Archive for October 25th, 2008|Daily archive page

Day 84–12 miles south of Santa Rosa

This morning I have 14 miles of I-40 to do.  Ed drops me out at Cuervo and I head out.  He cannot crew for me on the interstate but there is an exit halfway between the start and Santa Rosa and we make plans to meet there.  There is a lot of traffic on I-40.  Also, there is a fence along both sides of the road.  The fence and the lack of vegetation make cover for bathroom breaks hard to find.  Fortunately, there are culverts and I can get most of me out of sight.  An officer of the NM Highway Patrol checked on me.  Pedestrians are not allowed on the interstate but after I explain what I am doing and that I have permission he is very nice.  I don’t mind being checked on because sometime I made need their help.  He had been advised that I would be coming through and it makes me feel good to know that the word is out.  I will have a section of I-25 to run in a few days.

At 12:05 p.m. on I-40 just east of Santa Rosa I got a surprise.  I usually look at the drivers of vehicles as they approach, especially semi’s.  They are always nice and respond to my waves.  This semi’s driver was  none other than Elvis Pressley!  He had the hair and the glasses and the face.  I know he is suppose to be dead, but I’m not so sure anymore.  What better place for him to hide than as a long distance trucker?  Shortly after that, I fell for the 4th time since leaving the Atlantic.  I was not hurt.  Entering Santa Rosa, I met Ed for lunch at Subway and then ice cream at DQ.  I haven’t missed a DQ yet that was open!  I was glad to be done with I-40.  I had a short nap when I passed our motel and continued out of Santa Rosa until sunset.  This was my second 30 mile day this week and brought the week’s total to 162 miles.  Running late in the day paid dividends.  Just before sunset we saw antelope and deer along the roadside.

Today is dedicated to my friend Don Covington.  Don is a veteran of all 17 Ellerbe Springs Marathons and countless other races.  He is a big supporter of local races and the MTC.  He is also a very generous and humble man, and a pleasure to know.  Thanks, Don for being such a good guy.

Day 83–Cuervo, NM

Ed and I packed up everything this morning.  We would be leaving Tucucari and moving our headquarters to Santa Rosa.  After breakfast of eggs and pancakes Ed dropped me out on the I-40 frontage road that would comprise all of today’s run.  The frontage road is formerly Route 66 and has all kinds of old buildings where there used to be stops for motorists.  Most of them now look like they could be in the set of a Mad Max movie.  Part of the road is range for cattle and I do have to negotiate around a few that are in the road.  The vegetation is changing too as everything becomes dryer.  The higher vegetation like mesquite and cedar are thinning and brown grass is the predominate ground cover.  Sometimes there are views to the horizon and at other times the land is rolling with low hills.

Ed is able to meet me every 2 miles through this area with refreshment.  That is a good thing too because there is no water except muddy cattle ponds and only one service station/post office/convenience store along this road.  The high point of the day is a phone call from John McRae of Iola, Ks.  It has been several weeks now since I was there and we have talked a few times.  John has been reading my journal and we mostly talk about what is happening today and what the area looks like.  I always enjoy hearing from friends by phone.  Quite often there is nothing different for miles and the voice of friends brightens my day.  I finish the day at Cuervo, a small town (???) with a post office in an old mobile home.  It is one of the Mad Max places. 

Today is dedicated to Edward Abbey, one of my favorite authors.  He wrote several books with settings in the American southwest.  I have read most of them.  My favorite is “The Monkey Wrench Gang”, a fictional account of a group of eco-terroists who try to save the southwest from all kinds of modern intrusions.  Another favorite is “Desert Solitare”, the true story of his time as a ranger in Arches National Park.