I'm no longer the walker that once I was, so I declined the invitation to walk in the Maple Leaf Parade in Carthage, MO, today. Instead, I offered to take pictures.
And probably walked an equal distance just getting into position to take pictures of the group, a total of five walkers.
First thing was finding the group's position in the parade line-up. I parked a few blocks east of the courthouse square, and finally found them on the west side of the courthouse square. Shivering in their jackets, their red tee-shirts hidden from view. Told them I would see them somewhere along the parade route.
Not surprised that I wasn't able to park within two blocks of the route. Had to walk uphill, consoled myself that it would be down hill coming back to the car. I had calculated that I wanted to be on the east side of the street, with the sun at my back. Didn't like the back ground at that intersection, so I moved a block to the north. I had been told that the crowd would be very evenly dispersed along most of the route, found that to be true. Stopped across from two lovely, stately old homes.
I knew their number, and tried to keep track, but very few parade units had their number in a visible spot. An older gentleman booted me out of my first chosen spot. I moved a few feet away to stake out another place. Sat down on the curb, partly to give my leg a rest and partly to make it more difficult to ask me to move.
The third parade unit was a mounted troup, followed by a vehicle with a small trailer accompanied by two walkers equipped with shovels and scoops. Yep, the horses did what horses do. Amusing, however, that the pooper-scooper vehicle was none other than the candidate for re-election as sheriff, who is currently involved in a very smelly argument, with accusations being tossed about every week.
My group finally arrived -- number 78. Took a few shots from the curb, stumbled to my feet, tried to follow them, but they were moving too fast. So I trudged back to my car and wondered if I could manage to intercept them again near the finish.
Parked this time within one block of the marching route, within two blocks of the finish. This time I remained on my feet. The parade having made a ninety-degree turn, I was now on the south of the street, the sun still nicely behind my back. Got better pictures this time.
Walked with the group another block or so (uphill). At the finish line I declared I must have completed the walk with them, because here I was at the end. Had a few problems with the camera, but the experience was good, and I seriously considered buying myself a camera later in the day.