Saturday, November 16, 2013

November 11th, Day 11

Highway 166, CA

My mind feels pressed up against the back of my eyes and leaves no room for any thoughts beyond the record of events which occurred today. In the morning, Limberg dropped me off at the exit ramp to 166 East, propelling me into what he dubbed "The Asshole of the Universe." It did appear that way for a while with brown hills and plains in every direction. But then a man named Jerry gave me a lift over several grades which I would not have enjoyed climbing. In a way though, I do regret getting a boost from him because the lush, mountainous land he drove me past would have been nice to discover on my own since I was expecting the opposite. I don't begrudge his kindness though because it preserved my strength by allowing me to stop early today. I spied an excellent camp space around 1:00 p.m. and felt comfortable taking it because I'd technically covered good ground already today. Jerry also gave me money which I appreciated! Once I'd made camp I zonked out for a couple hours, neatly bypassing the hottest part of the day. Now I'm writing in the cool light of evening and thinking about the roads ahead of me. Sometimes when no cars are zooming on the highway above me, I get surprised by the silence. of the small gorge I'm camped in and I receive a thrill of excitement that rushes through my back. This is one slice of America, humongous and beautiful, empty space. 

My body is undergoing some interesting adaptations in response to the exertion of walking and lugging so much weight around. My feet have produced calluses in all the right places where once there were blisters; the tips of my toes, the pads of my feet, the backs of my heels. My calf muscles are constantly sore, which I take as a sign they are growing in order to support the extra weight of my gear. My hip bones where the belt of my backpack and rig clips pull down are not hurting anymore. My shoulders are thickening their cords of muscle. Or at least they had better be. Otherwise I'm throwing in the towel sooner than I'd like. Speaking of towels, Limberg gave me a new one.

Cut-in-half mountain on highway 166


Funky little plant on the side of the road

Videos of the Day:
Update on Highway 166 (Profanity)
Highway 166
Peacock!? (Profanity)
Post-nap Mumblings


  1. Friends from Reliz Canyon wish you good luck and safe journey!

  2. At a local wine tasting fundraiser last night, many local neighbors (in Reliz Canyon) asked how you were doing and your general location. I mentioned you had passed through 166 last week. Mike. Thorpe heard about it and said he passed YOU in his truck! Of course, at the time he didn't even know you were on this adventure. Too bad. He would have offered a place to stay in New Cuyama. What a funny coincidence.

  3. A fresh towel, it's the little things! Walk on, walk on wild and free tortoise!!!!

  4. Sam (or as we know you SamTaylor) we are following your progress. My colleague at Catholic University in the electrical engineering department, Scott Matthews, is a new groupee. He wants to do what you are doing but has a wife, family, students and research so for now, he is living through your trip. Stay strong - the Maryland Hellers