On cool overcast days in June I have this friend who never fails to call and say, “Let’s go get some popcorn chicken and head on up to Three Bear Mountain.” Why he likes to do it, I don’t know and it doesn’t matter because I like doing it too. Plus when we have take out I know he’s not going to attempt the steep unofficial trail behind The Pipeline. Though many people use that steep trail, I enjoy the stairs and clearly laid out trail beside the old hospital.
Saturday afternoon, after CornerBrooker.com’s birthday party, this is where we went. A sprinkle of rain anointed us as we hit the stairs and then dissappated. Between the sets of stairs is a bench and an interesting maple tree. It has been vandalized by cuts – initials, hearts, smiley faces. I looked for classic letter plus letter combinations but I didn’t see any. We found geometric designs on one side. We continued up the second stairs and onto the gravel path. As we walked I notice we have alders to the right and maples to the left. If there is any variation I don’t notice it. There is something a little surreal about this. Were they planted this way? Did they just grow this way? I’m no horticulturalist so I have no idea. I only know the symmetry of it in nature is as off-putting as it is beautiful.
We bypass the picnic area and eat overlooking the mill. We’ve left behind the sounds of birdsong to have it replaced by the clank of industry. We talk future, we talk history. We look across the Bay. The water is grey and nearly flat with tiny ripples appearing on the surface in time to their own rhythm. We aren’t sure if seeing the City from this angle means we’re seeing more of it or if we’re just becoming more aware of all we don’t see. Deep stuff over popcorn chicken. We loop around to a garbage can that appears to have an address written on the cover and deposit our greasy take-out ware.
We’ve saved the best for last: the view of West Street with the panoramic photo guide. Not that we need the guide – it’s just something that’s there and in the moonlight we jokingly call it our mini Stonehenge. We don’t joke when we say this place is sacred. There’s something beautiful here, an energy rising up that envelops you in calm. When you look down from this angle it’s like seeing shots of Corner Brook from different eras – you see what it was, what it is, and what it could become. And despite the nay-sayers, it just might become something beautiful.
The trail leads us out again. I notice cold cigarette butts smashed into the ground beneath a bench. Other than that I don’t notice any litter. Rare for any place it seems. We come upon another natural but surreal patch of trail. The trees (I don’t know what they are) are sticks and they are surrounded by dandelions in seed – bleak and beautiful, all those un-wished wishes, waiting.
Lead photo by Michael Coyne.
All other photos by Jon Reid.