I went to the National Book Festival yesterday in Washington, D.C. It was being held at the convention center for the first time, which made it feel more like a conference and less like a festival, but I preferred it to the miserable sun and rain from previous years.
After the festival, I decided to go seek out a nearby Little Free Library. I saved one book aside to release there. I had hoped to have some BookCrosser company, but we all split up after the meetup, so I was on my own. I got Gillian, my GPS, out and punched in the address. She couldn’t find satellites, and I hadn’t printed out a map ahead of time. But I had glanced at a map. So I set off in the direction I thought it was in, trying to find Rhode Island Avenue. I ended up being on the wrong side of the convention center, but then I started up 9th Street. My GPS still couldn’t find satellites.
But what I did find was the Shaw Historic District Trail marker series! This was great for a lot of reasons. One, I had unexpected markers to snarf! Two, there were multiple markers on the way to my destination. And, three, the markers had little maps on one side, so I could figure out at each one if I was on track and how close I was to where I wanted to be. I didn’t have Eeyore with me, as I hadn’t intended to go snarfing, but that was all right. It looked like, ideally, I could follow the trail backwards to a spot near Rhode Island Avenue. There was a Metro station near there. But then I could keep going on the trail and end up back near the convention center, where I could easily take the Metro back home the way I’d come. So that was my general plan.
I checked my GPS as I got to Rhode Island Avenue in order to figure out what direction to go in, and she still couldn’t find satellites! I tried ever trick I knew, but nothing worked. I thought I could remember needing to turn left instead of right on the street, so I crossed my fingers and turned left, in search of 925 Rhode Island Ave. I admit to being a little nervous at a few points when passing some people. There are definitely some places I don’t feel comfortable snarfing alone. But the neighborhood was nice and I felt safe enough to keep going. It was also nice to pass a safe house… that was at least a double snarf!
It turns out I’d gone in the correct direction after all; what a relief! I found the Little Free Library inside a really adorable garden center-meets-community space. I would have been more excited, however, if it had been open! It was supposed to be open, according to the multiple signs, but the gate was locked and I couldn’t get to the Little Free Library. It turns out it was closed from August 16 through September 1. Phooey! I ended up putting my book in a ziplock bag (yes, I still brought a few of those, even though the festival was indoors; I’m so glad I overpacked this time! I wedged the book in the fence with a note saying it was for the Little Free Library.
Then I had a decision to make: continue on the trail or Metro home? My hip was KILLING me and my stomach was starting to hurt; I hadn’t had anything to drink all day and I’d only eaten a banana and a muffin all day, so I was feeling ill. I ended up limping to the Metro station and taking the train home.
If all goes well, my surgery in a few weeks will make this kind of trek much more pleasant. I can’t even imagine what it will be like to go snarfing without the pain. But, until then, I’m learning how to not push myself.