With the river receding all the Adventurer could do was wait and bide his time. He came by the river and he was determined to leave the same way. It hasn’t been all bad though…this has proven to be an interesting place and he has enjoyed many of the hikes he has made in the park. It is a curious place though full of nature and history, but also marked by sights that seem inexplicable considering the importance of the setting.
Take for instance this experience he had walking along the river’s edge in the western section of the park. Passing herons stalking fish in the shallows, the Adventurer could see something obviously man-made jutting out of the riverbank and into the water and he moved closer to see what it was. It kept getting bigger and bigger the nearer he came to it.
The closer the Adventurer approached the more he could make out the large, rusting metal pipe that had become exposed from the river’s retreating water level. What had happened to the raft to strand it had also exposed this pipe for all to see. It also appeared to have separated in the process. The Adventurer’s heart began to sink.
Wow thought the Adventurer! This is normally hidden from view when the river is higher up the bank. What in the world could this be and what is it doing in this fine park? The Adventurer’s head began to fill with questions.
This was another man-made waterfall, but one our friend did not expect to find. The water flowing from the pipe appeared clear, but foam and suds were produced from where it splashed into the river. The Adventurer’s fine sense of smell thought he detected the odor of laundry detergent? He had noticed something similar emanating from an adjacent creek that was fed by a storm sewer from the nearby town. It had been a long time since the last storm…where was this water originating from and what was it doing emptying into the river? Was this treated water and could it be harmful in any way? How long had this pipe been hidden here and was it even necessary? The Adventurer thought all these things and more.
He walked by the pipe and turned to look back at it. The Adventurer was struck by its hardness and rigidity of form and thought how many of man’s solutions to problems could be described in the same way. What an eye sore. Once upon a time this could be thought of as a solution to something, but was it appropriate now? You could tell that nature had intervened and was eroding it away from its supports. The Adventurer just shook his head. Water is life and fresh water is the fastest disappearing resource. Can we afford to keep dumping everything into the river as though it didn’t matter? The Adventurer thought of all the other little towns and cities along the river’s route and his chest tightened and he felt even more trapped than before. Surely in this place that is so important to the record of life and the history of this country…we can do better right?