Saturday, October 31, 2009
Rest stop trees
Beauty in a forgotten place
Along the 401, somewhere in Ontario, October 2009
The scene: On a long, somber drive home from Montreal, we've pulled over at a rest stop to, well, rest. The province, in its infinite wisdom, planned the upgrade program for its network of roadside rest stops so well that virtually all of them along this stretch are now closed. Renovations on the smaller number of venues that will reopen eventually virtually guarantee stretches of many hundreds of kilometers where the only option is to get off the highway and drive aimlessly through one small burg after another in search of semi-edible food and semi-clean washrooms.
The one stop that was open about two hours back had a lineup for gas that stretched onto the on-ramp from the highway. So who doesn't get my vote next time?
Yes, about this rest stop. It's a double-wide trailer on the site of a now-demolished complex that may or may not be rebuilt. The cold, grey weather matches my mood as I stand outside and wait for Debbie to return with the kids. This is the last place anyone would ever want to be. Or could expect to see something worth remembering.
But the trees seem to merit a little attention. So out comes the camera and furrowed go the eyebrows of the passing motorists as I set, focus and shoot. I feel a small smile at the edges of my mouth, the first one I've had in a while. I guess I'll take tiny bits of comfort and happiness wherever I can get them.
Your turn: Stupidity on a monumental scale. Please discuss.