Friday, January 10, 2014

December 31st, Day 61

Neither of us understands the reasons why, but John and I both were irritated today. For myself I can say I felt high-strung and anxious about time. I have struggled to accept how long it can take to accomplish a big challenge, especially winning all the fronts I am pushing on with this walk. Because I wasn't solely impatient about covering ground. I thought I would be better by now, less brain-cramped and more settled and at peace with myself. I didn't think it would take so long to grow, require so much time to repair over the past. And in wishing to arrive at some point in the future that may or may not be more than a theory, I inadvertently ruined my enjoyment of the day's journey.

We encountered a spry 89 year old man named Bill Jeffrey who lives alone on 6 acres amidst the most beautiful desert. A self-described naturalist and outdoorsman, Bill told us how he's seen the environment changing for the worse. The disappearance of certain animals and insects, the scorching and penetrating quality of the new heat which ravages his plants, essentially preventing him from cultivating any sort of garden. The native plants are behaving strangely, such as saguaros putting out flowers along their sides instead of at the top. I trust his observations because he's been here for decades and has witnessed every subtle change a passerby like myself couldn't be sensitive to.

Bill has also found the vegetarian lifestyle to follow more closely with nature. I watched his clear blue eyes as he told me he was ashamed to be human because we "humanize" everything and in the process cause destruction and I thought him a wonderful observing human that redeems the human race if we need redemption.

3 miles outside of Superior [John and I] stopped at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, a place that maintains and studies many plants from the world's deserts--not just the Sonoran--in order to understand their properties and how [they] could be of use to the people inhabiting arid lands. I would have enjoyed it more if I had been able to relax but even now, squirreled away in my sleeping bag, my mind can't seem to loosen its locked grip on whatever hangups I still have.

We are camped out on an old service road that shadows Highway 60 as it goes through a mountain pass. Tomorrow stands to be a brutal elevation climb but traversing this backroad stands to be safer and more fun as we make our way to Globe!

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