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  • Writer's picturedawnelle

Looking for the railroad

Early Saturday morning, my brother and I set out to hike the property. It was cool and wet, thanks to the recent rains.

We had to push our way through the edge of the property, which for about 300 feet is pretty dense, filled with scraggly, thin trees and all sorts of growth on the floor. Remnants of a small farm orchard are there. I found a pear tree, two types of apple trees, and a cherry tree. They're all leggy from trying to reach up through the canopy to get sun, most of the fruit was at the top. After pushing our way through those dense, scraggly areas, we headed into the forest. Dave went first, pushing a path through for both of us, whacking all the huge spider webs away, breaking branches as needed, and slipping first on the mossy areas so I could avoid them. He also used the GPS apps to locate all the home sights and do some calculating. My primary job was to not get whacked with branches. Oh, and not to fall. As usual, our responsibilities were evenly distributed.

Some of the areas were easier to walk through, but most of the forest has at least one foot of bushy, fern-filled growth that we were pushed through. One area had what we called "Jurassic Park ferns", they were huge, easily rising past my waist. I found a deer antler and brought it home for Mikey. This photo shows a little clearing. Dave is using the app to mark our location:

We made our way around to the different home sites that he has virtually planned. It was absolutely beautiful. We were able to take photos of each potential site, and he was able to really understand the lots and the layout better after we hiked the whole thing. This screenshot shows the layout of the lots, or our current idea of them. Most of the sites are already really level which is great for the building process:

We found the stream, which was running a bit due to the recent heavy rains:

The sunshine came through at one point and both of us just stopped and then took out our cameras. Could anything be prettier? No edits:

As we made our way to the very back of the property, we started looking for the abandoned railway line. My eyes were glued to the ground for any signs. We found what we thought might be it at first, a clearing that looked kind of like a path. But we kept looking, as it didn't seem straight enough or wide enough. We had no idea if the line would be intact, or recognizable. It hasn't been used in almost 100 years. And then, we basically stumbled right on it:

I was just absolutely, completely stunned. Right out in the middle of nowhere, it just stretches through the forest, without a tree or bush on it:

It is fascinating to think that 100+ years ago, railcars were carrying products around the area, right here, on the edge of Poppy's land. Hiking back there and finding it was incredible, truly a highlight of my year. Here is one more photo of it, stretching quietly through the forest.


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