I soon arrived at Historic Route 66. It was an old dual road with one side of it no longer in use and covered in overgrown plants and crumbling in parts. I guess the nearby presence of Route 15 (The Barstow Freeway) had seen the decline of Route 66. This was the kind of situation that I encountered all over the USA, meaning that I could make use of a very decent road with the traffic using the more modern route nearby.
At the 15 mile point for the day, I stopped to admire the trains again as they wound their way up through the valley. They were moving very slowly indeed and I loved hearing the sound of the horns.
I got some good responses to this particular episode via email and Twitter and I think people following the journey started to realise that there was a bit of a story unfolding here. This wasn't just a simple run across the USA.
"Based on the tone of the creature's growl, I imagined that it was the size of a bull with huge fangs for teeth. My imagination was working overtime.".
I hadn't recovered from the Route 66 situation earlier in the day. Now this! My nerves were frayed. I was only a timid Englishman after all. These weren't everyday occurrences for me or any of the support team. Suddenly, having to run an average 31 miles per day was the least of my worries. But, oh what a story!
Weirdos and strange monsters aside, they were very challenging running conditions. The challenge of the searing heat and a climb up to 4000 ft in the mountains was something that I relished.
The very eventful day came to an end after just 25 miles on the "Rim of the World Scenic Byway". It was pitch black and I wasn't feeling confident about the route ahead. The busy train line (see the video below) and complex dirt route over the next 6 miles meant that I was calling it a day. It was a very good decision as it turned out. You'll see why on the next day's "Revisited" blog post.
Unfortunately, Richard had to bring the RV on quite a detour to reach us. It was not the best road to drive an RV on but he did brilliantly. Detours such as this were costly in terms on time and more importantly fuel. I had a budget to stick to and this kind of mistake couldn't be allowed to happen too often.
I'd ran 87.4 miles, climbed 6941 ft and burned 11,300 calories during the first 3 days. I was 5.6 miles behind schedule. If I kept losing miles at that rate for the rest of the run, I'd be 186 miles away from the finish line on day 100!
I enjoyed my Cherry Active drink that night, I can tell you! Surely day 4 wouldn't be as eventful. Would it….