Day 71: See more of the world today.Posted: March 12, 2011
“Take your bus or train one stop too far, then walk and discover everything you normally miss.”
I couldn’t do this today, because I didn’t go to campus today – but I have done this sort of thing in the past. I’ve gotten off a stop too early, I’ve gotten off a stop too late, I walk a mile every day from the station to my office anyway. I’ve even biked the 17 miles from my office back to my car on more than one occasion.
I was driving back from Oklahoma City – more on that tomorrow – along I-35, which goes through the Arbuckle Mountains. There are, as one might expect, a few scenic turnouts along this stretch of highway.
Now, the Arbuckles are scenic in places, but most of those places aren’t visible from the interstate – which is why I don’t stop at the scenic turnouts. Except that I did today.
The problem with scenic turnouts is that they’re basically just parking lots. Sure, you can see some things, but you’re still just standing in a parking lot. This particular parking lot was at the top of a ridge, and there was a decent-sized ravine or gully immediately west of the parking lot (away from the highway), and more ridges and ravines beyond that. There was a barbed-wire fence around the parking lot, keeping travelers safe from nature – but there were no “No Trespassing” signs, and barbed wire has never stopped me before.
I spent ten or fifteen minutes wandering down the hillside into the ravine in a wide, meandering semi-circle, which eventually brought me back up the hill to the other side of the parking lot. It wasn’t really any more scenic – rocks, grass, small trees – but it was nice to walk around in a place that probably never gets walked around in. If I hadn’t been exhausted from moving, and ready to be home, I probably could’ve walked around for an hour or more, over the next ridge and back. I’d have ended up lost, and with a broken leg, and had to spend the night under a tree, and probably would’ve been eaten by a mountain lion.
Maybe next time.