Conversation with My Wife (180)

The river is long and the river is wide, but there’s a path running just along the side

Since I recently chided Mark Starlin for not warning readers about photos that are best viewed on a large screen, I will warn you that a couple of the river panoramas below look best on a big screen.

So on Election Day, we went out walking (we’d already voted well before—relax!) along the river trail we’d been enjoying.

A new three-mile stretch had just opened up at the northern end. Re-opened, actually, because the section had been graveled for the most part a long time ago, but the county park association had rebuilt the trails with paved roadway, replaced the old wooden bridges with steel structures, and turned some meandering tracks into straight paths. As of that Monday, the day before Election Day, it was all done!

Okay, maybe mostly done. Mostly.

Trail crew, building up the shoulder of the trail as we were out walking. They were doing at least a mile an hour—pretty impressive! (all photos by author)

DEB: Uh, I think we’ll be okay if we walk over on the left shoulder?

ME: I’m sure someone will tell us if we’re not allowed. (they did not, just smiled and waved)

It was a beautiful day to be walking by the river. The leaves were still in the process of turning, so there was a fair amount of green left. Lovely blue sky and the river was up slightly from rain upstate in the previous week after a bit of a dry spell.

You might notice a number of electrical transmission towers in the photos above. That’s because we have the Brunner Island Steam Electric Station (coal powered, top panorama photo) and the York Haven Dam (hydro, bottom panorama). Most PA electrical generation is now from natural gas or nuclear, however.

The Susquehanna River meanders through some rough terrain, but walking on a rail trail or former canal boat path means that it’s all pretty level and easy. If we ignored the lovely macadam on the trail and the occasional “NO TRESPASSING” signs as the trail passed private property, it was possible to forget about what was going on in the rest of the country and the world.

But with reminders.

ME: “Welcome to Conoy Township. THIS IS NOT A GUN FREE ZONE.” But apparently, nobody understands proper hyphenation.

DEB: You’re going to make fun of the hyphenation of people who are proud to have guns and have no problem hoisting a Trump flag on township land? Smile and nod, Jackster, smile and nod!

Horses? No! Horse’s asses? Um, maybe, maybe…

The trail ended where some of the old locks were still in recognizable shape, albeit fairly dry for the last century and a half.

Barge traffic on the canal was big until the railroads took over in the middle 19th Century. The Susquehanna River was unsuitable for navigation, so the canal ran parallel to it. At various places along the 14 miles of trail we also found remains of an old iron foundry, ruins of an aqueduct that carried the canal over a stream, foundations of housing that serviced the canal traffic, and railroad construction that often replaced the canal in almost the same spot. Some of the railroad rights of way were still in use for modern freight.

DEB: Thank you, honey! I like just being out and walking with you. It’s nice getting to spend time with somebody who enjoys it too. You sure are a great friend and partner in retirement!

ME: You too, m’love!

Copyright ©2020 by Jack Herlocker. For once, I have no problem with anyone who wants to share the photos I took, since the view is so pretty.




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Jack Herlocker

Jack Herlocker

Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.

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