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Saturday, April 29, 2000

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The zoo and walking a drainage ditch

Since it was only suppose to get in the 80s today I decided to go to the zoo. I ran by the apartment office to drop off the rent check, before I forgot, which put me right on time for catching the once an hour bus. Since they often run a couple minutes early, I walked to the cub to see if it had gone past and bashed my leg on a fire hydrant. That hurt! and raised a nice bruise on my leg. Luckily the bus was a couple minutes late so I made it.

There's still a chill in the shade but the sun is hot. I noticed yesterday that the sun is halfway between the north and south (so there is no shade when walking east or west). There is a haze in the air and the blue of the sky is muted. Yard sale signs were everywhere and have plenty of customers.

I got off the bus at the first stop at Reid Park and noticed there was a wash heading west through brush at Country Club and 17th Street. In Reid Park it was just a shallow valley with some stone work in places, I suppose to keep erosion in check. I don't even know if it has a name. I followed it as it wandered south, past the Rose Test Garden, which was in full bloom. I wanted to go in but the gate was locked. The shallow curved east passing the small duck pond and the door sculpture next to the south entrance to Reid Park at Lakeshore Boulevard.

I stopped here to change film and watched a group of ducks stop traffic as they took their time crossing the street. I thought it was nice that no one honked to hurry them, not that it would have worked as they are so used to people and cars. I walked around the zoo for about an hour enjoying the animals and the people. The baby Spectacled Bear was out with his (?) mother. They let the father out alone in the afternoon. The baby was so cute. He bounded around the enclosure so fast I had trouble getting a picture. The docent said that he had fallen out of a tree earlier and was just having a good time. His mother seemed content to just mosey along. With a kid like that she's probably exhausted.

The giraffes were stately as always and the nyala and ostriches were sharing an enclosure without a problem. In the avian cage a couple of taveta golden weavers had a nest built and it looked like the male was trying to mate. They are beautiful birds. A large section of the Forest Trail is being dug up and I just noticed that the cement on the Jungle Path has outlines of leaves embedded in it. They look very nice.

When I came out of the zoo I decided to follow the drainage ditch further and continued east along the south side of the zoo. It turned south and crossed 22nd Street at Jones heading southeast. At 24th Street it curved east and I followed an alley next to it which turned into a divided road, Monathan Stravenue, at Palo Verde with the drainage ditch running between the two lanes. Till Palo Verde it had been curving around an industrial park but now was running through an older residential area.

When it reached Normount it curved southeast again till Chrysler where the Monathan Stravenue ended at Parkview Park. Past the park it was basically part of an alley between 25th and 27th Streets with lots of dogs going crazy. They were all behind fences but one was hanging half over and could have come over if he wanted. Scary. Dogs do scare me when they go crazy barking even though I've never been bit. I love leash laws. I don't dislike dogs, just owners who don't teach their dogs to behave.

The wash crossed 27th, just west of Alvernon. I was hot and hungry and the bus was due in a few minutes. I'll have continue following it some other time, both south and east of Reid Park. I didn't walk that far based on how far but I did a lot of wandering back and forth at the zoo and along the wash so I had a good workout. I'd never taken the 17 bus this far south and saw a new neighborhood as we rode past little brick houses on Silverlake. They are small, many of them painted, but they were all taken care of.

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Walked - 3+ miles

(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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