The Walk engine seems to have stalled. To continue on 36 north of Quemado requires big blocks of time, which I don't have enough of lately. If we have to drive an hour to get there, and in Cynthia's case, use a half a tank of gas getting there and back, it would be better to finish it in two trips rather than three. That means walking 7.5 miles rather than 5 miles each time, as there's about 15 miles left on that road until it reaches the county line. That means I need to have a 6 hour block of time - 2 hours driving time, 3 hours walking time (including breaks and picture taking) and 1 hour of fudge time, just in case.
(Warning - this could be very boring - I'm just trying to get across the logistical aspects of the walk, which can detract from the Joy of Walking, if allowed to.)
Even if we made three trips and walked 5 miles each time, I'd still need a walking window of 4 to 5 hours each time (2 for driving, 2 for walking, 1 for fudge factor,) which is why we're not walking three or four times a week these days - not enough walking windows like that opening up. Also, gas prices are getting prohibitive - at least to us Americans, who are looking at $3/gallon with shock and awe.
I've suggested to Cynthia that we consider taking bikes, and doing the 15 remaining miles of Hwy 36 in one fell swoop. She's not sure about that, and neither am I. Walking is safer, but slower. Riding is still fairly slow, at least the way I do it, but my original intent was to WALK all the paved roads in Catron County, not bike them. I was planning to save the biking for when we had run out of paved road - I thought the next plan would be to bike the unpaved roads, at least the better ones. Once you start to deviate from the plan, you never know what's going to happen - next thing you know, we'll be building ultralights or strapping on powered parachutes and flying over the roads, and our feet will never even touch the pavement - and then where would we be, I ask you.
There are at least two ways to look at it: by switching to bikes, we'll be exhibiting flexibility in the face of rising gas prices and time constraints, OR we'll be abandoning the original plan and therefore failing to actually complete our goal. The original plan might be flawed in that it relies so heavily on consumption of fossil fuels (which runs ironically counter to the beauty of walking, no?) I bet Citywalkers don't have this problem.
It's moot, for now - this weekend the Mogollon Road walk is back on, and next week they'll probably be done with the prescribed burns on 141, so we'll get that done and then see.