Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"Cleanup on Isle 9."

One day, as I walked along Route-9, close to the Hudson River, near Hudson and The Rip Van Winkle Bridge, a man stopped in a large parking area in the frontage of an industry. I was away from the road but still fifty yards from him. The man asked if I was the same person he had seen in Nebraska a few winters ago.
I was.
He travels to middle America twice each year and recalled the road, the town, the conversation he had with his wife that day and how impressed he was that I was pushing the World in the middle of nowhere. He was excited that he now encountered me in Upstate New York, in his home town. This time he wasn't going to miss the opportunity to get a picture and hear my story.
We had a lively exchange, from a distance, until we had to get to where we were going. I continued across the frontage of the industrial property toward Schenectady and he went back to his work.
The roadside was steep through there and it was safer to walk in the newly resurfaced field of the industrial property. As I came to the edge of the property, next to a bridge over a tributary to the Hudson, I noticed vent pipes protruding from the freshly graded, newly seeded ground.
My thought was that this property was undergoing a major cleanup and I recalled how I had, long ago misunderstood the term Superfund Sites to be Super-Fun sites. I clambered up the bank of the roadside, amid stumps of recently felled trees and brush, to then run the bridge over the "kill" that bordered the industry.
I thought no more of it.

That evening I stayed in Hudson. Where I parked my van that night happened to be where the local youths spend their evenings next to their cars, flexing their prowess at one another and otherwise throwing their garbage around the parking lot there at the strip mall complex.
That's another story...

The next day I encountered a man. Rather, I was cut off by a man while crossing a gravel driveway. He came in fast, at an awkward angle. When he applied his brakes his truck slid a little farther than he seemed to have intended. Looking slightly over his shoulder he asked if I was the man he saw the day before. He said the name of the property and grimly asked if I were with the Nature Conservancy (I couldn't even spell it without spell-check).
I said no, that I was fulfilling my lifelong dream of walking from Poughkeepsie to Schenectady...
His face twisted up as he said he had seen me and a man in a pickup truck yelling at one another, that he thought I was with the Nature Conservancy.
"No, we were talking about the time he saw me in Nebraska on my way from Sheboygan to Muskogee..."
His head cocked to the side, perplexed. " So your not with the Nature Conservancy?
"... I don't know a thing about the Nature Conservancy, I'm walking for diabetes awareness to get people to walk everyday while fulfilling my lifelong dream of walking from Poughkeepsie to Schenectady..."
He really wanted to give me an "earful" about the Nature Conservancy.
Now that he has put that idea in my head about the Nature Conservancy I may have to look them up on one of those search engine thingies.

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