Solo and Unsupported Run across America blog rerun. Posted every weekday at 8am. Buy the now complete book and full story at www.abrahamlouis.com/runningwater
My troubles started soon after I began running. It’s incredibly frustrating when a road leads us to a dead-end. I was able to get around the barbed wire fence and made some decent time on a dirt road that serviced the billboards. This area was the start of the Mohoby Indian Reservation. The dirt road was direct and easy on Ruby’s wheels, but in the back of my mind I knew a barbed wire fence was waiting to block my exit.
Sure enough, I approached the fence and decided to make a run for it. With a determined rush of adrenaline, I threw Ruby over the fence . Just like that I was on the road again. This type of travel went on all morning. I had to fight for every foot. Some of the terrain I crossed would have been just as difficult with or without Ruby’s 70 lbs to push. None of these roads were on the map and the day was completely frustrating.
Throughout the entire day the wind was ripping through the valley, and I could hardly hear myself think. I was trapped in a wind tunnel created by the two large mountains on either side of me. When I thought that it couldn’t get any worse, I came to a fork in the road. On my left was a steep single dirt road leading up to fields with windmills. On my right was a sign that read, “ends in 500 ft.”
I started up the dirt road when a huge dump truck came around the turn a quarter mile ahead. Their was no shoulder on this road, and I instantaneously turned around and bolted down the hill. I took to the road that would eventually end and it turned into a small dirt path. Once again a barb wire fence separated me from the free way.
Not wanting to be forced on the free way, I checked the GPS and found route 62 a mile and a half away. Not wanting to run out of my way, I tightly hugged the edge of the free way. I ran fast, easily completing 5 minute miles. The wind was howling and cars where blowing by. I stared straight ahead whimpering, “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” The hill finally gave way to a ditch and I thrust Ruby to the left as my eyes scanned the unknown. It was extremely rough and I’m proud Ruby stayed in one piece. I made it to route 62 and was relieved when I started along the old 29 Palms Hwy. The road was empty. The scenery was breathtaking and I reached for my camera…
Devastation hit when I reached for my camera only to find it missing. I couldn’t believe it! I had just come through the worst stretch imaginable and had to go back. My heartbeat began to rise as I wheeled Ruby into the bushes. It was a risky decision to leave her, but I had to go alone. I ran back over the path, my eyes scanning the desert ground. I was back to the ditch along the freeway with no defined path. I wound my way through the mess and continued searching for two miles. I put my hands on my face and slowly began to lose it.
I looked up to scan the area one final time and miraculous saw my camera a few feet ahead lost in the brush! After catching up to where I left off, I knew I had one more climb before Morongo valley. Four miles up hill hwy 62 cut through the hills. Traffic was fairly heavy and it took a lot of will power to finish off the day. I made it to Morango Valley at 3 pm and began to look for a place to camp.