I was first introduced to this route when having to complete the 12 mile roadmarch as part of the 18th Airborne Corps requirements. Little did I know that despite: the blisters, the pain, and the blur of simply trudging along praying I would make the time and not collapse due to the physical toll this roadmarch took on my body; that this route would become such a favored part of my life. Even the rocks smile when I walk by. Can you see the face in this rock formation? It is clear as mud, look closely and let me know if you can't see it.
The building where I worked when I was in the Army used to be the fire station for Clarksville Base. I once tried to upgrade the drafty, leaky windows in our building and was told by the engineers that it was not allowed due to the building being historic. Historic must mean non-energy efficient because the wind sure blew through on cold days.
A favored and truly treasured spot is this stream area. There is a system of several bridges, one of which walkers and roadmarchers will pass over when navigating the trail. I almost always walk down the concrete bank and sit and listen to the water. Many folks do the same. On a sunny day there will be whole families walking the trail and some will even cast a fishing line or two. Look closely in the picture below and you can see tire tracks of some brave soul who decided to spin his car around in the stream. This would have been possible only when the stream was low. Wonder if it was fun to the silly drivers? Beavers, swallows, turtles, deer, wild turkeys, geese, and blue herons are all in abundance in this area. I have seen them all and so enjoy the tranquility of their lives. They coexist peacefully with walkers like me. Whenever the Jimster is with me it is a given he will take off his shoes and socks, roll up his pants and go wading. On a recent trek to the stream around dusk, the Jimster, his friend Christian, and I were enthralled when a 'little bird' helicopter showed up. It was doing night flying above the tree tops. As an air traffic controller we called this type of flying NOE, or nap of the earth flying. This helicopter gave us a show by landing on the bridge above. We were sitting right where I am taking the picture, quite close to the helicopter. Water spray and dust flew everywhere. I still get a tingle being around this type of activity or whenever I hear a helicopter fly overhead or a 'freedom bird' does a low take off just west of my home. It is the air traffic controller part of me coming out. Some of my aviation friends who spent their lives working on helicopters around here HATE the sound of helicopters now. They purposely buy homes far away from flight routes and avoid Fort Campbell altogether. But not me, I love the helicopters and all their noise. Now, the blasting from Fort Campbell I can do without:)
I thank the Army everyday for the wonderful experiences I was able to live during my twenty years of service. To travel to the Middle East, or fly over the Alps in a Huey, to fire a rifle and throw a grenade, to work in a bubble in the sky with air conditioning, to help a pilot land his aircraft in the thickest of fog, to get an education and to meet some really neat folks, to live in Italy and ride a gondola on the canals of Venice, to see King Ludwig's Fairytale Castle Neuschwanstein is something that most people never get to experience in a lifetime. And I was able to do it all and more during my twenty year tour of duty.
This post is really not about the Army, but about a wonderful walking trail on an Army base. This walking trail and walking in general always makes me appreciate the little things in life: like walking on a clear and sunny day and giving myself time to just be me with no pressures, no blogging, no stressors, just life. Walking does this for me. I am going to finish this post with a short video of the stream. You can hear the water running which is such a soothing sound for me. There will be more posts on this super great walking trail. It is filled with wildflowers and noises and vernal ponds full of bullfrogs and fish and geese and life. For now....
I'm in the garden....walking with Bella on the Clarksville Base Trail.
Hi all. I've been contacted by a few folks who are interested in Clarksville Base and from what I understand it was a most special place to be stationed during the Cold War. I am currently working on a post concerning some stories and some information about a few reunions that involve Clarksville Base. The page links are no longer valid for these reunions. Sorry.