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.

June 12, 2015

ADRIEN TAKES ME FOR A WANDERABOUT

... i wandered back roads from mike and beth's house in rhode island all the way to  sara and gordy's in freedom, new hampshire ... 189 miles, one-mile less than the high-speed interstate route, but instead of three-hours and a few minutes it took me almost seven hours ... much of that time, i admit, was me making wrong turns then correcting my mistakes without bothering to look at the map ... i also stopped several times to explore small town village greens ...

... adrien had a bit of a wanderabout plan, so we headed west, then up through franconian notch until we arrived at cannon mountain, where we took the tramway to the ski lodge near the summit ...

... being brave, bold, and figuring that after getting a lift to 4,000 feet if only for bragging rights we might as well climb the rest of the way to the summit, we headed out along the trail to the top of the mountain ... along the way i stopped to help this nice lady lift her baby stroller over some of the rocks on the trail ... as we spoke i noticed that her father was most intently surveying the landscape through his binoculars ... i asked her if he knew anything about how the rugged terrain had been formed ... she informed that he didn't, so i proceeded to give him a "glaciated landscape 101" talk ... he didn't speak english, so antonia had to translate both what i was saying and the questions he fired back at me ... he seemed most fascinated with the concept of "a sheet of ice 5,000 feet thick grinding down the mountains and gouging out the steep walled valleys" ... me, always a teacher ...

... snow only a few weeks gone, making up for a very short growing season the alpine ecosystem was vigorously bursting forth ...

... we left the trail and, with much daring, perched ourselves along the edge of a great drop off ...

... i was a bit less nervous than adrien ...

... after descending the mountain we drove past the "where the old man of the mountain used to be before he fell off" shrine [get over it, new hampshire, he's gone] and stopped at "the basin" ... 

"One of the beautiful haunts of Nature,
a luxurious and delicious bath fit for the ablutions of a goddess."
SAMUEL EASTMAN

... against the rules, otherwise i think both of us would've taken a dip ...

... adrien thought sliding should be allowed ...

... this is a quiet, soft, gentle place, where the soul feels returned ...

"When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;
When the air does laugh with our merry wit,
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it."
WILLIAM BLAKE

... we continued on to "the flume" ... i haven't been to this place in over forty years ... it's just as beautiful as i recall, but, over time, the trail seems to have gotten a bit steeper ... i imagine that's due to soil erosion ...

... zillions of years, or, at least, a long, long time ago, the land cracked and a gush of molten rock poured from deep in the earth's mantle and filled in the fissure ... later, much, much later, water eroded away the intrusion so that only this giant cleft remained to mark the event ... 

... in many places the walkway hangs from the vertical rock face ... 

... we passed this couple as they were resting ... i wondered, had they ever been to the flume, or was this their first visit ...

... her hiking strengths were a bit more than his, and i could see that she was usually ready to continue on while he still required a few more minutes to rest ... near the top of the gorge i looked back and noticed how, without saying a word, he thanked her ... his silence chorussed perfectly within the stream's happy song ... 

... it was warm enough i walked slowly through the mist ...

... we met sierra and sonja, together we figured out the map ...

... my knees hurt, i didn't care ...

... henry david thoreau taught, "what lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us" ... here, in this magical place, is where we may understand that to find what lives within us we must accept we can never live in yesterday, nor can we ever live in tomorrow, it is only right now, in this moment, that we are truly alive ...

... adrien, thank you ...