probably just as well I didn't take his picture.

I got outta Dodge,,,er Opal (pronounced "Oh Pawl".

I drove along my previous walk, which came up 9 miles short of Little America.

Took a room at Little America and drove back to the Wyoming Department of Transportation in Grainger. 6 miles back up US 30, The Manager, Kim, spent a good half hour with me going over maps, talking about Frontage Road conditions ...like: This road has really steep hills...These roads here are very narrow and have NO berms. this road is not paved..etc, all the way to Rawlins, where I can again pick up US 30 to Laramie.

Bottom line...stay off the Frontage Roads...walk the freeway.

Kim then made xerox copies of his personal DOT Manual pages, giving details of I-80 exits, including distances between...OH, and don't try to walk through the Tunnel...has no pedestrian space...there is a side road around it tho...

Offered Kim lunch...

No thanks, but Would like a picture together with you.

We did the picture in front of SAM's logo on the trailer

Bye & stay safe...

Back at my room. Took a couple pics of Little America. Bought a milk shake - it was awful - Now will study Kim's papers & map to work out a scheme for walking I-80 withot leaving blood smears on the pavement...Wow...75 mph & me walking...

It is now 5 pm (local) and the Sun is GONE,,,obscured br angry black rolling clouds that been building all afternoon. A storm of some signicance is about to crash down on us...and after three weeks without a day off, I am a bit weary.

So, I have decided to NOT walk further today,...go have a good dinner, get a good night sleep and see what morning brings.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

KEMMERER / DIAMONDVILLE


DIAMONDVILLE - WORLD FOSSIL CAPITAL


50 MILLION YEAR OLD LAKE BOTTOM...WAY UP THERE


LAKE BOTTOM EROSION



COKE PLANT





LITTLE AMERICA...SIGNS START 100 MILES OUT ON ALL ROAD LEADING TO L. A.






FOSSIL BUTTE





KEMMERER...ORIGINAL J.C. PENNY STORE WAS OPEN ON SUNDAY JULY 25, 2010





Was on the road by 6:30 am.

When I last drove thru Kemmerer, US 30 went into town. Now, US 30 is a by-pass two miles outside downtown. I did not know that when I took a room downtown, so it was 7 am before I even rached US 30.

Decided to walk US 30 back to Sage Junction where I walked yesterday from Cokeville. I would take my chances on hitching a ride back to Kemmerer.

Kemmerer / Diamodville is at elevation 6,950 feet or so. US 30 is at least 7,300 feet. So, my walk this morning was in the 7,000 foot elevation range. Was anticipating shortness of breath because of the thinning air. Climbed some moderate hills with no visible effort.

First thing one sees is the strip mining activity up here. The higher elevations around here are up-lifted remnants of an ancient (50 million years) lake bed of fresh water. Diamondville claims the World Leader in marine fossils. The original lake was over 900 square miles.

Every hilltop it seems has a quarry of some sort. Near town is a large "coke" manufacturing plant. A large seam of coal is clearly visible from US 30...a wide section of black rock perhaps 100 feet thick running across the hillside. The factory "cooks" the coal, producing "Coke", which burns at very high temperatures. It is used to stoke fire in large furnaces.

Other quarries are "Fossil" quarries. One such area is "Fossil Butte", a U.S. Monument Park high up on the mountain side. I decided to walk the extra 4 miles to the Visitors Center. Was a heck of a climb, but worth it.

Interesting bit of trivia: If the land you own was homestead; i.e., in your family, you own all rights to the center of the earth. If the land you own is a "recent" purchase, you own everything in the first 40 feet of depth...The Government owns everything below 40 feet.

I was fortunate to receive a ride from the Monument Park back to my hotel. Going to rest a couple hours, then hitch a ride to Opal, about 13 Miles toward Little America. I will then walk back to the Van.

INTERMISSION

OK, back from the Opal session. Drove out 7 miles & parked the Van. Started walking toward Opal. I walked EAST, but stuck my thumb out for every car headed WEST. I really wanted a ride WEST back to Kemmerer, but have discovered it sometimes takes a half hour or more to get a ride, so frugal me...make every second count..get some EASTERLY miles in instead of standing like a big ole tree waiting for the World to come to me.

