One of the ladies in the self-portrait Flickr group I’m in had a birthday last week and also (not coincidentally) had volunteered to pick the theme for the week, so she asked that those of us who were up for it make a happy birthday sign for her and take it where we would take her if she came to visit (and then take a picture of ourselves with the sign). My first thought? She needed to see the world’s largest tire. My visitors’ usual view of this is from I-94, but stopping next to the freeway and getting out of the car to take pictures a few feet from 70+ mph traffic is not the best idea, so I planned to get at it from the other side, something I’d meant to do for years but had never gotten around to. The internet helpfully told me where to locate the parking lot from which I could follow a dirt road to the tire. I found the lot, but I also found that access to the dirt road was blocked by an active construction site—”All vistors must report to office” the sign on the gate said. Hmm. Trees blocked the view of the giant tire from the parking lot, so I couldn’t just shoot from where I was, and I didn’t want to try talking my way past the construction guys.
I was about to leave and go find another interesting landmark when I decided to take one more look at the far side of the area that was fenced off for the construction. From there, I could see the dirt road, with only a stretch of grass and weeds and flowers between me and it—no fence. Wishing I’d worn walking shoes instead of flip flops, I got out of the car and headed for the dirt road. The ground sloped down from the parking lot, which I was happy about because that meant I was less visible to the construction workers—happy until I realized that it was sloping down into a small pond, into which the end of the fence I had intended to walk around was jutting. If I’d had different sandals on, I might have just walked through that bit of pond, but didn’t want to ruin the cork and leather ones I was wearing and didn’t want to complete my journey barefoot, so I walked back the way I’d come, then around the other end of the pond. There were some beautiful flowers on the way so I stopped to take some photos of them on my way to the dirt road. Once I made it, I was in full view of the construction site and half expected someone to come rushing toward me and threaten to have me arrested for trespassing, but no one seemed to notice me. I was disappointed to find a locked gate just a little ways up the dirt road, preventing me from getting as close to the tire as I’d hoped. But it was hot and I wasn’t sensibly shod, so I didn’t try finding another way around or through and just shot photos from where I was. Maybe I’ll come back another time to see what I can see then. Even though I didn’t get the picture I had planned, I did get to see a part of my local area I hadn’t been to before, so I was still happy, especially since I made it back to my car without getting intercepted by construction workers.
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