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Test Riding to School: Take 3

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A Simple Six: Test Riding to School: Take 3

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Test Riding to School: Take 3

London after the rain.
Tonight was open house at Our Lady of Fatima Parish School. Two of our children will enjoy their first day tomorrow and Avery will begin next Monday. London and I decided to walk to the school this evening to see how long it would take. We were prepared for more rain, as afternoon showers had just passed, but not the intense heat and sunshine we encountered when we walked out. We were drenched in sweat when we arrived.

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We walked the same route we would have driven and it took about 40 minutes (it takes me 7 minute in a car). It was an average pace and we stopped for brief breaks to cool in the shade and give our feet a rest. I was hauling all of London's supplies in a gym style bag that was digging into my shoulder. London was complaining that her shoes didn't have thick enough soles. We sounded like a grumpy couple, but we had a really great time looking for cicadas and discussing possible future careers. Most of the insects we found were dead, but we heard them shrilling and drumming on at all the large oaks we passed.

A family favorite house on Washington Blvd, most of the area has deemed the "mushroom house."

Enormous cicadas.

Besides taking awhile to get there, the walk itself feels less threatening than biking. We still had to walk on the street most of the way, but we walked against traffic and therefore didn't have to cross onto the street in some of the more dangerous intersections. The turn onto Norway is still blind, but if you are extra careful and make clear eye contact with the cars, you can get across. Coming back is trickier. No one sees you coming from behind those bushes, so we stay on the grass until we are far enough down the road to jaywalk safely across.

Approaching Norway from Woodland. There are no cross walk signs or lights. We walk from the shadow of that large tree on the left to the corner on the right behind the pole and shrub.

Closer view of the blind curve. When coming home we have to stay on that narrow patch of grass and work around the corner slowly as cars don't expect anyone.

Looking back to the curve as if we were going home.

Open house was wonderful. It feels great to be going back. My personal favorite change for this year is the recycling program. One of the teacher's sons is heading up a paper and cardboard recycling program sponsored by Goodwill for a boy scout project. Every classroom had a bin and the hallways had large containers. It's going to be another great year.

London in her new classroom. Grade 4.

We have tried two routes for biking and one for walking, although all three routes could be traversed by either foot or pedal. Here is it the night before the first day of school and the children have concluded they want to take the city bus tomorrow. I looked up the route and schedule and estimated our walk to board the bus from a safer intersection a bit further away. We are setting the alarms for 6:30AM and have moderate expectations that we will not be late for school tomorrow. I will let you all know how it goes.

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