"Darkness falls upon the land. "The midnight hour is close at hand!" --From the spoken-word portion of "Thriller," done by Vincent Price.

When you live like I do (alone), you sometimes develop a case of "cabin fever." It can strike day-or-night, and the only relief from it is to haul your carcass out onto the street for an impromtu road trip.

So, last night, I did just that. I pulled on my street pants with belt and Perry suspenders; put some socks and my walking shoes on; pulled on my vinyl Padres jacket; popped a ballcap onto my head; latched the door--and stepped out into the night.

There are two ways to go for a walk--North on Escondido Avenue to East Vista Way and back, or hit South Santa Fe to Mar Vista Avenue and return. The South Santa Fe route is safer and better lit, plus there's a AM/PM on the halfway point.

So, I begin my sojurn. I had my flashlight out and activated...but things were as dead as Jacob Marley. The walk in the cool air loosens up my legs, and I keep a nice, easy cadence as I amble along.

The first half of my journey ends at the Mar Vista Avenue AM/PM. From there, one can walk past the new Hannalei Elementry School, the Vista Little League ballyards/graffitti mural, Auto Repair Row, and end up at Buena Creek. Across the street is the Sprinter Station.

From there begins the hill country that leads to the San Marcos border. You begin with "Board-And-Care Country" (so-named because of the concentration of board-and-care homes (licensed and non-licensed) in the area), climb to Palmyra Avenue (with Marvins' Pizza and Egg Market across the street), then into the Industrial Park Section. At the top of the second hill is a fruit & vegetable stand.

The next landmark is Monacky Animal Hospital, which used to be Smitty's Out Of Town tavern. Then we come to the San Marcos City Line and J&W Redwood's lumberyard. One last climb to the top of the final hill, where South Santa Fe changes into Mission Avenue.

However, unless you have no other choice, it's not a place to walk after dark. The roadway is trecherous, the lighting sparse, and dogs sometimes wander the area with mayhem on their minds. Same with some of the two-legged animals out for a stroll.

So, I confine my walk to the AM/PM as my stop-post. I grab a 44oz Caffeine-Free Diet Coke (and pay for it), slip back out into the night, cross South Santa Fe Avenue, and head back north. It's mostly a downhill trip, as I pass by the Keystone School, Midas, Patrick Flynn's Towing, the former Plant Lady, and a car-sales lot.

At Postal Way, I notice that the restaurant there was being rennovated into something new (first an Arby's, then an Angelo's-clone, then a "taqueria-gringo," and now a sit-down restaurant). The fact that there is a Powerhouse Gymnasium (used to be"The Court House") on the hill above it makes for some delicious irony!

I then continue home, shuck my gear (except for my skivvies and shirt), then finish off my beverage with a loud belch (another advantage of living alone). I already have a DVD documentary cued up on the machine, and as I lay down for the trip to Dreamworld, my legs are no longer as restless.

Woke up this morning at 9am--a bit stiff, but better for the experience!

--RKJ

Comments

antigeekess Nov. 2, 2009 @ 2:59 p.m.

"Press close, bare-bosom d night! Press close, magnetic, nourishing night! Night of south winds! night of the large few stars!..." -- Walt Whitman

Walking at night is invigorating and delicious. I don't dare go off my apartment grounds where I live, though. NOT a good idea.

That sodie-pop kinda ruined any health benefits you might have achieved there though, Robbie.

http://health.yahoo.com/experts/drmao/20270/what-soft-drinks-are-doing-to-your-body/

I know, I know. I'm a Dr. Pepper addict myself.

It's a Texas thang. You wouldn't understand.

:)

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Robert Johnston Nov. 2, 2009 @ 4:14 p.m.

Time to clear a few things up:

1) AG: Unless you read what brand I did buy at AM/PM (Caffeine-Free Diet Coke), my diet was not that impacted. My usual "half-time hydration" on my walks is Powerade Mountain Blast. However, they were out, so time for Plan Bravo.

CFDC may have quite a bit of sodium, but I also only use sodium when I prepare some of my dishes. The other reason was that it had no caffeine--which I prefer after 6pm in anything I drink (chilled coffee, iced tea, sodas). This way, I can get a much better night's sleep!

2) "It's a Texas Thing...you wouldn't understand." Oh, but I understand perfectly. That's why I do not keep any D.P. in my fridge. Both regular D.P. and Mountain Dew (also 86'ed from my fridge) have a hellish amount of caffeine--and that's the LAST thing I need in my life, even when I'm on-line with you folks!

