To the Park [8]

I got off the interstate on North Ohio street, because it would deliver me closest to the place I wanted to look with the least amount of human habitation in between stops.
I passed the empty truck stop and dealership with a bit of trepidation, then sailed past the empty fields with more confidence.
I kept my breathing steady, but my hands were at ten and two with white knuckles, demonstrating that I was afraid that something would jump out at me. Despite my best efforts to stay calm, the adrenaline in my body was slowly inching higher, anticipating trouble.
The numbers of buildings began to grow as I approached the bridge over the railroad [still no trains] and then I was in the manufacturing corner of the town. When I got to the feed store, I took a left onto Riverside rather than go into an area with houses on both sides of the street.
Still quiet, still empty.
Turned left onto Iron, then right onto Indiana. Still avoiding the majority of homes, but had about seven of them to get by.
Nobody stirring. Fine by me.
Left onto the driveway into the park, and then a fast pull-off into the parking spot there.
This was where it would be a little bit hairy.
There was a field between me and the treeline. I could drive my car up it, but that was liable to draw more attention, and I still wasn’t sure how the pigeons worked on people. So I closed and locked the door and hustled up the path to the trees as fast as my short old legs could take me, hoping nobody was looking out their windows in the few houses down the hill.
Once on the “nature trail” into the woods I felt a little safer, and walked as quickly as I could manage without huffing and puffing to the spot that had been in my mind’s eye.
Indian Rock Lake is a fun little anomaly right in the middle of Salina. At some point the Smoky Hill River rolled through here, and the resulting hole in the ground, lined with eroded, fantastic sandstone sculpted by the water, remains, hidden in the trees. The river continues to flow on the other side of a ridge dotted with park buildings.
I made my way down the steep clay-and-sand hill to the lakebed and looked around for signs of a camp.
Sure enough, about fifty yards up there was a tiny plume of smoke.
I tromped up the path making sure to make lots of noise, and when I got about ten yards away, I stopped to catch my breath.
Then I said, loudly enough to be sure to be heard, “I still have your rock. What do you want me to do with it?”

Published by goddesswest

I'm a painter and am writing something now. People keep asking me to put it together in an easier to access place, so here I am. Plan to get some of my artwork in here too, eventually.

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