OK. This blog is way too long and detailed. Get the knife out.
No. Change of plan. I want to keep the info I have in here, so I won't cut it up.
Save yourself! Don't try to read this blog. Go down to the next one.
Suffice it to say, a few months ago I completed my 12,451st mile, putting me figuratively, halfway around the Earth at the equator. IF everything goes as planned, I hope to complete my journey around the world, after 29 years on the road , in about 12 years.
The circumference of the Earth at the Equator is 24901 miles. Halfway around the Earth is 12450.5 miles.
For those of you who do not know me, I am a runner. This is part of my identity, albeit a secondary identity or level 3 identity that is eclipsed by my identity as a child of God saved by God through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. It's also eclipsed by my identity of husband, father and grandfather.
I ran track and cross country in high school, an unremarkable mid-packer, then I didn't run any more.
I joined the Navy Reserve active duty in 1991, arriving at Naval Air Station (land-locked) Willow Grove late in that year. I got my bicycle there in 1992, but found the area far to congested to enjoy riding in traffic, and the station's perimeter road being just 6 miles, it was far too restrictive to enjoy riding at any length, so I began to run.
I opened my first adult running log on April 29, 1994. I do not know how many miles I ran up to then, but I did run a good 10k race on station in '93.
So this is where my story begins. From where I live now, which is at a northern latitude, 75 degrees 42' 18.2" west longitude, if 19+ years ago when I first opened my first log, I had travelled due south to the equator, I would have landed in the western Amazon rain forest, in north east Ecuador, just a few miles from Columbia and Peru and the Putumayo River. Just to the west is the town of Puerto El Carmen Putumayo which is the last town on the Amazon frontier with road access to civilization.
If it were possible to actually run through the rainforest and cover any mileage, I would have turned east and begun running. Tracking my mileage day by day (or week by week, as the case may be) this is my story. Each degree of longitude (at the equator only) equals 69.169 miles.
At this rate, and at that time, I was averaging about 6 miles per day, which might be doable in the rain forest if one could get across the marshes and rivers without getting eaten by something,
After my first week or so of running I would have found myself in a farmy watershed, about 10 miles north of the river port of Puerto Leguizumo, Columbia, where there is an airstrip, and a river naval station, but no roads to the outside world. The river is their highway. There are several photos on Google Earth. Between the 3rd and 4th week of August 1994, I would have crossed the river at 70 degrees 02' west longitude into western Brazil, still very deep in rain forest. About 390 miles done, I would not have seen civilization for about 4 months. If I miraculously zip lined from where I began, due north to 45 degrees 25' north latitude, due north from home, to I would landed (interesting in itself) in the capitol of Canada - Ottawa. I would have run due east tracking degree longitude by degree (far fewer miles per degree at that latitude). I would have come to Montreal within a few weeks. I visited Montreal in my real life bicycle adventure back in 1982 (I think). I happened to meet some guys from McGill University, who put me up for the night. They took me out on the town, and we took note of how very many Pontiac Trans Ams were on the streets. It must have been a Saturday Night. McGill U. is a Canadian Ivy League school.
Anyhow travelling east from Montreal we would have crossed the St Lawrence seaway, run through many miles of farm rurals, small towns, and woodland, and the farther I got from the St. Lawrence, the fewer roads. I would have passed near the town of Woburn Quebec last, then at about 70 degrees 47' west long., I would have crossed the forested border of Canada into the western frontier of northern Maine, about 30 miles later passing near the tiny village of West Forks (population 50).
So, since the population density in central Maine is not much more than that of the Amazon, we are zipping back to the western Amazon rainforest of Brazil.
The 1st week of October, having run another 190 miles through the Brazilian rain forest, we would have crossed the Rio Negro, north of the town of Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira, population 13,000, with another 25,000 living in the surrounding lands, almost all indigenous peoples. There does not appear to be any roads out of here either. There is a set of 2,500 ft peaks visible in photos from the river, looking south.
It's too late to keep exploring this tonight, but I wonder when I will begin crossing roads that actually lead to civilization? It has been over 5 months in the rain forest now.