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Monday, August 2, 2010

WAMSUTTER - RAWLINS

RAINBOW AFTER DARK - look closely...is actually a double rainbow...rather rare
OLE SOL PEEKS THRU A CRACK

RAINBOW


CONTINENTAL DIVIDE-EAST - In Heavy Downpour



SECOND FLAT OF THE DAY




SOUTH BASIN RIDGE





STORM CELL FORMING






I-80 IN THE BASIN - looking at east ridge 25 miles away















I wanted to write this Blog the moment WE returned. Was , however barely able to sit, stand, or lie down. Took a hot shower to thaw out, tried to answer e-mail, and gave it all up...felt awful.
So, went to sleep for 2 hours. Awoke feeling better, but not much. Did my e-mail, up-dated SUPPLEMENTAL Blog, and here I am,

Still not hitting on all cylinders. This will be a special blog - at least to me, and will have to wait for morning when my body quits twitching.

Blog in the morning,,,sweet dreams.

GOOD MORNING:

Going to take YOU along on our walk from Wamsutter to Rawlins. This may be difficult for you..if so, I apologize up front...you are in my shoes.....

Wow, such good news from ER...now we're ready to hitch a ride to Wamsutter.

Hi, my name is Bruce Maynard, and I'm walking across America...Yes, I know...but I see you are about to leave the motel...if you are going WEST on I-80, sure could use a ride to Wamsutter...You are..in about an hour...that would be perfect...just pound on Room 2, I'll be ready...Geroge !..good to meet you, George, and thanks.

Gosh, it's been nearly two hours..wonder if George forget.

Oh, Hi, George...you, bet, I'm ready.

GEORGE DRIVES US ONTO I-80 WEST

Looks like rain today...look at the overcast...where is the Sun.

Well, I would like to start walking walking at about Milepost 180. That should be around 20 miles from Rawlins.

SMALL TALK...GEORGE LIVES IN EUGENE, OREGON & IS REGIONAL SALES MANAGER FOR A LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY

Yes, just about here... a safe place to pull off. Great, I'll walk back to Rawlins from here...have a safe trip...Bye..

GEORGE PULLS BACK ON TO I-80, LEAVING ME STANDING SOME 20 MILES FROM RAWLINS AT 1;30 pm.

Holy Moly, what have I done...We are 30 miles, not 20 miles from Rawlins. Let's see, it's 1:30 pm. It gets dark around 8:20.... Walking 4 miles per hour, 30 miles puts me in Rawlins at...OMG...7-1/2 hours. That puts us into Rawlins at 9:00 pm. With this overcast, could get dark earlier...NOT GOOD.

Oh, well...it is as it is. Nothing but start walking & try to speed up a bit...longer stride...tough on calve muscles...ok, lets go.

Those trucks seem noisier today...must be the low hanging clouds...it's gonna rain and in the next hour. That big storm cell is bearing down on us. I know, brought NO rain gear. The reflective green jacket is not waterproof...

Well, it is as it is...keep up the pace...

That Storm Cell looks to be swerving SOUTH...might miss me...OMG, there is another Cell forming behind the first...keep up the pace.

Yes, the first Cell is missing us, but lightening is coming out of that second one...seems to be catching up to the first Cell

30 MINUTES LATER

Oh Oh, rain is starting. The second Cell is now up to the first one and is starting to swerve SOUTH, but we're gonna get wet.

There is another Storm Cell forming over there to the NORTH. If it swerves, we are gonna catch that one too. Lightening is already starting in it...looks to be growing.

30 MINUTES LATER

Now nearly 3 pm and I'm getting clobbered by Cell 2; but it is moving further SOUTH away from me. Cell 3 is holding course & looks to pass in front
Gotta keep close watch on the on-coming traffic. Some are pushing over the bicycle lane getting mighty close...probably don't even see me in this rain..

Ok, so I'm soaked thru...those bloody trucks put me through a car wash every time one passes.

30 MINUTES LATER

OK,tummy, so you are growling...at least the rain has stopped...back there are 3 more Cells forming...probably have up to 2 hours before that one catches.

30 MINUTES LATER

Quit growling. I know it was 6:30 this morning since Mc Donalds Pancakes. Sure there are 3 Bagels with Cream Cheese in the backpack. If I stop to get the Bagels, I will be even longer in the dark..,gotta keep up the pace.

30 MINUTES LATER

Stop ur growling...remember how we do it...think of the most beautiful moment of our life...I know, St Maartin Island, January 12, 1981... only married two years, Christiane is as Aphrodite as she moves slowly deeper into the crystal clear water. Her one-piece white bathing suit is getting wet...now up to her waist...becoming transparent even through the water. I sit mesmerized watching my beautiful wife skim her finger tips in circles around her body, making tiny rooster tails catching the Sun's rays shining through the water crystals creating moving rainbows as her fingers skim. Christiane turns, smiles, and walks back out of the water, oblivious of her nakedness through her wet bathing suit. Taking both my hands, she lowers herself onto the pure white beach in front of our private bungalow. Still smiling, she pulls me down beside her, lying my head between her breasts.

