Sunday, February 20, 2011

the mist rolled in

Sadly I forgot my camera on my epic 3.5+ mile walk today. I learned the literal meaning of "the mist rolled in," because it did so as I was walking through the Missouri Valley cemetery on top of the hill. I walked by a World War I memorial (Missouri Valley has a World War I memorial??) in the cemetery, as well as the grave of the father of a guy who was two years ahead of me in school. It was windy and cloudy and weirdly refreshing to be out. I realized that, despite living in Missouri Valley for most of my life, my family is still "Magnolia folk" -- at least, judging by where we have people in the ground.

Epic walk shown below:

However, THAT map leaves out the MOST EPIC part of my walk, which it was necessary to go into Google Earth to depict. OBSERVE:

I climbed up the Primary Hill! My path is shown in white; the highest point (more or less) is shown with a red arrow on the perspective view and a vertical black line on the graph. The school has since moved, and now the kindergarteners and first graders are all over on 9th Street with all the other elementary school goers, but once upon a time (i.e. when I was a 5- and 6-year-old) Primary School was on 1st Street. There was a path leading up the side of the hill, and it was my fondest desire as a 5-year-old to climb it. However! It was not to be! The recess monitors yelled at us, barred us from even setting foot on the lower part of the hill, and otherwise seemed unenchanted with the idea of a lot of tiny gradeschoolers clinging to the side of an extremely steep hill!


I climbed (as you can see from the awesome altitude chart generated by Google Earth) right about 50 m, or 164 feet. The prairie grass and sumac stood me well: Without those sturdy handholds I would have doubtless fallen a great deal more than I did. As it was, after I had circled the crown of the hill and determined I couldn't come down the opposite side without trespassing in some people's yards, I ended up sliding down a path that may have actually been the remnants of a small mudslide on my butt and getting pretty well covered in clay.

Epic, I tell you. Epic.

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