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Friday, November 21, 2014

Walking The Walk....

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As Main Street trudges further towards being the iconic corridor it one day will be for Carmel, little things about it have struck me lately. I was one of the few who didn't realize that Carmel Drive will no longer be directly accessible from US 31 and the real access will be Main Street just north of Meijer. When the work is done on Main east of 31 to Old Meridian it will be a quick trip for west siders into the Arts and Design District.The demolition of the old wood walking bridges on Main (and Smokey Row) are also having a profound visual impact on that part of our city. Aside from it just looking different, it's struck me what a change that will be and the things I remember about that wood foot bridge. Seven years ago where the orange barrel sits I was on an early Saturday run coming down the hill and towards the camera in this picture when a huge impact happened just ahead of me. A driver who was on his way home from work drifted off the north side of the road and hit the two end posts of the path with one of the horizontal 2 by 6's piercing the passenger side of the front seat. The uninjured driver crawled out of the car and immediately was picked up by another vehicle and taken to St. Vincent's with minor injuries. The bridge took over a month to repair and I could never really believe that it wasn't a more serious injury for the driver. On another occasion I was walking my two dogs up the hill and about the time I was over Cool Creek I realized I was staring directly at a young male deer who was in front of me on the bridge. He turned, took about three paces and was up and over the railing and down into the woods in seconds. Countless other memories of families with strollers, kids riding their bikes to or from the high school or towards Hawthorne Drive and up to Smokey Row pool or just me trying to navigate those slippery planks on a rainy or snowy morning remain as well. Is it a bit silly to romanticize an old wooded foot bridge?  Of course...but for some of us in east Carmel it's a metaphor for years of our lives and experiences that we've had here and how our community continues to evolve. No doubt thousands of us will have new memories on these paths once they are finished and perhaps the new walkway will be a bit more forgiving on my knees than those old wooden planks that tested my balance and my fitness since moving into this part of Carmel in the mid 1980's. 
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