Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend, Page AZ

Located near Page, AZ, Horseshoe Bend is a meander of the Colorado River. Just a few miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and part of that national recreation area, it also marks Mile 0 of the Grand Canyon. Pictured above, from the overlook, the river is a thousand feet below. Because the place is such a beautiful spot, pictures of it can be cliché. On the other hand though, taking one of them is also a bucket list necessity. Such photos also beg the question as to whether one is taking a photograph or making one. I prefer the later, because tripping the shutter is only half the job. Sure there are framing considerations, but those are usually much better handled in post-processing.

Last week, when the season shifted from summer to winter in a day, we felt cheated out of Fall, which is easily the best season in Saint Louis. Not to worry though, because over the last week, Fall has snuck back into town. We’re now enjoying beautiful autumn weather and now that Anne is working from home for a change, we are taking leisurely afternoon strolls together. Yesterday, we mixed up our regular route and marched over to Walgreen’s and each got our annual flu shots. I hope that this year’s vaccine works better than last. I can think of nothing worse than coming down with the flu at Christmas again.  

Busking a Rube

British Busker and Rube at Covent Garden Market

I’m almost famous, because that’s what it’s all about, fame and fortune, people, fame and fortune and women too. Let’s not forget the women. For example, I was riding in the park today. At mid-morning, I almost had the place to myself. As the bike path crossed Pine, I encountered another cyclist though. He was eastbound on Pine. He was tall and fit and riding an all white bicycle, while wearing a team all white bodysuit with white helmet. He made quite the cycling fashion statement. Because it looked like we were going to intersect, we both slowed. He eventually nodded for me to proceed. I acknowledged with a profunctionary, “How’s it going?” He responded with, “Fine, Mark.”

It wasn’t until we had passed that I realized what he had said. For the life of me, I did not recognize him. This is not all that unusual. I’ve been living in this town for over thirty years and have been cycling in it for more than half of that. I’ve made quite a few biking buddies and have even more acquaintances in the cycling community. For a while, when I was doing the oh-dark-thirty dawn launches to ride in the park before work, I would routinely pass the Clayton Crew. John, a former neighbor, was a regular member of this 40+ boys club. I would call out, “Passing on your left,” and John would answer back, “Hey, Mark.” It didn’t take many repetitions before the entire crew knew my name and then by proxy, very soon after, almost everyone in the park. I felt like the mayor of Forest Park, fame and fortune, folks, fame and fortune. 

Noir

Eads Bridge on a Foggy Night

I was wandering around downtown at night. Don’t ask me why. I ended up in the vast industrial expanse that is the Saint Louis riverfront south of the Arch. As I walked, I encountered a wreck. There was a small crowd there, gawking as the cops probed the scene. I moved on. I was walking alone now. Passing through a rather sketchy area of abandoned warehouses that was crisscrossed with both highway overpasses and abandoned railroad trestles. Even with company, I’ve always felt nervous passing through this area. The place seems to harbor a perpetual feeling of dread or maybe it’s just a premonition that I have.

Tonight as I walked alone, a car with two men in it pulled up alongside me and matched pace with me, even as I slowed my walk. I reached into my coat pocket for that lump of metal. Grasping for it as if my life depended on it. The men in the car never turned their heads, never looked back. Fear griped me. I felt pinned between their sedan and a crumbling red brick wall. If I chose to fight, I would be exposed, but what if I chose to flee? Through gaps in the wall, I spied a jumble of fallen masonry inside. I could run in there, but if they pursued, I doubted that I could hide. I would be at their mercy. A chill ran through me as my mind raced, searching for any way out. Why did I come down here? More than a few long seconds later, another man rounded the corner up ahead and seeing him, the car took off in a roar. It wasn’t my worst Tuesday night.