Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Objects in the distance are further away than they appear...

Walking and walking...  how could it be that that it's already late afternoon, and somehow I am no closer to that range of hills I've been approaching for hours?  I am learning once again from this high desert walking experience (where distances matter) that, indeed, perception of distances can be very deceiving -- whether this is due to altitude, heat, airborne dust or a combination of it all I do not know.  Sudden changes of temperature, wind velocity and direction are to be expected.  Some days begin easily enough and I am working a lot harder than I like by afternoon.  But we (my trailer and I) keep on trucking and are sometimes greatly rewarded with mercifully sheltered camping sites, and generous people bearing 'care packages'!

The road between Bishop and Tonopah was highlighted by a couple of days (one of them donated!) at Benton Hot Springs -- so healing and relaxing; crossing into the state of Nevada and reaching the top of Montgomery pass that same day, at more than 7000';  and a gift/drop of food and water from some road angels from Chalfant Valley, CA.  There is a stark beauty about this undulating and unforgiving terrain; my ability to appreciate it varies considerably, but the 'awesomeness' factor is a constant.

For some days the road shoulders have been quite narrow.  I am trying to learn the art of walking on/around 'rumble strips', important safety features for vehicles, but brutal on walkers with trailers like mine!  It/she (the trailer) can just about straddle the bumps, and sometimes there is enough paved space for us to the right of them.  In either case it involves constant staring at the ground so as to avoid the jarring bumpiness.  Or I can simply walk to the left of the white line and hope that traffic will move over!  Goodness knows I am visible at a great enough distance.  (See photo)

Arriving in Tonopah I was immeasurably blessed with an offer of backyard camping, with all of the comforts of  home!  A Nevada DOT 'road angel' (in more ways than one!) and his family have taken me in for a few days while I wait for a friend from SF, coming to provide vehicle support for the next stretch.  (OK, 'vehicle support'.  What does that mean?  I will continue the walk, at a 'do-able' number of miles per day sans trailer, and return to a base in Tonopah at the end of each day, with rides to and from…)  In this interim I am enjoying exploring the town and relaxing!

Sign outside of Bishop, CA

Boundary Peak - 13,141'

Rumble strips

Historic Tonopah Cemetery
Taken from the hilltop mining museum site - in the distance (about 12 miles) you can see a rest area where I camped the night before arriving in Tonopah.

At the Central Nevada Museum


  1. Hi, miss ya. I'm excited to see the places you have walked an seen. An happy your well. :)