By John R. Greenwood
To the end of Hilltop Drive I go. Hilltop Drive the rising road to nowhere and everywhere. It's a place where life begins and where life ends. A spot where quiet dominates and noise is distant and hollow. I walk beyond the end. I perch on a chainsaw-murdered log. I watch nothing and soak in everything. A deer hunter's shot rings out in the woods beyond me, I flinch but remain. A curious hawk swoops in low to see if I am meal worthy. Watching her cholesterol she decides I am not and continues on her way. Cars pass by on lonely Route #9 below. Route #9, the forgotten one, the Route #66 of the Adirondacks. Hilltop Drive is young but spreading. Like a bittersweet vine she wanders off into the forrest grasping ledges and limbs, embedding her blacktop where it doesn’t belong; an asphalt intruder, unwelcome and dark. Unsettled animals scurry around the edges of a civilized world here, sacrificing inches, relinquishing miles. What will happen tomorrow? Only the wind and rain know for sure. They will show up regardless. As this last line is penned, a parade of snow, flurries down upon me. Resting assured, my plight is their plight.
I assembled the piece above from photographs taken of a new road near my home. The area has grown considerably since 1981 when we purchased our little one story ranch for the price of a present day, nicely equipped pickup truck. The question of how much growth is enough is an ongoing tug-of-war we must face. As I was taking photos of the hillside and surrounding area a tired old porcupine waddled to the roads edge as if on cue by the director. The look on his face said he knew I was coming all along.