Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its seventh year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

January 13, 2014

QUIET IN NEW PORTLAND

... the shoulder of the highway completely iced over, i had to leave my car in the driving lane with the flashers on while i took a little walk into the north new portland cemetery ...
... each time my boots broke through the surface several little chunks of ice would roll downhill, chorusing crystalline merriment all the way to the edge of the cemetery ...
... when the icy surface gave way beneath me a great exploding fracturing noise would echo across the graveyard ... nobody complained ...
... this made me smile ...
... this made me wonder ...

... myself, i've no desire ever to end up being buried, but on days like this i understand cemeteries ...

SUNRISE ON THE CARRABASSETT

... i was supposed to join john on his astronomy outing to vinalhaven island today, so i awoke at four o'clock in the morning, showered, shaved, dressed up in the blue jeans without holes, and started to prepare two thermoses of hot coffee ... at that point john called, "i'm wicked sick, we're going to have to do this another day" ... i reassured him all was okay with me, cautioned that he get plenty of rest, then switched off the phone ... pleasant thoughts of jumping back into my warm bed were suddenly interrupted by the realization that at least one giant mug full of coffee hadn't made it into the stainless steel bottles ... sooooooo ...

... so, i decided to go for a little wanderabout ... a couple of hours later found me enjoying the sunrise from the deck of the wire bridge in north new portland ...
... the roads in the area were ruts of iron-hard ice and packed snow, and the entire landscape around the bridge was encased in an inch-thick laminate of hard ice on top of thawed and then refrozen snow ...
... i'd walk several steps, just enough that i would begin to relax, then one of my feet would break through the hard surface and i would fall over like a drunken cow on the side of a hill ... sometimes the ice would close in on my leg like a chinese finger trap and it would be a great effort to get myself level again ...
... knowing what would be waiting for me, i struggled several hundred yards to the place where the river makes a slight bend to the north ...
... returning to the deck of the bridge, i was mesmerized by the music the river played with the ice edging its banks ...
... walking on the ice covered bridge was almost impossible, and driving its span was a most entertaining experience ...
... i hope john is feeling better ...



50CC RE-BOOKS

... having to hang around too much with roger and myself, robert finally gave in to peer pressure and bought his own two-wheelin' machine ...
... okay, so it doesn't have quite the power of my bmw, and i suppose it's fair to say he's not going to be using it to tag along with roger on an iron butt ride across america ... it gets a zillion miles per gallon, however, makes a pleasant almost purring putt-putt sound, has a huge trunk under the seat, and, most important, if it falls over it can be one-armed back upright ...
 ... temperature rose above thirty this morning, so robert decided it was a good time to bring it home from the dealership in oakland ... 
... chunks of ice all over the roads, construction, potholes, shoulders of the highways unusable, slippery wet asphalt ... personally, i consider his first ride a bit of an adventure, so i made an add for robert ...



THE ALCAN

... headed back to the "lower 48" in 1962 ... then the alcan highway was approximately 1,400 miles from tok junction to dawson creek, much of it still the original emergency construction cut through the yukon wilderness during the early stages of world war 2 ... when we made our trip eleven hundred miles of the alcan was an unpaved road, suitable mostly only for trucks with huge tires, so primitive that in the muddy spring conditions when we crossed into canada pa was advised to "wait a few weeks until there's less chance your car will be swallowed up" ... the section you see above was one of the better road surfaces ... car camping all the way, the ten days we spent negotiating the twists and turns, washed out sections, actual river crossings and treacherous mountain passes, all the while fending off huge furry hungry wild creatures and fighting mosquitos big enough that audubon should've included them in his book of birds, remains one of my life's greatest adventures ...

DAD & SON

... from when he was a very small child mike squinted his face while being photographed, so, with his eyes closed for the flash, this is about as relaxed as i've ever seen him in a picture ... (those of you who know him well will notice the characteristic hand position) ... i don't recall pa as being one for posing, so i've always wondered what thought caused him to suddenly reflect away into another world ... notice the "book of science" set ... on the same wooden shelf were the volumes of the "book of knowledge" and the "grolier encyclopedia" ... almost forty years before the web, and over half century prior to wikipedia and readily at hand ipads and smart phones, when a question was asked in our house it wasn't uncommon for one of us to bump heads with another as we raced to these books for answers ...

SISTERS

... it didn't take me long to begin thinking that perhaps g*d had made up a soul so absolutely special that it wouldn't quite fit into a single person, so, with a great cosmic smile, earth was blessed with these sisters ...