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Friday, June 10, 2011

DAY 145: BOCA RATON - WALKER - LIVINGSTON, LOUISIANA

Since January 13, the day I departed the Peace Arch, I have put over 5,000 miles on these feet...without a blister, stubbed toe, or pulled muscle/tendon. Last night walking in the downpour back to Ken's, I was walking in 2 - 3 inches of running water for nearly 1.5 hours. My socks bunched up in my shoes and my 4th toe (next to little toe) on my left foot became pinched. This morning, it was quite painful.

I walked anyhow. !/2 ;hour out, I spied a "NAILS" sign and decided to do something I have done only once before - in Beijing, China - stopped in for a PEDICURE.

For 45 minutes, Li bathed, cleaned, caressed, clipped, sanded and messaged my feet.

Not bad for 5,000 miles, Li said.

Please say HELLO to Li; 31 years old...19 years in the USA from Vietnam. Interesting to watch Asian Culture at work as Li was scolded by (her Mother???) for minor infractions, i.e., I laid my sweaty hat on a chair; I laid my soaked neckerchief (I wear it soaking wet around my neck to keep cool and the bugs off me ) on the floor...and Li was made to be ABSENT immediately upon completing my "treatment". Obvious who ruled that Roost.

Ken was not yet up and about when SPIA, SAM & ME pulled out at 6:30am. I had every intention to park and walk the bridge over the Mississippi River...I did walk within a mile of so last night of the bridge. But lo, the roadway had absolutely NO place to pull off. Up and over the bridge, it was just as well because the roadway had ZERO space for any Pedestrian or Biker to cross the river.

We kept on driving down the other side on US 190, only to discover there was still no place to pull off the road. One could take Exits to other highways, but no side street access. We kept driving: Finally reaching Florida Avenue, where US 190 made a 90 degree left turn...you guessed it: No sidewalk; No berm; the White line was painted a couple inches from the Curb.

We kept driving. Stopping at traffic signals, I noticed NO CROSSWALKS ! ! !

About 5 miles beyond the bridge, city street lights were missing and we pulled into a small business park with some parking. I parked SPIA; went inside a business to inform them of who, what, why, how long...only to be told NO. So, I moved SPIA again, left a note, and began walking East on US 190.

My first observation: NO BERM.

My second observation: NO CROSSWALKS.

My third observation: Drivers tried to come as close to me walking as possible.

I walked out 5 miles and back to SPIA. Moved SPIA to the town of WALKER, LOUISIANA and again parked...this time, in an O'Reilly Auto Store...Oh, sure, no problem...we'll keep an eye out...and off I walked, again East on US 190.

It was now 91 F on the bank read-a-board. No mention of the 99 percent humidity. Again, about 10 inches between the White Line and "oblivion"; i.e., down the embankment. Vehicles were whizzing past me about 6 inches away...not once did one move away even the tiniest bit. Then I took a photograph: Continued a few pics below...

Click click to see the sign of "PO BOY", a popular quick-food item in Baton Rouge. I had an idea what a PO "BOY might be, but later in the afternoon I stopped in a quick food joint and ordered a Shrimp PO BOY with fries and a Coke. The Coke cup was filled to the Brim with crushed ice and a few drops of Coke squeezed in. The PO BOY turned out to be a HOGIE with 4 small shrimps - which still had the digestive system aboard. I took the shrimp out and ate the Hogie with veggie. The Coke I quickly drained the liquid...the cup still full of ice. I dumped 1/2 the ice into the Hogie & fries bag and asked for seconds on the Coke...OK, that's $0.50 (on top of the $1.70 already paid for the first cup of ice with a dribble of Coke). Gal started to fill up with ice again...Uh Uh, says I...please leave some room for a bit of Coca Cola,...I get a frown and a cup overfilled - Coke running down the sides.

I brought the cup of ice back to SPIA, and refilled it with my own Coke from the Fridge.

It may be the section of town I was walking, but US 190 has ample businesses trying to keep the economy going. Each block has at least one Pawn Shop and at least two Pay-Day-Loan shops.

Click click to read the signs.

Why I do not take many photographs of town streets...they are stereotyped...certainly a R McD, DQ, etc etc. In this case, I was astonished there were NO...not a single one ...CROSSWALKS. Pedestrians did the best they could...and drivers did NOT stop for any walkers trying to cross at an intersection light; vehicles making a right-hand turn on red for example.

White Line placement. This is 100 % of the highway marking: NO side space...NO shoulders.

I still have not mastered "elevations" with my Panasonic. That green grass is a steep side hill. 30 seconds after taking this photograph, I was hit in the right arm by a cigarette lighter from a passing pickup truck. It made a 1-inch cut half way between my wrist and elbow. I simply could not believe someone would deliberately do such a thing...until I looked at my arm. Blood was freely running down my arm; my hand was already full of blood.

When visiting a restaurant, I ALWAYS leave with three or four napkins in my pocket...never know when nature calls me behind a handy bush...or someone cuts my arm open. I wiped the blood away to see the damage, squeezed the napkins in my hand to soak up the blood, and put the napkins as a "compress" on the cut.

The cut missed my artery by a millimeter. After 1 minute or so, I looked again at the cut and behold, it had ALREADY sealed itself...not a drop of blood oozing out. During my walk, I have come to realize that any pain or scrape strangely healed itself very quickly. I attribute that miracle to a top functioning Immune System; i.e., My LYMPHATIC SYSTEM is doing its job.


Walked another few hundred feet and stopped in at a Auto Repair Shop, walked into the office and was met by this Angel of Mercy.

Please say HELLO to Heather. Heather cleaned off my Owie, applied a dab of ointment and a bandage. Not a bit of pain...not a single more drop of blood.

Please say HELLO to Eric. Eric walked in as Heather applied my band aid, patted her on the tush and said...doesn't look 6 months pregnant, does she???.

SO, Eric brought me a cold Coke, and the three of us sat on the office Couch and chatted for over a half hour - a LOT over a half hour...promised not to mention the subject matter, right, Eric.

Please say HELLO to April, Heather's Sidekick. April already had FACEBOOK up and running; she called up SAM & ME and cheerfully announced..."...those plants are SUGAR CANE, Bruce !.

DAILY REPORT: Walked 20 miles (or so) today on very tender feet...

SEE YOUR IMPACT.ORG: Credit 20 miles @ $0.02 = $0.40 for the day.

Drove to the outskirts of LIVINGSTON, LOUISIANA, found a wide spot on US 190, and settled SPIA, SAM & ME in for the night. IT IS HOT. IT IS HUMID.

In the morning, will leave SPIA parked and walk - tender feet allowing - East on US 190. Next town up is ALBANY, LOUISIANA, about 5 miles out...then comes BAPTIST, LOUISIANA.

Am taking more time chatting / listening with folks; should have done so all along. Life is, however, a learning process, and having never grown up, have some time left to squeeze in a bit more.

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