Posted by: winteridge | May 29, 2006

wandering the tug


wandering the tug

It is really amazing to me, as a born and bred Tugger, how much the Tug Hill has changed over the years. Not just the windfarm, though that is probably the biggest change, but the whole face of the area. For better or worse? Who can say. But it is different.
When I was a boy, there were still a number of active farms in the area, although none were especially prosperous. As the old-timers died off and their kids left for the cities to get rich, those farms disappeared too. I can recall roaming the back roads and meeting almost no one-maybe a farmer from the valley checking on his heifers in summer pasture; maybe neighbor Amby Williams looking for his feral hog herd; maybe old Adam, the “Mayor of Rector Corners”, visiting his Christmas tree crop, or harvesting some “tug hill weathersticks”. It was quiet and peaceful. Even in the ’80s, staying at our camp on the Pitcher Road, sometimes it would be 2-3 days without a truck coming by.
Today the back roads are alive with snowmobiles in winter and ATV’s in summer. Not 1 or 2, they travel in packs of 5 to 100. Camps are springing up everywhere on former farmland, and, of course, the windmills bring the construction workers and the curious tourists. I recall when we were kids how we would all rush to the windows when we heard a car or saw the headlights, wondering who was coming to visit. Now there is almost a constant stream of traffic on all the back roads. Progress? Maybe. Certainly the end of an era.

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