Saturday, July 2, 2011

Travel Update 2 - Albion Bridge

We started our travel posts last week with a trip to the Belle Flower Inn and I thought it might be fun to head back that way again this week to investigate one of the local landmarks. I was directed to the Albion Creek Bridge by Wilton Plowright, a pipe smoking card reader and guest at the Belle Flower whom I encountered the last time I was there. Albion Creek Bridge was his recommendation and I now pass it on to you. I'm sure you will find it as interesting as I did. I would suggest packing a small lunch as you will have to hike several kilometers east down The Old North Road to get there. This I did bright and early the next morning.

Wilton Plowright

I had no idea what to expect when I arrived at the bridge but was told, with a wink, to plan on staying for a little while and so I found a pleasant looking bit of grass and made myself comfortable. Before long a bearded fellow turned up and stationed himself on the bridge overlooking the creek. He stayed put and I waited, watching and listening. The sun was warm.There were several long billed grackles in a tree nearby chattering away. The bees were buzzing and the dragon flies hovered on the breeze. It was very relaxing. I was content, and so apparently was the chap on the bridge whose eyes were closed.


Albion Bridge


 I was beginning to feel quite at home in my little spot on the sun lit grass when I noticed that all of the toad stools in the immediate area had little faces carved on them. Someone had obviously sat here, for some hours, and carefully carved a unique little portrait on to each mushroom cap. Who would do such a thing? It then began to gradually dawn on me that the muttering birds in the nearby tree were actually speaking to each other and that I could almost make out what they were saying. They hadn't sounded this way before. But when did they stop their bird chatter and begin speaking in words? I couldn't recall and was surprised that I had missed something so obvious. They were chatting back and forth in a calm, conversational tone. If you weren't actually paying attention to the words they were saying you might almost think they were a couple of lawyers casually discussing a case. But I was listening to the words. They were speaking in bizarre poetic riddles with odd foreign accents. None of it made any sense and yet I felt as though I was right on the verge of understanding them. I was still examining the mushroom heads when it occurred to me that the artist must have sat right here, presumably listening to this same nonsensical dialogue, and created these little caricatures. Had the grackles inspired this little flood of creativity? Who could say? I was beginning to get rather drowsy. Listening to these birds was starting to have an intoxicating effect on me. I nodded off. Their voices diminishing into the hazy background of sleep.

Long Billed Grackles
I awoke sometime later to find  my shoes on the wrong feet and that I was wearing someone else's socks. I quickly checked all my belongings to see if there were any other unexpected changes, but there were none. I had been lucky. The grackles were still there but had fallen silent. The man on the bridge was gone. I was feeling completely calm in spite of recent events and even mildly euphoric. It felt as though a message had somehow been conveyed to me and that I now knew a secret, although I couldn't possibly tell you what it was. The good mood lasted all day. I went back to the Belle Flower, had dinner and slept soundly. The next day I had an exceptional breakfast, left the Belle Flower and continued my journey in high spirits.

Happy adventuring everyone and peace be with you.

More soon.

10 comments:

Porky said...

Wonderful again - this is a lot of fun. Long may the journey go on.

Larry MacDougall said...

Thanks Porky - there will be more.

charisse 'dadis' melliza said...

enchanting tale...it made me smile after reading it, it's like I was there too and I could hear the Grackles talking :)

Larry MacDougall said...

Hi Charisse - there will be more travel updates coming. Thanks so much.

Jim Nelson said...

I'm loving this travel blogging, Larry. The stories area s charming as the sketches that accompany them! This is a brilliant idea. I can't wait to read/see more.

Larry MacDougall said...

Thanks a lot Jim. I'm really glad you think so. I have a lot more planned.

John Vargas said...

Really fantastic. What a lovely brief respite to a busy day. I am grateful for being allowed to follow along and I look forward to the next little adventure!

Craig Phillips said...

Excellent!! So much fun.

Larry MacDougall said...

John, Craig - thanks so much guys. There's more coming.

Poul said...

Excellent... I love it!!!!