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Saturday, October 6, 2001

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Arcadia Wash

On thinking more about confrontation I realize that it's the demonization of people that bothers me the most. It's wrong to demonize someone because of a single issue or even a cluster of issues. That doesn't mean that there aren't actions that are totally unexcusable but whether or not you are in favor of transit is not one of them. I think people who don't want any transit are sadly misguided but hardly evil. Stupid, maybe?

I started out to check out some walking shoes and go by a bookstore and ended up about ten miles from home and that's the direct route, not how I rode my bike. It's been a lovely cloudy day and it spit rain off and on the whole time. It was never enough to get out my poncho till the end but enough to stay even cooler and the day was already nice. It was so nice that I decided to check go to a bookstore further away just to have a goal.

I started out looking for Alamo Wash but east of Swan on Grant I ran across Arcadia Wash and started following it south. I actually wove in and out since it ran through residential blocks and I couldn't follow that well on a bike. At Grant it was a sterile concrete channel both north and south, but at Seneca and Frances, a quarter of a mile south, the concrete disappeared into sand and bushes.

South to Pima Frances is one of those strange residential streets we have that are split down the middle with a wash. At Pima it disappeared between houses again and I went around to Rosemont and east on Lee to Santa Rosa where the wash goes through the intersection from the northeast corner to the southwest corner. The whole intersection is a dip.

It runs east of Arcadia to 5th Street. It is the Arcadia Wash, after all, and I stop at Pinecrest Park at Arcadia and Fairmount to fill my water bottle and have a snack. There are no bridges except a small bridge just north of Speedway, at Speedway and at 5th Street. It comes out just east of Rincon, where my kids went to school, so this is familiar territory for me. The wash turns southeast and runs behind an apartment complex to Swan.

I follow Alberta southeast to 20-30 Park (strange name for a park) where the wash is channelized for a bit before it returns to sand and disappears underneath the shopping center at Craycroft and Broadway. I don't know if it comes out somewhere else. It would seem it would have to go under Park Place.

I'd lost it so I did a bit of shopping, since I was in the middle of shopping centers. I didn't find shoes but I did find a pair of pants. I have to confess, I hate to buy things that have to be handled carefully so my pants end up too short because I forget and throw them in the regular wash. So I bought a pair of pants that were too long and, lo and behold, I washed them with my jeans and sturdy stuff, and now they are perfect. This is the way to go. It's like shoes. If I can't walk to work (3 miles) in them, why bother. If I have to sort all my clothes to wash them, other than bleach or not bleach, why bother. Life is too short.

I should have headed home at this point because the sprinkles were becoming for frequent but I thought I might find the Arcadia Wash again if went south on Craycroft then into the residential area. I did find a wash but it was a different one, I think. I'll have to check that one out some other time. The neighborhoods change so quickly in Tucson, Within a block or two the houses can go from very nicely cared for to rather shabby. This one of the reasons I enjoy following washes as they take me through so many neighborhoods that wouldn't normally see.

I was well east of Craycroft and nearly to 22nd when the rain started to be steady instead of sprinkles and I saw some lightning in the distance. I wrapped my stuff in a plastic bag and turned back to Barnes and Nobles where I bought a couple magazines and had a cup of coffee. The coffee shop was full but it's the kind of day when a nice read with a warm cup of coffee sounds good.

It was nearly four when I finally headed home and with the dark rainclouds everyone had their lights on and I wished I had my lights with me since I had on dark pants and shirt. I stayed off the main roads as much as I could and tried to look conspicuous. I think it's harder to see bicyclists and pedestrians when it's dark and gloomy enough to turn on your car lights but not really dark yet. It was so nice to have a cool day for bike riding.

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Rachel Aschmann 2001.
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