The Old Railroad Grade
One of my favorite destinations is the old railroad grade. This is approximately twenty miles of abandoned railroad with only a few remnants of it former existence. I have tried several times to get the perfect shots, but I will keep trying and replace the old shot with a better shot when possible. Sooner or later, I will get it!
The most beautiful subject of this trail is an old arch bridge. I have pictures is my "Old Pictures" page, but they are not good quality. I tried to take a picture today, but some moron covered the stone with graffiti. I took some pictures from across the brook, but they were not very good.
The bridge over the existing railroad was removed decades ago. It is interesting to stand in the middle of the tracks and look at the old smokestack in the town.
This is the view down the trail. It is very long, level and straight
This is the view in the opposite direction.
The railroad grade has a huge arch bridge over Stony Brook. Here are three pictures of the bridge.
The brook widens here. This was taken from the top of the bridge. The sun is just appearing at the far bank. I like the mornings and sunrises.
After leaving the railroad grade, I walked toward the town and passed a Buddhist meditation center. It was put here because this is a quiet place (except when a train passes). There is a beautiful larger-than-life statue of Buddha. The beaver house is just behind the meditation center.
After taking this picture, I walked down the road toward the smokestack. An animal jumped onto the road about a hundred feet in front of me. As slowly and quietly as possible, I removed the camera from my pocket, set the telephoto lens, and one second before aiming the camera, the animal jumped off the road into the swamp. I tried to find it without success. It was like no animal I have ever seen. It was about the size of a medium dog, but it seemed slower. My first thought was that it was a coyote, but it was not as fast and I realized later that it was probably a black bear. I have seen bear tracks in the area. Maybe next time, I'll get a picture!
This is the railroad grade during a snow storm. It is almost the same shot as the picture used to name this site. The end of the trail is obscured by the falling snow. This picture was taken from almost directly above the arch bridge.
Since these pictures were taken during the late winter/early spring, the snow comes and goes.
About a mile northwest of the arch bridge is a smaller bridge over a stream that becomes Snake Meadow Brook.
After another mile, or so, to the north is another bride. It is small, but considering that it is about thirty feet long, it is still interesting. The construction is similar to the previous bridge.
I continued northward and came to the second arch bridge. There is water on both side of the grade and it is possible to reach the bridge only on the eastern side. It was not possible to stand more than ten feet from the bridge without standing in the water. It was too cold to go swimming. There is a stone channel that extend about ten feet to the end of the bridge. The length of the bridge from end to end is about thirty feet.
On the western side of the bridge, it is impossible to reach the bridge. It was only possible to reach the other side of the pond to take some photographs with a telephoto lens. A stone channel could not be seen, but it may have been under water. Several dead pine trees have accumulated at the opening of the bridge.
This is a digital enlargement of the bridge. Like the large bridge, the stones are carefully fitted and there is no concrete.
This is the grade, looking south. It seems much narrower than the grade near the large arch bridge. Perhaps there was a siding at the other location.
This is the grade looking north. It seems greener. Perhaps the trees are different or maybe it is just lighting.
I had decided that I would not take any more pictures of the stone arch bridge, but I could not resist the two pictures below. We had had a lot of rain, and then it got very cold. The result were icicles. The first picture is from the north with the morning sun. The second picture is from the south.