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Jim’s Bike Ride 2010

Jim’s Daily Bike Ride

2010

Tune List

(Mostly acoustic string band music this year
to keep up that World Made By Hand spirit
as I was writing the sequel: The Witch of Hebron)

Finlandia — Troy Donkocky
Welcome Home — Susannah Clifford
Song C — Bruce Hornsby
Drawing down the Moon — Alison brown
Pretty Saro & I Will Bow and Be Simple — Neal Hellman
Border Widow — Norman Blake
Sally Comin’ Through the Rye — The Gilded Bats
Soldier’s Return — Robin Bullock
The Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter — William Ackerman
Duck River — Matt Brown
Appalchia Waltz — Mark O’Conner
The Begger Boy — The Broadside Band
Clinch Mountain Backstep — The Holy Modal Rounders
Grigsby’s Hornpipe — Darol Anger
Crow Canyon — Tony Furtado

*

I moved to a different rent-a-house in the early spring, 2010, on a country road four miles outside Saratoga Springs. During the temperate months of the year, I go out on a bike ride after a day’s work to clear my head.

 

A quarter mile down the road: fork down to Saratoga Lake (not taken).

 

Typical cob-job repairs on an older farm house.

 

What was once a horse farm has been subbdivided into a McMansion tract. 
We’ll go in and have a look around.

 

You wonder a lot of things about a place like this. 
How do they make that $6-K monthly mortgage payment?
What’s the destiny of this building post-fossil-fuels?
Who mows all that grass?

 

Are these folks underwater on the mortgage?

 

This one’s a real humdinger. Notice the stone lions.
I wouldn’t want to be here when the trucks
stop delivering the Cheez Doodles and Pepsi to the supermarkets.

 

Back on the road…. A remnant of the old farming economy.

 

One of many horses we’ll meet along the way. 
Saratoga is a very horsey town
But the horse-racing “industry” is in big trouble.
The gamblers have all gone to the Indian casinos….

 

The farming infrastructure is still there, 
but the farm barely exists as an economic entity.

 

These two Clydesdales belong to the farm above. 
They seem to be the only thing happening there.

 

They are utterly inseperable… always standing side-by-side.

 

The other day, the farmer was loading hay into the loft,
probably for the two Clydesdales.

 

The first major hill on the route (though it’s hard to tell).

 

One of the great events of American history, commemorated.

 

The day lilies were in full bloom. I usually come home with cut wildflowers.

 

Absurd “modernist” house circa 1960s
Looks like something out of Woody Allen’s movie Sleeper.
Modernism might be quaint by now
if the construction wasn’t so shitty.

 

The Long Straightaway. On the left, a small subdivision of McHouses.
We’re done building them, but America doesn’t know it yet.

 

Weird house with weird ornaments. That little play castle by the pond
looks like it came from thhe defunct petting zoo across town on Route 9.
It was a flea market for a while. Now a jive-plastic condo site.

 

Notice the cannon. Nice touch!

 

Another one of my little friends. Everyone needs a little friend.

 

Overpass across Interstate-87. (Barf.)

 

Crossing Interstate-87 (which I have to re-cross a little ways ahead).
I wonder what it will be like in five years when there’s no gas and no money.

 

This is the closest I come to the edge of town (Saratoga Springs, NY).
If house prices weren’t so absurd, I’d move into the heart of town. (Sigh.)

 

What was once well-cared-for farmland is returning to scrub.
We’ll have to get serious about using it for farming again.

 

A sweet part of the ride. A country lane. Not too many of them left.

 

Abandoned farmhouse. The ghost of a bygone economy lives here.

 

The only crop around this place: antiques… 
and I’ve never even seen the place open for business.

 

Dilapidated run-in shed for a horse.

 

Kaydeross Creek, muddied up after a heavy rain, near where it enters Lake Lonely.
Eight miles upstream it used to be a pretty good trout stream.
God knows what’s in the water down here… suckers, chubs, old refrigerators….

 

The flower farm about a quarter of a mile from home.
At least they’re farming something.

 

Another de-commissioned farm. Desolation row.

 

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

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