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 sixth 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.

April 23, 2015

HIGH WATER - ANOTHER APRIL

... with the spring runoff from all the melting snow and ice, here's this year's high water on the kennebec river ...

... and, here's another april, another high water on the river ...

... i remember  that we'd just gotten the kids into the building when the p.a. announced, "we're returning the students to their homerooms to await the buses" ... from that moment in the morning until the early evening the waters of the kennebec rose over twenty-eight feet ... this was down along the banks of the river in fairfield ...

... the parking lot behind main street in fairfield went under early in the afternoon ...

... a crowd gathered to see what was going to happen to the bridge to benton ...

... everyone wondered if the structure would survive ...

... as the debris accumulated against the steel beams there was great concern that it would act to dam up the flow of the river, thus increasing greatly the already tremendous stress to which the bridge was being subjected ...

... later, with alarm almost to the level of panic, the police and firefighters evacuated everyone from the center of town ... it turned out that a huge house-sized propane storage tank had been washed into the river upstream of the town, and it was thought that if it hung up on the bridge and ruptured the explosion would cause catastrophic damage to the entire downtown ...

... while the flood water splashed up through the bridge's deck grating, off to the side several engineers were measuring the deflection of the structure with a strain gauge ... when i asked what they were doing, one replied, "see how that needle is pulsing into the red ... if it stays still for even a second we'll have to condemn the bridge" ...

... things got worse along the banks of the river ... to be honest, i'm almost glad i didn't get any pictures of what happened to the trailer park ...

... the flood waters reached up to the railroad trestle bridge in fairfield ...

... in the afternoon the water began to crest at the ticonic falls in waterville ...

... out on the bridge abutment through my shoes i could feel the power of the river as it vibrated the concrete and stone supports ...

... the water rose rapidly, i'm pretty sure this couple crossed back using the memorial bridge ...

... a great mist enveloped the river valley ...

... on my last walk out onto the two-cent bridge i found it difficult to keep my balance ...

... great creaking and groaning sounds emanated from the structure ...

... looking across to the the old scott paper mill, i was reminded of a long night spent crossing the north sea in a winter gale ...

... the support for the toll-taker's shack went under ...

... finally, as darkness descended the waters began to lap against the underside of the two-cent bridge's wood plank walkway ...

... at the mercy of the deluge, it looked as if the old bridge had met its end ...

... but, it survived, and, once again, spring is here ...

... finally, spring is here ...