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 fifth 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.

April 3, 2016

WANDERING HOME


... we stopped in philadelphia to visit historic sites, our first stop was one of the most recognizable icons of american culture ... many, many years ago, when i was on my college's rowing team, i ran up the museum stairs ... this day adrien and i were content to watch others make the ascent ...

... i don't know what joan of arc has to do with philadelphia, but reflecting the brilliant afternoon sun her stature was most fascinating ...

... i first saw the liberty bell decades ago ... "when do they ring it, pa" ... "it can't be rung, it's cracked" ... i remember being confused that grownups were so excited about what to me was big ol' broken bell ... adrien and i skipped the 45 minute-long line and walked around so that we had all to ourselves this nice view of the shrine to america's independence ...

... to think that most likely franklin, adams, and jefferson each at one time or another stood in this exact spot and casually glanced up to check the time—surreal ...

... driving out of the motel parking lot in harrisburg the next morning we both glanced to the susquehanna river and i immediately pulled the car back into the lot ...


... the ninety year-old philadelphia & reading railroad bridge—i'm already planning a sunrise photography wanderabout to this spot ...

... barnard's "love and labor: the unbroken law" and "the burden of life: the broken law" flank the steps to the front entrance ... beautiful sculptures, absolutely, but in that their composition is a lot of very naked people cavorting and embracing, we were rather surprised (and pleased) that they've managed to survive the wrath of the contemporary proprietary police ...

... this year may've been so-so for cherry blossoms, but these flowering magnolia trees (?) were glorious ...

... as we drove along the expressway adrien remarked, "dad—the statue of liberty" ... i pulled off at the next exit, but by that time she'd done her thing with her iphone and said, "there's no access to it" ... that was a challenge, of course ... after negotiating a driveway and ignoring some obnoxious "no ----------" placards, and risking attack by some giant vulture-like birds, we got as close as we could get to gene stlip's recreation of his replica of "the statue of liberty" ...

... wandering back lanes, and negotiating a 20-mile detour brought about by a fatal truck accident, we found our way to what was once the tallest iron railroad bridge in the world, the "kinzu trestle" ... quite obviously the soon-to-be-completed park at the end of the structure will be labeled, "the ruins of the kinzu bridge state park" ...

... i first visited here in 2004, the year after an f1 tornado took a sudden j-turn and lifted the center of the bridge from its foundations ... from the remaining deck to the valley floor is over 300 feet ...

... the remains of the bridge add drama and majesty to what this time of year should be a dreary landscape ...

... a replacement bridge was projected to cost $45,000,000, unaffordable to the railroad company, which went bankrupt ... removing the twisted remains would also have been quite expensive ... some brilliant person must have stood up and said, "hey, this bridge was a tourist attraction before it fell, why does that have to change" ... so this spring the "crashed-into-the-valley-remains-of-what-used-to-be-the-kinzu-bridge" visitor center will open ... current estimates are that in its first year it will bring into the county revenue three times its construction and operating cost ...

"build it and they will come, ray, build it and they will come"
JAMES EARL JONES-FIELD OF DREAMS

... adrien spotted some dirt roads on the map of the grand canyon of pennsylvania, so off we went ... 2,000 feet up we came across a most fascinating rock garden ...

... "forget the x-men, watch this" ...

... having been to the grand canyon, as we drove the pennsylvania's offering we debated the meaning of the word "canyon" ... nomenclature aside, this is a beautiful place ...

... one of the focus points adrien had marked for our little wanderabout ... (you need to be a fan of "the office" to understand) ...

... after a bit of searching we found the memorial to carol ann drazba, the first american woman killed in combat in the vietnam war ... i wondered about the man sleeping for a moment, but was then proud of myself for making no assumptions ... i did remember the afternoon i stood in front of the viet nam memorial in washington and gazed upon the six names that had been added to the wall—six soldiers for whom the ultimate sacrifice had been ignored by their country simply because they were female ...

... scranton, saturday afternoon, quiet ...

... possibly a coincidence, adrien and i both admit, but we decided it was okay to think gordy cooked up this scrumptious chicken just to celebrate our homecoming ...