“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”
There’s a sleepy river town in Pennsylvania called Confluence. It’s about half way between Pittsburgh, PA and Washington, DC where we live, nestled between the Youghiogheny and Cassleman Rivers, about 25 minutes from Ohio Pyle.
This past weekend was full of walks along the river, white water rafting, biking, sleeping, not cooking and exploring. It was AWESOME.
Walking along the North Allegheny Passage trail:
Here are some painted panels on the concrete of bridge supports, full of mythic themes about the 4 seasons and Orpheus.
Singers end up memorizing all sorts of lyrics, which is why I know the Shakespeare sonnet about Orpheus. So there I am, trodding along the path with my backpack, (while fully breathing in and out the humid, slightly moldy river mountain air,) singing in my head as I pass that last image:
Orpheus with his lute made trees,
And the mountain tops that freeze,
Bow themselves, when he did sing:
To his music plants and flowers
Ever sprung; as sun and showers
There had made a lasting spring.
Everything that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,
Hung their heads, and then lay by.
In sweet music is such art,
Killing care and grief of heart
Fall asleep, or hearing, die.
A rainy Saturday was perfect for visiting an antique shop. Almost everything in this shop reminded me of the summer-house that my great-grandfather built entirely with his own two hands, on Horse Island in the Detroit River back in the 1920′s. Four generations of us made mud pies, boated, swam and ate plates of garden-fresh tomatoes and corn during summers the extended family gathered there.
Biking with the family, I tried to take pictures of myself biking but am not that coordinated:
To read a hilarious account of our first white water rafting experience on class III and IV Rapids, click HERE. All I can say is, do not go on this trip with only three of you in a raft. That is a huge mistake, because you just don’t have the manpower to row in the direction you need to go to keep from spending most of the 5 hour trip underneath the river……