Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Seminole Valley Park

So far this month has sucked.  On planning on going to St Louis, I got derailed by a series of shit fuck luck, starting on Saturday when I was trying to do a zen moment and relaxing at the Nature Center only to find when I got to my car my keys were missing.  Of course they fell out of my sweatshirt pocket but thankfully they were easy to find

So Monday comes around.  Nice beautiful day to do something, so I went out and added some money to the checking account in the process hit every motherfucking red light and had every GD leadfoot tailgater on my ass and douchebags going 20 in a 35 in front of me.  Leaves were turning so I decided to head up to Seminole Valley Park which I haven't been in about 30 years and will never do so after this event.  After finally getting rid of the last tailgating asshole I managed to go find some nifty places to take pictures at.  At the end of the road there's a fenced in area but the door was open and thinking it was safe to do I went past the open gates to the edge of the Cedar River and found the the remains of the old Milwaukee Road bridge. Took a few pics and in the ten minutes decided to head back home.  Only to find out that somebody locked the gate and there was no way out.

What turned out to be a ten minute fun picture taking turned out to be a 17 hour wait for somebody to open up the fucking gate.  I thought there would be a plan b, or other road to take but when I got there, that gate too was locked and all of a sudden I was in trouble.  So, I tried to grab somebody's attention by honking the horn on the old POS 1992 Corsica (my new car had the day off so to speak).  And the horn decided to quit working.

Now Seminole Valley Park is a big long park that is used for soccer, flying toy airplanes  and dog walking but nobody was there. I walked about five miles back up to the main gate hoping for somebody to be there. Nobody was.  So, I walked another 2 miles to where they have the Usher's Ferry, the old time village where you can go back in time to see what the settlers did back then.  By the time I got there, they were closed.  And outside of that, there's nothing close by, no Kum N Go, no Road Ranger, no Casey's.  With no cell phone I was boned.

So basically I went back to the park where they had some soccer practice folk going.  One of them were too busy to help out but I managed to corner one of them to call the police and describe them what was going on.  If it wasn't for the fine help of Mark (I think his name was)  I'd still be out there cussing up a storm.  Most of the time I had assholes in pick ups and SUVs that would drive slowly by and not bother to help.  Not that I really wanted their help but I was getting desperate and the sun was setting.  Thankfully Mark told me that he contacted police and handed me a Ritz Bar and a bottle of water and wished me luck. And at that time, an errant soccer ball from a girl hit me upside the head.  Just when things couldn't get worse......

I was the sole remaining guy in a park that was closing up, it was getting dark and clouds were forming obscuring the moon.  10 minutes some shithead in a big 4X4 stopped at the stop sign and thinking it was somebody that might help went up to his truck,  only to find Mr. Fucktard move on, did a u turn, stopped again and moved on.  Certainly he deserved both barrels of the middle finger.  Fucking idiot.  A half hour later a policeman popped in and did the usual (body search for weapons etc etc) and I showed him where I was stranded at in the back of his car.  He had some keys, tried them all, none fit and said that there's nothing more he can do and that whoever was probably be out in the morning.  I told him I'd wait it out here.  He mention that somebody might be here at 10 but don't hold your breath.  And then he left.

Mad at the world I made a attempt for a miracle of somebody being there as I went back to the cramped quarters of my makeshift tent, the back seat of the car and waited.. And waited.  Prayer not answered, I was going to be stuck there for the evening.

There's not much you can do when your stuck out in the boonies, with nothing to eat but I had a cup and there was a drinking fountain a mile down the road and I would make one trip and ended up drinking most of it the way back to the car.  The wind was howling, a 60 percent chance of rain in the forecast and I'm out there in the dark.  Thankfully I had the old bedspread in the trunk and that kept me warm although the 60 degree temps wasn't that bad.  But the wind, even from the southeast had a bit of bite to it.  And it was dark when the moon went into the clouds.  When I did the first walk back to the gate at around 10, the gate was still open but I'm thinking somebody may have closed it.  Got a lot a exercise it seems.

