Twin Lakes

Me and Twin Lakes, photo by Jackie

A Thursday afternoon lesson in randomness, detours, and the contrasting forces of nature.

Amongst the myriad of different things I had on my “to do” list, one particular item of note was that I needed to trek from Pittsburgh to Latrobe to pick up the Isaac Rullo images that were selected and juried at Westmoreland Arts and Heritage Festival over the July 4th holiday.

Equipped with my favorite travel companion: my son, Jack, camera and liquid refreshments in tow, we headed out… and nature stepped in.

About 40 minutes into our hour-long journey to Twin Lakes Park, the weather began to change, quickly. At that moment, I had never seen clouds roll in that fast, nor had I ever seen a bolt of lightning with such force and precision so live and in person. Sparks burst and flew all over the sky and all over Route 30 (Happy 4th of July indeed). The transformer box that was attached to a utility pole on the side of the road took the shear brunt force of the bolt. It was in that particular type of slow motion that is over in an instant. It was beautiful, it was startling, and in that moment, I wished I had captured this “something” on my camera.

Visibility was becoming less and less apparent and Jack was getting more and more quiet. The road no longer seemed a safe place to be.

The massive drops of rain and wind forced us into a nearby parking lot. There were a few cars that followed my lead but not the mass exodus to safety I had expected. I guess the hearty eastbound venturers are more used to random inclement weather than this city dweller.

We sat in the parking lot listening to the rain strike the outside objects and tap feverishly on the roof of our car. I asked Jack if he was nervous. Through the rear view mirror I saw him silently mouth the word “yes”. I dug into the annals of random useless knowledge archive and explained to him the safety of being in a car during a storm as it was explained to me many years ago. Our conversation drifted from rubber tires to raindrop patterns to other wonderfully mediocre things. Those lovely “eureka” moments of saying exactly the right things to turn fear and anxiety into exploration and humor are my most precious with Jack. The clouds finally, slowly, started moving away from our little hideout.

A nervous Jack

Feeling the window temperature contrast between cold and warm, something I always loved doing since I was a child.

The leftover fireworks tent along side the car

View through the windshield.

Do we venture towards the storm, or do we head back and make this journey all over again tomorrow? We were more than half way there and it appeared the storm was drifting and dissipating in varying directions. We took a risk and ended up at our destination in a little over ten minutes.

The art was picked up and placed in my car. The sky was still fluctuating between grey matter and blue skies. I was getting ready to suggest a walk to check out the beauty of this park, but Jack had already began to run with delight towards the water. Nature did a 180, and just like that I began to run as well.

Jack running within moments after we picked up the images.

I have taken to photographing feet as of late. I guess it shows where we are, where we have gone and where we are going. Here are Jack's.

Mine on the footbridge.

The Twin Lakes Forest

Nature walk.

My reflection in the lake.

Building on Twin Lakes.

No fishing, part 1

No fishing, part 2

Boats along side the lake

Walking the bridge.


All photos by Kim Rullo (unless otherwise noted).