22st July Saturday
Made it to the highway and I was standing out there at 6 o’clock, being a Saturday, the small town post office would be open only a few hours in the morning so my plan was to hitch a ride into Lima, hot breakfast and coffee and at about 9am I’d walk over to collect my food package that I forwarded to myself. Then later that afternoon I’d return back to the trail.
I stood on the side of the road waiting, admittedly, it was early and mainly large interstate trucks passed me by. I got cold just standing there so I walked a couple of miles to a point where it would be a better place for a vehicle to stop and pick me up.
Cars would pass and would either wave and smile at me or change lanes to be further away from me while i was on the side of the road.
Time was passing, I was getting worried and at 9 o’clock I was thinking that the post office was now open, many cars passed, I couldn’t believe it, with so many cars with just the driver in them and i still wasn’t having luck. This has to be the worse stretch of road to hitch hike I’ve experienced so far.
It wasn’t until just after 10:30 that a large pickup truck pulled over and gave me a lift, I didn’t have to travel far, about 20 miles.
I was thankful, the driver was a kitchen cabinet maker who goes between New Mexico and Alaska at times for his work. He has two houses where he lives and it depends on the weather where he stays. His factory being in Alaska, any mistakes he makes can cost him a couple of thousand miles round trip to return to the factory to get it fixed.
A shop next to the lost office in Lima
We arrived into Lima to find that the American flag of the post office not flying, I missed the opening hours by 30 minutes. Which means a two night stay in this non existent town. I looked through the main window and saw someone still there, I was desperate and so I tapped the window.
The worker unlocked the door and after explaining that I’d been on the side of the highway for 5 hours and if I don’t get the package today, I’d have to wait until Monday morning. She made the usual sounds like, out of hours, she isn’t meant to do this and she couldn’t scan the package. But then thank fully she returned with my food box in her hand and I just needed to sign for it. I was so happy when I left, so lucky that someone was there after all what I had to go through this morning.
A local picked my accent to be a New Zealander, I was surprised as it’s usually English or Australian. He told me of a park where I could tent for the night. But at the moment I have more important things to do, not breakfast but Lunch.
So instead I camped out in the Cafe for most of the afternoon, changing my batteries, updating my blog, drinking many coffees as the refills are free and had lunch and dinner there without moving from the same table.
I come across a couple of other hikers, but they were going South. One was an elder man that was taking his time, he had not long ago a triple heart bypass, and knowing how hard the trail was, I was really surprised. The other was a young lady, on her second long hike and also heading south. The hours went past and i was then offered a bed in one of the hotels as the hiker had two beds in the room.
So tonight I ended up staying the night in Lima, showered, hand washed some clothes and slept in a comfortable bed for the night.