|South Route: April 20, 2008--Raton to Clayton|
We had the Rocky Mountains at our backs as we made our way out of Raton this morning. We're in that weird little section of the country where we are right near the borders of Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado.
It was a cool, sunny morning with only a slight breeze picking up as we headed out of town...it was Sunday morning so there wasn't much happening as we passed the gas stations and fast food joints.
After about a mile and a half we left Raton and saw nothing but miles of pretty flat road, snaking its way towards the Texas border, a few hills breaking up the landscape.
I think it was mile 2 point something that the wind just...started. With a vengeance. I had brought my straw sun hat out of retirement due to the lack of wind, and had to quickly tuck it into my bag as fierce winds were whipping everything into a beautiful windy frenzy...and that was pretty much the tone for the next 14 miles.
Hmmm... other than the wind, what happened today? Oh..well I learned a cool trick about the little Japanese taikos that I get to frequently use. I've been noticing that when I drum, the pitch on the drum is piercingly high. Not so nice of a sound when you have to listen to it for 7 hours or a day. But this morning, when Jun Anjusan handed me a drum she said, “here, pour water..make better sound.” And she rubbed a little water on the skin and sure enough the tone dropped to a nice warm bass. Because we are in such desert area, it is really affecting the drums. Jun-san said this isn't an issue in Japan where the air stays so moist. So, I spent my breaks doing a little moistening to try to keep the pitch down.
We also got to have Tashina Banks-Moore, her daughter Sierra and friend and singer Star join us on the walk today. Tashina works hard coordinating the Walk on the National level, and so when we get to see her it's a treat. But because she works so hard, she doesn't get a chance to walk with us...so it was wonderful to have her with us today.
At lunch a New Mexico Highway Patrol officer pulled over and Tashina went over to talk to him. Apparantly someone called in a 9-1-1 because they were seeing people crossing over the highway. Tashina explained that this was our lunch stop and walkers were heading across the highway to use the bathroom in the R.V. We told him we would knock it off.
Officer Patty then noticed the license plate “LAKOTA” on the car in front of him and asked who was Lakota here. “I am,” said Tashina.
“Well, let me tell you that last year as part of my National Guard service, we went into the Black Hills and cut lumber for the tribe,” he went on to say, “you know I appreciate what you're doing, my Kingdom was taken over in 1888...I'm from Hawaii.”
He also let us know that he liked that we were using so many flaggers and wished us well and went on his way, waving.
Here's a fun picture of Jun Anjusan getting from stretching help from Sammy on our last break. That's Sunshine in the foreground there.
Much thanks for continuing to share the story of the South Route Longest Walkers with those of us at home
written by twodogkd, April 22, 2008