Thursday, October 13, 2011

# 29:  I have made it safely to the KOA in Ladson, South Carolina, which is not far from Charleston.  The journey southward went smoothly, even though I took a short cut and went through Pennsylvania diagonally, not the best route while pulling my ‘house’ (36 foot fifth wheel).  I started out by going through Warren PA, but just before I got to the bridge over the Allegheny River toward US-6 there was a roadblock.  The bridge was being paved and I had to make a U-turn and go back through downtown Warren to another bridge.  What fun!  Once safely on the highway, the roads were mostly good and the scenery was enjoyable, but there were no rest areas and no parking spaces big enough for the rig.  Finally I parked in a potholed lot next to some run-down buildings so I could use my own facilities.  Next time I will go the long way around and stick to the interstates where I can park with the Big trucks.

There were only two stopovers on the way south (not counting a one nighter in Bedford PA).  The first was near Natural Bridge VA; Dick and Janice Bain were kind enough to travel over the mountains to visit and see my pictures of Alaska.  Janice even brought homemade cookies!  The reason I went down I-81 instead of a more westerly route was to visit with them.  While there at the Yogi Bear Jellystone Park I found some excellent hiking trails in the woods that I want to explore some more during my next trip.  The other stop was in upstate South Carolina to visit Lamar’s relatives.  While there I looked on Google Maps and found an interesting road nearby, which was just a narrow forest road but it made a lovely walk through the woods.  (Every day or two I try to do a power walk of four miles or so.)

Jesus speaking: “Life in the Father’s eternal creation is not an endless rest of idleness and selfish ease but rather a ceaseless progression in grace, truth, and glory. Each of the many, many stations in my Father’s house is a stopping place, a life designed to prepare you for the next one ahead. And so will the children of light go on from glory to glory until they attain the divine estate wherein they are spiritually perfected even as the Father is perfect in all things.”  The Urantia Book (1953.4) (181:1.2)

The Sunday before going south (remember what Treebeard said in the second “Lord of the Rings” movie: “I like travelling south, somehow it feels like going downhill.”) my sister, my brother and his wife and I went to the Kinzua Bridge State Park, located in McKean County, PA.  For some reason I drove The Monster (Ford F350), not the best choice of wheels on this occasion!  Unbeknownst to us, they were having a dedication at the park that day and it was overcrowded with people.  The road going in was only a few miles long but not made for that kind of traffic.  It was a narrow two lane road and I had to drive the full length of it in and out while both lanes were clogged with traffic, both berms were parked solid with cars and throngs of people were walking along the road on both sides.  More than once the external mirrors on The Monster were sticking over and above the mirrors of cars going the other way.  My dual rear wheels were never more than a few inches from cars on both sides.  It was, however, worth the effort.

When the Kinzua Bridge was built in 1882 it was the highest railroad bridge in the world.  Built of iron it was 301 feet high and 2,053 feet long.  Imagine building it without the tall cranes we have today.  According to Wikipedia, it took a crew of 40 just 94 working days to build it, care to guess how they did it?  Go ahead and think about it, I will wait.  (Musical interlude)  OK, I’m back.  Give up?  They used a gin pole, apparently a long pole resting on a fulcrum, to build the first tower.  Since it was close to the bank it was not as tall as the others, then they laid tracks out to that tower and used a traveling crane on the railroad to build the rest, 20 towers in all.  In 1900 it was rebuilt with steel to make it sturdier, this more than doubled the weight of the bridge.  The bridge was used to haul freight until the middle of 1959.  Excursion trains used the bridge for several years starting in 1987.  While it was being restored again, in July 2003 an F1 tornado destroyed the center of the bridge.

The dedication ceremonies the weekend we were there were for the newly built observation deck, complete with a glass floor.  You no longer need to go to the Grand Canyon and pay good money to get on a glass floor; you can get on one in Pennsylvania for nothing!

There hasn’t been anything else of note since the last posting, but before signing off, I have some comments.  During my studies of The Urantia Book over the years I have noted certain changes in my inner life.  The most important of these deal with the elimination of spirit poisons.

“Impatience is a spirit poison; anger is like a stone hurled into a hornet’s nest.”
The Urantia Book (557.4) (48:7.20)

All of us have spirit poisons (or mental poisons) within us; they deplete our energy, waste our time and make it more difficult for our indwelling fragment of God, our Thought Adjuster, to communicate with us.

“All physical poisons greatly retard the efforts of the Adjuster to exalt the material mind, while the mental poisons of fear, anger, envy, jealousy, suspicion, and intolerance likewise tremendously interfere with the spiritual progress of the evolving soul.” The Urantia Book (1204.3) (110:1.5)

These spirit poisons can be devastating and tear up our lives just as the tornado tore up the Kinzua Bridge.