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Saturday, November 16, 2013


An overcast misting Saturday morning in Bellingham, Washington.

Was looking forward to taking SAM for another long walk 'n roll today...up at 4:30 am, prepared breakfast of hot oat cereal with raisins and brown sugar, toast with jelly, and day-old coffee ... to not waste the coffee, each drop is drunk instead of being thrown out.

Eager as I am to be on our way, the ole' body has once again refused to cooperate.

Our 30 + mile "extreme" walk to the Peace Arch was pushed a bit by psychological luggage; i.e., I far exceeded my normal 4 mile per hour pace and walked twice my intended distance.  I know, a dumb thing to do...and I know better to push so hard after such a long lay-off recovering from injury.  So now, I must again pay the price.

A sharp piece of crushed gravel got into my right shoe, immediately cutting a deep blister into my heel..
To travel quickly, I stupidly lengthened my stride to a pace nearing 5 mph.  In doing so, I stretched the right foot tendons atop the third and fourth Metatarsels  (foot bones leading to the toes).  And, stretched the tendon over the left Patella (knee cap).

None of these injuries are severe and will heal quickly.  It does mean, however, that I must be very careful to avoid extenuating the injuries.  I can - and will - still walk with SAM, however, at a much reduced stress level and for only short durations.

The news that I cannot check out of my apartment lease until December 31, has all of a sudden, become important in that we now have an additional 4 weeks to heal and get the body fully prepared before setting out.

When first deciding  back in 2009 to walk across America, I took nearly a year in preparation; i.e., learning to walk.  The first few weeks of preparation resulted in repeated muscle / tendon injuries; each requiring up to 6 weeks to heal.  That year of learning to walk was well spent.  In the next 3 + years, I walked some 15,000 miles without a single injury...not even a blister.  The recent string of injuries began with my carelessness descending too quickly - holding SAM back - down the steep steep hill into Fort Ransom, North Dakota, compounded by continuing to walk another 300 miles across North Dakota before recognizing that I was in deep trouble.

Now that my body is somewhat healed, really was kinda dumb to push so hard a couple days ago...pushing much too hard and too soon; not allowing for the muscles and tendons to achieve the strength and flexibility to handle the extreme stresses of high performance walking.

Looking to our up coming walk route, we plan to head South from the Peace Arch on January 01, 2014, arriving at Bakersfield - some 1,800 miles distant - about March 01, 2014.  We then hang a left paralleling Interstate 40 until arriving at Interstate 25 at Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Our project at this moment, is to determine the "walking" route paralleling Interstate 40.  Highway maps do not include "back roads" in enough detail to identify suitable "walking" roads...and most states prohibit walking the Interstates

(Note:  Interstates are without question, the safest roadways to fact, the states of Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota  - there may be more - promote walking Interstates...on which SAM and ME have already walk 'n rolled thousands of miles).

 We have made a major addition to SAM.  An fully enclosed "room" has been added...a room affording temporary protection from inclement weather (rain, sun, etc.).  Using the light weight folding chair so graciously gifted by CJ,  my personal Columbia, North Carolina, Barber,  our new room becomes a treasured addition where I am protected while resting - even catching a cat-nap.

I can place my "kitchen" table - manufactured to my specifications by SIGNS BY TOMORROW, Bellingham, Washington, in our room which has direct access to SAM's food storage area(s) as well as providing a safe place to light off our tiny propane stove.

It has taken me three years to figure out this new room.  Two stout golf ball-retrieving telescoping poles integrally made a part of SAM's structure, form the framework to support lightweight waterproof plastic,  attached to and draped over a small portion of SAM...thence over the extended poles reaching 6 feet high, the plastic drops to ground level where tent pegs hold it in place.  A back panel snaps onto the ends of the poles, giving an effective "door".  The finished room is two feet wide by 6 feet high by 6 feet long.  The entire structure weighs about three pounds and is installed in a couple minutes.

Since SAM and ME will soon become "homeless", SAM is proving to be an interesting and convertible vehicle.

I am again looking to make SAM into a self-propelled vehicle...this time using a water-fueled "hydrogen" motor to provide electricity to power SAM's 36-VDC hub motor front wheel.   

We shall see....


Aimee @ Just Kidding Around Atlanta said...

Wow - excited to hear all of your plans and about SAM's modifications!! Rest and take care of yourself so you will be in tip top shape when you're ready to depart! Glad to see what's coming up for you!!


Anonymous said...

Nice to see you blogging more, and hitting the road Agine, keep writing and keep safe, don't walk to hard, and stay warm.
Robert from Bruneau