Finish: Raymond Terrace
As I have mentioned in previous posts, because I use Google Maps to plan my route, and I have no prior knowledge of the local area or road conditions, it’s really a complete surprise everyday what situation I will find myself walking in. Today I don’t think it could have been very much worse.
After a good nights rest at the new Holiday Inn Express in Newcastle, I went down for breakfast and spent entirely too long chitchatting with two couples who were there for the Pink concert. Before I knew it I’d spent over an hour talking with them before I got out the door about 9:30. When I stepped out the door I could tell it was going to be a hot one. No clouds, no breeze, and plenty of humidity. My first 4-5 miles were spent just walking along sidewalks in north Newcastle. But eventually the sidewalk ended and the street turned into Pacific Coast Highway; a four lane highway with a median and thousands of tractor-trailer trucks. Notice I didn’t call them 18-wheelers. That’s because most of the big trucks here have 34 wheels!! That’s right. 34-wheelers. Don’t think one of those will blow the cap right off your head?
So there I was, walking along the 4-lane facing 34-wheelers going 100 KPH. Then came the real fun. A construction zone that took most of my shoulder away. Luckily the trucks had to slow down some so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The construction zone was about a mile long. After that, it was back to 100 KPH for the speed limit. By noon I needed a break so I stumbled into a McDonald’s that some how was built in the middle of nowhere with no town in sight. While eating I checked the temperature; 94 degrees with 50% humidity. I shouldn’t complain. It’s Day 45 and it’s my first 90+ degree day.
One thing I forgot to mention yesterday in my post. You know you’ve been doing these walks too long when you can actually SMELL a Subway sandwich shop from the road without seeing it. Yesterday I was walking along and there were random businesses scattered along the street. Suddenly I got this weird sensation there was a Subway nearby. I could smell it. I looked back and about 50 yards behind me and tucked at the far end of a convenience store/gas station was a Subway shop. I think I’ve eaten way too many Subway sandwiches over the years.
I made it to my destination, the town of Raymond Terrace at 3:00. It’s a quiet little place about a mile from the 4-lane. The motel is nice. Since I had to reschedule my day off that was suppose to be today in Newcastle, I really had nothing to base my decision on. If I’d known this motel was this nice I would have taken a day off tomorrow and stayed here two nights. Instead I’m off Friday after walking a 27 mile day.
That’s all for Day 45. Thanks for following along. JB.