Day 147, August 28, 2012

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 I woke up behind a couple small trees between interstate 40 and a fence that runs parallel to the 40 about 30 feet off of it. I was between the trees and the fence sleeping on some dirt.
       When I got up I was pretty tired and was woken up all night from the passing big rig trucks zooming by. The ground I slept on was soft though so the good part was my knees and hips weren't too sore.
         I packed up and did the morning routine of brushing my teeth and stretching out a bit. When I was ready to go I walked back out and up a little hill to the shoulder of the 40.
        I started walking and it was early still, maybe 7:30. It was really pretty and so much different from the day before. Yesterday I was walking in open desert, and suddenly in one day I am walking through forest with hills around. And everything was so green and blossomed.
       I noticed in the first hour of walking how many cops there were. Honestly, there must have been about 8 cop cars or SUV's pass by. They all looked to be flagstaff police. I was about 22 miles from Flagstaff where I started the day.
       I took a break about 8 miles in under a bridge. The scenery was so nice all around and it was a treat to be in such a beautiful area. I sat there on a concrete median under the overpass for about 15 minutes before taking off again. I was eager to get to Flagstaff so I wanted to keep moving along.
        In the next stretch I saw a bunch more cops. I even passed 2 cars that were pulled over by cops. The first one I passed on the dirt off of the shoulder. I am always interesting so see the reactions of both the police and people in the cars pulled over when they see me. They always look a little surprised and confused. I still have not been stopped by a cop in Arizona.
        The second cop I passed actually was pulled far off the road so I passed on the shoulder on the edge near the interstate lane. He was in his car and right before I passed his car he got out and came up to me. He asked if I was walking up to him or just passing? I told him I was just passing by. He said ok, and didn't know if I needed anything. He asked where I was going and was really cool about everything. About 99% of cops have really been helpful and actually check on me often just to make sure I'm ok or if I need a ride.
         I put another 8 miles or so in when I was ready for another break. I stopped under a bridge again just before the Flagstaff area. Again it was real nice all around the area. And the mountains were right by me which was also awesome to view.
       I got back at it and was ready to make the last push to town. It was starting to get a little cloudy overhead but didn't look bad. I walked another 4 miles or so when I entered east flagstaff and passed the first exit. I wanted to get to the middle of the town so I was gonna go a few more miles.
        The clouds were moving by fast and darker clouds were rolling in. Another mile or so it began to rain. It was light for a few minutes and then suddenly became heavy. Luckily I was about 1/4 mile from an overpass, so I walked quickly and made it under while my things just caught a little of the water. It wasn't heavy enough, and I was close enough to the bridge where I didn't want to pull the tarp out and get all the rain gear over me and my stuff.
       When I made it under the bridge I went and sat at the cement slope. There was a pile of stuff someone had left there and I kinda kicked it around to see what it was. I actually salvaged a brand new pack of wet wipes and some band aids out of a first aid kit that were under some clothes. There was a shirt but it was a dress shirt and I didn't want to take that. It was dark color too and I use mostly white for the heat.
           It rained for about 10 minutes and then the dark clouds moved on and it cleared up. So I took off from there again to walk the last couple miles or so and get off on the exit just east of downtown. I walked there and got off. By this time I was starving. All I really had left in my stock was a couple old bars that were smashed. I ate one in the morning and aside from that had a handful of sunflower seeds that I had too. So I was just about out of food and really hungry. I had absolutely no money also. I was planning to go to a little Caesars that night and try to get the throw away pizzas after the close from the dumpster. If I could get 2 or 3 I could throw them in zip lock bags I have and make them last 4-5 days until the next town where I could pick another dumpster if I had to.
         When I got to a McDonald's I decided to stop there and sit down. There was a man outside that looked hungry also so I gave him the last of my bars. I really had no desire to eat them but he was really happy and munched them right away. I went inside and got an ice water and sat down.
      About 20 minutes later a family tracked me down to visit me, they were coming from Phoenix and headed to Colorado. They had followed my journey for a while and wanted to come say hi. They came and visited. They also gave me a bunch of snacks, a big Costco pack of salami, and $20. I don't ever let anyone know when I'm starving or low on money aside from these journals, which are posted about 2 weeks delayed. So they had no clue how much that stuff meant to me. I even had to fight not stuffing my face until they left. They were really nice, they also gave me a pack of Capri suns and the daughter didn't like that. She wanted those things. So in trade I gave her a rock I have been carrying for over 500 miles now.
         After they left I ate like its the last food on the planet. I also ordered a couple dollar menu things so that I wasn't gonna sit there all day and eat outside food. It was so nice to have my stomach not hurt anymore. What a great feeling.
        I left there around 9 when I was ready to find a place to crash. I headed down the street and turned into an industrial road that dead ended. At the end there was a water district building and in front of it was an electrical transformer big enough to hide behind. I pushed my cart behind it and made my bed. It was really chilly and the good thing was the transformer put off a little heat. So I was on the dirt and rocks tucked up right next to it.
         I couldn't sleep hardly at all that night. The ground was rocky and bumpy and it was cold. I tossed and turned all night. Then around 2am a pretty bad lightning storm came right over me. Lightening was striking right by me and sounded like gunshots!! When they hit close like that I felt my heart skip a beat. It was a little scary. Weird too because there wasn't rain. Just lightening. I maybe got 3 hours of off and on sleep that night,



Anonymous said...

Kinda late in the game, but how about some ear plugs? If i were close by i'd drop off a pair.

andi said...

Yeah, I was kinda wondering about ear plugs too. You made some earlier in the trip. Is it because you need to hear if anyone comes up to you?

Anonymous said...

Echo, echo, echo almost 2 years since someone wanted something say. I guess a millions mens various journeys are just dispensing a moments pleasures anyways. And what do you do next? Just hope your time has not yet been killed for you already. Roads, an oldie but goodie, we do this and that and say this and that about it. But to be painfully frank, I'm in it for the poon.