Junkyard Beauty

DragonflymuseThe old, drab-coloured mom and pop bait shop several blocks away provided little in the way of entertainment, even for the most bored of pre-teens.  I found myself there all the same, with nothing better to do than poke around.  A comfortable, homey sort of place on the inside, I nonetheless saw the whole thing in about five minutes.  Back outside.

Growing up, nearby woods always presented a favourite place for exploration.  No woods nearby, not really.  However, a hillside full of trees fell a little too sharp, but manageable, behind the bait shop.  The junk dumped just beyond the treeline caught my attention first.

I wrinkled my nose, disappointed in the locals, but went to look closer, pointedly ignoring the “No trespassing” sign.  All down the hillside, junk.  Useless tires, chairs, a toilet, sink, sopping, moldy, unidentifiable heaps of cloth.  Nothing super filthy though such as diapers or rotting food.  I walked sideways along the hill, pretending something other than the open-field below and city-scape above existed on either side of the thin strip of trees.

It presented a thrilling challenge, as steep as it was.  Many times I needed to swing myself from trunk to trunk, wedging my feet behind them lest I slide down the steep hillside.  I never expected to find a fairy paradise.  A disposable camera, my first, leaped eagerly from pocket to hand.  I spent the entire roll on it, including shots with the fairy paradise in one half, and the ignorant dump of trash on the other, a sharp line of contrast down the middle.

Those photos commanded attention.  They also provided painfully clear validation for my initial anger and disgust at the illegal dumping.  I knew not many saw the tiny, but breathtaking waterfall and cascading moss structures.  I doubted anyone truly knew at all.  The climb proved challenging with little reason to bother unless you knew what hid back here amongst the debris.  Further still, I doubt my actions met with parent approval.  Any sane parent would most definitely tell their child no, preteen or not.

Somehow the film failed in development, I think it never made it to a store at all.  Long story short on that, I never saw the picture results.  Too bad, I convinced myself I could win a current anti-pollution photo and essay contest with the contrast photo.

I still remember that hillside and even now and it defies appropriate description.  It seems to me we often find grand, bigger-than-life, natural beauty the most breath-taking.  Such wonderful scenery confronts us with our truly small size in the grand scheme of wonder filling our vision.  Now, imagine an unexpected sight such as that, but somehow after climbing over a filthy broken chair, you can see an entire rainforest from the best angle without the canopy in your way.  Furthermore, you can maintain that vantage point as you move with precise care above and around it.  You stand, a giant in awe of an awesome fairy-sized rainforest, a cliff side of moss and clear waterfalls so small the 6-inch thick trees become redwoods.

I insist it’s no accident of nature, but that some great, fairy-sized artist sculpted the entire thing by hand, with an eye for perfection.  Meanwhile, clueless humans dumped old and rusted trash nearby.  I doubt that magic hillside exists today.  I only traveled there once, upon my next return, so much new trash blocked the way that I could no longer make the trip at all.

I wish I had those pictures.  I have this one though, a similar message contained within:
Yep, that aerosol can on a North Carolina beach says “Clean” and yes, it was pure chance, not staged.  Clean, indeed.

I promise my intention was not an eco-post, I simply wanted to share, in writing, a fantastic place once found hidden on a steep hillside.  It might still exist, after all, the only way to get to that section was a sideways climb through junk.

About Saronai

I'm an eclectic amalgam of confusingly combined oddities. PS If I liked your post it means I really liked your post. You don't have to visit back, but it would be nice. Either way, I read it because I wanted to and liked it because I did. I don't do the fake like for returns thing :)
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4 Responses to Junkyard Beauty

  1. Richard L Wiseman says:

    It’s funny that, the dump you took me to with your brilliant words and the strange contradiction of the human world and the natural one, encapsulated by the aerosol can labelled ‘Clean’. Thing is that many people pass this by and it’s the writer, photographer, painter and musician’s job to ‘connect’ things and with artistic skill join up the dots of the pictures around us, help either make sense of things or put people on the road to understanding; something I noticed that your writing does with what seems like effortless and comfortable ease.

    • Saronai says:

      Thanks so much, both compliments you left me really lifted my spirits, and on days I felt like strangling my current drafts on both works in progress. I appreciate them immensely!

  2. while spending our sixth year as volunteer hosts at Red Top Lookout, I took advantage of a quiet time to take a hike down Teanaway Ridge trail…I walked the entire length of the section that Red Top Lookout is next to…going all the way to road 9738 on the north end of that section. The trail generally stays on the ridgeline. It goes through the “”agate beds”” portion of the trail. This area looks like an army has gone through and had hand gernade practice. Big holes everywhere. They’ve even dug around tree roots probably killing a number of trees in the worst of it. Can’t relate to the mentality of digging big holes just to get small crystals and then not filling the holes back in again. I saw a number of ravens who crowed( is this the right word for ravens?) at me and startled seven or eight elk at the northern end of this section of trail. Later, I cruised down the trail junction from the teanaway ridge trail to the Blue Creek spring. It’s about 1/3 mile below the ridge trail and has an old fallen down cabin, the wire that used to be the communication line for Red Top, and a lovely spring gurgling out of a wet meadow. There are lovely flowers here including monkshood and parrots beak lousewort. Paintbrush abounds in the small meadow above the spring. A nice pair of hikes regardless of the war zone on teanaway ridge. There are some blow downs on the Blue Creek trail and it looks as though it has not been maintained for a number of years.

    • Saronai says:

      They do sound like pretty nice hikes with interesting sights. I never really thought about how agate was gathered up until now. I guess I just always thought it was gathered while digging for other stones or digging projects. As to ravens crowing…they probably could…interesting it more refers to a rooster’s cry and not a crow’s though, now that it’s in mind. Ravens often caw, but I suppose a particularly happy or boastful one crows too. Sounds good to me! Thanks for sharing.

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