Saturday, February 07, 2009


Talk about MacGyvering. I guess someone's fishing rod broke (must have been a big one!) and they took the end of the broken rod and jammed it onto a stick to keep on fishing.

This is just one of the things I saw today while hiking 4 hours -- about 11 or 12 miles -- in New Orleans along Lake Ponchartain. With a 20# pack. I'm working up to longer days and a 30# pack. Seven-and-a-half weeks to go.

So I hike alongside the streets with this pack that extends from my head to my butt, and a hiking stick, and odd clothes, and no one gives me a second glance. Maybe I'm so weird no one wants to mess with me.

One man did ask me, "Are you a camper?" I told him, "I'm getting ready to hike the Appalachian Trail." "Oh," he said. "Where's that at?"

Other amazing sights today:

The hillside of a levee all covered with white clover blossoms, which, as a Northerner, I associate with summertime. Their subtle, delicate fragrance glistened in the air and made me feel the peace and freedom of childhood summers.

A whole flock of snowy egrets flying inland from the lake to a grassy park.

A little boy tossing a net over a bridge fishing for mullet.

Funny stuff:

A bright golden-yellow port-a-pot called "Pot O' Gold."

Gross stuff:

Trash. Trash. Trash. I can't believe the trash around here. The usual beer cans and bottles, snuff cans, disposable diapers, McDonald's cups and bags, and various detritus still from Hurricane Katrina: bits of building material, PVC pipe pieces, shingles, sheets of styrofoam. And, oddly, a fair number of spent condoms and tampon tubes. Now.... how do these come to be roadside litter? Do people use these items while in their car and then toss them out the window, or what? Maybe they washed ashore in the hurricane, too.

The hurricane damage is still very much in evidence. Downed palm trees still lying along the lake. Homes boarded up and empty. In the residential area near our lakeside campground, I'd say that of every three houses, one is lived in, one is in the process of repair but still unliveable, and one is empty, trashed, and abandoned.

A family is staying at our campground having fled the recent ice storm in Arkansas. They lived on a mountain and the trees came crashing down on the house they'd just built and moved into 5 months earlier. They got some old junk RV and hit the road looking for work. Found some in New Orleans, cleaning up after the hurricane that was 3 years ago.

I've got a new injury. Carpal tunnel injury. I won't say "syndrome" because I don't think it's going to be a chronic thing; it's the result of pushing a lawn mower 6 hours a day for 2 days straight. My hands started to tingle and fall asleep after that, especially at night. I switched from mowing to digging but that wasn't enough rest.... woke up at night feeling like my hands were in hot water with dead fingers. I got one of those carpal tunnel splints at the drug store for the worst one, my left, and it's a miracle. The very first night it didn't wake me up at all, although the other hand was numb in the morning. They're both much better now, although I'm still wearing the splint on my left.

I said to Steve, "Geez, my feet, my teeth, a panic attack that I thought was a heart attack.... what's next???" He said, "This isn't anything, you can hike with one hand."

That's my man :-)

1 comment:

ShirleyPerly said...

Ha, had to laugh at what Steve said. But, seriously, hope it gets better soon and nothing else crops up injury or pain-wise. Otherwise, sounds like the training is going along well!