Friday, September 18, 2009

Days Nine through Twenty-two

It's that time again for a brief summary of my wanderings. For first-timers, it's where I reached, followed by how many miles I estimated I walked.

Day 9: A zero day in Port Lavaca
Day 10: Just beyond Point Comfort on 35, about 5 miles
Day 11: Fuzzy's Shell Station, about 5 miles
Day 12: Palacios, 12 miles (dipping into the town added a little)
Days 13 - 19: Zero week in Corpus
Day 20: Followed roads along the bay before 521, about 9 miles
Day 21: Wadsworth, about 20 miles
Day 22: Bay City, about 10 miles

Due to some tendonitis, I took a day off in Port Lavaca, then a week off in Corpus. I tried to slow down before and after these breaks. I broke the rule on Day 21 so I could get some water in Wadsworth, but as far as I can tell, the discomfort isn't going away. The major pains of Days 7 and 8 are gone, which is good, but there is a lingering tenderness. I'm basically trying to walk it off.

Here are some thoughts from the past couple of weeks:

*I am struck by the kindness extended to me by the Lee family [of Port Lavaca]. I turned from stranger to guest in a few casual moments. I was hoping - you might even say praying - for someone to approach me and talk to me.

It is difficult for a dirty person, especially a wanderer-type, to meet a new person and have a normal interaction. And this pattern of brief or no interaction wears you down. I am often buoyed by texting and conversations with friends and my family. Without that contact and the contact with families like the Lees, I would surely be having a more difficult journey.

*Just had an hour-long conversation with Robert Peterson, a local rancher. The drought is making it hard on his business, but he has quite a bit of land to sustain the blow. However the rotation of the cattle grazing is finally catching up to him. A little rain goes a long way, he tells me. He figures out who I am and asks some questions. Then he teases his friend Walter about hiking with me.

There's not a lot going on out here between Port Lavaca and Palacios, and these men use Fuzzy's One Stop (aka Fuzzy's Fun Stop) as a reason to get out, shoot the bull, and beat the heat. I find myself doing the same thing.

*I got so rained on today. The storm was huge. I'm lucky I broke camp when I did. Another thirty minutes, and I would've been soaked. So much for the drought. I was starting to enjoy the heat, too.

*It was such a hard decision to come back to Corpus. I guess it ruins the image of a guy alone, roughing it. Yep, I called my mommy and daddy to bail me out. But there you go; I did it.

I want a new foot or at least a solution to this discomfort. Until then, I'll have to accept that this is not one person's effort. The trip is already the synthesis of many efforts. And that's a big deal to be able to say that.

*This is the first day I've been really scared. I've gotten spooked by animals in the last few weeks, but this is different. Locals have warned me about these little offshoots of Houston, calling people "crazy" and saying that they will mess with me if they think I have money. And by mess, the implication is by using weapons. I'm completely shaken, though calming down a bit, and am planning on rushing through these next parts. I stated a while back [to a friend] that I wasn't afraid of death. Well, you know what? It turns out I am. I am not zen about this.

. . . . . . . . .

No pictures this time. I'm at the Bay City Library, and uploading photos is restricted on these computers.

I have calmed down substantially from the last entry above. I will be traveling along a major highway which gets a ton of traffic for the next few days. This road will take me all the way into Galveston, so please do not worry. I will be on high alert for the next few days and am taking all necessary precautions to have a safe trip.

Also, I am twittering about my trek at www.twitter.com/perimeterhiker. You can get flash updates here, as well as funny and interesting quotes and observations.

Until next time...

3 comments:

Robin said...

It was nice meeting you. I admire your effort and look forward to updates. Your progress, in spite of difficulties, proves your determination to succeed. I wish you the best and hope that in finding your Texas you rekindle the spirit of Texas in others.
Robin

Jonathan WC said...

Is it the same phone you had in Helena?? I want to text you!!

Mark said...

Matt, did you get a CHL?