Whattaymean, ur still hungry !~ No stopping for a bagel !

I lost Christiane exactly 20 years to the day, January 12, 2001. Cancer took her forever.

I HOUR LATER

Ouch...as I carelessly step on the 1-1/2 inch drop of the macadam at the edge of the bicycle lane. The bicycle lane is a good six feet wide, but as I start to tire, I move as far away from the roaring 18-wheelers as I can...Stupidly, I have now pulled my right leg calf muscle damn damn damn. The pain increases with each step.

Only half way to Rawlins...another 16 miles to go...pain will not do. Gotta stop & take a pain-killer...must keep up the pace. Off comes the backpack. Take out the bottle of NAPROXEN. Pop a full pill into my mouth, chew it for faster action, and take 4 or five swallows of water to speed up the numbing of the pain. Backpack back on. Keep walking...keeping up the pace.
Not a peep from my stomach...perhaps another beautiful moment caught it's fancy.

TWO HOURS OR SO LATER

Approaching the I-80 rise up to the EAST Basin Ridge. Some 5 miles somewhere up there is Continental Divide-EAST. It is then that the 3 Storm Cells approaching from behind find me.
The wind picks up...the rain starts...it gets suddenly cold..a few degrees lower, I silently think and it could sleet or snow. I have woolen knit hand gloves. I put them on. All vehicles are driving down the curving I-80 off the Ridge. The car wash baths start again. NAPROXIN is working. I speed up my climb with a vengeance. It is starting to get dark, even at 6 pm. Still 12 miles to go..all up hill. NOT GOOD.

The next 2 hours bring me to Continental Divide-EAST. Take a pic in the downpour...probably will not come out. Four Miles to go. I'm very cold. It is quite dark. I'm soaked thru & thru.

As by magic, the surrounding grasses start to take on an orange hue. The far hillsides of the Basin Ridge get brighter, also taking on an orange glow...What the heck...and the rain continues.

The orange glow washes over everything, including the bicycle path i walk on.

I stop, turn to look back. The sky is fully orange-pink beneath a slender slit beneath the black clouds. Brightly shining, sitting on the edge of the WESTERN horizon is Ole SOL, in all her glory, lighting the entire Basin and ridges around me. The rain continues.

There must a rainbow somewhere...and there it is, a thin iridescent arc rising from out of the hillside not 1/2 mile from my right arm. The rain continues.

I take out the camera--heck with the rain...this is spectacular. I snap a few pics of the growing rainbow, turn back to SOL who is starting to slip beneath the horizon...more pics. Rain starts to let up.

I-80 makes a turn to the right past a hill on my left. Magically, a bright neon sign stands a mile or so away. I turn to Ole SOL & watch as she slides below the horizon. The rainbow is still growing, The orange light intensifies...but SOL is down...what ??

Then I get it. Sunlight is coming from below the horizon, reflecting off the under-belly of the massive black cloud still nearly still touching the fkoor of the Basin, I walk on toward the neon light, a bit closer than I expect Rawlins to be.

30 MINUTES LATER

I take the Ramp off I-80 leading to the neon light. There is still a twinge of orange. The rainbow has melted back into the dirty orange glow refusing to leave the black distant Ridge line of the Continental Divide.

During the intensive cold rain I had put my eye glasses in my pocket. I put them back on..."FLYING J". I have walked into the truck stop a good two miles from Rawlins. In the far distance, tiny white lights shine far below...Rawlins. I return up the ramp to I-80. It is now fully dark. The orange glow is gone. All I see is the white painted line beneath my feet...the road side of the bicycle lane.

Bright oncoming lights blind me. I ignore the noisy beasts growling up the hill at me...my eyes are glued on that white line...I move away as the trucks roll past, the wind nearly knocking me off my feet. I doubt a single one sees me walking into their headlights a foot or so away.

45 terror filled, blind, minutes later, the white line moves left, gradually away from I-80 and those flashing by 18-wheelers. It is so dark on mile post 21! ramp, I cannot but see the white line. I see NOTHING of what I am walking on. A few vehicles come onto the ramp, giving me a sense of the ramp location. I STOP off the roadway as they speed by...they never see me.

More neon lights. At least I can see the street. I walk into a gas station...you walked from WHERE...bought two quarts of chocolate milk...drank one on the spot...you are walking to Where?

Five minutes later, I fumbled with my room key, entered, took off my wet clothes, took a hot shower, drank the second quart of chocolate milk. Tried to use this computer...could not figure out how. I lay down on the bed. Awoke two hours later at 15 minutes past midnight. I had been on my walk for over nine hours, without a single break.

Tummy got a banana, & went back to sleep.

I hope you have enjoyed our walk...it was a bit different...certainly a memorable 32 miles.

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