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Friday, August 5, 2011

DAY 201: ASHFORD, ALABAMA

All morning long I have been scanning the Internet searching for news of the weather in the Southern United States...the route I am walking to OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA.

I have found numerous articles and reports...not one of them good.

During my walk East and South earlier this year, I reported in this blog regarding "fear" and the difficulties folks were having, primarily regarding WATER. From California to Florida, lakes and rivers have been drying up. Water tables (the underground water aquifers) have been going deeper...in some areas such as the San Joaquin Valley, California, briny water (salt water) is coming from the aquifers, destroying top soil for growing many crops. Rivers are not available to farmers as the "big" cities have taken that water for themselves.

In West Texas, farmers are planting cotton seeds in fields that had not seen a drop of rain since July 2010 - a year ago. They do so because Uncle Sam pays them subsidies for planting...knowing full well without water, nothing will grow. I pondered Uncle Sam's move, until I reasoned that our Government was underwriting the farmers to keep them on the farms...if they move off their farms and the rain does eventually return, there will be no farmers left to work the farms. I cannot argue against Uncle Sam's insurance policy for the future of West Texas farms.

Weather forecasters now project another YEAR of dry weather across the South of the USA. This because La Nina is projected to repeat itself - lower temperatures in the South Pacific Ocean -, which typically means less rain in the South. If that is so, the current dry period may extend well into next year.

Add the heat index now occurring in the South of the United States. Since leaving the San Joaquin Valley, California, I have walked in constant 100 + F temperatures - at some considerable discomfort, as I had no means to seek protection. Temperatures in that same area are now hovering near 115 F. My path to OKLAHOMA CITY is a HOT one filled with peril.

Earlier this week, I was finally overcome by heat exhaustion and collapsed, ending up in ER.
I was probably fortunate, as many others have died in similar circumstances. Most of those who died were teen age athletes. Being nearly 80, I certainly qualify as an "athlete", walking 6 - 10 hours daily in 100 + F, one could say an Extreme Athlete. Clearly that is not smart. It is, however, my elected path. I want to complete my task...reporting as I go.

I am, at the moment resting in ASHTON, ALABAMA in the Shallow Creek RV Park, recovering from heat exhaustion and the injury sustained to my left leg.

In the morning, I intend to resume my walk. I must return to Georgia to complete the 10 miles I drove to reach ASHTON, ALABAMA. Then, I must walk Westward on US 84 for another 1,000 miles or so to reach OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA.

Obviously, I cannot continue without relief from the Heat. I MUST have external 120 volt electricity over night for SPIA's Air Conditioner, perhaps from a kind Business, or private home. So far, that has not happened...but I am optimistic and will keep asking and hoping.

My blog is full of references to folks who are "afraid" as I walked. It is becoming more apparent why we may be afraid.

And, I have not even mentioned the growing concentration of $$ into the hands of the few at the expense of those less fortunate...

Yes, I must be out on the road...among the folks who are suffering..to share that which I find.

My "walk" long ago stopped being just a "walk". I may well NOT be qualified to do such a thing...it is, however, about the only "thing" I have left. As long as I can walk; as long as I can write, I shall attempt to do so.

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