John & Anne Wiley

2011/04/25

Up River

We got an uncharacteristically early start this morning, and were rewarded by a pair of cardinals next to the street.

7440 Cardinal Point

7440 Cardinal Point

Life flows downstream when we’re not fighting it perhaps. The troubles of our ancestors flow down to us, and we can choose to wear ourselves out or play like otters. Today we talked about our mutual desire to play more with “frustrating” things. In quotes because in my heart I doubt that anything can frustrate me if I choose instead to enjoy it. So when Dex acted up during our drive today, I took a breath and smiled. Suddenly everything was fun again. I thought of the anger and frustration response learned from my Dad, and how much anger his Dad had taken on in turn from being orphaned out by his Dad. Excellent preparation then for exploring a hollow along a creek, where some of my more distant ancestors most likely lived, worked, hunted, hiked, courted, built homes and families, and left behind impressions of their times.

7504 Ancestral Creek

7504 Ancestral Creek

We pulled into Foxburg for the night and scored a wonderful off-season hotel room with a balcony over the Allegheny, featuring these two views.

7542 Up River

7542 Up River

7520 Down River

7520 Down River

After dinner we went for a long walk, first on a paved path along the left bank of this photo where Anne spotted an expressive rock face.

7577 Rock Face

7577 Rock Face

The paved path was probably on an old railroad because it still sported several old telephone poles amid the smooth slabs of massive boulders.

7599 Pole & Boulder

7599 Pole & Boulder

Then we climbed the steep slope with scattered loose shale and slippery matted leaves, to reach an old abandoned road bed where we followed a deer trail that found sure footing over the many mud and rock slides that had conspired with volunteer trees to obliterate the road. It went up and down with the terrain, so we imagined it had been there for at least a century and probably several. On the way up we passed an even bigger boulder adorned with an open heart etched into the mostly smooth vertical side somehow by eons of trickling water. How many people have paused here on a “honeymoon” journey of discovery?

7634 The Open Heart

7634 The Open Heart

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