So, I reasoned.. walk EAST during the inevitable "wait-for-a-ride" to come along. Worked like a charm...walked 45 minutes toward Opal (45 minutes = 3 miles), hitched back to KEMMERER and walked the 7 miles back to the Van...TOTAL = 10 MILES.

So, for the day, I have 34 miles.

Staying a second night in Kemmerer motel. At daybreak, plan to drive to Opal & start walking EAST again.

A word on the topography...We are playing at an altitude of 7,000 feet or so. Remember, thus is a lake bottom lifted up by Continental Drift during the past 50 million years. Lots of errosion has eaten into the lake bed, leaving countless steep valleys meandering below the many flat-top steppes (the old original lake bottom sitting way up there above all else).

US 30 goes where the "all else" goes; i.e., UP - DOWN - UP - DOWN -UP...you get the idea...makes for Very Difficult Walking. Also, Wyoming DOT has deemed it proper to eliminate berms. Now, I must again walk on the actual roadway...makes for attentiveness, if I want to make it out of here to Little America, where I-80 is awaiting.

Another bit of trivia: Kemmerer sits on an EAST facing side-hill. Opposite a mile or two across a crystal clear small river sits a NORTH - SOUTH range of hills at about 8,000 feet. On many rises, one sees numerous tower-like structures. What are all those towers, I asked my ride back from Fossil Butte.

Oh, they are for pumping concrete into the burning inferno raging deep underground in the coal seams.

(Note: Nearly ALL of the Rocky Mountains from the Arctic to Mexico are big coal or tar sand reservoirs...Google it if interested).

Been diong that since the 1950s. Legend has it the Indians A LONG TIME AGO used the heat from those vast underground fires. This is all new to me. The towers, however, are up there following the tops of a very long ridgeline.
As a coincidence, CNN has an article today about underground coal seam fires...it is apparently world-wide and many have been burning a VERY LONG TIME. I would link the article, but don't know how...RON: help, please.

HELLO, WYOMING

WINDMILL BLADE - 175 FEET LONG...NEED 3 OF THESE PER TOWER

WIND BLOWING SEA OF GRASSES
SHEEP IN A SHADED PASTURE


TEEPEE





ABANDONED RANCH...LOTS OF THESE OUT HERE



OREGON TRAIL MUSEUM - MONTPELIER, OREGON






SEEMS REASONABLE TO ME





CHICO...JUST A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT...AND MY FRIEND






Been walking a blistering pace pouring on the miles since returning to Vale, nearly three weeks ago. Have walked every day with no rest day averaging 35 - 40 miles a day. I mention this as I must cross the numerous 7,000 - 8,000 foot Rocky Mountain passes before snow sets in.

That means moving fast as I can go.

I am usually on the road before the Sun rises. Used to be (before Vale) that I would start out around 8 - 9 am. Am now walking 10 - 12 miles by 8 am. Still walk one mile every 15 minutes = 4 miles every hour.

This routine lets me get in three walk sessions a day with an hour or so "recovery" in between.

More often than not, my recovery time is spent moving the Van to the next parking spot...usually 15 or so miles away...so "recovery" is not so good as if I simply got off my feet.

Yes, I do get pooped, especially under the 100 degree heat that sets in around 11 am & stays until after 5 pm or so. Means I must ration my water to be sure I don't run out before I get back to the Van.

My body is holding up brilliantly. I listen to it every step and make adjustments to twinges, pressure spots or a muscle strain. Last 4 days, have been getting heel soreness...probably because I trying to lengthen my stride; so, I have shortened my stride but speed up the pace. Heel soreness is dissipating somewhat. Still holding 4 mph..up hill, flat or down hill.

Problem is that I cannot get comfortable sleeping in the Van..It is awkard t0 move around & quite a chore to get up 2 - 3 times a night to piddle..Not a kid anymore, remember. So, to get proper rest to maintain my demanding walk performance, I have been taking more Motel rooms.

That also has it's own problems. I have financed my entire walk experience completely from my Social Security income...& then only 1/2 that, since the other half goes automatically to my part of household expenses (back in Bellingham) and Government mandatory and supplemental insurance.

