Today, Monday, after our Phoenix event yesterday, was a day I've been looking forward to for some time.
This morning, when I dropped volunteer Jim Richards at the Phoenix airport, I would pick up my life partner, Sally Howe, who would join and support me for the next two weeks until Flagstaff on Monday, November 28th. She would then fly back home toVermont and my next volunteer would meet me there that day.
Sally called 2 days ago to tell me that a change in her health prevents her from coming.
Sally has been treated for breast cancer for about 2 ½ years with a very effective oral medication which we just learned has stopped working, as we knew it would. So, there will be a couple of weeks of tests and scans to plan the next best steps.
We agree that she shouldn't come to Phoenix, nor should I leave the walk at this time.
I've included a couple of photos below, one at her 70th birthday party and the other on a trek in Switzerland.
So I'm feeling sad, worried for Sally, and for reasons I'll explain, have decided to slightly change my plans for the next two weeks.
The walking route between where I left off on Rt 66, some 27 miles northeast of Kingman, and 129 miles away from Flagstaff AZ is very difficult and problematic, even with a volunteer to drive the RV and support me.
The route requires a bit more than 2 weeks of walking with daytime temperatures in the 40's and nighttime temperatures in the low 20s and high teens. This means the RV is constantly at risk of freezing up fresh water, black water and grey water lines and tanks as the temperature drops below freezing each night.
To minimize this, the support RV must remain constantly heated when the temperature drops below freezing. This means either being in an RV campground with electricity, water and sewer services each night, or running the generator on LP gas if not hooked up to services.
The problem is that in this remote section of Arizona there are very few RV campgrounds available, and they are much too far apart to be be useful. And the RV cannot last between them without dumping black and grey water and filling up with fresh water and LP gas, for which there are few readily available solutions.
Moreover, without a volunteer to drive the RV and tow car to support me as I walk my 10 miles most days, and to position, pick up and move forward the RV, shop, prepare meals, do advance event coordination and other tasks, I require an extra 4 to 5 hours a day to do these things for myself. This makes it very difficult to almost impossible to keep up with my daily video journals and other writing.
For all these reasons I've decided to change plans a bit, to be much more efficient while still walking the 10 miles a day at least 5 days a week.
For the next two weeks I'm basing the RV out of an RV campground some 25 miles or so north of Phoenix. Here I am hooked up to all services and the low temperatures each night are only in the 40s and the daytime highs in the upper 60s or low 70s.
Each day, i'll do my daily 10 miles of walking and return to the RV where I'll have much more time to take care of my video and writing tasks. At the end of this two week period I should have walked enough miles so that when applied to my original route, I'll be approximately in Flagstaff where I connect with my next volunteer.
I always knew that unexpected situations situations would arise during the walk, especially during the colder winter months. I just have to deal sensibly and safely with them.
So for this next two week period, I'll only post periodic "batch" updates of my walking progress in my new nearby surroundings.
So cheers to all, and good night.
Like and share this page.