Back to the car.  The minutes dragged away.  I have had a muscle strain in my back for a month now and it was hurting like hell.  I tried taking a crowbar to the gate but it wouldn't budge.  Mad at the world and at the Creator, I was throwing F bombs left and right.  I think I dozed off for about fifteen minutes but woke back up at around 11.  It also seem I was taking pee breaks every 15 minutes, felt like I had marbles for a bladder.  But the water was just about gone. Back to the backseat and close my eyes and try to get some kind of shut eye.

I continue to hear trains rumbling in the distance but couldn't picture if they were the Union Pacific or the other line (CRANDIC I think they are).  Or maybe ghosts of the old Milwaukee Road railway of the abandoned bridge.  Could it be a ghost train.  Still pissed at the world but more at myself for going past where I should not have and feeling like a prisoner.  I didn't have much for tunes but figured not to use any of the car battery for this.  But though out the evening I was hearing the wind blowing and some train in the distance. And wishing I was somewhere else.

I was getting hungry but I needed something to drink so around 2 AM, I made another mile long trip back to the fountain to fill the cup up and not feeling too worried about my surroundings.  Nobody was here which could be a good thing, unless you have the less undesirables show up and making chaos.  Or maybe if somebody did have a meth lab around the area.  I didn't fear much for my life, at that point I didn't care anyway.  It was kind of a dark but a more comforting feeling that things were going to be okay.  I may have seen a deer in the dark, scared away by my rant and raving.  Perhaps I should have gone to Hannibal or St Louis or Madison and not at Seminole Valley Park.  By then the moon made a brief showing before going back into a more darker and threatening cloud coming on the horizon.  I just hope I make it back to the car before it rains.  I had a full 32 oz cup of water and figure that should hold me till the morning.

About 3 AM I hear the pitter patter of the raindrops on the car.  They start and then stop and the wind would take over, about 3 30 it rained a lot harder and it would be like that.  When I thought it stopped it started up and even stronger.  I was hoping it wouldn't be a long heavy rain.  I was hoping that I would not get bogged down in muddy gravel road.  I think I dozed off again.

5 AM. The night is never ending.  I made about my 10 pee break before the rains hit again.  I was thinking of instead of making a 5 hour trip to St Louis and just stay close to home.  Or just stay home.  Surprisingly my back muscle was holding up okay given the cramped situation.  I looked up at the clock and around 6 AM I was beginning to panic.  What if nobody comes?  What if the Parks Department didn't pass the message on and I'm stuck out behind a GD locked game and nothing to eat?  Anyway, I was thinking of having pancakes for breakfast if I ever got out of there.  The rains begin again.

At around 7 10 a van was making it's way through the fog and drizzle, he stopped at the gate and stay still for a while, but then begin to turn back on the road, went down about a half mile and stopped.  By then I turn the brights on, turn the car on and hope they came back.  He did.   Needless to say I was glad to see him.

As I told him my horror story of picture taking and going through the open gates for that 10 minutes that became 15 hours and 10 minutes (maybe more) he apologized for locking it but he didn't know that I went back there and despite what they say, there's not a warning sign at that gate that no cars beyond that point.  Told him it's not really his fault, my curiosity got the best of me and fate fucked me in the ass again.  He chuckled over that.  On that, I waved bye bye as he looked with a confused blank stare.

So it back on to the road leading out of this out of way contortion, which is peaceful in its own way but can be frightening if you stuck behind a locked fence.  It was 7:15 as I got into the dreaded rush hour and GD school buses stopping every fucking corner and of course every red light along the way and the usual dumbass lead foot up my car's bumper as I pulled into Wal Mart to give another middle finger salute and instead of pancakes, decided on a couple raspberry Bismarcks  and a sweet tea.  And to fight the traffic home which was not as bad as coming into town, but I have had enough of the fucking red lights to boycott Cedar Rapids for the rest of the week.

I don't remember the last time I went to Seminole Valley Park but it was a good 30 years ago.  But I can assure you that was my last time ever going that way again.  Someday we'll get a good laugh when we revisit this reminder of the past, and maybe you'll enjoy it.

As for myself I'm still pissed.  It's bad enough to be stuck out there but I didn't asked to get bonked upside the head with a fucking soccer ball.  But that's the kind of year I'm having.

A bad fucking joke.