It’s been a few weeks since I posted in the “Take off List” category, and that was one of the main motivations to the current iteration- and by far my most successful effort- of this website, blog, whatever you want to call it. Well and before that, the skydive updates, for a few friends that didn’t use Facebook. Yet this mornings post was the first since I took off from Texas. Maybe, just maybe that explains why I’m starting to feel stuck. No goals, no forward movement, not as much extra in my ADL’s- ha!
My ADL’s have been cake here the last week or two. I’ve got this place down to a science. Usually in the tarp tent until ten, then an hour or so to walk around and clean up the site ending with my morning walk. If the sun is out, I’m right back to the tent after a quick walk, if it’s cooler or more importantly cloudier, I’ll for a longer walk earlier, or try to at least. Every day is not the same with my leg. The afternoon I’ll spend doing whatever, maybe walking along the lakeshore or up to the day use area.
Twice a week I try to take long (two mile plus) cross county walks – up and down and over and around this rocky hills (a tremendous leg work out) usually timed with a stop at the shower house. By time it starts to get cool, usually by five thirty, if not sooner, I’ll take a last lap around the Rocky Bay loop (only two thirds of a mile.) For the last week to boost it up a bit, I’ve gone back to wearing my Fitbit (as it no longer enables me to ‘cheat’ my stats with many tiny steps, now my steps are usually in good, well, my best, form.) With the Fitbit, it gives me hourly reminders to move, when I’ll at least walk up the driveway here.
Just past six I start to get the campsite rolled up for the night. I’ll bring in my steak from the fridge in the car, turn on the grill and start heating the pan, while I close up the outer tarp tent- after two weeks with this tarp design, I’ll got it nearly mosquito proof tonight (well, I’m also keeping the lights off to not attract them.
As I’ve gotten the system dialed in for this location (where to shop, when to shop, what to buy, when to refill water, when to shower, where to use the restroom, where to park, where to eat, where to get wifi) I’ve been able to make myself most efficient, it’s what I do I suppose. Which essentially, just means trying to get the same results with less work. Great, it is good that some things are starting to get easier, however, I have not been replacing that ‘ease’ with extra option work in other areas.
I have to keep reminding myself that making life harder than it was, forcing myself to rise to this challenge is part of the journey I’m on. And comfortable, getting comfortable being comfortable especially, is not pushing me. Not at all. I’m almost out of water, yet in ten minutes tomorrow I can drive a mile in the car to go fill up my seven gallon jug (and come Wednesday, I’ll have two five gallon containers also.) Food for a week, that would be two or three hours into to Walmart and back (and usually more, as if I go into I’ll run all applicable errands.)
It is good to live to though. Not every week, or every day has to be a push to my physical limits. Only three leg days a week right? Maybe that applies over the long timeline of this journey. Some weeks and locations have had great progress, other weeks not so much (and some weeks were all kinds of crazy!) From a five day drive out from Snowstorm Elliot, six weeks in Texas, and now six weeks in New Mexico, it’s been a wild ride. Pushing raw miles in the beginning, not even noticing the pain in my ankles at first. Now pacing myself to avoid more damage.
The adult play structure in Jal, that was amazing at the time- I still miss it. I’ve actually thought of going back to Jal- it is a nice little city. And the privacy, if a bit extreme, has been nice here in New Mexico. Yet today, knowing loosely my future plans, it struck me that in another six weeks- just a bit more than the length of time I’ve been at Brantley Lake- I’ll be (God willing) in Alaska. In Alaska working (hopefully) as an apprentice gold prospector.
Six weeks to make a sixty hour drive. The last bit, from the Canadian border to Chicken, would be all at once.. five or six days, five or six hours driving each. I have no interest in sticking pins in the Canadian country side, yes, I’m sure it’s beautiful too, yet the goal would be a straight drive though to the destination. That means I have the next five weeks to go the first thirty hours to the border.
As soon as it’s warm enough for me to camp that far north! Ha, I’m certainly getting used to this, especially as compared to that first week or camping in Texas in December, by comparison, those nights were nice! In the forties if I recall. Now.. hmm, was it twenty eight last week? About thirty five to forty seems to be the average temperature inside the tarp tent each morning (yet.. it’s a dry cold.) Now? I just turn on the heater and get to what I’m doing (usually a blanket, laptop, and cup of hot tea.)
Today I sat for a bit more than I wanted, yet today, today was a powerful day. Two big decisions, or maybe just one. Right or left. Go north west, or north east. Alaska or Michigan, I’ve been able to play with this ideas for the last two months. Yet, I can’t do both. I might be able to go back to Michigan and in the shape I’m in, get a job as a Walmart greeter maybe? Earn enough to make the mortgage until the disability kicks in? Most likely get stuck in Jackson and at just above the poverty line for the rest of my life?
Or, abandon, now permanently, everything I left in Michigan. Commit. Commit to a future that has nothing to do with my past. A future that is full of every thing that God has in store for me. It’s hard for my mind to imaging arriving in Alaska. It seems so far away. Thirty five hundred miles. Yet Albuquerque is just on the other side of Alamogordo. I do want to go through that city (wait, which way are you supposed to turn in Albuquerque? I don’t want to take a wrong turn there.) Then, Salt Lake City, I want to swim there. Actually, I want to float there.
OMG- Swim, I typed it without even thinking it, I still haven’t swum since my incident. Yes, I will swim in the great salt lake – that is a plan. By then, I just drive north still, depending on the temperature and the timeline. Idaho, Montana. Yeah, I want to see the northern edge of the continental US. The I want to step over it.
Okay, I’m starting to feel a little bit excited. So the big day? Two steps to commit. I called Kent today. I told him I was taking the job (or the opportunity to partner with him) and secondly and I called Patrick back in Michigan for two things, one to start the process of listing my house for sale, and to hold off on sending that second package I mentioned in this mornings post- it delayed, now I can be out of Carlsbad on Wednesday. As for the house, he knows a lot of people.. maybe he knows someone with seventy five thousand and a desire to buy my house!
So, today was planning. Today was commitment. I know my destinations, Alamogordo, Albequerque, Salt Lake City, then north to Alaska.. Tomorrow, packing. Wednesday I’ll be able to leave the State Park fully packed, drive south to Carlsbad for groceries and supplies and pick up my packages, fill up with gas and take off to the north (then west) through the mountains, stop in Cloudcroft at the ranger stations, then on to Alamogordo (unless I decide to stop in the mountains the first night!)
Okay, tomorrow will be a busy day. Time to go. Time to move on. Time to fly this coop. Time to clean, pack, tear down the tents and load it all into the car. By tomorrow I sleep with just the small tent to wake up, load and go. Okay, I’m talking this up too much. There is still no fire. Yet, let’s hold the goal set this morning. It’s Monday the twenty seventh, let’s be in the Sacramento Mountains camping in my first National Forest by April first. (Oh, I hope to see real trees there. Something taller than me please? New Mexico is… a desert.)
I can do this.
Time to rest.