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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bruneau - Hammatt - Glenns Ferry



At 6 am sharp, I am picked up by Robert, owner of Bruneau Grocery / Gasoline Store. I spent some time in his shop yesterday chatting & having some POWERADE. He offered to pick me up at 6 sharp and drive me back to the Idaho 51 Bridge over the Snake River...the place I walked to last evening.

He and I both arrived at the appointed spot together. Bob was born and raised in this valley and has lived here all his life. He lets me out and well before the Sun comes over the distant Rocky Mountains, I am a mile on the road back to Hammett. I arrive around 10 am and have a Hot Chocolate at the now open drive thru coffee shop. Chat with Carla a bit, then start my second jaunt of the day for Glenns Ferry, 9 miles away. I walk all the way to Glenns Ferry, have a lunch of (you guessed it) Chef Salad and BLT.

The restauranbt also has a motel in the center of Glenns Ferry, a town of the size of Lynden, Washington. I booked a room ( # 7) for the night. All my batteries have gone dead, I'm stinky, and the car needs to be reorganized. Besides that, I have received a few nice orders for my Company, which I must put to bed. For that, I need a working computer and some quiet time.

I then started walking back to Hammett. The 100 degree heat had returned, but it was also blowing up a gale...directly into my face.

There is a spot on I-84 that has for years impressed me...freeway hanging in the sky, US 30 parallel a few yards directly below, the train tracks directly below that, and the intense blue Snake River giving dramatic backdrop before green irrigated fields and deep brown treeless hills backing it all up.

I walked US 30 to, through, and beyond that spot today...never dreamed the dozens of times I drove I-84 that I would EVER be walking that memorable spot...and yet, here I was.

Many years ago, in the 1960s and 1970s, I worked for Colby Crane, then Star Iron & Steel, and finally the German Steel Giant, KRUPP. In all those companies, I was Contracts Manager, with a staff of highly educated folks bidding, negotiating, executing, and closing numerous contracts for the Giant Container Cranes one sees in all the world's major seaports. The first 7 such cranes in Seattle were my projects.

The concept back in 1960s was that the USA would create a "Land Bridge" to move the thousands of shipping containers anticipated to sail the seven seas. Ships from the East Coast would off-load containers destined for the Pacific Basin. The railrads were to build thousands of specialized flat cars to receive these containers and transport over the "Land Bridge" to the West Coast, where they would be reloaded on Container Ships heading into the Pacific and beyond. The "Land Bridge" was to work in both East-West and West-East directions.

Today at MY special I-84 spot, I saw, waved to and got tooted back by at least a dozen "Land Bridge" trains carrying nothing but containers...going in both at least every 10 minutes

Those moments were precious to me. To see the results of my (and thousands of others) of 50 years ago actually moving uncounted containers along the "Land Bridge". It sends more than a little chill down my know that I had a part...and there it was like a ballet streaming across the stage backdropped by the Blue Snake River.

A couple other such involvements of even MORE years before the "Land Bridge" has passed by me in the past week as I walked Idaho 78. I was deeply involved in the early days of Cape Canaveral U.S. Air Force Project Office for the development and testing of the Minuteman Missile. The hills surroundibg Idaho are punched many times over with 90 foot Minuteman Silos.

And, there is yet more...for another Blog

I returned to Hammett, chatted for an hour or two with Carla, owner of the Drive-Thru Coffee Shop (she would not accept my $$ for her drinks). She is more than a little worried about the economy and it's effect on her 4-year-old business. I assured her that I have seen signs of some change...not in Hammett, but elsewhere. She closed 4 pm, because besides me, only one othwere client drove up.

We said goodbye & good luck. She drove off home and I drove off to my Room # 7 in the midtown Glenns Ferry, where I now sit, air conditioner blasting away while I sweat anyway and try to catch all the bug bugs that crawl up the wall in front of my computer table...

Kinda Leary of climbing into the bed...gonna give it a good look over first.

Tomorrow, will breakfast (something I have NOT done in several weeks on the road) at the motel restaurant and then head out for Bliss...some 15 miles towards Buel and then Twin Falls.

I am closing in on Pocatello, which I want to reach by August 1. I MUST cross the Rocky Mountains by August 30. I have a 8,000 foot pass to climb between Laramie, Wyoming and Fort Carson, Colorado. Snow I really do NOT need.

In the next few blogs, I will formally request a COMPANION for my walk. I can continue as now, but it is still very cumbersome for me. I really am looking for someone with a small motor home to join me for the rest of my journey. I cannot pay for the machine or any salary, but will foot all "normal" expenses. I would also offer my high-tech video corder to help document our walk.
If I can concentrate on only walking...let someone else handle logistics...I know I can and will walk at least 50 miles per day. I'm not in a race, but I realize I have something to prove about "old" people and what they are capable of doing, given the right conditions and desire and some support.
More on this.

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