Archive for October 19th, 2008|Daily archive page

Day 79–still heading south from Dalhart

I had hoped to get out of Albuquerque quickly and have an early start Sunday.  Again though circumstances led to a long trip back to where I had left off.  This time we were 50 miles out of Albuquerque at Taco Bell.  A man backed into our rented car.  We had things in the trunk and could not get it open.  So back to Albuquerque and the rental agency.  They got the trunk open and to save time we decided to keep the car and work aid from the back seat.  We had lost 3 hours though and were tired when we reached Tucumcari and decided to spend the night there.  That meant a 2 hour drive in the morning to the start.  We also needed groceries and had to wait for the store to open in Tucumcari.  There were no stores with the needed supplies on the route.

We reached my yellow flagging marking the spot at 10 a.m.  I started and alternated running and walking 4 hours before stopping for lunch.  After lunch I walk 2 1/2 hours before stopping for the day.  Other than the very smelly feed lots loaded with several thousand cattle ready for market the course was very much like the last few days.  This is the last of the prairie before entering the hills of New Mexico and dryer terrain.  We have ahead of us 75 miles with no towns or services.  That means anything we need during the day comes from our supplies in the car.  At the end of the day we drive 35miles back to Dalhart for dinner and a motel. 

Today is dedicated to my mother’s sisters, Aunt Clara, Aunt Ruth, and Aunt Wilma.  You are important to me and remind me of my Blake heritage.  You each contributed to making me who I am.  I love all three of you.

Day 78–south of Dalhart

I started the morning with a good breakfast of eggs, refried beans, and biscuits and gravy.  Rick drove me south of Stratford to the starting point and I headed out.  The wind was again behind me and made for easier going.  We saw a herd of maybe 50 antelope this morning.  They were grazing near the road and did not run until I started clapping my hands.  I alternated running and walking into Dalhart where we stopped for lunch.  Rick had bought me 2 grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches with French fries.  This is a beef town.  Rick had hamburgers that remind me of the ones we used to get before the fast food restaurants took over.  They are large, over-the-bun burgers with slaw and other fixings.  It warms up after lunch and I’m able to walk with only a short sleeve shirt for the first time this week.  We have to travel to Albuquerque this evening so I stop at 4 p.m.  Rick will be leaving in the morning.  I have enjoyed his company and his constant effort to have ready what I need to keep hydrated and filled.  I have also enjoyed his company on the roadside when he walked and ran with me.

Today is dedicated to Mr. L. A. Kelly.  I was about 13 when Mr. Kelly took me hunting for the first time.  He liked to rabbit hunt with beagles and as far as I know he did not hunt anything else.  He had a beagle named Joe and I inherited beagles that my brother Ben trained and hunted before he entered service.  Mr. Kelly was a friend of my dad and lived across the street from Roger Coan.  I met Roger about this time too and the three of us went rabbit hunting at every opportunity.  Mr. Kelly was old and missing a thumb but he was a dead shot at rabbits.  If I was near he would usually give me the first shot and then he would shoot when I missed, which was too often.  Those days with Mr. Kelly listening to the dogs chase rabbits were some of the happiest of my childhood.  He taught me about rabbit habits and tried to teach me patience during the hunt.  Most of the time though I would hurry and try to head off the rabbit before he turned back.  My hurrying usually alerted the rabbit and he would sneak past me and I’d hear Mr. Kelly’s gun go boom.  He would be holding the rabbit when I got back to him.  I don’t hunt anymore but I still really like to hear a pack of beagles chasing a rabbit.  It is a sound that will always take me back to those happy times with Mr. Kelly.