walking from LA to NY travel blog

colorful - spring in the red mesa-lands

a 1921 something - awaiting auction in june. come to nara visa...

this is what they use to irrigate the alfalfa

creative mailbox

clever cactus - growing right out of the guardrail

lots of sand dunes in northeast new mexico. feel like i'm at...

the easter bunny?

a couple of retired nara visa residents

and another retired resident. price on the pump: $1.29/gallon. (and i remember...

terrain north of tucumcari - more mesa-lands

just by chance (like everything on this journey), i met a gentleman named slim while i was scouting ahead for my next day’s walk. i was in the little town of nara visa, new mexico, just 4 miles from the texas border. (current population: 12, with most of the businesses in town boarded up.) slim was sitting out front of his house in his ’69 chevy pickup and asked if i was lost. we got to talking, i gave him a card with this website, and the next day when i was actually walking through town, i stopped to say hello. his wonderful wife nancy was there with an even more wonderful piece of blueberry pie and some ice water. (the weather has gotten warm.) so i visited with them for an hour and they offered to help me stage my support vehicle ‘up ahead’ for the next two days. and they did – 13 miles each day, so that’s 26 miles i didn’t have to backtrack. and to top it off, nancy served me dinner and ANOTHER piece of blueberry pie. now that’s the way to end the day after a 22-mile walk!

slim is a retired law enforcement officer from texas and was telling me lots of stories about the local populace. despite nara visa’s population of 12, all three churches in town hold services weekly – because they support the ranching community outside of town. slim and nancy swear that the nara visa residents are the nicest people in the country, and based on my limited experience, i won’t disagree! THANKS, slim and nan......

more thanks go to frank norris of the santa fe office of the national park service. with naomi coming in to albuquerque for two weeks starting tomorrow, i was stressing about finding a good walking route with areas she’d want to visit while i’m walking. the southern route, although the most direct, is pretty desolate, but the northern route, with santa fe and las vegas and madrid, is a lot more to her liking. the problem is that there didn’t appear to be a way to walk without spending time on the interstate. but frank went to work and mapped out a great route for me, which i ‘drive-tested’ today on my way back into albuquerque. (as you recall, while waiting for her to arrive, i jumped ahead and was actually about 30 miles into the texas panhandle by the end of the day yesterday.) everything looked fine; i’ll have lots of scenery and not too much traffic, so thanks, frank!

according to a local farmer i met, the texas panhandle is facing the worst drought in recorded history. they’re irrigating the corn and alfalfa to feed the local cattle, but if the drought continues, who knows how long the water table will last – and how it might affect residential water needs for the ranching community. many of the mature elms are stressed or dying, even though they theoretically have deep root systems. it made me think about the global warming ‘debate’, which really has TWO aspects that need to be separated: one, whether climate change is happening, and two, whether it’s caused by mankind and if so, what can be done about it. people can argue all day about the second point and whether we all need to make lifestyle changes, but the science on the first point is indisputable: the planet IS warming up. so both policymakers and private enterprise need to take that into account: don’t rebuild the jersey shore at sea-level. don’t use taxpayer money to rebuild homes in hurricane-prone areas just because “it’s been our home for generations”. and if you’re in agriculture, and you think the drought might be connected global warming (evidence suggests extreme weather patterns are) then DO get ahead of the game and ‘think out of the box’ about using the land differently: maybe planting different crops or raising different livestock. that just seems like good business......

<< soapbox mode, off >>

ok, on a more humane subject, every night i’ve been stopping by the ready-mix yard west of logan where the three stray dogs are hanging out. by now when they see my car, they come running out because they know they’ll get something to eat. last night was my final trip past there, as i’ve headed back to albuquerque to finish up this segment, but i could see that someone else has put out dog food and water for them. so it looks like they have a guardian angel to replace me – i’m happy about that.

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