Day 109–3 miles west of Salome, Az

 

Friday, November 21

I bought Merrie’s plane ticket last night. This morning Dan and I went to Burger King for biscuits and I got online and bought return tickets for Merrie and myself. Now that tickets are bought I have a real schedule. The finish date is December 12. Rick will fly in December 6 and crew me the last week through the finish. Merrie will fly in Thursday, December 11. After the finish Merrie and I will take a few days to look around out here and fly back from Phoenix December 18. I should have no problem meeting the schedule. I have 332 miles to go and 21 days until the finish. The plan calls for only 15 more running days. I am having a hard time believing the end is near.

Today’s run (I can say run again) began at 7:40 a.m. I walked the first two miles and then ran a mile. The rest of the day I continued alternating miles of running and walking. My leg is better than yesterday. I don’t think it is ready for hills again but I have not seen a serious hill in a week. It is hot here. The temperature is mid-80s but the low humidity evaporates any sweat quickly. That is saying a lot for me because I really put out the sweat. The scenery for the days since Phoenix is much the same with little grass but lots of mesquite, creosote bush, and some cactus. I am told there are lots of roadrunners and some javalina here. There must be something because hunting season just opened and the motels are full of hunters. All I have seen is one road-killed roadrunner, a few dead skunks and coyotes. I finished just west of Salome with another 30 mile day.

Today is dedicated to Kathy French (Rick’s wife) and their two sons, Hunter and Parker. Rick is coming back yet again to help me. He has spent a lot of time and money supporting me on this run. None of this would have been possible without the support of his family. When I ran through Taylorsville early in the journey, I stayed at Rick and Kathy’s house. Kathy cooked for me, washed my clothes, drove me out to the course, and was enthusiastic the whole time. Hunter crewed for me in Taylorsville and Missouri. Parker is in college but I did see him a little and he was always encouraging. I joked with Rick that he was spending so much time and money on me that Hunter and Parker must feel that I was their older brother. Never fear guys. This will soon end and you will have your dad back. Thanks for loaning him to me. Kathy, I appreciate all your help and support. Thanks, too, for letting Rick take so much time away to help me. I am in your debt.

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