My host family (our daughter-in-law’s parents) drove me for the second day in a row – today going to the north gate of Camp Pendleton USMC Base. My I.D. and papers were in order, but in this day and age of heightened security you never know. My hope was to be able to walk bike-less, and I was trusting in the Lord – I didn’t even bring my bike as a backup.
All went well. The gate guard was polite and professional. I love that he called me “ma’am” – it made me remember my youth in the South, where that’s commonplace among gentlemen. After he checked my credentials, I was off.
“Have a good day, Ma’am!”… and I did – a good, beautiful, memorable day!
Much of my walk was on a road called Stuart Mesa. That describes it well – flat and arid. As I’ve mentioned in past posts, cyclists with proper credentials are allowed readily on the route I was taking – but not pedestrians. I was astounded at the number of cyclists – in fact, there were more cyclists than cars for most of my miles today.
In the parking lot where I started, I met a cyclist who was curious about my ‘modus operandi’ – I was approaching the gate without a bicycle, and that was outside the norm. We traded stories; he said he was training for a triathlon in Texas, and he’d probably pass me later. He did indeed. At some point, I heard someone coming from behind saying, “Hi, Laura!” – and he stopped to chat briefly on his return trip, with a large tumbleweed between us. I love these little moments of camaraderie among travelers!
There were miles of long, flat nothing-ness – probably why it was so attractive to ‘workout’ cyclists. The few drivers who passed were friendly – nearly every one I noticed gave a smile or wave, and most went out of their way to give me the right-of-way.
I felt incredibly privileged to be walking on the turf of America’s modern-day patriots. The route allowed to the public was (understandably) removed from any sensitive areas, but I could see and hear their training going on in the distance.There were no indications of photo restrictions, but I took very few – and nothing of any people, equipment or buildings. After I officially exited the base, I did take this one looking back:
God bless our troops and their families!
Thank you to those who made this week possible: Pat and Lesley for your hosting and transportation; Monica for walking company; Drew and Chaplain Taylor for my access to Camp Pendleton; and to Laura & Bill, Kelly, Doug and Michael for your willingness to help with the Camp Pendleton arrangements.
I’ll be taking a week off as Larry and I travel out of town for a wedding and time with some dear friends. I’ll start my final week of walking on Monday, Feb 6 – 60 miles to go!
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:35-39