Catron County, New Mexico has about 400 miles of paved road, and we're planning to walk every mile of it ... eventually ...

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Momentum Carries Us Forward (for a little while.)

We were so psyched about finishing Hwy 32 that we knocked off the first 19 miles of Hwy12 in less than a week. Part of that was that we didn't have to drive nearly so far to get to the section we were walking.

Hwy 12 is a completely different walking experience from Hwy 32. For one thing, almost all the wildlife we're seeing is roadkill. (More cars.) It seems to be too cold still to see turkey vultures, but the roadkill disappears pretty quick anyway - probably the bald eagles are hauling it off. We've seen a couple of little red foxes, which I've never managed to spot out here before.

Along about the first week of February, our momentum faded. I had to go up to Albuquerque, and Cynthia took a trip to Tucson, and what with ski trips and bad weather, we didn't do so much walking. One the other hand, I got a lot of reading in.

Book Picks for the Month of February:

The Know-It-All: One Man's Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World,
by A.J. Jacobs. This was pretty funny, in fact I couldn't put it down. You try writing a book about reading the Encyclopedia Britannica from cover to cover, and make it funny and compelling and somehow full of suspense.

The Dogs of Bedlam Farm, by Jon Katz. No dogs die in this book! Although there's still one place where you should have a box of tissue handy.

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. I knew this was a work of fiction when I started to read it, but by the end I had completely forgotten that fact.

Cathedrals of the Flesh: My Search for the Perfect Bath, by Alexia Brue. It just goes to show, you never know what will turn up on the shelves of the Rural Bookmobile (without which I am sure I would wither and die.) This is a great travel book - you get to vicariously experience being scrubbed from head to toe with a coarse mitt by a nearly naked fat lady in a Turkish hamam in Istanbul, being flagellated with birch branches in a Russian banya, being a guest of the Finnish Sauna Society at Sauna Island, and steaming every last impurity out of yourself in a Japanese onsen resort. Reading this book has made a believer out of me - a frustrated believer, since I don't think I'll be going to Istanbul any time soon.

Meanwhile, back in the real world:

When we picked it up again, we started walking off the miles between Apache Creek and Datil. More roadkill - a raccoon, a javelina, and a burrowing owl. We crossed the Continental Divide on 2/9. Now we're out in the open again, with the Plains of San Augustin to our right.


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