Thursday, July 30, 2015

Difficult decision -- suspending this trip for the rest of the year.

Hello again, from another Colorado 'fort'; this one is called Ft. Morgan, an agricultural community in northeastern Colorado and on the western side of the Great Plains.

Handy that there is an Amtrak stop in this town.  It looks as if I will be boarding a train for home this week, for medical reasons!  In response to a few inquiries I will say that, yes, I am OK.  The issue that developed is related to (but not quite as simple as) insufficient hydration.  The treatment requires 'flushing' with IV fluids and follow-up blood chemistry checks.  In my case the blood work did not show satisfactory improvement in a single day, indicating a need for more recovery time than it is practical to take here in the heart of 'agri-business', Colorado. My decision to suspend walking at this point was based upon a combination of this medical event (together with a couple of related findings), and a look at the daily weather forecasts (temperatures, specifically) over the coming week(s), since heat was one of the factors contributing to this inconvenient medical diagnosis.  Although I know that heading for home is the right decision at this point, it still has an unsatisfying, 'wimping out' sort of feeling.

Ft. Morgan is not quite the place I would have chosen as a stopping point while waiting for my home-bound train.  The Great Western Sugar Company, a 100-year old sugar beet processing plant, with its multi-silo storage tank is the most prominent feature of the town.  The hum of this huge factory and accompanying whine of the interstate can be heard throughout the night. On the plus side, there are a few decent coffee shops, a museum of interest, a good bicycle shop and a riverside park.  I've rented a bicycle and this morning took a ride along the S. Platte River, before it got too hot to be comfortable. 

If circumstances permit I will return to this point next year in the spring, to resume walking.  In the meantime, any recent donations will be returned, with great thanks to all for the unstinting support!  Plan updates will be forthcoming.  And hey - here is an opportunity for others to think about joining the walk (or a part of it) next year!

Rainbow Arch Bridge (circa 1922) over the S. Platte River.  GW Sugar plant in the distance.

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