A Series of Hilarious Events (Part One) April 17, 2012Posted by marzwaggener in Alabama.
The past week has pretty much been a series of hilarious and wonderful events. On Monday a week ago, a shirtless biker rode past me while I was taking pictures of a rather boring bridge (my sister requested I take pictures of EVERY bridge, because they are supposed to be interesting, but after photographing more than four or five they’re really not interesting anymore).
“Wow,” I thought to myself as he rode past and I stood there like an idiot with my camera in my hand but not thinking to snap a picture, “that guy looks just like some actor on a TV show I watch all the time!” The shirtless biker smiled and said “hey” when he passed, and I thought, “wow, his voice sounds just like the guy on TV too!” It took me a long time to think of the TV show – actually I had to get some help by calling my family – but I finally figured out it was Adam Scott, who plays Ben Wyatt on the show Parks and Recreation. I lived in the L.A. area for EIGHT YEARS and never saw a celebrity I could recognize, and now I see one in Alabama of all places?
On the 10th I walked onto Jacksonville State University. I couldn’t get onto internet because I didn’t have student log-on information, so I spent some time in the student center editing photos from the week before. Then I headed to a laundry mat to wash my clothes. There I met Rebecca and Cooper. After hearing of my adventures, they gave me a blanket (there had been an unusual cold snap and my 40° sleeping bag wasn’t quite warm enough), a few flannel shirts, some food, and some soaps. We then went to eat at a restaurant next door called Effina’s, which was delicious.
When we left the restaurant it was already dark. It’s not easy to find a good place to set up a tent in the dark, especially not in town (which I haven’t had to do yet). So Rebecca and Cooper suggested I just camp out in the laundry room at their apartment – only one person in the whole apartment complex ever used the laundry room, so no one would bother me, and there was a heater inside that would get things nice and toasty. I thought this sounded reasonable although a bit strange. So they took me to the laundry room, fired up the heater, and I wished them a good night. I laid down my tarp and therm-a-rest pad, curled up in the blanket they gave me, and fell dead asleep.
About an hour later, the only person who ever used the laundry room came down to do a load of laundry!!! He was VERY freaked out to find a strange hobo asleep on the floor. And I was so confused from having just woken up, I couldn’t even form a complete sentence. Well, he went to get his laundry and meanwhile I woke up a little bit more, enough that when he returned I could explain the situation a little better. He was really nice about it and didn’t kick me out of the laundry room. When he finally finished the laundry he pulled the clothes out of the dryer and hung them up right away so they wouldn’t wrinkle and I saw he’d been washing two deputy’s uniforms! He could have REALLY been a jerk if he wanted to, but instead he was super nice. However I think that’s the last time I’ll ever accept an offer to sleep in someone’s laundry room.
I would have been weirded out to find someone sleeping here too!
The next day I continued on my way down the Chief Ladiga trail. I stopped at the Jacksonville Train Depot, a halfway restored Depot from around 1868. I stopped at the Jacksonville Community Center where I was able to take a shower. I then set up my tent in the clearing that the power lines run through right behind the Community Center, where I figured I wouldn’t bother anyone.
But the next day, an airplane flew so low over my tent it must have nearly grazed the power lines. I suppose someone wanted to let me know they spotted my tent, in case I was causing some kind of trouble.
I continued down the trail. Later that day a man passed me who was also wearing a backpack and carrying camping gear. “Looks like you’re on a long walk too,” I commented to him. He eyed me suspiciously a bit before explaining that he was on his way to a trestle not too far ahead to camp on the shore of the stream. I had read about the bridge he was referring to – it was built by hand over a hundred and fifty years ago, and was supposed to be very picturesque. In fact I’d made notes to look for it. I told him I might join him. He said he’d be happy for some company, that his name was Scott, and continued on his way.