Tuesday, November 10

Shooting Stars, Squirrels and Secret Parking Lots

I was short of inspiration about what to write today when I left for work this morning. It was dark as I rolled out, but unlike the last remnants of Daylight Savings Time, the darkness would soon lift. I was treated to an unusually large and beautiful shooting star off to the west. I wouldn't have noticed had I been driving to work. Sweet. I wish I could catch stuff like that with the camera. The rest of the ride in was fairly uneventful. I did notice that the young buffalo in the pasture next to Cabela's have started to acquire horns. They're also very interested if you happen to blow kisses at them as you ride by. I'll have to do a spring/fall comparison before long. For those with excessively curious minds, I have no idea how to tell a young boy buffalo from a young girl buffalo from the Service Road and I'm not about to climb over the fence into the pasture for closer investigation.

On the way, home, I decided to further investigate the possibility that I may have inadvertently added another parking lot to my route. You might ask how Steve could be riding through a parking lot, less than a block from the Keller Police Department, without realizing it? Day after day? Follow along and you'll see this isn't your everyday parking lot. You see, it's a SECRET parking lot. The photo below shows a street, Phillips Drive, that camouflages the entrance to this parking lot.
Next, you'll notice that there's another intersection. THIS marks the Eastern end of Phillips Drive, and hides the entrance to the parking lot. You'll note the driver looks a little confused. He's wondering what that thing is off to his left rear that looks like just another street. Probably it doesn't show up on his onboard GPS unit. "Don't worry sir, you needn't trouble yourself about that pavement."
The THIRD picture gives the game away. Look carefully at those red stripes on either side of the apparent street. Those are the sure North Texas giveaway to a parking lot. Parking lots are just chock full of red stripes around here. And, sure enough, if you proceed through the parking lot to Pate Orr, there may be a stop sign at the parking lot exit, but there is no street sign. It's a secret parking lot.
As proof, Yahoo maps show no road where those red stripes are, and where I ride every day. Crimeny, some of those parking lots are really sneaky!
In my own defense, it took me a few months for it to hit me that I was riding through a Middle School parking lot, blissfully unaware that I was courting the disapproval of Rantwick's mom. I also cite as evidence for the defense, the Google map version of the same location, shown below. "Officer, Google said it was a road and Google MUST be right!" Google was what I used to pick this route. Perhaps Google was fooled by the secret parking lot - or maybe it's just that there are no secrets TO Google.
And what about squirrels? Well, on the last leg home, as it was getting dark again, a squirrel shot across Glade Road, about two feet in front of my front wheel. It could have been messy. I hope the little guy made it home. I know he put a little unexpected spice into the last part of what was otherwise an uneventful, if educational, trip home. I think I'd rather be chased by a dog...

6 comments:

ChipSeal said...

That's funny!

Squirrels react more predictably (or at least sooner) if you bark at them.

Steve A said...

At the time, I was doing about 25mph and that squirrel showed poor judgment about when to cross the road. I had no time to bark, it was just a little flash of brown shooting by in front of my front wheel.

I think those squirrels ought to be given segregated paths of their own and kept off the roads! As far as I can tell, they pay no taxes at all.

In any collision between a 4 ounce squirrel and a 200 pound rider/bike combo, the squirrel will lose every time, though the rider might not feel so hot, either...
;-)

Rantwick said...

Steve - Good memory about my Mom! ChipSeal, you bark at squirrels? Why am I not surprised?

Steve - you know how you're always going on about psychic blogging and the force and stuff? I have a Squirrel video in the hopper that I meant to post on in the next few days. Turnaround is fair play, brother.

Chandra said...

good on you not to have run over the squirrel. i see tons of crickets on my way back from work, at night. it is hard for me avoid running over them :(

Dottie said...

Shooting stars, buffalo and squirrels make your commute sound adventurous. I don't get that in the city (I did see a rat yesterday, though!).

Steve A said...

Adventure? That was the skunk I almost hit the next day!

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