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Enjoying a backroad drive

JOHN WAYNE MYERS

Beech Creek

I am writing to you all to let you know how much I enjoy the ride and drive along River Road, the back road from Lock Haven to about a little over a mile before Avis.

I usually take it slower than the 40 mph on which it has you driving; this is to enjoy the beauty and the resilience of how things are out that way. Even though many cars pass me, they see, and probably don’t want to see or know why, I go so slow out that way.

If you slow down and look around, you will see the way things are in my perspective. Here are some of the things you will and won’t see: from the old canal system, the apple trees, the pine tree nursery, to the mountains (you can see the bald spot on Bald Eagle Mountain better out this way), how the Great Island once was a historical legend for Indians and mainlanders who first experienced the area, and if you glance around, you might find there was a hamlet (a small village) of Liberty (where one of the first post offices for Clinton County was) out that way and more, ’cause you never know what you will see. (P.S. Don’t hit the peacocks– be careful there.) You see many cornfields and in some areas the beauty of the woods and the streams, along with the vastness of the West Branch of the Susquehanna alongside them. The road has quite a quiet sensation and a view that can take you back to the long ago but gone days, from now to then. You don’t know where the inspiration of the view will take you.

At night it has a delightful darkness which is sometimes foggy in spots for driving and riding. I take it slightly slower at night ’cause you never know what will pop out onto (or be on) the road. So far I have had a fawn, an almost adult deer, stand on the road, making me come to a complete stop and try to yell out of the car to try to get off the road — but it didn’t work. It just stood there, so I beeped the car horn and that got it motivated and moving back into the cornfield. I also had to stop for an almost completely albino skunk that had a double black stripe on its tail with a white line in the middle. I definitely wasn’t getting out for this, so I beeped the horn again and was hoping not to get it to spray that stink — good thing it didn’t. Once I did beep, the skunk then scurried off into the woods. And just the other day, a cat was on the road. Again I waited for it to slowly get off the road into the grassy front yard of a house, and finally I had to stop to allow a opossum to frantically dive into the trenches of the elephant ear grass (an invasive grass that is the tallest grass that grows along the streams and rivers. It is the tallest in Pennsylvania. It came from across seas and its structure is like bamboo.)

This is why I take the back road slower at night. You never know what will jump out or be on the road at night, and that goes for all roads here in Pennsylvania, and Clinton County, ’cause in some cases, wildlife is attracted to light. Instead of going the other way it will go toward it. The instinct is maybe there is food where light is. We help this out by leaving food where the brightness is, but not always, so animals head in that direction.

So please be careful and wary while driving at all times, especially at night, and enjoy your drive or your ride wherever you go, and sometimes try slowing down and enjoying the sights around you and be inspired by what you see.

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