A Milestone

Day 121 – 719 Miles
Two points worth mentioning:
1) I reached a significant waypoint by completing the circumnavigation of the village -and- the walk of every street south of Hill Avenue. This last trek included a 7.2 mile stretch down I-75. I’ll just say, I don’t recommend it. It was like spending a couple of hours in a hot bar with a bad band playing way too loud. It’s deafening and the walking a’int easy. (Not to mention the everpresent ill-ease at the prospect of being arrested). The hope of encountering a satchel of tossed loot, a chupacabra, or Jimmy Hoffa propelled me but, of course, I didn’t see any of that (I suspect that devil dog made off with the bag of bones & bucks long ago). However, this waypoint jogged recall of my outset estimation that Valdosta would take about 12 months to complete (and 18 months for all 14 towns). Completing 300 Valdosta miles (to date) in 31 days would suggest that I over-estimated the size of this thing, as men are wont to do. Rather than attributing the possible mis-calculation to an inadequacy complex, its more likely fallout from another principle in psychology known as The Dunning-Krueger Effect. This construct holds that lack of knowledge about a certain thing causes over-estimations about its scope and ones competence to conquer. Having never done a similar quest provides that lack of knowledge, so thats my theory and I’m sticking to it. That said, the density of streets north of Hill Avenue is much greater, so I feel reasonably safe out on the estimation limb to predict the northern city mileage will be higher than the southern. You may recall in an earlier post (03/20/23) using high science to derive a multiplier to estimate Valdosta’s street mileage, I came up with a 783 mile guesstimate. I’m already at 300 so there ya go; there’s that Dunning-Krueger thing again.

2) I also want to comment about something that I’ll likely expand further on at a point later in the timeline when the risk of having to dine on crow is diminished. I’m talking about the decreased safety and inverse risk I’m exposed to…in certain neighborhoods. I don’t want to yank the tail of the jinx by bringing the subject up, but comments on my walk universally veer into this subject lane. I have to display perfect pitch with the tone of this comment for one simple fact: People live in those neighborhoods who are neither criminal, malevolent, or menacing in any way. In fact the vast vast majority don’t fit into those categories and painting with that broad stereotyping brush is unfair and provocative. The only street I walked (by) that I’ll mention by name, -only- because it no longer exists. I’m talk’in simple history here. Anyone who’s been in Valdosta for more than 40 years will remember the infamous Miller Lane. The only reason I recall the name is because it appeared in The Valdosta Daily Times police blotter about once a week. It contained a row of shotgun houses that sheltered a warren of folk who were on a first name basis with the PoPo. Let’s just say, they’d met. Eventually, our city government was forced to recognize that the area was a public hazard. The houses were condemned & razed, and the street obliterated. I’m no Polly Anna and realize the descendants of that stripe certainly still exist and undoubtedly, at this point, I’ve walked among’em. Fortunately their numbers make up a skinny end of the Bell Curve (the one on the left) and they’ve paid me no mind. Starting tomorrow, there are three additional neighborhoods I’ll set out to pass through that do make me want to arm up with an additional rabbits foot. Like Miller Lane, I only know of them by reading the news paper. Incidentally, I felt compelled to verify my hunches about such neighborhoods by getting a statistical map from the VPD that reflects the locations of assaults, robberies, rapes, murders, etc. within the last six month interval. The unsettling thing was that there are so many, half the map disappeared in a mass of colored pinpoint locators. (Do rabbits feet come in magnum sizes?). There’s plenty more to say on this subject, so if I come out the other side with my hide intact, I’ll offer my take on wether we dwell in Brigadune, or in Gotham.
I’m going for a walk. Anyone want to come?