Sunday, June 22, 2008

An Accumulation of Errors

Today was the big day that Erin, Kim, and I were to meet up at Turkey Run to go canoeing. It was a good idea, spearheaded by Erin and Kim, and it fit in well with my exercise/ outdoors- based regimen that I mentioned in my previous post. Kim called last night with basic instructions on how to get there from here and that was that.

I woke up this morning bright and early, logged on, and checked the approximate drive time between there and here on Mapquest. 1 hour 45 minutes. Looking at the clock, had I dropped everything and shown up at the dock in my underwear, I would have been ten minutes late. Luckily, I noticed that the route chosen was rather illogical. The most likely route would get me there sooner. I cleaned up a bit and then hit the road, with my ever-attentive mind making sure to leave my towel, cooler with bottled water and soda, and sandals behind.

Of course, the one exit necessary to get off 465 to the necessary highway was closed, with an illegible flashboard sign evidently trying to indicate such only a half mile earlier. Cue various choice words directed at the forces that chose this particular exit to be closed.

15 minutes later, once on the correct highway, I settled back a bit, looking at the clock--at normal highway speeds, I'd get there with time to spare. Unfortunately, the highway for miles had a speed limit of 40-freakin-5. After an eternity of stop-and-go, I finally got to open road, then to the final highway turnoff that would take me to the canoe rental.

With three miles to go, the signs indicate that the highway is closed. Cue more choice words yelled over the dash. Consulting my trusty Indiana County Road atlas, I find no real options to get from there to my destination. I have five minutes. After consulting my second power-walking soccer mom, I had resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't gonna make it. I'm speeding down winding country roads, then literally through a cattle farm, then off-pavement, then through some woods, to return to the highway I need...right in front of the wrong side of the roadblock.

After yet more choice words, I call Erin/Kim to let them know of my predicament. They were stalling the folks at the canoe rental. Good. I made my way through the trailer-park desolation of Bloomingdale, Indiana, to get to the canoe rental place, just in time for my other party to lock their keys--and some of what was necessary--in their car. Cue, no doubt, more choice words spoken internally by Erin and Kim. Luck was on our side--the canoe folks had slim-jims. Unfortunately, none of us had any luck in breaking into Erin's car. The mosquitoes were spreading the word that fresh meat was available, and the recent heavy rains ensured that there were plenty of their numbers.

Long story short, after three or so trips to/around Rockville, we got sunscreen, got food, ice cream, and a man to give the final magical open sesame to Erin's car, which is a rather formidable challenge, even to professionals. We were ready to hit the water at long last.

Within 100 yards of our launch, we find ourselves snarled by a tree in heavy current, which we got almost past before we flipped over, putting everything into the drink, including our food, my bookbag, camera, and our oars. Once we got all that put back to rights, we found ourselves in pretty darned good shape. The food was ok, the camera was untouched by water, and we got settled into shipboard life. In spite of all the permutations of our trip (were we to actually canoe? Might we hike instead? Perhaps just go garage-saling? ), no one got inordinately frustrated. And the change in our luck? Eating ice cream. I wasn't thrilled with the place: it was deserted in a sort of "Texas Chain Saw Massacre" kind of way, and the rest-room, swathed in spider webs and, well, extremely primitive, certainly didn't make the place seem good, but after ice cream there, the clouds parted, the car was unlocked, we sang songs, and we achieved our objective. More pix in the next post.
Thanks to Erin and Kim for havin' me along! And happy birthday, Kim!

1 comment:

brizbrizuri said...

Hey, those walls are white, which is an improvement on some of the "primitive" restrooms I have seen.