Simple truth is not much left over for food or Motel, gas, etc. I'm OK, but may have to cut my walking miles back if I opt to stay in the Van or set up the tent for more nights...simply not enough daylight hours available to maintain my current walking pace without a room to rest properly.

Not complaining, mind you...not my nature to complain...but in my mind a Blog should be about ALL things. It is not easy to talk of limitations or I " wish this or I wish that"..It is as it is and within the parameters given, I perform to the best of my ability...Hope this does not offend.

And, YES, I did walk yesterday...and what a day it was. Up before ole SOL. No one offered me a ride from Cokeville, so I walked the 11 miles back to the Idaho / Wyoming border and back to Cokeville...i.e., 22 miles before breakfast.

Top it off, met & spent some time with CHICO...a truly interesting man living out his life...as the commercial says...just a little bit different (see CHICO Blog of yesterday).

After breaking bread with CHICO, I got a ride out 20 miles toward Border and walked back to Cokeville...a total of 42 or so miles. I then loaded up the Van, thanked my wonderful Hosts Stef - who just two days ago hurt his back - and Angie for the beyond kindness to me for allowing me to sleep on the floor of Angie's Daughter"s Beauty Shop floor...because of "Pioneer Day" celebrations in Cokeville yesterday, there were simply no rooms at the (any) Inn.

I then drove to Kemmerer, some 44 miles from Cokeville where I again took a room...I really am a bit weary and need some comfort to recover yesterdays exciting events. Today...it is 4 am or so as I write this Blog, I plan to hitch to yesterdays stopping point & walk back to the Motel...22 miles. Will be on the road in an hour or so.

Next stop is Little America...a very special place for me since my first visit in 1956...never dreamed I would be WALKING into Little America,,,Google it...may surprise you. Little America is some 60 miles from Kemmerer with not much out there for support. So, I have opted to stay a second night here in Kemmerer & hitch (if possible) at least half way...Not easy terrain, as I am now in the Big Mountain portion which will be way over 100 degrees the next couple days...

Should be a barrel of fun.....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

CHICO

CHICO aka, STANLEY, WALKING US 30 IN WYOMING NEAR IDAHO BORDER

CHICO...MY NEW FRIEND
I want to introduce you to a very interesting man, Stanley..."CHICO" to his friends...




I was walking near the Wyoming border with Idaho, when came another walker towards me. I crossed US 30 to his side. As we closed the gap a grinning sunburned face beamed at me.




Hi, I'm Bruce...Bruce Maynard.




Hi, Bruce; I'm Stanley..."CHICO" to my friends. Where ta go'n?




Key West...You?




Ur kidd'n...really walk'n to Key West?




Yep, 'n how 'bout you?




Don't really know...maybe up to Pockie for starters (Pockie = Pocatello)




What's in Pockie?




Hopefully a train...Police kicked me off the last one a couple days ago...someone saw me in a box car & called the Police.




Really; what did the Police do?




Well, they never actually came at all. All's I know the train stopped. Someone...the Brakeman, I
think, was going down the line call'n out..."We know ur in there...better come out...Police are on the way. We ain't mov'n this train til ur off...better come on out a'fore the Police get here."


So, I slid back the door of my car & jumped down.

"I'm really sorry, Mack, but you know how the Law is with riders anymore. If you just want to walk away, we'll get 'er roll'n again."


So,I swung my pack on as the brakeman signaled the engine. I watched as my ride pulled away .


How long you been riding the rails?


Let's see...got back from Vietnam in "73...'cept for a few months making things right with the Wife & Kids...let's see...'bout 30 years or so.


Really against the law to hitch a freight?...as a kid my Brother, Jim & I used to visit the Hobo camp under the trestle a half mile or so from the house. They were just plain people down on their luck...try'n to make it through...never heard they did something wrong...and you say it's not legal anymore.


Nope. Not many of us out there anymore, but I move around on trains. Got no money. The Government sends me a little each month for my service, bit it don't go far.


Where do you camp? What do you eat?


Put my roll down wherever I can find a spot. Don't eat much. 'Cept on weekends, a Church sometimes comes up with something...but not on weekends. Usually, I just look around..I usually find something...never much, but it keeps me going.
So, where you headed now?


Back to New York, I think...Been Getting some warning signs that a couple things arn't going right inside.


