Don’t run away; it’s only me
Don’t be afraid of what you can’t see
— the prophets oingo and boingo
I’m looking for a 4-mile trail. Google maps tells me it’s right around the corner. And, well, you know, it’s Google. How could a fancy-pants California company not be familiar with the tiny back roads of South Texas?
I drive north through the gloom and grey to the outskirts of town. Turn right, it says. Why? I ask. Never you mind, it says. So I do. I turn off the main road, on to the less than main road, on to a small road which leads to a tiny road which leads to what may or may not be a road at all.
The area is creepy, in that vague opening scene of the chainsaw massacre kind of way. There’s a little rundown cement factory. For burying the bodies? Followed by a Volkswagen graveyard. Maybe 10 rusted corpses litter the yard.
Still, the hope of a runnable trail 9 miles from my front door is to die for. Maybe.
It’s been raining like crazy all day. I drive through a small lake that completely submerges the Honda. Luckily I have the windows up. I’m thinking this is not the best place to stall out. This is not even in the Top 10 list of places to stall out. Not a Wendy’s in sight. Or a human. Or even mutant sewer rats. I don’t think they have sewers out here.
“Turn onto Doberman Street,” Google cheerfully announces.
I pause. I contemplate. Maybe this is just a weird dream. I can’t really be turning onto Doberman Street in the middle of nowhere. There can’t really be a large Doberman looking at my front left tire with a “not a problem” look. Jenny couldn’t really have told me I’m an inside the lines person. So I go along with it, thinking I’ll eventually wake up to find that I’ve slept in and yes, a gluten-free waffle DOES sound delicious, dear. thank you very much.
I start down the road. It’s in disarray, with potholes disguised by the high water. I pass by a marina shop with a couple of dead boats and a couple of very live dogs. Followed by a large, windowless cinder-block building with an untethered dog as big as my car lying in the yard. He stares as I drive by. And then, the building where the guy with the meat cleaver must live.
It’s magnificent in a “hey, let’s come here after dark on Halloween night and scare the girls” kind of way. Broken windows, fantastic numbers, a washed-our eeriness. I pause to take a photo for Mo, who loves numbers. Maybe not so much these, I find out later.
From there, another right turn, and Google cheerfully announces I’ve reached my destination. Which is a dead end next to a small steel factory. I wonder if Google is in on the plan to lure people here. I am relieved it hasn’t led to a sausage factory. No park, no trail, no nothing. I am secretly relieved, not having to debate whether going to the trail would be worth passing the house of horrors.
I retrace my steps, swim across the lake and head home. I tell Mo she has to see it. She assures me she does not. I tell her Jenny said I’m an inside the lines guy. Mo shrugs and says Johnny Cash. Then she eats my cookie while declaring it’s not as good as hers was. I go home. I write a blog post. I wait to wake up. mmmmmmmm, waffles …