Not everything in my town works well, not everyone gets along, but there is one thing worth sharing.
For the last eight months or so I’ve been cleaning my parents house in preparation to sell it. Mom passed away in the spring and Dad is trying to make the best of assisted living. The house has been in the family since 1964 and became our full-time residence in 1971. That’s 55 years of Palmiotti stuff in and around the house.
At the north end of Chodikee Lake in Highland, NY there’s the remains of an old mill. Hidden amongst the gray sky and bare trees are the remains of somebody’s enterprise. People may have lived here, they certainly worked here. Dreams. Now there’s nothing left but a stone foundation and questions about it’s past.
A few years ago we started putting a Log Book into, what had been, an empty box on a portion of the Appalachian Trail near our home. The box is about an hour walk in from West Mombasha Rd. and a little less from the next road crossing near Fitzgerald Falls, Greenwood Lake. A nice hike either way.
The woods and trails near me can be crowded most weekends. A lot people like to hike, walk, hunt or otherwise wander through the woods and solitude in the forest can be difficult to find, unless, it’s a cold winter morning and three days before Christmas.
About a month ago I pulled a tee-shirt out of the pile of old tee shirts in the closet to go for a run. As I shook it out I read the words across the front, “Turkey Trot, 1998.” 1998? Twenty years? As I read the words across the shirt it dawned on me that my tee-shirts were older than most of my students.
The first snow of the season came early this year, November 15. It doesn’t take much to make the New York area gridlock but this was a nightmare for thousands.
My wife is a very talented witch. Water witch that is. Using only a couple of metal hangers she can find water buried deep in the earth. “Drill right here.” She said.
It’s 90 degrees in the valley but there’s still snow in the crevices of the Swan Mountains. Strawberry Lake in the Jewel Basin hiking area is a quintessential alpine lake. Hidden in a crevice between the peaks, the water is cold and clear. If you stand and watch you can see the trout surfacing for flies on the surface. There’s one. Wait a minute, one over there also. No, I didn’t have my rod with me.
Day one of the American cross-country odyssey, here are a few initial observations:
1- Pennsylvania is longer than I thought going from east to west.
2- Rather than go around the many mountains in western PA they tunneled through a few of them. It reminded me of roads in Italy. Very cool.
3- I’m doing this trip at about 70 miles an hour on roads build just for me by my tax dollars. How did the pioneers ever get over those mountains?
4- You can break America into thirds going east to west. The first third is, or was, forest. The second third prairie and desert. The final third, almost to the coast, are snow covered mountains. The pioneers were much tougher than me.