Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Word: Two Rivers Park Update From The Judge

In response to a recent e-mail, Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines has provided some clarification on what prompted nighttime closure at Two Rivers Park. I had erroneously speculated that it was out of concern that n'er-do-wells would be hanging out and misbehaving in the park at night, but the real reason is actually sadly comical. It seems that folks were heading out on the River Trail through the park at dusk only to find that after dusk, it gets dark!! I guess that I was probably a couple of years old before I grasped that concept, but there are some slower learners among us.
After darkness set in, the strollers would then either declare themselves lost or simply afraid of critters and ghosts and call 911 for rescue. Sheriff's deputies would then be dispatched to go get the clueless souls. My friend Joe Jacobs of  Arkansas Outside imagined that the call would go something like this:

911:  How can we help you?
Lost soul: I'm lost in Two Rivers Park.
911: Where in Two Rivers Park
LS: on the River Trail
911: You know you're on the River Trail and in Two Rivers Park and you're lost?
LS: It's dark and I'm scared.
911: How old are you?
LS: 35
911: You're 35 years old and you're scared of the dark so you called 911? Is this a joke?

OK, not only did I steal Joe's material, but I paraphrased it because I deleted the e-mail.

What you see at Two Rivers Park on a moonless night (insert glowing eyes and the sound of rustling leaves.)

What you don't see. There are things to fear, as these bad boys are mostly nocturnal.

I've actually wondered about the wisdom of folks that I've seen out on the trail late in the evening, but I just assumed that they had a plan. Apparently, I give people way too much credit. I think there are many city dwellers who are so far removed from the environment that they cannot imagine a place with no illumination.

The current situation is that the Judge has asked me to pass the word that he is trying to come up with a workable policy to keep the clueless from wasting the resources of the sheriff's department while allowing responsible cyclists with lights access to the park at all hours. And if you run across some impatient deputies, just be nice. It's probably not you that they're looking for.

1 comment:

Mooney said...

mine and my wifes first visit to the river trail envolved me with sneakers and no helment on a upright bike and Bethany was on roller blades with no helment and it got dark on us (we were stupid)