Wednesday, April 15, 2009

back from 15 miles

Yes, Virginia: I am still capable of 15-milers. No problem, aerobically speaking: as I suspected, there's a good bit of muscle memory involved. I do, however, have a throbbing left knee, which I'm managing with Vico-- uh, no... Naproxyn. (I'm not House, dammit, I'm not!)

My friends in Irrigon tell me they might just pick we up at the Portland airport instead of letting me walk along I-84 during the night and fetching me from the roadside the following day (that's the plan I'd suggested to them). Great people, Chuck and Lori. Whenever I write my book, they're going to be lavished with praise.

I don't think I'll be walking much with the backpack on my back this time around, except perhaps when I'm in a town or city. One of my upcoming purchases-- either here or when I'm out west-- is going to be a super-simple rig to tow my stuff behind me. I'm hoping to get something light enough to strap onto the backpack itself, if need be. We'll see what the sporting goods stores have on offer. I can't afford to get anything too bulky or heavy, but whatever I buy has to be durable, with fairly large, sturdy wheels.

The above might seem like a digression, but my point is that I'll be able to go farther and faster with the pack rolling behind me than with it on my shoulders. My first walk out from Walla Walla takes me back south into Oregon, to the city of Milton-Freewater. The next walk is a doozy, though: about 30 miles to the city of Pendleton. The walk to Emigrant Spring State Park, the following day, looks to be around 25 miles. Considering the distances I plan to cover, having the pack off my back seems like the way to go, at least until I've lost enough weight to think about shouldering the load for longer periods.


1 comment:

addofio said...

Last year I saw a little rig at REI designed for pushing toddlers that I thought might work admirably for you. It was a sort of tricycle with large wheels. They had several, but only one that had a front wheel that served to steer it. Similar principle to wht you are describing, but you might want to consider the benefits of pushing instead of pulling--you can lean a bit of your weight on it as you push it along, easing strain on your legs. It was a bit pricey, though.

Ideally, you'd test out options empirically to find out what works best for you. In any case, I recommend seriously shopping, maybe even taking your backpack along into the store to see how it fits on whatever vehicle you are considering.