Friday, November 26, 2010

Day of Rest

Happy Thanksgiving fellow Americans! I arrived in the colonial mining town of Hidalgo del Parral yesterday afternoon with one strong thought on my mind: I'd like a day of rest. No walking. Ah. a break from the blinding sun is inviting, sure, but I've got to find new soles for my hiking boots. They're completely worn through and I feel every pebble tenderly.

Somewhere between Chihuahua City and here, I've passed the half-way point. Forty-seven days to here and something between 40 and 45 days to go until Mexico City, I think. I'm nearly out of the state of Chihuahua, too, Mexico's largest. I've climbed in elevation and the area more mountainous and vegetation bigger, even shade-producing. I like it. Last night, the temperature was -4C. Nice. I need to find a map of the next state, Durango, and figure out a path to get to Durango City, maybe two weeks away by foot. I hope to find towns a bit closer together to reduce my daily distances. I'm still walking an average of 38 kilometers per day (= 24 miles per day) but there's a wide standard deviation with too many days over 50 kilometers (= 31 miles) for the comfort of my little feet.

I've noticed that I've taken on a ridiculous but necessary habit walking in the desert, that of absentmindedly sitting with my knees tucked to my chin so I can pluck the cactus thorns out of my pantlegs. I caught a reflection of myself doing this and immediately thought of chimps ridding their mates of lice. Agh! My sister would not approve! It must be done though. After walking a few steps in the brush of the local vegetation, I come out looking like a porcupine. The big spines are easy, though painful, to remove but the tiny ones are nearly invisible and can only be found more painfully. Whenever I sit for a rest, even a short rest, I de-thorn my clothing. Pants off, if necessary. How do the prickers work their way into my undies???

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