3) CF: Thanks for the Woolfe essay--loved it!

Now, back to my cooking!

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CuddleFish Nov. 2, 2009 @ 4:23 p.m.

Back when I used to drink soda, I didn't drink DP or MD for that reason, because of the amount of caffeine.

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SDaniels Nov. 2, 2009 @ 5:41 p.m.

Welcome back, RKJ! That must've been some walk! :) Monacky Animal Hospital--I know where you are--lots of yellow-grass edged f'way, with dangerous walking. Must be rather dark out there at night?

One place I love walking is up Park blvd, to Adams Ave, and skirting the edge of the canyons. A friend and I used to walk for hours there, pausing here and there to take in the view of Mission Valley, or tucked-away houses with cool features like ponds or wrought-iron gates.

Marvins' Pizza and Egg Market? Do they just sell pizza and eggs, or egg pizzas? Important detail, you know :)

1: "I don't dare go off my apartment grounds where I live, though. NOT a good idea."

Why? Dangerous? Love the "few large stars," Walt.

"Dr Pepper." Why would that be a Texas thang? We grew up drinking it in CA, too. And Mr. Pibb, which doesn't seem to be around anymore.

I would have thought a Texan soda would be that Red Creme, or Cactus Cooler...(both yummers).

2: Love Woolfe! "the champagne brightness of the air..."

Lovely. I think I've read every single thing she's ever written--have most of her diaries here at home. The Blooms rock!

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antigeekess Nov. 2, 2009 @ 5:42 p.m.

Re #3:

Didn't read the link, did ya? Whether it's diet stuff or not doesn't much matter. It's not JUST about sugar. Not by a longshot.

But that Powerade stuff? Full of sugar. http://www.thedailyplate.com/nutrition-calories/food/powerade/mountain-blast

60 calories and 15 grams of sugar every 8 ounces. So, is that the 32-ounce bottle, then? 240/60.

With 55 mg of caffeine in a 12-oz can, Mountain Dew blows Dr. Pepper's 39 mg away. But yeah, I can't drink DP in the evenings, or it will keep me up. Right now, my diet soda is A&W Diet Root Beer. No caffeine.

Nutritionally, they all suck.

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antigeekess Nov. 2, 2009 @ 5:52 p.m.

Re #5:

My apartment complex is a pretty safe little enclave, with fences all around, good lighting and a night watchman. However, the surrounding neighborhood has lots of Hispanic gang activity.

DP was invented in Waco, Texas. The plant is in Dallas.

http://www.drpeppermuseum.com/Visit-Us.aspx

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FullFlavorPike Nov. 2, 2009 @ 11:39 p.m.

"When you live like I do..."

86 "alone," sub

...walking the fine line between the filth and the fury!

...one step over the edge!

...on the outer limits!

...three seconds into the future!

...without eating, breathing, or drinking water for days at a time!

...amongst the Ewoks!

...deep in enemy territory!

etc.

Anyone else want to play the Wildly Misquote Robbie Game?

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CuddleFish Nov. 3, 2009 @ 3:25 a.m.

...reading craigslist ads and being enraged at tramp costumes!

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antigeekess Nov. 3, 2009 @ 9:31 a.m.

...la vida loca

...like you were dyin'

...free, as free as the wind blows

:)

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Robert Johnston Nov. 5, 2009 @ 10:28 a.m.

Thanks for the comments, folks! I love getting them...even though opening the "Comments" box can make me a bit queasy. What will I see...kind words, or a cheesed off mob with lit torches and blood in their eyes?

SD: In case you are wondering, Marvin's Egg Market is a combination bodega/pizza shop/Mexican Food restaurant. It also handles check cashing, which is important, since it sits in the middle of Board-And-Care Country.

It was once referred to as merely "Egg Market," due to the fact that it not only served as a bodega, but also had the freshest eggs in Outskirts Vista. A Escondido Police officer (named Marvin) bought the place, added a pizza shop and Mexican Food take-out shop, and put in a butcher shop as well.

--RKJ

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CuddleFish Nov. 5, 2009 @ 10:58 a.m.

"a cheesed off mob with lit torches and blood in their eyes"

By LaPlacaRifa48619 10:28 a.m., Nov 5, 2009

Party time on the forum! Cheese fondue, tiki torches, and a few drinks to get the blood-shot eye effects, and we is in business, baby!

Woooooohooooooo!!!!!!

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