Wednesday, June 06, 2007

R.I.P., Kelsey

I didn't post at all yesterday, or this morning. Not that many of you care or notice, but I feel like I missed three posts that I should have made.

Kelsey Smith officially became a nation-wide name this morning on Good Morning America. Unfortunately, we couldn't save her. Her body was found this afternoon in a shallow creek, about 15 miles from the location where she was last seen.

Yesterday, I put about 4 or 5 hours into volunteering with the search and rescue teams. We blanketed one of the more "dangerous" apartment complexes. "Dangerous" is how it was described to me. Low-income apartments with internal entrances - four or six per main entry way. Frequent visits by police officers aren't uncommon, and it's kind of blighted. We took two teams of four searchers each and converged on each entryway, looking for signs of struggle (blood, fingernail scratches, broken windows), articles of the victim's clothes, or anything else suspicious. We checked hallways, vehicles, dumpsters, shrubbery, patios, and commons areas. As we blanketed the apartment complex we handed out flyers to those who answered to our knocking, and placed them in every resident's door that didn't respond. There were a few coincidences, but ultimately we were searching the wrong area.

I had my mountain bike out there in case they wanted help covering large areas of tall grass or rough terrain, and I had all my lighting gear including my helmet-mount in case they needed someone to help provide coverage of storm drains, dark wooded areas, or anywhere else. I ended up not needing to use it, providing some force for the two teams mentioned above. Most of the volunteers were Kelsey's classmates, still in high school or recent graduates. I felt it was more important to go with the first departing group of mostly younger volunteers, rather than wait several hours for a more strategic plan to come along.

As I locked my bike up, I got a camera stuck in my face by one of the local crews. They inquired about the bike, about why I was volunteering, and that was about all I gave them the time to ask. I have no interest in being on television, and 5 minutes spent talking to a camera seemed like 5 minuted wasted. Of course, as our group departed on foot to the apartments 3/4 a mile away, we ended up stopping inside Target so some of them could get Starbucks. And I thought talking to a camera was a waste.

All the details I have on Kelsey's case are out in the open right now, so I'll spare you the graphic and/or verbose description of what happened. I'm pretty sure that by the time Kelsey's family found her car at Macy's, she was already dead. It's also sad that thousands of cases similar to this happen yearly, and that so few catch this kind of media attention.

So, I still have quite a bit of a story to tell. Yesterday, I did some consulting work, and left my laptop and some other stuff on the site. I trust the people who I left the laptop with, that wasn't a problem. However, I didn't have any way to post here. I already have ALL of my personal computers packed up except for my firewall/server and my MacBook. The firewall doesn't have a keyboard or monitor attached, and my MacBook was, well, somewhere else. My only connectivity the past few days has been with my HP Jornada 680e Palmtop computer. It does e-mail, AIM, and light-duty web surfing just fine. It does NOT like blogger, though, and I haven't set up any mobile publishing options for KC-Bike, so that's what's up with my radio silence.

Add to that the fact that today was my first day back to work and I didn't have my access card, bus pass, or cubicle keys either (also in the laptop bag). I bogarted my way past the bus drivers -- they all know me. I had to pick my locks at work to gain access to my coffee and paperwork.

To pick up my laptop, I started at JCCC after getting supper with my wife. I took Indian Creek Trail further south than I've ever taken it before, fighting some 20-40 MPH headwinds and all the airborne dirt, sand, leaves, branches, soda cans, and 3-year-olds that come with it. I found the little turn-around that is the supposed "terminus" of Indian Creek Trail. But, guess what? There's a dirt path that sprouts off and darts into the thick brush in the area. Sure, I'm on my road bike with panniers, but I can't resist a tempting trail like this. Besides, I'd have to backtrack half a mile to find a REAL road to keep going south on to recover my laptop. I went for it. What I found was a hilly, slightly muddy singletrack trail with a lot of BMX kids stunting on it. I didn't take my Trek off any sweet jumps, but it handled the mild dirt path just fine. Climbing raw dirt hills with 25mm Bontrager Selects with my bike fully loaded was a bit of a chore, but it paid off! I found myself in someone's back yard just 2 blocks away from the main roadway I needed to be on.

Needless to say, I took the main roads back out of Olathe and into Overland Park. I'm hanging out at the Dose until my wife's shift ends. The horrible northbound wind was a welcome boon to my average speed coming back. I was pushing 25-35 MPH for quite a while without even pushing it too hard.

Anyhow, you're all caught up. The life and times of Noah.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad you were able to help.

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