The land remained
beautiful, with evergreens, ferns and berry bushes growing right on the side of
the road. It was more inviting to run by a road where plant life flourished
than just looking down on gray gravel and tar stains.
I entered Del
Norte, the last county in California. This area was much like the rest, but
passing the county sign made me feel that much closer to my destination.
I continued on
and soon came to Trees of Mystery, another tourist trap. I stopped to check out
the place. As I looked up at a 100-foot giant resembling Paul Bunyan, my mouth
opened like a 5-year-old and a voice inside the giant asked, "Say, did you
run all the way here?" I nodded, again like a little kid.
I got down to
serious running after Trees of Mystery, climbing the long mountain road
dividing Crescent City from the southland. The fog was rolling up the
mountainside and the evergreens seemed sculptured silhouettes. I wish I had had
my camera with me at the time.
When I reached
the crest of the mountain it was raining, but I didn't care. Nothing could stop
me. I would have loved to stay there, under the fog blankets and evergreens and
Within minutes I
was going downhill. I could see Crescent City and Point St. George jutting into
the ocean. Five miles to go. And farther off on the horizon I saw what I knew
must be the Oregon coast. In my excitement I ran harder than ever. I was down
close to sea level when I saw Mom and our red truck coming down the road. When
she was close she yelled, "Just a little more!" She turned and headed
back toward the city. I followed close behind, trying to stay up. When we got
within the city limits, Mom led me, as I ran behind, to the motel she had
chosen for the night. My 45-mile day was over.
At first I had
planned only to run the length of California. Later I changed my mind. If I had
kept to that first plan my journey would have been over on Aug. 10. But I was
glad I changed my mind, for there was much more to do. Over 1,000 miles were
behind me, but I wanted to see the rest through.
Then I was at the
state line. I ran across the border with all the grace and poise I could
muster. Then I stopped and looked back. There lay the nation's third largest
state. It had taken me 41 days to get to this spot. I was very proud of myself.
I wanted to tell everyone what I had just done. But no one save Mom was there
to see me. It was rather sad.