Checking in from Caprock, NM …
New Mexico is different. The speed limit is 75 mph, and you need not have a permit to be packing (carrying a concealed weapon). Guess I’ll need to walk faster – don’t want to be road kill.
We have noticed an almost immediate change to the terrain in this state. In all directions, there appears to be nothing but wide-open spaces covered in spotty grass and an occasional stunted mesquite tree. It’s hard to portray the sense of what it is like being in the midst of this vast ocean of mostly flat plains. There are times when there are no buildings in sight, no animals, no people; just me, a seemingly endless road, some power lines and a whole lot of land. Thank goodness Brenda and Zuzu find me from time to time.
Outside of Tatum, I did come across a rarity—three other walkers—coming at me from the west. We stopped to visit. Turns out this a group of Pro Life supporters led by Catholic priest, Father John. There are 12 people in the group, walking in threes, 7.5 miles per shift, four shifts a day, a total of 30 miles a day. I was surprised to learn that they were walking almost the exact same route as me, just in reverse. They left the Santa Monica Pier on May 15, are headed to North Carolina and will then turn north to Washington, DC for a rally with other Pro Lifers over Labor Day weekend. We were able to share info that should help each of us on the completion of our respective trips. Regardless of one’s stance on their issue, Godspeed and safe travel to Father John’s group.
When I have seen the occasional animal, they are new to me. Saw my first live snake since Georgia, an 18 inch long beige creature with gray horizontal stripes. It was as interested in getting away from me as I was in staying clear of it. I’ve also seen my first jackrabbits. These are not the cottontails that are common to me. They are larger and thinner, beige or light gray in color, with long erect ears. And, boy, are they fast—fast as, well, a jackrabbit. Finally, we spotted two antelopes grazing on the prairie. We now know where the antelope roam.
Since I am only able to walk in the mornings due to the intense afternoon heat, we are staying a little longer on our overnight stops. We spent two nights in Tatum at a nice city park. The next scheduled stop on our path was to be Caprock, which turned out to be a just crossroads with a general store. No RV campground and no obvious place to park. When we stopped to talk to the owners of he store, a very nice couple named Jack and Reba Luce, they volunteered their small parking lot for the night. What a nice and welcome gesture. Hospitality like this helps us over some of the potentially rough spots on our trip. By the way, the Luces call themselves retired though they open the general store four hours a day and run a “hobby” herd of beef cattle. All on their “little” ranch that covers 17 sections. A section is 640 acres, so their ranch is just less than 11,000 acres in size. Retirement can be very busy.
A new friend, Tom Thomas, has written a very nice article about my walk in his newsletter, The Cardinal Advisor, which goes out to a wide distribution including nearly every collegiate athletic department in the country. Tom is a renowned leadership instructor and strategic planner. It is great to have his support, and his kind words are truly appreciated. A link to the article appears on this website under the “News” icon.
For the next few days, I will be walking 15 to 17 miles each morning around Roswell, New Mexico on Highway 380. We are looking forward to the craziness that we have heard about this town. More on that in future blogs. Thanks for your continued interest and support.