Well, I made it. I decided to finish today, making it 10 days start to finish. Also my support crew (Cathie) was threatening to leave me out in the desert if she had to get up early any more. So it was time to end it.. Today after 9 hours and 22.2 miles I walked across the Colorado River into Yuma, Arizona completing 178.4 miles. Cathie applauded me as I walked across. Boy was I ready for happy hour. The long walk had taken it's toll on my feet. After each day of walking, when I got back to the RV, I could hardly walk, but by morning I'm was pretty much fully recovered.
IMPERIAL SAND DUNES
Got started on this final day right at 6 am, just before sunrise. Cathie dropped me off at Gordon Wells, which is just to the west of in Imperial Sand Dunes. My first obstacle was the All American Canal. The only way to cross it is to swim or to cross via the freeway bridge. I opted to break the law and walk on the freeway across the canal. Next up was the sand dunes. There is a road for most of the way through the dunes, but part of the way is on a sand road and this made walking difficult, not to mention filling my shoes with sand. Then the Bureau of Reclamation decided to make the canal turn again and you have to cross it for a second time. Again I chose to walk and not swim.
After the second crossing I ran into a Border Patrolman who was dragging tires behind his truck so footprints are easy to see. I had a short talk with him and said I had discovered a fool proof way to smuggle drugs in a back back. I said you just have to be a white senior citizen and the BP just waves as you walk by. He agreed with me, and still didn't want to look in my pack. I guess I look honest.
SOME OF THE BORDER SECURITY
For the next mile it was sand for most of the way. After that it became nice hard dirt along side of the frontage road for several miles. I have to go to the left of the mountain you see in the distance.
CHP AT WORK
Mmmmm, TUCSON ONLY 15 DAYS WALK
After this nice easy section, I had to pick my way around the agricultural inspection station on I-8 which entailed bypassing some private property with some really mean looking dogs. Easiest way was along the railroad tracks, so for a while I became a real hobo walking the rails.
MY FIRST LOOK AT YUMA, STILL 5 MILES TO GO
I had to stop twice for blisters today. Once to re-tape my toe on my right foot, and my left foot not wanting to be left out, gave me a new blister on my heel. This was about 5 miles from the finish and at this point a broken foot would not have stopped me.
DOWNTOWN WINTERHAVEN, ALMOST THERE
CROSSING THE COLORADO AFTER A 9 HOUR DAY
MADE IT!! 178.4 MILES
SOME INTERESTING FACTS:
There is a whole bunch of trash between San Diego and Yuma. I made a scientific survey and discovered that people on the west side of the mountains like Bud Light. To the east the popular beer is Coors Light. Besides the usual roadside cans and bottles, I found tools and enough nuts, bolts, and washers to open a hardware store. Numerous car parts and other miscellaneous garbage was strewn along the highway. I also saw three hypodermic syringes.
Bags for Artic Glacer Ice were seen from Spring Valley all the way to Yuma. I think I'll buy some stock in this company.
Well, it's done, I did it in 10 days, 2 days less than I had thought it would take. My feet are sore, but they will heal and in a few days they'll be like new, well at least like the feet of a 64 year old. I enjoyed the solitude, but appreciated seeing Cathie at the end of each day.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. About the weight loss. In the first 5 days I lost 3 pounds. In the second five days I gained one of those pounds back. Go figure.
Think my celebratory breakfast had anything to do with it? No way.