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Friday, September 9, 2011

DAY 236: PARIS - POWDERLY - ARTHUR CITY, TEXAS; HUGO, OKLA.

A unique advertisement...this bulldozer high on a pinnacle.

Walked out of WALMART at daybreak, but only for one mile. US 271 is a mass of ramps coming and going off a raised 4-lane highway...no place for a walker to be during the morning rush. Walked back to SPIA, and drove out 10 miles to the small burg of POWDERLY, TEXAS, where SPIA was parked again at a Convenience Store.

Walked BACK South on US 271 to the city of PARIS, TEXAS and returned to SPIA. Even after 20 miles, I was not tired, so continued another 6 miles on US 217 North to the Oklahoma / Texas border.

The night was again a bit on the cold side - needed two blankets - and the morning was brisk and clear...ideal walking conditions.

US 271 North of PARIS, TEXAS.

Already mentioned the increasing number of trucks transporting hay from the South to the Ranches in North Texas. Here is one more. Perhaps 15 such rigs passed me today.

A Ranch House along side US 271.

The old standby Windmill is still in use in Texas. It is used primarily to pump water from shallow water wells for cattle drinking water.

The far distant down is ARTHUR CITY, TEXAS, at the border of Oklahoma / Texas. The Red River is 1/4 mile beyond the right hand curve in the distance.

Grain Storage Silos at ARTHUR CITY, TEXAS.

Our first glimpse of the Red River:

"Come Sit By My Side If You Love Me..
"Do Not Hasten To Bid Me Adieu.
"Just Remember The Red River Valley...
"And The Cowboy Who Loves You So True.

Was singing at the top of my lungs as I walked across the South Bound Bridge...using the sidewalk, which I simply NEVER walk on because of cracks and obstacles waiting to trip me !

A moment to photograph a large Log Jam against the Bridge Pier.

A crew was excavating sand from the river bottom...a large Back-Hoe and a series of Dump Trucks hauling out a load every 5 minutes or so.

The East - down river - portion of the Red River.

The river looks to be quite shallow. This tree has roots above water, showing the rather swift current of the clear water.

Please click click this photograph. Look carefully opposite the second handrail stanchion: A small object is sticking up from the Sidewalk.

The previous photograph is taken on the "Southbound" bridge to the left, and about 20 feet from the far end.

A detail of the item showing it's nearness to the curb and the traffic lane.

Obviously, a large threaded bolt...somehow forgotten during the cleanup of construction of the bridge.

I was happily strolling the sidewalk at a goodly clip singing..."do not hasten to bid me Adieu..

when I tripped on that bloody bolt and went a-flying through the air head first off the sidewalk and out into the traffic lane.

I had no time to check on-coming traffic. I was airborne about to belly flop onto the roadway...my trusty Panasonic camera flat in the palm in my right hand.

The first thing to hit the pavement was the Panasonic...it slammed into the concrete, flat against the closed lens. I intentionally held my body horizontal, letting the camera take the brunt of the impact. My left knee hit the pavement as both feet slammed into it toe first.

Yes...everything was happening in VERY slow motion. I fully expected to be impacted by an oncoming vehicle...

I pushed off with my right hand, using the camera as my lever, and rolled heavily onto my left hip; I scissored my legs to keep rolling back to the curb, and levered myself out of the roadway back onto the sidewalk as the first car flashed by.

I rolled one more time to the hand rail...lay there a second to feel what hurt and where...then pulled myself up to lean with my back against the hand rail..The entire scenario was completed from the trip to standing at the handrail without stopping or hesitation...

I was not badly injured. I had a small cut on my left knee - which was healed by the time I returned to SPIA 2 hours later. My left hip was quite sore and later proved a bit uncomfortable as I walked the return 6 miles. Both ankles were once again twisted...this time the right ankle taking a vertical blow from the side of my walking shoe...no apparent ligament damage.

I had every intention of walking another 10 miles or so this afternoon. After levering myself into SPIA's Dinette Seat - very sore hip and back of left knee hurt like the dickens. As I sat taking stock of my owies, things began to tighten up. After 10 minutes, I could barely move.

It is now 6:00 pm local, some 2 hours later. We have driven to the next town, HUGO, OKLAHOMA, where we will spend the night.

By morning, I should have a better idea how this poor beat-up body is handling it. Actually, I fully expect to walk most of the way to the town of ATOKA, OKLAHOMA, some 32 miles from HUGO.

We shall see !

Oh, yes; my Panasonic. I held it lovingly in my palm, where it took most of the punishment. It was scratched a bit, but had no visible damage. I carefully activated the Power Switch; it came instantly on, the lens moving into position. I then activated the view-screen power switch. Pictures popped onto the screen...I indexed through a few...no problem there. Then I turned the camera off; then turned the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS5 12 x Optical back on, pointed at the Red River and took a most satisfactory picture. Changed to telephoto and video...both worked just fine.

I cannot express how hard my Panasonic slammed into the concrete and then levered my entire body off the roadway and back onto the sidewalk. I am speechless and so proud of it.

Many of the photographs in this blog were taken AFTER my tumble.

and, so...WELCOME TO OKLAHOMA.

I have received some more-than-exciting-news today from a High School Mate. Our Class of 1952 will hold a 60-year Reunion in KENNEWICK, WASHINGTON, on September 14, 15, 16, 2012. That fits in perfectly with one of my options. If I choose that option, I will WALK into KENNEWICK on September 14, having completed a full 360 degree circumnavigation of the entire Lower 48 States...plus the diagonal from the Pacific Northwest to KEY WEST, FLORIDA...having walked some 15,000 miles in the process.

What more must I ask of this old body...

We shall see.

The World still awaits !

3 comments:

Aimee @ Just Kidding Around Atlanta said...

15,000 miles! Do you know how amazing you are?! : ) I hope the fall doesn't leave you too terribly sore tomorrow - that is some kind of hazard, sticking up like that!! Glad you are ok, and the camera too!

Bob said...

Holy Cow! Glad you are ok, that was quite a spill

james said...

I'm getting ready to walk from Hugo to Paris after I walked from aardmore to Hugo to find work. I have never walked 271south how are the conditions?