I started my full-time job at the end of November in 2015 and in the fall of 2016 I realized that my company was located on the Schuylkill River Trail – I could walk to Philadelphia if I wanted to. I thought about doing that either in the spring or autumn, but between getting invited to apply for residency in Canada, saving money, and then getting refuse from Canada, I forgot about it. I walk the trail at lunch, but with the hot and humid summer, I only stayed out for 15 minutes.
Yesterday, I decided that I would walk to at least Manayunk and then catch the train from there to Philadelphia. I was done work early, I didn’t feel like waiting for the train from my job, the weather was beautiful and I thought it would be the perfect time to explore.
I set out on the trail in Miquon at 3 PM. When I was exiting the building, I saw two people I knew from IT. They exclaimed, “there’s the shutter bug!” We chatted for a bit about photography before they had to go back to work and before I started on my journey. It was a five minute conversation, but it was lovely chatting.
I made my way up the trail, I saw the cafe owner run past me, he stopped and I told him about my plan. He smiled, said it’s about 4 miles (which the markers indicated), and ran off. I had my skating gear, which one of my co-workers thought would be too much for me to handle, but I alternated the bag. I also took photos of my walk.
Here are photos from familiar parts of the trail, near work. It’s nice to see that they are fixing up the Schuylkill Nature Center.
After I made it past where my usual stopping point is before I have to go to work, I kept going. I always wondered what it was like past this point and let me tell you, it was gorgeous! The Schuylkill River is beautiful and the scenery surrounding it is just as breathtaking. At Ivy Ridge, I saw the train tracks and heard the train approaching. When I saw the train zip by, I knew I wasn’t going to make a train. That was at about 3:35.
I continued on, and as I continued on I saw a young man fishing. It was cool to see; I have never seen anyone fish before and took some photos. He saw me, we chatted for a bit, and walked together for about 10 minutes. Before he found a decent spot on the river bank, I asked him for a selfie. I introduced myself, and Ben introduced himself. Ben has been fishing for 10 years and he travels a lot too.
I continued on and arrived in Manayunk at 4:30. It took an hour and a half, but I think between my heaving skating gear I was carrying and stopping for photographs, it added on the time. I’m not skating next Friday, I am going to do this again. It was a nice walk, it felt great getting out and moving, I want to do this until winter.
I ordered Lyft into Philadelphia and went roller skating.
Let me tell you about that adventure too. I saw a mother standing on the side taking a photo of her daughter and friends. I had my Polaroid mini for Happiness Box purposes and asked the mother if I could get a photo of the girls for her to have. She loved the idea, but by that time the girls skated off. I skated to them and they loved the idea too. I took one of them skating and as I was holding the photo between my palms to develop it, her friends thought it was the coolest thing ever. They had never seen a Polaroid before and they wanted to try. I took a photo of the two Muslim girls, then handed them the Polaroid. They took turns developing the photo and were ecstatic about the end result. Such a simple picture made them happy.
I saw the other little girl skate over to her mother, handed her the photo, and I saw her mother crying tears of joy. I skated back over and the Muslim girls asked for another photo. The mother said, “it was nice that she took one photo for you. Don’t pester her.” I responded, “I only have two left and I need them for a project.” They understood, thanked me, and skated off. The mother said to me, “thank you for doing this. I am visiting for a few months, I haven’t seen my daughter in a few years, she didn’t want me to go back home. I missed seeing her grow and have been taking tons of pictures. I am glad to have this. Where did you get the camera from?” I told her and she had to get going. I am glad I could bring happiness to others, I like sharing happiness.
Yesterday was such an adventure and I am thankful that I could experience it. It’s hard to believe the rink will close next week and in three months it’ll be an ice skating rink. I also look forward to walking the trail again.