Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

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October 8th, 2011 · No Comments · Poetry, Social Commentary

After a big breakfast I made some repairs to a bicycle I acquired and took to this first, autumn day which was my own. Upon entering the Schuykill Trail I was immediately greeted by the serenity offered by an American Flag, propped onto a fence separating the road from the train tracks, and some ling forgotten train cars.

The mayhem of the city was already far from my thoughts. A little further up was a sleepy street with a gas station that was closed, a rotting jeep for sale was parked with a price of 3500 scrawled in grease pen across the top of the window.

An occasional car whizzes by on the state road.

The smells of all kinds of trees, douglas firs and pines, grass, natural flora and earth in this early hour remind me of sleep away camp when in my early teens. The sense of smell more than the others triggers the memory.

I come upon the beginnings of a rusting barbwire fence behind which is a refinery of some sort with facilities stretching beyond what I can see. While apparently still functioning it looks to have seen busier times.

The birds sing their song.

Peculiar formations of mounds coveted by greenery moist with for protrude from out of the sides of the hills, the visual effect being similar to that of the rock forms in Monument Valley Utah.

Fallen fruit lays on the ground, waiting to be kicked around. Almost as soon as I have finished this thought a large piece of on cue, amazingly, a piece of what seems to be a pear falls from great height just missing me and hitting the trail with no small force.

The colors of the trees make themselves conspicuous as the leaves begin to fall. I hear a train in the distance.

After crossing a quiet intersection, I find myself next to train tracks no longer in use. It is my understand that Mr. Buffet believes rail will make a big comeback in America and is buying up such rail lines and the properties adjacent to them. I wonder how much a few acres would be?

A crooked sign with the word Telephone on it hints as to the amount of time it has been affixed to the post it is on.

I arrive in Norristown on my way to Valley Forge. Reminders are everywhere of a once vibrant industrial community rife with ironworks, printing companies, mills and garment manufacturers slowly giving up their collective ghosts. And yet I see from my position a brand new Korean and Japanese restaurant.

A CSX train rolls by with the slogan “How Tomorrow Moves” harkening me to my earlier thought with giant containers imprinted with “Hamburg Sud”. I was in Hamburg in my youth. Maybe I should buy some CSX?

Repeatedly nature impresses with its random and vibrant display of color. I suddenly find myself in a waterside small town and can smell the gasoline vapors coming from the boats dockside. One house has one of the biggest lawns I’ve ever seen. It reminds me of going to visit my Aunt Phyllis, Uncle Bob and cousins Jan and Jimmy in the summers.

A half an hour of inspirational biking and some good ole New York perseverance have gotten me to my destination, Valley Forge State Park.

What a beautiful day. This is what America is about. Sometimes you have to start at the beginning.

Here is a link to see my pictures of this wonderful experience.

Fall Day on the Road To Valley Forge

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