Fuji X Adventures in North America – Rust Belt Pilgrim |
Peter Dareth Evans

This is McKean County, Pennsylvania. Once the Allegheny hills were a forest of oil derricks, stretching as far as the eye could see along the ridges and valleys between Bradford, Olean, Kane and Smethport.  But then after the second world war the Mid-West oil industry collapsed when richer and easier pickings were found elsewhere. Now the trees have returned to the hills of McKean County, where they tactfully mask the industrial scars of old leaking pipes and rusting machinery. Here in the deep forest you hike and hunt alone at your peril. Folk have fallen through the rotting boards covering the shafts of old oil wells. A sudden snap and then a long agonising tumble, a broken leg and no phone reception – miles from civilisation. So I made sure I stuck to the roadside for my photography. But still, here and there nestled in isolated pockets on the winding country roads, industry survives. Smoke rises from the stacks. Steam boils from the pipes. You can hear the hum of machinery and the clanking of gears and wheels. This is rust belt America, but here and there you can see signs of recovery. The county capital of Bradford may have lost half her population in the crash that followed the 1940’s, but unlike the deprived ex-mining communities in the valleys of South Wales there’s still hope…….

Source: petetakespictures.com

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