august 6
day 89
28 miles 
total 2,219

crossing the high desert the past few days i came up with a strategy to keep myself focused.
every mile marker i checked my time 
and restarted my watch.
the goal; break 30 minuets.

every time i break 30 minuets 
the extra time goes into the bank.
every 30 minuets i can gain 
means an additional mile over 2 per hour on the day….
i take zero breaks and walk 12-14 hours a day.
and it has been hard to get over 12 hours walking time across the desert
because the nearest lodging was up to 65 miles away.
i am really proud of my 27, 27, 27, 28 mile days on the crossing.
they were the product of hard, consistent effort.

poor jeff has headed for home 
and the old lion team is no more.
i alternately pitied and envied him
as he drove the desert a mile at a time.
i pitied him the boredom of crewing for a runner so execrably slow.
and i envied him getting to see everything (and even explore a little) without the aching body!

and the desert itself?
i could never have appreciated it the same, if i saw it any other way.
the vast, empty, barren waste was not devoid of life.
antelope were everywhere until the last day (and i suspect that is a migratory thing) there were birds and snakes and bugs(some really colorful). i saw coyote tracks and a badger excavation or two.

and in the most desolate western reaches the canyons and rock formations were breathtaking.

still, i was glad to descend to the wide river valley, with green fields and trees. but what i am most anxious to see is the mountains.
those are the challenge that scares me. (even if the desert turned out to be more than i bargained for!)
it is the mountains i must overcome if i am to succeed.

ah well
i need to get myself in bed.
too tired to walk and do laundry 
(even if i could afford the time)
so i may smell like a vol stater tomorrow!