7 marathons down, 128 to go
I started this journey one week ago today. It was last Monday when I took those first steps from 42nd and Main in Springfield, and now here I am on my second Monday.
Note: for some reason I’m having trouble uploading images from my phone to my blog. I’ve tried direct uploading like I’ve done on all preceding days, and I’ve tried loading images from my phone to my laptop to the blog, and everything I’ve tried has failed on a large number of images.
Got up and had a huge breakfast of biscuits and gravy and about a gallon of coffee for five dollars. I can do this type of breakfast right now because I’m walking. I could never do this and then run. Then I pack up the running trailer (it didn’t fit through the room door last night, so I had to empty the contents of the trailer into the room and leave the trailer in the covered area next to the room), turn in my room key, and I’m off to Klamath Falls.
But first, a description of how I’m dressed. I’m burned to a crisp. I wasn’t anticipating all of this sunlight so early in the journey, and I was unprepared for it. As a result, my face, neck, lower arms, and the backs of my hands are seriously burned. There is nothing available here, and Chiloquin is pretty much a dead town when it comes to any kind of supplies. So I have to get to Klamath Falls for sunburn treatments and sunscreen. In order not to burn even worse — today is supposed to be bright sun all day — I have no choice but to cover up. I’m wearing my rain jacket zipped all the way up in order to protect my lower arms and neck, and I’m wearing my insulated gloves in order to protect the backs of my hands. Even though it’s going to be a gorgeous day, I wear my running tights so I don’t end up with my legs matching the rest of my burned self. That leaves the issue of my face, and I’ll just have to do the best I can to keep my face aimed away from the sun.
The motel in which I spent last night was right across from the Chiloquin State Airport, which is my starting point for today. I’m glad I managed to sleep through all of the airport noise.
3 miles in, I arrive at a casino. While I’m tempted to go in and get my free ten-dollar slot machine play for being a new member, I resist the temptation. Then I notice this gas station/store combination. I bet they have hats!
I rule out all of the “Let’s Go Hunting” hats. I don’t care if you hunt, but it’s not my thing. I then rule out the hats with Indian logos that are clearly feminine. That leaves me with about four hats, three of which have “Native Pride” on them. I’m not native, and I don’t think it would be terribly appropriate of me to wear those. That leaves me with one cap that says “Native” on the back strap of it. I ask the clerk if it would be terribly offensive to any reasonable person if a non-native wore such a cap. She thought for a moment, then assured me there isn’t anything inappropriate about it. I’m not terribly PC, but I’m spending a fair amount of time on tribal land, and I don’t want to be claiming to be something I’m not (the drop of Indian blood I have from my maternal grandfather’s family doesn’t count). No, I won’t be needing a bag, and do you have any scissors to cut off this plastic hanger? So now I have a hat to go with my rain jacket, running tights, and gloves.
When I pass the sign at the Crater Lake junction that tells me I’m only 37 miles from Crater Lake, something really sinks in. If I were in a car, a side trip to Crater Lake would only take an hour plus the time spent there. For me, it would add three days plus the time spent there.
I’m really happy to be going along Klamath Lake now. The rest of my day will be spent along Klamath Lake until I turn inland to head into Klamath Falls.
While to the west of me is the lake for much of today’s journey, ranch land is to the east of me for much of the way.
With 13 miles to go today, a woman driving toward me pulls over onto the shoulder in front of me. She wants to know if I need a ride into town. I explain what I’m doing and that it would be cheating for me to accept a ride, and then I thank her profusely for her offer. She drives off, and then when she passes me going back into town, she honks and waves. It’s then that I realize what has really happened. I surmise that she passed me on her way into town, turned around somewhere, and came back to offer me a ride. There are some great people in this world.
As I get closer to Klamath Falls, and it gets later in the day, I have got to look like a raving lunatic. I’m already some guy pushing his little buggy down a US highway, but on top of that, it’s now in the 50s. The 50s here this time of year is time to break out the shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops. I, on the other hand, am walking down a US highway, pushing my little buggy, wearing a rain jacket zipped all the way up, insulated gloves, and running tights. With my hat and my sunglasses added to the mix, I’m as close as I can get to having no skin exposed. I’m sweating like a pig, and I doubt anyone would think I’m a wrestler trying to make weight.
The first thing I do when I arrive in Klamath Falls is stop at Pilot because I’ve had to pee for the past ten miles and I can’t make it another foot without going. The major failing of Hwy 97 north of Klamath is that there isn’t even a tree or rock to stand behind. I did pass a very nice little park, and I could have thrown a rock and easily hit the facilities, but the road into the park was laid out in such a way that it would have added a mile to my trip to stop at that park, so I kept going.
Anyway, I digress. Pilot. Must pee. So I’m sitting on the crapper when I decide to check messages. I have a message from my friend, Keith, that he has gotten me a hotel in Klamath Falls for the next two nights. In the message, he gives me all of the hotel information. I put the information into Google Maps, and it knows the hotel. I ask for directions. “Walk south 300 feet” is the answer. When I walk back outside and look left, the hotel is right next door.
I check in, shower, put on clean clothes, eat, soak in a hot bath for a while, read a little bit, and call it a night. I had multiple angels today!
Tomorrow, I’ll do laundry, go shopping, try one more time to arrange a couple of media interviews here, and rehab my ankle more. How nice it would be to run into California instead of walking into it. Regardless of whether I’m running or walking, I’m still going.