You from New York?


Born in Harlem. Daddy moved us out to Amityville on Long Island to get us away from the filth & crime back after the war (meaning WWII). Then Daddy died, Mom sold the house & us kids had to leave. I'm 60 now & I gotta get back to New York. I don't want to die out here. I want to be buried along side my Daddy.


That where you heading now?


No, going to Portland first to see my Wife, say g'bye...then go home to New York to be with Daddy. Hope I can hop a freight in Pokie.


Well, don't give up just yet...lots of things can happen to help you out.


Well, maybe so..I'll be going...hope you have a safe walk to Key West.


Chico and I walked on our separate journeys...Chico to Pockie & I to Cokeville.


I stopped in to tell Seth and Angie that I was going to hitch a ride 20 miles or so towards Border, (a single FIREWORKS building sitting on the Idaho / Wyoming border). Then, I went to Blondie's Cafe & ordered two eggs over medium, home fries, toast & coffee. First meal I had in two days. Got to thinking about Chico, wondering how many days since his tummy saw a real meal


I ordered a second breakfast TO GO, but had the eggs scrambled.


I drove out US 30 towards Pokie. Found Chico still in Wyoming, but not by much. I made a U-Turn & stopped in front of him on the berm, got out, Take-Out in hand.
Chico went a bit crazy...Shook my hand & gave me the most sincere hug I received in some years.
We made small talk as he ate.
Chico did most of the talking.


































Friday, July 23, 2010

BYE IDAHO

COKEVILLE
HIDEOUT MOTEL


BLUE HERON



IDAHO LOOKING AT WYOMING








JOSE' DRIVING HIS TRUCK




JOSE' TRUCK





This afternoon, walked right up to the Wyoming State Line BUT DID NOT CROSS. I save the crossing for tomorrow morning. Took 17 days to walk from Vale, Oregon to the Wyoming Border.

Rather interesting day, actually. Spent the night in another motel in MONTPELIER, Idaho. At daybreak this morning, walked 5 blocks to US 30 where no one slowed to my request for a ride. So, I walked. As I was leaving the city limits, a 18-wheeler was pulled over. I asked the driver for a ride, showing him my hand lettered sign (on a manila file folder) "Walking Across USA".

Where you going

Key West

Your headed in the wrong direction

Yes, but I need a ride to Georgetown...then I walk back here to Montpelier

Oh...just a sec. (takes fully 2 minutes throwing stuff over his shoulder from the passenger seat into the "sleeper" behind the cab....OK, hop in

Hi...I'm Bruce Maynard

I'm _____ (lets call him Jose')

I used to drive these rigs when I was 12...back in 1947 - 1952. Great to be in one again.
(Marks on the windshield came during WWII, years before...see prior Blog)

I coming out of Laredo (Texas) heading for Portland (Oregon). Had to fill out my drivers log for DOT. If I drive more than 11 hours in 24, I get fined.

Nice rig

Too small for me

A Cummins or Buda

Nope Cat465...to small for this load.

Jose' let me out in mid Georgetown...Bye---Have a safe trip.

1/2 mile out of Georgetown...SHOOOOSH over my left shoulder. I felt the wind before I heard a SCREEEEECH as a really big Falcon pulled out of his surprise dive from behind me...he wheeled right and came at me again from starboard (my right side), zooming 10 feet over my head, screeching all the way.

Pulled my camera ready for his third attack...he fluttered 50 feet in front of me, wheeled and lifted himself onto a telephone pole not 100 feet from me...staring staring staring. I walked over to his pole, pointed the camera & he flitted over to the next pole.

I stood there talking to him for a minute or so...took some pics...he just stared back.

I turned and walked on to Montpelier. Ed. note: Falcon pics did not come out.

As the mountains get larger, they become more beautiful and foreboding....I gotta climb those guys soon. A large valley run between mountains off to my right. The Bear River runs down the West side of the valley. This was the main route for the early Oregon Trail Pioneers, leading them to Soda Springs...hot springs and soda springs bubbling up in the river and along the banks.
In the distance I can hear and see another "Land Bridge" train. I wave, but too far away.

