Turns out, a man’s home is not a water park

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 20, 2015

To the man I followed all the way home last Sunday, I am sorry. I am not a creep. I swear.
Last Sunday, in an attempt to carpe diem, I figured I’d go explore the county. I’d heard about a river park north of town, off Highway 43 and in a spirit of adventure I set forth, determined to find the Walkiah Bluff Water Park.
I assumed, based on the park’s Facebook presence, that I’d find a relaxing sandy patch next to a lazy river.
Instead, I was lucky to find a sign.
If you’re going north on Highway 43, as I was, you notice the Walkiah Bluffs sign in your rearview mirror as there is no sign facing northbound traffic.
No matter. I turned around and then noticed the sign, which is on the highway, merely notes a turnoff to the park, but immediately past the sign, the road forks in two. There is no further instruction.
I must have picked the wrong fork, because 10 or 20 minutes later I found myself back in Picayune. It was a great drive. I found an old cemetery (I am a sucker for such things), idyllic homes and beautiful oaks heavy with moss, but no sand. No water. No park.
I went back up Highway 43, presuming the second road would (must) be the correct fork. As luck would have it (and my day had been nothing if not lucky so far) a red pickup truck pulled in front of me and I assumed it was bound for the water park.
If you see where this story is going, you’re better off than I was. I followed the truck down through narrow roads leading between fish camps. The camps were of two distinct varieties, either, on the one hand, beautiful architectural testaments to landscape and heritage or, on the other hand, rusty trailer homes erected high on stilts.
Mile after mile we went, under spreading oak branches and smaller and smaller roads. Soon, I thought, there will be a water park.
Except there wasn’t. Except the road ended.
And there, at the end of the road was a pleasant home and there was the red truck, pulling into its driveway.
And there I was, in reverse, leaving as quickly as possible.

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