Where does the end come I wonder? A few hours before this top featured photo my possessions were scattered around my car and site. The last time I said I had to break camp in four hours it took me a day and a half. Just a tarp, tent, bedstuff then too- and everything else unloaded from being at a site for a little over a week at that time. The first time I tore down on this journey from site seventy eight at Lake Corpus Christi took me took two days- granted I had a little more laid out there.
Since that first time I left Mathis for the beach, I’ve trimmed down a lot and added some cargo space, and yes, I think that did make a difference. However, more so I think was my week in Jal. I could have walked a few more laps around the lake, yet I really, really liked the adult play structure.
One thing I should have learned when I had the first opportunity, is that it doesn’t matter so much if you’re stuck in Ja(i)l, rather it matters much more what you do with your time there. Over the years, I hadn’t remembered much more than journaling, I remembered writing small and giving myself some deep lecture about how I was not going to let that happen again- then- getting stuck in jail.
I also wrote about one of my cellmates- I was in a large open room called the Annex. The County Jail had “annexed” the top floor of the courthouse to make room for another hundred persons. I’m glad that I saved that letter after all these years, and also that it was preserved mostly intact. However, after I finally opened it and read it for the first time since it was sealed in real jail, I was. less than impressed with myself.
Not get caught again, yep that was in there, even my first thoughts on my two beer rule (in public.). Yet also in there was a self discussion about what I would do first when I got out. There were two choices head to the pool hall to find Patrick for a ride hone, if I couldn’t get ahold of Shannon Carr to first for a piece of ass. Kinda sad that is what I did with my time in jail (way back then.) Just laid in a bunk and thought about pool, alcohol, and women.
I also watched my jail mates . It was split about into thirds. A third with me, in our various bunks. A third watching TV or on the phones. The last third walked. And walked. All day they would walk. I had asked several- why are you walking so much? Nothing else to do was the best answer that I remember. Yet, that was the same reason that I had- and likely the third watching TV too.
The man on the top bunk of me (the walkers usually took the top bunks it seemed) also added sit-ups and pushups. –All of a sudden I’m feeling like I’m repeating this story.. hmm, oh well, I do that sometimes. His thought: he wanted to be stronger when he left jail.
The things I was thinking about, did not help me get stronger in jail. They did not help me get stronger after left jail. Yet when I was in Jal, I did want to get stronger before I left. The play structure was fun – and I really, really do like it – it was also hard. Some parts hurt a little. Some parts made me do things I didn’t think I could do. Some parts showed me I can’t do some of the things I try to do. Yet, it challenged me and I need to learn how to challenge myself.
Today was a challenge. Awake before dawn with eleven hours sleep on flat firm ground (it doesn’t get much better than pea gravel, a few blankets and a mummy bag. It was thirty two degrees. I was cozy as could be. I laid still in my mummy bag for at least half an hour, just laying there. A mouse, or a squirrel- a very scrawny squirrel, with a long rat tail. A chinchilla? No, that that big.. hmm, maybe a juvenile chinchilla walked scurried in from the desert around my windbreak and under the table before he turned to look at me.
I remained motionless. Maybe five or ten seconds he looked at me, then scurried back off towards the lake. I got up, walked to the restroom and back, however, this time I took my cane. I knew I had some work ahead of me, and there would be no time for rest, whether my leg needed it or not. The cane does take half the load off my left leg, so I figured it would also help me get twice the millage from it.
I guess it worked. I wrote quick random post after then, then from nine oh five am until eleven forty five, I picked up and moved each and every possession and packed it all back into the car. Tarps and all, and with a new packing system that made it a touch easier even.
Honestly, when I pulled out from site nineteen and headed towards the restrooms I wasn’t sure where I was going to go next. The plan was a shower as I usually do when I leave a park. Yet, though I need one, I just wasn’t ready for one I guess. I looked at the map, I wanted free camping, yet I didn’t care for the BLM site or the parking lot across a lake with a toilet (though, I may try that one again.)
From the campground I was at I drove along until I found something not mentioned on their website, they do have a primitive camping location here. A mile or so down a rough gravel road to the end. No vehicles past this point. I parked and walked around. I don’t know if I’ve really ever picked a campsite before. Other than this numbered site or that numbered site.
Tonight as I walked around in the desert I realized I have no clue what rattle snakes den might look like. Hope they don’t like pea gravel. I didn’t find a great spot for pea gravel, yet I did my best. A large tarp folded down, my large tent erected on it. This is actually my first night in the large tent, actually pretty spacious. Pictures tomorrow. Everything I’ll need for the night in the tent (I hope.. though I might run out and grab the propane heater to take the chill of the morning when I get out of the mummy bag.
Three hours to load up, two hours of driving and walking around and another few hours to set up camp. A one day jump. My Coleman stove in the tent with me for dinner– I had plans for steak, yet, instead, went small for the day. A day of dinty Moore beef stew.
Eight pm and I’m finishing my post for the day, maybe my circadian rhythm will get back on track now. The plan, camp here for the next thirteen days. As long as no one comes to kick me out as I have no reservation whatsoever, just a tent in a spot I picked out on state land, and an annual camping pass.
Time to rest.. seriously, like of the first time in two months… part of the journey has changed.. now it’s here in desert, and staying here I think for a while.. until the Lincoln Forrest mountains warm up a bit– they just got a twelve inch snow storm.
Time to rest.