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Today I walked on Goffs Road (Route 66) past the town of Goffs. Not much there, and in spite of the population (23) listed on the sign, I saw no one, not even a mouse. I did see a number of trucks and cars, and freight trains passed me in both directions all day long. At the only railroad crossing I encountered, I chatted with a guy who’d gotten out of his car while we waited for the train to pass. He told me he and his wife were on their way to Laughlin. “So am I,” I said, “but I’m walking.” He wished me luck, and she told me to “Be safe.”  (I continue get that a lot.)

This morning, my left foot decided to start a new blister, and my back wasn’t too happy either. So I turned to the best medicine (after laughter and drugs)—music. I listened to a few marches and then to “Entrance of the Gladiators,” by Julius Fučík. Trust me, you don’t need much more than this to cheer you up and put a bounce in your blistered feet than this piece from 1897.

After the marches, I listened to the entire BeatlesAbbey Road,” which brought me back to late 1969 when I moved from Boston to San Francisco.

My next musical selection was the album “Time Out” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, released in December 1959. I recall that it was the first LP I ordered as a new member of the Columbia Record Club. I haven’t listened to this album in years, but I can remember and sing along with every note played by Brubeck and Desmond, as well as all of the drum solos. I saw the Brubeck Quartet perform when I was a freshman at Boston University, and had earlier met drummer Joe Morello at a jazz clinic held at the Sam Ash music store in Hempstead, NY. Joe was charming and funny, and seemed to enjoy interacting with the many teenagers who’d come to see him.

I walked 15-16 miles today—a breezy, sunny, good day to walk. If it hadn’t been for my feet and back I could have walked a few more hours. Not a drop of shade anywhere.

Tomorrow we move from Needles to Laughlin, Nevada for better driving, drop-off, and pickup.

@ Goffs, California

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