Day 40 – Sunday

Sun is just starting to show about the eastern horizon. And man, it is flat between here and the horizon. If it weren’t for the pecan orchards I could see all the way to the Dona Ana Mountains.

I guess I didn’t understand exactly where I’ve been the last couple of days. I thought I was a lot closer to Akela Flats than I actually was. I finally stopped at the 101 mile marker seeing the exit sign for Akela Flats. There’s not much there, only a casino and a gas station/trading post. The casino isn’t much, about the size of a Walgreen’s drug store.

I thought about swinging wide around it, but I figured there wasn’t enough to worry about. I will just be cautious and parallel it. I also lose the railroad tracks in about a mile. The tracks cut off sharply to the south, I need to keep heading east. I also have to figure out the right way to approach Las Cruces. I won’t simply walk in on the Interstate, I’ve learned my lesson that isn’t a good idea at all…too much chance of running into people, the wrong kind of people. But I am worried about just taking off across country too.

There are a number of problems that I have to consider:

  • The US Border Patrol Checkpoint at about mile marker 120 or so. I have no idea what to expect there. Or, for that matter, what to expect from any part of the government. For all I know they could be serving a shrimp buffet, or arresting everyone and sending them to a prison camp.
  • There is the airport at mile marker 132. There is also a National Guard Armory next to it. The airport is primarily used for a Navy training facility. There are a bunch of US Navy training jets there and pilots train for landings and takeoffs…touch and go stuff.
  • Once past that it turns into the outskirts of the city.

Normally I would exit on Hwy 70 and just follow that through town. I don’t think that is such a good idea now. But, if I swing north around the airport that could take me a night of walking by itself. And I don’t know that area really well. I’ve hunted quail out there and done some 4-wheeling with Matt, but I don’t know the area well at all.

But, my atlas is showing a powerline that runs north of the airport that goes northeast running just south of Picacho Peak. Then it continues to the northeast to the eastern slope of the mountains, right along the base. It looks as if I would have maybe a two mile walk till I would turn due east at Apache Canyon and follow Sand Hill Arroyo right to my back yard. Sand Hill Arroyo has a pretty decent sized culvert, three culverts actually, that run under I-25.

A lot of the last part of the trip would be through populated areas, but the canyon and arroyo might help to hide my movement. Besides I am going to be moving through at night. One of the best things about going cross country like that…it would cut off at least a day’s worth of walking. Although the walking cross country might be considerably tougher, I think it is worth it. I will be thinking about it all day; Jim Hansen would call it pondering. I will make my decision tomorrow afternoon once I wake up. I will have a chance to ponder it tonight while I am walking. Then a good sleep on it never hurts. I will then have a clear head to make that call.

But, for now I gotta get some sleep. When I wake up I am going to take a bath! I think I see a stock tank maybe a half mile away. I need a bath. If there is water in it I will take quick bath before I start walking tonight.

The folks at Three Rivers Ranch gave me a motel sized bar of soap to take with me. Ashley joked that I didn’t know how to use soap…as she held her nose. Everyone laughed. That kid has a good sense of humor. She’s kind of a cute kid too. Nice kid. I miss her. I miss Beans. I feel alone again.



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