After cold weather between Thanksgiving and Christmas we have enjoyed several days of a December "spring".  Walking the passage has a very different feel.  The landscape flows by in slow motion and every detail is available for careful study. 

Without a cloak of green features, natural and human wrought, appear that were invisible before.  The scattered remains of once booming and scaring industry are now rubble.  The concrete pillars slowly being blanketed and dissolved by moss and crumbled to dust by weather.  Just north of Ohiopyle, beyond the high bridge we found the remains of an long abandoned coal mine.  The piles of rock waste and pillars that supported rail cars are signs that the land on the Youghiogheny Valley was once full of men, shovels, saws, and rails pulling resources from the earth and carting them off to other places.  

Fortunately the scene is quiet now and the natural processes are claiming the dominant role.  

paul g wiegman

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