The last 24 hours has been quite a wild ride. I got into Deming on Greyhound about this time yesterday. After washing some of my dirty clothes at the laundromat, and the obligatory double cheeseburger at Mickey D's, and checking at Wal-Mart and finding my bike gone (no surprise, just mild disappointment), I began the trek out to my lot. I hoped I wouldn't get lost.

Just up the street from McDonald's is Sonic, and across from that is 8th Street. Started walking south on 8th, and when I got to Florida Rd. I hung a right; hmm, this looks familiar, I thought. And when I got to Hermanas Grade not long afterwards, I "remembered" that that was the same as Hermanas Road as one went South. Heh.

When I got to the corner of Hermanas Grade and Monte Vista, Hermanas became dirt. Nope, that shouldn't happen. I'm lost. So I head East towards something familiar, and didn't reach it until about 2 miles east, Lucca Road. Turned South again from there, and sure enough after a while I hit Sunshine Rd. Naturally at that point I knew for sure I was too far East, and so headed back West again. So I had added 3 to 4 miles to an already taxing journey. By the time I finally reached my lot, I was aching from toes to knees and fingers to shoulder blades. I had run out of water miles back, and knew I would need some soon before I'd become too dehydrated.

My tent was ransacked, but apparently not by humans; nothing was missing except, from what I could tell, my air cushion. Everything else was there but water-damaged; the wind and weather had vandalized my stuff. I couldn't do anything else at that point. I rolled out the tarp from my Hennessey Hammock and crashed.

An hour later I awoke, freezing, from a strange dream. I don't remember what it was about, but am sure it was strange, and it took some few seconds to come back into this world from the dream world, despite the cold. It was about 2 AM, and I had a long way to go before daybreak. The nap had helped the joint pain, but it didn't take long for it to come back full strength. It took me 7 whole hours to limp the 12 or 13 miles back into town. When I only had a few miles left to go, it was getting harder and harder to go on due to dehydration and pain. Not one friggin' store the whole way. Nobody near the road that you could ask for some water. It might as well be desert the whole way. At least I might have hit an oasis in that case.

I tried hitching a ride several times, but everybody just went roaring past. One guy pulled over to the roadside and I thought he was offering a ride, but instead he handed me a $20 and said, with a Russian accent, "So you can buy some food". I almost said "I'll pay you the $20 back if you'll just give me a ride to McDonald's" but figured if he had time, he probably would have offered a ride; he was on his way somewhere and who was I to say no? So I said "Thank you, very much!" And he U-turned and sped away.

Not long after that I found a cholla cactus with fruits overhanging the swale, so I picked one and tried my "serape" trick on it, as with the nopal the other day. No dice. I ended up with those little prickly hairs in my hands, my lip, and all throughout my serape, for only a small nibble. A block or two later I saw some spiny nopal and de-thorned just enough to slake my thirst. This was on Florida Road, and not far ahead I saw the surgery center was open, and went in and asked for a water fountain. Nope. Soda machine? Nope. Then I looked, and the restroom door was open. Can I get some water from the tap? Yes. Thank You!

I sat down outside, drank the water, and rested my legs a little. I was going to make it now. I would get a breakfast at McDonalds, go to the park on 8th Street and sleep, and then go to the library for internet access. I was now $20 richer, and decided to allocate it towards the money I had "borrowed" for my bus trip; in other words, I would have had to skip my allowance again tonight, but now I can use that $20 instead.

Things went according to plan, except while in the library I forgot to check my email, I took too long getting caught up in the Brainstorms forums. Went West to the visitor's center but their net access was down. So no email until tomorrow unless I find a way to connect wirelessly. Right now I'm at Wendy's drinking coffee as I type this in, and recharged my battery from their power.

I forgot to mention, I found a loquat tree today! It's on Spruce Street as you walk from the McDonald's towards the library. The fruits weren't ripe yet, but I ate half a green one. Lots of fruit overhangs the sidewalk, so in a month or so I'll have quite a feast if someone doesn't chase me away.

Here's the plan, Man: I stay downtown for a few days, being as frugal as possible with my spending money; if I can save most of my $20 each day, I can buy another bicycle and whatever accessories I need so I can keep myself easily supplied with water and food as I stay on my lot, planting and digging as I terraform Luna County!

Back to blog or home page

last updated 2013-01-10 20:19:19. served from tektonic.jcomeau.com