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Sunday, August 8, 2010

FALLING OFF THE ROCK (IES)

WYOMING-COLORADO STATE LINE
























































































































































After settling into my Motel Room last evening, I walked to the local Cafe for a bite...ordered Chile and a Ruebin with fries. The Chile because of "regularity" and the fries because of the salt, which helps retain water - walking brings on water loss. No significance to the crux of this blog...just a bit of interest info which is a part of the reality of my walk.

The waitress took an interest in my walk, so I asked her if she was available to give me a ride in the morning back to the Wyoming/Colorado Line. She is busy. Other patrons and employees joined into the conversation. Consensus was that it was 65 miles to the "Line", and nobody can walk that far in a day. Having just driven it, didn't seem to be that far, so I am sitting at my mini at 4:00 am with maps and Google printout...and whaddyano, it is NOT 65 miles.

From the "Line" to Virginia Dale is about 7 miles. From Virginia Dale to Livermore is 13 miles.
From Livermore to Ft Collins is 20 miles. That makes 40 miles.

So, my plan this morning is to drive to Livermore, a Resort at the bottom of the steepest part of US 287, park the Van, hitch up to the "Line", and walk back down.

Interesting observation: I have, since Pocatello, Idaho, been climbing onto the back of the Rockie Mountains, levelling out between 6,000 and 8,000 feet above Sea Level. The climb was so gradual as not to be noticeable. This morning's descent will be from about 7,500 feet at the "Line" to about 5,000 feet at Livermore. That is a drop of 2,500 feet in 20 miles...a rather steep descent in so short a distance.

I mention this as it presents real potential for injury, particularly Shin Splint and hip/back strain.

I will TRY to be careful. I will carry minimal weight - only 3 pints of water and two Bagels. My shoes MUST be tied just right to keep my feet from sliding forward into the toe box. If the toes hit the front of the toe box, five minutes will end the walk from toe damage and extreme pain.

Body posture MUST remain as perpendicular to the road slope as possible to minimize strain on my skeleton, particularly my neck, spine, hips, knees, and ankles/feet bones. My feet MUST meet the pavement as flat as possible to prevent damage to the heel. I MUST at all costs, avoid any sharp movements...my body must FLOW into the descent as a puff of air might brush against lips. Otherwise...TAKE IT EASY !

Walking is NOT just getting out there and moving along. During last Summer, I walked in and around Bellingham over 1,000 miles preparing for Key West. I will try to remember what I have learned then and since then on this morning's descent from the peaks of the Rocky Mountains down onto the Plains.

The EASTERN slops of the Rockies are incredibly beautiful, producing rock formations of unbelievable shapes and colors. I will take this walk session slow and serious. Pics I get should be incredible...at least worthy of seeing.

OK, I'm back from the State Line walk. Started with a high powered thrill. A group of motorcycle tourists were staying at the Motel. Conversation got around to my need for a ride to the State Line. Ken offers to carry me on his gorgeous Kawasaki 2000 ( or so). True to his word, he follows me out 20 miles to Livermore. I hop on behind him & off we go on one ride of your/my life. Tanks again, Ken.

The walk down was a bit anticlimactic. I dressed for another thunderstorm...I got 90 something degrees instead and lugged the extra gear 20 miles . A lot of traffic on US 287. The wind of yesterday returned, except on my right shoulder. Vehicles, including 18 wheelers were pushed hard toward my walking lane. Two vehicles lost the battle, swerving INTO my walking lane at the last instant. One pickup truck missed me by perhaps 3 inches as I litterly jumped completely off the road into the grass to get out of his way. You nearly lost me that time, folks.

The "steep" hills were long, but nearly as steep as some others...WARM SPRINGS, for example. Then too, there were three long UP hills I did not register when I drove...strange how hills look so different up close.

Speaking of up close, I received a compliment from Theresa, Ken's wife (who rides her own bike), this morning about my looking much younger than my age...no wrinkles and all. Thanked her replying like all less...it's a matter decisions and choices we make...at age 27 I began selling OVATION moisturizing cosmetics, doing makeup parties, etc (yes, I did that also). I liked the way moisturizing lotions and creams felt and looked.

I have never again used astringent products (such as after-shave) on my skin. That decision has rewarded me with much younger looking and feeling skin. My preferred product is SWISS made NIVIA. US made NIVIA is not as good - for me - so I horde my Swiss supply.

My mainstay is LUBRIDERM which I use after shaving AND carry in my back pack on every walk. I moisturize my feet 4 times a day (before AND after each walk), using REFLEXOLOGY for 5 minutes per foot each time. I believe in taking care of my feet and am again rewarded by blister-free, pain-free feet SO FAR.

Kinda interesting how conversations evolve...nothing to do with walking...but on the other hand very much to do with walking...one could go so far as to suggest that without my decision 48 years ago, my body would not now stand the rigors it is receiving...gotta be careful NOT to start preaching...just hope my experience may benefit someone else.

Have some pics from today...hope you enjoy some of them.

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