I wanted to go for a hike today. Unfortunately, 150+ miles of bike commuting put the kabosh on any hopes for a long excursion. I needed to do some errands anyway. Why not jump in the car and have a miserable time? No? Well, I needed to break in my new shoes so I decided to hoof it to the barber shop. It was perfect weather for this sort of thing. The shoes took a little getting used to but they are a vast improvement over my other footware.
The barber did his thing, all the while telling me about his airship fetish. He’s going to decorate a Christmas tree with airship decorations. Let’s hope it doesn’t go all Lakehurst on him.
From the barber shop I decided to truck on over to pedestrian hostile US 1 to buy a new coffeemaker. My old one had sprung a leak about a week ago. So I made my way north-ish on Fort Hunt Road. The sidewalk disappeared leaving me facing oncoming cars. Oh, joy.
After a couple of blocks though a side path appeared. This is what Fairfax County calls a trail. It is asphalt and tree routes. A total mess. It was better than walking on the unpaved shoulder of the road.
If you’re going to take your life into your hands you can at least admire some pretty fall foliage. The DC area is just past peak foliage but there is still much to ooh and aah at. Lucky for me there is a sidewalk on at least one side of Sherwood Hall Lane. I used it. After about a mile, I made it to a cross walk only a block from where my wife was run over in 2010. After looking both ways, I started crossing. I got about half way across when an approaching motorist honked at me. I stopped and turned at him and mouthed saucy epithets.
Safely across the street I made my way closer to US 1. About a block away, the concrete sidewalk gave way to crappy asphalt on dirt. Why can’t one of the wealthiest suburb in the US build proper sidewalks?
To cross US 1 in a crosswalk and make it to a continuous sidewalk I had to take a left through a crosswalk on my sidestreet, take another left to use the crosswalk to traverse US 1, take ANOTHER left to cross the re-cross the sidestreet to get to the continuation of the sidewalk. Along the way I saw a memorial for a pedestrian who was killed (by a Fairfax County police officer driving a police car, no less). When I got across US 1 I gave up on the 3rd crosswalk and just used the street. There you have it. Someone gets killed and they still can lift a finger to make an intersection safe for pedestrians.
I made may way through the parking lots to the store and bought my coffee maker. I took a different route back. Along the way I encountered an intersection that had been recently stiped and paved. Not a single cross walk to be seen. HOW HARD IS IT, VDOT?
I made it home and saw that Mrs. Rootchopper had come outside to do battle with the yard. She seems to like raking leaves. There are plenty more so come on down and help her out. I am sure you’ll have a blast. (In the division on labor at the Rootchopper Institute, I do lawns and snow shoveling.)
So I walked about 5 miles. The verdict on my shoes is thumbs up. They aren’t perfect but they are quite a bit more comfy that my old Dunham boots. I hope to give them another go on Tuesday or maybe next weekend. Oh, and the coffeemaker does the job.