Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Leaving Columbus

Last Friday I wanted to hit the road at 2:00, but I didn't leave until 4:30. Before I left, I thought I was going to walk to the truck stops near London, but since there was a Buckeye game the next day I ended up heading toward Ohio Stadium.

Walking up Norton Road, which has no shoulder and a steep slope off to the side, five miles closer to Columbus I rolled my ankle and ate gravel for the first time since December 2006. My spill may have something to do with the fact that I walk in hiking sandals now, instead of boots with plenty of ankle support. I don't know, but I probably said "God dammit!" shortly after tasting earth.

Half an hour later, only 20 feet from the end of the bad part of Norton Road, I rolled my ankle yet again and hit my head in the gravel on the side of the road. It felt like I dislocated the ankle this time, but I don't think that happened because I didn't hear a pop and the ankle was not horribly swollen. When you fall down while carrying a huge backpack, you end up on your back like a turtle on its shell, unable to get up until you unclip all the straps that keep the pack attached to you. It's probably a pretty funny sight, but it's not fun.

After about 11 miles, a dude name Jim stopped on West Broad Street and gave me a ride the last seven or eight miles to Ohio Stadium. That was cool because it was pretty late and I would've had to walk most of that distance in the morning. Instead, I camped out next to the regular site of Kropkogate.

Saturday was wet. During a break in the rain, as I sat outside the west side of Ohio Stadium, my friend Tara saw me as she walked by with her sister, who was there to sign (not sing) the national anthem. I ended up talking to Tara for probably almost an hour.

Until about March of this year, I hadn't seen Tara since high school. She and I "went together" for about a week just before our freshman year of high school. Even though we've only seen each other twice now after all this time, I feel really close to Tara. She is a special friend to me, and I feel like a special friend to her. (Don't even think about it; she's married and has two kids.) Boy was I stupid for not trying to keep her. Also, I wish I had thought to take a picture of her or us to post here.

After Tara went into the stadium, I walked back to Kropkogate. It rained lightly, and it looked like the weather might be all right until the game started. Then it just poured for the whole first half. Fortunately I had shelter at Kropkogate, but most of the people in the stadium must have been miserable. Regardless, the Buckeyes won 30-0.

Sunday when I got up, I thought I might head for the truck stops, but then I decided I'd walk toward Yellow Springs instead. Walking south on Riverside drive, I rolled my ankle again. This time I didn't fall. Nevertheless, I decided to take a short break because the near-fall caused my ankle to become yet a little more damaged than the first two spills (as if the fall that tore my ligament three years ago wasn't already enough to deal with).

I guess you could say my left knee and ankle are totally fucked up right now, and they probably will be forever.

I made it to West Jefferson late Sunday night, but on the way, as you may already have read, I was nearly hit by a car as I walked north on Amity Road, toward Dellinger. I've had a lot of close calls with cars before, but this one left me nearly in tears because as the car approached me, I literally wasn't sure if I'd be alive five seconds later.

The next night I made it to South Charleston, then last night I arrived in Yellow Springs. I've had lots of crappy weather and wind to deal with, so I feel pretty good about walking almost 60 miles in three days.

I might try to make it to Bloomington, Indiana in the next couple days. This much is sure: It's time to get the hell out of the midwest. Summer is over and winter is coming.

There's probably more interesting shit to say, but I can barely type on this thing, especially with several of the keys out of order. Don't expect many more blog posts because this is just too much trouble.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

Aimless Video Evidence