Rick and I often go to the Onoville Marina and the “road to nowhere” as we like to call it. This is a part of the state land system where there is a stretch of road that was never removed for the Kinzua Dam project. In places along the road you can still see traces of yellow highway department paint and I really wonder what they made that paint with to be visible since 1964. It is a bird and wildlife sanctuary now, located adjacent to the reservoir pool. In fact, if you were to continue walking down this “little road to nowhere” you would end up in the reservoir. Once when the water level was really low we were able to walk farther than at any other time we had previously visited. After crossing a shallow creek bed Rick and I discovered an identical road! It was like passing through a mirror and discovering this narrow path identical to the other one and we walked almost all the way to the reservoir that afternoon.
When the world forces its ever-present pressure into our souls and our nervous systems, this is where we like to unwind and escape. Walking quietly down the narrow path, holding hands at times, breathing in the smells of sweet flower blossoms, musky woods, and the clean air purified by the lush vegetation, we always feel a sense of peace and renewed balance. Once we saw fresh bear prints in the soft mud; it looked like a small barefoot child had run across the path into the thick tall grasses.
This frightened me for a time, but yesterday when we returned once more I felt safe, walking with my partner in this life, the man I will love until my dying breath and then some, with the stones crunching under our feet while looking at all the trees. We sat down for a while in the middle of the little road with a bottle of Johnson Estate red wine, a corkscrew, and two glasses. It was good to talk and ponder our lives together, making dreams for our future and missing our family and friends that are no longer on this Earth — “only the lucky get to be old” Rick’s father Leonard always said to us, and he was right.