There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The fall Transitarian Diet

Today was a gorgeous day, with giant fluffy clouds scuttling along and the temperature straining to reach 70 degrees -- perfect weather for the Transitarian Diet, that merger of good-for-you walking and good-for-the-environment transit riding that makes you look good and feel good.

And muddy and a little bloody as well.

This is the second week of my vacation. This morning the kid was at school and the wife at work, and I needed to visit Blockbuster, get a haircut and read a chapter for a class I'm taking at City College. Since I could accomplish all three tasks at Town and Country Village at Fulton and Marconi I decided to tie it all together in a transitarian outing.

Getting from my house to Town and Country by bus is fairly simple, but it can require three different buses. With the fantastic weather and no real time constraints, I decided to walk a little less than a mile to Auburn Boulevard, where I could catch the No. 1 bus. After a short ride to Watt and Auburn Boulevard, I would catch the No. 26. The No. 26 runs from the Watt/I-80 light rail station to Auburn Boulevard and then down to Fulton Avenue.

And so I packed my backpack with videos to return and books to read and set out walking.

Which brings us to the perils of walking in suburban Sacramento County.

The sidewalks in my neighborhood are intermittent. For one long stretch of my walk to Auburn Boulevard, I was forced to walk in the street. I was thankful for the bike lane separating me from the traffic.

At one point the unimproved drainage ditch made way to a rounded curb and gutter -- and mud.

I remember seeing the mud in the gutter. I recall seeing my foot step in the mud. I even remember thinking that I could get out of the gutter and back in the street and avoid the mud.

And then the foot in the mud lost traction and I spun and collapsed in the street, scraping a knee and bloodying the palm of one hand.

Laying on my back in the street I wondered what it could be about sidewalks that suburban developers found so inconvenient back in the 1960s. What was the attraction of lawns that run all the way to the street?

Have a nice trip? See you next fall!

Fortunately, there wasn't any traffic at the time. I brushed myself off and continued my trip. I made my bus connections, never having to wait more than five minutes. I completed all three of my tasks and even added a lunch at Noah's Bagels while I read the chapter in my textbook. And I made it home equally accident free.

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