My Road in Iowa


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There are always roads that go nowhere… roads cut off by new, bigger and presumably better highways. Usually a few houses on the old route create a secondary use and so it lingers in solitude for walkers anxious to get off those new super routes with all their traffic. Recently I found one mile of truly abandoned road. it came to my attention with google navigation and my smartphone. I saw that if I walked 50 yards down the rail lines, crossed over the lines and scaled down its embankment, a lost section of old highway 34 awaited me … and only me. Nature was quickly reclaiming this way traveled by earlier generations but it was passable for a walker and it provided the silence and stillness my spirit was hungry for. Silence is something missing from my day as i chew up miles on those new roads. They are all business. They swing wide circles around hamlets leaving them cut off to often die a slow death.

We grow up  knowing that a road belongs to the automobile. As a child I loved walking down a concrete lane when cars were restricted for repairs or construction. It always felt good to walk the middle line and feel as if that passage belonged to a human being instead of an engine on wheels. For nearly a mile it was just me and this old road. I enjoyed it like I was that kid again.

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