I woke up behind the mound of asphalt to a sunny, windy day, and the sound of a bulldozer nearby.
Last night I’d noticed the bulldozer parked near the pile. This morning a guy drove a large truck into the lot, parked, got into the dozer, started it up, and proceeded to load asphalt into the truck. He paid me no notice—it was like I was invisible. When I finished packing up my tent and gear, I made a wide arc around him as I headed onto the highway.
Thinking about it, I’d happily camp behind a pile of rocks or asphalt every night if I could—perfect protection from the road and neighbors. While trees and vegetation may be prettier, when you’re sleeping along the highway, it really makes little difference.
I’ve now walked, to my best estimation, over 1500 miles, and am more than half-way to my destination.
Yesterday I walked too far—23 miles, and I felt it today. It’s not in my nature to pace myself, but I must try if I’m going to survive another 1,000+ miles.
The 7.4 miles I walked today was along a nice stretch of Highway 160. The shoulder was wide, but it was windy. I chose not to walk through Pittsburg’s business district—I could tell from the map that the streets, traffic lights, and sidewalks, would have been a challenge. I avoided all of that by taking the highway to the next exit.
I arrived at the Pittsburg Super 8 before noon and needed to wait while my room was readied. I walked over to the Subway across the street and got a foot long tuna sub to go, and then ate it in my room. Afterward I got a haircut, beard trim, and shave (all done expertly by yours truly), took a shower, and enjoyed a nap.
Later, I visited the grocery outlet across the street to replenish supplies (fruit, protein bars, water, yogurt), and then picked up a fish dinner at Long John Silver’s. The fish was pretty good. It came with two hushpuppies (which I’d always thought were shoes); they were tasty.
I’ve noticed that my body accepts pretty much anything I put into it and turns it into energy. So I’m enjoying this brief window of time and being more self-indulgent than usual.
I need to decide whether to push for 26 miles tomorrow, or be more modest in my goals. While I may not be good at pacing myself, I am generally good at playing things by ear.
So, to borrow my father’s favorite phrase, “I’ll think about it.”
@ Pittsburg, Kansas