Walkabout: Day 24, Mile 4786

November 12, 2016 ~ Saturday

8a Morning Pages ~ Elk City, OK

I had too much to drink last night, and I snapped at Edward. It was our anniversary. He said he wanted to Skype. But he didn’t follow through, and it hurt my feelings. We were talking, and he said he had to go. I got upset, and I let him go. I texted him later. He didn’t understand my inference. I snapped at him. Hard. Now I feel foggy and angry. And I want coffee. And an apology.

Stopped and made some coffee. It took thirty freaking minutes. The wind was an issue, and it wasn’t even that windy. After ten minutes, I had hardly even warm water. I had to use my body as a wind shield, squatting between the breeze and the burner. But now I have coffee. And it didn’t cost me.

Well, that’s actually not true. I am burning through much more fuel than I should be. In the long run, over time, it will likely cost me more in fuel than it would have to just buy the self-contained unit. I may still get it. I need to find an REI to purchase a new fuel canister anyway.

Why do I feel so damn angry? I had a great day yesterday. Two beautiful hikes in perfect weather, a great meal, a smooth ride into Oklahoma. I was hurt that Edward didn’t want to spend more time with me. He is supposed to want me more than that. He is not supposed to be able to live without me.

A man here at the lake just asked me if I am a falconer! He says they are meeting some falconers here, and they are coming in from all over the country. How cool is that?! Now I have to look up what a falconer is…

Falconry can be defined as the taking of wild quarry in its natural state and habitat by means of a trained raptor. This ancient art is a very demanding endeavor, requiring a serious dedication of time and energy from the falconer. Falconry has been practiced for almost four thousand years and was once known as the “sport of kings”.

It involves using a wild hawk, falcon or eagle to hunt and return live prey back to captivity and its master. A falconer will trap his wild bird and then dedicate many years (seven to ten years) in training his bird. The man in front of me literally has a large white bird on his arm.

Paused to observe the falconer and to eat the leftover steak I saved from last night. I am feeling more hungry today – and last night. Must be from the twelve miles I put in in the canyon. And from the tall fourteen percent drink I put away last night. I always feel hungry the morning after I drink.

I just watched a woman strap on her hydropack and head onto a trail. I suspected there was a trail around this lake, and that the trailhead was right in front of me. I will go for a walk or a jog today. But right now it is only 37* and I want to wait for a bit more warmth. Maybe I will just spend today at this lake. It’s pretty, and it’s quiet. I have cell and internet service. And I’m tired. An afternoon nap is sounding pretty good right about now. I could do some reading, research and writing. I could do more ruminating. I could just relax until the sun goes down again. Right here.

I read a disturbing fact yesterday. The American army wanted to take Palo Duro Canyon from the “hostiles” that lived there. There were several battles, but the Americans were not used to the harsh environment, and the Natives had adapted to life in it. They could not be defeated. So the American army captured 1400 horses and took them from the Natives. They picked the very best of them for themselves and destroyed the rest. Now, lacking mobility, the Natives had no choice but to surrender. They were relocated to Oklahoma.

As I travel, I see miles and miles of empty land. But every place/park I visit tells a story that the land was once inhabited by Natives who had learned how to adapt to that particular environment. I see it over and over again. We, the Americans, colonized and civilized this vast land from the “hostiles”. Now we congregate ourselves in tiny regions of massive cities while miles and miles go empty and vacant. It is truly sad. It is a travesty. Instead of spreading out and making use, we congregate and lack.

I’m so very tired right now. I just want to finish these morning pages, crawl into the back, and sleep off this funk. It’s after 9:30a, and Edward has not tried to call me yet. That irritates me, and I want to cry about it. I think I will re-position my car to take up less space. Then I will take off my boots, snuggle down with Justice, hold my magic rock, and let my mind wander. Perhaps I will even drift to sleep. That would be marvelous.

2:15p I went for a walk along the dirt bike paths that criss cross around and near the lake. I ended up walking all the way around. It was about seven miles. I was thinking about Edward, when I was thinking at all, and I was trying to untwist myself. He called, and we were able to talk things out. I felt a thousand times better afterward.

I got a steak last night at the Big Texan, a former Route 66 icon and home of the free 72oz steak. I was looking for a solid meal after all of the hiking. I wanted local, and something that screamed “Texas”. I chose the 12oz ribeye, which is what Edward would have chosen, and it felt right, as it was our anniversary.

The website told me this was also the only micro-brewery in the Texas panhandle, so I also tried a couple of their brews. For sides, I chose the fried okra and beefsteak tomatoes with red onion. The steak and tomatoes were each served with a whole jalapeno with a little Texas flag stuck in it. Too cute.

I ate about eight ounces of the steak and saved the rest for breakfast this morning. I ate the okra and dipped the roll in the steak au jus. I saved the tomatoes and jalapenos. At the lake today, after my walk, I cut up the tomatoes and one jalapeno into half a can of refried beans and added a small avocado and a sprinkle of lava salt. I felt like a champ! And I am so full!

I swished it back with lemon water and cleaned my dishes in the lake. Now that’s how it’s done, folks!

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