I returned to Mountain Way Wednesday for the longest walk I've taken since undergoing knee surgery in early summer.
On a gorgeous autumn afternoon, my wife and I headed back to one of our favorite walking paths near our home.
Mountain Way, which runs off Wieuca Road, is a quiet street that has registered many changes in Buckhead through the years: housing construction booms and busts, politics, neighborhood preservation and improvements.
Bordered by Little Nancy Creek, Mountain Way passes through a valley between two ridges. When we first moved into the neighborhood, the road as its name suggested was a rustic preserve of trees and wildflowers in the middle of Atlanta. Then after years of neighborhood opposition, Ga. 400 tore through the area, desecrating Mountain Way's beauty with a towering overpass, massive supporting columns and a sloping concrete embankment.
In recent years, civic leaders have sought to heal the wound by developing Mountain Way Common. The not yet completed park offers sidewalks and decorative planters, a walking trail along Little Nancy Creek leading to a pedestrian bridge and a sculptured swing beneath the overpass.
Decorative picnic tables have been set up in a vacant lot across from the park, and Livable Buckhead installed beehives and flowers.
Mountain contains an interesting mix of futuristic homes, 1950s ranches and one remaining rustic cabin from the days when the area was a weekend getaway for wealthy Atlantans. At a huge LA-styled home where construction was halted for years, joyful workers completed a driveway. We wondered if the huge home would at last be finished for someone to live there.
Sitting on the bright red swing designed by artist Robert Proctor, we heard MARTA trains and cars pass by high above us. New beauty rises from the ruins of the past. After a few reflective moments, we headed for home.