The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Montour Trail, part 2

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

As described yesterday, one recently spent an afternoon at the head of the Montour Trail, with mile zero of the rail trail being found in the Pittsburgh suburb of Coraopolis. I scuttled from the parking lot at mile zero to about two and a half miles down the line, then turned around and headed back. Along the way, there were several interesting POV’s, so I deployed the tripod and attached a filter to my lens, and then got busy.

The “undistinguished” waterway seen flowing throughout today’s post is called Montour Run.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There were lots of fallen trees in the stream. I decided to affix an ND filter to the lens to slow down the light and allow the water to photograph as a mirror. There were several ‘desire paths’ which had been created by people’s feet that led off the Montour Trail and down to the banks of the waterway.

For the most part, it was seldom more than a couple/three feet deep, but the water was flowing pretty quickly. This created a lot of visual distraction, hence the desire to “mirrorize” the surface.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There was one area in particular which caught my attention, a basin of sorts where the water spread out nearby the overpasses of a nearby highway. For these shots, two of the legs of my tripod were actually standing in the water. I had to shimmy down a somewhat natural and quite muddy slope for these.

Worth it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One has been watching YouTube videos offered by bicycle riders, usually GoPro helmet cam type presentations, of Montour Trail trips. This is part of my remote scouting regime. It lets me know if there’s something specific on any one section of the trail that I might want to seek out (there are rail tunnels and bridges down the line!) and others that I’d want to avoid (the airport connector section of the Montour seems pretty horrific if you’re on foot).

Ultimately, I’m intrigued by all of this. This is EXACTLY the sort of proposal which we Newtown Creek aficionados have been proposing to the powers that be in NYC regarding the Montauk Cutoff for nearly a decade. Deaf ears, back in NYC, unless you start your sentence with “affordable housing.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One thing I’ve discovered here in “ridge and valley” country is that the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself may be setting at the same time or later than it does back where I’m from, but because of the terrain the sunset occurs in a quicker interval than it does in a comparatively flat and oceanic terrain. Here, the orb drops behind a hill and you’re done right quick.

Saying that, there’s some serious theatrical level lighting going on during these moments.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One looks forward to more explorations of these amazing examples of lateral thinking, regarding the post industrial utilization and conversion of private property into a public recreational space, which can be found here in Western Pennsylvania.

Back next week with something else.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

February 24, 2023 at 11:15 am

One Response

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  1. Did you see Breeze Airlines (I have no idea what service is like) will begin service from McArthur Airport to Pittsburgh for $39? If you ever want to get back to LI without driving 8 hours.


    February 24, 2023 at 11:25 am

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