A scary thing happened on my walk today. I've never been one to be nervous when I go for my walks. I always go during daylight hours and the route I take, while it's somewhat rural - is still scattered with enough houses that one is never out of sight. I don't have the luxury of a walking partner *sigh* so I have to trek it alone.
Today as I reached the corner of my street I decided on a whim to take a left instead of my usual right. There is a hill to the left and I figured my backside could use the extra push today. Now I used to walk this route all the time so this wasn't something new. It's just that it'd been years since I went this way so I figured what the heck.
On this particular stretch of mile long road there are only 5 houses and 4 are at the corner where I started out. The rest of the road is surrounded on either side by dense woods. So there I am, strolling along and enjoying the warm sunshine on my shoulders when this white van drives by. I see the guy check me out in his side view mirror. He goes about 100 yards, slows down and pulls off the side of the road. I'm thinking "this is strange.....no houses...no reason to stop along the woods...." As I get closer panic sets in. I will have to walk right along side the van to get around it. I imagine him whipping the side door open and yanking me in. No one there to see it. No one to hear me scream. Now I'm really scared but like an idiot my feet keep moving forward. Then remember that I have me cell phone. I bring it when I walk. I call my daughter and explain the situation. Perhaps if the weirdo sees me on the phone he'll drive off. Nope. He stays put. My sensible daughter says "Mom! Turn around and go back!!!" Yeah...why didn't I think of that? So I do an about face and stay on the phone with her till I reach the crest of the hill and meet up with houses again. The van never moves. (I keep glancing over my shoulder.)
Needless to say the walk was cut short today. And I will never, ever walk that route again. Sometimes I can be so naive. But really! When I was a kid we walked everywhere! Heck, I walked through the woods to get some places. We hitch-hiked too. Times were gentler then. Nobody worried about abductions. Sometimes I still think that if I believe it enough it'll still be like that.
Who knows what the intentions were of the creepy guy in the white van. Maybe he was making a phone call. Maybe he stopped to read a map. All I know is that I'd rather err on the side of caution than be his next victim!
Anyway - point of this whole story is ~ be careful when you walk! I know there are a lot of you walking out there for exercise and I'm not saying to stop. Heavens no! Keep on trucking! But bring a partner or at least a cell phone. And be wary of deserted ways.