I got up, if you can believe it, at 8:00 this morning. I was astounded too. Then I gathered up my provisions, slipped on my shoes, and slipped off into Congress Run.
The part I’ve already done many times before was the hardest part, because there the creek hadn’t widened yet. It was about two feet wide. And the woods were about as thick as a tightly-knit wool sweater just beyond it. However, to avoid getting my feet wet, sometimes I did have to get up onto the bank. I did this as seldom as possible, because as soon as I did, I was met by a vast quantity of webs built by alarmingly large spiders, though they were probably just regular joes, out to make a bug like the next guy. I promptly got these webs all in my face, no matter where they were. If they were built on the ground, they ended up on my face.
After about twenty minutes of that, I finally emerged into a wider spot on the creek, stationed at a subdivision called Central Park. It has to get wider because it goes through a huge tunnel there. I went over the tunnel, but I’ve gone through it before, and I can tell you it’s not fun. It’s a vast hole from which there is no escape but walking to the other side. It’s an ideal place to get claustrophobics to Overcome their Fear. From the other side of that tunnel I walked maybe a couple hundred yards and came to the tunnel under Cross County. This tunnel is even more enormous than the Central Park one, and to make matters worse, there’s no way to go over it. The traffic on Cross County is thick and there’s a fence on the other side. So I had to go through it. And as I did, I noticed a beep from in my backpack. It was my mom’s cell phone (which she had insisted I take along) going out of range.
As I walked through it, I mainly stayed quiet. The end never seemed to get any closer. Foot by foot, I approached the way out, but it sure didn’t seem like it. Towards the end, I got gutsy and started singing some of my Carmina Burana. Then I noticed the profound echo and started talking to myself to hear it. I also clapped really loud, and the sound didn’t dissipate for at least three seconds. If you exploded a firecracker there, it would still be reverberating the next day.
I didn’t die, and I walked out the tunnel to a newly widened creek. Another little wash had joined it, turning it, for the first time, into Congress Run in earnest. I had also gotten to the point on Galbraith where there start to be houses. I watched the houses pass by and be replaced with new houses as I trekked through the dry creekbed. Mom called me–the phone was back in range–and asked just where on the creek I was. I told her. Then I kept walking.
Eventually I came to Congress Run Apartments, and then left it. About there the creekbed became incooperative for walking in. I had to get up on the bank every once in a while to avoid having to walk in water about up to my knees. I tried that for a little while. And then, then I came to an impasse. It was another intersection of Congress Run with Cross County, and this time the tunnel wasn’t big enough to walk through. I came up to the road to have a look around. There was nothing I could see to help me.
Except crossing the road I had just not gone under. It hadn’t occurred to me as an option before, because I was still thinking about Cross County, but now that I saw it, it made perfect sense. I walked leisurely across the street, not seeing a single car, and promptly found a pitiful little creek that couldn’t’ve been the majestic Congress Run. Could it? I crossed the street again and sat down under a bridge to figure it out. I pulled out my print-out of the map. I puzzled. I couldn’t figure out where I was, because the map had no street names. Eventually I decided I must be on the right track and went off downstream, using the term “downstream” loosely, because there was no current whatsoever. I skirted the border of a Horse Boarding place, rounded a corner, and punctually got lost. There was nothing to see on the banks. The creek looked dark and forbidding. I came to a spill of something that smelled like pumice soap, completely stagnant in the water, and decided I’d have to come up to ground level and have a look around.
I came up behind an enormous, imposing, industrial-white building. At its side there was a fence, and on the other side of the fence I could see a golf course. I consulted my map to see just where on the face of the Earth I had wound up. There was no mention of a huge white building or golf course anywhere. Clearly the map was out of date. I called Mom and told her my predicament, whereupon she instructed me to find out where I was by way of the name of the building. I trekked around the enormous bulk of it and saw a sign that said, bluntly, “GENERAL POLYMERS”. That was all. Then I walked up the street, found an “Advance Building Products”, and gave her the address where I had found myself: 93 Caldwell Drive. I had come a long way, but even though the map said I could probably get to a railroad without too much difficulty, the golf course begged otherwise. I told Mom to come and pick me up.
I waited for a while on the steps of Advance Building Products, and we came home. Then I ate a lot of food, and drank a lot of pop. And that’s all I’m going to relay for now.
File under: creekwalking