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Sunday, August 22, 2010

HEAT AND FOREVER ROADS

EDGE OF COLORADO HIGHJWAY 79
BISON - BUFFALO

DONKEYS


ONE STEP FROM COW HEAVEN...THE FEED LOT



FEED LOT COW




DEATH OF AN ALFALFA FIELD





SUNFLOWERS






SUNFLOWER







SOD BUSTER CAFE

















Arriving in Bellingham last week, the temperature shot up from mid 70s to mid 90s , As soon as I left for Denver, it dropped back. Upon arriving in Denver, mid 90s again and today is even hotter.

Yesterday, walked 24 miles out of Prospect Village, completing the miles from US 287 to Colorado 79 via Colorado 52 . Clod Buster Cafe was closed on Saturday. Slept in the Van last night, which was very uncomfortable after a week back in my own bed.

Planned on taking SAM back onto the road. But, simply cannot. It is still way too hot for SAM, AND, the Colorado Highways - so far - are totally unsafe for ANY walking...especially for a cart like SAM.

Colorado Highways 52, 79, and now 36, are, in the first instance very narrow. In the second instance, the edges are not maintained. There is a 2-inch drop from the macadam to the dirt. The perfect condition to break or sprain an ankle. In the third instance, there is NO gravel, sand, or grass berm. From the edge of the asphalt, the side of the roadway angles immediately down very steep...normally for 4 - 5 feet. 18-wheelers often run on the white line, which breaks up the edge of the pavement.

To say the least, Colorado Highways I have walked so far are an accident waiting to happen. Then, too, the normal speed limit is 65 mph. It is true that they are straight and have few hills or dips. Also, traffic is minimal, except for 18-wheelers which predominate. 3/4 ton pickups - often towing large trailers or oversize farm equipment running a close second.

I have seen 2 bicycles and one walker - ME -.

For the bicycles so far, all traffic has STOPPED Because there simply is NO ROOM to pass,

For ME, the walker, I move onto the sloping grass and STAND STILL as traffic goes by.

The entire walking conditions are, to say the least. dangerous.

Looking at the map, I must walk on these poorly engineered and maintained roadways most of the way to Oklahoma . The map shows alternate routes, but the map also shows these routes to be unpaved dirt, sand or gravel .

Then, my old complaint is emphasized on these rural; highways. Nearly every one is following way too close. They leave no room for evasive action and cannot possibly see the roadway in front of the vehicle(s) they are following.

I hope the roads will improve as I continue my walk. If the worst should happen, the State of Colorado is, I'm afraid, open to severe criticism if not liability. There is no excuse, in my opinion, for such poorly engineered and maintained roadways...rural or no.

As might be expected, the entire area is so far, dedicated to agriculture. The area I walk now is mostly Corn and Sunflowers. I have also walked by some Wheat, Alfalfa, and Potato.

In addition to slipping often off the jagged edges of the macadam, I am really out of shape. The week off took a lot out of me...sitting on my tush for hours on end. I also returned with a heavy mental burden from the home-front.

I begin each walk with a bit of dizziness and nausea...which goes away in a few moments , I also have a nagging soreness in my left hip...probably because of the roadway limitations.

In any event, I am here for one reason only...TO WALK. And WALK is what I am doing,

I started Colorado Highway 36 today, which will take me to LAST CHANCE (nice name, huh?), where I turn South on Colorado 71 until it intersects with our old friend US 287.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Bruce, with those types of road conditions, you must be sure to not over-walk yourself. It doesn't sound like there will be a second chance on them, so don't use up your first.

Suzanne