Starting over on day one at Brantley Lake State Park seemed to affect me in some way. Or maybe it was something else, yet either way I woke up with an odd sense about me. Not deja vu in an actual way, rather slow thought out realization that I’m in the same place I was two weeks ago, which lead me to the natural question. Where would I be in two weeks as I leave here next time.
One thing that at first was very nice, soured over time about the the last two weeks or rather the campsite I’d setup then. I used the newer larger four man tent that I’d picked up at Walmart in Alice, Texas. At the time- a week of cold rainy at Lake Corpus Christi State park- I used it it empty the car so that I could work on the wiring. The first night at Brantley I set it up and covered it with the camo tarp from the hardware store in Mathis. From the first night I was warm and comfortable, it was nice to have a place to lay down.
And with those wind storms the first week, I spent a lot of time laying down- well, in-between chasing around to stake and bungy the tarp tighter as the wind blew harder. Eighty five miles per hour was the second night I think, sixty five the first night with dirt. I’ve seen wind. I’ve been in the wind, I am familiar with the wind. New Mexico has another level of wind. Yes, eighty five was just the gusts. In between it mellowed to steady fifty five. The Walmart tent was pushed beyond its limits. A week was spent to gain structural integrity.
A week walking around, staking here, pulling up there. Setup a pole here, ropes there and a few more knots. When the grommets went on the tarps, rocks were called into service to replace them. In the wind, fighting the wind with every step. As I could, I would take breaks and lay down. Of course lunch and dinner were in the tent, just to keep the dust and dirt (and small stones) out of my food. To eat I’d usually sit up straight with my legs out in various positions (the flexibility gained was great.) Once cleaned up, I’d lay down.
Laying down was really the only comfortable position in the tent. Just like the small one man tent that I’d originally brought with me. Except in place of three other people, I was able to bring most of my gear and food inside. Enough to keep me entertained while waiting out the wind. To keep me entertained while laying down. That was really nice at first, yet soured on me. I’ve had enough of laying bed all day, I had enough of that before I came on this leg of the journey.
At the new camp, I’ve used the new tarps to create my own tent. Similar to the A frame before, I used the ten by twenty foot tarp (five feet longer) and used the length to create a flat spot across the middle. I did need to pick up two more tent poles (aka closet rods) at Lowes. Now I have a set of four, each six foot four inches. With two lengths of heavy duty paracord for top lines, the tarp is now as taut as possible, as quiet as possible. Inside, I’ve setup my small one-man tent to lay down- when I need to sleep. Other wise, I get up and out of it in the morning, just as I have all year.
Inside the tarp tent, as I pictured yesterday, there is room for my table, chair, stove, buckets, food, etc, etc. And it’s tall enough for me to stand up all the way. And although it currently has as open door design (closed on three and a half sides) it does block wind and hold heat rather well. It also holds the cold in the morning I found out today, well shaded and the wind can’t bring in the warm.
Sitting in my chair this morning, I went over my lists. They were dusty, it’s been a while since I updated the lists. Some how in all that tent time last week, I never quite got around to making a list. Or a take off list. And when I took off, I was two days late, nearly out of food and water, and wasn’t prepared with a map of my next destination. Why not? Well, it’s not very comfortable to write.. while laying down. Not very comfortable to type either (or was it too comfortable?)
Some how in the few days of car camping between Jal and here, I had gotten off my meds. Which, pros and cons, a little reset is always okay I guess. Yet maybe not for the feel good pills. Skipping them lead to.. laying down more. And skipping the productivity pill.. yeah, more laying down. Skipping the muscle relaxers.. well, that lead to a lot of stretching, while laying down- which was a good thing about the last two weeks. I can now squat all the way down without too much pain (soreness!) and sitting on the ground, I can pull my heel all the way to my butt. And my hips. I can open them wider and keep my knees closer to the ground when sitting with my legs criss-crossed.
Altogether, looking back this morning, I was wondering how I’d feel in two more weeks when I was looking back on the next two weeks. What would be different? Well, I am firmly back “on my meds” now and feeling better as a result and the productivity pill is doing its thing too. Guess what I’m not taking any more though? No more muscle relaxers for a few days down, my legs are a bit stiffer in the morning, yet stretch out just fine on the first walk. Still having the spasms in my leg though and the unique muscle contraction issues from the spinal spasticity.
So off from the “roto” muscle relaxer and I might try again with the second one I tried- baclofen. It was better at reducing the spasms, yet not as good at relaxing and helping to stretch my muscles; and not as good as reducing the muscle pain either. Yet, with those symptoms alleviated, the spasms are the problem. So maybe that is on the list for the next two weeks.
Next, more walks, morning, noon, and night- with the trek poles, there is no reason not too (unless, like today I do enough walking with a cart.) My eating has been good, yet the planning for it has been worse. Food was spread around, some in the tent, some in the front a tent, some in the car. I went shopping today and brought everything inside. Organized it even in a nice little pantry corner of my big tarp tent.
Somehow, the last two weeks feel like they were a vacation from my journey- whatever journey I’m on. Whatever I’m doing, I need to be moving forward. Two weeks from now when I look back at this post, I want to know that I moved forward.
Today, I bought a jump rope. I need leg strength, balance, and cardio vascular exercise. I have a feeling this five dollar jump rope could be the thing that gets my body into pristine condition, or as best as my body can be now, if I let it. If I use it. Today I tested it. Adjusted it’s lenght to my height and tried to jump rope. When was the last time I jumped rope? It must have been a decade ago. It took a few tries, well a few minutes of tries, to jump the rope once. Just once; I tried to get a twofer and couldn’t. I got one more again and called it good for the test. I can jump a rope without falling down. How far can I go in two weeks?
How many miles can I walk right now? I haven’t tried for distance lately, even with the trek poles. Pace? I’m holding just over a twenty minute pace, yet my laps here are only two thirds of mile. I could be doing more.
That was the feeling. I could have done more. If I would have planned just a little bit better, I could have seen the waterfalls. Tomorrow, I’m going to check the weather for the week, pick the best looking day, and plan a day trip to Sitting Bull Falls. I could leave my campsite after breakfast, pack and bring lunch, make the hour drive there, explore all day, drive home for dinner. That is what I could have done last week, and that is what I will do this week.
In other news? Received my first mail delivery via General Delivery today. I can receive USPS addressed to my name, General Delivery, Carlsbad, NM, 88220. It’s basically like have a post office box, except I have no box and have to ask at the counter for my packages. Yet, it’s free. And now I finally have resupplied my pipe tobacco. Another tub of Prince Albert, in a can. Walmart for groceries, Lowes for tent poles, and back to the Rocky Bay (that’s what they call the primitive area here.)
Tomorrow, a list. Tomorrow, a new routine. Tomorrow, jumping roping.
Time to rest.