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Tonight's walk of decreasing pleasantness

Nice thing about the storms is that it's been cooling off the area, so I went for a long overdue walk. 6th, Rogers, looking for some restaurant lyceum had recommended -- Green Bean, 4th and Rogers, didn't see it -- west on 3rd, or maybe 4th, then south, eventually onto 2nd, past Adams I guess, and right now I don't remember anything for a while. Not amnesia, just aimless walking. It was getting dark and I wasn't wearing my glasses so I didn't track many street signs, not that there were tons. I'm guessing I was as far as where 2nd turns into Bloomfield.

At some point I headed back, but was still in exploratory mode, so crossed 2nd? to head north on some road, which curved to the right... and maybe left again without my noticing? By shape and by the "Workforce Services" I remember, it seems to have been Landmark, but when it ran out I turned left, thinking I was going north, onto a dark and busy road with no sidewalk or even shoulder, just gravel.

It won't help that at this point Bloomfield/2nd was going NE, when I thought it was going E.

Walk walk walk. I remember thinking it was odd that a bright planet was in the north. Walk. Wonder where the cross-streets are. *Find* a cross-street, dark but friendlier, turn right. Walk. Hit intersection, read the signs, Johnson and Beaumont? (Google Maps, so you can start following along) Never heard of either. Walk. See something to the right, make out engraving in the dim glow of my cell phone -- this is why I need a keychain flashlight -- Valhalla Memorial Center. Walk walk walk. Start thinking about astronomy again, and that the planet is in the lightest part of the sky, so should be west. Also, the moon shouldn't be that far 'north'. Realize I'm a full 90 degrees off: evening star, light sky, and waxing half-moon in the evening all point to that being west. So I'm going north, and I was going west, for quite a while... crap!

Run out of street, and can't go north or east. Sign here says, I swear, "Vrrn". Much later, it seems to have been Evergreen. I don't know what's up with that. Go west, hoping I can break out rather than retracing all my steps. Pass a mailbox saying 2400, which is appalling for a west number. Well, for any number, really. Find street going south, try to push west toward the sounds of traffic, hit barriers. Back to the street, south, walk walk walk walk walk, pass mailboxes saying 200 then 100, which at least means I'm at a reasonable 'latitude', finally reach Kimble and 3rd.

Try to go what I'm sure is east, but it has no sidewalks or safe places to walk. Turn around, hoping I can find a way north. Find Franklin and a McDonald's THANK FUCKING GOD.

I hadn't intended to be out this long, so was out without backpack, umbrella, or water bottle. Fortunately it was cool and stayed dry. McD's gave me free water but had no maps, and I wasn't desperate yet. Walk back to Frankin, belatedly realize I'm facing south, go back again past McD's to wherever the street will lead me. Walk up Franklin, past hotels, past Holiday Drive to the east which I wisely guessed was not a through street, and run out of Franklin right at Domo Steak and Sushi and more hotels. Well, motels, owned by Marriott -- different brands owned by Marriott. Here I can cross grass to the main street, what ever it is, so I do, and walk north. Walk walk walk walk walk. Curve. Walk. Now it's dark enough that I can see the Big Bipper, and even Polaris, so I figure I'm going ENE.

Waaaalk. There've been no cross streets, and by the feel and speeds it's a highway. Fortunately with a wiiiide shoulder, so I feel mostly safe. I see a streetlight in the distance, so I figure there's hope. I reach it, and it's... Vernal. Never heard of it. I continue on for a bit, don't see anything further on, pass a sign saying "IU Monroe Reservoir next right". At first I figure that's good, meaning there is a next right, and IU can't be too far off, right, but then have doubts. Head back to Vernal, try going down it -- no go, no sidewalk and really dark, bugger that.

Call lyceum, go directly to voice mail. Call her boy, ring ring ring, go to voicemail. I'd been planning "so, want to rescue me or should I call a cab" but didn't leave messages. Call Amy, get her, I hear her fine but she can't hear me at all.

Well, fuck. It had been reassuring to think that I had my cell and could call a cab, or 911, if worst came to worse, but now I can't even count on my phone! Keep thinking about hitching a ride, but hold off -- I head back to what passed for civilization. Left foot starts hurting a lot, but bearable, now my plan is reach hotel, try again, get them to call me a cab. I should also mention that while I know Vernal, I'm not sure of what street I've been walking along, just "west side highway?" One reason friends were preferred to a cab, they could call me *back*.

Reach Domo, call lyceum, still straight to voice mail. Oh, and I've been out for over two hours now. Heck, I first tried calling 2 hours out -- this is 15 minutes later. Limp over to the nearest motel, wonder if they even have an open office, find it, get them to call me a cab. Yay! They also have a big map wall, which is appalling.

Going further "ENE" -- actually simple NE -- would have been a disaster. No crossstreets until the Bypass, way past 17th -- probably what would be 23rd, if they kept numbering. (I live at 8th and Washington.) Going down Vernal would actually have been great, geometrically -- nice diagonal to Adams and "8th", dip down to 7th for an actual cross street, but straight walk home from there. Just didn't look at all safe from cars. Plus, foot, hurting. And going back to Domo meant going back west quite a ways, so walking down 3rd would have been a pain, if 3rd were safe, which it isn't.

Cab got me home in 8 minutes and $9.60. All hail.

Tangentially, that map isn't so bad, but when I look up a different address, it's covered in business indicator balloons, so many as to get in the way of the actual map. And I see no way to turn them off. Way to suck, Google Maps!


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 19th, 2010 06:12 am (UTC)

most hotels have simple maps at the front desk, you could have asked them.

But, you made it home, safe and sound!
Jul. 19th, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
gah, sorry! sim card had gotten dislodged at some point during the evening.
ever consider a smart phone with gps?
Jul. 19th, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC)
(I usually cheat and do my random midnight walking with as few turns as possible, so it's easy to retrace my steps to get home.)
Jul. 19th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
I usually don't worry about GPS, but I did think of it. Compass would have been good too -- hey, my backpack comes with one! Though it would have been hard to see in the dark, and it probably wouldn't have helped (not looking at it until I figured out something was wrong and then my astronomy-navigation skills worked it out.)

I used to always travel with a map; of course, that'd be kept in my backpack.

Have been thinking of a smartphone, N900 or something Android, which I guess might well come with GPS.

And yes, minimal turns is good. Or not being too bold; if I'd backed off of Landmark, or away from the sidewalkless street it led me to, I'd have been fine. But I thought it was going north, which was on the way... evening star in the 'north' notwithstanding...
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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