"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Friday, September 13, 2013

Nice Touches, Rough Gouges

I''m doing something differently this summer:   I'm walking my entire litter route again, following the highway department mower as it turns the roadside into a parkway.

Friday I was working in the area of Mile 55 where a contractor is replacing an old electric substation with a new, fully automatic switching station that can be operated from Chugach Electric's headquarters in Anchorage.   This will mean faster service restoration when power lines fail in this area.

The shorter, A-frame towers are new; the tall wooden poles have carried the transmission lines for many, many years.

As you can see, it's immediately adjacent to the Seward Highway.

I watched for a couple minutes as one of the workers used a Bobcat to do some dirt work.   And then I noticed something.

On top of those tall wooden poles, someone had placed two American flags.

On my return walk past the construction site, one of the workers hailed me by name.   We chatted for a couple minutes, about 75 feet apart and with vehicles speeding past.   For the life of me, I don't know who he is.   That's not unusual, given the fact that my facial recognition software is corrupted and I need cataract surgery.   Anyway, he said "they" had placed the flags on the poles.

What a nice touch.   It goes a long way towards excusing them for the mess they made when they walked a tracked machine down to the nearby pullout:

After seven years of cleaning up to fifty miles of highway litter, I find myself getting pretty possessive.    Here's hoping they fix it when they demob.

On the drive home, I stopped to pick up some newly-tossed litter and noticed the sun had managed to find a hole in the gloomy overcast that's been persistent for the last month or so.   Off in the distance, I saw something that portended jaw-dropping beauty if and when the sun manages to run the clouds off.

Autumn colors.   I love them.


  1. We all leave our mark on this earth, but some don't do it as well as others.

  2. People like the men who hoisted those flags, like you who walk the lines and pick up litter and have a deep love for natural beauty -- its folks like you who encourage me that our country's fiber still has an underlying strength that will see us through.