Oh, my back feels good right now.  So much for an air mattress, it’s in the trash now. It really did seem like more of a hassle than it was worth. Although it was very nice to sleep on, it was not consistent. From fully inflated to half full on a slow leak- which later quickened. I had already looked at this Walmart for sleeping pads, yet I was not happy with the selection.

They had plenty more air mattresses, yet only some basic rolled foam pads. Not what I was looking for, I’d passed on it before.  Today, I went to Walmart for two reasons, one) to walk.  Tall straight steps with a cart and long flat steps though the parking lot with my cane. Yeah, since the other day, I’ve put the cane back in to use. Certainly I can walk without now, yet with it, I can walk better and focus on better mechanics with less weight.

Secondly, it was time to get serious with the wind.  I do want a front porch- or any area that is shaded for my chair and table, so that I can have a proper working area. Not that I don’t like typing in bed- ha, now that I have a bed.  Well, not a bed, yet it sure feels that way. Ah, so battling the wind to get my shaded work area. I had another awning that I put up yesterday. It’s simple, a ten by fifteen piece of fabric with reinforced webbing attachment points all over.

Using two tent poles I put it up as an ‘A’ shape- easy right.  Well, other than the wind.  It makes everything hard, every step. What it really does is make me use my core a lot more. Which is good.  Yet, that little extra work gets multiplied when you’re trying to pull zero porosity fabric taut against a thirty mile an hour wind.  Once you almost get it there, the stakes pull out or a pole slips.

I was glad I had tried to two types of heavy duty stakes already, I knew exactly what I needed, then found a few other things while I was there to, a large package of hand clamps to assist in future tarp wrangling, plenty of the twelve inch nail style stakes, and some stronger paracord for the top line.  I was hoping to get back before the wind picked up, yet even with an early start to the day at six thirty, it was still eleven by time I returned.

By then the wind had already picked up to about twenty or so, yet I wanted to see if I could finish the front tent. The heavy duty stakes are wonderful; they go in, they don’t move.  That’s it, they stake.  With the opposing sides staked firmly to the ground, I put the two tent poles back up and tried to re-enforce it as best I could. This wind is really brutal, by two pm it .was really bad and had picked up more than a bit of dirt in it.  The wind always blows the sand around, yet sometime the wind comes with it’s own too.

Inside the next few hours I stretched out some more.  Sitting with my legs criss crossed was almost painful three days ago, today it’s getting a lot, a lot better. Same for stretching and reaching around from that position. Being in this tent has, now with a bit of hindsight, been the best thing for my recovery at this point.  Crawling around, mule kicking to get my toes over the tent barrier, and just sitting down. The activity in the last two months- being up, walking or standing as much as possible- has been great, yet I’ve missed the time I used to spend in bed.

Not all of it. Not even most of it, yet some of it- laying there and slowing stretching this way and that, holding and contorting myself while watching TV, that part I missed, that part was good. And this crawling around is good. And the stepping exercises from Jal, and the walking from Lake Corpus Christi, all these have come and the right parts of this journey.  If I would have tried to this much floor excercise then, I would have been stuck! Yet now, it feels good. Walking around the tent today, I found myself doing high steps over my taut ropes with my left leg that shocked me- shocked me. (repeated for emphasis, not a typographical repeating error.

No walk up the hill today, yet maybe tomorrow, I think I’ll feel good in the morning.  Also while at Walmart, I went back down the tent aisle again looking for a good sleeping pad.  I ended up getting two.  One is a self inflating type, that rolls up very small. Once out of its bag, it will slowly self infate, yet only a few breaths fils it up too.  Once and inch and a half think, it makes all the difference in the world once I pulled out the dead air mattress and put this at the bottom of the stack of blankets.

The second sleeping pad I didn’t get to sleep on, rather to sit on. It is very thing egg-crate looking material, orange on one side, reflective on the other.  It is stiff and folds up accordion style.  Stacked, it’s about eight inches by six, and thirty inches long.  Perfect for me to sit on, and only ten bucks.  Once I was already curled up tonight and happy, I thought I should see how it works as a pad too since I can’t sit on it at night.  Being reflective, I wanted it closer to me, so I put it under just one blanket. I may have to bury it deeper- right now the reflected heat on my back feels hot.

Yet, I think I’ll be okay.  Also, opened up the mummy bag to use a big top comforter, and I’m feeling cozy and can move my legs around.

Walmart, wind, stretching, not much more. Oh, sweeping. And more sweeping.  The dirt comes in through the screens. Finally got the camp nice and clean inside and out, then went up to take a shower before dinner.

A steak and some potatoe salad.  It just occurred to me today, that it might last longer if I bought potatoes and eggs from Walmart (each can keep a week or two) and made my own potato salad. Have to add that to my list to try out.

Okay, random image of goal at the top. Fifty eight hours of driving. Over five days driving eleven hours a day, or eleven days at…. okay, you now factors, anyhow, that is a lot of driving. I could go five hours once per week and get there on time.

Hmm.. I think I would find cold weather.  Okay, a good long day,

Time to rest.


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