Friday, April 1, 2011

Bataan Trip Day 2, March 26, 2011

I woke up reasonably early, got dressed and went down to breakfast at the hotel. They really don’t have a good selection of food for folks who don’t eat grains. There were more muffins, Danish, bread and waffles in one small place than I have seen in a while. My choice was hard boiled eggs. I happened to have some venison and buffalo jerky in my hotel room, so that went down well with the boiled eggs.

Then Emily and I headed to the El Paso Saddleblanket Co. I exited the freeway and moved to the right lane so that I could get into the parking lot. Traffic was stopped by a red light, and did not begin moving when the light turned green. The vehicle two cars in front of me was disabled and did not have on any emergency flashers. I decided to move into the next lane, and as I got beside the car that had been in front of me, she decided to go around also, and turned right into the passenger door of my rocket ship. The damage was not too serious and no one was injured, so I chose not to call the police, and only exchanged information with the other driver. I drove on to the store to do a little shopping.
I have wanted to purchase a special belt for my Across the Years 100 mile belt buckle, since that was my first 100 mile finish. Emily helped me find an awesome hand crafted python skin belt, and it was not too expensive! We loved the store; there were some very interesting items for sale, including coffins with a western flair. “Oh, bury me not… on the lone prairie.”

We didn’t have anything else interesting to do, so we stopped for an espresso at Starbucks. Oh, I would like to make an observation here: People in this part of the country are very friendly! Store clerks, baristas, hotel clerks and wait staff were all very nice and helpful.  But, at almost every place we stopped, someone approached us, asking for money.

Next thing was to drive back to Las Cruces to wait for Mellody and Deb to arrive at the hotel. They were on the same flight, so were sharing the ride from the airport to the hotel. When they arrived, we got all settled in the room, and then headed back out to White Sands to check out the souvenirs. I had my certificate framed with the dog tag they give you instead of a medal. We really don’t deserve a medal for completing this memorial march. The sole purpose is to honor and remember. I also purchased a t-shirt, mug, magnet, tote bag and patch with the battle cry on them. I broke the mug, so went back inside to buy another one. They wrapped it very well so I would not break the second one, laughing all the while.  I was laughing too.

I really wanted to get my picture taken in front of the highway sign and the warning sign along the entrance of the missile range, so Mellody obliged.  

We also stopped so I could pose in front of the Bataan Memorial Highway sign...

 When we returned to the hotel, we decided to find a close place to eat our pre race meal. I am not carb loading anymore (except with sweet potatoes) so ate surf (lobster tail) and turf (rare petit sirloin) with grilled zucchini and steamed broccoli for dinner.

When we got back to the hotel, I met one of the Wounded Warriors, he is a Viet Nam vet, and had brought 30 of his comrades who were injured in Iraq and Afghanistan along to complete the march.

The three of us who were doing the march calculated that we should be on site at White Sands before 3am so as not to get caught up in a long line trying to get in. That meant we had to get to bed right after we ate and organized our things for the march. I had already done most of my organizing the night before, but I still have to obsess over the details. As usual, I donned the first layer of my race clothes so I can get ready faster in the morning. We went to bed really early, but considering we were getting up at 2am, there is no such thing as too early!

ok, that's day two of my weekend trip... more to come.  Race Day is next!

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