Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Super soakers of the sky

Anyone want a drink?
Minneapolis, MN, February 2011
About this photo: Thematic Photographic celebrates "well aged" this week. If you've got something old hanging around, please take a picture of it and head here. You'll be glad you did.
Water towers don't just keep water in reserve for communities that need it. They serve as beacons on the landscape, guiding us from town to town and reminding us just how soothing it can be to arrive in a place, any place, after wandering the hinterlands.

And we've been wandering our hinterlands for most of our married life. Ever since we moved nine hours west of where we grew up, we've become all too used to the seemingly endless drives along the 401, the busiest highway in Canada and, arguably, in North America, too. There's a rhythm to this roadway and the places it connects, oases of life in the rolling green that is Ontario, long stretches of sparseness punctuated by impossibly small, close-knit towns where complete strangers would be happy to have you stay with them if your car dies, the weather turns bad, or worse.

We've driven this road back and forth, in sickness and in health, good weather and bad, enough times that we've practically memorized every onramp and exit, every town, even every curve. And it's always the water towers that stand out, that tell us how many miles are left, and what's there for us along the way. They don't just hold water; they shrink the distance, and they bring me a tiny dose of comfort when I spot them in the distance.

Your turn: Touchstones far from home. Please discuss.

About this water tower: I haven't been able to shoot any of the water towers along the 401 because I'm usually driving at the time, and Officer Bob - and quite likely my wife, as well - would not approve of behind-the-wheel photography. So I'll share this one that occupies a prime piece of sky on the roof of a lovingly restored building in Minneapolis with a commanding view of Target Field. When the Minnesota Twins play, the owners use it as a giant projector screen for the fans. Neat.


sunflowerkat321 said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a thoughtful and encouraging comment. I appreciate it.

For years, we did the family road trip from PA to Michigan and/or Indiana. The minimum drive time was 14 hours and we'd do it in one shot. There's something really comforting about those familiar landmarks and how either way you're traveling you're going home. I'd always drive the first leg going west...always leave at 4 am, always pull out of the driveway to Joni Mitchell's Mile of Isles, always watch the sunrise over the Allegheny mountains. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Now everything has changed. We live further and the those places are no longer a family destination. Enjoy the drive....always.

Anonymous said...

Is this photo taken before Eric and Kelso spray painted the pot leaf on it?