Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Longest Day!

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I got an hour of work done before the rain came in and I had to retreat to the truck where I read, listened to Radio Jefferson, the local public radio station, and had lunch.  After three hours I was able to get in another half an hour on the road construction, but that was it for the day … an hour and a half!  The night had been a bad one as I kept awakening and worrying how the coming rain might affect the roadway I had built thus far … if at all.  Would the weight of the truck force the wheels to sink in the rain?  Would the roadbed be strong enough?  Would the truck slip sideways to the left, and into the mud, when I eventually made my escape attempt, since the road sloped down that direction, and was getting mud covered and slippery as I walked over it humping rocks to the construction end?  Would the accumulating rainwater make the 600 yards of muddy road back to the trees impassable once I actually got turned around on the stone road I was constructing?  These questions turned over & over in my mind, and had made for an uneasy night, and now with the rain-forced inactivity, they kept running through my head as I watched the drops falling into the enlarging puddles.  True … my road seemed to be OK that evening when during a convenient hour long break I had actually prepared a hot supper, but if the rainy hours piled up …?  I did move the SUV back about 6 inches in case it had been sinking, but it seemed that it had not, and in this new position it remained until the end of construction.  But a hot supper!  It was only a thick chunky chicken corn chowder soup, but it was wonderful … I added fresh broccoli, and some tinned corn.  This is now my favorite soup.

This was my lowest day as I had too much time to think.  As I have said I was sixty miles from Nowhere and eighty miles from Almost There.  Even though there might be the odd homestead in the area, a long walk would be involved, and then a careful approach hoping not to be shot for trespassing … these things do happen.  But I was nowhere near ready to abandon my attempt at my self-extraction … I had a month of food and two weeks of water.  Best to keep to the road building; only when that failed would I think about heading out.  Think about the Pioneers who crossed the Continent on the Oregon Trail, sometimes in small groups, walking much of the way; how they might have to unload their small wagons, to fix a wheel; build a raft to ferry them across a river; rope them up or down an incline too steep for the oxen to manage.  I was not as alone as they were, even if they were a group, and I’m solitaire.  My predicament was a major inconvenience compared to theirs, even if possibly life-threatening; and people do die out here, but usually they have few supplies, or tools … I had all that.  However, to keep from morbid possibilities does mean, keeping a clear head, thinking things through thoroughly, taking care with every move made, and every step taken during this situation, to avoid injury … I’m sixty miles from Nowhere and eighty miles from Almost There.  But I had gotten through the day, and with a hot supper under the belt, the terrors of what if, began to recede … 8½ hours of good sleep ensued.

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