Since starting this walk, I have seen many deer remains. Never, though, have I seen what lay on both sides of the steep 6,350 ft or so Georgetown Hill about half way to Montpelier. Deer remains littered the roadside...one at least every 100 feet - and I only saw one side of the highway. I have hit and killed two deer - one in Wyoming and one outside Salt Lake City...and I have been nearly hit on US 20 outside Burns, Oregon (see prior Blog)...I know from both sides the horror and helplessness driver and deer know just before lights out - forever.

Returning to my motel, Marti, an employee, offered to drive out to pick me up after I walk US 30 to Borders. She did meet me on the appointed dot and drove me back to Montpelier. I then drove on to Borders, parked the Van and walked back up the 4 mile hill overlooking the Idaho / Wyoming Border. Walking back I encountered a Blue Heron. He was 20 feet from me. I took out the camera and snapped a bunch of pics as we two walked together 20 feet apart along US 30.

I them drove the 11 miles to the small town of Cokeville, Wyoming. Two motels and not a room to be had. I chatted with Angie & Hubby about my walk. She volunteered her "Beauty Salon" FLOOR...provided I had an air mattress and sleeping bag. I took it. She refused payment. She also allowed me to use this, her computer (as Verizon has NO service in Western Wyoming). to write my Blog. All pics, however, must wait until Verizon resumes service.

Tomorrow is Pioneer Days in Coakville with parades starting at 10 am...about the time I will return from the Wyoming Border. I will hitch a ride (I hope) and walk back. Later in the day, I will hitch a ride towards Kemmerer, some 42 miles away. Will try 20 miles or so and walk back to Coakville.

Then, I plan to drive tomorrow evening to Kemmerer for the night and hitch n' walk the Kemmerer side of the 42 miles...still walking straight and honest.

For now...nite all

Thursday, July 22, 2010

SODA SPRINGS

SODA SPRINGS
GEORGETOWN SUMMIT - GETTING UP THERE

US 30 TO GEORGETOWN



LAND BRIDGE TRAIN...LAVA HOT SPRINGS


LAND BRIDGE TRAIN - SODA SPRINGS WORK ZONE "TOOT TOOT"




WORK ZONE TRAFFIC - NO WHERE TO WALK






WORK ZONE - FISH CREEK HILL IN DISTANCE







SAGE IS BEAUTIFUL - NEAR GEORGETOWN





Twice over Fish Creek Hill yesterday did a job on me. My shoes were too loose & the center toe on each foot banged into the front of the toe-box. One toe was blooded...the other badly bruised.

I soaked in the tub for 1 hour, messaged both feet with moisturizing cream for 10 minutes each and stayed off my feet. This morning they were still sore to throbbing.

Was up at 5 am, showered , shaved, brushed my teeth, ate a bagel w/Phila Cheeze and put another in my backpack. Messaged both feet again, dressed, and hit the road as the Sun rose.

Decided to do the Construction Zone in spite of the scant walking room.The Construction Zone is 8 miles to the foot of Fish Creek Hill where I parked yesterday. From the Motel, it is 7 miles to the Construction Zone; Total=15 miles.

I walked out and back...30 miles; only 15 of which count.

Was rewarded by two "Land Bridge" trains...both giving me TOOT TOOT when I waved. Three other trains also went by, but did NOT toot me.

Checked out of the motel and drove the 18 miles to Georgetown, Parked in a Church parking lot under a big shade tree & stepped onto the higway. Third car by stopped & gave me a ride back to Soda Springs.. He was an attorney. We were surprised to learn that we both experienced the same event involving Jelly Belly Company nearly 20 years ago...Very small world.

I started walking my second session of today under clear sky & increasing heat. Five hours later, I limped to the Van and downed 1/2 gallon chocolate milk on ice.

Total miles = 48 miles.

I drove to Montpelier with every intention of hitching back to Georgetown & walking the 13 miles back to Montpelier.

Took another room, unloaded the Van, turned on my mini hp, poured a Coors Light into a glass of ice, stripped off my sweaty clothes, washed shirt, socks & pants - now hanging on hangers to dry in front of the air conditioner...and here I sit, naked as a Jay Bird, writing this Blog.

So, Georgetown to Montpelier must wait til morn''n.

A special "hello" and "thankyou" to Deanna & Stephany...you know why.