33 marathons down, 102 to go
I’m still on pace to get to Palmdale on the scheduled day. This is important because it’s the day my sister and brother-in-law will be meeting me in Palmdale. They only have one day so I have to stick to a schedule to ensure I arrive on that day.
Today is basically just a running day. There isn’t much between Tehachapi and Rosamond, besides large wind farms, and I want to get to Rosamond to see if my hosting situation pans out there. So I get up, take down the tent, repack the trailer, and start running to Rosamond.
My big question today surrounds the warnings on wind farm fences: “Wind Turbines: Extreme Danger”
I understand the danger if I’m a bird, but I’m not a bird. The possible dangers to a person would seem to be limited to a blade coming loose or an entire tower falling over. If those are the cases, every building should come with a warning that it could be deadly if it happened to fall over. I get the utilities wanting to keep people off of private property, but I’m not sure about the effectiveness of claiming there’s some incredible danger.
When I get to Rosamond, I keep going until I arrive at a McDonald’s. I’ve had no opportunity to recharge anything for the past two days, and McDonald’s often have available outlets. That, and they have cheap drinks. Unfortunately, I can’t find any outlets in this one so I’m very frugal with my electronic device usage, basically keeping everything in airplane mode except for brief checks for messages.
I get a message that the person who may have been able to host me is unable to do so, but she is trying to find someone else who can. She asks me if I’m near the McDonald’s. I look around to see if there are spies in the place. Not seeing one, I respond that I am actually inside the McDonald’s. Hopefully, there is only one McDonald’s in Rosamond.
There is a group of male teenagers at the large table next to me. One of them is so incredibly loud that even his friends keep telling him to not be so bloody loud. One of them asks if the running trailer is mine. He asks if I want to sell it to him. I answer no and explain what I’m doing to it. The table goes silent. Even loud-mouth shuts up. They can’t fathom what I’m doing. Heck, on many days, I can’t fathom what I’m doing. As they leave, they’re still dumbfouded by the idea of some guy running across the country pushing a bicycle trailer.
I check for messages but I don’t have any. Back to airplane mode.
While I’m staring out the window, I hear, “Are you Dan?” I turn and say I am, and I’m informed my ride has arrived. Since I’m the only person in McDonald’s in running gear and, hopefully, the only person who hasn’t showered in three days, I was probably pretty easy to pick out. The woman introduces herself as Kathleen. We can’t quite get my trailer to fit in her car so she’s off to get her pickup. She’ll be back in five minutes, and I’ll just hang out in the parking lot.
A few minutes later, a man starts pulling into the exact space I’m hanging out around. I figure I can’t tell this guy I’m holding this space for someone else so I just go back to looking off into the distance for Kathleen and her pickup. I then hear, “Okay, Dan, let’s get this loaded up.” I look at him, and say, “You’ve changed a bit,” and then we both laugh. To paint the picture properly, Kathleen is a white woman who is about my height. Her husband, Lavanis (sp?), is a tall black man.
We head to their house, I get my first shower in a few days, and then we sit down to a wonderful meal and great conversation. One of the things Lavannis asks me ss what I did career-wise. I tell him, and a major part of that was IT in aerospace for six years and healthcare for 25 years. He asks me who I worked for in aerospace and I explain that it was Northrop at the time, but it’s now Northrop Grumman. He laughs. About the time I left Northrop is the time he started there. He works in Palmdale for Northrop Grumman, at least for the three more weeks until he retires and they move to Washington.
We review my route to Palmdale, and they warn me of some areas in Lancaster and Palmdale to avoid due to gang activity. Because of the way in which I’m going into Palmdale, I should avoid those areas entirely when running to Palmdale, but I can’t avoid one of them when I’m leaving Palmdale.
With that, I climb into a bed for the first time since Bakersfield. I ran on pavement all day, I’ve met new people, astounded a bunch of teenagers, had a wonderful dinner, had great conversations, and I’m clean!