Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Scenic Way

I do not believe I am alone in selecting routes based upon their scenic appeal. We all need something, on our daily grind, which gives us a smile, something to look forward to.

This simple mailbox is my talisman.

It's the absurdidity of it which gives me a smile, every time I see it.

The mailbox is in Mayberry, along the Missouri River bottom. Immediately behind are bluffs. In front, some distance away, is the water treatment plant and acres of cornfields. There is no conceivable reason for this mailbox to exist, yet every spring someone, from somewhere, repaints it.

During the spring floods of 1993 this area was 10 feet under water. This photo is was taken less than a half mile upstream. A 500 year levee gave way suddenly and devestated northern and western Mayberry. The west was mostly light manufacturing and offices space. North was farmland.

In their hubris, the Feds threw LOTS of money at the levee, to create a 1000 year levee, making the river more dangerous. Mercifully the confluence with the Mississippi is not far downstream.

Since we are now so well protected, the nations wealthiest family built the largest outdoor mall in the flood plain.

Long before my days are over, the northern cornfields will be plowed under and the land suburbanized. My mailbox will probably still stand.



skorpeo said...

a beautiful post...up until the last paragraph that gave me the vision of the posted photographs replaced by a wal-mart and a starbucks really depressed me.

when i lived in san francisco, i had what i called "the long way home" that would take me along the bay, past the entrance to the golden gate bridge, up to the entrance to the bay, and along the beach of the pacific ocean. it would take me 15 extra minutes to get home, but well worth it.

Kahtleen said...

I agree with skorpeo. All was good until I came upon the last paragraph.

Gail, in northern California said...

I wonder why "the nation's wealthiest family" is allowed to build the same mall over and over again. Not satisfied, they are permitted to build more than the same town!

Toad said...

It appears clear that we have a shortage of malls, and an overabundence of open land. If you recall, they paved paradise...

ADG said...

I took a bunch of pics when I was home with LFG the other week. Most won't make any posts because its too depressing to see what has been paved over in the quaint town of my upbringing.

Toad said...

I find it stunning that in a country with the vast wealth this one has, so little of any particular beauty or worth has been built in the past 50 years. Yet so much has been destroyed.

Free Kansas said...

I'd like to nominate "Scenic River Road", at least that is what the road sign's call it. Some call it Old First Street.

River Road runs between Lawrence and Topeka Ks.. It's windy and hilly and compared to it's surroundings it is amazingly beautiful.

On one side you have the Kansas River bottoms and on the other side is bluffs, hills, and forests. Occasionaly you come across the driveway to a house up the hill that you'll never see from the road.

They have a much better view from thier windows than you will ever have.

While studying at K.U. I got to know this road very well via Toad's roadster.

Toad had an amazing Alfa Romeo Spider. A true driving machine with all of the horsepower that anyone would ever need and then some.

Then one night I broke it! (Sorry Toad)

Long story long after a full valve job you need to put 500 miles on an engine before you can finaly tune it.

400 of that 500 miles was spent running River Road, and I'll never forget it. One onf the happiest times in my life.

Toad, you know where I live and I would give anything to put another 400 miles on that road with you.

PS. You've got to let me drive at least once, because thats the fun part.

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