Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Wichita Bluff Nature Area Padlocked Social Distancing After Library Checkout Success

This morning I social distanced unmasked for about an hour on the Circle Trail.

I parked in the Circle Trail parking lot located off Loop 11, slightly north of Loop 11's intersection with the Seymour Highway.

From that parking lot's location it is about a half mile on the Circle Trail before the trail enters the Wichita Bluff Nature Area.

I walked as far as the overlook you see here. This overlook, with its two rocking benches looks over the Wichita River from this high point of the Wichita Bluffs.

Late last year I blogged about finding padlocks locked to a railing on a side trail off the Circle Trail in the Wichita Bluff Nature Area. Multiple people told me that this was a French thing, with a bridge across the Seine River in Paris hosting thousands of padlocks.

Then late last month I found this padlock phenomenon had spread to Lucy Park when I found padlocks locked to the Lucy Park suspension bridge over the Wichita River. I blogged about this discovery in Wichita Falls Lucy Park Suspension Bridge Coronavirus Lock Down.

And now today I found padlocks locked to the railing you see above.

At about the center point between the two benches there are now three padlocks locked to the railing.

Due to the evidence written on the padlocks we can reasonably guess these were installed two days ago, on Mother's Day, as you can see, via the closeup look at one of the padlocks.

So, that has been my exciting day, so far, this second Tuesday of the 2020 version of May. I am beginning to tire of social distancing.

But, I have developed some level of fondness for being a masked man whilst in a location requiring such, like Walmart, or like I experienced yesterday when I finally was able to get some new books from the Wichita Falls Public Library.

The new book checkout method is efficient, but a bit bizarre, like one is finding oneself in a stark dystopian future.

To checkout a book now you log into your library account, put the books you want on hold, the hold is then pending til the notice changes to ready for pickup.

You then drive to the library, park in the now almost empty parking lot, then enter the library via a designated entry marked with arrows and fencing separating the entry from the exit.

You pass through the first door, and then once you go through the next door, which actually enters the library space, you are greeted by a greeter on a stool to whom you inform you are here to pickup books. The greeter on the stool tells you to follow the green arrows.

A secondary greeter helps you follow the green arrows when you become confused. Soon you are at a window where you tell the librarian your name. Within a few seconds the librarian returns with the books. You then self checkout the books by the nearby self checkout terminal.

I forgot to mention, as soon as you enter and begin following the green arrows you see that the vast majority of the library interior has been blocked off by tall fencing on which some sort of cloth material, like canvas, has been hung. This creates an odd looking space, with the oddity amplified by the fact everyone in this space was masked.

I guess being able to checkout books is a small step back to some sort of normal.

A small step, with a long ways to go.

Normally that library parking lot is almost full in the morning, with a lot of people in the library, and a lot of people on the floor above the library, which is a huge 55 and over activity center, where all sorts of activities take place, like yoga, pickle ball, dancing, movies.

I have never been to this activity center above the library, but it sounds like loads of fun and I look forward to finally looking old enough to be active there...

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